I started this article 19 days ago! I must keep my posts rolling! (Enough Candy Crush!)
My topic today is about accessibility from my perspective. The term Accessibility is so multi-sided and layered, it is like opening a big huge can of worms, er, pipe cleaners. I must be positive! Worms have a negative connotation.
Anyways, from my perspective, accessibility means many different things. Remember, my perspective is limited due to my hearing loss, vision loss, ataxia and so forth.
The top being: accessibility to hear what is happening, people are talking, deals are being made, things are being learned, but I am not able to partake. I miss out on banal exchange of irrelevant banter, I miss out of deals and things being sold, or I can’t just go into a classroom at SFU, my alma mater, and listen to a psychology instructor prattle on about this and that. Well, I could sit in the back and pretend to listen, while tick-tacking on my laptop! Heck, I’m doing that right now! Must remember to look earnest!
My vision is also an issue, my depth perception is fallible, in other words I fall over, under, and onto things that I thought were far, but were actually underfoot, overhead, or just out of sight. I can see you sitting across the room, but reading your facial expression is out of the question. If you are standing anywhere beyond four feet from me, all I see is a pink, or brown, or lightly tanned blob that should be your face. Your eyes, nose, and teeth all flow together. It is quiet disconcerting, to someone who is not me, to walk into a room of people and see ten people sitting around a table, yet not being able to know that he is wearing glasses, she is black, he is a he, and so forth!
Turning to ataxia, as you know, or should, there are is ataxia of body and ataxia of mind. Where the body does a hula hoop shuffle with an invisible hoop, and when the mind stumbles over mismatching thoughts. More times than not, I have jerked to the left, jived to the right, fallen over, gotten back up, did the ataxia disco shuffle better than a breakdancer from The Bronx!
I also have zero reflexes. I can, and usually do, drop everything! I pick something up, but, immediately drop it as if on fire. This annoys me royally!
It seems that this article focuses on inaccessibility, not accessibility. All the above are issues that can, and should be, improved upon. For the first two disabilities; being Deaf-Blind is the proper term. To ameliorate being Deaf-Blind, professional intervenors are strongly, sorely needed. To improve ataxia, one needs to be more respectful… there is no cure!
Next article, compare intervenor to interpreter.