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The ADA Milestone Reconsidered

Mon, 03/30/2015 - 3:03pm
Last updated
4 months ago
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Reeve Brenner - Bankshot Sports

I don’t know how happy we should be celebrating an Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) milestone birthday. The ADA as an enactment remains in large measure a distraction from and perhaps a distortion of the purpose of inclusion of the disabled. In the parks, there are a great many aggressive exclusionary ball playing fields which communities provide.  What’s the point of a ramp to them or access to them in that the access leads invariably to exclusion? When was the last time you saw a physically or cognitively challenged person or a teenager in a wheelchair waiting for next at a ball playing sport? Any ballplaying sport? Only at an atypical structured setup event. Not a drop-in inclusion opportunity. Others have at their convenience all the fast moving exclusionary ball playing sports communities provide as well as the space and budgets. Not the disabled. Not the physically or cognitively challenged.

Accessibility often obscures inclusion. So we end up with ramps to exclusion. That is why, of course, we advocate for drop-in facilities like Bankshot not solely programs which segment rather than integrate the differently able. Facilities are much less costly in the long run than programs. We still think the best - and only so far - ball playing Total-Mix family sports based on Universal Design yet introduced are Bankshot Sports because they provide balance to the aggressive team sports which exclude the physically and cognitively challenged and their families.

We need many more sports facilities like Bankshot not intended for superior athletes of the Special Olympics but for Kevin, who uses a wheelchair, and live down the street. Where are they?

Reeve Robert Brenner is not your average rabbi. Your average rabbi's signature is not on his own line of basketballs, as Brenner's is. And even if it were, your average rabbi probably couldn't keep one of...

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