Two days ago I finally posted the post below in an attempt to help dis and otherwise abled tourists and fellow new yorkers
G’day folks as some of you know I am a wheelchair using paraplegic Aussie, well how is this of interest? well for most of the 17 years I have lived here as most of us do I have played host to visiting mates and showed them the town.
well starting the 15th of January I am offering a service finding accessible tourist features, restaurants hotels and such for the dis and otherwise abled tourists from down under and everywhere else. It is not as easy as you think, also the…e subway travel information for disabled , did you know there are 468 subway stations but only 60 disabled access elevators between 20 stations? yes for instance on the Q train if you miss your stop for a concert at the Barclay center there is not another wheelchair elevator till coney island, and if you’re catching the 1 to 72nd street to the john Lennon memorial and miss your stop there is not another elevator till inwood?
So email me at firstname.lastname@example.org and title it wheels, for a small charge I will host disabled tourists and also give advice on where a wheelchair user can and cannot go in this great city. It’s taken ten years of trial and error to accumulate this info and no there is no other complete list of these services the mta only updates twice a day and they are never accurate .
I posted the post above on several sites on facebook, for ex patriot Aussies living in Australia, I got a lot of encouragement from fellow Aussies.
I also however got a response from a woman that went something like this
“what a great idea you should expand it to mothers with strollers, because they have all the same problems wheelchair users have it’s just as difficult”
Now before all my wheeled friends decry her, I will say in her defense she is a lovely woman just an uninformed lovely woman she later apologized after I pointed out the severe mistakes in her logic.
But unfortunately I hear this and am judged by people with this attitude on an almost daily basis.
1/ I have been physically dragged backwards out of a elevator for the disabled by a husband because his wife was screaming that it was just as hard for her.
2/ I have had the lord mayor of the Australian city of Adelaide, the honorable Mr yarwood tell me when he was posting about their wonderful bike lanes and I replied now just fix your sidewalks he stated his wife and him have life just as difficult as the wheelchair community because they push a stroller.
when I told him he was wrong I was internationally flamed, but lets look at this
1/ a child grows out of the stroller, the struggles ,and yes there are many are only for a short time
2/ when a woman with a stroller reaches a staircase with her stroller the child can be picked up and the stroller folded and strangely people are more likely to help a woman with a baby.
3/ A woman with a child has never been forced to crawl on disgusting slimy new york subway floors up stairs 100ft to the surface, because the elevator they’re waiting for is broken and the one they just got off just broke and they are stuck 100 feet under ground.
4/ If the stroller breaks 10 miles from home you can pick up the baby (yes it’s a pain in the ass) and buy a new stroller and you can walk.
If a paraplegic suddenly finds themselves with a cracked frame , a broken caster or a flat Tyre they instantly are helpless and most cities do not have a store on every corner selling mike box, colors or ti or mogo chairs and repairs so were screwed.
4/when a woman has her husband or mother or a girlfriend with her and the chair breaks they can help carry the baby ,the shopping , when a paraplegic or a quadriplegic or someone with any one of over a thousand diagnosis that puts you in a chair has a broken chair and they weigh a couple of hundred pounds they can’t be picked up and put in a baby bjorn so again were screwed.
Get the difference? Don’t get me wrong, I had two kids and my oldest son was a huge baby and he was intellectually disabled and severely hyperactive. it’s a bitch pushing a stroller and corralling out of control toddlers but THEY GROW UP.
We the disabled are like this for ever, So please before you compare us to someone pushing a stroller, a bicycle, a shopping trolly please think first there is no comparison.