Magazine article The Exceptional Parent

A Broken Bureaucracy

Magazine article The Exceptional Parent

A Broken Bureaucracy

Article excerpt

If you are an American with a disability, there are a vast amount of government programs that exist on the federal, state, and local levels to offer you assistance. "All expenses paid" by our government. Sound almost too good to be true? In some instances, it is.

About seven years ago, I decided to move back to my hometown in Upstate New York after living in Southern California. My immediate plan was to live in the apartment that was on the second floor of my father's house--a beautiful, open space with a lot of light where I could easily see myself spending my time. One small problem: I needed an elevator to accommodate my wheelchair. With research, I found a state run agency that would pay for home modifications if I could show how they would help me get a job. I was focused on becoming a published writer and felt I could easily establish the need of a home office. The course of action, however, to get such assistance is not an easy one, and I was constantly on the phone, relentlessly pushing to get the rusty wheels of a beaurocratic system to turn. After months of persistence, the agency set in motion contacting local contactors for the bidding process, and the beginning of construction was finally becoming a reality.

About two weeks into construction, I received a call one evening from my contractor. He had received a call from the state and was told my case had slipped through the cracks, and it would be six to eight weeks before he would receive his first payment. He was very apologetic to me but said he would have to go to another job and continue mine once he received payment. Although I understood, I was devastated. The following day, I was determined to figure out a solution before I broke the news to my dad; there was a huge hole in the side of his house! I began making phone calls to see what I could do about having my contractor's payment expedited. I located the office responsible for the mistake, the name of the individual who was responsible, and even that person's boss. Drastic situations sometimes called for drastic measures, and I put together a plan. The next day, I arrived at the state agency's office by 8 a.m. I explained to the receptionist who I was and asked if she could point me in the direction of the two people I was looking for. Turning a little pale, she introduced me to the woman who was responsible for the mistake. …

Search by... Author
Show... All Results Primary Sources Peer-reviewed

Oops!

An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.