May 3, 2008 at 6:13 pm 4 comments

Recently I wrote a post for “Blogging Against Disablism Day” (BADD) about community and how the disabled population haven’t really come together to create a real community the way that other minorities have done.  As I thought about what I wrote it became apparent to me that it’s become the norm to discriminate against the disabled population.  We are the blacks before the civil rights amendment, and I think the reason we don’t band together is because we know it’s true. 

Want to ride the bus?  Sure you can, but you and your wheelchair will have to sit in the back.  And good luck if your companion can sit near you.

Want to sit in the movies?  Sure… here’s the designated spot.  You wanted to sit somewhere else?  Sorry no dice, those aren’t for you.

Want to go to a restaurant/museum/public building and find there are steps to get inside?  Sure, you can come in just come around through the alley and enter through the kitchen. 

Want to go on a cruise?  Sure there are a handful of accessible rooms… better book early (like a year in advance) otherwise the able-bodied folk who want a bigger room for the same price will take them. 

These are all things that have happened to me and only a small handful of the experiences that we all go through on a daily basis.  We have special drinking fountains, seats on the bus, special bathroom stalls, etc that everyone can use but we can’t use everyone else’s stuff.  I can’t reach the regular drinking fountain, get to the seat on the bus or fit my wheelchair into a regular bathroom stall.  It’s become acceptable to relegate us to second class citizens and we have gladly accepted it.  What’s sad is that before we were second class citizens what were we?  I shudder at the thought…



Entry filed under: Politics.

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4 Comments Add your own

  • 1. treadmarkz  |  May 4, 2008 at 8:27 am

    You know what I do when I go to the movie theater with my wife and the seats with the cut in space for me wheelchair to go are taken? I use another seat. I sit where I want to sit and I park my chair right in front of me. I pull it as close to me as I can so I don’t trip some innocent victim. But I sit where I want to sit. I mean, not absolutely where ever, but I don’t let that one space being taken ruin my movie going experience.
    How do you recommend we make every seat accessible to us, and every seat on the bus accessible? You are right that every building should be getting to be made accessible. The ADA should make that happen. It doesn’t but should, and eventually may. But there are things that are going to come up and we as disabled people just have to realize that life is not perfect. We cannot scream discrimination whenever we find that it is not. Majority groups hate that, remember, and it gets us nowhere.

  • 2. treadmarkz  |  May 4, 2008 at 8:30 am

    But also, I understand what you mean when you said that there are things that are built for us, even though other people can use them too, but we can’t use the ones that are built for us. I have written the mandatory treatise on the handicapped parking/bathroom stall problem myself.

  • 3. treadmarkz  |  May 4, 2008 at 8:39 am

    I meant “but we can’t use the ones that are not built for us (non-accessible stalls, for example).

  • 4. William  |  May 5, 2008 at 9:52 am

    I’m not disabled, but my wife is in a wheelchair, and when we had our house built, our contractor gleefully ignored our instructions on door sizes and framed them in such a way that her wheelchair wouldn’t quite go through. That’s irritating, but if you know my builder, it’s not at all surprising.

    So I went to Home Depot to get some fallaway hinges for the doors, which would gain enough extra space that her chair would pass through without rubbing. I couldn’t find any, so I asked the Dude with the Apron, and from the way he reacted, you’d think I’d inquired as to the availability of yak bladders, not fallaway hinges.

    Here’s a nationwide store whose “door and door hardware specialist” had never heard of anything like fallaway hinges. That just stupefies me and, even in my state of advanced cynicism, surprises me.

    I don’t have a point, except for the obvious one that Home Depot is too busy selling credit cards to stock fallaway hinges or shower benches.


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