Squeaky wheels get grease

Woman in wheel­chair gets run-around

The Compass - - OPINION - BY DENISE PIKE

Last week Wanda White was ea­gerly an­tic­i­pat­ing the de­liv­ery of a mo­tor­ized wheel chair to her home in Broad Cove. She re­ceived the chair from the depart­ment of Hu­man Re­sources, Labour and Em­ploy­ment just af­ter start­ing a course at the Col­lege of the North At­lantic (CONA) in Carbonear.

“It was a God­send, it re­ally gave me the free­dom I needed to get around (the cam­pus). It gave me my in­de­pen­dence,” she said.

The chair was housed at the school un­til White fin­ished the sec­ond year of a course in Busi­ness Ad­min­is­tra­tion, when it was to be de­liv­ered to her home in Broad Cove.

For most peo­ple with a phys­i­cal dis­abil­ity this would be a huge ben­e­fit, how­ever in White’s sit­u­a­tion there’s a big prob­lem - the doors to her house aren’t big enough to ac­com­mo­date the chair. On top of that as of June 1 the money al­lo­cated by New­found­land and Labrador Hous­ing to make the nec­es­sary ren­o­va­tions to make her home wheel­chair ac­ces­si­ble was re­called.

“The quotes that came in were over the amount al­lo­cated by NLHC,” she said.“And ever since then I’ve been try­ing to find some­one to do the work, but it’s im­pos­si­ble. I’ve also been given the run around by NLHC.”

White says the per­son han­dling her case for NLHC told her if her quotes came in over bud­get they would con­sider allocating more money.

“The first quote was $10,400 and the sec­ond was $10,800,” she said.“There’s not a con­trac­tor around who can do it for any less than that, it just can’t be done. That’s the prob­lem here, the amount of money that New­found­land and Labrador Hous­ing comes up with, the quote they put in place, to cover th­ese kinds of jobs is just too low.”

White sub­mit­ted the quotes from the con­trac­tors to NLHC, but they re­fused to in­crease their orig­i­nal quote of $9,600.

“They said they would go back to the su­per­vi­sor and see if they could get some more money, but it didn’t hap­pen. That’s how it has been with NLHC ever since I started this process last fall,” said White.“One day they’d say one thing and the next day some­thing else. It was re­ally hard to get hold of the per­son I was deal­ing with as well. Ev­ery

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