About Us

If you have not yet confronted a disability-associated access issue, chances are you know someone who has. Disabilities do not discriminate when is comes to race, gender, age, political affiliation, where someone lives or how much money someone earns. All People Together is dedicated to ensuring complete access for all disabled people. Access for all people with disabilities is guaranteed under the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) enacted in 1990. Though some technical aspects of the ADA meet access compliance standards, its intent for complete barrier free access-the heart of the legislation-certainly is not being met. Access to employment, recreation, education and basic necessities such as bathroom facilities, have been marginal since the ADA became law. Many families have had to fight legal battles for rudimentary services. The reality is that full access continues to lay in wait.

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All People Together is working to bring access for all people in the following areas:

Housing

Housing in America is considered part of ‘the American dream.’ For the disabled, housing is out of reach. There is simply no reason why housing should not be standardized to meet access requirements for all people. Modern technology along with basic architectural modifications can be implemented into uniform subdivision building codes to successfully meet unrestricted access. These could include, but are not limited to, eliminating steps and stairs by incorporating ranch-style open floor plan housing; wheelchair appropriate driveways and sidewalks; wheelchair width dimensions for all doorways; counters with hydraulic lifts capable of adjusting for any user at any time; and, fully accessible bathrooms and bathroom amenities. Braille pads could be stationed throughout floor plans and light-activated sensors positioned for hard of hearing and deaf individuals. Accessible standardized housing benefits all people.

Education

Although mainstreaming has been implemented in some areas of America, it is still being controlled by local school districts. Parents should have the final say on whether or not to mainstream their children. Options should be discussed with parents but the decision of parents as to most appropriate placement should be respected. This holds true for all people.

Employment

Without physical access to businesses, it is impossible for the assets of disabled Americans to be utilized through employment. These barriers represent blatant discrimination and are a violation of the law. Barriers to employment must be removed for all people. Litigation should not be the decisive element in determining a barrier free workplace.

Recreation

Federal, State and local lands, including wilderness areas, should be accessible to all people. Currently, there are a handful of trails, campgrounds and sights that all people can genuinely access. Unless all people can access recreational settings, they’re nothing more than tax funded landscape. Only when all people can appreciate the vast beauty of America do these sights and wonders have true cultural significance.

Transportation

Transportation for the disabled is currently limited to public transportation. Center walkways for airplanes and trains do not accommodate current standard wheelchair or walker width requirements. Airplanes and trains should be modified to include designated seats which can be removed for wheelchairs when a reservation is received. Floor mounted brackets should be inserted so that wheelchairs can be safely attached to the floors of these commercial vehicles as needed. Additionally, airplanes and trains should make necessary modifications to accommodate width requirements for people in wheelchairs and those requiring walkers. Access for all people should be recognized, respected and implemented by all public and private sector transportation providers.

Standards in Therapy

There are medical and ethical review boards for medical practitioners in America. Yet for physical, occupational and speech therapies, there are no such review boards. Any new method of therapy or whim of genius can be applied to therapy services. Many of these practices defy common sense. Some are abusive. But the fact remains that they are continuing to be used by vulnerable consumers and their families. A thorough review of therapy practices needs to be performed and standardized practices implemented. These standards would apply to all people.

Each of these essential quality of life issues would be best addressed by administrative review boards comprised of members who are dedicated professionals in their respective fields. Those representatives would include professionals in engineering, education, physical, speech and occupational therapy, business owners, regulators and members of the disabled community.

If we are to achieve full barrier free access, as provided for under the ADA, we must come together. For this singular cause, disabled individuals, their families and caregivers, and the organizations dedicated to serving and protecting them, must unite. In the twenty-plus years we have worked independently for this cause we have failed to achieve the goal; barriers remain and continue to impede access. We simply cannot afford to fight this battle alone. Join with us for a barrier free America.

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There are many organizations dedicated to serving the disabled and it is not the intent of All People Together to divert resources away from these groups. Rather, it is the goal of All People Together to bring the disabled under one umbrella for the singular purpose of achieving full and equal access. Please continue to support local organizations dedicated to serving the disabled.

If you agree that the time for change is now and would like to join in this fight for complete barrier free access contact Laura Turnbull-Gans at arrow1992@live.com. Your name and/or the name of your organization will be kept in strict confidentiality. All People Together does not solicit funds.