Learning to not take accessibility for granted

Accessibility is an astronomical importance for day-to-day lives. Disabilities whether physical or not come with limitations when handling the outside world. It is essential that we work toward decreasing the hardships that non able-bodied people must experience.

After a fall, I was put in a boot and given a knee scooter so I could get around. Not only does this come with physical hardships like cramping and soreness but comes with many other difficult situations.

A common experience amongst people who are not able-bodied is having to deal with bathroom stalls. In most public bathrooms there is only one large stall for disabled people and many able-bodied people take advantage of the stall as well. 

Only a week after my injury, when I couldn’t put any sort of weight on my foot, I was forced to wait outside the one disabled stall at a store while four to five regular stalls were open next to me. The person inside the stall was a worker at the store and was using it to be on their phone. This is a common occurrence that also happens at the high school, students using the bigger stalls for their convenience instead of their needs. 

Disabled bathroom stalls are not only made big to fit wheelchairs and scooters into them, but also made so that if need be the paramedics are able to get in and out of the stall easily. For example, if someone with epilepsy has a seizure in the bathroom, the paramedics can treat them and make sure they are safe much easier in a bigger stall. There is also more space to prevent them from hurting themselves.

Another example of a difficult situation in our own high school is the staircases. Due to being in a scooter, I cannot go upstairs so I must use the elevator, which is on one side of the school. Multiple times a day I must go from the complete opposite side of the school to the other, just so I can make my way up or downstairs. 

Being able bodied is a gift, something that I have learned throughout my experience of not being able to walk around freely these past two months. We must be compassionate and show kindness to others who are forced through hurdles many are born without.

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