Tomorrow.. the word reminds me of Shirley Temple. The sun will come out Tomorrow! Anyway, I am thinking about tomorrow tonight. It is sure to be a day filled with thought. I hope that those in the room thinking with me at the Nebraska State Capitol are looking forward to it as much as I am. Jason will be taking me to Lincoln, along with Luka and my scooter! I am opting to ride the scooter, as the last time I went and accepted the proclamation, I was so exhausted, I could hardly move around, I had no energy to go to visit with the others that attended and I just really couldn’t contribute. Tomorrow I want to be able to contribute. So thanks Jason for loading that beast up in the trailer and dragging it in and out for me!
Don’t worry I haven’t given up walking, just when it hinders thinking!
It isn’t often these days that I get asked my opinion about something important. Something that will impact the lives of many others here and now and also in the future. That is what tomorrow is all about. Nebraska’s Assistance Dog Laws (Service Dog Laws) are a bit behind the times. Federal Law trumps Nebraska Law but if Nebraska’s Laws kept up with Federal Laws, then those with disabilities would have protection via local law enforcement officials instead of having to resort to utilizing the services available through Federal means to gain justice or in most cases a meal, a bathroom to use when you need to use it…. etc.
Since some less than favorable responses by some Nebraska Businesses I have now chosen to carry the laws with me everywhere we go. I also carry with me a denial form that I ask the business to sign if they are denying us access. I also have my camera phone with and am not afraid to use it.
Read no further if you have issues discussing going to the bathroom and related subjects.. Warning… Stop now!
Still the fear of walking into some place new to us or with a new employee is rampant. For example we had a three plus hour ride in the car today. I needed to go to the restroom about 1/2 way through the trip. I had asked Jason to take the highway instead of the interstate because it is so much prettier. I love looking at all of the small towns as we drove by them. At the same time, I forgot about the convenience of Nebraska Rest Stops, these offer no resistance to Luka and I and are well traveled by folks from everywhere. While Luka and I may be the only pair like us there, no one ever bats an eye at us.
However the fear of stopping someplace new and unfamiliar is all to real. Today, I was pretty tired and I knew I couldn’t make the trip to the ladies room on my own. Jason can only hold me up so far, and then I’d be on my own again as well.
I do also have to say that the smaller towns that I have visited, I have never had a problem. But when you are exhausted, have to go to the bathroom pretty bad and you don’t need the trouble of explaining and being questioned… that crossing your legs and hoping you don’t get a bladder infection pretty much sums up how my afternoon went.
I do think that working to change Nebraska’s Laws will help me feel more comfortable walking with Luka into new places. I am phobic to begin with and being questioned about my life, my assistance dog, my disabilities and my personal inadequacies is far to much to deal with most days.
Don’t think however that if confronted about these things that I will lye down and accept this though. Which is one reason I feel so fiercely about brining Nebraska’s Laws up to speed. Even adding some enhancements as well to make this a better place.
Just because some one feels like denying someone like me access does not mean it should be allowed. Look at what can happen if people who have different abilities are ignored, or treated as less than. Because they were Bored… and all they get was a slap on their hands??? No thank you! I will not leave this place more dangerous for people who are different. I will try my best to make it so that those who follow me are treated with respect, and have protections under the law. The article I linked to in this paragraph makes me sick, angry and all together furious at the lack of respect that is tolerated against those who are different. I don’t care how you are different than others, it is wrong to allow this sort of behavior.
So that is why tomorrow, I am taking one small step to insure that those who come after me have a greater sense of personal safety, a greater sense of Assistance Dog safety, and can be out living their lives as productively as possible.
We have power, we just need to harness, direct, and use it.