When the World Shut Down, They Saw It Open


It didn’t take a brain surgeon to be able to forecast that when COVID hit us, that there were many people with disabilities who would relish the remote (i.e. accessible) new life.
This April, Maria Sotnikova attended her first Seder: a virtual dinner held over the videoconferencing app Webex. Though she has many Jewish friends, she had never been asked to share in the Passover ritual before.
Ms. Sotnikova, a 33-year-old data scientist in Atlanta, uses a power wheelchair. For years, people have admitted to excluding her from parties, picnics and other gatherings that they assumed, often incorrectly and always patronizingly, she wouldn’t be able to attend.
“I felt like I was getting to see something I should have been invited to all along, but wasn’t, because so few people’s homes are wheelchair accessible,” she said.
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