Wednesday, May 30, 2007

May happenings

It's been almost a month since I wrote. I felt that this might happen when I started this thing, but I will strive to do better. Since my May 4 post on disablism, I have:
  • planted a lawn
  • attended AccessU, two days of training in web accessibility issues
  • held accessibility/usability meetings on a web application I've been developing
  • had lunch with my old Tai Chi instructor, who has moved
  • taught flycasting at a kid's fishing event at Palmetto State Park
  • gone fishing a couple of times.
Many thoughts have passed through my mind, never to be recovered in their entirety. I've had a lot of fun with flickr. I've been a photo buff for many, many years, and this new thing is just a great way to share. I've got some great slides for my screensaver and my computer desktop, too. I don't feel that this is a misuse of the fair use doctrine for copyrighted works. I don't sell photos I've downloaded, and cycle them off my computer periodically. One of the great things about the Internet and flickr is that you never have to become bored with your space.

Friday, May 4, 2007


A bunch of people were blogging against disablism on May 1. I missed it by a couple of days, but here goes. I'm not disabled right now, but you never know when something may happen and change that.

My pet peeve a few years ago was ramps. My college campus was very hilly, with stairs everywhere in the sidewalks. They had installed some ramps, but you had to go around the building to use them. They were only wide enough for one wheelchair at a time, and some had several switchbacks in order to negotiate the hillside. This meant that the ramp was one way at a time. The ramp to the library was way out of the way, but they did have a "basement" door which could be used if you were actually in a wheelchair.

At the time, I was an older student, taking computer science courses. Now, they make computer science books really thick and heavy. I couldn't walk around all day with a load of books, especially after the open-heart surgery, so I used a luggage cart. Thus, I was a regular user of the ramps. The aforementioned library door wasn't accessible to me, since I wasn't actually sitting in a wheelchair. It is in cases such as this where some provision is made for the disabled, but is not legal for all disabled persons.

Another pet peeve is the disabled parking. It is fine for persons with a sticker, hang-tag or special license plates, but what if you hurt your leg that morning getting out of the tub? It doesn't matter how far you have to limp to get into the store. But I have seen many individuals get out of a specially tagged car and walk into a store with no problems. Well, the system isn't perfect, and I don't want to have camera surveillance in parking lots (any more than we already do), but by creating more and more of these special slots, the stores (by government decree) encourage abuse of the system. And they don't all have to be the first ones in front of the door. Many disabled persons just need an extra roomy slot so they can get their scooter out of the car. The distance from the door is irrelevant.