Get Your Hands Off and Your Nose Out Of my Accessible Spaces
I I visited my bank a couple of weeks ago, noticing that yet again, the automatic door for PWDs was broke. Grrr. I'd already asked about it once, as written about here. So once again, I asked Customer Service why the door hasn't been fixed, and she told me that it's been fixed half a dozen times, but vandals keep breaking it! Grrrr. Where do they get off, breaking my door? She said she thinks that people either slam the button too hard, or neighborhood delinquents are breaking it for the fun of it. I was flabbergasted, and quite pissed off. How dare those inconsiderate jackasses break something that someone else needs, something that is so obviously inoffensive as a freakin' Accessibility Button! Some idiots will break anything just to cause inconvenience to other people, and strut their stuff, like breaking useful things *on purpose* is something to be proud of.
I'm seriously considering suggesting they put a poster up, feating a picture of someone in a wheelchair. Underneath it should say something like, "There are people who need this Accessible Button. Please do not hit, slam, or vandalize this button. Thank you." I highly doubt it would convince the criminals, but it might get the obvious to stop slamming the button into the wall.
Today on the bus I had a great rant with a bus driver about accessibility on transit. I asked him if the next Skytrain had an elevator. He said happily, "Yes, they do and it's about time! All of the Skytrains should have elevators and escalators." Amen!
I went on. "I agree. Some days I'm in a wheelchair and I really need that elevator. I'm also really impressed with the new accessible buses.
He chuckled bitterly. "Some people get on the bus and complain about the new accessible setup. They say 'Why do people in wheelchairs need so much room?'" Uh...do I really have to answer that one? OK dumbass, we have big wheelchairs! That's pretty much what I said to the bus driver, minus the dumbass part. He continued, "They say, 'Why do we need so much space for people in wheelchairs, I never see them on the bus.'" Excuse me? Either you aren't looking for them, or they're not on the bus because the bus isn't accessible. If you build an accessible space, we will come. It's like Field of Dreams that way. Keep riding the bus and you'll see us, and then you'll know why we need so much space. Some of those mobility scooters can get pretty darned big.
And also, lots of moms with gigantic strollers use those spots too. People with walkers use 'em. People with luggage use them. People with wheeled dolleys full of shopping purchases use them. People carrying Very Big Items use them. They're primarily for PWDs, but they benefit TABS too. So get used to seeing us on buses and Skytrains. We're here, we're disabled, get used to it!
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