The 29th of February remains a favorite day for me. It seems both gratuitous and charming. It's also a source of quadrennial confusion. For instance, I received several calls today from users of Paratransit who had purchased monthly passes for March and discarded their February passes. Imagine their dismay when Cap Metro refused to provide rides to them today, although the February pass was used all month. Fixed Route buses still accept cash, but riders of Metro Access aren't given this choice. You must show them a monthly pass or a ticket: The policy is that rigid.
Leaping four years hence on 29 February 2016, one can only hope for better days. I sense, however, a fundamental shift away from using resources to assist the blind and disabled. In my lifetime, I experienced very backward times, replete with blatant discrimination and hostility toward anyone who dared to challenge old paradigms of dependency. Through the late seventies and well into the nineties, I genuinely thought many of the key battles for equality of blind people had been won, that a new era had begun when idealism would become institutionalized. Over the past ten years, however, I begin to think this may have been self delusion. Even among former liberal supporters, an attitude of resentment seems to be evolving. I'm certain some of this retrenchment is caused by reduced resources created by those who have sought to defund our government.
I leave you with a question: Is our struggle for equality and integration leaping forward or backward?
Power to the Peeps!