Access for everyone

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As an individual with multiple sclerosis, I’d like people to know that World MS Day is the only global campaign to bring attention and awareness to multiple sclerosis. Today the Multiple Sclerosis International Federation will honor the 2.3 million people worldwide with MS and the millions more family and friends who love them. Events will be held throughout the world with the hashtag #onedayms.

The Disability Treaty is an international human rights treaty intended to protect the rights and dignity of people with disabilities. I urge Post-Gazette readers to contact their U.S. senators through the Capitol switchboard — 202-224-3121 — and ask that they ratify this treaty!

MS symptoms often appear between ages 25-31 and last a lifetime. Symptoms are unpredictable, vary between individuals and commonly include overwhelming fatigue, visual disturbances, altered sensation and difficulties with mobility.

Access means different things to different people. For someone with a mobility concern, “access” often means having the same rights as everyone else. Examples include walking on an even street with a well-placed curb cut, transportation to the store or doctor’s appointment or being able to get into a favorite restaurant.

Americans are fortunate to receive protections and guarantees of these rights through the Americans with Disabilities Act. However, this is not the case internationally; that’s why we need action on the Disability Treaty. We all deserve the same rights to live our best life possible. “One day” I dream that global access will be reality!


The writer is chairman of the National MS Society Pennsylvania Government Relations Committee.

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