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Freedom & Responsibility
On Odyssey, you can create the content that matters to you. With this freedom, you also have a responsibility to start discussions in a positive, respectful manner.
We believe everyone’s voice deserves to be heard. On Odyssey, perspectives from everyday people start meaningful conversations across the nation.
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1. Stairs (and only stairs)
They usually mean the end of whatever was planned, especially if there are no alternative routes: the oldest enemy to mobility while in a chair. It means nothing to a wheelchair user that “it’s only two steps.” It means that we either have to rely on others to help us or change all of our plans. Ditto with no curb cuts and/or ramps.
2. Non Compliance to ADA (or AODA here in Ontario, Canada) standards (or bare minimum)
A rail in a bathroom does not mean it is accessible, not to mention half of the so-called accessible stalls are nowhere NEAR big enough. The one elevator in the workplace not working should not be the thing stopping people from doing their jobs, and the beds at hotels should not be so high that we cannot get into them without assistance, and the space beside them too small to go between.
I admire the job the these regulations set out to do, but what is the point if it is not enforced?
Problems here include people who park in handicapped parking without a permit, people who park there just because it’s convenient, people who balk when you need space to unload and the worst offenders, people who park blocking curb cuts and then refuse to move. Just thinking about it makes me angry. Don’t do it, folks.
Having to plan four steps ahead of everyone else when you travel means not only do you miss going places because of the chair, but that there is no spontaneity in any of your trips. Are the seats at the stadium wheelchair accessible? Is the car big enough? Is the bathroom accessible? All of these problems are only worsened if, like me, you don’t drive. Airlines apologizing profusely when your chair has been damaged in flight only helps so much when you are stranded as result of it.
I am not mentally incapable just because I am in a chair, and I don’t want to be “touched by Jesus” as some people may pray for me. Similarly, I do not appreciate it when you push the chair without asking me first, the chair is an extension of my body to me. I can hear and understand when you make fun of me, and I am sick of your pity.
And finally, for this post anyway,