We've had kind of a poor start to the day, so I'm giving in to the desire to whine a little bit. Joe was doing laundry here at the hotel and found out, to his great dismay, that the drier had broken down. I then found a laundromat on line, he went there, it was closed for renovation. He came back, got another address and is gone again. Not a fun start to a day.
So, I was tasked with finding a place for brunch in Baltimore. We are staying near the harbour and we are looking forward to exploring the area. Tomorrow we are having brunch with Joe's sister and her husband and we wanted a "no muss, no fuss" experience. Joe sometimes feels the stress of inaccessibility more than I do ... partly because he's frustrated that we can't get in and partly because he knows the effect that it can have on me.
I got on Google and quickly found a website for the harbour in Baltimore. Then, equally quickly found a link for restaurants. I went to link after link ... looking at menus to see if there are vegetarian options and looking to see if the place is accessible. I went to over ten different restaurants and not one (that's 0 percent) of them had any indication if the place was accessible. This is their freaking webpage and they completely ignore customers with disabilities. Not one. NOT ONE gave a moment's thought to visitors with disabilities.
Not for a moment am I suggesting that this is a unique situation and that the restaurants on the harbour in Baltimore are uncommon. I find this omission all the time. ALL THE TIME.
A few days ago I wanted to get tickets to go to the Shrine Circus in Toronto, and went to their website. The website didn't mention accessibility. I wrote to the ticketing agent asking about accessibility and how to buy tickets, they didn't respond. I wrote to the Shriners themselves and they didn't respond either. Shiner's Hospitals say they are 'love to the rescue,' they have pictures of kids in wheelchairs on their website ... well I'd like a little bit of that love. Let me buy a freaking ticket or at least tell me I'm not welcome - don't just shun me.
So I want to go to a restaurant, take kids to a circus ... and I am shut out by lack of information or lack of responsiveness.
What to do?
I don't know who to complain to.
I feel like saying 'there otta be a law ...' but really, I don't think that we should have to legislate inclusiveness. All I want is websites to include me ... even if it's to tell me I'm not included ... or to make it possible for me to participate and buy a freaking ticket.
All this on a day with damp laundry and a delayed breakfast!