Sunday, July 10, 2011

In The Way

Since Peggy's stroke, I have slowly become somewhat of a zealot about handicap accessibility. I grumble at the "heavy" public restroom door (which Peg can't open with her one good hand.) I mutter when people park in the handicapped parking "just for a minute" while they wait for someone to do a "quick trip" into the store. I have even been known to *gasp* swear at people blocking the wheelchair ramps with their cars (totally oblivious, but still annoying.)

Usually, however, I keep this obsession with handicap accessibility to myself and sigh and work around these unwary, uninformed people.

Today, however, I am annoyed. And I am siting in front of my computer. And I noticed it's been some time since my last blog post.

I think my biggest gripe about accessibility is when the staff of a restaurant (or whatever) puts things in the way. I know putting more stuff out on the floor seems like it would result in more sales, but if you can't get between the display racks, who's going to buy it?

Restaurants are particularly bad when stacking unused high chairs or excess regular chairs in a hallway that's wide enough for a wheelchair but not much of anything else (yes, I'm talking about Uno's, but we have also had this problem in Chili's, On the Border, and many other places.)

And, much as I like their coffee, about half of the Starbucks in this area (eastern Mass, north of Boston) seem to "tuck" their new shipments or old pallets in the hallway blocking access to the restroom. I have problems getting in there, let alone Peggy in her wheelchair. This has happened so often, I suspect this behavior is rife within the entire chain.

Sometimes I manage to shove the offending stuff a bit to the side so Peg can get to the bathroom, but shouldn't these people be more aware of what they are doing? Shouldn't their parent companies be aware of this storage problem so that when they design new restaurants they KNOW this is a problem and can plan for it?

I know, I'm dreaming.

And I know that this will not change. We go to restaurants, etc. so infrequently that even if we complain (and in writing), the best we will get is an apology (and possibly a coupon) but things will not change.