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Spitzbub

inaccessibility stories: it's not a step, it's a stoop

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We drove downtown to see a play with two other couples. One of our party, John, knew the playwright. I made reservations at a restaurant nearby, and of course like all wheelchair users, phoned first.

Completely accessible to wheelchairs, said the man on the phone, no steps ? and he answered with such confidence, even my follow-up questions, that I had a really good feeling afterwards. The place was popular for its fare, but on Sunday afternoons things usually work nice.

When we showed up for our reservation, right in the front there was a step. Then another up into the door. That makes two. My friends went in to get whoever was in charge.

It's only a stoop, he says. Once you get inside, everything's flat. You can go everywhere. Wheelchair-accessible.

He was not contrite, and I don't remember all the ways we told him he was an ass. We didn't have a lot of time to waste on him so we went on our way, and it being Chicago there was a quiet Italian place down the block. Most areas don't have that option, just as most owners are not such asses. The ADA had been the law of the land then for about 12 years.



Please share your own inaccessibility story ? we've all got 'em. There is a movement to take apart the ADA, which could very well happen unless we speak out. When I tell people an inaccessibility story, their mouths drop: "In this day and age?" They have no idea. Well, let's give them an idea!

Comments

  1. SCI-Nurse's Avatar
    Did you file a complaint with the owner? With the DOJ? Did you contact Access Chicago for advocacy help? This kind of thing continues because too few people follow up with complaints.

    (KLD)
  2. Spitzbub's Avatar
    You're exactly right, KLD, and I didn't. 17 years later and I've learned that nothing changes without follow-up.