Forget racism... anyone catch what Rand said about disabled people?

@II2aTee (2560)
United States
May 21, 2010 11:02am CST
I listened to this interview live on my way home from work the other day and my jaw nearly hit the floor. http://www.npr.org/templates/story/story.php?storyId=126985068 "Dr. PAUL: Right. I think a lot of things could be handled locally. For example, I think that we should try to do everything we can to allow for people with disabilities and handicaps. You know, we do it in our office with wheelchair ramps and things like that. I think if you have a two-story office and you hire someone who's handicapped, it might be reasonable to let him have an office on the first floor rather than the government saying you have to have a $100,000 elevator. " Really? Really!?!?! So a wheelchair bound employee should just never see anything except the first floor? What if there is a meeting on the upper levels? A person in a wheelchair should just wont be able to attend? Too bad... so sad... If you were in a wheelchair how would you feel if your employer told you you arent allowed anywhere except the fisrt floor because its just too expensive to accomodate your handicap anywhere else?
4 people like this
9 responses
@Rollo1 (16686)
• Boston, Massachusetts
21 May 10
As a disabled person whose desk was once on the fifth floor of a building, I would feel very much safer on the first floor. This was never more true than the times the electricity was out in the building or the times the elevators were not working properly and likely to get stuck between floors. Having to get down five flights of stairs was a daunting task. Having to evacuate in a crisis down the stairs when elevators are not to be used is even more frightening, because now you are going down in a crowd of escaping people. Try being disabled, then tell me you feel comfortable in a place you cannot exit if you have to. I won't even mention how I felt about the revolving doors...
2 people like this
@II2aTee (2560)
• United States
21 May 10
Thats a good point, and I will not argue it since I dont know what its like to be disabled. The comment just struck me as odd because "fiscal responsibilty" was his buzz word for this interview. He mentioned it quite a few times, even when it didnt fit the context of the discussion... almost as if he knew that saying those two words is what Tea Party people like to hear. It seemed to me that he dosent think buildings should be built to accomodate handicap people because it just costs too much money.
2 people like this
@Rollo1 (16686)
• Boston, Massachusetts
21 May 10
I wish the new buzz word/phrase was "common sense". The government can and should regulate public buildings to make sure that all citizens, regardless of handicap, can access them freely - and they do. But I am not sure that government should regulate everything, everybody, every building. There are stores I frequent more often than others simply because they provide better accommodations. They have the scooters near the door, employees willing to retrieve them for you, carry your purchases to your car, etc. Other establishments don't provide such accommodations and they don't get my business. Perhaps my business is not important to them. If they suffered economic loss, they might change their establishments to accommodate me and other handicapped people. But they don't limit my ability to get what I need, and I don't enlarge their coffers with my disposable income. Some apartment complexes cater to the elderly or the disabled, others don't. I don't rent apartments on the third floors of old houses, but I don't feel I have a right to demand that the landlord install elevators so that I can rent his apartments. Common sense dictates that if a public building is one that any citizen might need access to - a courthouse, a post office, an IRS office - then the government ought to make sure it's accessible to everyone. But putting economic burdens on private businesses to the detriment of their ability to do business and to the detriment of the economy as a whole, doesn't make sense. Don't make it harder for disabled people, I think it would be great if I could go everywhere and do everything. I want to go to the beach, but chairs and scooters don't move well over dry beach sand. I can't demand the city put a handicap ramp in that takes me to the ocean's edge. Limitations are not the same as discrimination, they just are a fact of life. Not all disabled people are making unreasonable demands and not all are treated fairly. Let's be fair AND use common sense. I am disabled and can still be reasonable and sensible. I think lots of people can be both.
1 person likes this
@II2aTee (2560)
• United States
21 May 10
I never said you couldn't and I apologize if this discussion is making you upset. It was merely my point of veiw, as a non-disabled person, who thought that perhaps this statement was insensitive. Nothing more, thank you for your perspective, I really do appreciate it.
1 person likes this
@spalladino (17925)
• United States
21 May 10
I don't know very much about Rand but he doesn't seem to be very rational to me. His solution to accomodating an employee with a handicap is shortsighted and discriminates against them. While it would be more difficult for a handicapped employee to get down from an upper floor during an electrical outage, as rollo said, it's still not ethical to limit their activities because of the cost of an upgrade. He also doesn't seem to realize that, if that two-story office is open to the public, they're required by federal law to have both floor accessable to people with handicaps.
1 person likes this
@II2aTee (2560)
• United States
21 May 10
Like you I didnt know much about him either. Personaly, my first exposure to him was not positive. I cant say for sure but, I would venture a guess that many people like him because they like his father Ron. We all know how well THAT line of thought works in politics over the recnt years. At least, I thought we did. The entire interview (which I listened to live, as it was happening) it was like he was reading from notes on the palm of his hand. Just mention fiscal responsibility as much as possible... that will win over those Tea Party people!
1 person likes this
@Taskr36 (13925)
• United States
22 May 10
"it's still not ethical to limit their activities because of the cost of an upgrade." They are required by law to make "reasonable accommodations." If cost is prohibitive than the accommodation is not reasonable and thus, the person will not be hired. Spall I've worked my last 4 jobs in the public sector and gone through ridiculous amounts of training regarding ADA accommodations. Bankrupting a company is not reasonable by any stretch of the imagination. "if that two-story office is open to the public, they're required by federal law to have both floor accessable to people with handicaps." Tell that to those crappy motels with two stories and no elevators. In fact, forget them, what about bed & breakfasts? I can tell you the ones I've seen are just large houses that were converted to businesses. They typically don't have elevators either.
@Taskr36 (13925)
• United States
22 May 10
I should also point out that outside of Miami, every apartment I've ever lived in has been in a 3 story building and NONE OF THEM have had elevators.
@Pose123 (21667)
• Canada
21 May 10
Hi Tee, I have a 45 year old nephew who has been disabled and confined to a wheelchair since he was 17. Today he works for the provincial government and has helped bring about many changes. It was very different at the time of the accident that caused him to become a paraplegic. Even many public buildings were not accessible to those having to use a wheelchair but now now there are few if any private buildings in the area that don't have resources for such individuals. To answer your question, I would be very unhappy with such an employer and today, I think the general public would be as well. Blessings.
1 person likes this
@II2aTee (2560)
• United States
21 May 10
I do not know what its like to be wheelchair bound but I am pretty sure if I was I would be pretty upset if my employer limited my acces in my job. Oh there is a meeting on the second floor? Well.. email me the minutes... I'll just stay down here in the designated diabled person zone while you all discuss the important matters.
1 person likes this
@Taskr36 (13925)
• United States
22 May 10
You are making something of nothing. Just have meetings on the first floor. Sheesh. It's like you're actively trying to be unreasonable.
@laglen (19782)
• United States
21 May 10
I would suck it up, move on and start my own business on the top floor if that was so important
@II2aTee (2560)
• United States
21 May 10
Yup. I'm sure you would.
@anniepa (27238)
• United States
21 May 10
I've been thinking the same thing myself, that his remarks about civil rights have gotten all the attention while this is also a big, possibly more pressing issue today since thankfully nobody seems to want to repeal the Civil Rights Act at the moment. I've been hearing that Paul is and has always been a purist libertarian. I guess I never realized just what that means in some situations. I agree with the libertarians in many ways but it seems to me that, at least according to Rand Paul, it means anyone has the freedom to do whatever they want to do, IF they're fortunate enough to be physically capable of going through any obstacles there may be and if they're not unfortunate to have been born the wrong race to suit a private business owner or whatever. Did you notice that in his victory speech Paul mentioned the tea party many times but only mentioned the state that voted him as their candidate ONCE? That makes me wonder, if elected who will he be serving - the people of Kentucky or the tea party? Annie
@II2aTee (2560)
• United States
21 May 10
I have a sneaking suspicion that Rand might be one of those people who took advantage of the current political atmosphere to do a power grab all his own. Everyone knows incumbents are in trouble this year. This gives a whole new generation of corrupt government officals to step up to bat. Mind you, this is all my gut feelings... having listened to this particular interview and reading others since. I understand that his father is popular with the Tea Party. Apparently nepotism is not one of the big government evils that needs to be done away with with this new revolution.
@angelajoy (1839)
• Philippines
22 May 10
Well, just think about it from the perspective of the employer. That amount of money could already be used for lots of other things. It could be shared by all employees. Anyway, why would you give someone a very special treatment? I think the employer is being as considerate as possible when he just put the handicapped employee on the first floor. If I were the employer, I would allot that much money on my handicapped employee only if he or she proves that he or she is a real asset to my company. $100,000 is just way too big an investment for just one person.
@Taskr36 (13925)
• United States
22 May 10
Are you seriously going to have a cow over something this petty? "What if there is a meeting on the upper levels?" Levels? He's talking about a two story building, not a 40 story skyscraper. The answer is simple, don't have a meeting on the second floor. Problem solved. The ADA requires that reasonable accommodations be made for handicapped employees. Demanding a $100,000 elevator be installed in a $200,000 building is not reasonable. Giving the person a 1st floor office and holding all meetings involving him on the 1st floor IS reasonable. "If you were in a wheelchair how would you feel if your employer told you you arent allowed anywhere except the fisrt floor because its just too expensive to accomodate your handicap anywhere else?" I wouldn't care so long as their were no functions of my job that required me to be on another floor. So what if he never sees the 2nd floor? I've never seen the 4th floor where I work. It isn't necessary. 95% of the work I do is on the first floor and 0% is on the fourth so it's not an issue. I don't cry discrimination to my boss because there's one floor in the building I don't have access to.
@matersfish (6311)
• United States
21 May 10
Are you really upset about the comments? I admit, I don't know a thing about Rand Paul and his stances on issues, but this sounds rather logical to me. Instead of having the government dicating what disabled people must have accessible to them, people handling it privately could probably do a more efficient job. Moreover, I'm sure it's a deterrent for private businesses to even hire handicapped individuals if they have to keep forking over hundreds of thousands of dollars to make their businesses handicapped accessible by government's constantly increasing standards. I'm sure this "first floor" idea doesn't apply if there are regular meetings on the upper floors that handicapped employees would need to get to. That's just assumed. And Rand Paul may actually mean that, but there's nothing in that comment to think that's what he meant.
• United States
21 May 10
Well it would make common sense to me that if the company gave the handicap person an office on the first floor than meetings that person would need to go to would also have to be held on the first floor. The people on the second floor could come down stairs to the first floor to have the meeting. Problem solved. Common Sense solves a problem again. LOL. Companies are hurting. They need the flexibility on their spending. If they can accommidate a handicap persons needs at the job WITHOUT spending an extra $100,000 than why should they be made to. That $100,000 could then be spent on maybe hiring a couple more people (lord knows we need companies to hire more people right now) or NOT lay off existing employees (we have enough people out of work right now). All he is saying is companies need flexibility in their spending. Handicap people should still have their needs met. No one is saying they shouldn't. But why make a company spend money on an elevator if they can solve the problem without it? If they can't then of course they will have to put in the elevator. But in cases where they can...they should be allowed the flexibility.