Archive for ‘Accessibility’

September 18, 2018

Disabled Canadians: Discrimination at the Gas Pumps?

HandicapParkGasPump

After seeing this sign at a Shell Station in Washington state, I wondered if disabled Canadians were being discriminated against at the gas pumps. The Americans with Disabilities Act requires that assistance is available at self-serve gas stations. There is no such legislation in Canada.

Well-Kept Secret?

I just discovered that if you have a handicapped parking placard, it is possible to get help at the gas pumps at the following companies:

It’s a well-kept secret, though. I have never seen any signage that offers this kind of help, have you? As it stands now, I have to use a wrench to open my gas cap. I’d rather not get started on the frustrating problem I encounter with the credit card slot! Obviously, those slots are designed for the nimble-fingered!

Full-Serve at a Cost

After all these decades of driving, there have been many times when I considered going to the full-service pumps, where gas costs more per litre than at the self-serve pumps. However, if you live in Port Coquitlam, B.C. or Richmond, B.C., full-serve is the only option available. Wouldn’t it be great to turn back the clock when every service stations offered service? Without a policy in place, pain at the pumps becomes a little sharper. Let me know if you are aware of accessibility services at the gas companies that are not mentioned here.

The Cost of a Disability

A disability is expensive, emotionally, mentally, physically and financially. Why do Canadians with disabilities have to take another physical and financial hit that could be quashed by legislation similar to The Americans with Disabilities Act, which the posted sign clearly reiterates:

Vehicle refueling services will be provided upon request at self-service prices to motorists with disabilities. If the vehicle displays an official state or locally issued disabled motorist plate or placard.

Refueling services will not be provided when there is only one employee on duty.

To obtain refueling services, honk your car horn twice and an employee on duty will pump your gasoline for you. If one is available, you may use the intercom for this purpose.

If you are pumping your own gasoline and the card reader is inaccessible to you, the employee on duty will remotely turn on the pump for you when you lift the nozzle, raise the lever, and select the desired grade of gasoline. After you have pumped your gasoline, please enter the facility and pay the employee on duty.

This facility also provides assistance in obtaining goods for purchase for our customers with disabilities. If you require this assistance, please ask the employee on duty.

I have questions with no answers:

  • It appears that gas companies are self-regulated in terms of offering assistance to those with disabilities. Why is there no such legislation in Canada?
  • Where do the organizations who support people with disabilities stand on this issue?
  • Has there been any sort of Canadian government lobbying to address this lack of support?
  • Are you aware of any other communities that offer full-service like those found in Port Coquitlam and Richmond, B.C.?

Related:

June 19, 2017

#525 – Hard to Read Prescription Labels?

 

Image courtesy of Lionel Titu.

Even with prescription glasses, it can be hard to read the inserts that come in the box with certain medications, supplements and other instruction booklets.

The camera on your phone, or other device, comes to the rescue! Simply snap a photo of the text you wish to read, then enlarge the photo and voilà, problem solved!

You will no longer have to fear missing that crucial information that comes in a prescription monograph.

November 6, 2016

#508 – Architectually and Accessibly Speaking

mariannapaulson2sg

As you may or may not know, this blog has recently been revived. Below, is an excerpt from a Twitter conversation I had saved, but never published.

I didn’t know about the public hearings prior to construction of the Grandview Aquatic Centre, but if I had, I would have added my voice.

It’s tough enough when you move through the world differently, whether it be in a wheelchair, with a cane, or on your own steam.

When architects and communities get it right, the system blurs the lines between the able-bodied and those who live with a disability – the diffabled. At first glance, the Walking Disabled may present the appearance that there is nothing wrong. As a result, people zoom to assume – judgement can be quick. “You don’t look disabled, why do you need extra help/special assistance?” What they may not realize is that a hip replacement, dislocated fingers, or painful joints make it difficult to do some of those “ordinary” things.

The Corporation of Delta got it right in with the ramp in The Sunshine Pool at Sungod Recreation Centre. During my swims, I’ve seen people use the ramps in a number of different ways – in wheelchairs and with canes. Young and old, able-bodied and diffabled. They’ve all spent time on the ramp. Then, there’s me. I jump into the pool in the deep end and use the ramp to get out of the pool. I don’t have to call anyone for help, I just get out.

Isn’t that the pinnacle of self-reliance? Architectural designs that don’t require “special” assistance or attention in order to be accessible.

January 17, 2014

#499 – A dash of this, a pinch of that

graduation

A very long time ago!

“It ain’t over until the fat lady sings,” so goes a politically incorrect reference to opera singers.

As you can see by this image, the fat lady has slimmed down considerably—80 pounds, to be exact—and although this blog is soon coming to a close, you can still read my posts over on Auntie Stress Café (ASC) – no singing, though. At least, not on either of my blogs! As for the weight, yo-yo would be a good word to use. Although, in recent years I’ve either maintained or watched the numbers on the scale decrease. But that’s a story for a whole other blog.

Incidentally, I was diagnosed with rheumatoid arthritis about a year before that picture was taken. It’s been a long journey, fraught with tears, pain, sadness, contentment, laughter, disappointments, satisfaction, worry, uncertainty, frustration, anger, depression, loneliness, calm, joy, peace, … in other words, life!

We all have a story to tell, secrets to keep, gifts to give and love to share. A Rheumful of Tips (ART) is my gift to you.

So, on my second-to-last post I’d like to share a few final thoughts that didn’t make it into full-blown posts.

Medication

Always check your prescription when you get home. Recently, I discovered that although the medication was correct, the dosage was 5 times greater than prescribed!

Delivery Drivers

Admittedly, this one doesn’t have the potential for dire consequences, but it is annoying. The phone rang once, twice, and then stopped before I could get it. It turns out that it was supposed to be a door-to-door delivery; unfortunately, the driver was in too much of a hurry to wait. I promptly emailed the company and got a standard response that might as well have said, “Yeah, we care, but don’t expect us to make any improvements.” I also mentioned it when I picked up the parcel. “We hear the same thing from seniors and many people who have disabilities.” Well, if that is the case, why aren’t the drivers told to wait a little longer? Have you experienced anything similar?

Adjust your attitude

Recently, I came across two blog posts that resonated with me. Both these women have made a decision, one that demonstrates an incredible capacity to live well, in spite of the mercurial nature of rheumatoid arthritis. The sooner you can come to terms with your disease—and it does take time—the better off you will be. I hope you’ll enjoy the posts on  Beating Rheumatoid Arthritis and The Life and Adventures of Cateepoo as much as I did.

Notice

Keep track of when you have your flare-ups. Is there a pattern? What is going on in your life. Specifically, how are you responding to the events that are swirling around you? Perhaps you notice that you always flare at holidays? Several things could be at play. You may associate your holidays with past ones like ‘Tis the Season To Be Jolly…Or Is It?

The downtime may signal the crash that is preceded by months of high cortisol levels. Remember that cortisol is cumulative. You may have “held on”, until it was more “convenient” to get sick. How many of you have become ill while on vacation? It’s important to see if there is a pattern. If there is, you can be proactive and make some changes.

Although the stress techniques I teach are not meditative in nature, they do induce mindfulness, which as this one study shows, proves beneficial in the extinguishing of those inflammatory fires that are all to common in a rheumatoid disease flare-up. Call or email if you’d like to find out more about how I can help you help yourself. Programs are only five weeks long – the effects last a lifetime!

 

One thing I know is that I would never have had the courage to write this blog had it not been for the growth I’ve experienced from my stress transformation. I believe that when you feel better, you do better.

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