Our network

Milledgeville and the Americans with Disabilities Act | Best Of

Title (Max 100 Characters)

Milledgeville and the Americans with Disabilities Act
Milledgeville and the Americans with Disabilities Act

On July 26, 1990, the Americans with Disabilities Act was signed into law by President George H.W. Bush to provide equal opportunities for individuals with disabilities in the areas of employment, education, and day-to-day living, as well as to prohibit discrimination against people with disabilities.  As we approach the 22nd anniversary of the legislation, let's strive to make Milledgeville an open and inviting community for all people, including those affected by disability.  But how?

Five practical courtesies will show that you care to make Milledgeville the place to live, work, and thrive for individuals with disabilities in the state of Georgia.

Leave Grandma's placard at home. One of the number one ways that citizens tend to overlook the needs of those with disabilities is by abusing their privileges.  The blue hang-tags and parking spaces are wonderful, beautiful things for those of us who need them.  If Grandma is riding with you, you most certainly may use the placard to her benefit. However, if she is not in the car with you and you are found using the permit without her present, you could be fined because of the fact that the misuse of the placard is a violation of Georgia law.  Be courteous and respectful, and park in the centers of the parking lot.  Leave the front spaces for those who are affected by disability, injury, or a similar condition. 

Ensure that your place of work is accessible. Most of the time in current situations, buildings are required to meet a code for accessibility as defined by the ADA, but when we live in a historic community like Milledgeville with older architectural design, it can sometimes be harder to make the building accessible. Most companies have ADA coordinators and officers that deal with compliance issues. I would also encourage you to take the time to contact the mayor and city council regarding any issues that you find outside your workplace. My goal, as a citizen and student in Milledgeville, is to ensure that all people, regardless of ability, are able to enjoy the thrills and sights and sounds of Georgia's antebellum capitol. 

Walk to the side on downtown sidewalks. This may sound crazy, but I promise that those who use wheelchairs and other adaptive equipment will thank you.  For some, having a disability is much like having a newborn baby -- it comes with so many extra accessories, including, but not limited to, wheelchairs, assistance dogs, and oxygen tanks. Milledgeville is very much a walking town, especially in the downtown areas, and it is my goal (and hopefully yours, too) to allow anyone, regardless of the assistance that they may require, to enjoy a nice dinner at Kuroshima while strolling the downtown streets on a nice summer evening.

When you talk to someone with a disability, talk directly to them. Many times, those of us with disabilities will bring along caregivers or other assistants to help us function in a community setting through the completion of various tasks.  However, if you have a question of someone with a disability, it is vital that you direct your question to the individual rather than the caregiver. Often, if there is a communication deficit, the caregiver and the individual will already have a system for communication.  It is, first and foremost, essential that we, as the citizens of Milledgeville and surrounding areas, make everyone, regardless of circumstances, feel as though they are a valued voice and member of the community. 

Be cautious about helping someone who has a more obvious impairment. It is our nature in the city of Milledgeville and the surrounding area to be friendly and helpful in nature, and that is a wonderful thing.  After all, it is one of the reasons why I chose Georgia College.  In most situations, however, it is important to first ask permission of the individual before you offer assistance.  Often, there are certain ways in which an individual must be assisted due to condition or simply due to preference.  When you ask, it is imperative to listen for any special instructions you may receive in the response for help. 

Let's strive, this month and every month, to make Milledgeville a place where all people are included, regardless of ability, in the thriving, vibrant nature of our city!

For more information on the Americans with Disabilities Act, please visit the federal ADA website at ada.gov.

What are your experiences with the ADA in Milledgeville and Central Georgia? Sound off in the comment section below or on the 13WMAZ Facebook page. You may also tweet with 13WMAZ @13wmaznews or myself @erinrbreedlove to share your experiences!

Milledgeville Businesses