Monthly Archives: January 2013

Accessibility Matters!

For those of you who don’t know, I broke my leg and my ankle two weeks ago. Here’s the story:

It was a dark and stormy day in Elora, Ontario… The great Almighty Alix decided to take her little sister and brother skating before she returned to the land of the never-ending snow, Timmins. They travelled to the outdoor rink and played a rough and tough game of hockey. As Alix went to make the game changing goal she noticed a baby worm trying to cross the ice and dove to save it from the incoming power puck (from the strength of her shot, of course), unfortunately she tripped and broke her leg and ankle in an attempt to heroically save the baby worm. 

That’s a trick, I actually went to take my skate off (not even off the ice) and fell and managed to smash my ankle and break my leg. I have two wires and three pins in my ankle and had twenty-five staples removed yesterday. I also got a new cast yesterday. Here’s a fun picture of my new cast:

Image

As for my schooling, because of the severity of the break; I am unable to return to Timmins. But, I am able to continue taking my courses online. So that is a MAJOR plus.

Anyway, back to the point of this post; Accessibility! Because of this break, I have been using crutches and on occasion, a wheelchair. Accessibility is something that I always generally pay attention to and look for. This helps me make decisions as to what kinds of places I bring the people I support to. If it’s not accessible, we likely won’t go. Through the need to use crutches I have been paying even more attention to the need for accessibility. Through my experiences I have learned that SO many places are not accessible. They look as though they are, but they really aren’t. Especially in the winter, in Canada. I never really though much before about people using canes or crutches but a slippery floor in a store or restaurant could result in a very dangerous fall. Wheelchair ramp, while they look great, can often times be quite unsafe. Steep and not taken care of. I am lucky to have awesome friends (special shout-out to Neal, Leona and Jeramy here, you guys rock) who very kindly assisted me through the day, wheelchair and all and even with someone helping me, the accessibility was limited. Often times I focus more on the invisible differences as opposed to the more visible ones but I’ve now realized how difficult it can be to manouver around an area and I have a whole new respect for those with mobility differences. The lack of accessibility needs to change. We need to be accessible and inclusive for all people. Be it, a child with Down Syndrome who just wants to eat lunch with his family at a restaurant (http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_embedded&v=tYbxEoCl_Vg), an individual who uses a wheelchair on a regular basis or someone who broke their leg because they can’t take off a pair of skates (haha). I am thankful for the fact that I broke my leg and ankle as it has given me the opportunity to open my eyes and see things in a different way.

Let’s work together to create a safe and accepting world for all. We are more alike than different.

 

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