There is no way living in this day and age that you don’t know what handicap accessible is. I’m here to tell you that it’s all bullshit. The handicapped bathrooms, parking spaces, and anything else that someone slaps a handicap sign on is not handicap accessible at all.
Recently I was wheelchair bound for over three months after breaking my leg and needing surgery to fix it. I’m sorry to say that I never paid attention to it before. Technically, I could have a handicap placard because of my debilitating Rheumatoid Arthritis, but I don’t want it. Not yet.
Three months were long enough for me to see how unfair we are to people who are unable to get around without assistance. There are so many problems with today’s handicap accessible facilities that it really breaks my heart. I’m going to list all of the many problems.
The Friendly Neighborhood Restroom
- The door weighs a ton. Literally, if you’re trying to open the door from a wheelchair it takes every bit of strength just to get in. Then you have to try to hold it open while wheeling yourself in. Nearly impossible. Why do stores and restaurants make restroom doors so heavy? Is there a reason behind it?
- Getting to the bathroom stall. There is never a straight path to get to the stalls. There are always at least two sharp turns just to get in and about two more to get into the stall. You can barely get turned to get in.
- The stalls are too small. I literally got stuck three times in the handicap stall because I could not get back out once I got in. You could not get turned around properly and I had to be “saved” by other women.
- Reach the soap and water. Yep, the hand soap at the back of the sink cannot be reached if you’re sitting in a chair.
- Never enough spots.
- The restaurant will put in one or two parking spaces that are accessible with a chair but if those two fills up the rest of us are screwed because there is usually only the one ramp and with cars parked beside it you can’t get the wheelchair through and have to walk all the way around and then have someone lift you up on the curb because there is no ramp.
- Uneven parking lots with lots of potholes. A nightmare for real!
Grocery & Retail Stores
- Aisles cluttered or too skinny to fit a wheelchair through.
- Shelves way to high to reach things.
- No help. You would not believe the people that will look right over you and ignore you when you’re in a wheelchair.
I know there’s only so much that can be done, but in today’s world, I just can’t believe that we as a nation can’t do better than this. What do you think? Do you use facilities for handicapped people?