Sunday, October 25, 2015

Same old story: Macy's broken elevator

I could probably write about things being inaccessible every day. Tales of broken elevators, of me being stuck somewhere, of people kind of caring, but not enough to do anything about it. The same angry write up every week.  But then those are the things that happen to me. They happen quite frequently. I'm sorry this blog isn't more entertaining, but that's what my life is like. I face stairs and steps, buses leave me behind, I can't get places or I get upset when someone without a special tag parks in a handicapped spot. I'm on a mission, but this mission is my life. This is my world- and I started the Florida Disability Access and Awareness Foundation to change it. While I may never accomplish this goal- I will surely try. But I have no delusions. It will always be a part of my day as I am the guinea pig, the driving force, the motivation behind it. It's a vessel, a channel, a vision and a dream. And it will never be done. And I know that it's connected to me probably much more than to any of my co-workers, who listen, who understand, who encourage, who cheer along but who never truly experience- because they don't have  a disability. For me a disability issue can creep up while I'm out shopping or out at the movies, or going home. And it always hits me directly. And emotions always run high.  Please, please, visit to learn more about all the ways you can help.

So, what's new? Same old story. Two weeks ago I wrote about the broken lift to the cinema room on the UF Campus and I just wanted to watch a movie. Last Saturday I just wanted to get a hair cut. I'm in court on Wednesday in Palm City and I needed to look presentable. I have a person I go to every time to make me look lawyer-like. It was not supposed be a big production. I go to the local shopping center- The Oaks Mall to get a hair cut, grab some food coffee and occasionally by a T-shirt or cologne. I wasn't looking for trouble, I was just there. The bus drops you off by the entrance to Macy's. You need to take the elevator to go up the second floor to get to the mall. Last Saturday I was there to get a hair cut, but the elevator was broken. Apparently it was out of service second day in a row. My first reaction? Not this again. It wasn't that I was angry at any particular person, but I just that waste an hour and I can't get a haircut. And I have to go again. What do I do? I spoke to sales manager, I gave her my card. I told her how we want to partner with Macy's to educate them, talk to them about disability needs and the ADA. How we have an awareness program called Wheelchaired for a Day that allows the employees to experience the limited mobility perspective. We will reach out to them on Monday. And I do hope that they will reach back. Our ideas need powerful, corporate sponsors. And I hope Macy's will be on board.

But how do I get in to the Mall... Getting through any of the other stairs requires rolling uphill essentially up one floor to get to the mall entrance. The next store is Dillard's, but the road is steep, I'm out in the street navigating between cars and parking lots. I don't feel safe. I will roll back, or get hit by a car, I shouldn't be out there and no one is there to help me. Luckily, half way up they yell after me from Macy's that the elevator is now fixed. Solved. For now. Until next time.

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