Canadian Randy McNeil is my guest blogger today.
He was diagnosed with MS in 1999 and was given chemotherapy treatment, Clyclophosphamide.
After having to give up his career as an industrial millwright mechanic, he returned to college to study community justice and services. And this is where he was confronted with a new set of problems…
Wheelchair ramps – they can be the best thing. When I was still walking, I was happy to see them becoming more commonplace for people with mobility challenges. Then in 2006, MS changed my life by taking away my ability to walk. Suddenly I now had a disability and a new way of life bestowed on me.
I accepted this and got an A-4 Titanium wheelchair, started a new journey and went back to college.
Whilst there, a new building was being constructed and I thought, great, it’ll be built with a better standard of accessibility than the other buildings on the campus. In fact, it was worse. I got the construction superintendent to come over to the ramp in question and challenged him. His reply?
‘I’m not going to argue with you, it’s been passed by the building inspector.’
‘Well get into this wheelchair and show me how you can use the ramp.’
‘I can’t do that.’
‘I’m not as strong as you are….’
- Unable to get any further response, I went to the newspapers – read my story here and see for yourself the excuses they came up with!
- After graduating, I began travelling around on public transport and discovered a problem with community accessibility – just because a bathroom has grab bars does not make it accessible. Again, I got nowhere and contacted the newspapers. This got results immediately and they changed the bathroom stall on the same day! Read about my success here.
- Next, I took on the local mall – why should I take my life in my hands just to get there? Read what happened next.
Why stop there? I have now started a global petition to persuade Google to include an accessibility option on its worldwide maps. Please take a few seconds to add your signature.
Together we are stronger.