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  • Approved for CNN

  • Click to view catannreid's profile
    Posted January 22, 2013 by
    catannreid
    Location
    Washington, District of Columbia
    Assignment
    Assignment
    This iReport is part of an assignment:
    Student voices in journalism

    More from catannreid

    Inauguration Day in the Life of a Disabled Person

     

    CNN PRODUCER NOTE     Student journalist catannreid wanted to show another side to President Barack Obama's second inauguration -- the challenges faced by disabled people in getting around such a large event. She decided to film disabled veteran gay rights activist Walter Park as he struggled to attend the event. "Walter was shocked by the lack of accessible routes -- we had to pick up his wheelchair to get over curbs three times," she said. "Signage was lacking and we weren't even able to make it to the green section for which he had tickets." She says it upset her to see him being forced to stand for much of the ceremony, particularly as his fatigue became more obvious. Park told her he hopes that Obama does more for the disabled in his second term. Despite the challenges, however, Park still greatly enjoyed the event. "I think the smile on his face as he claps in the video [shows] he was thrilled to be there despite the troubles," she said.
    - sarahbrowngb, CNN iReport producer

    Walter Park, a 67-year-old with AIDS and a failing heart, rented a scooter because he was determined not to miss President Obama's second inauguration. This video documents his experience.

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