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ADA Oxymorons


Harp teacher, able-bodied, spend my life opening doors for my fiance and pretending to like baseball.

Things that make you go hmmm....a lot of buildings, organizations, and venues are very proud of their ADA compliance and accessibility. But common sense seems to be lacking in many of these areas...like they checked things off a list without looking up from their clipboard. Here are a few situations we've found that just don't make sense and make the owners seem like true morons.

  • While attending Northwestern University, the head of ADA compliance worked in an office on the fourth floor of a building with no elevator (we wish we could say he made himself accessible to us, but obviously...).
  • Curb ramps in parking lots are sometimes nowhere near your handicapped parking spot-you might as well park in a normal spot and be just as close to the ramp/elevators.
  • fully accessible bathrooms or hotel rooms on upper floors without elevator access.
  • all wheelchair related library books at NU were located on the top shelf.
  • hospitals rarely put in extra handicapped spots in the parking lot(but the Botanic Garden in Chicago has about 25)
  • The music building of the same university has a handicapped stall in the women's restroom only (clearly men don't need wheelchairs).
  • Drive up ATMs with braille-should you be driving if you need braille to deposit money?
  • ramps up to a set of steps. You'd be surprised at how often this happens.
  • parking permits available at inaccessible police stations. Or inaccessible police stations in general. Hopefully we never are in trouble and need to run to one for help.
  • Greek fraternities willing to make their house accessible once you're pledged...but you can't pledge if you can't attend events...at their house. Smart one guys.
  • Dan's parents made their back deck accessible-once he moved out (don't yell at us for including you Carol!)



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1 Comment

Katja said:

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ATMs with Braille:

First, do you really want to go there? I've heard able-bodied people say things like "Ha, ha, why should there be handicapped parking sports at the GYM? What disabled person would ever go to the gym?" Let's not be like those people.

Let's say you're visually impaired and a friend drives you to the (non-Braille) ATM. Is it ok that you have to divulge your personal banking information (ie, PIN number, amount being withdrawn) to a sighted person in order to use the ATM?

Second, the main reason drive up ATMs have Braille is that they're no different from walk-up ATMs. It's not cost effective to manufacture two different models.

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