As you may or may not know, this blog has recently been revived!
Below is an excerpt from a Twitter conversation I had saved but never published.
I didn't know about the public hearings prior to construction of the Grandview Aquatic Centre, but if I had, I would have added my voice.
— Marianna Paulson (@AuntieStress) March 23, 2013
"The pool will have a deck operated accessible lift to provide full access to the lap pool and the adult hot pool. @auntiestress"
— Grandview Aquatic (@grandviewaqua) March 28, 2013
"@grandviewaqua In my opinion, a ramp would have made accessibility for all less of a "spectator sport"."
— Marianna Paulson (@AuntieStress) March 28, 2013
It's tough enough when you move through the world differently, whether it be in a wheelchair, with a cane or on your own steam.
When architects and communities get it right, the system blurs the lines between the able-bodied and those who live with a disability - the diffabled. At first glance, the Walking Disabled may present the appearance that there is nothing wrong. As a result, people zoom to assume - judgement can be quick. "You don't look disabled, why do you need extra help/special assistance?" What they may not realize is that a hip replacement, dislocated fingers or painful joints make it difficult to do some of those "ordinary" things.
The Corporation of Delta got it right in with the ramp in The Sunshine Pool at Sungod Recreation Centre. During my swims, I've seen people use the ramps in a number of different ways - in wheelchairs and with canes. Young and old, able-bodied and diffabled. They've all spent time on the ramp. Then, there's me. I jump into the pool in the deep end and use the ramp to get out of the pool. I don't have to call anyone for help, I just get out.
Isn't that the pinnacle of self-reliance? Architectural designs that don't require "special" assistance or attention in order to be accessible.