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Ruling On NYC Disaster Plans For Disabled May Have Far Reach

Ruling On NYC Disaster Plans For Disabled May Have Far Reach | Geography Education | Scoop.it

"A year after Superstorm Sandy stranded many New Yorkers without power for days, a federal judge has ruled that New York City's emergency plans violate the Americans with Disabilities Act. Those shortcomings, the judge found, leave almost 900,000 residents in danger, and many say the ruling could have implications for local governments across the country."

Seth Dixon's insight:

I have many more questions than answers after listening to this podcast.  Presumably, most governmental agencies during emergencies are seeking to assist the greatest number of people with limited time and resources; would this court ruling change that mandate?  How will this impact urban planning in the future?  Just how much can plans in times of emergency account for assisting the disabled?  Do you think the City of New York was negligent? 


Tags: disasters, NYC, transportationurban, planning, podcast.

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Matthew DiLuglio's curator insight, November 29, 2013 9:35 PM

I am disabled, and while I am not in a wheelchair, I would implore the politicians to come up with accommodations for those that are, or have other severe forms of disabilities.  I damaged my brain and spinal cord in an accident that cost me some of my psychological functions, as well as a lot of the fine motor skills in my hands and body.  I remember what it was like before my accident, and I know that there was nowhere along the line that I asked to be disabled.  The people in wheelchairs, or the people who cannot evacuate themselves from areas of danger, are people that should in fact be prioritized, not left behind, when it comes to evacuating during emergencies.  In class our group discussed that the average able-body person should be prioritized during evacuation, but I kept thinking- what if something happened to them? What if they broke their leg during a flood evacuation?  Should they be left behind?  I would suggest that rather than answer these James Wan-like instances of moral quandary, we prepare for them and come up with access for the handicapped to be evacuated- in such an instance where NO ONE would have to be prioritized OR left behind.  That is the only fair way to deal with this sort of idea, without leaving anybody behind.  I have had dealings with people with disabilities, and a guy I know that is in fact wheelchair bound, is one of the most productively creative people of his age that I have encountered- wheelchair or not, he has produced, written, and directed two full length feature films before his 22nd birthday, one of which has screened at the Sundance Film Festival.  I had the privilege of working with him during some photoshoots, and I was really quite inspired by what he does, enough to pursue film-making on my own.  I feel that people today don't really care until something affects them.  Negative thoughts against those that prioritize against the disabled in events of emergency do not enter my head; rather, I feel that there must be something we can work out now, in a time of no immediate emergency, that can save us all...

Victoria McNamara's curator insight, December 12, 2013 12:34 PM

In my opinion I do not think it was all of New Yorks fault that some handicapp people could not get the help they needed. There are a lot of people in New York and not everyone could make it out even if they were not handicapp. I think these people should have a back up plan as well just incase. You could have a family member, neighbor, or friend come and help you and give you a ride.  

Steven Flis's curator insight, December 16, 2013 11:01 AM

This subject is the definition of a gray area matter. Of course you want to treat everyone equally and have everyone come out of a sotrm unscathed, but to do soo you have to tip the scales so much that it becomes unfair for un handicapped people. Sure New York could of done this better. But also some neglegence has to fall on the citizens. If your and elderly handicap person and know a major storm is comming you should try to evacuate immediatly, you dont need the news to give you the A Ok to go. Yes the City should have gave a heads up atleast 10 hours in advance so people could better prepare better but the citizens have to be away of their own situation. This comes down to an ancient survival theme the survival of the fittest were if you weak and not smart you die off simple ass that.

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