Today a good friend of mine contacted me with an offer to participate in something that, should I win, I could get an all expense paid cruise vacation. Ella and I have looked at cruises because we thought that might be fun, but decided against it because of how few of them, if any, are truly 100% wheelchair accessible.
For as much as I appreciate the willingness of family and friends to help get me from point A to point B, over hurdles and through spots that are less than accessible, that doesn’t make those places wheelchair accessible. Its important that people understand that wheelchair accessibility doesn’t mean that someone like myself has to go through a “special” side entrance passed the dark alley and the garbage dumpster to get into the restaurant. It doesn’t mean that I have to roll through the freight elevator area to get into the hotel lobby and it doesn’t mean that someone in a wheelchair has to go through the dingy staff hallways on a cruise ship, up the staff elevator to get to the beautiful dinning hall. And it also doesn’t mean that its accessible because my wife is willing to run around getting doors unlocked and furniture moved and people to light up dark hallways for me to get down.
Wheelchair accessibility means that if my wife wants to stay laying on a lounge by the pool on the luxury liner and I want to grab a cocktail at the ship lounge, we can both do those things all on our own. Sadly, from all the calls I’ve made to cruise companies, I have yet to find one, that when prompted, is actually truly and completely wheelchair accessible.
Its either you are accessible or you are not.. there is no half way.