Reflection Of A Personal Experience With Physical Disabilities

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Throughout this semester we have read many readings from the ancient philosophers like Plato and Aristotle, to more modern ones like Descartes, and onto current era philosophers such as Merleau-Ponty and Gayle Salamon. One that I particularly took a liking to was Gayle Salamon. While we read many readings on phenomenology and differences in people, I was most able to connect with what Gayle Salamon wrote. I have personal experience with physical disabilities in which her topic is. Although my experience is much different than the women she talks about in her article, I am able to see where these women are coming from their shoes rather than an onlooker.

I have a hip condition called Legg-Perthes which I have had since I was ten. What
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In 1990, congress passes the American Disabilities Act. This not only required public places to be handicap accessible, but forced businesses to not discriminate based off of disability status. The first part of this, handicap accessibility, is extremely personal for me. When I was in the eighth grade I had another surgery which required me to be on crutches. This lasted some time into summer as well. That summer, my family went to Europe for vacation and one of the cities we went to was Paris. To get around Paris we used the Metro. The problem with this was one word: stairs. There were so many stairs, and not a single elevator (at least at the stations we went to). Even at the train station to get onto the Metro there was a handicap entrance rather than a turnstile, but once we were through: stairs. That part of the trip made me two things. One, it made my arms very strong. And two, it made me realize and appreciate all that America has done for people with physical disabilities. On a separate trip to Europe I went to Amsterdam, and this time I was not on crutches. I noticed that most sidewalks had blocks of cement that had groves in them. I wasn’t sure what they were so I asked my exchange sister, who lived with us when I was a younger child, and now lived in Amsterdam about them and she told me that they were to help the blind. The grooves made a clear and easy path for blind people to stick their walking sticks into and follow along. This is another example of forward thinking for governments that really want to make life as easy as possible for people with physical

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