Accessibility

When some­one asks, “Is (X place) acces­si­ble?” the answer is “no” if there are any stairs involved in get­ting there. It doesn’t mat­ter if every­thing inside X is on one level but there are three “lit­tle” steps at the front door, or “just one flight of stairs out front.” Those “lit­tle” steps aren’t so lit­tle for those using scooter and wheel­chairs. The answer is also “no” if there is no wholly acces­si­ble bath­room near the main area.

Just once, I’d like to arrive some­where to find a place truly acces­si­ble instead of hav­ing some­one who’d claimed acces­si­bil­ity say, “Oh, I didn’t think about those lit­tle steps!” or “But that’s just one flight of stairs!” or some such stu­pid thing. Even though I hap­pen to be able to walk most of the time, if I’m using my scooter, there’s a rea­son for it. If I were to get off of it to walk up those few steps, where am I to store the scooter? 1 Plenty of other peo­ple can­not walk up those steps.

Why choose an inac­ces­si­ble place of busi­ness, any­way? Why are builders con­tin­u­ing to build inac­ces­si­ble res­i­dences? It isn’t expen­sive to build in acces­si­bil­ity in the first place, com­pared to ren­o­vat­ing for acces­si­bil­ity. Has all the talk of the aging of Amer­ica meant noth­ing with regards to home design?

Every­one is just tem­porar­ily abled in the long run, any­way. If you buy or build a house, it pays to go ahead and con­sider whether or not it would still suit you if you were injured in some man­ner. Could you get around on crutches or in a chair? If (shock­ing thought) you were to want to enter­tain some­one who uses mobil­ity devices to get around, could that per­son even get in your front door? Any door? I’ve lived in places where the answer would be a resound­ing “No!” and even if we got the poor soul in through, say, the garage, she couldn’t get up to the liv­ing areas.


1 A sig­nif­i­cant investment.

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