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It has been nearly 30 years since President George HW Bush signed the Civil Rights Law: Americans with Disabilities Act. It is simply egregious that we, as a society still choose to use the term "handicap." We use it in our everyday language, on documents and it is even still used on parking signs. Let me give you an idea of what that term really means. "Handicap" is an ancient term derived from cap-in-hand. During the reign of King Henry VII, many war veterans were left disabled and forced to beg on the streets, collecting coins in their hats. The disabled are NOT beggars. In fact, a vast population of the disabled do have jobs and provide for themselves. "Handicap" is an outdated derogatory term that has been replaced by "accessible." There is a NYS Executive Law 19 NYCRR §300.4 which states that “(t)he word ‘handicapped’ shall be removed from any signs or other means of communication where such word appears [and that] the word ‘accessible’ may be used in its place.” Let’s make a resolution to get rid of the term "handicap" in favor of "accessible."

Amy Sholes


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