I do a lot of that! I’m gonna talk about disability.
I don’t talk about work. I love my job, and I have no complaints. But due to a technical glitch, I was locked out of my account. And the saga began.
Mel called the help desk and we found out the only way to unblock it was to go into work to physically verify myself, a series of verification that needs a fingerprint and PiN. Not that big a deal, but it takes a lot to get me out of the house. All morning. And it messes up Mel’s day too. There is no workaround, so I won’t complain.
It was the perfect day to get out and I enjoyed it. When we got to work, they were super helpful to make sure we got in ok. I am proud of how helpful the visitor center was, they are a great first face to see for visitors!
Then, surprise, I got to see one of my dearest friends, my big sis, whom I’ve known and worked with for nine years! I haven’t seen her since November, and it was a huge boost to morale! Working from home, you miss the team. The tribe. The communication. Even a small glimpse of this is a huge deal.
Now the complaining starts, and I am sorry. From the visitor center to the main door is 100 yards of flagstone. Very pretty to look at, but very uneven, and many people have caught a toe and almost fallen. In a wheelchair… It’s bumpy as hell! In Lively, it’s not as bad, which is why Lively is awesome. But in my other wheelchair, Rocinante, it’s so bumpy it’s like a Jack Lemmon movie!!! This isn’t very handicapped friendly!!
But wait, my story gets better. We make it to the help area to sign in. The counters in the office are above my head. Let me repeat this. The counters are ABOVE my HEAD when I am in a wheelchair. They have to be four foot. I am five seven, well, pre ALS, and I can’t see anyone. This is not handicapped friendly. Then, the two ladies behind the counter, they call Mel up, and she explains what is going on. Then the lady who said we could talk to either person ignores Mel, turns to the other lady, and says and shows that she will not help us. I couldn’t see it but Mel did. What the HELL? !!
Now we are waiting and both angry. And we get called back after ten or fifteen minutes. And guess what? Four-foot counters again!! These might even be higher. And I think, no big deal, they can lower the accessories to me.
Except they CAN’T! They have approximately five inches of cable. Mel had to lift my arm to full extension, even stretching it a bit, to get my hand to reach. I can’t really move my arms and they are stiff. This whole procedure hurt like hell. Then I had to tell Mel my PIN because we couldn’t reach the keypad.
What the hell!?!
Everything else went swimmingly, not a single problem. The place that is supposed to be helpful is rude and the least disabled friendly place in the whole building!
I want to just share some design tips. Seams on the floor look cool but are trip hazards, and jarring to roll over. Counters that don’t have space for wheelchair access, that is demeaning. You are telling us we don’t have the same value or privilege as a “normal” person. Ada is a great start, but there is a lot missing. And to ignore or blow off the disabled guy!?