Wednesday, May 09, 2018

What is This?

Photo description: Two piles, one of gravel, one of dirt. The are in front of a barren piece of land.
So, go ahead and guess. What is this picture of? Clearly something's going to be done here, the piles are the ingredients for some kind of construction.

Just off to the side of this is a small children's play and learn area. I had arrived early to work and done a lap of the parking lot and then pulled over to the play area drawn by a beautiful apple tree in full bud. I looked in to the kids area and it looked like it was well loved and constantly in use. I couldn't go in to that area because the ground was rough and the pathways narrow. But I enjoyed what I could see from where I was sitting.

A few moments later we were joined by the owner of the building this was all attached to, she had come to let us in. We talked about the play area and she mentioned that these two piles of dirt were going to be used to expand the area and make it accessible to wheelchair users. She said it in a natural way, not in a way that expected great heaping amounts of gratitude for the venture. It was just a fact, it wasn't accessible and now it will be.

I took the picture because I often speak about intentional architectural exclusion, people can't know that something is inaccessible, ignorance is used as an excuse for metaphorically hanging a sign on the door: No Cripples Allowed. Here, I find intentional architectural inclusion. It matters that what was inaccessible becomes accessible, it matters that those who can, do and those who won't are outvoted.

So, that picture - it's accessibility ... it's the future of welcome.

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