Wednesday, February 13, 2008

The View

For two years I've seen ...


exhaust pipes

cooling units.

For two years I've seen ...

parking lots

brick walls

garbage containers.

For two years I've seen ...

smoking areas

staff ashtrays


It seems that hotels don't think that disabled people look out windows. The disabled rooms almost always have the worst views. Maybe they think we don't appreciate scenery. Maybe they think the struggle to the window is just too much for our little crippled legs. Maybe they think that an inspiring view would depress a bitter soul. I don't know why, but our rooms look over the ass end of the hotel.

That's why it was a shock yesterday to check into the Prestige Hotel in Salmon Arm yesterday. The hotel sits right on Lake Shuswap, it's a beautiful location. Joe noticed first saying, "Oh my God, we're going to over look the lake!" I got immediately what he said as we both had often talked about how, now me being in a wheelchair, we get the lousy views. We openned the door and my oh my. We looked over a frozen lake, the mist hung over the ice and sometimes the wind blew fingers of mist out over the lake like a dead hand searching for warmth. We kept the window open right through the darkening of the evening.

If there is every any doubt about institutional disphobia just compare view from your room and the view from mine.

Everywhere but Salmon Arm.


lina said...

Something I would have never heard about or known until you brought it up. Glad to hear one place has the right idea - lets hope this catches on!

theknapper said...

If you ever go to Old towne in Bellingham Washington, stay at The Fairhaven Inn....I stayed in a room that was set up for disability. It overlooked the town square where they have a summer market. You'll like this girlfriend & I were having a drink & looking at the square & watching the market being set up. We saw a little girl....maybe 2 yrs old walking down the steps away from the market. We were trying to figure out who she was with & realized that there was no older person watching her. Then an older man in a wheelchair who was one of the vendours (a jewellry maker) stopped & talked to her & in a couple minutes she was reunited with her older brother. We breathed a sigh of relief. Later when we went to the market we chatted with the fellow & thanked him for keeping her safe. He was a lovely man & I treated myself to one of his necklaces.

All 4 My Gals said...

Glad you got the view you deserve. Funny because you probably appreciate the VIEW more than anyone else I know. I love the way your surroundings become a beautiful part of your writing. I wish I had your ability to take in everything around me.

Hey on US TV today they showed a clip of a deputy sherriff dumping a man from his wheelchair after asking him to stand, and he told her he could not. It was absolutely disgusting and I immediately thought of you. Man we have a LONG way to go!!! I'm so glad it was caught on tape and she will face the consequences. I wonder how often that crap happens and goes untold.

And another for you, T is getting a bit of bullying again. She's so sassy and honestly can be a grump...she makes no qualms when she doesn't like I think this makes her an even easier target because the other kid can rationalize her behavior. Any ideas I can teach her to help her avoid this? We've done role playing all week, but I'm not sure I'm getting it right. Thanks!

Unknown said...

I am terribly shocked by the fact most hotel-owners seem to think they are allowed to confine disabled people to the rooms with the most depressing views!
One should bring this into the attention of everybody.It simply shouldn't be accepted.

Anonymous said...

Wait a minute - you live in hotels? Why?
Come on. I cannot believe that people would purposely do that to disabled people. Perhaps the side with the better view is not as close to an elevator or other conveniences? Perhaps there is no better side?
I seriously think that my room is much worse. It's facing the north side of our house, so it's always the coldest, getting the "breeze". It's also over the garage, which makes it even colder. On average, it's about 13-14 degrees Celsius in my room. I have four windows from ceiling to floor taking up the whole wall that faces the north side -probably the worst wall to have windows as it makes it even colder in here. My blinds are always closed because if they are opened, the people on the street can see my entire room = zero privacy. Cars that drive on my street make noise at night and lights. We have a street lamp, in front of our house, which thankfully God has prevented from shining so it's possible to get sleep. Yeah, I think that's it. But I couldn't care less about the view. It's just the driveway and street - nothing interesting. I don't think a view is all that important anyway. Wouldn't you rather be outside, closer to the lake than watching it behind a window?
Sorry about complaining about my room so much. It's been bothering me for a long time. (especially the coldness). But I'm still thankful for it. At least I have somewhere to sleep at night. Somewhere to write long comments to blog posts.
Good night and blessings.

Anonymous said...

Here is the link to the video that the previous noter referenced. Meredith Viera's husband actually has MS and is confined to a wheelchair... so I'm surprised that she didn't react more strongly to this story.

(Sorry for the wording in the title of the video, was just the only one with the whole story.)

Anonymous said...

Well, I am glad to hear that your view was great in Salmon Arm! You left a lasting impression with many people and helped to change their views as well!! Very nice to see you and take good care and the best to Joe....Lisa Shaw