Sometimes what's Rolling Around in My Head comes Tumbling Out of My Mouth:
A new convenience store has opened around the corner from us. It's a big one and it would be really handy to shop in. I knew they were doing renovations to the store so I went over to look and see if they'd made it accessible. It's easy to do because it has only one shallow step and then an long entranceway. A ramp could be put there, except for the work, easily. Instead I found that they'd fixed the long crumbling step by pouring new concrete and keeping the step there.
I'm going to have to call the city to find out the rules about this. It seems to me that if a building can be made accessible and it's being renovated it should be made accessible. But, I'll give Rob and call and see if he calls back.
Later that same day, Joe and I were crossing the street up at Yonge and Bloor. A fellow was handing out flyers announcing the fact that the new convenience story was now open. He handed one to me. I said, "That store is inaccessible. When they renovated, they didn't bother to remove the step. It's inaccessible to me and to anyone with a mobility device." He put his hands up as if he had been attacked, I didn't yell, I used a conversational tone of voice, I wanted him to have this information. "I didn't have anything to do with that, they just pay me to pass these flyers out ." I nodded. I understood that.
As I was crossing the road a woman, who had overheard the conversation, told me that I'd been unfair to the man. That he "couldn't have known it was inaccessible," and isn't responsible for the decision of whomever rented and renovated the store. I said to her, "I only informed him of the inaccessibility. I wasn't rude."
"And what is he supposed to do with that information? Magically make it accessible?" sarcasm dripped from the words.
"No," I said after taking a breath, "I think it might be wise for him not to hand the flyer to those who can't use the store. If a store disallows a part of the population access, then you shouldn't invite them to come visit."
"Well," she said, considering, "you have a point."
"And may I point out, to you," I said extremely calmly, "that I don't report to you. That disabled people don't need permission from the non-disabled to speak out about something affecting our lives. I don't need your direction. I don't need your input. When it comes to my life as a disabled person, I'm the expert OK? I'm shocked that you felt that somehow you had the right to give me corrective feedback."
"I was just trying to help."
"So am I," I called to her retreating back.
All this and we were just going for tea. As we sat down, Joe passed me my tea and said, "Ah, just another lecture tour of the neighbourhood."
"Ha, ha," I said.
"It wasn't a joke," he said, smiling.