"I dehydrate before I go out to dinner," she said. "I don't drink anything for an hour and a half." She also carries around a 12-pound fiberglass ramp that she uses if a restaurant has a step or two up to its entrance, as many do. If a restaurant has a whole flight of stairs, she's out of luck.
I posted the link -- and the comment, including the idea that I understood the value of the woman's approach to real life situations -- to a discussion list monitored by people with disabilities who have influence in the media. Only one person replied, and it was a challenge.
- Must we carry portable ramps to cover one or two steps, or enter a building through a service entrance?
- Why would anyone want to spend money in a place that does not make their restaurant accessible?
- Am I missing something?
I never want my mobility issues to be the central focus of the event. My disability is my problem.
Additionally, I have used a wheelchair since 1960. For most of those years, I could only move about in society by tolerating poor access.
I rejoice over the changes brought by the Americans with Disabilities Act, and celebrate every time I find a ramp or an automatic door, but I have grown to believe that the next major change (evolution rather than revolution) will come through a changing perception of people with disabilities.
The ADA isn't perfectly applied, obviously, but, if I were king, I would mandate a change in the construction of all new personal residences to assure accessibility.
The thing that I missed most, the thing that changed my life most, was my inability to socialize, to visit a friend's home, to drop in on an acquaintance.
That, and being rich enough to afford a major disability.
"Some people confuse acceptance with apathy, but there's all the difference in the world. Apathy fails to distinguish between what can and what cannot be helped; acceptance makes that distinction. Apathy paralyzes the will-to-action; acceptance frees it by relieving it of impossible burdens.”
- Arthur Gordon