Trump rally not accessible for handicapped attendees

Editor:

I just read your article dated Sept. 23, 2019, regarding the Trump rally. It may have looked good to some, but the discrimination of the handicapped was unconscionable.

I am 70 years old in a wheelchair. I tried to attend the Trump rally at the Santa Ana Star Center in Rio Rancho on Sept.16.

We had tickets for the event, but were denied reasonable access to the venue despite access being available. My son flew in from Chicago specifically to attend this rally and because of events that unfolded, his trip was for naught.

We arrived two hours before the event, and even after making my handicap status known, we were directed to the closest parking that was 1.2 miles away, in a sandy, sagebrush filled field. Definitely not wheelchair accessible.

After some objecting to the traffic-control officers, we were told I could be dropped off on a street corner. The street corner was still well over half-mile away.

If I were to be dropped off on the street corner, the remaining trek to the venue would have been all uphill on a 15-degree incline in the hot New Mexico sun. My 50-year-old son would not have been able to push me up the middle of a road that steep and that long without even the benefit of a sidewalk.

We asked if I could be dropped off at the door and we were denied. We even asked if I could be dropped off in the handicapped parking lot, but we were also denied.

Accommodations were not made for those with the most need. There were no reasonable, secure drop-off areas, no shuttles, no carts from the remote area in which we had to park.

We observed another woman in a wheelchair on the street corner waiting to make the trek up the road as she was also forbidden a door drop-off. The street corner, I should mention, was a soft sand shoulder without curb or sidewalk with traffic passing closely by.

We also observed a motorized scooter trying to make it up the steep road. We observed an elderly man, 80-plus, struggling to attend the event.

We have pictures and video of these horrendous conditions. Absolutely everything involved with the accessibility for the disabled was shocking and unsafe.

My son and I were unable to attend the Trump rally event and we had no choice but to leave because of complete discrimination against the handicapped. It was a horrid experience to see how we were treated at this event.

It was venomous discrimination of the disabled. This is my president, too, good or bad, and I had just as much right to see him as someone who was physically fit.

I am sure others feel the same way. The ADA seems the only body that can hold them accountable, but more needs to be done. I have contacted attorneys, written letters and filed a complaint with the ADA.

Debra Brucker

Los Lunas

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