Thursday, January 12, 2012

I'm Not Writing This Blog ... No I'm Not!!

I'm not going to write about having to leave another hotel because they said they were accessible but were not.

I'm not going to write about how upsetting this is and how you never get used to it.

I'm not going to write about how much planning and calling goes into a trip.

I'm not going to write about being humiliated by having to sit in a lobby, with a line up behind me, and talk about toilets.

I'm not going to write about how they said, 'but we have bars the shower'.

And I'm really not going to write about saying, 'so you want me to shit in the tub?'


I'm not.

I'm just not.

I'm tired of those stories and you must be too.

So, I'm not going to talk about how exhausted this makes me.

And, I'm not going to describe the weight this places on Joe's spirit.

I'm simply not.

But because I'm not writing about this, I'm thinking about it constantly. So I can't think of a single other thing to write about. So I'm not going to write a blog at all.

Instead I think I'll go and sit on the toilet we had to drive an extra twenty minutes to get to. And it better be worth it.


Glee said...

'ken oath Dave! :)

Colleen said...

Dear Dave:

Sorry you had to endure this kind of disrespect yet again. I can only imagine how distressing it is to you and Joe. I hope the hotel you drove an extra 20 minutes for is up to standard.


Andrea S. said...

I hate that this keeps happening, too.

There are certain contexts when I *know* before I even try asking that I'm going to run into a lot of difficulty and headache and frustration. (Interpreters can be expensive--it's possible to cover their cost if you budget wisely for them and integrate them into your budget and your grant proposals from the start, but most organizations below a certain size don't even think to do this. Which is what causes the predictability of their response when asked.) And it can make me so angry and overwhelmed before I even start. And most of the time, even when I've done everything right and been polite and tactful but clear and so forth, it turns out more or less as I expect. Only rarely am I surprised. And each time it doesn't turn out the way I *need* it to, it makes me that much more stressed out the next time I need to ask for accommodations that I need.

I wish more businesses and organizations understood better why it is so critical that they MUST actually bother to PLAN for accessibility. And why they must be prepared to give clear, accurate information about accessibility features. And that what one disabled person needs is not going to be identical to what the next disabled person needs even if they share the exact same diagnostic label.

I absolutely understand why it can be hard to stop thinking about this when it can cause so much stress in your life.

Tamara said...

If we're tired of hearing about it, it's because we're tired of it still happening - not because we're tired of you reporting it. I do understand why you're tired of it, though. It has to be exhausting to arrive at your destination after traveling and finding that you have to come up with a new place to rest.

Nan said...

Thank you for having the courage to keep posting, because it gives me a sense of the INSANITY of it all and just how GD TIRING and EXHAUSTING it must be. Its one thing for us able-bodied allies to notice it and try to point it out in our communities, and another thing all together to live it, as you (and Joe . . . and others) do.

Lene Andersen said...

I nominate "so you want me to shit in the tub?" as the Best Line of 2012 so far!

Unbelievable. It's exhausting that the every day has to be this hard. Sorry you have to do this.

ivanova said...

I'm glad you didn't write this blog post, because it didn't make me think and get angry, and that's why I'm not leaving a comment here.

AkMom said...

Agree with Tamara and Ivanova. Angry for you!

Rhonda said...

My heart sunk as I read your post. Accessibility shouldn't be so variable or non existant. I'm sick of going to places that tell me ahead of time they are accessible and they clearly have no idea what that means.
My sister says you should never feel you have the right to vent and dump on others. Perhaps that's true, but it was my choice to read your post. I would have read on if you continued writing. You tell it like it is Dave, right down to the "shit in the tub" line.
Sorry you had to experience this again.

Anonymous said...

I agree so much with Tamara. And I am sorry that this happened yet again.

wheeliecrone said...

You, too? At least I am not the only person that this happens to! Small comfort, that.

And it always comes from out of left field. Quite often accompanied by attitude. Like "you should be grateful"! Yes, I should be so grateful that there is not a single toilet in your @#$% hotel that I can get my wheelchair into. Your "Oh we are completely accessible" except for those stairs out front hotel. And the toilets. And the door to my room is too narrow to get my chair into. And the bars on the shower wall are in a position put up by some madman who thought they were for decoration, not for anyone to actually use. And on it goes. And again with the attitude.

We check and we ring and we ask questions, but until we actually get there - we never really know for sure. Why does it have to be like this?

Many hotels are wonderfully accessible and helpful and altogether a joy to stay in. But the answers they give are often the same answers that the really bad hotels give us. Why do the bad hotels lie? Do they think I won't notice the three stairs between my bedroom and the toilet? Do they?

Sorry for not writing my own complaints, Dave. I'm just about to go travelling again and I'm not frightened at all.

Kristin said...

It makes me so angry that people are still so clueless in this day and age. I am sorry Dave.

Anonymous said...

The last hotel we stayed at the "shower chair" was some slats the rested on the sides of the tub. Much too low. It might have been ok with a deeper tub or higher handrails so I got better leverage. The handrails were almost knee height.. not much help.

The room was so tiny there wasn't room for my manual wheelchair to turn around. I had to move furniture to even get in. There was only one place with enough room for anyone to pass me.

If you take a standard room and put in a bigger bathroom, well, the rest of the room is cramped. I hope no one with a power chair ever tries to stay there.

And why do they put the accessible room on the second floor?

The hotel manager told me "that's what we get when we order an ADA package" and got amazingly angry at me for daring to complain that their "ADA package" wasn't good enough.

The toilet was ok though.


Christina said...

Frustrating but not surprising. I actually maintain a spreadsheet now for rating hotels on their accessibility (and I don't even travel much outside Montreal or Toronto, where I've had so many problems alone!)

P.S. I am a new reader of your blog and I must say I really enjoy your writings! You've articulated so well so many of the same issues I face.

ParadiseMom said...

Dear Dave:

Did you stop at writing about it?
Be "the voice" that continues just like "they" do. Continue writing,calling,videoing it, until "they" think and take action. Your life is a visual "outside the box" reality. Get mad, then make a difference....
Thank you Joe for being Dave's Annie Sullivan....
I want to thank my husband David and my 2 sons,Vincent and Spencer for being my Annie Sullivans...
I hope they understand I was their Annie Sullivan before they were mine....