To the Editor:
I keep thinking of Minnie Thompson and some of her attempts to make things better for Oak Ridge citizens.
She showed the documentation of how she had attempted to get automatic doors added to the Oak Ridge Post Office.
I said, “Minnie, this is a prime example of how Oak Ridge sets up a power of ‘four’ that never writes letter for its citizens that have no spokesman.”
I told Minnie that the Post Office property was not government-owned on Administration Road.
Minnie had a private P.O. box. She had great difficulty pushing the front doors.
Minnie, you need to get a power wheelchair where you can apply 50 pounds of foot pressure.
As a wheelchair-disabled citizen, it partially works for me until I reach the internal bowels of parcel mailing. I still rely upon people who feel good about opening a door.
Personally, I try to rely upon civil rights laws to supposedly give the disabled access to public facilities.
“What really disturbs me,” Minnie said, “is why the larger distribution post offices have automatic doors.”
I pointed out that the state had revised handicapped parking regulations and placed them in Tennessee’s Code Annotated.
The only way this could have happened was to make the law benefit the disabled more fully and to protect businessmen.
But if you are observant, property owners have created its laws. I get a laugh where the standard ADA sign gets manipulated into circles without reserved parking. Shame on you.
I pass by a quote at the Oak Ridge Hospital hidden amongst the historical photos by Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. that suffers for the lack of prominence: “Life’s most persistent and urgent question: What are you doing for others?”
Minnie Thompson—a person truly missed.
Lee Roy Gilliam
Cindy McCullough says
Compared to where I moved from in Wisconsin, Oak Ridge is very handicap unfriendly. Took me a few trips to CVS to find the handicap ramp and I wonder if it is even wide enough. Most places around here don’t seem to be handicap accessible and should be and yes, automatically opening doors at the post office would be nice.
Helen Standifer says
You are absolutely correct, Cindy. There are never enough handicapped parking places all over town but the worst place is at the Physicians Plaza and the Hospital. I guess they figure us weaklings won’t complain. Well, I’m just getting started. Drs. offices are the worst, the doors are so heavy and hard to open.
Cindy McCullough says
I have to say I got to thinking more about the post office having electronic auto opening doors when I carried in my Christmas packages to mail and my After Christmas returns. Those are not the easiest to open, especially the interior door for going into the mailing room itself, as you can just push it, you must pull with your hands full of packages. To me that is hard even for those of us who aren’t disabled in anyway.