I've mentioned before that we love shopping at Sunrise Records near us. It's a small store, cramped for space, but I manage quite well in there with a large power wheelchair. The staff there have such great attitudes about accessibility that they make me feel welcome ... or ... if they are busy, they don't make me feel that I'm a bother or take up too much space. That's all I really want. We went there to pick up the second season of While Collar. We discovered the series last week and tore through season one this week. Every night we came home and watched a couple of episodes. It was a great way to unwind. Joe and I were eager to get the next set and spend a wonderful Friday evening in front of the television.
They didn't have it.
I had checked and another store, a big chain store, has one in stock at their location around the corner but it's not accessible. I'd had a fight with them as they had listed on their web sites that all their stores were accessible and this one definitely isn't. After discussing this on the phone and writing a letter they now says it has 'limited accessibility' ... which means 'accessibility for everyone but wheelchair users.' Now, a couple of times when we've wanted something, Joe would go over or we'd both go and I'd wait at the bottom of the escalator. I am astonished writing this that we'd done that at all. Clearly I don't want to give my money, money made with my ass sitted in a wheelchair, to those who bar my presence with barriers. But, I did.
Even though I found out that they had a copy of it at the 'other store' I said to Joe, 'I can't do it again.' And I couldn't. I just couldn't go over and spend money there. We talked to the folks at Sunrise and they ordered it for us.
Yeah, it will take a few days to come in.
Yeah, we wanted to watch it tonight.
But ... no, I'm never giving money to those who bar me again. Sunrise works HARD to be accessible. To be that small and yet maintain space such that I can get to every part of the store, to have staff who quickly and willingly move displays, when necessary (which isn't often), to have the attitude of accessibility is almost better than being completely totally accessible. So, they got our money. We'll wait.
This post may surprise you. Many people think that I'm 'Mister Completely and Always Advocate,' ... I'm not. But, given that a switch was thrown in my heart today, I'd say, I'm a little closer to understanding that the cost of supporting accessibility, in dollars or time, is worth it. I'm still shaking my head as I write this. I can't believe that I continued to shop somewhere that didn't welcome me. It's like I keep finding areas in my life where I simply accepted 'less' and did so without really noticing.
Rock on Sunrise.
They say, whoever 'they are' that you can vote with your feet.
Well you can vote with your tires too.
My question for the weekend:
Do you ever find yourself, almost without knowing it, simply accepting what ought not to be accepted?