Sep. 6th, 2014 02:19 am
dubhain: I think you're confusing nice and evil again (Nice and Evil)
[personal profile] dubhain
I love the concept of IKEA. Really. I do. You have ALL THE THINGS. I like your meatballs. I loathe the fact that you assume your customers all live in aircraft hangers with padded floors, when it comes to assembling your flat pack, but I digress. That's a rant for another time and place.

IKEA, I'm not in a wheelchair, so I understand you might not've noticed I'm mobility impaired. I walk with a cane, which is easily overlookable. But IKEA, one of my major problems is stenosis in my lower back, and I gotta tell you: You don't make it easy to visit your store. In fact, after the hellish amount of pain I experienced today, I won't be back. And that's a pity, IKEA, because I could become a very good, very regular customer.

First of all, those shiny, hard concrete floors? Yeah. Those. They make it hard for folks like me to spend any length of time on their feet in your store. And yeah, you have a couple of little benches outside your "OMG try all the furniture!" section. But the benches aren't very well placed, and there's nowhere to sit, in between.

Furthermore, the meandering, forced path through all your display areas might be fine for young, skinny, athletic yuppies to navigate, but for older folks like myself, with mobility issues? Oh, just fuck you, IKEA. Sideways. With a cactus. And no lube.

Even your "shortcuts" aren't particularly short. Marketing might deem your forced march (in which the customer keeps believing he's finally nearing the end of the nightmare, only to find that...surprise! there's suddenly another entire department, or warehouse, or hangar-sized checkout area that's suddenly appeared ahead) the best idea since someone rubbed two sticks together, but Marketing's apparently never had difficulty walking, or had to deal with excruciating back pain before. Or maybe they just don't think it's important to care about gimps. Because, after all, how much do we really contribute to your bottom line?

And, of course, trying to escape from you, IKEA, because, say, my back is screaming, and if I don't get out and to the car dammed soon, I'm not going to be able to walk at all, is a nightmare in itself. It's apparently inconceivable that someone might want to leave your store without buying anything, so everything funnels through the register stands. I wound-up having to push past a woman in a wheelchair, excusing myself constantly, through clenched teeth, as I could barely speak because of the pain. And then, of course, the checkout area exits to the loading dock, so there's a trek halfway across the parking lot, to get to the handicapped parking, where the car's waiting.

IKEA, I won't be back. I'd love to spend some major time in your store, especially in the kitchen section. I could easily drop a grand there, in an afternoon. But I won't be there because I can't stand the physical pain that visiting your store puts me through. Seriously: A direct, real, shortcut through the building for folks who have trouble walking. A few more places to sit — like, say, one in each department? And a way to get back out the front door, again for people who have trouble walking? You'd be golden. Even with those interminable hard, concrete floors.

I realize that mobility-impaired folks aren't trendy, and I'm not so young, nor so chic as you'd like your target audience to be. But dammit, IKEA, this is bullshit, and with your reputation for both brilliant use of space, not to mention your much vaunted efficiency, you should be doing better. And I shouldn't be unable to walk for six hours after I get home from bailing on a trip to your store because I just. Can't. Stand. The. Pain. Anymore.
jesse_the_k: Callum Keith Rennie shouts "Fuck no!"  (Fuck no sez CKR!)
[personal profile] jesse_the_k
Visited grocery service desk to buy bus tickets and discovered several access features (I'd used previously) which had been dismantled:

At the standing-height counter, the wheelchair-height cutout had been filled up with a lottery ticket dispenser. This meant the clerk and I couldn't touch hands, so they clerk had to leave their station and walk all the way around to hand me the tickets. The swipe-and-sign machine for credit cards has a swivel, so I have used independently before. But someone had pointlessly pushed a bookshelf under the counter, so I couldn't reach it.

I brought these issues up to the clerk. I managed to keep my cool. I pointed out that finding accessible features destroyed is very frustrating. Does this analogy work for you? Delighted to entertain suggestions.

Encountering demolished access features is like getting a big delivery of gravel at the bottom of your driveway that you never ordered. When you complain, the response is, "Oh, I'll help you park your car down the street" or "Oh, just wait, I'll round up a group of folks to help you move stuff out of the garage. It might be three hours — is that OK?"

I'm writing the grocery's central office. I suspect the response is going to be along the lines, "well, you were able to complete your purchase, and weren't our staff polite and helpful?" And yes, the clerk was polite, and helpful, and unable to wipe away the psychic spit this encounter smeared over my glasses.
[personal profile] mariness
The Disability in Science Fiction panel at Worldcon/Lone Star Con did not have ramps to the stage. Because they knew I would be there (I use a wheelchair), they set up tables in front of the stage, so at least I could sit at the same level as the rest of the panelists. (At the Prose by Day, Poet by Night panel, which to be fair I was only added to about two hours before the panel started, I was on the floor and the other three panelists were on the stage.) The disability panel also did not have an ASL interpreter.
lizcommotion: a hand drawn/colored happy cane (disability cane happy)
[personal profile] lizcommotion
[All ganked from [personal profile] pretty_panther  because I don't have words yet this morning:]

" is an online map to search, find and mark wheelchair-accessible places. -"
I'm so glad that this is a thing! I don't know if it is an accurate thing but I know you can add info about your own town and such. You can also mark places that are not accessible at all or only have access to certain parts of it and so on. It sounds like it has the potential to be a fabulous tool for wheelchair users [and walker users and stroller users]. Linking because a, I'm excited and b, because a few of you might find it helpful. :)

cross-posting to my own journal
lilacsigil: Deborah Mailman by liviapenn (Deborah Mailman by liviapenn)
[personal profile] lilacsigil
There is a federal election in Australia next month, and in Australia voting is compulsory. Every election, this brings about major accessibility issues - we vote with pencil and paper, so people with visual impairments are immediately disadvantaged, and the fixes for this are crude and rely on either not having privacy to vote or the goodwill of electoral staff. Voting centres (usually schools and public halls) are often not accessible or only partially accessible to people with mobility impairments.

For this reason many disabled people choose to postal vote instead. In my case, I will be working all of election day, so I am going to postal vote. The application form is online, which is great - previously it has been on paper - so I filled it out, only to run into a CAPTCHA at the end. Since forms have to be filled out with correct personal details and then a secret question answered on the actual physical form, I cannot imagine why a CAPTCHA is necessary or helpful. It's a great hindrance to me - and when I went to the feedback form to lodge a complaint, there was a CAPTCHA at the bottom of that too!


Jul. 29th, 2013 09:53 pm
vass: wonder girl facepalming (Facepalm)
[personal profile] vass
Conservative flyers on disabled initiatives contain fake Braille
[hattip to James Nicoll]

"Jim Tokos, a vice-president at the Canadian Council of the Blind, said he found the flyers simply “baffling” — especially since the whole purpose of the pamphlet was to boast about how much the Conservatives were doing to make life easier for disabled people in Canada."
vass: Serpent Guard, caption: "I always get a happy tingly feeling when I see those guys." (Tingly)
[personal profile] vass
So, Centrelink (Australian social services) decided to review my rent assistance (if I don't confirm that my details haven't changed or give them the new details, they stop my rent assistance.) And at the same time the rent assistance part of their website went offline, with no ETA for when it'll be back, so I couldn't confirm that my details hadn't changed on their website.

So my options were print out the form and take it to my landlords to sign (I don't own a printer, and even if I did I'd have to take it to said landlords, and that's social interaction I didn't want) or use their automated phone service. I didn't think it would be that bad. It was.

They asked me to repeat the word 'yes' three times in a row, ON MORE THAN ONE OCCASION because they couldn't understand me. I realise I have mild speech dysfluency issues, I do realise that. [actually, I have a speech pathology appointment today.] But it's not THAT bad. It's never been so bad that a person (or even a machine) literally could not tell whether I was saying yes or no.

Like other people with dysfluencies, I get worse when I'm anxious. Like, if I'm on the phone for nearly an hour and the recorded voice is dictating long strings of numbers in a disjointed rhythm and at different vocal registers and with no pause before or after the dictation, and I need to write those down [I have auditory processing problems too, specifically auditory working memory] and they also want information from me and won't tell me in advance what information I need so I can go get it, and also they can't understand me and I'm talking as clearly as I can, that would be a nightmare affect how clearly I can speak.

Also, sometimes it allowed me to use the keypad to enter numbers, or to use 1 for yes and 2 for no, and sometimes it wouldn't, and it wouldn't tell me when it was appropriate or when it wasn't. And there was a period when it wanted my driver's license and I typed it into the keypad, and it said "I'm sorry, I can't understand you. Can you repeat that?" and it happened TWICE IN A ROW. The KEYPAD. I figured out that it was because I was sobbing quietly. My sobs overrode the keypad numbers. I covered the mouthpiece while I was entering numbers after that.

There was a point where it asked me if I wanted to speak to a real person. I said yes. It couldn't understand me, so it just kept going.

[additional tags: phone]
[personal profile] yarram
I asked work for some training on new software we're rolling out. They send me a web link and a login. I click the link, sign in, and lo and behold, all the training is a bunch of videos. Presented by people with various European accents. There are no subtitles / captions available.

This renders the trainings inaccessible, as I am HoH.

(Fortunately I can understand enough that the PowerPoint slides are useful, but still annoying in the extreme.)
sarah: (not even in the ballpark)
[personal profile] sarah
Yeah, so, I pretty sure they're implying there's a ramp somewhere up the street and around the other side of the hotel, but the sign's still funny:

photo of 'accessible stairs' under the cut )
pauamma: Cartooney crab holding drink (Default)
[personal profile] pauamma
Mafiaoza’s is Icky, and it’s Not the Pizza

Update, 2013-05-12 11:24am UTC: The owner claims they weren't in town that night. So either the owner is lying, or the cops' statements were incorrect. I can't say which it is, or whether (if the latter) the cops were lying or mistaken.
pauamma: Cartooney crab holding drink (Default)
[personal profile] pauamma
So earlier today, I emailed the following to one of the maintainers:
Subject: Home for OCRed and proofread manuals?

So I snarfed and I'm now OCRing it and proofreading the result. I read the bit that says: "Documents here are kept in a minimal subset of PDF format, just using it as a container for lossless Group 4 fax compression (ITU-T recommendation T.6) images. Contributions are normally post-processed by tools to put them in exactly this format, so that all of the documents here are the same and
can be burst at some point in the future when OCR technology is mature enough to do a good job of recognition." which seems to imply you're not interested in providing a subset of those documents as OCR'd images+text searchable PDFs. But since I'm going to do it anyway, I'd like to share it with others. If you can't or won't host it on your own servers, do you know of another organization that could?
Within 10 minutes, I got this answer:
I need to update that. I have been OCRing documents for several years now.
(I answered thanking him, and asking about adding an alt= to the harvesting blocker img for the email address. More when I know more.)


Jan. 10th, 2013 05:59 pm
chordatesrock: Katara waterbending (Default)
[personal profile] chordatesrock
I've only been using the keyboard since my mouse broke, so maybe this is perfectly accessible and I just haven't figured it out yet.

However, I think it might be impossible to rate an article on Wikipedia using the keyboard. The ratings don't seem to be anywhere in the tab order and I've been through it three times. Is this my fail, or Wikipedia's?
chordatesrock: Katara waterbending (Default)
[personal profile] chordatesrock
I have no fail to report (unless you count the existence of a building with stairs and no elevator, but you've seen that a million times), but I do have a question about how to not fail. Actually, I have a few questions, and they're specifically about accessibility for blind and VI internet users.

I understand that image descriptions are necessary, and that links should have descriptive text or clarifying title text. If anyone here personally uses these accessibility features, could you clarify some things for me?

Questions under the cut )
avendya: Catherine Weaver; lying Terminator bitch (T:SCC - lying Terminator bitch)
[personal profile] avendya
So. Our astrophysics building requires an ID card to access after hours. In theory, I have access because I have a set due on the second floor at 6 PM, and the doors are locked at 5 PM. However, there are a variety of very nice workspaces, so many people do their Ay sets there.

My ID grants me access to the door from the stairs to the second floor, but does not grant me access to use the elevator. I have severe arthritis, and avoid stairs whenever possible.

Permission to be Very Irritated?
chordatesrock: Katara waterbending (Default)
[personal profile] chordatesrock
I don't have any accessibility disasters to share, but I'm going to make an offer (and, it being a free offer, all caveats about getting what you pay for apply here). If you have an internet accessibility problem that can be fixed by throwing text at the problem (e.g., images lacking descriptions, important information given only through spoken words without any kind of captions, unwatchable flickering videos), I'm offering to throw text at it for you (i.e., I'll transcribe things or whatever).
alexseanchai: quill, ink bottle, and calligraphy (Default)
[personal profile] alexseanchai
Thing I am not: a Walmart employee.

Thing I should therefore have to do only when I have just finished moving my shit from my cart to my car, and not under any other circumstance: push carts around a Walmart parking lot.

Thing I did tonight anyway: push carts around a Walmart parking lot.

I don't know about the handicapped spaces at the left end of the building; the doors at that end aren't open at half past midnight. But every single handicapped space near the doors that are open at half past midnight contained either a car or at least one cart.

There were ten carts taking up handicapped spaces. Ten of them. And not one single fucking unoccupied handicapped space anywhere near the open fucking doors.

(I have just left an angry but polite complaint on Customer service desk isn't open at half past midnight either, or I'd have done it in person.)
[personal profile] brigittefires

This is the ramp access to a new bar in Portland, OR. If you aren't looking too closely, it's difficult to find, as it's at the back of the business on the side of the building that doesn't even have a sign above the door, and you can't see the door from the street to indicate that this side even has a non-kitchen entrance.

If you step up onto that porch area, there is a door on the right side, though you'd never know it was there. But bad structure when dealing with an historic building isn't as bad as actual human beings who put a pallet and a huge piece of plywood in the middle of the ramp.

I spoke to someone who works there and bless his heart, he didn't give me any funny comments when he got out after a long shift at work and I asked him to please inform a manager that their ramp access was blocked. He said it hadn't been like that a little while before, so someone must have just done it, and the manager said she'd get someone to move it (and all he did was say that the ramp was blocked and where would she like these things moved?). It was definitely gone the next day, and the owners have so far been receptive to feedback--I told them on opening night that they had missed putting purse hooks in the bathroom, and then mentioned they may want to put a second one a little lower in the wheelchair accessible one (since right now the only purse-hook option is the door hydraulics, 7 feet in the air).

All in all I understand this isn't the worst situation in the world, and they fixed it promptly. But it did illustrate and spark a conversation about access and privilege on the way home.

And now a little plug: Vita + Cafe on Alberta in NE Portland (NOT the bar in question above) has two bar seats that are regular chair-height, which they actually keep clear as usable bar seats! Unlike another bar in Lake Oswego (south of Portland) where my partner used to work where they have 4 bar seats at normal chair level which the staff is instructed are wheelchair accessible, but that section of bar is in the main pathway for the service staff and they use that section as a workstation. I once asked how long it would take them to clear it off for a guest to use, and they kind of looked at me like I was nuts and asked me where they would put the juicer and fold napkins? Pretty well answered the question.

Pop quiz

Jun. 13th, 2012 08:08 pm
pauamma: Cartooney crab holding drink (Default)
[personal profile] pauamma
You're a waiter at a cafe or bistro with a sidewalk area for smokers or overflow customers. The sidewalk is about 8 ft wide, and the tables and chairs eat something like 5-6 ft of it, depending on how people are sitting at each table, bags sticking out, etc. There's 2 rows of tables with a gap in the middle for people to use, both in getting to and from the tables and in passing the area where the cafe is.

Open to: Registered Users, detailed results viewable to: All, participants: 24

You notice someone in a wheelchair going through the gap, navigating carefully because they don't have a lot of clearance. Do you:

View Answers

Try to clear the way ahead of them, making sure they can go through quickly, safely, and without bumping into your customers and possibly causing them to spill drinks or food?
20 (83.3%)

Stand by the entrance to the inside area, making sure no waiter comes through and bumps into them, but not assisting them actively?
1 (4.2%)

Block their way and insist they find another route, because they might otherwise inconvenience your customers?
3 (12.5%)

Do something else (comment)?
0 (0.0%)

(If standing in the wheelchair user's way) You see cafe customers who also noticed them start clearing a way by themselves. Do you:

View Answers

Help them?
19 (86.4%)

Ignore them, because you have some important way-blocking to do?
0 (0.0%)

Hinder their attempt to clear the way, or insist they should be good customers and let you handle it alone?
3 (13.6%)

Do something else (comment)?
0 (0.0%)

(If hindering or discouraging their effort) When the customers object to your behavior and ask to talk to a manager. do you:

View Answers

Relent, let them clear the way, and go sulk?
14 (77.8%)

Start arguing loudly with them and try to undo their actions, dragging chairs or tables back if they push them, etc.?
3 (16.7%)

Do something else (comment)?
1 (5.6%)

(If arguing with customers) When the manager on duty arrives on the scene and the customers complain about you, do you:

View Answers

Accept that perhaps you went too far, apologize, and stop hindering or maybe even start helping?
14 (77.8%)

Keep objecting, blaming the customers, the passer-by, and your manager (who are all starting to look pissed off at you by now)?
3 (16.7%)

Do something else (comment)?
1 (5.6%)

(If arguing with your manager) When your manager disciplines you, sending you home, do you:

View Answers

Leave quietly?
14 (77.8%)

Leave, protesting loudly?
0 (0.0%)

Refuse to leave, demand police intervention because everyone else is conspiring to deprive you of your wages and tips, and resist attempts to remove you?
4 (22.2%)

Do something else (comment)?
0 (0.0%)

Extra credit optional essay question (comment): when it turns out 2 of the customers are (off-duty) police officers who restrain you until you can formally be arrested, what is your reaction?
kayloulee: "live long and suck it" caption; Spock at the Science Academy (live long and suck it)
[personal profile] kayloulee
So last Thursday I saw a bus driver try to refuse service to a guy using a power wheelchair. On Friday I submitted a complaint, on Saturday I got an email from the complaints people, and just now I got this:


Thank you for your recent feedback.

At State Transit we treat incidents such as these very seriously. We have established the identity of the employee responsible for this unacceptable behaviour and will be taking appropriate action so as to avoid a similar incident in the future.

Please accept my sincere apologies for any unpleasantness caused.

[Depot Guy]
Kingsgrove Contact
STA Customer Relations


accessibility_fail: Universal "person in wheelchair" symbol, with wheelchair user holding a cutlass (Default)
You Fail At Accessibility

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