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Timothy Dutcher, West Fargo, Published February 26 2014

Letter: Complaint about scooter fee misses broader point

I was reading Greg Moll’s letter the other day suggesting that the West Acres mall was somehow wrong in its charging for use of a mobility scooter. I am having a difficult time understanding the frustration. This wasn’t a complaint about failing to provide proper aisle spacing or elevators; it was a complaint about being provided a scooter for a fee.

The ownership, maintenance and charging of a mobility scooter is not free. Why would there be the expectation of a private entity purchasing a mobility scooter and providing it free of charge? If Wal-Mart, Lowe’s or other businesses choose to do this, that is incredibly generous and completely up to them to provide that service, but no private entity is required to, or should be expected to, provide a scooter.

Secondly, the need for a mobility device can be addressed between an individual and their health care provider. There is assistance for those who would need that level of additional care, and there are avenues by which a person can secure the necessary level of assistance.

Again, it isn’t on a private business to provide that level of assistance. The complaint about a minimal charge for a mobility device is petty. There is no requirement for them to provide the scooter to begin with, and there should be no expectation for them to provide it completely out of their pocket.

Every day, we have people out there fighting a long and hard battle over ensuring that people with disabilities or handicaps are treated equally. We do not need to burden those fighting with the additional responsibility and completely unattainable goal of those people being treated as privileged.

As a 100 percent permanently and totally disabled combat veteran, I support every step taken by those who are fighting the good fight. Going through life with any kind of disability or handicap is a tough road. I do get concerned when there are those out there demanding unwarranted expectations that make the fight more difficult.

Rather than pursuing a negative complaint process, I am going to talk to the person in charge of the scooters at the mall. Let’s find out what the yearly costs to utilize one are and then find a partner in the process who might be able to provide monetary support.

The fight gets a lot easier when people want to do things rather than feeling like they have to, and in this case no one has to do anything.