DEAR HARRIETTE: Due to my age and health, I move about in a motorized wheelchair. My hips are no good anymore, and it's just easier for me this way. Part of the village I live in has a steep incline. This hill used to be manageable for me until a new business renovated the incline into stairs. This Mexican restaurant just remodeled the sidewalk into 6-foot-wide steps and left a slim sliver of sidewalk that isn't a stair. Going onto the road is incredibly unsafe, but I fear I am too close to the curb and steps on either side of me to try to tackle this hill.
I have considered writing a letter to this business, mentioning how it's upset the disabled community in the village, but I'm afraid we aren't its demographic anyway. -- Not Disability Friendly, Suburban Maryland
DEAR NOT DISABILITY FRIENDLY: You absolutely should write to the restaurant and file a Americans With Disabilities complaint with the United States Department of Justice (ada.gov/complaint). Federal law protects you and all disabled people: It is the law that you should have the ability to maneuver on sidewalks. Public establishments should also offer wheelchair access to restrooms. While it is not always easy to enforce this law, you can certainly try. You may need to engage the media to draw attention to your plight, but do not give up. Your safety may depend on your activism.