Posts Tagged ‘checking out wheelchair accessibility’

On Tuesday, I headed over by the casino to meet one of the organizers of the casino sound & light festival to discuss improving wheelchair accessibility.

The ride there was interesting.

The para transpo driver had no idea where I was going, and it had been two years since I had been there. For some odd reason, he kept asking me for directions on how to get there.
There’s a few reasons why that’s a horrible idea.

1. I don’t drive.
2. I assume most disabled People don’t go to home renovation stores often, so I had no idea where to turn off, or what streets to take. (I was going to Reno Depot, which is the french version of Home Depot.)
3. My direction skills are HORRIBLE. I’m not kidding either. I once got lost when I came out another Door of my wife’s workplace.

After about 45 minutes of trying to read french road signs, and asking 3 random car drivers on the road, we discovered that we were in the opposite end of Gatineau. I somehow still managed to make the Meeting semi on time.

Our meeting went well. I was given a very thoroughed tour of the site. As it turned out, the main reason, I had so much trouble 2 years ago is because my wife and I had general admission tickets instead of reserved seating. If you buy tickets for the reserved seating section, you can sit on a platform, which is directly in front of the fireworks.

The view there was absolutely beautiful, and it seems like it’d be incredible at night.
One of my beefs is that I’d have to pay extra for my attendant, which is extremely stupid, plus expensive. So, I will be writing a letter to the festival president to see if they’ll drop that policy.

When I was a kid, a roommate (at the hospital) went on TV to discuss how unfair it was that we had to pay for our personal care attendants if we wanted to see a movie. It turned out that our complaining made life easier for us, and other severely disabled people.

After that, it was up to the theatres on whether or not to let them in for free. Nowadays, for the past few Years, we’ve been issued an “Access 2 Entertainment” card. Whenever I go see a movie or a special event (like wrestling) at the movie theatre, I show them the card, and just pay for myself. The next step is trying to convince concert/sports venues to do the same. I’ve been discussing it with different places for many years now, and it’s a never ending battle.

Speaking of movies, on Tuesday night, I checked out The Other Guys, starring Mark Wahlberg & Will Ferrell.

For those who don’t know, Mark & Will work for the Police Force, but not as Cops.
Will’s an Accountant, and Mark was relieved of his cop job after shooting Derek Jeter.
The two of them team up to try to solve a crime in the hopes that they can earn a cop job.

This movie pokes fun of other cop movies, especially buddy cops movies.
The duo of Will Ferrell and Mark Wahlberg came off very well, and extremely funny, and it also helped that Eve Mendes was in it too. She played Will’s wife, and Mark’s absolutely stunned that she’s married to Will.

To me, Will Ferrell is a hot/cold type of actor.
On the hot side, he’s been in such great movies as, A Night At The Roxbury, Old School, Anchorman, Elf, Talladega Nights, Step Brothers, and Blades Of Glory.
On the cold side, he’s been in movies like Bewitched, Semi Pro, Stranger Than Fiction, and Land Of The Lost.

To me, The Other Guys, is one of his better movies.

As far as the rating, well, I give it a solid joysticks up. I highly recommend it, especially if you’re a Will Ferrell fan.

The rest of my week was spent trying to fix the weekend schedule for my attendants. For the longest time, I’d be without anyone for 32 hours, which is very bad considering I require 24/7 care.
Luckily, I managed to convince people to work, including a brand new attendant, and 2 that no longer work here regularly.
All that matters is that everything worked out, and I’m proud of myself.

As for my weekend plans, Saturday’s gonna be a busy day.
My sister and nephew are in town.

Saturday morning will be spent with my family visiting my Grandmother. My Grandma will be having major surgery next Wednesday, so we’re all gonna visit her at the nursing home.

After that, my sister and I will be heading to a Tattoo Shop to get tattoos. My wife’s coming too, but not getting one done. I hope to shoot some video footage of me getting my tattoo done.

After that, we’re all heading to East Side Mario’s for a family dinner. It’s very rare that we’re all able to be together, so this will be a special occasion, and I’m really looking forward to it.

As for Sunday, I’ll probably sleep and relax after a long day.

So on Monday, I retrained an Attendant who’s returning after being away for a Year.
Everything went fine, and she remembered how to do everything.
I also interviewed a new Attendant, and she seems good.

As for the rest of the night, I did laundry, reserved a table for a Dinner date with my Wife for our Engagement Anniversary later this Month, and vegged.

On Tuesday, I trained another new Attendant. This was her first day, so it went ok. On the first day, they usually just suction me at the end of the day. She did, and it went well.

I spent the Evening with my Wife.

As for Wednesday, three hours was spent learning about my new Ventilator.
It’s ok, but it’s really freakin loud, and has alot of bright lights.
Right now, I’m just gonna use it when I’m sleeping.
I’m not really sure how well I’ll sleep, but I’ll find out tonight.

Eventually, I’ll be getting a second one to put on my Wheelchair.
My new Wheelchair’s gonna look like the Car in Back To The Future.

And now it’s time for the “is this really happening?” moment for the Week:

As some of you know, I was supposed to meet with one of the Organizers of the Casino Sound & Light Festival to discuss ways of improving Wheelchair Acessibility.
So, on Wednesday Morning, my Attendant called Para Transpo (Like I’d get up at 7 am.) to book my ride.
Well they said that Para Transpo doesn’t go there. HUH? Since when?
That makes no sense whatsoever.

Anyways, we’re gonna try to meet up next Week.

As for the rest of this Week, I’ll be checking out Fortissimo on either Thursday or Friday night.
Fortissimo features Military Bands, like Bagpipes, & Drums, and also features live demostrations of things.
It takes place on Thursday, Friday, Saturday, & Sunday at 7:30 pm on Parliament Hill.

No other Weekend plans yet.

So yesterday, another major Festival contacted me about helping them improve Wheelchair Accessibility.
This time, it’s the Casino Sound & Light Festival.

My Wife and I attended it two years ago, and we didn’t have fun, largely to how unaccessible it was. I had a hard time getting around, and by the time, I found a spot, it was under a Tree.
We also had a hard time trying to get out.

Needless to say, it’s a big catch for me, and hopefully I’ll be able to help them out.

As of right now, I’ll be working for three major Festivals in Ottawa.
They are:

Ottawa Bluesfest
Ottawa Folk Festival
Casino Sound & Light Festival

I’m still waiting to hear from other Festivals/Events, so who knows what’ll happen next.
Hopefully, more will be interested in hiring me.

After finding that out, I made a few Phone Calls, and then headed out to have an Espresso.

For the rest of the day, I stayed home.
I’m still using my Nintendo Controller to drive my Chair, so I can’t really go far.

This Weekend’s a long Weekend, so I’m hoping that my regular Controller will be fixed by Friday.

I had an Appointment today, and on Thursday, I’m heading to a Park Downtown to hear Bagpipes.

That’s about it for now.

First of all, I apologize for not posting for a few days.
It’s been really hot, and when it gets like that, all I want to do is as little as possible.
Like most people, I can only do that for so long.

As most of you know, this past Weekend, was a long Weekend.
My Wife and I spent most of it at the Grand Reopening of the Museum Of Nature.
We spent almost Seven hours there on Saturday, which was utterly insane.

The place was PACKED, and most of our time was spent waiting in lineups to get in, and to even use the Elevators.

While I was there, we paid close attention to Wheelchair Accessibility.

For the most part, it’s not too bad.

Here are my thoughts:

Negatives:

1. One thing we noticed right away was there’s no Wheelchair Access to the outside sitting area/patio/outlook place. The only way for a Wheelchair to get up there is by going through the Museum, and taking the Elevator. Meanwhile, able bodied people can just walk up a few steps. I’m not even sure if they need to pay, but we would need to, just because we need to enter the Building in order to get there.

2. I noticed that many of the Doors to the Exhibit Areas don’t have a button to open the doors. To me, this is a really sad oversight on their part. By not having a Button, most of us are unable to open the doors, and will have to wait for someone to help.

3. Most of the signs in the Exhibits are readable, but some are really hard to get to, due to their location. Disabled people often need to get close to be able to read them, and sometimes it’s not possible. I also suggest that using large print signs for the visually impaired would go a long way. Also, some of the signs are way too low for some of us to read. Personally speaking, I can’t bend down or over to read them, and I imagine not a lot of other Disabled people can either.

4. The Gift Shop is pretty small. I realize that it was packed on the Weekend, but I had a really hard time turning the corners in there. It had nothing to do with people being in the way. The tables for the items on display are simply too close to the shelves. A few extra inches at both ends of the Store would greatly improve the problem.

The positives:

1. The Elevators are HUGE, which is great.

2. It’s great to know that Personal Care Attendants are free. There needs to be more places in Ottawa, besides Museums that offer this. I should also point out that the Museum is free for everyone every Thursday from 5 PM to 8 PM. It’s $10 for Adults any other times.

3. For the most part, Bathrooms are a good size. Some are bigger than others, but that’s pretty much the case anywhere in Ottawa.

4. The small Elevator to get into the Lobby is a lot nicer, and feels much safer than the old one. I remember riding the old one when I was a Kid, and it would often shake and rattle while it was moving.

5. The Lighting is MUCH better in the Museum now, and it doesn’t feel creepy anymore. I can actually see certain displays a lot easier now.

6. The new HD Theatre is fully accessible, complete with spots for People in Wheelchairs, and their Attendant/Friend etc can sit beside them as well.

So there ya go, folks.
That’s what I think of the newly revamped Museum Of Nature in Ottawa.
I’ll be sending a slightly modified version of this post to the Museum.

I plan on returning there sometime this Summer.

Stay cool!

Last night, I headed to a nearby Restaurant to check out the accessibility.
It didn’t start off too well.

The Restaurant is on the top floor of a Hotel.
You gotta take the Elevator all the way up to the floor below it, have someone walk upstairs, get a key or grab someone with a key, come back downstairs to bring me upstairs.

It’s a retarded setup, but my Wife and I are going there to celebrate tomorrow night.
This could be interesting, but hopefully everything will go well.

As promised, tomorrow, I will be sharing the story of how I proposed to my Wife three years ago in Toronto.

After the Restaurant thing, I headed to the Grocery Store to help out my Wife.
To my surprise, she had just finished her Shopping, so we walked home together.
I spent some time at her place before heading home to watch WWE Monday Night Raw.

America’s Got Talent is on tonight. I’m not gonna predict who’s performing tonight, but I’m looking forward to it.

I’ll be back tomorrow with a full recap, my marriage proposal story, and perhaps a few other things as well.

Thanks for reading.