The Post's June 4 article reporting the almost literal roadblocks the Virginia Transportation Department has refused to remove for the Willie family, who wish to facilitate faster transportation for their neurologically handicapped daughter, is illustrative of the all-too-frequent attitude of people who do not make reasonable accommodations for the handicapped and their families. It seems that the line from the Declaration of Independence -- "All men are created equal" -- is all too easily twisted into the belief that everyone must be treated the same, even if it results in undue hardship and unfairness.
The handicapped and their families seek to reach maximum independence and do not seek assistance that encourages dependence or favoritism. What is requested and often denied is a reasonable accommodation to their situation. I know of a college student who walked only with the aid of crutches whose request for the assistance of a lab partner was denied -- she did not want to spill dangerous chemicals on herself or others -- and of legally blind high school students who were not allowed to go up to the chalkboard so they could read it. The teachers explained: "We must treat everyone the same. It would not be fair to the others to give you this special consideration."
I am glad that The Post has exposed the short-sightedness and ignorance of these public servants. I suggest that one of them ride with the Willie family on one of their weekly commutes and then report if he or she can still stand behind the present ruling.
CAROLYN H. COLVIN Falls Church