I used to love taking the ferry from Vancouver over to the Island. Still do, albeit with more anxiety. A couple of times, since becoming a wheelchair user, we have almost had to stay in the car. They let the cars with a disabled sticker on first and try to park them near elevators. But then they pack cars around very tightly. Even chubby people have difficulty getting out.
Since arriving in Vancouver my mobility hasn't been great. I've been toppling over a bit more. So I'm being extra careful. When we got to the boat, we'd planned stuff for the car, like books and snacks, that we could do on the car if we couldn't board the boat. When we got there were were directed to drive down lane 1 (which was marked for Bowen Island) so we did. At the bottom of the lane was a guy who then asked us our need, we said, wheelchair and being able to open doors. He winkied. Winked. Then sent us to the disabled lane. They actually had a lane with the disabled symbol on it.
Just before boarding, he came to us and said, put your blinkers on. Follow my instructions, you will be loading up the ramp. Well, we drove up the ramp. We realized upon getting on the ferry, that this was one of the new boats we'd heard about. On top a woman, who'd been told of our arrival directed us to park right in front of the elevator. What was cool was that there were markings around the parking area that left room for doors. We and a couple of others, with the disabilty stickers easily parked and easily got out and onto the boat.
It was like someone had done some actual planning and said, "Let's figure out how to make travel simple and easy for people with diabilities." It was like the coroporation wanted to provide a welcoming atmosphere to all passengers. And, for one of the first times, included 'disability' in 'all'. We road up in a large elevator, large enough to fit two chairs, and then did a tour of the new boat. It was a beauty. The accessible washroom was indeed accessible. But so were the other parts of the boat.
It's amazing how a few little adaptions, thought about, fussed over, and made available, completely changes the life experience of another. I went that morning kind of worried if I'd be able to get upstairs, if I'd be able to watch the passage. Instead, worried left and I was able to simply at the wonder of the crossing.
I know I shouldn't feel grateful for having my rights and needs considered, but I do. And so did the other disabled folks who I saw on the boat, all looking a bit shell shocked.
What this means, of course, is this company did it. It means that other companies, other corporations, actively decide not to ...
actively decide not to...
But for now, from this fairy to that ferry ... Good on you.