Two weekends ago, we ate out for the first time in a year and a half. We ate at an old favorite restaurant that was engaged in a recent class action suit brought by wheelchair users. Ramps and an accessible table should have been added when extensive renovations were done years back. So I celebrated my freedom there, mindful of what others had sacrificed so individuals and families like ours could eat there again. I did feel welcome there. I wondered if I would.
Much has been accomplished by the ADA, but nondisabled people often don't recognize how much is still inaccessible to us. By my estimate, as I've written before, I can't visit 50% of the businesses/facilities that I would like to visit, but most of the needed changes are very easy to make and inexpensive--a single ramp, a curb cut, a door hung the right way on its hinges.
Part of me asks, "Must I wait another twenty years?"
For people who would like to participate in raising accessibility awareness, please take two photographs sometime in the next two weeks:
1. One photograph of a place that would have been inaccessible 20 years ago but is accessible now because of new building standards, a lawsuit, or voluntary compliance with the ADA; and
2. One photograph of a place that is still inaccessible to you but should be by law.
Alternatively, since not all of us can get out regularly or cannot photograph, write a short description of two places/situations in terms of access issues.
You can name the places of business or you can make your photographs more generic/anonymous. Please feel free to include yourself and/or significant others in your photo. Please send me a link to your photos, either in the comments of this post or to fridawrites, gmail. I will post a link to them on my blog on July 26, the 20th anniversary of the Americans with Disabilities Act. I will publish them more directly if I can, but I don't know how my blog will handle a high volume of photos. You do not have to live in the U.S. to participate--I'd love to see photos of accessibility/inaccessibility in other countries.
Thanks to Wheelchair Dancer for this idea:
Let's all celebrate together. At 9:30 p.m. EST on July 26, or as close to it as you can, let's all have a coffee by internet (a special coffee or tea, wine, or raspberry lemonade, whatever your favorite drink)--in honor of the ADA and of those who fought for it, and in honor of ourselves in the struggle we face daily against attitudinal and physical barriers.
Spread the word--if you like (I know physical limitations!). This can be as micro- or macro- as participants like.
Also, I have joined the Dark Side recently--or rather, Twitter, and I am twitterpated. It's like blogging in miniature, perfect for my shoulder issues lately. My id there is also fridawrites.