Yeah, but No



Wouldn't it be great if everyone understood how it feels to depend on a wheelchair? We'd never have to worry about big gaps at thresholds, heavy doors, cracked sidewalks and curbs and counters that are built too high. Doors would open automatically like they do at the grocery store where grocery carts need to roll without interruption. Buildings built on a hill would have cool wide ramps designed to approach the front door instead of those ugly special inconvenient side doors made for the "handicapped."

What is it about ramps that prevents walkers from coming in? Nothing. So why don't we build ramps instead of a couple of steps? They are required by law and we are going to have to build them anyway somewhere. Buggy pushers and luggage pullers will be grateful and the wheelchair users will get to enter the place with the rest of the gang. Who needs more isolation?

Maybe we should have an annual wheelchair day. Everyone has to use a wheelchair to get around for a day. Can you imagine? Navigating doorways when everyone has to push buttons to make the doors open. Just balancing your bags and things on your lap when trying to maneuver your way into a car seat would be a nightmare. Trying to get a drink at a crowded bar, even just getting around in a crowded bar would be near impossible. Forget about getting to a bathroom!

My office is situated in a library. To alleviate theft, there is a rope and stanchion system to keep the traffic flow traveling next to the alarm monitor when you leave the building. The automatic door opener is located outside of the roped approach. A wheelchair user approaching the door needs to go outside of the ropes to reach the button on the wall and then make their way back into the roped approach to catch the open door before it closes. Not only is this inconvenient and occasionally not doable, but its embarrassing. It seems like everyone in the library is staring at you when you make the trek to the door opener since it is such an obvious detour.

I don't think I could deal with it. I'd stay home on wheelchair day. Its just too inconvenient!