Absurd Moment: Universal Access

Some people get a little confused when they encounter a person with a disability, their stress levels go up as they try to figure out how to accommodate someone.  I had this happen just the other day and I was attempting to board a MARTA bus. For those that don’t know, I am blind and use a white cane. I was heading to the bus when I heard the it beeping, not really thinking I go to get on and get smacked by the ramp that the driver decided I needed. Instead of an apology for unfolding part of bus on me I instead get a reprimand “I was trying to put the ramp out so you could get in!” I was still a little confused and shocked at having a bus literally reach out and hit me, so it took a second to formulate my response.  “Why would I need the ramp? I’m not riding the cane!” was the best I could do.

There’s not “one accommodation to rule them all” as far as people with disabilities go, we just need to ensure that people are trained properly and learn how to do courteous things, like ask the person what supports they need and not just assume.  Have you had an experience like that? I’d love to hear it!


People with disabilities have the right to be independent, make decisions for themselves, have access to their community and to achieved goals in life like any other individual. disABILITY LINK is committed to promoting the rights of ALL people with disabilities.
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