Accessible Vs. “Accessible”

Something I have noticed are that there is a massive difference between an accessible venue versus an “accessible” venue.

The most obvious comparison is school. There are breaks in barriers, and ramps to all floors. It sounds and looks accessible!

Then, you realize, that the elevators or ramps are way the hell out of the way. One realizes that there is not a washroom that is overly accessible. Rooms have windows too high up to see from most wheelchairs and doors that are much to cumbersome to deal with.

What really confuses me is how some rooms have a door-opening button, but not three rooms over is a door even an able bodied person has issue opening. Between that and not having accessible washrooms on each floor, I am dumbfounded. Further more: I go to Mohawk. They are “Dedicated to accessibility.

I bitch, but guaranteed that they are far from the worst. There is a general understanding amongst the staff that I require a bit more time to get places. Regardless of the infrastructure being far from perfect, they are trying.

I have already seen some amazing things done for those with mental disabilities and continue to be in awe of how staff respond to situations. There is one gentleman in my program. I will not even start to come up with my own diagnosis, but as soon as teachers know what is going on, they immediately switch to doing whatever they can to make him more comfortable.

I guess my end-point for this rant about accessible environments: Do not post you are accessible unless all the staff, engineers, and designers know what that means. Get someone to test out all of the things in place. Listen to what the community have to say and fix what is not good enough. That really is the assumption: that “good enough” is actually good enough. Laws are there so you have to not be a dick. They are a bare minimum. I do not feel bossy saying that having a washroom available to me would be nice. I do not feel that it is too much to ask to either have windows or automatic doors. That is why I am in the course.

Little fun side-note: I have destroyed my hands going to and from the school because it somehow manages to be up hill both ways. Do not ask me how, but it is true.

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