Letter to the Editor: What Is Going On?

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My mother told me a story last week about a seriously ill student she once had. They live longer nowadays, she said. So do we all. The disabled. Good luck finding a spot.

My issue with disabled parking tag abuse is an aside but many things need to change.

I had no intention of moving back to NJ but I had no choice. NJ provides housing for the disabled. NYC does not. They built disabled housing long ago but it now houses the mentally ill, solely. The reason is overpopulation in mental hospitals. Since they built the housing in a timely fashion after HWBush signed the Americans With Disabilities Act, they still get away with old discriminatory rules.

NJ has just started to abide by the 25++ year old law. And people are losing their minds. Until someone in their family become disabled, of course.

NJ is currently making an effort to house the disabled without discrimination. The building are called mixed use; disabled, working families and market rate. My landlord built a disabled only building first. He was fined. NJ does not allow that. These working families work a lot!

The disabled population is exploding. Why? Because we ain’t dying. I was supposed to be dead ten years ago. People with autism and Downs are thriving without being dependent on family because independent living for “special populations” is a goal. Now. Better late than never.

There is not enough housing. NJ has just begun. I went to a Medicaid political thing (was in the wrong place) and saw NJ mothers crying and crying out of fear that their learning mislabeled children will be all alone when they depart the earth. I cried too.

There is currently a list of 3000 (last I heard) for my accessible apartment.

NJ City councils love the tax money. But they forgot to welcome us and integrate us into the community. Oops! This is not NYC. There isn’t a community center on every corner. And the residents in my town have made it clear that have no intention of accommodating us.

The only people who dislike us are ableist bigots who pepper NJ like spicy gravy. They are certainly slimy.

I believe, given the chance, disabled people can add to the color and texture of any community. Yet.

Montvale, NJ will not provide paratransit in defiance of federal law. If any lawyer is looking for any easy buck, contact me. I can’t be bothered.

The elder center no longer allows the youngish disabled to use their lovely facility. I have no idea why. The few people I know who go there are wonderful people. So it’s not that. It’s hate.

There is no access to the main road. My building was built over a mill stone, so it’s a giant slope and it took state inspectors to get a handrail installed to the car park that the builder promised and never provided.

Nor does the city of Montvale provide a path to the main road, so many disabled people never leave their homes.

The fire department is less than a football field away. I lost hearing in one ear because of their stupid alarms that they persist in blowing off even tho it’s unnecessary. “Who cares about those people?” seems to be the guiding rule here. But they don’t know us. Because then they will find out that we are nice normal people who wish to plug into the community. Instead they build fences. Literally.

Is it fair? Maybe you think beggars can’t be choosers some say.

To wit: No one chooses to be disabled.

Did I mention we are living longer. MS no longer kills. Diabetes doesn’t kill. Cancer doesn’t always kill, but half of cancer survivors are permanently disabled because of the strong medication they took to cure the cancer.

Montvale, like most BC towns, is disgusted with “those people,” as many of the working families of color who live here, have been described. Did I mention many NJ residents are slimeballs? Montvale likes the tax money tho, so they has agreed to build housing for people with autism. They have the cute idea that such a population will be less “problematic.” Few populations demand more community involvement, but I digress. I laugh tho. I can not wait!

All city council should be prepared for the changes that are coming. People with disabilities should get the same “senior discounts” and community love as the elders, but they do not. Which is another form of discrimination.

We are a growing population and we will not tolerate the people of Bergen County to demean us forever.

Glen Rock should live up to it’s belief that they are a real community with love for their neighbors and step up.

A home for 6 learning mislabeled people is not enough.

Mixed use section 8 housing must be built in town, not behind CVS with no parking. Not near Rt. 208, as has been suggested but smack dab in town. So people with disabilities can live a life of inclusion and love. We are not going away.

Since moving to NJ, the number of total strangers who have gone out of their way to help me when shopping or crossing the street proves the heart of NJ folks. Sadly, residents are fearful. I hope they will be relieved of their fear. I imagine Glen Rock can be the town it’s meant to be. I really do.

Maureen Nolan

** All letters to the editors  do not reflect the views of Banana Tree News

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