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I like that word, "accessibility." It should be a real part in the life of every paral. The paral, like anyone else, should feel that all people and places, thoughts and actions, arts and sciences, are open to him. Physical handicap should raise no barrier against him.
Here at Warm Springs most things are accessible. The buildings are arranged for the convenience and comfort of the patients, so that they may wheel from one to another with the minimum of effort. For example, the door leading into Georgia Hall from the colony side operates by means of a photo-electric cell. When the light beam is broken, the door automatically swings open to allow patients to pass through.
That brings me to the people at the Foundation, the patients, staff, cottagers, and everyone concerned in the work carried on here. There has been a great deal written about the congeniality of the people at Warm Springs. I will admit that at times they are congenial, but most of the time they verge on inaccessibility. For example, when a new patient arrives here, no one immediately greets him or tries to make his first few days here a pleasant experience. All of the other patients, having planned their afternoons or evenings, do not think to include this new patient in their plans. "I feel like a 'bump on a log' because people are here from three weeks to two months before I meet them," is the remark of a Warm Springs old-timer. Why? Why does this condition exist? Are we a happy family in name alone? We are in many ways a happy family, but the old-timer of Warm Springs, the staff, and others have made their own close circles of personal friends and are reluctant to open this circle to include the new-comer. This shortcoming is pardonable when we consider the constant rush as activities, exercises, walking, brace-fittings, and what-not that are carried on here day after day.
Is there a remedy for this situation? Yes, I think there is. If we, here at Warm Springs, could only make ourselves accessible to the other person, and interchange our worries, troubles, likes and dislikes, hopes and ideals, perhaps we could then call ourselves an "ideal happy family."