Friday, November 23, 2012


Not to seem like I'm carping, but sometimes they place the disability door button so far from the door that you can't push it and then get back into position to enter the door before it's already closed again. I don't know if others have noticed the phenomenon. It seems like those who designed the doors expected all people with disabilities who need them to be accompanied by someone who can push while they enter. Goodness knows, you wouldn't want us out on our own after all!

Now, in actuality, I'm not often on my own. Joe is usually with me. So we mutter about the silly places they put the buttons but just get on with it. But yesterday I was on my own trying to get into a store which is difficult even at the best of times, even with Joe to push the button. It's a transfer point. People get off the subway and come up and catch one of the streetcars there. There are always a huge throng of people exiting and entering. Yes, there are six other doors, or actually three sets of double swinging doors, but everyone comes through the one identified as for people with disabilities.

I'd pushed the button and got over but the door was swinging shut. Suddenly it swung open again, I could see that there was another mob headed to the door so I slipped through, there is another set of identical doors that need to be got through to finally gain entrance to the store. It swung open too. I noticed that the woman who had pushed the first door had gone through and pushed the other door. She stood with her body blocking the flow of foot traffic giving me space to get through.

I thanked her.

She brushed of the thanks saying, 'No problem.'

I said, "No, really. Thank you I found that really helpful.'

Again she said, 'No problem.'

I didn't want to gush so I just smiled and went on. See the thing is, it really isn't a problem, it really is just a nice thing to do. But it requires that someone notice and someone to take a moments time. And that does seem to be a problem in this day and this age.

But her little gift of kindness stayed with me for the whole rest of the afternoon, and even well into the evening. She probably doesn't know that what she did had such effect, but it did.


Take a moment.

Simple what it takes to create a world of caring.


Anonymous said...


Anonymous said...


Tamara said...

My mother is in a carpenters for people with dementia. I brought her over for Thanksgiving dinner. She uses a walker for short distances, but to get from her room to the front door and out to the car we use a wheelchair. I find the buttons difficult to use there also. A man help them open for us yesterday. Much easier. :-)

mitch1066 said...

Its the same with the disabled parking,its great right in front at the grocery store but......the place to leave the empty cart is way further down??maybe these things should be tested by a disabled "consultant" )

Beth said...

Guess you haven't met the kind around here, which tend to o-pen so a-ching-ly slow-ly even when the button is right at the door. Seems to take forever.

Rachel said...

Ooh-- passive aggressive accessible switch placement -- a big pet peeve in my life. I also hate it when they place the button behind a massive planter or trash can, thereby making it impossible for the person actually in the chair to push the button -- my son has very little movement, but he does delight in being the one to hit the button to open the doors, and it's only reasonable that he (and the population those switches exist for) should be able to reach.

wheeliecrone said...

Oh, Dave, the stories I have about doors! The amenities that annoy me are the ones that are intended for people with disabilities, but they are positioned in such a way that anyone with a disability cannot use them. That is especially true of doors that are opened by buttons that are far, far away from the door or buttons that are cunningly hidden behind some piece of equipment. And doors to "accessible" bathrooms that I cannot open! How many people wish to involve total strangers in their toilet visits? I often have to ask strangers to open or close doors when I visit an accessible restroom. I am no longer embarrassed by this, but it took quite some time to achieve an attitude of nonchalance about it.

Utter Randomness said...

I can think of a few really poor placements for automatic door buttons near where I live. The first is at the mall that I have to walk through to get to work, the button is between two doors that both open towards it, so often people open both doors at once and I either get hit with the doors, I hurt my knees getting out of the way, or I get screamed at by people who want to open those doors, but can't because I'm in the way. The second was at a different mall that I went to for the first time yesterday, this time, the button was around my knees. I'm not very tall, my knees are pretty close to the ground, and I'm pretty sure that button isn't really convenient for very many people. It would, on the other hand, be the perfect height fojavascript:void(0)r a service dog. The absolute ultimate though, are the new ones at my transit station. They don't have power yet, so people look at me like I'm being a lazy rhymes-with-witch when I ask them to hold the door.

Anonymous said...

Things like this - button access and door access - should be standardized. Crazy. Don't exist, hard to reach, slow as molasses and used by folks not needing them. Washrooms are the same. Did anyone that uses a wheelchair even have input in the design? A oddly placed bar does not a handicapped washroom make. If you can't get a wheelchair into the room or beside the toilet for transfer - duh! Yes - lots to rag about. Once again - not necessarily invisible minority - just inconvenient.

Moose said...

I recently stayed in a hotel with a bank of 6 elevators [3 per side of a little hallway], buttons for them in the middle.

If the arriving elevator wasn't one right next to you, a person in a mobility device was basically boned. The doors would close long before you could even get near them.

I did complain in detail. What's most annoying is that the last time I stayed at this same hotel, two years earlier, the elevator doors were slightly *slower*, and once closed right on me [and my wheels].