Can’t Go There? Can’t Get In?

December has been my month of inaccessibility. Throughout my 12 years with Ashley and her wheelchair, we have often gone places that were not accessible. When Ashley was small, it wasn’t a huge issue – I could just pick her up and carry her over a curb or up a few steps. That is impossible now that she is almost 14 years old.

Almost every place we have gone during December, whether it involves shopping, a show, or a visit to a park, we ran into accessbility issues. And not small ones, either.

Right after Thanksgiving, I wrote on my blog about our Black Friday shopping experiences. And then, as one of Ashley’s Christmas presents, we got tickets to a Sesame Street Live show. Once again we faced problems, and once again I had to write about those problems. Then this past weekend, we decided to take a trip to the Washington, DC National Zoo, and that trip presented the worst problems.

I blogged about it here, but I am still angry that a public, government-run, tax-dollar-financed facility isn’t the least bit accessible.

And just when I think it’s only me, I read stories in our local newspaper about a parent who had to litigate against her school district because her son’s school, and almost every other school in the district, was not physically accessible. The parent won – the school district was ordered to make changes – it’s been three years and no changes have been made!

Has the government stopped caring? Have we parents given up fighting over this issue? Things sure don’t seem to have improved much since the ADA was first enacted in 1990.

Do other parents face similar issues? What do you do to address those issues?

Deborah can be found writing here at 5MFSN every Sunday and Wednesday, and can also be found at Pipecleaner Dreams.

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