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Lethbridge Herald Newspaper Archives

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Lethbridge Herald, The (Newspaper) - October 5, 1974, Lethbridge, Alberta Brief from disabled sets out case for transport for handicapped Transportation is the key to effective integra- tion of the handicapped into society, says a brief from Disabled on the Move to go to city council Monday. The group recommends to council that the city lease and operate a four-van fleet of handi-buses for a trial period of one year at an estimated cost of An estimated 366 people could use the service, says the group and four vans would be required to meet the estimated demand "If time and effort and money are spent on medical and vocational rehabilitation and on measures to make public buildings accessible, and society still continues to deny the han- dicapped the right of equal access to inexpensive public transportation and therefore condemns these people to confinement in their residences; then, in a tragic sense, the rehabilitation process is a waste and a cruel joke has been played on the handicapped person says the group's brief. "If a handicapped or elderly person confined to a wheelchair or with limited mobility cannot go out into his community due to transportation barriers, then he cannot live a normal life "He is prevented from going out to shop, seek and hold employment, attend recreational and cultural functions, visit friends. "In short, he is unable to do some things which most people consider part of a normal life The car, says Disabled on the Move's brief, could be a solution to the transportation problems of some handicapped people, but many who are physically able to drive a car cannot af- ford to purchase one Taxis are a poor alternative, the brief adds, and not just because of the expense involved. "If a handicapped person is in a wheelchair and cannot transfer himself into a taxi, many taxi drivers will refuse to take him. "Sometimes, even if a person can transfer himself, a driver will still refuse the trip because he dislikes having to load the wheelchair into the trunk of the taxi "Most people confined to wheelchairs have either personally encountered or know of in- stances involving others in which taxi drivers have driven away when they found out that the person requiring a taxi was in a wheelchair or have bitterly complained while loading the person and his wheelchair "This is a fairly common occurence." In asking for four vans, Disabled on the Move estimates 157 individuals would require such a service at any given time. In terms of potential use, there are 310 in- dividuals, not totally independent in nursing homes, 100 individuals in the Lethbndge Aux- iliary Hospital and 400 in active treatment hospital beds who might potentially use the ser- vice. If only one-fifth of the total can realistically be considered potential users, then this increases usage to 316 individuals, the brief says. In addition there, are an estimated 50 to 100 in- dividuals with quadriplegia, multiple sclerosis, cerebral palsy, muscular dystrophy and other permanent disabilities, as well as those people with temporary disabilities, it says. Disabled on the Move has gone so far as to work out an operating schedule for the service with four vans on during peak hours and two dur- ing less busy hours, so that the service would be available from 7 a.m. to 11 p.m on weekdays and Saturday and 9 a.m to 10 p.m on Sunday. The group notes that the large sums of money now spent by voluntary agencies, handicapped individuals and government departments and agencies for transport to and from medical ap- pointments, physiotherapy, vocational training courses, and certain recreational activities would be saved if cheap convenient public tran- sit were available "Finally, one cannot put a monetary value on the social and psychological benefits which would result for numerous handicapped and elderly persons if accessible inexpensive public transit were available, but these benefits are nevertheless extremely it says YOUNGSTERS ABOUND IN CAPRI'S SITTING ROOM Officials check bowl babysitting Lethbridge social, workers seeking guidance from their Ed- monton superiors to determine the legal status of babysitting services offered by two city bowling alleys. Both Capri and Holiday Bowl offer weekday unlicensed babysitting ser- vices to women bowling in morning and afternoon leagues. The majority of women bowlers have opted for the "free" service and claim to be satisfied with the facilities and care their youngsters receive. At the Capri more than 600 women bowl weekly. On an average after- noon some 40 youngsters, children aged one through five, play and mill about the floor of a 30- by 12-foot room while infants are put out of traffic's way in six wooden cribs suspended from one wall and in five floor-standing cribs. Some of the infants wail inter- mittently. Others look bewildered or sleep despite the surrounding hubub. Friday afternoon at the Holiday Bowl where a somewhat smaller room contains three of the "wall cribs" and five floor models 16 children, including a wide-eyed six- month old, waited out the three hours of their, mothers' bowling. THREE SITTERS The Capri babysitting room is staffed by three adult female sitters at all times. The Holiday, which seldom handles more than 28 children at a time hires only one supervisor. The bowling alleys provide some toys for the children, but do not serve snacks or refreshments during the two-and- one-balf to three-hour stint The Capri child care workers show films regularly. The Holiday did so once, but the projector is currently broken. "Almost all bowling alleys provide some kind of a babysitting service for the female says R. J. Brown, manager of the Holiday. "We've been doing it for 14 years. We have about 150 women in our league and are probab'v handl- ing about 40 children a week." "I've got 100 women bowling here right said Ray MacDonald, manager at the Capri alleys, when interviewed Thursday. "That's 20 leagues, and there've been only two women who have ever come to me and complained." Although his alley has offered babysitting for 10 years to "bowling Mr. Macdonald. like Mr. Brown, maintains he is not operating a daycare or nursery centre since he does not solicit clients from outside the bowling leagues, does no' Advertise and charges Ihe rrcthe-s rithing above the basic 55 to ceTf -rniTyees 790.000 tso.000 700.000 50.000 TOTS OF ALL AGES MINGLE AT HOLIDAY BOWL I Agencv staffs UW bd Total today Prfnous total 1 Objective Unibed way TOM FERGUSON Ferguson cuts civic ties Monday It will be business as usual Monday when the city council elected in 1971 meets for the last time Their final agenda is short, but it includes presentation of a brief from representatives of Disabled on the Move seek- ing a public transport system for the handicapped, and a communication from the city solicitor on the contentious truck routes question. The new council which will assemble for the first time on the Monday following the Oct. 16 civic election will inherit several matters from the out- going council Monday's agenda shows nine "laid on the table" items including such matters as an industrial development policy statement tabled July 29 for further discussion, and the city hall expansion proposal tabled until capital budget dis- cussions. In addition, there are 13 items under "unfinished business" including a request made by Aid. Vera Ferguson in January for a report on overall traffic patterns and flow in the city: a report by Dec. 31 of this year from the traffic department on a pedestrian crossings policy: a report from the special com- mittee set up by council in May to look at off street parking: and appointments to a committee to deal with future rate revisions by Calgary Power Ltd., and to a committee to set up terms of reference concerning land annexations. There'll be at least two new faces on the new council six incumbents are seeking re fierivn hut rme vacancy has existed since Chick Ch-Chester resigned from council in April, 1973. and Aid. Tom Ferguson is not seeking re-election For Aid Ferguson. Mon- dav's meeting will mark the 3 >ie career devoted ,v t jnnuding the tf-cc -cars as alderman. He lopped Jljo polls in 1971 Aid Ferguson was ap- pointed city clerk May became city manager in December. 1957. retiring in 1970 ;