sarah: (traffic)
[personal profile] sarah
The Kengaru is a hatchback electric car designed specifically for wheelchair users: the hatchback opens up, you roll right in, and it's driven using airplane-style controls.

This is a remarkable design, but the story of how Stacey Zorn made it a reality is even more amazing (link includes animated gifs and a video). The initial version is for manual chair users (expected to run ~$20,000), with a second model for power chair users coming next.
roserodent: Avatar (Default)
[personal profile] roserodent
 I spoke to Megabus to try to book in to travel with my powered wheelchair. Let the stupid commence! I have a very unusual kind of powerchair which folds up without tools and very quickly to fit in the boot of a medium (European medium!) car boot (trunk). But they were not interested in weight or dimensions, electric wheelchairs are too big and too heavy, always. I asked what size of space they have - electric wheelchairs are too big. What dimensions can I take? It's too big, it cannot travel. It fits in a Kia Cee'd so I'm pretty sure it fits in the massive luggage compartment of a coach, what size of wheelchair can I bring? You can bring a "normal wheelchair" - whatever the heck that is. So I said what if I bring the batteries in a suitcase? No, it won't fit. OK, I say, I have changed my mind, I will bring a 32kg non powered wheelchair and a 25kg suitcase. That's fine, says agent, you don't even need to pre-book that. So I ask her does she realise she has agreed to exactly the same wheelchair provided that the batteries are inside a suitcase - instant backtrack: no, I never said you could bring that, I said I will find out for you. Weird, since I use captioned calls and I have a word for word transcript. For anyone who doens't use text, GA means "go ahead" it's like saying "over" on the radio it means the end of what you are saying and time for the other person to respond. I start on each occasion

"It will bbe 32kgg and I can probably make it go in 2 suitacses and one hang luggae. So that's one wheelchair, one suitcase and my hand luggage GA ill pop you on hold thanks.. holding.. Holding... Holding... Holding... thnks for holding for me i have spoken to control again gave themn the weight ive been told its been confrmed the only way we can accommodate that chair is by the passenger being sitting in the chari with the chair going on the bus on standard bus." so it's too heavy when it's 32kg and a suitcase and hand luggage. 

"OK, I changed my mind then,, I bring a 32kg manual chair, a suitacase and my huand luggage, ,how do I book this on the night service  GA if its just an iordinary wheelchair that folds down you dont have to book it  GA You realise you have just said that exactly the same chair fits... If I do not take the batteries and I put them in a suitaase and tell you it's a 32kgg manual chair, suuddently it is much smaller and will fit.  GA so your not going to take the batterys for the chair  GA I will put the battery in a suitacase and then it becomes a manual chair and I have a 25kg suticase with contents which is my personal business  GA your going to put an ordinary wheelchair 32sg in luggage holder and batterys in a suitcase GA Yes, which is exactly what I have been telling you all along but when you thought it was a n eee  electric wheelchair it was all kinds of problems. If it is a manua wheelchair when I give it to you, and I put the batteries in a case, it will fit. So clearly it fitted from the start of this conversation  GA ive not confirmed that yet .. am going to find out for you  GA No, ou said ifi t is an ordinary wheelchair I don't even need to book it. It wil be an ordinary wheelchair. THe content of the case is not relevant to the size, weight or other charactieristcis of the wheelchiar  GA hold on please.."

This is where I hung up...

These are some other snippets you may enjoy: (sorry, my typing sucks on this computer and there is no correct function with live typing)

" HOw about if you put the wheelchair part in teh hold and I book it as a manual chair and I will take the 2 small parts on teh bus with me as hand luggage and you don't nee dto worry about whether it's one things or another, I will hav eth ebattiers and you will handle the part which is not electric into the hold, any better?  GA no there will not be enough space  GA Ca you tell me on what baiss you have decided it will not fit? If a manual chair will fit and this is NOT BIGGER then how cann it suddely not fit?  GA its the weight you are allowed of luggae la allowance one standard suitacase one hand luggage if evreyone has one suitable stuitcase there isn ot not enough space to put the wheelchair parts GA The weight is also not more than I would bring as luggage as I have no suitcase ... yyou are clearly making lots of assumptions rather than asking questions... it is electric so you are immediately obstructive. You have no idea how heavy any part is, how much other                   luggage I have, how much luggage anyne else has, you have no idea what it weighs, but can confidently inform me that it is too heavy [...] you have the legal obligation to carry a wheelchair if it is *possible* not just if it meets some crieria you have decided apply. [...] What do you need to know about mmy chair to find out whether it will fit? Height? Width? Not just that it is electric!!  GA"

A clear case of determination to find electric wheelchairs conform to specific stereotypes and cannot possibly be not those things. The fact they assume it will be heavy does not change its ACTUAL weight! I decided it was not sufficiently worth my time and effort to fight this out this one time in order to go to the event I had wanted to attend, but this is not the end of this, once I have more time to fight them on it. 
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.
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.

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?

Major Fail

May. 6th, 2011 09:27 am
aquinasprime: (Screw up fairy)
[personal profile] aquinasprime
A condo board in Staten Island is fighting a mother who wants to install a wheelchair lift for her 4 year old daughter. There are so many things wrong with this that I'm not sure where to begin. Even worse, though, are the commenters on the article who are telling her to move because the condo has rules and she should just get over it.
jesse_the_k: My head on foam mat under pine trees (Default)
[personal profile] jesse_the_k
On Thursday I had my annual mammogram (yes I am that old).

For the last decade, I've done this breast x-ray using my power wheelchair. The firm pressure on my breasts and the pushing & pulling of my limbs is pain enough; I want somewhere comfy to sit during the procedure.

But my brand-new wheelchair decided to suddenly sacrifice one of its motors to the Gods of Uncertainty ... so [personal profile] sasha_feather kindly chauffeured me & my rolling walker to the clinic.

As I entered the x-ray room, I noticed a chair just out of reach. I asked the x-ray tech, "Can you grab that chair for me. I prefer to sit down."

x-ray tech Oh, no you can't do that. We have to do the mammogram standing up.
J the K I think it will work fine with me sitting. Anyway, I'm not able to stand that long.
x-ray tech I'm sure you can do it this time. We can't get good results if you're sitting down.
J the K Wait a minute, are you saying that, for the last ten years when I've come here in my wheelchair, those films are no good?
x-ray tech Umm, let me get that chair.

Yeah, no.

I'm also going to complain to the clinic.


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

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