Global Accessibility Awareness Day is May 19th.
Disability Accessibility is one of those areas that is rapidly expanding in the virtual world, butit is still a really big problem in the physical world. There have been countless occasions when I have been enjoying time out with family and friends and come to places with no ramp or other means of accessible entry. At this stage in my life, I’m fortunate enough to be able to maneuver on crutches in places where wheelchairs cannot go.
Recently, over Spring Break, I took a trip with my girlfriend to the Poconos. The establishment was fairly accessible; however all of the upgraded suites were multi-level rooms with stairs and no ramp to access the different levels. Some suites offer pools and Jacuzzis in-room as well, but these are not accessible at all to anyone who is wheelchair-bound.
One trip we took to a more remote location, where the establishment claimed to be handicap accessible, we found that the on-site restaurant could only be accessed by stairs. I am curious as to how the management of that establishment feel when they encounter individuals who cannot enter their restaurant.
Accessibility in the physical world is a large topic that needs involvement on multiple levels from simple awareness to government intervention. I came across a website called Johnny's Pass that was developed by a gentleman with Cerebral Palsy. This site focuses on rating public places based on different categories of accessibility. The free site has about 400 reviews right now, but Johnny Agar hopes that number increases to thousands. He encourages feedback and hopes many people will submit ratings because the website’s growth depends on having a large number ofreviews and ratings from a variety of businesses and locations. I encourage you to take a look at Johnny's Pass, share it, and submit ratings on places you visit. It is up to all of us to make businesses accountable.
Inaccessibility is discrimination.