To the Reader's Forum:
The discussion concerning voting machines has taken a distasteful turn to someone like me who is part of the ''constituency [that] reign like arrogant gods of political correctness over us peons and suckers.'' (08/30/08 letter in The Reader's Forum.)
The Right to vote is a First Amendment right guaranteed in the U.S. Constitution. There are no qualifiers such as ''if she can reach the machine'' or ''only if she is able to walk 100 feet'' attached to that right.
However, the current voting machines in NY prevent me from exercising that right unless I have enough forethought to request an absentee ballot. Due to my dwarfism, I have in prior years had to stand on a chair in order to vote. Since developing problems with my hip which have limited my ability to walk and prevented me from climbing on stools, ladders, and chairs to reach things, I have not been able to vote like everyone else.
I did once have an election volunteer offer to go in to the voting machine with me to pull the levers, however, I value the ability to vote in secret.
In my opinion, ''political correctness'' has done very little for people with disabilities except change the labels that are thrown at us as we interact in society. If political correctness really reigned as a god in this world, the word ''midget'' would not be used in any context since it is the equivalent of a racial slur to people with dwarfism.
There are many more steps we need to take to remove physical barriers, improve employment opportunities, and remove social stigma from people who have a condition that limits their physical, mental, or emotional abilities. Individuals with disabilities struggle every day with things that the average person takes for granted. Granted, it will take money to correct things, however, we do not need to create more barriers by questioning whether accommodations need to be made or maligning the people who are asking for their constitutional rights.
I don't expect the entire world to accommodate the size and proportions of my body. However, I do want to exercise my right to vote without hazard to my health.