Saturday, April 11, 2009

Leave your wheelchair outside

Yesterday I met a few friends at a club, which recently instituted a policy banning bicycles and scooters from going inside. Upon my arrival, an older member told me she checked and it was okay for me to bring my wheelchair in.

Since I belong to this club, I thought it was a good idea to explain that wheelchairs and mobility scooters can't be excluded under the ADA, not wanting to have this discussion repeatedly or when someone on a mobility scooter shows up.

She then made a general announcement to everyone present, brought up the bicycle and scooter ban vis a vis my wheelchair, and said I was allowed in because the "office was making an exception for me".

What is it about the ADA that people ignore its very existence 19 years later and still act as if we're allowed in places by some kind of noblesse oblige?

8 comments:

Katja said...

Wow. I'm speechless.

FridaWrites said...

Yeah, me too. People will never cease to amaze me when it comes to disability issues. Happy Easter!

Wheelie Catholic said...

::nodding:::

Happy Easter!

Greg said...

uuummm....wow

Bob said...

At a mall where a sign said no scooters or bikes, a store owner told me my power chair was a scooter and not allowed. Outrageous? Yup. But it happens.

Happy Easter and Passover to everyone.

Wheelie Catholic said...

Bob,
Yeah another person who uses a mobility scooter emailed me she had that happen in a park.

Happy Easter!

FridaWrites said...

Also happened to us at an ice display--wheelchairs are allowed but not mobility scooters. You could use their fold up transport wheelchairs there, but not your own far better, pain free seating. Even though my scooter is lighter than a lot of power wheelchairs! A sling seat without a wheelchair cushion just wouldn't work for me and would be excruciating. I didn't go.

The policy did violate ADA, which allows mobility scooters so long as they fit the dimensions specified by ADA for wheelchairs and scooters (i.e., one too big might not be able to fit down some aisles or make some turns). The sad thing about this kind of regulation is that it allows others to think they can make similar announcements for their own businesses.

Such is the case for job ads around here, which all suddenly seem to require walking and standing when a wheelchair would do just fine (I've worked in the kind of position advertised before). One of the job ads went so far as to specify normal vision, hearing, and speaking, and the ways people type! I.e., no "disableds" need apply, very clear what the motivation was. Sadly, it is a job many people with disabilities could do.

Wheelie Catholic said...

I'd point those ads out to the DOJ as discriminatory. I've seen that happen with rental situations too - landlords thinking they can word it so pwd are excluded. It violates the law.