Wednesday, March 29, 2006

Part VII: Wrap up and Accessibility

There was a commercial I saw once, in French, which showed what the world might look like if everything were set up for persons using a wheelchair. Non-wheelchair using peeps had to bend down further to drink from a water fountain, doors were wide enough, accessible bathrooms abound, sidewalks made sense in that they weren't cobbled or bricked, and so on. It was a welcome change especially when you realize it is all those simple things we take for granted everyday that are almost inaccessible to those with mobility issues.

Take curb cutouts for example. It took the ADA making cities comply for them to become commonplace. Of course, they don't do much good when it's only on one side of the curb but perhaps cities/counties are waiting for something. Of what I have no idea, perhaps another law that tells them to get the lead out of their ass.

Just recently, a US District Judge decided that Richmond City had until 2007 to make all their public schools accessible for children and adults with disabilities. Former Governor, now Mayor, Wilder said, "We're going to appeal." (I tell you what, he may have been our first black Governor, but I'm realizing now, since I'm older, Wilder burns tons of bridges and possibly kicks too much ass.)

Before that, the US District Court also agreed with the Virginia Public School Administration that parents have to supply proof that a particular school is not meeting the needs of their child with disabilities, such as in the case of IEP's and such. While I understand the premise of such a ruling, they failed to take into account that it's already like this. Why else would the above accessibility lawsuit need to be filed if it weren't the parents who had to prove the policy sucked to begin with? (I can't find the actual article(s) that say various School Administration's appealed and won but I know it's on my site and Flea's somewhere. This will have to do.)

Ever get irritated in a department store when both you and your cart can't fit through the aisles? Or when the clothes are so close together, you end up pulling some clothes off as you squeeze by?

Ever wonder why you hardly see anyone in those stores using a wheelchair, cane and/or walker?

I remember a classmate making this statement once: "I had a hard time getting up the ramp into the Commons because it was iced over."

Calmly I replied, "Now, think about the difficulty you had and imagine someone with a disability who uses a wheelchair not being able to get up at all."

Why are accessible ramps so steep anyway? Whether someone is pushing or the person is pushing themselves, it takes a lot of muscle strength that an individual may or may not have. Just think of pushing a stroller, complete with baby, up one of those ramps. It’s tough huh?

I could go on and on about accessibility, but I'm not. Instead, I'm going to link the series here so they'll all be in one spot for us and move on. Thanks for listening!

Part I: The Heirarchy of Insults
Part II: What to say, What to say....
Part III: Beware the Retarding Environment
Part IV: To have sex or not to have sex, that is the question
Part V: Feminist Disability Theory
Part VI: Forced Sterilization of Women with(a) Disability(ies)

Update: I've been mentioned in not so charming of circumstances, but please note that I am very open to both criticism and critique if it's done honestly and tastefully, instead of simply admonishing me because I'm "normal".