Accessibility For All
When you wake up, do you think through the route to take to get to your next destination? Do you have to plan around obstacles to go to class?
For Maggie, this is a way of life. Maggie, patient ambassador at Shriners Children's Portland, recently achieved a win for her community. Maggie successfully advocated for the installation of an Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) accessibility button on the front doors of her high school to help aid people with physical disabilities.
The Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) has made it much easier for individuals to access public spaces. The ADA website explains, that it 'covers a wide variety of private businesses, as well as all the agencies of state and local governments… the ADA requires that these entities provide access to their programs, goods and services.' However, sometimes various public spaces fall short of being truly accessible to their patrons. ADA buttons are not required in the state of Washington, so a public space can easily be deemed ADA-compliant, even if that is not really the case.
Hopefully, this makes it to the point where kiddos can speak up for themselves.
It takes a passionate advocate to bring this to light – just as Maggie did. Maggie has cerebral palsy, which affects her ability to easily open a heavy metal door. She felt the buttons would be a great solution to helping kids like her enter school easily.
Although this was an issue that she dealt with throughout high school, Maggie spent the past year advocating and raising awareness in her community for the installation of this button. After a group of her peers met with their principal making the case for the button, the process for implementation began.
The mobilization was successful, and now she has physical proof of the inclusivity of her efforts. She hopes that this will open more conversations for children with disabilities. "Hopefully, this makes it to the point where kiddos can speak up for themselves," Maggie said. "It's not so scary. They can make a difference."
As a patient ambassador for Shriners Children’s Portland, Maggie’s favorite thing is being able to share her story and what Shriners Children's has done for her. Opportunities like attending a hockey game where she shared her Shriners Children’s story are incredibly meaningful to her. Maggie plans to attend college and pursue acting. We, at Shriners Children’s Portland could not be more proud of Maggie and her leadership.