This week marks the 25th anniversary of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA). For many of us, the ramps leading into buildings are just a matter of convenience when we don't feel like taking the stairs. But for those with a physical disability, the ramps are a necessity in their lives. The ADA has made a difference for many people.
My grandfather was infected with polio a few years before the vaccination became available. He lost the use of his entire lower body. I can't imagine what he must have felt when the doctor told him what it meant. He was a husband, a father of two (they would later have three more kids!), and someone who commuted from central New Jersey to Manhattan for his job as an editor. If he ever felt defeated, it wasn't evident in how he lived his life. Although he could no longer help around the house or participate in activities with his children, he didn't let polio take away his ability to earn a living. Back then in the early 50s, there were no ramps leading into the big buildings. So, my grandfather took the stairs even though he had no use of his legs. He literally picked one leg up at a time and placed it onto the next step. He fell down many times, smashed his head on countless occasions, and suffered other injuries along the way, but he was determined not to let the disease stand in the way of his life. Among his many accomplishments, he was the Editor for the American Management Associations’ “Management Handbook” called Effective Communication on the Job. Thru this publication, my grandfather left a sign of his determination that can never be taken away.
I believe I inherited my grandfather’s determination, and he is probably the reason why I take the stairs as often as I can. Although my challenges pale in comparison, I've encountered situations that seem daunting. But, like my grandfather I put one leg in front of the other and it all works out in the end.
The last few years has been challenging for many businesses as the US economy recovers more slowly than we’d like. That’s why at Grey Elephant we help our clients with every step. We are determined to help our clients succeed. Call or write us an email if you are feeling left behind.