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President George H.W. Bush signs the Americans with Disabilities Act during a ceremony on the South Lawn of the White House in July 1990.

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Bush opened doors for disabled

The passing of former President George H. W. Bush got me to thinking about his impact on persons with all disabilities in this country and across the globe. The idea that people with disabilities wanted to work but couldn’t because of lack of access to goods and services that other Americans take for granted seemed terribly unfair.

With the stroke of his presidential pen in 1990, he opened the door for over 20 percent of Americans, of all ages, who experience disabilities of any kind that keep them from living independent lives in the community, going to school, working, going to school and participating in civic life.

By signing the Americans with Disabilities Act, he began the work of freeing all of us from the bondage of stereotypical prejudice and the crippling barriers that the built environment presented at that time. Stairs, narrow doors, inaccessible bathrooms, communication systems that kept out people who were deaf or hard of hearing, lack of access to public transportation, headed the list of barriers that kept us from participating in regular life activities.

Having lived through the 1970s where there were virtually no sidewalk curb cuts and no thought given to building communities so that everyone could use them, I am thrilled to have lived and worked long enough to see the disability community thriving. There were lots of fights and tears; lots of compromise and standoffs that still happen today. But with the advent of the Access chapter in the International Building Code, adopted by municipal services organizations across the country, people with disabilities came out of the shadows and into society. The ADA mandated that effort.

The U.S. now stands as a shining example to the rest of the world who often come to study and emulate the ADA. Bush started all of this change and lived to benefit in his later years, using a wheelchair to get around his community!

I will be forever grateful for his ability to see people with disabilities as whole, contributing individuals that most of the rest of society just pitied at the time.

Patricia Yeager, The Independence Center

Colorado Springs

   

Thanks for local story on Bush

So, are the comments about President George H. W. Bush, at his funeral, a slam at Donald Trump? No! The comments are about President Bush and the man he was his whole live. Are they in sharp contrast to our current president? Yes.

How unfortunate that that is true and that approximately half of voting Americans elected him and many still support him.

It was such a sweet and poignant pleasure to watch and listen to the funeral proceedings.

And then to read “Bush sponsored child through Springs-based nonprofit” this morning was a gift. It brought emotional tears. Thank you, Gazette.

Carol Cook

Colorado Springs

    

Trump is the ‘odd man in’

The article in The Gazette got it wrong printing that President Donald Trump was the “odd man out” at former President George Bush’s funeral. No, President Trump was the “odd man in”.

You do realize every former president sitting in that front row was a former governor, congressman or senator....all career politicians! But not President Trump. And that people, is why they hate him. He is not one of them! Thank God!

Ellen Booth

Colorado Springs

   

Disgraceful plea bargain

I think El Paso County District Attorney Dan May should look for a different line of work. Sixty-five years for killing two innocent teens? You’ve got to be kidding. If any criminal conviction screams out for the death penalty, or at the very least, a life sentence, the double murder, execution style, of two teenagers does.

Diego Chacon should be facing lethal injection instead of room and board for a paltry 65 years. I can only assume that DA May will follow suit with a plea deal for Marco Garcia-Bravo, the other alleged shooter. The plea bargain in this case is an utter disgrace. It’s no wonder that criminals have no fear of the police and our criminal justice system, which is a complete farce.

Harry Edmunds

Colorado Springs

   

Finally, some good news on energy

In the Gazette article “Colorado utility commits to unprecedented renewable energy goal” we finally have good news concerning the bravery to move to renewable energy. It’s time for Colorado Springs Utilities to rip off the Band-aid and close down Martin Drake.

If the federal government isn’t going to recognize the threat of climate change, then change in practices need to take place at the local level. The Utilties strategic plan mentions a change to renewable energies and Xcel’s willingness to lead the way needs to be followed by Utilities today.

Kathryn Rachwitz

Colorado Springs

   

Outstanding newspaper carrier

I want to give a shout-out to our Gazette news carrier, Tommy Bryant.

Both my wife and I as well as our neighbor, Grace, who is 100 years old, are handicapped. Tommy delivers our paper to our doorstep, always on time. I rarely have to even step outside to retrieve it. Wishing Tommy and his family all the best.

Loran Unger

Colorado Springs

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