Monday, December 14, 2015

Another Fine Night Out

Photo Description: A spoon with soup in the bowl of the spoon and the letters AODA floating therein.
So you ever have this experience? You call up to buy tickets to a show you really want to see. You carefully and repeatedly ask questions about seating and about accessibility. You are told that where you are going is completely accessible, that they take pride in their commitment to accessibility. You are, foolishly, reassured by the earnestness of their promise.

Then.

You end up sitting in 'leper corner' where they've stuffed a chair, so someone can sit with you, but you are completely separated from those you came with and everyone else in the theatre.

Your complaints are met with a kind of polite indifference and a suggestion that you take your concerns write or contact someone else.

You go to the bathroom, push the accessible buttons, open two doors and come upon a bathroom with a huge post in the way. No way can your wheelchair enter and turn.

You then an guided with much fuss to another washroom in another place.

So, you bought a ticket to the show and then became the show. You bought a ticket for a night out and you come home with a business card in your hand, a letter to write, a complaint to make.

Yep, another fine night out in the land where the AODA (Accessibility for Ontarians with Disabilities Act) ensures our right to be treated with lies and pretense rather than outright hatred.

5 comments:

Jennifer Jarvis said...

So sorry that happened to you! I sit on our local Municipal Accessibility Advisory Committee and each story you tell like this really helps truly educate me about the realities.

Anonymous said...

Yes. The community center theater in Sacramento Ca. Horrible accessible seating often more expensive then like seats or as you say in Lepar territory or nose bleed so you can see nothing on stage, inadequate accessible restrooms one stall for each gender in a large theater complex without enough stalls for general public either so very often you spend the rest of the play shut out in the lobby. They remove your chair if you elect to transfer even though there is plenty of safe space directly adgasent to your seat. Ramping is inaccessible. Out of desperation I just attempted to work with staff beginning the day before tickets for a popular show were to go on sale in an attempt to get some guidance to get appropriate seating so my Mother and I might be able to enjoy a show together for a change and was completely shut down by horrible customer service. Will never try again not the first go around with these behaviors at this theater.

clairesmum said...

This stinks....and while you know how to make calls and write letters and protest, it ALSO stinks that you have had to develop skill at those tasks.
The bitterness of the phrase 'being the show' stings - and I think of the story of Ruby and her pronouncement at the pool in Florida some years ago. For many of us, you are 'OUR Dave".

Rosemary said...

Horrible. I have had it with fake accessibility. I do not want to be homebound. I wish to go out and about freely without being the show.
I refuse to go quietly.
Rosemary

Anonymous said...

I just returned from an outing. I have mobility problems, vision problems, and a few other issues. The ladies washroom had 3 stalls - 1 "handicapped" - which was closed. I couldn't believe it. I managed to squeeze in a narrow stall without my aides, but...

On the way out I caught up to a fellow in a power chair, who was waiting patiently to get by another chair against the wall (some woman just left there, and slightly in the way - not her fault) and proceed to his place. No one coming from the other direction would stop so he could go by. I waited behind him somewhat patiently, wondering when people would clue in, finally I just put my hand up and said loudly - "STOP - people need to get by". (I think they thought I was with the gentleman, I wasn't - but certainly was in spirit.) Finally some stopped, displayed that sickly smile. I'm sure they were surprised when I peeled off into my aisle and he motored off. He didn't say a word, thankfully. You know what bugged me the most. This was a concert to raise money and give toys to those in need. Goodwill was tossed around in word, and in the unwrapped toy, but certainly not in consideration of anyone around them. I was feeling rather full of humbug by the time I negotiated my way to my seat. Sigh...