Douglas Lathrop | Oct 01, 2013 | Comments 15
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Filed Under: Accessibility • Cover Stories • Disability Culture • Lifestyle • Premium Article
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Why is this article titled “Disability Friendly Cities” only about wheelchair users and the kinds of accessibility issues they face??? That is very (dis)ability-centric thinking. What about blind folks, deaf folks, others with mobility impairments who don’t use chairs?
Good point, WYSIWYG. As a magazine for active wheelchair users, New Mobility is written by and for people with varying degrees of paralysis. But you are right that we could be more specific when we post articles on the website, as other readers will find their way here. Thanks for reading and taking the time to comment!
Your statement about being a magazine for people whom are in varing stages of paralysis is not always true, there are a few of us who are in the fringes ,like when arthritis and amputation has made it impossible to walk , who enjoy the magazine
Glad to hear that you enjoy the magazine. You are absolutely correct that it is intended for anyone who uses a wheelchair. I should have said “mostly” by and for people with paralysis. Thank you.
Should that be “on the fringes” or “in the fringes”?,..hmmmm.
Either way i guess, but i’m not here to pick on grammar,..i get your meaning.
Being a power chair user, i don’t know that i would want to live in a northern state with the extra challenges of snow. Unless, of course, there are ways that they have designed into their city to deal with that (excellent public transportation, etc.).
I don’t mind the cold, being that i was born & raised in northeast Wisconsin, but i currently live in the southwest, and don’t know that i would want to take on snow.
To the folks @ New Mobility: If there is a chance, could someone at New Mobility delve into the amenities that these northern cities have in place, if any, that deal with snow & cold issues?
“Wheelchair Friendly” or “Wheelchair User Friendly” would’ve been much more fitting.
I’ve been a wheelchair user for a quarter century and have traveled far and wide throughout this country and several others. Very few places are as wonderfully wheelchair friendly as lovely Portland, Oregon, home of the late, great John Callahan.
San Francisco is my favorite city to visit. The hills can be challenge, though their are usually routes to where you are going with that avoid the steepest grades. The public transportation is amazing. Between BART and Metro I can get around very independently. I find the natives (though not necessarily the tourists) very accepting of aware of us on wheels. For a heat sensitive MS person, the climate is the cherry on top.
Hi I am a C-5 thru C-7 incomplete spinal cord injury survivor. I live in the Eugene/Springfield area of Oregon and I own a window cleaning business,(it’s what put me in my chair, I fell thru a skylight at out local hospital landing at the feet on an EMT 5 feet from the Emergency Room entrance) we opened in 1992. Had to let you guys know that Eugene is a great city for wheelers. We have paved trails that go along the Willamette River, in fact you can travel by trail from Springfield’s Island park to West Eugene and beyond, we have a disabled dance team here, our city has disabled programs for outdoor activities for both winter and summer. Our streets all have good curb cuts with access through out the city. Our disabled community even got the Federal Govt to change their plans for the new Wayne Morse Fed Bldg. The original plans had access from the back with an elevator it now has a beautiful ramp designed into the front of the complex. Springfield also has paved trails that meander along the river for miles. A great place for wheelers!!
You guys are messed Up for putting Boston in their as an Accessible City! NOT! I am a New Englander and Grew up in New Hampshire 120 miles North of Boston and Boston and all of New England are the most INACCESSIBLE places to live!!!! I left NH 4 years into My injury as a T-3 Paraplegic from a SCI due to a car wreck in 1984 when I was 22. Well I came back to NH after 20 years in Ft Myers, Florida by The Gulf of Mexico just for a Summer place. I grew up here in NH and My Family is here and it is Beautiful in Summer & Fall. The Accessibility here sucks!! If I want to go out to breakfast, I have to drive 20 miles to get to an accessible restaurant. I had to sell My home in Ft Myers, Florida during the housing bubble and have been trying to get back ever since. On top of the inaccessibility up here, You also are shut in 6 Months of the Year due to Snow, Ice, & Cold that wheelchairs don’t move very well in. I have never felt like I used a wheelchair the 20 years I was in Florida. I have been back here full time over 5 years now and I know I use a wheelchair for mobility. People stare or they are scared of You. Ask all the stupid questions, and insults You get going into a store like no speeding in here. Don’t Burn Rubber!!, etc.. I never got that in Florida and Florida is flat an totally accessible because of the influx of older people. I would put Florida Cities, My City Ft Myers, Florida on My list for The most Accessible City and State in The USA!!! Public Transportation is Great & Accessible. The weather is warm! Summers are a little hot & rainy but can deal with that , or if You have the money go North for the Summer. 30 Years T-3 Paraplegic and My Favorite Most Accessible City and State is Ft. Myers, Florida Hands Down!!!!!!!!
Thanks Alan. I haven’t been to Boston since I’ve been paralyzed, but I live in Chicago and agree that winter is basically hibernation season.
I would assume with all the retirees in Florida, that that’s where the accessibility is. I’ve been living with my parents since my accident 12 years ago and am getting ready to move out on my own again. I would rather live in Arizona alone than to live in Chicago for another snowy winter.
Now, I’m not saying that Chicago is bad or Boston is bad but for me, I am so done with snow, Northeast and Midwest are definitely out.
I’ve never been to Portland but if you’re looking for wheelchair -’accepting’, I know many people I went to school with that have migrated there. I have only heard good things.
My wife and I live a two hour drive from Chicago and love to day-trip or overnight there. There is a wealth of cultural and dining experiences to be enjoyed. HOWEVER, the taxi service is very poor. Yes, you can call a central number and a cab may show up. Or it may not. There is also are very few of those cabs and the rates are not the same as an “able-bodied” cab. Contrast this to London with 29,000 accessible cabs.
This story was hardly a guide on access to these cities. Each person had merely offered their opinions about each city and gave very few details why their city should make your list.
Topeka, KS seemed to make your list solely based on the fact that client driven aide care started there. You gave little additional information.
I really enjoy your magazine, but this article was not worthy of being a cover story.
You dropped the ball this time.
As a power-chair user I really enjoyed the article. However, I have to agree with the previous comment that this list was short on details and criteria for judging what makes these cities more wheelchair friendly than others.
On the other hand, I just reread the title “Wheelchair Friendly Cities? … 7 Places Worth the Effort.” I guess it’s not really a “best cities” list after all.
Thank you for the thought-provoking article.
I have also found that many times when “wheelchair access” is listed it doesn’t give accurate information about the use of power wheelchairs! My chair weighs 600 pounds and it takes up more space then a folding self propelled chair. Getting around on public transportation is almost nil due to the weight of my chair. The other issue I have faced in regards to places that tout “wheelchair accessible” or “handicap accessible” is that the access is typically limited and many times is in a negligible place (i.e. the rear entrance of stores, entrances in store rooms) or very limited (i.e. 1 wheelchair accessible bathroom out of 50 non-wheelchair accessible bathrooms. I am also tired of handicap bathrooms being family or baby changing rooms! I can’t tell you how many times I have dealt with poopy diapers left on the floor and many other nasty messes left behind by parents who fail to clean up after their babies/toddlers. Being handicapped is difficult enough, why do I also have to deal with sharing limited bathroom options with stinky diapers? Just try waiting outside of the only wheelchair restroom while a mom breast feeds. These two issues do not belong lumped together in the same limited space!
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