Disabilities and Boston

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Hello everyone! This second week in the office has been another week full of productivity and learning. We have both found new, exciting, and moving stories from the largest minority group, and have continued stretching our issue area in somewhat new directions. We have booked three sites; one long-standing FYSOP partner (a therapeutic horse-riding farm), one blast from the past (a center for people with cognitive disabilities), and one brand new site (an outdoor youth camp). We can’t wait to visit them all next week!

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In this blog, we wanted to talk a little about our issue area in Boston. Though Boston offers numerous services for citizens with disabilities, they are still many ways in which Boston residence are inconvenienced, or even discriminated against, because of their disability. For example, riding the T or taking a cab, which seems routine and simple for most Bostonians, can pose serious challenges for someone in a wheelchair, or a person who has impaired vision. Housing is also a major concern because of the lack of accessible, affordable residences that are also integrated. Many times persons with disabilities are left with no options outside centers or assisted living communities, which segregate them from society. An organization that is currently fighting to change these conditions, and which we hope to work with during FYSOP 20, is the Center for Independent Living. The Center focuses on gaining greater independence for persons with disabilities, and has won a number of cases that directly improved public transportation and municipal services. We encourage you to check out their website to see what steps are being taken to ensure that the city respects the rights of Bostonians with disabilities http://bostoncil.org/index.htm .

Till next week,

Keith and Kimberly

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