When living with a disability, you often face challenges when it comes to access in public places. Your local parks and government buildings will be 100 percent accessible. Sometimes, local restaurants are accessible but not fully ADA compliant. For example, you might encounter some places where everything is on one floor and there is plenty of space for you to navigate with your power chair. Sometimes, you might find that a restaurant has access to everything, but there is a bathroom that is too small or an outdoor patio with steps. This presents a challenge. The way I look at things is it is better to educate and find a solution by talking to the manager or a staff member, rather than making a scene. When I was younger, I may have made a scene or didn’t bother to even bring up the issue. Now, I love to educate.
Working with Local Businesses
If the issue is a step or two, I suggest to the restaurant to get a portable folding ramp they can put down when someone in a wheelchair comes in. There is nothing wrong with that, in my opinion. Although, even though we’re in 2022, some places still don’t want the eye sore out all the time. In some instances, the staff may have just completely forgotten about the step out back, while and the rest of the restaurant is totally accessible. They didn’t have someone to advise them about the one area that is an issue. Educating the owner or the staff is in the best interests of both parties. It helps the business stay up to code, which keeps people employed. It also allows you the access you deserve. This is why it does not pay to overreact or be negative and create a scene when you do not have access. It’s best to help the establishment find a solution, so everyone can enjoy their time.
About Josh McDermott: Josh is a brand ambassador for Quantum Rehab®. He is a public speaker and has served as a goodwill ambassador for the Muscular Dystrophy Association. Josh lives in New York and loves to travel. Click here to learn more about Josh.
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