Diane, a friend I’ve mentioned before, posted a few pictures of her sojourns around Seattle. I was shocked at some of the situations she and her wheels found themselves in. Just the simple task of taking a walk around the block was a nightmare. Understanding the difficulties (though not impossibilities) that may be present in updating older buildings, there is no excuse 22 years since the passing of the ADA (American Disabilities Act) in 1990 by President Bush. It is even worse that there are modern structures lacking these amenities and shows a distinct lack of awareness for what it is like to travel in a wheelchair.
Here’s a few pictures of Diane (thank you, Diane for sharing these) and some obstacles she comes across on her morning walks. And though my MS has not yet put me here, we are seeing so many more of us or our loved ones facing this situation.
Okay, here’s something I never thought of. Sad to say, I’ve done this myself. But this car only leaves two choices for Diane. Turn around to try to find some other way to her destination, or take the leap.
My point with these pictures is simply to let you see what Diane showed me in her posts. Let’s try to stop and think for a minute. No one expects us to break the bank instantly tearing down all our old buildings, uprooting neighborhoods, and so forth. But, we’re talking 22 years since the ADA was passed into law. And yet, we still see things like this without someone even thinking about a wheelchair.
There are effective and often inexpensive ways we can help Diane and others like her with access to the everyday places most Americans take for granted: Keep our sidewalks maintained, clear of both weeds and vehicles. Make sure there ARE sidewalks. If there aren’t sidewalks in our neighborhood, start asking the city what they are doing about making our town ADA compliant.