The next time you walk into any public venue like a restaurant, bar or entertainment facility of any kind, notice how inaccessible it might be for someone with mobility issues. I think you might be surprised at how little attention is paid to the space between tables, locations of the restrooms, and even the amount of stairs dispersed everywhere. We had good friends in town this last weekend so we made the most of all that Chicago has to offer. We went to a small neighborhood bar that was so packed that even able bodied people struggled to maneuver around. The next night we all went to the Improv in Schaumburg, a fairly new club which was definitely built after the enactment of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) which prohibits discrimination against people with disabilities in several areas including public spaces. Although there was an elevator to get up to the club, we had to stand in a long line for an extended time before being let in to see the show. Fortunately, our friends scrambled to find me a chair to sit in while we waited. I knew I would most likely have to go to the facilities at least once which were up some stairs and quite a distance from where we sat. Once again, our friend Mike helped me navigate through the crowds and get up the stairs when I had to go but I felt bad that he had to miss any of the performance. On Saturday night we ate at this fabulous Italian ristorante called Quartino where the tables were so packed in, it would have been impossible to get a wheelchair in there if I had needed that accommodation. After some great food and wine, we all decided to go around the corner to the Redhead Piano Bar where once again, my husband hustled to find me a seat so we could all listen to the music. It ended up being such a fun-filled few days that I feel extremely fortunate to have been a part of but I can't help but think how much more enjoyable it might have been for both myself and my friends and family had everything been even a fraction easier. It can be an eye-opening experience to witness how little we value people with disabilities as a society so please, when you get the chance, speak up for those of us with accessibility issues because someday it could be you who needs the help.
Hello World. This is a blog we created to give any one affected by MS in any way a constructive way to communicate with others going through the same challenges.