I am forced to use Waste Management as my garbage, recycling, and yard debris company. I have been a forced customer of their’s for nearly six years. During that time, theirwebsite has not been fully accessible, but I could, with more effort than I should need to spend, pay my bill. But today it was very different. Today, it took me at least five attempts to pay my bill. By the end, I was literally guessing what information was required in which field.
Recently, I wrote about how I can’t pay my water bill. I’m getting tired of writing these kinds of posts. I’m getting tired of having so much difficulty doing things that most people can simply do. I’m tired of the law doing nothing to protect me unless I fight. I’m tired of having to have so many fights.
I hate being frustrated by something that is so easy for almost everyone else. I hate knowing that it’s unlikely to get better unless I go through the whole complaint process and force some degree of accountability. I hate the near-constant knowledge that I’m largely excluded from society and that most people don’t care.
Things, like this, are why I’m a fighter. I can’t relax often because you can’t relax when your civil rights are things basically no one but you fights to protect.
But now I have to follow through on the threat I made to Waste Management in an email. If they don’t respond with a suitable plan by the end of the day Wednesday, I will have to file with the Department of Justice against them. Sadly, I have learned that the only way to bring about satisfactory, quick resolution to the violation of my civil rights is to inflict pain on those violating my civil rights. I can’t ask them to respect me or the law. I can’t ask them to see my humanity and offer me dignity. No, I can only get results by making them at least somewhat as uncomfortable as they are willing to make me.
The Americans With Disabilities Act has been law for nearly 32 years. Sadly, it is doing what it was designed to do–provide little protection to people with disabilities. Governments and companies know they are likely to face complaints from anyone who can make them hurt. Couple that with the reality that they don’t care enough about people with disabilities to follow the law and provide equal access, and the world is still very unnecessarily inaccessible to and inclusive of people with disabilities.
It’s Sunday afternoon. I have gotten this off of my chest. I need to try to relax. There is nothing I can do about it right now. I don’t want to do anything about it later. But I know I must. Hopefully, I can rest and be ready for the fight in a few days.