Getting Around Outside
Curbs are another problem. I’ve been caught out so many times when I come to the end of a sidewalk and there is no dropped curb to allow me to cross a road.
I’ve even had to leave my children while I drive all the way back along the sidewalk to find a driveway to drive down and then back along the road to pick them up again! This can be harrowing on a mobility scooter with no lights or mirrors.
However, there’s a newly developed district in the centre of the city where I live that caters for disability. There are no curbs, making trundling along on my scooter so easy! It has plenty of disabled parking and all the shops and restaurants are level so there are no barriers preventing access.
There is a new, award-winning library, too, with lifts and disabled toilets, so I can spend all day enjoying myself with no barriers.
The Social Model of Disability looks at ways of removing barriers that restrict choices for disabled people, but that would largely mean knocking down all the existing buildings and infrastructure and starting again.
What a shame it would be to lose all our heritage and history! Being English, history and culture is part of who I am so I’m resigned to the fact that some places aren’t going to be accessible to me due to my mobility issues.
But that doesn’t mean I have to enjoy myself less or shut myself away, it just means I need to plan more than the average person and chose venues and destinations that are accessible. It’s my responsibility to phone in advance and make plans rather than leaving it to chance and being disappointed, humiliated or worse!
I’ve just booked a holiday, for example, and used a company in the UK that specializes in providing accessible accommodation. I have a downstairs bedroom with a wet-room, and the cottage and garden is fully accessible. I’ll be able to trundle around with a glass of wine – with the only barrier being the great British weather!