By Carol Slight, Vice President of FIlling Homes
Kate Harding, who has lived at Filling Home in Napoleon, Ohio, for the past seven years, attended the ADA 25th anniversary celebration at the Toledo Zoo on July 20th.
After the event, Kate shared some of her memories of a less accessible community with Carol Slight, VP of Filling Homes…
Kate grew up in a small rural town in Indiana. During her seventh and eighth grade years, Kate often had to sit outside the classrooms to listen to the teacher and receive instruction. She could not fit through the doors to many of her classrooms due to the size of her wheelchair. Small entryways were one of many barriers that Kate faced as she pursued her education.
Prohibited from eating in the cafeteria where her classmates ate lunch, Kate, instead, ate in the school office right outside of the principal’s room, because there was someone there who gave medications during her lunch period.
When Kate attended DeKalb High School, all of her classes were upstairs. In the 1970’s, there were no elevators in the high school building. Daily, the football players and basketball players carried Kate, occupying her wheelchair, up and down the stairs, so that she could attend class.
Fast forward to 2015 – Kate now reflects on her ability to access her community in Northwest Ohio. Kate says that she appreciates larger door entrances, automatic door entries, elevators, ramps into public buildings, and accessible restrooms. When asked about the impact of ADA upon her life, Kate replied, “I think it is great for people like us. I think we need to make sure it gets to little towns like ours, because it can help a lot of people.”