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PLACERVILLE, CALIFORNIA
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Proud of how county cares for disabled

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From page A5 | December 28, 2012 | 1 Comment

EDITOR:

I am proud of how El Dorado County cares for the disabled. We set a standard.

Everywhere you go in El Dorado County you find our community accommodating the needs of the disabled, whether they are our returning veterans, our seniors, or other fellow citizens disabled from birth or other misfortunes in life. We should be thankful to the businesses and developers who have made the investment (often a financial sacrifice) to serve the needs of these special customers and their fellow citizens. I remember well when the City of Placerville modified their corners downtown to accommodate people in wheelchairs. What a great day that was. Countywide those disability parking spots make a world of difference when our disabled family members and friends visit their doctors or go shopping. We should all be proud of El Dorado County for it has come a long way in the last few decades.

Did you know that this week there was a vote in the Senate to ratify an international treaty, the U.N. Convention on the Rights of People with Disabilities, modeled on our own American Disabilities Act? The treaty on which the Senate voted was one already signed by 155 nations and ratified by 126 nations. Our American Disabilities Act of 1990 was signed into law by Republican President George H.W. Bush. Former Republican Presidential candidate and former U.S. Senator Bob Dole was present on the Senate floor in his wheelchair shaking the hands of the senators, both Republican and Democrat. Each senator walked past him, and his wife Elizabeth, to cast their vote. If you remember, Bob Dole is a disabled veteran who was injured fighting while serving our country in World War II.

This United Nations treaty was modeled after our own American law. America already is in compliance with all of its provisions. If the bill was passed our fellow disabled Americans traveling abroad would be guaranteed the same accommodations as they experience in our communities at home in America. Ratification required a 2/3 vote. President George W. Bush who championed “compassion” negotiated this treaty for the United States. President Obama had already signed the treaty. It just was going to take 66 Senators for the U.S. to join with fellow nations.

When the final vote was tallied, there were only 61 votes. Ratification failed. All the Democrats voted for the ratification. Eight Republicans voted to approve the treaty including Sen. John McCain, who also suffered disabling injuries in Vietnam; Sen. Dick Lugar, the top Republican on the Foreign Relations Committee; and former Attorney General Dick Thornburgh. Both our Californa Senators Boxer and Feinstein voted for ratification.
The following Republican Senators voted “no” and blocked the ratification of the treaty. Shame on them for shaming our great nation.

Graham (R-SC); Grassley (R-IA); Hatch (R-UT); Heller (R-NV); Hoeven (R-ND); Hutchison (R-TX); Inhofe (R-OK); Isakson (R-GA); Johanns (R-NE); Johnson (R-WI); Kyl (R-AZ); Lee (R-UT); McConnell (R-KY); Moran (R-KS); Paul (R-KY); Portman (R-OH); Risch (R-ID); Roberts (R-KS); Rubio (R-FL); Sessions (R-AL); Shelby (R-AL); Thune (R-SD); Toomey (R-PA); Vitter (R-LA); Wicker (R-MS).

Under the leadership of both President Bushs and President Obama our nation has set a standard for countries that believe it is important to address the needs of the disabled. Our El Dorado County disabled citizens, of whom many are veterans, will now find nations around the world following the standards set by America, treaty or no treaty, countries to where they can easily travel for pleasure, education or business.

GEORGE SABATO
Placerville

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Discussion | 1 comment

  • francescaduchamp@att.netDecember 29, 2012 - 1:44 pm

    Dear Mr. Sabato, I honor your heart--your words...however, not all programs for the disabled work well here. I was placed in the system after I fell--and was losing the ability to walk. (I have lost everything) I asked for help--I was so scared George. First I was treated like I was lying about the pain--I was apologized to-- afterward (two years afterward.) I asked for training--they sent me to the More program-nice people--wrong help. I was given many tests--the tests said I could be a doctor--or a teacher...director and even a rodeo clown (my scores were off the top)...I went back to teaching for ten days a month--while I waited for my new knees ( I left school sites in tears--the pain was was undescribable.) They took away benefits because I had made a $1000.00 a month for those ten days. Whereas on disability I would make about $850.00 a month. I loved to work--any where...it s hard to write now...I walk--but with pain. So yes, in some cases the county is doing a good job--but there are so many problems in the program. I was given more pain meds than needed--and its not the doctors fault--but you see so many doctors--I gave them back--I still dont take many...I like to be awake--and looks like I will be fighting pain the rest of my life. My favorite testing was the "IQ" test...I was drugged, running on little sleep..and in enormous pain at the time of the test--which ran for a long time. Afterwards--the doctor commented how well I did--better than most of the regular population--my response was-- What does this have to do with my legs ? He told me that the testers do not know why someone is seeking medical help--they are just testing how we think...can you imagine how I would have done if not for the pain, drugs and lack of sleep. my friends are amazed at what i ve gone through--what I ve lost. I tell them...that im okay--I volunteer where I can...I stand in a bread line now--but it has taught me so much. There are so many good--no great people--no matter where you are in life. I wont even use handicap parking--im slow--but I walk...and there are so many worse off than me. You are one of the most intelligent teachers that I know--and I honor your thanks here...however, I have had some scary times in the disability program..and hope with all my heart--others havent. much respect my friend, Fran

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