Due To Alleged Refusal To Repair Elevator: Disabled Man Painfully Crawls Capitol’s Stairs

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The National Legislature should be a place that accommodates every citizen, regardless of their status in society, but due to the alleged refusal of both Houses, Representative and Senate, to repair the elevator in the building, people with disability painfully crawl to have access to their legislators.

   Early this year, the Florence A. Tolbert and the Disabled Advocates Incorporated (FATDA), which is headed by Samuel Dean, embarked on an advocacy among senators and representatives to make the building accessible to persons with disability (PWDs).

   “The plan was to get both houses to open their handicap rest rooms to the public, a feat we succeeded in; but not without a tussle. The next was to get the House of Senate to repair their elevator,” Samuel S. Dean, the head of the National Commission on Disability, said. “Although the House of Representatives has had issues with theirs in the past, they had always remembered to repair it. The Senate, on the other hand, since 2 years ago has allegedly been indifferent to repairing theirs.”

   According to Dean, “Since we approached the House of Senate about the elevator’s repair earlier this year, having gathered information that they would need only US$9,000 or US$10,000 to repair it, they have never budgeted it.” He added when he met the Vice President, Jeremiah Koung, a couple of weeks ago and he flagged the issue and promised to contact the President Pro Tempore of the Senate.

   In furtherance, he wrote the Senate Pro Tempore as the current Executive Director of the National Commission on Disability (NCD), but has yet to hear from her office.

   He however stated that his recent visit to the Senate caused him profound pain to access the building, and is crying for justice for him and his counterparts nationwide.

   “The straw that broke the camel’s back was when I had an emergency meeting at the Senate last week Wednesday, and had to painfully crawl down the stairs because no one was around to carry me down. I need justice. I need them to repair that elevator,” the NCD head said. “As the chief Disability Advocate, who is tasked with the mandate to speak on behalf of an alleged 1 million persons with disability in Liberia, if I cannot advocate for my own dignity and human rights what good of an advocate will I be in defending the rights of my people?

   “I need justice. Enough is enough! Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere!” he said with tear-dimmed eyes.

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