Posts Tagged ‘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.

Last time I posted was on Wednesday, just before using my new Ventilator.

The first night was pretty rough. It kept beeping every few minutes, which meant i got almost no sleep that night. The next day was pretty much a write-off.
I went out for about an hour to try to wake up, but it didn’t really help.

Later that night, I had a surprise visit from two friends of mine, Ashley & Cedric.
They both used to look after me for awhile, and we’ve stayed friends. My Wife & I even attended their Wedding a few years ago, which was pretty fun.
Anyways, I hung out with them for about an hour, which woke me up, and cheered me up.

Thanks guys

I was pretty tired by the time I went to Bed, so I slept like a baby.

Personally, I never understood that saying.
Babies poop, pee, and usually cry & scream at night. I don’t cry & scream, but ok whatever.

Anyways, the next day, I stayed home, but hung out with my Wife that night.

Saturday was a very busy day for us, but we had a blast.

Our first stop was Expresso Cafe, so I could grab an Espresso.
From there, we headed to La Petite Mort Gallery, which is a small Art Gallery in Ottawa.
They’re running an Exhibit, and my Wife knows one of the featured Artists.

Things got interesting.
A few days ago, I emailed the Gallery to see if they were Wheelchair Accessible.
The guy said they had a Ramp, but it was stored in the Basement, and to let them know when I was coming, and they’d get it out.

Well, they put the Ramp out for me when we arrived. It looked pretty steep though, and I didn’t want to try.
The Guy brought out two Sculptures which were made by my Wife’s friend.
One happened to be a Penis, and the other one was a Vagina. So there I was in the middle of the Sidewalk with a Penis & a Vagina on my tray. The whole time, we’re just talking away about them.

After a few minutes, we headed off.
Special thanks to the people at La Petite Mort Gallery for showing me those pieces.

From there, my Wife and I went into a few Stores in the Market on our way to get Gelato.

After the Gelato, we headed to the Rideau Centre for a bit.
My Wife bought me a Starbucks Card, and put $10 on it.

We headed home for a bit to rest up before we headed to the Greekfest.

We arrived there shortly before The Zorba Show.
The Zorba Show is where people dance, break plates and glasses while getting drunk on Ouzo, which is Greek Booze.
I should also mention that part of the show involves them dancing in the middle of a fire circle.
It’s insane!

Speaking of Ouzo, I had three shots of it, and it’s pretty good, perhaps too good.

After the show, they invited everyone to dance, and sure enough we did.

At one point, I got stuck in the middle of a dance circle, so I just started dancing while I was in it. I wish I got that on Video though. It was pretty funny.

Trying to dance while driving a 500 pound Wheelchair is pretty hard, especially after having three shots of Ouzo, but I managed to avoid running anyone over.

We headed home awhile later, but we had a blast though.
OPA!

As for today, I had Coffee with my Wife. She tried to make Espresso with her Espresso Maker, but it tasted more like Coffee. It was still pretty good.

After that, I did Laundry.
Tonight, I’m heading out to watch WWE Summerslam.

As for this Week, besides the Meeting on Tuesday Morning, no real plans.
My Sister & Nephew arrive on Thursday, but I probably won’t see them until Saturday Morning.

I might go to the Ex on Thursday. The Ex is our annual Fair.

That’s about it.

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.

On Friday, my friend, Alan came to visit. We hung out, drank, and laughed our asses off.
We’ll be checking out a Comedy Show on August 29th at a Bar called Grace O’Malley’s in the West End.
If all goes well, I hope to be able to do a set there in September or October, which would be awesome. I really miss performing Stand-Up Comedy, and I’m glad that other Comedians told me about the place.

In other news, I had a pretty lazy Weekend, which is good because I have a busy Week ahead.
Here’s what’s happening:

Monday — Retraining an Attendant who’s returning to work for me. Also, meeting a potential new Attendant.

Tuesday, Thursday, Friday — Traning another new Attendant all day.

Wednesday — I’m getting a new Ventilator, which requires five hours training apparently.

Thursday — I’m suppose to meet one of the Organizers of the Casino Sound & Light Festival to discuss Wheelchair Accessibility. We were originally supposed to meet on Monday, but it was supposed to rain, so I had to postpone. it.
As luck would have it, it rained on Sunday, and apparently will rain on Thursday now. I hope we can work something out, cause that Festival needs alot of improving with Wheelchair Accessibility.

Any free time in between will be spent trying to remain sane.

Wish me luck!

I wanted to post yesterday, but I was too brain dead from being outside.

Anyways, this is what I did this past Weekend.

On Saturday, I headed to the Sparks Street Mall for the Buskerfest.

I saw two acts that day.

Liquer FlambĂ© — These 2 were from Australia. Their act featured a Violin, Fire eating, and Juggling. It wasn’t bad, but I’ve seen better.

Checkerboard Guy — This guy was funny, but catered mostly to Kid. Good show though.

I headed home shortly after that.
I called my Nephew to wish him a Happy 3rd Birthday, which was on Saturday.
My Sister will be bringing him to visit at the end of August.

I spent the rest of the night vegging out online, and watching TV.

Sunday was a long day for me, but pretty fun.

My first stop was Pure Gelato.
Normally when I have Gelato, I’m with my Wife and we share it. It usually works out to about 6-10 bites. I’m certainly not complaining, but sometimes you gotta spoil yourself, especially if your sig other’s out of Town.

I went kinda crazy on the Gelato.
I ordered two flavors. One was Crem Caramel, and the other was Chocolate.
They were both damn good.
I quickly got full after a few minutes, but I managed to eat half a bowl.

By the time I left, I felt like a fat Pig.
For obvious reasons, I just can’t walk it off, and driving a Chair doesn’t really burn Calories.

From there, I headed to the Rideau Canal Festival. My Wife & I “adopted a Metre”, but I couldn’t find the spot for the Plaque with our names on it. I asked at the Information Tent, but they were useless. They said it starts under the Bridge, and that I can look it up online. Yeah, I did that beforehand, douchebag.

I was getting hot, so I decided to head to the Rideau Centre to cool off for a bit.

After awhile, I headed to a Patio and had a Beer.

Later, I headed back to the Sparks Street Mall to see some more Buskers.

When I showed up, right away I saw Silver Elvis.

Silver Elvis — He was standing elevated, dressed like Elvis, and painted all in Silver. Basically, he’d dance or move if you dropped Money in his Piggy Bank. He looked pretty cool, but he didn’t do that much.

Jeff Hill — I’ve seen this guy before and he puts on a great show. He swallows objects and brings them up, plays with & eats fire, illusions, and gets out from a Strait Jacket. His show’s Soundtrack is pretty rockin’ too. After the show, I went up and gave him $2.

I tried to see a few other acts, but I was too late. There were too many people for me to even attempt getting a spot.

That was it for my day.

As for today, I went to Starbucks to get an Espresso.

My Wife returns tonight.
Her Brother and his Kid will be staying with her, so we’ll probably hang out tonight, and part of tomorrow.

I hope you all had a good Weekend out there.

On Wednesday, I called my Chair Tech Guy to see if my Controller would be back by Friday. At the time, he didn’t sound too positive about it. Needless to say, I was frustrated at the time.

Eventually, it ended in a good way, but let’s talk about in between.

On Thursday, I headed to B In The Park, which were Bagpipes in a Park. I decided to take a Cab because there was no way that I’d be able to go from the Bus Stop to the Park using my crappy beat up Nintendo Chair Controller.

My Cab showed up at 5:30, and I got down there about fifteen minutes later.
Now, it was my understanding that it would cost $10 to get in, but nobody asked me for it. It’s a good thing cause I spent $10 just getting there.

The first Band were Sons Of Scotland. I think they were a local Pipe Band. They were good, but not as good as The City Of Chicago Marching Band.

Shortly after they came on, I had to go catch my ride home. I booked my ride early, so I could get home to spend time with my Wife before she left for her Dad’s place. She’s gone all Weekend, but at least we were able to spend time together, both Thursday & Friday.

On Friday, I woke up & found out that my Chair Tech Guy dropped of my Controller. I found out soon after that it didn’t work, and neither did my backup one. Luckily, he was able to return a few hours later and he fixed it.

So now, I have my good Controller back, and I’m all set to enjoy the great outdoors this Weekend.

A few hours after he left, I spent a few Minutes with my Wife, and had Iced Coffee.
Not to sound like a Commercial, but Starbucks sells packs of Instant Coffee, which are actually pretty good. I recommend it.

I walked with my Wife to the Bus Stop to catch the Bus to the Train Station. The Bus pulled up right when we got there, so we just had time for a quick kiss.

There was no cheesy Celine Dion song playing or Rain falling, or me crying, or me ripping my shirt off, or glittering, or some crap. Have fun picturing all of that though.

After she left, I went to the Store to buy a Lottery Ticket, then returned home to do Laundry. Good times on a Friday night!

Anyways, like I said, I’ll be out & about all Weekend.
There’s the Busker Fest, & the Rideau Canal Festival, and I’ll be at both.
Both need to improve Wheelchair Accessibility, but I can’t save the World that fast.

I’ll be making mental notes this Weekend on how I can help, if they want it.

I hope you all have a good Weekend out there.

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.