For the 16 almost 17 years that I have called New York home whenever the 7 train pulls up at queensboro plaza to connect with N or the Q or reverse either way the connection is always right across the platform.
The signs around the subway stations have been advertising that the seven would stop at queens boro plaza instead of going all the way to grand central What they didn’t say was that when the q or the n got to queens boro plaza on the way to connect with the 7 to take us home to flushing that they had decided to stop it 40 feet below its normal platform at a station with no elevator.
So we approached the station customer service person pointed out there screw up had myself and any other disabled person crawling down 40 ft. of steep angled stairs on our asses his reply “no one forced you to catch a train”?
If you as a wheelchair using person catch the same train to connect to the same train for 16 years and it is always 10 feet across a flat platform you assume without public announcement it always will be.
Not tonight, I was forced to crawl out of my wheelchair onto the scummy slimy staircase floor then with Ella holding Zeus’s leash and a stranger carrying my chair for me to the bottom I was stepped over abused, sworn at laughed at and photographed and all the while not a single person helped or offered but the MTA public assistant officer did walk down the stairs past me and totally ignored me?
Way to go MTA my dignity was left at the top of the stairs and I’m probably on YouTube but when I have finished with the MTA they will be wishing I was on a plane to anywhere else.
I have often written on these pages about the ends my darling goes to to pre plan our days out, and today was no different.
Ella was informed by a client mid-week about a new Aussie eatery called flinders lane, Aussie beer, Aussie tucker and wheelchair accessible? Can it get any better? Yes they had beer from my home town, now Ella not being one to listen to hearsay rang the establishment and a young very Aussie voice said “accessible yes we are pretty well and if you need help we will work it out”
Now our Buddhist group had an exhibition of ancient Buddhist relics, so we went to Tibet house then we went organic food shopping in union square and had lunch at the ever amazing W hotel then we thought let’s roll to the new Aussie eatery and check them out for another time? So we rolled all the way to ave A and we found it.
And as an aussie I was embarrassed as a breed were normally pretty smart, but as you see below their version of accessible was to have a 6 inch step then barely two feet then the ramp which enters through a door so narrow my knuckles scraped on each door jamb. Then we turned to see the bar and it was down another 6-8 inch step?
Who puts a step in front of a ramp?
There excuse “no one has complained before” WHEN WILL AMERICA GET THE MESSAGE WE DON’T TRAVEL WITH MUSCLEBOUND ASSISTANTS TO LIFT US, WE DON’T TRAVEL WITH PORTABLE RAMPS.
ACCESSIBLE MEANS ACCESSIBLE, IT MEANS WE CAN ROLL FROM THE STREET TO THE BAR FLAT OUT ON LEVEL GROUND PERIOD, THAT’S NOT MY OPINION IT’S FEDERAL LAW.
Federal law just like the health code, just like the liquor laws, just like the building code you don’t get to open by abiding by only half.
Get it together flinders lane you failed the AMERICANS WITH DISABILITIES ACT and don’t get me started on your bullshit excuse for an Aussie menu or wine list.
Yesterday morning, like every other Wednesday morning for the last 6 months has found me in the vicinity of 13th and 5th aver for PTSD therapy.
Yesterday I found myself two hours before therapy with nothing to do, So I rolled down 6th ave to greenwhich, Someone told me that citarella has vegemite so I rolled into their 6th ave store near 10th ave.
As I approached the electric door it opened and hit something so it only opened three quarters. I sat halfway in the door and halfway out asking for staff but no one came so I got louder, and finally a woman came and asked rudely what the problem is “the door won’t open “ I said, she looked and said it’s the baskets Sorry?
She replied ‘what are we meant to do?” move them so she called someone in Spanish and they proceeded to move over 100 plastic shopping baskets stacked along the wall of the entry way after a few complaints .
After ten minutes I could finally enter and the door opened completely, As I rolled in a Hispanic man in his fifties in a white coat rushed up to me and said quite abruptly “what’s the problem?”, I said to him “it’s solved now there were baskets stacked blocking the doorway but they were moved “, well I told them to put them back mothers in strollers never have a problem, it’s just your kind in wheelchairs that always whine and complain he said.
I looked over my shoulder and all the orange plastic baskets were back blocking the doorway.
As I rolled quickly around the store every second aisle was blocked by boxes and displays. As I rolled back towards the door to leave I spoke to the manager, and his first response again was mothers with strollers don’t have problems just wheelchair users again and again” He also was mutterrring about “damn dogs in his store”
So the most famous name in upmarket food stores in Manhattan, is run by a bigoted law-breaking idiot who goes out of his way to harass the dis and otherwise abled.
Well mr “mothers with strollers never complain” I will be whining all the way to corporate about your inane offensive utterings.
Reposted from a story online By DAN RIVOLI October 12, 2014
Nearly 25 years after the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990 became law, more of the transportation network has opened up to people who use wheelchairs, walking aids or are visually impaired. Yet much of it is still off limits, frustrating advocates and the disabled riders who must pre-plan their travels well in advance and plot roundabout routes to get to their destinations.
“There are very critical gaps in performance that must be addressed if people with disabilities are going to be able to be part of the economy, the social life of the city,” said Susan Dooha, executive director of the Center for Independence of the Disabled, New York. “Progress is very painfully slow.”
The MTA is the only agency that must provide paratransit service, through Access-A-Ride, a door-to-door van service with a bad reputation that is expensive, to boot. Riders pay $2.50 but the trip gets a $66 subsidy. It’ll cost $450 million to operate this year and make 6.8 million trips, according to MTA projections. Facing a steep rise in cost and ridership, the MTA in recent years has made eligibility stricter, started brokering car services that now account for about 25% of paratransit trips and last year sent out nearly 31,000 “Zero-Fare” MetroCards, which provide free access to the system.
For Hollan George, a 26-year-old from Canarsie who has been in a wheelchair since 2010 after he was struck by cars while walking, ditching Access-A-Ride means he can travel on his own terms instead of waiting for a service that is “way off” half the time.
“I prefer transportation for my own reasons, being independent, being able to get around without having to depend on some transportation service to come pick me up — return to a state of normalcy, getting around myself,” George said.
But his main gripe with subway travel is the number of stations off limits to him — 82 out of 468 subway stations are fully accessible, with 89 set to be completed by the end of this year.
“I know in a fairy tale world, there would be elevators at every stop,” said George, who added that he would want at least 75% of the stations accessible.
But even that is fantasy given the subway system’s age and the feasibility of fitting certain stations with elevators. The MTA set a goal in 1994 to make 100 “key” stations accessible by 2020. “We wanted to allocate available resources at locations that would have the most impact,” MTA spokesman Kevin Ortiz said.
Over the next five years, the MTA plans to spend $561 million to bring the final 11 stations on their list of key stops up to ADA compliance. There is also $100 million in the plan for accessibility improvements at another 21 stations for a total of 40 wheelchair-accessible non-key stops.
Even with these improvements, using the subway requires planning ahead of time.
“It can be very difficult trying to figure out where to go, how to get there, what’s the correct way to do a lot of things,” said Dustin Jones, a 26-year-old advocate from Hollis who is a board member for Disabled in Action.
He co-created an app, Wheely NYC, so people in wheelchairs such as himself can travel on the rails with the least number of hurdles. The app devises routes through accessible stations and keeps track of problems with elevators.
But even with working elevators, getting on the train can be a hassle when the cars don’t align with platforms, creating a gap wheelchairs must climb over — Jones said his wheels have gotten stuck before.
Above ground, taxis are shouldering paratransit services, but the number of accessible cabs in the fleet is paltry. There are 572 yellow taxis and 809 green boro taxis that can take wheelchairs — just 4.2% and 14% of the fleets, respectively, according to the Taxi and Limousine Commission. The city wants half of the yellow car fleet accessible by 2020, funded in part through a 30-cent surcharge set to go into effect early next year.
“New York City is supposed to be the greatest city in the United States, in the world,” Jones said. “London has 100% wheelchair-accessible taxis. How are we the United States, New York City, and we can’t even get that done?”
The TLC offers a yellow taxi dispatch service in Manhattan that provides nearly 150 rides a day and a list of car services on its website that can send out a green boro taxi, but those companies can be unreliable.
Jessica Tambor, a 28-year-old from Whitestone who teaches computers after school, said bases she called offered more excuses than cars.
“Some said they didn’t have any available and some didn’t have any cabs at all or didn’t even know what I was talking about,” she said recounting her calls for a car on a Friday evening in Brooklyn this past July. She had a similar experience in August trying to book a car in Queens. (A TLC spokesman said in response that the lists will be reviewed for compliance.)
Closing the accessibility gap is on the mind of city officials. At an expo in downtown Brooklyn for Access to Independence Day last month, the city Department of Transportation’s ADA coordinator Quemuel Arroyo recalled how he took a yellow taxi to his NYU dorm following a 10-month rehab from a mountain biking accident seven years ago that required him to use a wheelchair. Friends made during the rehab process went home, he said.
“I find it unsettling that my experiences after rehab were atypical,” he said at the news conference. “They moved in with their families and they stopped school. They would tell me how hard it was for them to get around the city, they would say how awful they felt needing someone to help them navigate the streets and public transportation.”
I was just reading the New Yorker magazine, the story was about the spate of fake service animals and in the story the journalist stated that all service animal handlers must carry letters from doctors, this is blatantly incorrect.
The Americans with disabilities act is very clear there is no paperwork carried and the only questions anyone in any business are legally allowed to ask are-
1/ IS IT A SERVICE ANIMAL?
2/ WHAT SERVICE DOES IT PROVIDE?
Yes this system may leave it’s self-open to abuse, but the abuse I am more worried about and I have personally suffered is stories like this wrongly informing people through newspapers and multimedia incorrectly that they can throw me out if I do not possess nonexistent paperwork.
I have been violently attacked in multiple establishments and police needed to be called and in every case the police backed me and threatened the restaurant with federal violations for the abuse.
Again the only information any dis or otherwise abled person using the services of a service animal is required by law to provide is
1/whether or not it is a service animal
2/ what service it provides- I.E. seizure support
Journalists stop writing fluff pieces just to fill empty space that can in this case get people hurt seriously hurt.
Service animals such as my Zeus save my life every day, he provides support every time I have a seizure and knows what’s needed when PTSD hits I would not be alive today without Zeus.
Remember every day 21 returned soldiers commit suicide because of PTSD when the simple companionship of a trained dog could lower those numbers.
So which is more important human life or selling newspapers?
GAY MARRIAGE IS WRONG THE FOUNDING FATHERS SAID SO
WE HAVE THE RIGHT TO BEAR ARMS, THE FOUNDING FATHERS GUARANTEED IT
GIVE THE POWER TO THE STATES IT’S WHAT THE FOUNDING FATHERS WANTED
The republicans, every time they are cornered without an intelligent thought at their reach grab at the founding fathers and blame them or claim they say it is wrong! But have they ever actually read the words the founding fathers wrote? The thoughts they had the intent behind their declarations?
The republican party of the United States claims moral high ground, but they are constantly outed for serious acts of immorality. They claim to be devout grass roots Christians but they are arrested for dui and divorced for infidelity.
They regularly spout medical claims on the workings of the female anatomy that are so ridiculous that any mere micron of intelligence they may have had is called immediately into question.
Thomas Jefferson wrote “every generation must have a revolution” in his time it meant the taking of arms against the oppressor. Another founding father once declared that “for the tree of liberty to survive and grow every few generations it must be watered with the blood of patriots”
We the people no matter what party affiliation, hopefully in 2014 have moved passed the literal spilling of blood and can use the technology of the day to fight to shine a light under the bushel of those who would stand against us.
We marched for 17 years before we were finally granted the freedom for we the gay community to marry, The states now over 40 of them are falling into line like dominoes. Just last week 6 in one day granted the right for gays to marry.
We the disabled fought for our rights until in the last quarter of the 20th century we finally won the Americans with disabilities act into law.
Yet with all our rights granted we stand idly by while the ADA is the most under enforced act in federal law, and stop and frisk walks all over the civil rights act an act that blood was spilled to guarantee fair and equal treatment of people of color. But do we shout hell no? Do we come out in numbers to vote? No we still roll our wheelchairs on broken streets and crawl down subway staircases because elevators never work if they exist at all.
We are the generation that is being walked and rolled over by a republican party that on the night a black president was elected held a dinner party where in that room they all agreed their only responsibility until they got him out of office was to vote down everything he and the democrats put up for vote?
So because Obama is guilty of being president while black, we the people returned vets,the disabled, immigrants from all over the world, women and people of color will continue to suffer because the republicans decided that Obama could walk into congress with the secret to world peace in one hand arm in arm with Arabs and Israelis loving each other and a cure for cancer in the other and the republicans would call foul and order another investigation into Benghazi!
So let’s stop whining we the people,we this generation are overdue for a revolution. Forget tea into a harbor or dying at our Alamo, lets hold all politicians to their word irrelevant of party and let them know if equality and freedom for all is not enforced as rule of law, if women do not get equal pay for equal work, if minimum wage is not brought up to a level where workers can live in dignity and speaking of dignity our veterans our finest our bravest can come home and whether physically wounded or living with PTSD can recieve competent care when they need it not when the fed decides it is a good photo op for re-election then they won’t be re-elected.
Bring home our veterans now, keep your election promises and get out of other countries fights. The middle east with all its factions have been fighting since the time of Christ and will be fighting 2,000 years from now, whether were there or not. So let’s come home and spend the money on our own people, stop homelessness amongst veterans,a hero coming home to live in a public park is our greatest shame. Eighty percent of all homeless veterans live with untreated mental illness, re-organize the VA or get rid of it and pay for private care for veterans.
Why is this rant on a blog for the disabled? Because when any person or group acts in such a deleterious manner to the wellbeing of its citizens they are creating a future generation of dis and otherwise abled people.
We have homeless vets and vets living below the poverty line with employment?
Stop employing TSA recruits from the gang bangers are us club and reward trained men and women you have already trusted with the defense of the nation by giving them jobs in TSA when they leave the military.
People ask me why I am so angry, I ask why they are not? Without an angry nation we will eventually have no nation at all. Step up education, reclaim the titles America once held of number one in sciences and math’s and engineering and yes space exploration. The sad thing is 90% of our phone technology comes from a small country the size of new jersey we love to hate called Israel. We a country of 300 million are the best at killing and invading but last in the list at creating anything worthwhile.
We have an election in less than 2 months if you don’t stand up in revolution at the disgusting standards that our congress and senate present then stop whining you get what you give and ultimately what you deserve.
Rolling down the train platform at flushing main st station this morning and a rather rotund Chinese woman suddenly appeared dangerously close in front of me causing me to come to a screeching halt, being barely seven thirty am I said in a normal voice “
excuse me” to which my rotund friend screamed FUCKING EXCUSE ME ? YOU NO SAY EXCUSE ME and the screaming about how dare I talk I talk to her continued for several minutes.
Now when I grew up if that happened the rotund woman would’ve said politely “oh I’m sorry didn’t see you” to which I would’ve replied ” no it’s quite alright” or some similar polite exchange.
It really wasn’t until the wheels under my ass became permanent that I realized just how animalistic society has become,I get all the usual responses like ” it’s Newyork get used to it” but as I have written before since when is geography an excuse for inhumanity?
Since the dawn of time country folk have said city folk were rude and mid town has accused uptown of a lack of couth and the apples five boroughs all each claim to be better than e other but sorry big apple not only when it comes to manners has the worm infested the apple the worm died and the Apple is putrefied.
Before my Aussie friends and London friends. All cry aloud “oh no would never happen here ” just because you have a sweeter accent doesn’t make the rudeness any more bearable.
wake up world isil and alqueda don’t have to take down our society from outside with a total lack of manners caring and compassion for one and another they can in short order simply buy the ruins at a garage sale!