Private and Public Policy Reviews for the Disabled

What Keeps Me at Home

By Stephen Rex Goode, BSW

I hate things that start out with, “In a perfect world…” Yet, it seems to me the best way to start this…

In a perfect world, the only thing that should keep me from going and doing anything I want to do is lack of interest. Reality is that many things either keep me at home or make me wish I’d stayed home. Especially when it comes to my disability.

My limitations are growing. As I descend further into osteoarthritis or degenerative joint disease (DJD), I find it more and more difficult to do things I used to enjoy. Some things are virtual impossibilities for me now:

  • Hiking up my favorite trails along the Columbia River Gorge.
  • Ice-skating at Lloyd Center in Portland, Oregon
  • Rugby in England (OK, so I’ve never done this and is has nothing to do with DJD).

Yet, these things aren’t why I’m writing this entry in this blog. There are some things that I think I ought to be able to do and for the most part I can do in some fashion. Yet, the difficulty of them makes me want to just stay home and not bother. These things that I’m talking about are things for which I believe there should be some accommodation, but for all the progress that has been made after the Americans With Disabilities Act (ADA), there remains a lot of barriers.

So, here’s my list of things that either keep me at home or make me wish I had stayed home:

  • Anything where I have to stand in a long line
  • Anything where I have to open heavy doors and there’s no button to push
  • Bus drivers who don’t wait until I sit down before they take off like they’re driving NASCAR
  • Parking lots without enough spaces reserved for disabled people
  • Fast food places and other restaurants where the only diet drinks are caffeinated
  • Places with only hard benches to sit on
  • Upper floors without elevators

So, what’s on your list?

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