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Northwest Voices

Seattle Times letters to the editor

August 26, 2013 at 4:00 PM

Protecting Metro bus operators and passengers

Don’t stigmatize me

Of course it is tragic when someone is shot. Of course we want our public transportation system to be safe for operators and riders. That is a given.

But where I have trouble is what you purport Kevin Desmond, Metro general manager, to have said about training for “invisible disabilities.” [“Keep Metro safe,” editorial, Aug. 21]

I have “invisible disabilities” such as severe chronic depression, anxiety disorder and post-traumatic stress disorder. Millions of other people have these illnesses as well. We are not dangerous people, but Desmond’s statement would infer that we are, perpetuating a terrible social stigma.

Recently, the Metropolitan King County Council directed Metro to update policy language to match its procedures for complying with Title VI of the Civil Rights Act (50 years old now). I suppose we must wait until 2040 for the same with ADA.

In fact, Metro’s operator rule book before fall of 2012 used the word “handicapped” instead of “person with a disability.”

Please don’t perpetuate social stigma by equating “invisible disabilities” with being a danger to society. It isn’t right, and it isn’t fair.

Mike Bergeson, Snohomish

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