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    • #12911
      Cyndi B
      Participant

      This started with my reply (repeated in part below) to an August 10, 2018 article by Jamie Hughes, regular MS columnist.  In short, Jamie spoke to the importance of unabashed personal advocacy.  It was just the push I needed and, now, I hope you, MS Forum readers, can contribute to my crusade with your thoughts, experiences, warnings, and ideas.

      Here’s the back story:  Just this morning, while at a local coffee shop, my husband and I were discussing the public place barrier limitations to disabled persons.  Barriers not addressed by the current accessibility requirements under Title III/ADA public accommodation/commercial facilities.  Barriers that exist not just for persons with MS but for all persons with any manner of disability or mobility limitation — whether it be a chronic medical issue or our aging society.  I commend the ADA for the advances in removing many structural barriers…but, ‘cmon, that was 28 years ago now.  The baby steps were great but it’s time to walk.  What was acceptable for access 28 years ago is no longer enough in today’s world of persons with disabilities possessing/desiring far greater independence.  In short, I don’t just want to GET to your front door on my own.  Rather, whether it be the front door or the restroom door I don’t  want to wait for someone to come to my rescue with assistance.

      So, here’s my voice, my cause, my crusade.  Mandatory installation of an automatic door (i) at the entrance to a business, and (ii) to at least one unisex bathroom.

      I welcome ALL comments positive and negative.  I want to start mapping out the hurdles, identifying allies, and finding common ground.  My wonderful husband gets credit for bugging me for the past year to take this on, and Jamie Hughes gets credit for her article in MS News Today.  Whether it was “a sign” or a swift kick in the rear — I have gotten off complacent quiet.  I have a voice.  I hope you will contribute yours.  Thanks.

      • This topic was modified 3 years, 5 months ago by Debi Wilson.
      • This topic was modified 3 years, 5 months ago by Ed Tobias. Reason: Removed extranious HTML code
    • #12925
      Ed Tobias
      Keymaster

      I agree, Cyndi. I’m amazed at how many VERY public places fail to have an automatic door at their entrances. I’ve developed quite a technique for getting through with my scooter, but that shouldn’t be necessary.

      (I’ve also taken the liberty, as a moderator, of cleaning up all of the HTML code that, somehow, appeared on your post and made it difficult to read).

      Ed

    • #12926
      Debi Wilson
      Member

      Great cause Cyndi!
      I get so frustrated with lack of Assessability!

      Just the other day I was at a restaurant and the main door to get into the bathroom was to narrow for my wheelchair. It would have been to unsafe to “wall walk” and embarrassing! I won’t go back, but, I will contact the restaurant for the sake of other disabled patrons.

    • #12927
      Cyndi B
      Participant

      Thank you Ed and Debi.  I know this is a huge uphill battle but I want to at least bring attention to it.  No, I don’t believe we will see an automatic door installed in every business overnight…but if national big box stores can do it…smaller national brands can as well.  There will need to be some manner of sliding scale…number of employees? gross revenue? % income from walk in/OTC sales?  Like you Ed, I can wrestle my way thru most doors, 1/2 because I’m able and 1/2 because I’m willing.  Regrettably, not all persons with mobility disabilities are so fortunate.  Those who choose, or default to, dropping out of society because they fear the obstacles need a voice and, ultimately, the ability to reengage in public life without embarrassment or fear of “what happens when I need to go to the bathroom?”  Generally speaking, I think we are uncomfortable with seeing handicapped people…not because of any ill will but, rather, because we’re not sure how to act, what to (or not to) say.  I recently saw the movie Mamma Mia II.  An early scene takes place in a busy restaurant.  When the camera panned over the restaurant I was pleasantly struck by the fact that there was a woman in a wheelchair eating in the restaurant.  That alone was enough for me…the simple recognition that disabled people exist, go out to dinner, and interact in society.  But wait!  When the restaurant scene turns into a full fledged song and dance number and the woman in the wheelchair figures prominently in the sketch I was ready to contact the film’s producers, writers and choreographers and say “Thank You!!!”.  Such a huge statement without saying a single word.

      Again, this is not only an MS issue but it’s where I’m starting.  Other persons with mobility disabilities, veterans, and senior citizens would all benefit from greater access.  Instead of telling a wounded warrior “thank you for your service” why aren’t we doing something that reintegrates the person into public life through fully accessible places of business?

      [Ed, thanks also for the HTML code clean up.  And Debi, love your reference to wall walking…every time I do the same it’s with thoughts of the irony of my years telling my children when they were young to “keep their hands off the walls”.  Of course, as a friend reminded me…my hands were not covered in PB&J!]

    • #12928
      Debi Wilson
      Member

      lol Cyndi, about wall walking and PB&J!!
      I was remembering when visiting the hospital (of all places) they had so many heavy fire doors I had to manipulate through! It was terrible!

    • #12929
      Jacqueline
      Participant

      Slightly going away from your main topic but a recent thing I have now come across since living here in Dorset UK, I am assuming this is Countrywide….is that when I was recently out in a local touristy park venue…when I went towards the loos in my then new travel mobility scooter, the disabled loos were locked, all other loos were open…When I asked a disabled lady who was venturing out of it,  I asked her ” how did you just get in and out of that loo ” the disabled lady was friendly and replied…” I have a Radar Key ” …..Well I had no clue what she was referring to, she told me where she got it, a council website..It is a cheap looking plastic type key that will allow any disabled person access to various disabled loos anywhere, which are locked for everyone else….These keys are only for the disabled…

      Oh yes, that term of ” wall walking ” is what I do at least a couple of times with my eyes closed through the night…from my bed to my en-suite loo and back…I walk the narrow corridor between two wardrobes…

      • This reply was modified 3 years, 5 months ago by Jacqueline.
      • This reply was modified 3 years, 5 months ago by Jacqueline.
      • This reply was modified 3 years, 5 months ago by Jacqueline.
    • #12939
      Cyndi B
      Participant

      Jacqueline,
      While at a restaurant in Oxford 2 years ago I first encountered the disabled loos when the manager noticed my confusion at how to open the door.  I was in my wheelchair and he said something like “oh, let me help, you must have forgotten your card”.  Saying “sorry, I didn’t know I needed a card” he realized I was from the U.S. and told me a little about the Radar Card system in the U.K.  Pretty cool!  Maybe an idea for the U.S. to consider.  Thanks!

    • #12941
      Ed Tobias
      Keymaster

      OK, ladies. How do we Yanks get a radar card when we’re visiting in the UK?

      Ed

    • #12949
      Cyndi B
      Participant

      Sorry Ed – that was my only encounter with the Radar Card. Hopefully Jacqueline can provide us both more details.

    • #12950
      Jacqueline
      Participant

      Ed, good question and not one I completely know the correct answer to….I feel there maybe several websites all offering these keys, as these keys are not free, but can be purchased for a minimal charge….but these sites maybe not be the correct or legitimate sites to purchase from…I have come across what is classed as ” The Official Site..”….Don’t forget these keys are even a new one on me…I have still yet to purchase one myself seeings I rarely go anywhere, nor get taken anywhere, but it would certainly be handy to have hold of one…Link…

       

      https://www.radarkey.org/

      http://www.radarkey.org/

       

       

      • This reply was modified 3 years, 5 months ago by Jacqueline.
    • #12952
      Jacqueline
      Participant
    • #12953
      Jacqueline
      Participant

      I am wondering how these sites vet the people who are purchasing these keys online, that they are actually disabled?

    • #12954
      Cyndi B
      Participant

      Jacqueline,

      Thanks  for the great info on Radar Keys.   Not only will I look to obtain one next time I’m in the UK, but will definitely keep this information as a terrific reasonable accommodation idea that could be implemented in the US.

    • #12956
      Jacqueline
      Participant

      Cyndi…

      ….you are welcome, I  just wished I could have been more knowledgeable in answering Eds question….Just found another ” Only Legitimate ” site for purchasing these keys….Seems like a bit of a minefield out there…” will the real legitimate and only website who deals with these keys, please stand up and show yourself..” although all three links tend to be legitimate as far as I am concerned, I would be happy to purchase from any one of my chosen three website links…The Blue Badge website I am assuming already hold the details of all disabled people, as you have to register disabled to be able to hold a Blue Badge as I now hold one, and the badge has to be displayed at the car window for proof….Link…

       

      https://www.disabilityrightsuk.org/shop/official-and-only-genuine-radar-key

      • This reply was modified 3 years, 5 months ago by Jacqueline.
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