It’s not unusual to see Spokane City Councilman Jon Snyder on two wheels. Those wheels are usually attached to a bicycle though, not a wheelchair. Mr. Snyder took to this chair forInternational Disability Day, to experience what people confined to wheelchairs deal with every day. Dec. 3 happened to be a pretty snowy day too, no picnic in a wheelchair. Snyder blogs about his experience here.
I’ve had the pleasure over my years at SRTC of working with a wonderful woman from Millwood who has Lou Gehrig’s disease. She has worked with us in the past to identify situations that can be huge barriers to folks on wheels. And the days I went out with her, there wasn’t even snow on the ground. Some items she did point out:
– Sidewalks that were too narrow for her power chair
– Crosswalks where the button to push to get the walk signal was mounted on a pole that sat in the middle of a bed of decorative rocks, which her chair couldn’t traverse
– Poles and signs placed in the middle of sidewalks
– ADA ramps that were too steep to navigate
– Bus stops where the bus couldn’t get close enough to the curb for her to get her wheelchair on
– Debris such as broken glass and other trash on sidewalks.
Kind of opens your eyes to take even a short walk with someone who gets around in different ways than we do.