Thursday, September 14, 2017

Here's an Idea

I was reading an article on line about a new tourist attraction in NYC that I'd like to go to see. As is typical, the reviewer never mentioned any form of accessibility. I know, I know, I know, it wasn't published on a disability blog, but it was a piece that was meant to inspire tourists to go. I made a comment stating that when a journalist reviews a venue, or show, or restaurant, there should be an expectation that they are writing for the whole of their readership and that a mention about wheelchair accessibility would be nice.

I received almost an immediate reply, "Call the venue."

Shortly later, "Yes, call the venue."

But the writers of these comments don't acknowledge that they don't have to. They don't ever have to think about whether or not they can get in. They don't see this as privilege but it is - to know that you will always automatically be given entry and given bathrooms you can use, is privilege. They are telling me that, even though the journalist could have written two lines about accessibility, I was going to have to track that information down. I was going to have to talk to some employee who isn't really sure what accessibility means and it takes so much time.

The suggestion to call the venue is kind of a way of saying 'shut up' and it's kind of a way of saying that my issue of entrance isn't worthy of a mention in an article. It's also a way of saying, 'don't be so lazy.' Disabled people have unlimited stores of energy and of time and of course we can spend that time waiting on hold to find out if we can get in and if we can pee in a venue.

Did the two people who left these comments think they were being helpful? That I had never thought about simply calling the venue? Were they seriously thinking that I would smack my head and say, 'of course, call the venue, freaking brilliant?'

I wrote the comment for the publication and for the author, I wanted them to think about it. I knew I'd get other comments but ... 'call the venue' ... as a comment tells me that they have no idea about how easy it is for them, and how much work that simple suggestion turns out to be.

And by the way, if I can't find accessibility on a restaurant ad, I don't go. If I can't find it on the ad for a show, I don't go. If they've put in a ramp but don't want me to know about it ... welcome is always chilly. So screw it.


Unknown said...

Dave I totally agree with everything you say. Call the vender please, if you are lucky enough to get someone who knows or understands what you're asking you are very lucky. If a facility is doing accessibilty right they should be putting right up there for all to see. As for the author of the article; doesn't get it and does't care to get it. A listing of truly accessible venues would be wonderful wouldn't it.

Ranvaig said...

The reviewer probably got the site info from the venue. If the venue had handicap info listed, it likely might have been included in the review.

Liz said...

If it's the Highline, the answer is yes, it's accessible. (I noticed particularly when I was there at the beginning of the Summer, mostly because of your blog.)

Unknown said...

There used to be a soft cover book of accessibility graded places in Ottawa. Sigh!!

Shannon said...

I like to know this information so I can decide about it - I might go to a restaurant that has an accessible entrance, but not bathrooms, if I'm only going to be there a few hours, but if it's a place I want to stay a while and maybe some drinks, it's got to have the accessible bathrooom. If it's a one step thing amd it is a place I really want to go, and I'm with someone who can help, I'll do it. But I hate calling about accessibility because usually they don't know exactly what they are talking about.