Show some compassion
Wednesday, October 13, 2010 - 1:16 pm

I am writing on the subject of handicap accessibility in Potsdam (particularly downtown). I am not handicapped but ever since my son was born, I take him everywhere in a large stroller. So I experience similar difficulties and unlike me, the handicapped in this town cannot just toss the stroller aside and carry the baby down the flight of stairs. There are very few stores downtown that are wheelchair accessible. Most stores and restaurants have steps, no ramps, and even in some cases indoor flights of stairs that you must ascend or descend to even get to their store. This really struck me when I had a conversation with a handicapped friend last night and she said that a lot of times she had to have friends lift her chair in and out of places or over curbs. There are very few curb cuts, and most of our sidewalks are in a state of disrepair unlike anything I have ever seen. Look how long it took to even get wheelchair accessibility for the post office and that is a federal building. Even the town and village offices are impossible to maneuver. We complain as a town about Walmart taking all the business but when the downtown area is basically saying mothers and the handicap--shop somewhere else--well we will. We will shop at Walmart and stores like that. I realize change takes time and it is really more the building owner’s responsibility not the store owner’s, but seriously people, show some compassion for those who can’t get in and out of these places so easily.