It’s important for able-bodied people to remember others who cannot move as freely in this city as they would like, on account of their being encumbered with a disability.
Things most people take for granted – giving little or no thought to them at all – that are as mundane as negotiating a set of stairs, can present an insurmountable obstacle for others.
Beside physical obstacles, people with disabilities also encounter rules and regulations that may present no big concern to most, but major and arguably unnecessary hassles to themselves.
Such is the case for Philippa Powers, a Whalley resident who relies on her mobility scooter to get around. She was none too pleased this week when she was told she can’t bring her ride into a local recycling depot that has a policy against “bikes.”
The depot’s owner gets some credit for trying to arrive at common ground with Powers, instead of responding with a duck-and-cover manoeuvre so common when the media comes calling.
Still, it comes as no surprise that Powers remains less than satisfied with his efforts thus far.
Why should she be? This is not a physical obstacle she’s dealing with, but a rule. She, like everyone else, values her independence.
When it comes to being concerned with issues of accessibility in this city, Powers is definitely not in a camp of one.
This is why it is so important for Surrey residents to voice their concerns to Shane Simpson, B.C.’s minister of social development and poverty reduction, at his meeting at the Civic Hotel in Whalley on Oct. 16 toward developing legislation governing accessibility in this province.
So many depend on it.