Monday, 26 March 2012

An Amazing Spring Break, and Frustrating Accessibility Issues!

Hello everyone! Back from spring break, ready for the rest of the school year!  I had an amazing and very busy spring break! I started it off with a week of sit skiing in Kimberley for the Canadian Association of Disabled Skiers skiing festival! Unfortunately the weather didn’t really hold up, so I ended up skiing three times! When I did go out I had an amazing time! I had the two most amazing instructors who showed me a wonderful time! Especially when they put up with my carsickness, which I suffered from a couple of times! I even got to see one of my instructors from last year, who retired, so unfortunately I didn't get to ski with him this year... But that made my day to be able to see him! On Sunday I went to Panorama to ski with my best friend Katie, and ended up skiing with an instructor I haven’t seen since last year! I had an amazing time, and even went off a couple of small jumps! Definitely made my heart go pitter pat! All and all I had such a great time with great people that I will never forget! My second week was spent in Saskatoon with my auntie, who is unfortunately in the hospital. I had an amazing time with her, she has a great attitude despite her circumstances and we had a lot of fun laughing and joking! I haven’t seen her in five years, so it was great to see her! I also had a great time with my mom’s friend, who we stayed with. She took us to this amazing bookstore that had a cute café inside of it. That was my dream place! I love places like that! The café has the most amazing carrot cake I have ever tasted! I love carrot cake!!! But Saskatoon is not a very wheelchair accessible place! Vancouver is the most wheelchair accessible place I have been to, and that is because they had a mayor who is disabled and in a wheelchair! I think that unless someone has experienced what I have to put up with, they don’t ever fully understand the importance of the things that make my life so much easier! For example, I don’t like how we have a sign on the side of our van that asks people not to park beside us so I can get out of the car, and people don’t even look, and park beside us anyway! And even if we do park in the handicapped zone, they are never big enough for me to unload, and people park beside us there too! It is very rare that we find a handicapped parking space that has a striped zone beside it for ramps. In my opinion, they should have at least one of those in every public place! It makes my life so much easier! And I should know! The other thing that is very hard for me is when bathroom stalls aren’t big enough! I have to park like a car just to get in the bathroom, and then there is no room for my mom to come in. This happens with every public bathroom we use! Sometimes I can’t get into a bathroom because they are too small, so I have to wait until we can find one that’s bigger! Let me ask you, is that right!? There are lots of disabled people who might have to use the bathroom! So again, for people like myself, who have wheelchairs and need full assistance in the bathroom, it would be really nice if every public place would have a BIG accessible bathroom! These are two things we have to consider every time I go outside! And nobody really considers these things! I only had one business in town come to me and ask me what they could do to make things more accessible, and I said a big bathroom, a raised toilet, and lots of space inside the store. Every person who has a business should be going to someone disabled and asking them what they could do to make their store more accessible. Man would that make things nicer. And how hard is it to ask? Not hard at all!
Anyway, sorry for rambling! My spring break was amazing; I met amazing people and had an amazing time with old friends and family! I call that, a great holiday! 

1 comment:

  1. Hi Grace,
    Wowee!! You get around girl! And I'm with you, I don't know what it's like to have trouble accessing a bathroom but I can tell you exactly how mad I'd be if I needed one and couldn't use it. I'd be screaming at someone!!
    If you keep speaking your mind, I believe it makes a difference. One parking lot, one business you like to frequent, one act of cooperation at a time, and you can change things -- not just for yourself, but for every visitor or new resident to Fernie who needs special access. Wouldn't it be amazing if Fernie became as wheelchair friendly as Vancouver?
    Great blog, and glad to hear your spring break was amazing! see you soon.