Within 1 hour of writing my report on the antics of Bateaux cruising yachts New York I recieved a call from the owner, yes the real owner not a dishwasher or gardener.
He seems genuine, he was disgusted by the acts done in his name and it looks like we may stay in contact to rectify the sins of the past. But hey I won’t hold my breath for that ship to dock, the responsibility to be a decent business man sits fairly with him. This writer names them flames them and then does what many other do not do, I send the story to the offenders. I did this and my phone rang post haste, lets see if my words ring true with him stay tune folks and we’ll see if this sailor is more pop-eye than bluto!
Where’s that pesky compliance? I know I left it somewhere, but not at the New York wedding expo 2012
She who must be obeyed, my darling Ella from time to time because of her high level job in publishing is called on to attend professional expos and soirees. When these events come around If I am required as her plus 1 we go through the usual phone calls, where is it, how does a wheelchair get there are they compliant and accessible?
This weekend only 2 hours after the 2012 Aids walk we are required to attend the NYC wedding expo so she can talk to certain people there about advertising in her magazine.
Ella called me and told me the time, the place. This event is on a boat so she informed me that I could safely get on but only the first level but that was ok the expo was on the first level sounded fine.
Well how do you make god laugh? Simple you tell him your plans! I had a niggling thought the kind that won’t go away, so I rang the cruise line. After 10 minutes on hold, a customer services person painted a picture of a tri-level boat that was so lovely with ramps to every level and accessible bathrooms she made it sound so lovely I almost expected captain stubing waiting to greet me.
Well at the end of this wonderful verbal landscape another little voice said ask for a supervisor
So after being told about a compliant three level boat, and telling her it was the expo on Sunday, the supervisor after another 5 minutes came on the line and began to tell me that yes the single level boat was completely compliant ad as I tried to inform her I was talking about a wedding expo at least three times she finally after hearing or so I thought my information three times told me I would have a lovely time at my sundown wedding friday!
Again I asked a few questions she couldn’t answer, and she said I would get a call back from someone with answers they had them because they were captains or even the owners. Both women were asked If they were on site in new York, both assured me they were talking from the actual wharf where the boats tied up!
Fifteen minutes later the phone rang and I was expecting it because I had been assured an executive who was in charge of the vessels would be calling back. The man who calling back started by telling me a woman in their Chicago call center told him to call because I had questions?Chicago ?wtf so they were not on the wharf, they were not on site, and they were nothing more than an outsourced phone service taking calls!
I explained the mess with two completely different boats and an expo on sunday then one thinking it was a wedding on friday then one saying three stories and one saying single level. He informed me neither was true, well it was a three story boat but and there were no ramps between levels the galleyways(hallways) are not 36 inch compliant they are 28inch-30 at best. There was it seemd a chair lift that I would have to sit in between level one and two but nothing between two and three, and even if I availed myself of the chair lift my wheelchair could not come with me! So if I had listened to the first two, I would have rushed from my Aids walk something Important to me and to my community only to find myself left on the wharf as the boat sailed? If that wasn’t bad enough I asked this man “so it’s your company what are you going to do?” “My company hell no I’m just a wedding co-ordinator who works here”?
So the yacht cruising company organizing the newyork 2012 wedding expo, out sources phone service to liars in other states, who then lie again and tell you the owner will call you back andthey tell you not only are they compliant on every ship, the fleet is 100% compliant and has ramps between all decks.
All this bullshit and all this in breach of federal law and illegal, so to weasel out of it they make a hurried call and grab the first worker walking past and tell him to play Ceo?.
What did they expect? For me to get there dressed to the nines and get out and crawl all over their boat while trying to maintain a professional demeanour? Sure I do that all the time in their dreams. I don’t know about dreams, but the nightmare begins right now because it’s bad enough when a bricks and mortar venue is a disabled death trap waiting to happen but when your in the middle of New York harbor and you’re paraplegic or amputee and there is an emergency you may as well grab your disabled ass and kiss it good bye. Wheelchairs have wheels not floaties, and I am not letting This kind of abuse happen while I’m upright and breathing. So anchors and good business name away, far away when I’m finished. Didn’t you get the memo?
RESPECT OUR EXISTENCE OR EXPECT OUR RESISTANCE
As a Gay Woman I’m told I’m Touchy if I Talk up Gay Rights. As a Disabled Woman, I’m whining? When will the Rhetoric Stop and the Stepping Up Start?
When black people marched in Birmingham, Alabama they were branded “Uppity.” When the LGBT community rioted at Stonewall they were disgusting and unnatural and when the disabled community protests for the rights we are guaranteed by federal law we are called whiners and accused of wanting the world handed to them on a plate.
So let’s get this straight. According to the government, the people elected by the people for the people to represent the needs of the people, if I was a black lesbian paraplegic I would be an uppity, disgusting, unnatural whiner who wants the world handed to them on a plate!
I have a gay, black, disabled friend, and the only label that’s fits her is amazingly talented, strong and empowered woman who earns her own living and pays her own way. Most of all, in this land, she holds a title of American citizen, so the only thing the politicians should be calling any citizen is BOSS. We put you there and we can take you down.
The Congress, the Senate, the House of Representatives and the Executive Branch, whether Republican or Democrat have one thing in common, spin doctors. You ask a question and their reply comes via three departments, 6 public relations experts and 12 interns who live on Google and Bing. Alternatively, we the people, the askers of the question have only the life less lived to base our question on. We are quickly coming up on summer and the most important day of the summer is the 4th of July — AMERICAN INDEPENDENCE DAY. So before the Obama’s, the Boehner’s and the Romney’s go on a photo op kissing babies and scoffing hotdogs it behooves them to make sure that the independence of every citizen is guaranteed.
While New York City thinks it is not their responsibility to work for the disabled, and the federal law that mandates 20% of all federal money for infra structure must be spent on accessibility is being blatantly ignored and yellow cabs are built to allow more suitcases rather than guaranteeing the rights of all who hail them, something is wrong. Disabled and wheelchair-bound people stay locked in, like my friend Lori. In 4 years the landlord of her building will not fix an elevator despite a court order, which by the way has never been enforced.
While any one of these situations are allowed to stand, let alone all of them, there is not and cannot be independence for all.
Yes we have the Al Sharptons’ to fight for the rights of the African American community, and LGBTQ Centers and advocates to fight for the gay, but recently on a trip to both a advocates offices around New York and the New York Gay and Lesbian Center neither (despite it being federal law to be compliant because they are federally funded) none were.
Disability knows no color or religious boundaries, so why should the funding? Start making medical care for wounded warriors immediate. How dare a wounded warrior with a closed head injury who has honorably served his country for a decade have to wait up to 80 days for evaluation let alone treatment? When I needed a wheelchair, despite having paid into insurance for ten years they offered only 500 dollars of six thousand! This has to stop.
Once again and in closing, there are no equal rights for anyone until there are equal rights for all!
We elected you politicians so you don’t get to treat our rights like a buffet at Olive Garden and only help the ones that are palatable in an election year. You were warned elected officials, election year has arrived and your jobs are on the line and you are being made to reapply!
RESPECT OUR EXISTENCE OR GET OUR RESISTANCE
Well, get a load of what William Angel Bailey (Jada Valenciaga) wrote on Facebook about an attempt to go to Pulse karaoke bar on West 41st Street.
“Calling all gay, lesbian, transgendered, bisexual, or ANYONE who is a supporter:
“Last night I tried to go to a friends birthday party at PULSE in drag before I had to be at work. I was not allowed in after being told by the bouncer that ‘they don’t accept my kind’ and following that he proceeded to call me a stripper and say that they have a dress code.
“I proceeded to put on BOY clothes in front of the Bar in order to see my friend and he says ‘We have a dress code.’
“Yet according to another friend who was there, there were boys in jeans and sneakers, which is what I had changed into.
“Needless to say it was one of the most humiliating moments in my life.
“PLEASE send me every number to every LGBT center and organization in NYC. This kind of ignorance cannot and will not stand. We have fought too long just to take 3 steps back. IT’S TIME FOR A CHANGE!”
PS: I’ve asked Pulse bar for comment and will relay it when they respond.
|Mia’s thoughts- The story below is an exception NEVER THE RULE. This is not an excuse for groups like the T.S.A to start, sorry sill me, continue to treat anyone in a wheelchair like a piece of meat because of the one or two criminals who just happen to have wheels under their ass.NOGALES, Ariz. – Federal authorities say a Mexican man tried to smuggle more than 7 pounds of cocaine into Arizona by hiding it in his wheelchair’s seat cushion.
U.S. Customs and Border Protection says the 43-year-old was stopped for further inspection at the Nogales port Sunday after an officer noticed something peculiar about the cushion. Officials say that during the secondary inspection, they found the cocaine in five packages within the seat cushion. CBP officials say the cocaine has an estimated street value of more than $65,000. The man was arrested and turned over to U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement’s Homeland Security Investigations. His name hasn’t been released.
Agents didn’t say whether the man was disabled or was just using the wheelchair to smuggle drugs.
Reposted from a story By Tyler Hayden (Contact)
Disabled Veterans Soar with Eagle Paragliding
Wednesday, May 16, 2012
They can’t walk, but they can fly.
Two paraplegic veterans, members of WheelsUp, a new program that’s training disabled people to paraglide, made a trip to Elings Park last month for a number of solo flights from Santa Barbara’s world-class launch site. Sitting in a custom-made wheelchair suspended below a neon fabric canopy, the vets barreled down the hilltop park’s grassy slope with someone pushing from behind and watching as their wings filled with mild offshore breezes to send them airborne. After soaring above a small swath of the South Coast, the fliers touched down on a designated landing area, high-fived and smiled wide, then did it all again.
Ernie Butler was a pararescuer in the special forces from 1969-1976, completing more than 6,000 skydives in his military career. He was left paralyzed below the waist 15 years ago in a skydiving accident, and he described what it felt like to be back in the air. “It was incredible,” he said. “I was back home.” Butler was quick to compliment the groups that made his return to the blue possible: the University of Utah engineers and students who designed the special wheelchair (called the Phoenix), and Rob Sporrer of S.B.-based Eagle Paragliding, who heads the WheelsUp instructor team with competitive glider Nick Greece.
Butler knew what to expect when it came to the procedure and mechanics of his first solo flight in a wheelchair but wasn’t sure how he would react. Any trepidation melted away when he left the ground. “Everything just worked to perfection,” he said. “If I have my knees in the breeze, I’m a happy camper.” Executive director of the Northwest chapter of Paralyzed Veterans of America — which contributed funding for the program — Butler also runs a camp for disabled kids up in Seattle. Recreation, he believes, is a key motivator for those with limited mobility to feel part of a community and capable of living a regular life.
Darol Kubacz lost the use of his legs in a motorcycle accident 12 years ago but has made it his passion to develop and participate in adaptive extreme sports — rough-and-tumble activities that wheelchair-bound men and women can participate in. The former armored cavalry soldier, for instance, recently scaled Mt. Kilimanjaro in an off-road arm bike. Paragliding caught his eye a few years ago, and he tried to develop his own wheelchair rig by strapping wheels to a mono-ski and attaching it to a harness. After a few rounds of trial and error, Kubacz joined with WheelsUp and has been flying with them since.
“I love what this sport is all about,” he said. “Instead of everyone trying to prove something,” he explained, lamenting the inflated egos that sometimes suffocate the fun out of other extreme sports, “it’s everyone trying to share something.” On the sensation of gliding on his own without propellers or propulsion, Kubacz said, “It’s all I had anticipated and more. It’s the ultimate freedom. It’s the closest anyone can get to experiencing absolute free flight.”
Instructors Sporrer and Greece said they’re still developing and fine-tuning their program’s curriculum, but hope to someday soon expand WheelsUp to other locations around the country. In the meantime, they’ll keep working with Butler, Kubacz, and three other veterans, pushing them literally and figuratively into a place where wings trump wheels
Mia’s thoughts- My Ella was very brave sending me this because even though she is 8 miles and a 45 minute subway ride away she knows that right now I’m googling the words “paragliding” and “disabled” and if I try this she might Google either “insane asylum” that’s wheelchair accessible or “divorce attorney.” These people and these activities are the very things that serve notice to the assuming able bodied community that to look down upon us is to stare at an empty space because while they’re jumping to conlclusions were jumping from planes or from one cliff face to the next. The days of sorry for themselves, wheelchair bound, pitiful looking, gimps went out as quick as Monica Lewinski from a Clinton White House. I’m here to tell you in all seriousness my ass will be under a canopy soaring before my next birthday. After I have done adaptive rowing and oh yes, did I tell you I’m starting a wheelchair martial arts dojo, so be warned muggers next time you try to mug one of us in a wheelchair we may not be able to kick but do you really want to find out where we would hit you with a head butt????