Friday, June 29, 2007

Your new primetime tv show...

Let's say you had the power to get your show on the air in that coveted Thursday evening line-up. Your show that involves disability somehow. What would your show be about? Would it revolve around disability? Would the main character(s) be disabled? Would the disabilities be explained? Would they be a show focus? Would actual disabled actors play people with disabilities on the show? Would you use non-disabled? Would it be a drama, mystery, action, horror, suspense, comedy or reality show? Hour or 1/2 hour?? Talked to me, people.

Wednesday, June 27, 2007

Complete and total integration

Is it possible? We've heard a lot about accessibility, universal access, inclusion. But why does it feel so much like accommodation, making do, afterthought? Is society really striving for inclusion and universal access? Then how it is that new residential buildings can still get away with not providing access to all aspects of the building? Why is it that buildings being renovated can get away with not improving their accessibility? Why is it that new public venues provide one section and one section only (for the most part) for people with wheelchairs? Why are we only allowed one companion with us at concerts? It's all nice and good to provide access, even as an afterthought, but it's not truly inclusive. It still smells of us and them mentality. I don't know if it's possible. Universal design thinks it is. Are they realistic or optimistic?

Saturday, June 16, 2007

I'm a hypocritical bitch

There. Now you know. Word's out. It's official. You know how I've whined on here about not being treated equally due to my disability? You know how I've lamented not having luck in the relationship department? Well, reader(s), I'll let you in on a little secret. Yes, that's right, it's hardly a secret as I put it in the post title, but I am a hypocritical bitch. I was at the gym today, with my headphones on to filter out all the freaks that are so magnetized to my presence. See, I have no interest in meeting someone at the gym. In fact, I have great interest in talking as little as I can to people at the gym. Not that I have anything against gym-goers, heck, I'm a gym-goer myself (wait, wait, the hypocritical part is coming). What I do object to is the general gym culture that exists. The guys with puffed out chests in their muscle-Ts, grunting as they bench press 250. The guys who lift weights in front of the mirror and you know it's not just to make sure they're doing it right. The guys who talk about their workout regime to anyone who'll listen. The women who strut around in body tight spandex, short shorts and midriffs, the women whose gym attire includes makeup and jewelry (ok, so I wore hoops today.. sorry!). I don't go to the guy to socialize or meet people. I go to get in shape. I want to get in, do my thing, and get the hell out of there. Chatting with the other inhabitants of my space just prolongs the process. I don't love the gym, I don't go 7 days a week, and I am not lost without it.

Today I was at the gym doing my thing, on my way to getting the hell out. In fact, I was almost done. Ten minutes left tops. I even had protection thanks to my handy iShuffle. Gym etiquette clearly states that those with earphones shall not be disturbed. I was disturbed. Yes, here is where the hypocritical part comes in. My disturber was disabled. A youngish lad most likely in his early 20s. Came right up to me and started talking. I had to remove my armor to hear him. It was the polite thing to do. He asked me how long I'd been coming to this gym. I answered. He asked if I leaved near. I replied "near enough". He persisted. I tried to nip this in the bud. "I'm sorry, I'm trying to do my workout, thanks." Back go the earphones. He persisted. I wasn't really listening at this point, I was annoyed. I don't like my personal space being invaded. I finally put the headphones back on again and proceeded to ignore him. He finally went away. This disabled man seemed to not only have some physical disability, but also seemed to have some sort of cognitive impairment as well. Had he been non-disabled, older, and, well, hot, I'm not sure I'd have been so, well, rude.

I recognize where he is coming from. I recognize the lack of social skills often seen among disabled. I'm also aware that his disability might have prevented him from having full insight into his actions and how they were perceived by others. I recognize that meeting people and making friends is not something I do easily. But does that mean that because I have a disability and have my own issues related to that that I should be more understanding of others? If I had been nicer to this guy would it have spiraled into a pattern where I would have had to talk to him every time I went to the gym? Or was I just treating him like I'd treat any other invader of my privacy?

Sunday, June 03, 2007

It's a long way down!

So I finally had my renovations done to my condo. Of course these renovations have led to further need for work. I put a pedestal sink in my bathroom and took out the old sink with cupboard underneath and reversed the direction of the bathroom door to open outward instead of inward. Now I can get in and close the door without having to take off my footpedals. In fact, I can now do a complete 360 in there with the footpedals on. Woo hoo!! Small nuisance though is that now with the way the door had to be put back on, it is on the other side of the frame and now the light switch, which is outside the bathroom, is now behind the door when open. So I have to remember to turn on the light before I open the door. The bigger nuisance is that there were no tiles underneath the sink cupboard, so I have to retile. I am in a model condo suite that had the original tiles that were installed by the building. There is hope that some of those original tiles still exist so I can just retile 8 tiles instead of the whole bathroom. I hope this works, as I really like those tiles... and don't relish the idea of having to retile the whole floor.

A ramp was also put out to the balcony, with a wooden platform put outside so that it is level with the 3 inch threshold to get out. My balcony is very small, and my building is L-shaped so I can see others across on my right. They are very close. We are all very high. I went out there for the first time on Friday and realized just how bad my fear of heights actually was! All that work and I really want to be out on my balcony, but I get vertigo-like within minutes. Sigh.