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Autor:  Dale/RS
E-mail:  não-disponível
Data:  11/NOV/2005 9:42 PM
Assunto:  Handicapped & Disabled

Both words are becoming "politically incorrect".  "Special" has become common in the past 15-20 years.  "Special education" is for children with various physical, mental, or emotional problems.  "With special needs" often means the same thing.  For a time there was an effort to spread the term "handicapable", meaning that a disabled person was still able to do many things.  The word never caught on, never became accepted.


In Brazil it's fantastic that preference is given to those who are handicapped/disabled/ elderly/pregnant/nursing/holding-babies-in-their-arms.  This is certainly an idea that the USA should copy.  On the other hand, sidewalks and building accesses in Brazil are seldom "handicapped-friendly". 


Recently in Gramado two blind residents were followed around the city as they showed how difficult it was for them to get around.  Low branches and "orelhôes" were constantly hitting them in the head, and they were stepping into holes in the sidewalks and streets.  There are two DETRAN offices in Gramado and one in Canela.  All are upstairs.  None can be reached by elevator.


Brazil has some special parking for the handicapped, but there is no control.  (My local market has one space for handicapped parking.  One space.)  If you are handicapped you find a sticker somewhere and put it on your windshield.*  Who determines if you are handicapped or not?  In the USA the determination is by a doctor.  If the problem is short term, you can request a red device that you hang from the rearview mirrow of your car.  The device is dated, it is valid for only six month, and it has a serial number that identifies the owner.  If the problem is permanent, you can request a blue device for the mirror and/or a special license plate.  It is just like the red one except for the color and the expiration.  Every two years you must sign a statement attesting that the condition has continued.  A new, updated blue device is then mailed to you.  This device can be taken from car to car.  The driver doesn't have to be handicapped to use it, but the blue device must be registered to someone in the car.  When I would drive a blind friend on errands, we would use his blue device.  It was a big help. 


Last month in Porto Alegre I had quite a discussion with two police officers about this very problem.  They were very interested in learning how things were done elsewhere.


*The sticker on the windshield is interesting.  All the stickers I've seen have been for the outside of the car.  If you put the sticker on the outside, the windshield wipers will hit it and the rain will get it wet and soggy.  Your alternative is taping the sticker to the inside of the windshielf.  The only stickers I've seen on sale have been at O Globo bookstores.






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Índice de mensagens

 English Made in Brazil -- English, Portuguese, & contrastive linguistics
Handicapped & Disabled  –  Júnior  11/NOV/2005, 4:47 PM
Handicapped & Disabled  –  Johannes  11/NOV/2005, 5:16 PM
 Handicapped & Disabled  –  Dale/RS  11/NOV/2005, 9:42 PM

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