In a recent article from The Jerusalem Post, Yaakov Katz wrote:
I spent most of last summer in New York City with my daughter, who in the aftermath of a long and complicated surgery, was in a wheelchair for about three months.
Needless to say, it opened my eyes. I was able to see – even if just for a few short months – what disabled people face daily, and how simple and mundane parts of life suddenly become not just complicated, but nearly impossible.
One day in particular I will not forget. We wanted to go to a cool, new ice cream place we had read about down in Chelsea. We decided to take the subway, the fastest way to cross town. What made it tricky was that only about 40 of the approximately 150 stations in all of Manhattan had elevators.
I thought I had planned the day perfectly. I did my research online as to which stations had elevators, and mapped out where to get on and off accordingly. Getting on the train was fine; but after getting off, lo and behold, there was no elevator to be found. When I re-read the MTA website, I realized I got off on the right street but wrong stop. I had to figure out a way to get my daughter in her wheelchair up a long stairwell. Thanks to a couple of good Samaritans, we safely climbed it.
I tell this story because, like many things in life, we need to experience something to understand it. I am thankfully not disabled and my daughter is thankfully no longer in need of support, but it did teach me a lesson – to be more aware and thoughtful of the challenges that the disabled face in Israel and around the world.
For the full article, please click here.