Access Denied


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Ever notice how you never appreciate your health and mobility until it is somehow restricted or taken away?

I have no idea how I managed to mess up my shoulder with what the doctor suspects is bursitis or tendinitis, but I do know what the result has been.  Everything from lifting groceries, to getting dressed has become a time consuming and painful ordeal.  I simply do not have full mobility of my shoulder and arm. I must own responsibility for some of the difficulties I am experiencing now.
When my shoulder first started to bother me, I did not go see the doctor.  Once I did see the doctor, she gave me a sheet of exercises to help, and I have been less than diligent about doing them daily, or even weekly. Not surprisingly this has resulted in the condition getting worse, and I now have no alternative but to become diligent or spend my days in chronic pain.

I am in my van reviewing the sheet of time consuming exercises my doctor has given me, while I wait for my son. Sitting here in the parking lot at the skateboard park (again), I look around at the recreation centre, thinking how challenging day to day activities must be for someone with permanent and more encompassing disabilities.
No one casually observing me would notice my shoulder issue, but it impacts my daily life, and my quality of life. I can only imagine the challenges for someone using a wheelchair.
What if access to buildings, activities, and services denied or restricted your ability to actively and fully participate in life.
What impact does something as simple as not finding a parking spot because once again the accessible parking spots are filled with vehicles without permits have?

“I always wondered why somebody doesn’t do something about that. Then I realized I was somebody.” – Lily Thomlin.

This quote keeps coming to mind lately. Is it enough to notice and acknowledge something? Does our citizenship in society not require that we also do something about it. We should be more aware of access, or lack thereof, for those with disabilities or mobility challenges.
What role can we play in increasing awareness, accessibility and services for all? How can we be that person that does something about that?

Do you have ideas, information, resources, or even experiences of access denied? Please share.

Canadian Resources:
Service Canada – People with Disabilities
People with Disabilities Guide – Canadian Centre on Disabilities Studies 

Comments (3)

  • I think we need to start with ourselves and just make sure we are aware that people need these spots and make sure we are not the ones that are stealing these spots from those who need it. I see this all the time with people parking in the spots “for just a sec” or in the parking spots designated for families with small children because they are closer to the doors. It is time we become accountable for our actions and use our voices when we see others doing this.

  • Thanks for reading and taking the time to comment Aneta. I often say something, like Oh did you notice that was a accessible spot that requires a permit. Hope you don’t get caught it is a big fine. I pretend I think they maybe didn’t notice the sign (but we both know they did LOL) At least that way they can save face, and doesn’t escalate the situation, but calls them out on it!

    Cathy Canton
  • Great post, Cathy. My mother-in-law had a brain tumor the other year and now is disabled in that she has a walker and we need to utilize the special parking spots closest to building doors (stores, restaurants, church, doctor’s office, etc). My mother-in-law is a great advocate for herself. She makes it known to all that she requires certain services, certain parking spots, etc. She does her research and knows the right channels to go through. I think it’s important to be pro-active like she is.

    Cathy, I love that you tell people “Oh, did you notice that was an accessible spot that requires a permit. Hope you don’t get caught. It is a big fine.” That is AWESOME! Having a voice, and using it is key. 🙂 I love your approach.

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