Jermyn Methodist Church windows

Jermyn Methodist Church windows

Wednesday, August 21, 2013

Who does not know this by now?

There are two things that I am about to decide you cannot fully understand if you do not experience it directly: a family member with Alzheimer's, and having a family member for whom you are caregiver, or yourself, with  a physical disability.  Access: nothing you think about until you don't have it.

I often see people parked across access ramps, or across the line into the handicapped parking space, or so close to the space that one is unable to open the door and get out with a wheelchair, crutches, walker, cane, or whatever the adaptive device might be.  I sigh.  I get angry sometimes.  It makes me want to do something I saw in a movie once: tape a note to the window that reads "I am a thoughtless person."  But, that would be thoughtless, too.  I sometimes want to tape a note that says "Are you aware that you are blocking access for a person with a disability?" on the chance that perhaps the person just does not realize the impact his or her action had.

I had those thoughts long before I myself became one of those people with a disability, because of the many times I had to try to get my niece out of a vehicle and into a wheelchair when there was not room enough to do so.  Or to have to wheel her all the way around to the back of a building in order to get in.  Or even worse, try to get her into a building without any accommodating access.

So, what person living in 2013 after more than two decades of the Americans With Disabilities Act does not know that if you park in a "No Parking" space at the end of an access ramp leading to handicapped parking that a person needing that parking space cannot get past your vehicle to either get in, or get out?  In fact, even if the very large vehicle were not blocking the very little space available to back up and turn around, it is difficult enough.  Now, let's just make it impossible.

To say it is frustrating, or annoying, are just not strong enough words to describe the experience.

2 comments:

Gigi said...

I don't understand, either! It's not that hard to pay attention and be considerate. Is it???

Beth said...

It is also hard if you have a baby (or dog)in a stroller and the ramp is blocked or a car is parked too close to maneuver through the space. And, the same thing if you have a cart loaded with stuff that you need to get in the building! I've grrrr'd many times over this problem!