As I was waiting at the airport to fly to D.C. for the National PTA Hill Day and Convention last month, an announcement came over the intercom. “There will be no internet access on the flight to D.C.; you might want to download movies now.” My first reaction was frustration since I planned to work during the flight. My second was to download a bunch of movies.
While I appreciated the many shows I found to download, I began thinking about accessibility. I live in a world where the internet abounds. I have access wherever I go. I also had three devices on me (phone, tablet, and laptop) that download movies. I live in abundance and am ever grateful for it.
I am regularly reminded of how fortunate I am to have such abundance. My health is good. With the help of eyeglasses and hearing aids, my senses work. My mind is still sharp most of the time. But that will not always be the case. My parents, who are not much older than I am, are increasingly frail. I can see my future through them, which isn’t very comforting.
What does this have to do with PTA? Everything. Inaccessibility is scary and very frustrating. We are an organization founded on the premise that all students should have equitable access to an education and a good life. We work hard to ensure that all children and youth can understand and access the tools they need to learn and grow into healthy and happy adults. We are working hard to make our activities and events accessible.
Despite our best efforts, we do stumble. We skin our knees. But then we get up, shake it off, and try again. We need your help. Let us know about the barriers you face within PTA. Let us know how we can help you. And, if you can, help us to remove those barriers.
Andrew L. Estep
WSPTA Executive Director