One of my friends was disabled and I got to see just how difficult every day would be for him. Fortunately for him, his father had the resources to make the necessary adaptations in his house, so he could get around. His house had been outfitted with the latest adaptations. First, the ramp he had in his driveway was electric. It would take him from his van to the house entrance.
From there, he had a special sofa custom made, his dinner table was also custom made and everything in his bedroom had been built for him to be able to use them with ease. You could say he was used to having everything handy, so when he had to go outside, everything was totally different. I hadn’t really noticed until he told me, that not all public buildings had the necessary adaptations for people with disabilities.
First, the ramps were usually blocked by people who obviously lacked the respect for the rights of others. Second, most buildings only had one ramp. This meant that if you had to go somewhere else in the building, you needed to go to the other side, and it would take a long time to get there. I saw how people were not always kind when being near him, some would show their short temper when they had to wait an extra minute or two to go where they needed to.
School was okay for him I guess. There has been more awareness in schools because of a lot of government initiatives, aimed at making it easier for students to get from point A to point B. The classrooms are outfitted with ramps (at least ours were), and people in the cafeteria were always very kind to him.
Now, when it comes to the buildings that had these ramps, they were there alright, but this doesn’t mean that the users had it easy. Just try to push yourself in a wheelchair up one of those ramps. They are steep and not always easy to get on. Even if you’re a guy who’s used to working out, but if you’re not… And not all the people have access to one of those electric ones, even if you have insurance.
The owners of the following building, not only decided to make it easier for their disabled users to access their building, they went the extra mile. The following video has one of the users try it for the first time. At first, when the user gets to the stairs, she notices that there’s no ramp for her to get on. Then, a man walks outside and presses a button. What happens next, is nothing short of extraordinary!