Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Follow up

This is a follow up to a post from last week Maggie World: Driving Miss Crazy. My unpleasant experience at the lab at UCSF last week and my well placed complaints and blog post created quite a stir. In the week since this incident there have been a flurry of emails and telephone calls to me and God only knows how many behind the scenes. Things may actually be changing this time. Of course, that is what I thought a year ago, so we will have to wait and see. Hope springs eternal.

A couple of folks encouraged me to make an ADA complaint because of the lack of wheelchair access, but I am not at all interested in that. That puts the whole issue into another process of unknown length, creating additional delays. Even if resolved favorably, it likely would not fix the problem. The lack of access not only affects wheelchair users, but strollers too. There are far more strollers than wheelchairs and the ADA will not address the stroller issue.

If that were the only way to get things done I would do it, but there are faster and better ways to get to the same point. Legal action or quasi-legal action should be the last thing considered to effect change, not the first. It is like using a sledgehammer to hang a picture. If you swing that sledge, you have to fix the giant hole in the wall and still have no place to hang your picture. It does more harm than good.

Moreover, filing a complaint like that makes it all about Maggie and that is just not the point. Maggie is fine. Maggie has me. This needs to be fixed for all the kids in wheelchairs and strollers, especially those who do not have a loud-mouthed mom. As you may have guessed, Maggie does not fit into that category.

I suspect on some level Maggie was giggling at the whole episode last week because she was not fooled by my outward civility toward the woman in the lab. She knew I was going to blow. This woman is definitely a part of the problem, but she is not the entire problem. Both the policy and the space issues need to be addressed before they can work on an attitude adjustment for her. As the events of that encounter unfolded, it is likely that Maggie was thinking the same thing I was, “Lady, you don’t know who you are messing with.”

She knows now.

1 comment:

  1. My husband is currently being sued for access issues by a serial suer in a wheelchair. The irony doesn't escape us, given that we have a child who used a wheelchair in public places. It's been so aggravating and disheartening to see the system, set up to help and equalize, abused. I was heartened to hear your reasons for not suing and I sure hope that office gets it together and does the right thing.


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