Sent in by Eric Lopkin, who notes that after this letter was published in The Patch, Rep Lesser responded that the program in question was a starting point. He stated that he was glad the issue had been brought to his attention and is currently following up.
Dear Representative Lesser:
After reading your 2013 Capitol Update, I must say that I am appalled by what you consider an accomplishment. I am referring to your contention that you stood up for people with disabilities by fighting to set aside “one third of janitorial jobs in state buildings.”
I am legally blind and since the state’s determination that I am disabled I have become exasperated at the state’s image of who disabled people are. Over the past several years, I have had state agencies and non-profit organizations insist that there are wonderful opportunities in janitorial and call center work. While these are fine jobs, I am insulted by the apparent belief that these are the only jobs that disabled people are capable of.
We are entrepreneurs and executives. We are accountants and marketers. We are farmers and printers. We run marathons. We come from all walks of life and are capable of amazing feats. Disabilities affect different people in different ways, but the state insists on treating us all the same. Worse, for many of us, there is technology that we can use to overcome our disabilities that the state actively prohibits us from suing.
If you want to stand up for those with disabilities, bring the state’s image of us out of the stone age.