Friday, November 02, 2012

That Would be Two Hundred and ...

The hotel I am staying in in Liverpool was built before Canada existed as a country. How odd is that? It's the Heywood House Hotel which was first constructed as a bank in 1799. You read that right, seventeen ninety-nine. And guess what? I'm staying in a lovely accessible room. With a big walk in shower and a toilet that's usable ... and ... we're managing fine. There are tight squeezes with the wheelchair, but only tight squeezes.

This was built over two hundred years ago. I tried doing the math in my head but I'm in social services ... I can count behaviour, I can graph tantrums, but I can't do fancy calculations without an assistive device. So, here is this old, old, old, building, that has been made accessible. Which means that you can make these building accessible. Which means that all that moaning and groaning about structural integrity is well, simply put, bullshit.

Even the receptionist was accessible. When I asked where parking was, it's blocks away, I panicked and explained, this was on the phone trying to get directions because even our GPS was lost, that I was a wheelchair user. She asked if I had a blue badge. I said I did. She said then I could park right outside the hotel in the street, they'd talked to the parking people about this so, no worries.

 I'm in my wheelchair, in my room, just having used the washroom in a hotel room that is in a building that should, itself, draw a pension. There are a couple small problems. The mirror is too high for someone sitting in a wheelchair to use to shave. The desk should be placed on the other side of the bed because the space to get to it in a wheelchair is too small.

I mentioned these to the clerk in the morning, and I did so casually as they had been so nice to deal with. She took the information in, said it was good to get feedback and that she'd pass it along. By the time we got home from work there was a mirror in the bathroom that was workable. Sheesh!

So there, accessibility made, accessibility intended, accessibility that calls the lie out to, well, liars. Just say it, 'It's doable, we just don't want to.'

We slept well in a bed in a room in a building that when converted to accessibility also converted to welcome, that's how it's supposed to work.


Mark Pathak said...

Good to read that my city is treating you well. Yep, older than Canada is and its still in one piece!!

Anonymous said...

Mirror moved in less than a day? I'd call that good service, indeed. It's nice to be heard, and taken seriously.


Colleen said...

Dear Dave:

Accessibility starts with the belief that all people belong, all we have to do is figure out how to make it happen. These people are doing just that! Good to know. Also good to know that your trip is going well.


Belinda said...

The half of me that is British is proud!