Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Accessibility

You know, before Annie got sick, I never noticed that the door at Sears, which is right next to the handicapped parking, doesn't open automatically. Picture someone in a wheelchair going up to one of those heavy glass doors and trying to open it with one hand while they're sitting in a wheelchair. Yeah, ain't gonna happen.

Or how does one move about in any of the stores at the mall in a wheelchair--between the racks of clothes that are squished together like sardines?

Or how about the restroom at the dentist's that is about as big as a port-a-potty...but I can't leave Annie out in the hallway by herself, so I wheel her in there and pray that she doesn't touch anything that is within reach, which is everything in that cramped little closet.

Then there's our split-level house. The wheelchair doesn't even come out of the van at our house. What's the point? And, as long as Annie is a manageable 42 lbs., we're okay. But somewhere along the line we're going to have to bite the bullet and move to a wheelchair accessible house. And you know how many of those are in Washington state? Not many. Of those that do exist, very few of them have more than three bedrooms. And, although someday our other children will move out, they are mostly still here. It has occurred to me that perhaps we should build our own children's home--with lots of bedrooms, lots of accessible bathrooms, and one big no-step entry.

Accessibility...it's a big deal. And a bigger deal when you don't have it.

Jean

7 comments:

Gretchen said...

Absolutely. And even in my house--I think about what it would take to make someone w/mobility issues feel welcome. Tons! Thinking on both sides of the age spectrum, too. My MIL has very limited vision & poor endurance/walking mobility due to bad osteoarthritis in her knees.

You're so right. Not a big deal unless it affects you, & then...life altering.

Anonymous said...

sears is actually out of compliance in that case - all entrances and egresses must be ADA, and sounds like their door(s) is not. hmmmm....

Jean said...

Well, Nordstrom's door is ADA compliant, so I guess we'll just have to shop there!!

aunt rebecca said...

Necessity is the mother of invention.
Nordstrom is necessity.
I couldn't agree more.

pam said...

I am always amazed at your train of thought......

uncle jeff said...

speaking of handicapped placards; yesterday i saw a handicapped license on a motorcycle.

Lana C. said...

Jean, I know all this much too intimately. I grew up with a mother handicapped by Polio. As a semi-hemi-palegic, one leg and one arm was paralyzed. That meant, nothing but electric wheelchairs. You need two arms to operate a regular wheelchair or you go in circles. She had one working arm. So, our house had adaptations. Our front porch entry was a wheelchair ramp. I get so super excited when I see shows about handicapped accessiblity or about gadgets designed to help those who deal with a disability. For now, the house is working for you, but I understand your concern. You are realistic, one day, things will have to change. However, when you live with such challenges, taking things one day at a time is enough. You are an admirable woman.