Just read an article in the Baltimore Sun about the adaptive gear used for a certain man to drive with his disabilities. John is 29 and was born without legs and without one arm. He utilizes a joystick on the floor of his adapted 2006 Dodge Caravan to steer through traffic, and voice commands and buttons he can push with his head to operate turn signals and wipers, etc.
Of course, this technology costs a mere $91,000. Yeah, $91 K. Ridiculous.
However, that is why it's great to be an American! One thing this country has consistently done right for the last couple of decades is to help people like John(and me, for that matter) use governmental funds to help level the playing field.
What do I mean? Well, John's van adaptations were covered by the state of Maryland-all $91K. He is now employed at a local Best Buy working in customer service which makes him (gasp!) a taxpayer!
The state of Missouri spent far, far more on getting me equipped for the world! Rehab teachers once a week for a year, six months of rehab school in Denver, all my college tuition and housing, all my books, all adaptive computer equipment and all the tutoring to utilize these things. I don't have an accurate figure, but my guesstimate is that the state of Mo spent well over $200K on my behalf.
And what did it do? Got me independent, got me making money and now, the government reaps that money back in tax dollars.
The asst. director of MD's Rehab Services, when asked about the $91K adaptationns for John's car, simply said, "That's what it takes to make John independent...it's a good return on investment!"
Good tax dollars at work, that's what I'd always say when folks would ask me how much my computer costs. Congrats to John and, because it is rarely said, thanks to the rehab services for people with disabilities for making John(and me) independent again...