Sunday, September 10, 2017

Proudly Accessible

I did ask. "Are the buses accessible that take us from the airport to the rental cars?" A beaming smile accompanies the word yes. When people are that happy about accessibility, for an odd reason, I get less trusting. "You know, with a ramp and everything?" Again a big smile and a yes. Okay.

We go out to catch the a bus that will get us our car. We arrive to a bus with a lot of stairs. "I was told that the service was accessible," I said. I was then told that they did have a bus that was accessible, they would just have to go get it and them come to get me. I asked how long this would take and she had no idea. Then it was suggested that I wait at the airport, she'd take Joe over and then he could drive back and get me. This is the plan we settle on.

Let's get something clear.

Accessible isn't having one 'special bus' it's being able to access what you need like everyone else does. I didn't mind the wait, I didn't mind being left behind waiting to be picked up. I did mind not being told the truth. I did mind that 'accessible' is often simply not accessible. What's the difference between, in their mind, between the promised service and the service I received?

I don't know but it's a difference they are proud of!!


Unknown said...

And for a solo disabled traveler, or a disabled parent traveling with children, it's going to take a very long time to get that rental car and get out of the airport....
their whole system seems to have that inherent bias that every disabled person has an able bodied carer who does all of these tasks for them.....

Hope your accommodations were 'just right' once you finally got to them.

Shannon said...

That happened to me at the Atlanta airport. They said they had an accessible shuttle van to the hotel... but it had no ramp, just a regular van that would require some really major assistance to get into if you can't stand up. I explained that this was not accessible and took a regular taxi, which I can get into with less trouble. I think they thought accessible meant that the wheelchair itself could fit in the van and thought I was going to get out of the wheelchair and climb up to the seat.

Andrea Shettle, MSW said...

I wrote a long-ish comment here that hasn't been posted -- might it have been caught by your spam filter, if there is one?

Andrea S.