Thursday, September 02, 2010

Living in Grass Valley/Nevada City is very interesting, and not a good interesting at the momentI find it incredible that 20 years after the ADA law was passed in the US that these towns, particularly Nevada City remains for the most part inaccessible. Last week I was carried into a sushi restaurant by a good Samaritan, who by the time we got to the table almost passed out from the strain. Being royally pissed off by the time we sat down at the indignity of the situation, in addition to the possible heart attack given to the poor fellow, I complained to my aunt and the waitress. Both seemed quite indifferent to the situation and my aunt even defended the restaurant by saying its very expensive and a lot of work for the owner. Needless to say my blood pressure went dangerously high and I attempted to channel my Buddha nature. In actuality, all the restaurant needed was a small plywood board with a few bricks for support costing all of perhaps $5.00. I chose to write on this topic today, as I am sitting in this cafe that I had to go around the back, move the garbage cans from the pathway , have a nice man help me over cracked pavement and another patron go into the café to bring out a waiter. This is utterly unacceptable in the US, but people don’t understand it as blatant discrimination. The majority view it as the poor disabled girl needing assistance. But having an inaccessible building is as good as posting a sign saying “Physically Disabled Not Allowed”. People hate to view it this way as it is reminiscent of signs 40 years ago which read “Colored Not Allowed”, but having inaccessible buildings means just that. Popular excuses use expense as the main factor in not providing ramps and taking other accessibility measures, which is absurd. As aforementioned, one can purchase a piece of plywood for as much as a cup of coffee. Funnily enough, the waiter wanted to give me the cup of tea I ordered for free, as he felt guilty for the trouble I went through, and I cannot imagine how much money they have lost to guilt, that could have been put towards an accessible entrance.

I am so sick of having to smile and be effusively thankful in order to be helped into an inaccessible building that has absolutely no excuse to be so.

I shall be posting “Disabled People not Allowed” on every inaccessible building. See if people question taking their business there.

6 Comments:

Blogger Kay L. Davies said...

Way to go, Meg. I love the idea of posting "Physically Disabled NOT Allowed Here" signs, almost as much as I hate what is happening to you. And your aunt taking the side of the restaurant. Makes me want to cry.
I'm not disabled, but I have a number of medical conditions which make it difficult for me to do very much a lot of the time. Today is one of those days. I want to walk the dog because my husband is working, then refereeing football, and won't be home until 10pm. Can I walk the dog? I don't know. I will have to decide after I have a late lunch and a nap. I don't know what I CAN'T do until I try, sort of the opposite of what God said to Moses.
I think it might be possible to get something of a groundswell going here, if everyone is urged to post those signs when they see places without ramps.
It's ridiculous that cruise ships should be accessible and restaurants not. Good for you, pushing those garbage cans out of your way. Like Rosa Parks in a wheelchair. You rock.

2:16 PM  
Blogger Anand Vaidya said...

Hi Megan, I liked the way you expressed about inaccessible buildings. Which is very much true. In India the condition is not very different.
Right now I have formed a group of 8 people who are physically disabled and as part of our youth fellowship we are doing a research on 'employment opportunities & accessibility in shopping malls for physically disabled'.
I would love if you could share your thoughts regarding this.
regards...

10:03 AM  
Blogger Gracieanne1 said...

I read with interest about your travels. You are fortunate to have had encouragement from some special family members or friends to go on these trips. Neither of my parents ever flew by plane and car trips were no more than 2 hours away growing up except for one trip to Florida when I was twelve in a car without A/C.
I live in the Northeast. My in-laws have always gone out to restaurants to celebrate adult children's birthdays, and in the past couple of years, their health has declined necessitating walker, and W/C made us realize to plan out which restaurant was accessible for them and which have sturdy chairs.
When I think about it, New Jersey has done a good job in making public places accessible with ramps, as well as most of my favorite restaurants are ground level with an W/C accessible curb, or an elevator ( Catherine Lombardi restaurant.
I googled and Diego's in Grass Valley has a patio, is this location at ground level.
Summer Thymes's bakery and Deli looks appetizing!

5:53 AM  
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9:16 PM  
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9:16 PM  

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