Thursday, July 8, 2010

In Celebration of the ADA: July 26 Coffee by Internet and Accessibility Photographs

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.


Heather said...

I make that about 2.30 GMT and I'll be joining you for coffee.
There's a post office near me that has a ramp so steep that it is dangerous to use but so wide that all who enter now have to climb it. Don't know if I'm brave enough to go photograph it but if I do I'll get it to you somehow :-)
Wish me luck

FridaWrites said...

Thanks, OhWheely!