To the editor:
Your recent article (August 2008 Access Press) about access to the skyways for those of us with mobility challenges was informative. I want to add another challenge. It was a cold, rainy day and I wanted to get to the skyway system from my home in Kellogg Square. There is an escalator that is the only way to get to the skyways from our building. All of us who cannot use an escalator – those in a wheelchair, those of us like me who use a three-wheeled electric scooter, families with a stroller, people on crutches, etc.—are challenged for our access.
To get to the skyways I have to go outdoors, go about two blocks (including crossing the street with a stop light) to the 1st Bank Building to take an elevator to the skyway level. I have spoken many times with the manager in charge of remodeling the building. He tells me an elevator is not a high priority. Because the building is old and historic they are under no obligation to comply with accessibility laws.
I know there is an elevator in the walls that I understand could be used to solve the problem. I hear from people in the building that a solution is coming, but have heard nothing official. I am sure it is an expensive process, but with winter coming on I want indoor access to the skyways.
Katie O’Brien, St. Paul, MN
To the editor:
I was not too happy when I noticed that “The Ringer” was the first movie mentioned in the Hall of Shame (September 2008 Access Press). It should be instead in the Hall of Fame because of these three reasons:
1. Because of the Special Olympics theme, the Farley Brothers worked closely with the staff and Board of Special Olympics, Inc. (from Tim Shriver being executive producer all the way up to Loretta Claiborne showing up on set), so yes, they were involved with the film.
2. The positive portrayal of people with intellectual and developmental disabilities, especially with all of the former and current Special Olympics athletes who acted in the film (yes, actors with intellectual disabilities were used). And,
3. The “R” word was used in an educational way because only the bad guys were saying it and it proved that even us Special Olympics athletes here in this state take offense to that word.
Yes, the movie was filmed before the terminology for Special Olympics changed from Mental Retardation to Intellectual Disabilities, but it remains as one of the best movies that I have ever seen.
Assistant Editor Jane McClure made a wrong choice with this film, because comedy can be mixed with education at the same time and this film proved it.
Roberta Blomster, Vadnais Heights, MN, Special Olympics Minnesota athlete.