Award Winning Best Selling Florida Author Yvonne Mason

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Living In a World that Doesn’t See the Handicapped or Disabled

I thought I might start a new page on this subject and see how it went – but I decided I would just keep it here, since Dream Catcher Failure Was Never an Option also deals with this subject. First off let me explain- I have a brother who is challenged and a husband who is disabled. My husband is a diabetic and has a host of other health issues. He is now in a scooter so that he can maintain his quality of life. That is the back story of this blog.

Now for the story. We travel quite a bit and since he has started using his scooter and is deemed disabled under the Americans with Disabilities Act we have been tossed into a world of a different nature. To begin with people who are for the most part non-disabled do not see those who are. The disabled become invisible people walk in front of them, stand in the way and make it impossible for someone with balance issues to go from point A to point B- Case in point when we were out to eat a few weeks ago our favorite restaurant was packed so my husband had to leave his scooter outside and walk a few feet to a table. The employees had moved a few chairs so he could walk with being impeded as he does have balance issues. A woman came back to that table and stood right in front of him so he could not get by. It was not as if she didn’t see he was being helped by two people to the table and that he was having trouble walking. She saw it and ignored it. That is just one instance.

Hotels become a nightmare. When I call for reservations it is like he is a second class citizen. For the most part the many nicer rooms and suites are not handicap accessible – If we want a beach front room we cannot get it because it is not accessible for him. He has to have a roll in shower and plenty of bars on the walls to hold on to. So hotels tend to redo the less desirable rooms for those who are disabled. The sad part is even those are hard to maneuver around in. The bed is too close to the dresser and he cannot get his scooter through to the bathroom, there is no place to put his toiletries because they have taken out the counter top. Many times there are no seats in the showers and on more than one occasion they do not have a roll in shower – they have just done the minimum by putting up bars in a bathtub which he can not step into. We have gone to hotels where there is no chair for him to sit in because it has been removed to “make more room”. Most businesses especially hotels just do enough to say they are compliant with the ADA laws. They do not see the big picture and they do not understand that just because one is disabled it doesn’t mean they are not without feelings and needs.

Restaurants are a nightmare of biblical proportions. Finding a place to park is a joke. The handicap parking is limited to one or two spots and more times than not they are full. Trying to get his scooter through the maze of tables that are racked stacked and packed in order to cram more people in the space on any given day is almost criminal.

I just recently had an experience where we were going to join a group of friends at a KOA campground for the weekend. They had two just two fully handicap cabins. And you would not guess what happened, we could not get a cabin because they were both rented to none disabled people. The one cabin slept six people and that was the reason for it being rented to non disabled, the other slept four people same reason it was rented to non disabled.

The disabled are just that disabled. They deserve better than they get out there. They are not second class citizens and they do spend money. But yet, they are put “at the back of the bus” and basically treated as if they are invisible.

Have you ever tried to get into a small store in a scooter? It is impossible- You can’t do it with a walker either or a wheelchair. Have you ever tried taking a tour on a tour bus impossible if you can’t climb the steps and is no lift for a scooter or wheelchair or any place to put it . Have you ever tried walking with someone on a sidewalk who is in a scooter or wheelchair or using a walker people will not give way. They act like that person does not exist.

Did you know that if you are on a upper floor and the elevator is out there are no ramps for the disabled to use in case of an emergency? They can’t walk down flights of stairs if they could they would not be in a scooter or wheelchair or a walker.
Do you know that most elevators are not big enough to accommodate someone who is in a scooter or wheelchair without some creative maneuvering.
Did you know that most doors on buildings do not have a automatic door or a button one can push to get in or out of that door. This is especially true in some of the older hotels. To make matters worse those hotel doors are extremely heavy and hard to open. Someone who is in a scooter or wheelchair find it next to impossible to open them plus try to go out the door or go in.

Yes, these are just a few of the things we encounter as we get through our daily lives. Some days it is a challenge just to go out the door.

I am interested in hearing your stories if you are disabled or live with someone who is. Maybe at some point we can make a difference.

May 7, 2014 - Posted by | Disabled | , , , , , , , ,

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