I read with great interest a recent advertisement letter from the director of a local disabilities group. There has been a recent influx of plastic straw banning after the now infamous video of a gentleman yanking a straw from the nose of a sea turtle. Of course, we were all disturbed because that is awful and anyone with half a heart would think so. However, the conversation quickly turned from praise to discrimination when disabilities rights organizations came out against the banning of straws.
From the get-go I want to be clear, I support the rights of all people with disabilities, visible or invisible. Although I fear there are more important issues for people with disabilities like access to education, careers, and independent lives. However, I agree that if one needs a bendable straw, it is essential to be able to access one. This is especially true if you have accidentally forgotten to bring one along on your travels to a theme park, restaurant, or movie. But reading this advertising letter and other articles on the subject got me thinking, there must be some alternative available? For example, a visit to the Animal Kingdom theme park Starbucks location has longed provided paper straws. If all this time there were paper straws, surely someone has been able to invent a bendable paper straw? With all the inventions created in today's society, could we really have missed the boat on a bendable straw made of biodegradable materials? In fact, there are available bendable paper straws on the market.
A quick Google search immediately turned up two options, The Sugar Diva and Aardvark Eco-Flex straws. This made me wonder, rather than attempting to either force a business to keep plastic, bendable straws on hand for those who may need them. How about encouraging local restaurant supply stores to keep them in the stock. Both companies have a wholesale division and asking your constituents to write letters to business like Restaurant Depo, Walt Disney World, or Starbucks encouraging them to begin using these straws or keeping them for those guests who need them, would be a better use of time, rather than complaining that those with disabilities are being unfairly treated.
I would agree that a change such as this one makes a big difference in the life of someone who needs a bendable straw. I believe there are ways to continue to keep that access open.
What do you think? Do you think bendable eco friendly straws are a solution?
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The Oak Tree Academy mission is to improve the quality of life of people with language-based learning disabilities and their families by developing programs and disseminating knowledge based on current research.