Right now, I just have time to post about interesting situations so here is one.. 🙂
Last Friday was a really good friend’s birthday. We all went out to a few bars and had a few drinks. It was a blast. The birthday gal expressed a desire to go to Hooligans but knew that it had limited accessibility so told us it was okay not to go. It was myself, birthday girl (she was able-bodied), and then another really good friend in the wheelchair. So we go in and the aisle ways are really small but my friend in the chair manages just fine. She is forced to block a lot of the walking traffic paths but it’s not her fault, of course, that it’s not very accessible to individuals in wheelchairs. So she decides to go to the restroom and not 2 minutes later comes back and says, “Well, I guess I’m NOT going to the restroom then…” and then explains that the restroom is tiny and it’s not accessible. So I have driven her wheelchair before (given it was in daylight, I had a lot less vision loss, and I had no alcohol in my system at the time.) She asked me to help her so what we ended up doing was she drove the wheelchair into the bathroom, we had random strangers nearby hold the door open, I was forced to have them hold my Makiko (but they were right there so I could see them at all times and they were trapped so no worries), and then I had to squeeze by the chair to get INTO the chair, back the chair out of the restroom, while she went to the restroom, and then she came out of the restroom and got in her chair. If we hadn’t backed her chair out of the restroom it would have been blocking traffic and she wouldn’t have been able to get to the sink, etc. This bathroom was tiny and it had no accessible stalls, nothing. Now given it was probably a “historic establishment” and therefore exempt from some of the ADA but building an accessible bathroom would in no way devalue the restaurant. We are a college town and our school has one of the best offices for disability accommodations in the NATION, so why have a popular restaurant for college students so inaccessible? I will be politely giving feedback to Hooligans regarding this but just had to share. It’s kind of hilarious, I think, to think about a blind person who uses a guide dog, backing a wheelchair out of a very small doorway, while somebody else holds your guide dog and the guide dog looks at you like WHAT ARE YOU DOING? And the other random patrons acknowledging that you, the person who is legally blind, can drive a wheelchair better than they can.. and not to mention after having a few drinks. Anywho! 🙂 Fun times!