Saturday, May 10, 2008

Mother's Day Shopping

Has anyone in a wheelchair or scooter ever tried to venture into a Hallmark store? I could tell pre-scooter that it obviously wouldn't work. Glass shelves too close together with no way to turn around. I've wondered before what my liability is when the clearance requirements (and I mean for wheels users, not prices) are obviously not met. I'm not sure I'd want to test it.

So we went into a giant Christian card and gifts store today. They had an automatic door opener for people with disabilities, which was great, and the aisles were nice and wide for maneuvering. I was afraid I'd get prayed over, but the worst someone did was pat my arm, and most people seemed antsy about which way I'd move. Most gifts I order long in advance and I keep lots of greeting cards of most types on hand, but I had not had time recently to get some specific for Mother's Day. I had a number of ideas for my mother-in-law and mom, but they get jealous of each other if they don't get the same item, even if it's the same cost. And I had trouble thinking of something that was the same that they would both like. I also purchased something for my grandmother and for my aunt, whose son won't be seeing her that day, and I'm not sure if she'll receive anything. I found some angels my aunt mentioned that I know at least 3 of them like, and some African violets for each that we're putting in colorful pots.

We tried to go to another store, but one door was partially blocked with a shelf so that only walking people could enter, and the other door was locked. It was also impossible to try to get over the door mat anyway. Why don't they just post a sign, "Abled Only"? An employee (actually another employee, too) saw us try to get in, and my daughter and husband try to get the other door open, but wouldn't come open it. When I said a sarcastic "thanks," and let the door close, she came and unlocked it. She claimed not to see, but she had made eye contact with me and saw the problem, which I pointed out. No answer.

My recent policy has been not to do any business with a place that is not disability friendly and to make it clear to the business owners why. Few places are really accessible, but people can at least try.

Oh--and someone parked their car on the access ramp next to our car as I pulled my scooter right in front of it to leave! And wouldn't back up right away, though it was the only way to leave the building! He acted confused about why I didn't just jump the curb or something, even though the scooter won't fit between cars. People do this all the time. They act so damn confused about why I need the ramp/access aisle. Scooters and wheelchairs don't have wings. Tired of disablists.

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