Tuesday, July 08, 2014
Oh THAT'S Accessible
We had the opportunity to visit someone last week who lives in a fully accessible apartment. I'd never been in one before. My own apartment is one that we've made adaptions to, increasing my independence as much as possible, and as a result I'd been thinking it was pretty accessible.
This apartment had a fully accessible bathroom. It was amazing. All the things I need, all the things I want, all in one place. A tall toilet, well placed bars, a walk in shower, a sink I could shave at. You know I haven't shaved in the bathroom for 8 years. I shave in the bathroom, with a small mirror and a bowl of hot water. It works, I get a good shave, but it requires a lot of Joe's effort to make that happen. This was an accessible bathroom, in an apartment.
The kitchen. I almost swooned when I saw the kitchen. I could get to every appliance. I'd be able to cook on the stove. In our place, we've made space for me to get into the kitchen and a place for me to work. I cut and chop and spice our meals. Joe, who has access to the stove, cooks the meals. Joe is a good cook. We work together well, but man, I miss being able to use a stove.
Everything about the apartment was wonderful.
There aren't many of them. Even though there are thousands of disabled people in the city, there aren't many accessible apartments.
We had a lovely visit but when we left I felt so cheated. We'd done a good job with our place, carving out a space for us that works. But until now I realized, it works, but it doesn't work well. I had simply, because I had to, ceded various parts of the apartment to Joe and accepted that I'd have to take help where help, was necessary not because of my disability but because of my environment.
Damn and blast.
I have seen what's possible.
That's a good thing - but shit - it's also kinda not.