About a month ago I got into a bike accident and sprained my wrist. For several weeks I kept it bandaged and couldn’t do everyday activities in the manner I was used to. Opening doors, lifting objects, making meals, even typing were all made difficult or impossible.
My hurdles were offset by the fact that my sprained wrist:
- Was only temporary
- Didn’t affect my mobility
Millions in this country do not have the luxury of recovery and unaffected mobility. They were born with spinal issues, met with grievous accidents or were wounded fighting for our country. This means that they must get around with the assistance of wheelchairs, scooters, canes, crutches and walkers. To them, every step can be a mountain. A doorjam that doesn’t have a grade, but leaves the door a mere 2” off the ground can be unpassable for someone in a wheelchair without assistance.
In the days since the Americans with Disabilities Act was signed into law, many establishments have become wheelchair accessible, but many more remain unreachable.
- Kevin McGuire, who has worked with the Patriots to make their stadium more accessible and with Yelp to add an accessibility component to their reviews, launched AbleRoad in January
- Jason DaSilva, a filmmaker best known for his 2013 film When I Walk, created AXS Map after being confined to a scooter resulting from multiple sclerosis
- Coloplast “develops products and services that make life easier for people with very personal and private medical conditions” and released WheelMate to facilitate locating everything from a hairdresser to the nearest rest room
Those of us without mobility issues can help in this effort! Just download one of these apps and contribute by rating establishments when going shopping, out for a drink or to a restaurant. Through the miracle of crowd-sourcing, we can assist in the creation of a comprehensive picture of just how accessible our neighborhoods, cities and states actually are.
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