Saturday, February 18, 2012
Disability, Discrimination, and Drama by mommy Jess
What do disability and eviction have to do with each other? Ask our landlords, who after approving the provision in our lease to move to a month to month structure after the end our initial lease term (March 31), decided on a whim, to rescind that acceptance. We have been told by our lawyer, and our lease actually specifies, that the house is not even supposed be on the rental market only available for sale. After pointing this out to our landlord, who shall henceforth be known as Huge Entitled Baby (HEB) he sent us one angry email after another demanding random things until mommy Shana had to take a break and couldn’t respond fast enough (3 hours) and he decided to evict us.
HEB is a whole other issue, he’s actually cutting off his nose to spite his face by asking us to leave in March, let’s just say this isn’t the prime time to have your house sitting vacant in the middle of New Hampshire. Why I mention it here is the reason we could not sign another year lease was because of the disability services Greta is or is not going to receive upon her third birthday, April 23rd. The month to month provision that HEB gleefully exuded as a perk of choosing this home when we signed the lease, would have allowed us to make sure Greta either received appropriate services here, or if we would need to move elsewhere, would have given us time to find a suitable home.
The decision is in the hands of the school district and while all citizens in the state have access to services what district you live in can make the difference between Greta attending an all-day interactive preschool with both children with disabilities as well as children without to prepare her for a school structure, or us having to bring her to a cold room in the middle of the school with no other children to do physical therapy for one hour a week. Truly, the spectrum is that wide. But we were stuck with the end of March as the date for when this decision would be made, hence inducing the wrath of HEB.
With such important concerns about her future hanging over our heads to suddenly find ourselves potentially homeless, well it’s a bit to take in. But the real problem is that we have to put important therapies on hold for Greta and probably even an orthopedic surgery because we do not know where we will live.
In a just and fair land this type of thing would not happen, but if you happen to have HEB as your landlord…well money is indeed power especially in this small town. But aside from the harassment and threats we’ve received I have to wonder how many other families are forced into making such difficult decisions to receive services for their disabled child? People who meet me and learn about Greta automatically assume I have fought, or will fight, for everything she has which somehow makes me a good person.
I think these folks have it backwards. I am not good because I fight for her, the systems and people (i.e. HEB) who work to actively prevent disabled children from receiving services are the problem. Have they ever stopped to consider what they are fighting for? Clearly this is a question I can’t answer, but I can ask us all to stop and consider the same thing. I’m fighting for the rights of my family and for my daughter to get the same services she would get in any other district within a 50 mile radius of our home. HEB, I guess he’s fighting to make sure we little people know our place. Which one of us is right, well I can’t say as clearly that would be a conflict of interests, but truly people: what are you fighting for?