This past weekend I took my little ones (ok, some are not so little anymore) downtown to the Art Along the Rogue, its a free community event showcasing Art in the street using chalk, there was also live music. The City closes the street and thousands of people gather to see the hard work of some 50 Artist. If you are feeling creative you can even purchase a square and paint your own ideas for $5 bucks. It was nice to get out of the house on a Sunday, we usually go to church, watch football and some of us get a nap. Driving by to find a parking spot, it looked very crowded but fun.
As we entered the street I immediately noticed a wooden wedge (a ramp) against the curb, why was this the first thing that caught my eye? When you have a child with a physical disability, accessibility is what usually prevents us from going to community events, school functions and even a family member or friends house. I really have to ask myself sometimes, “is the hassle worth it?” Seeing the wooden wedges against the curb showed me that the City thought about those who use wheelchairs or walkers. I really appreciated the accessibility, it was not just one ramp there were several. The live music was in the center of the street, we didn’t have to cut through grass or walk out of the way to find a ramp.
In my eyes we have a long ways to go, but I have to always think about how far we have come. To be completely honest, if Isaac was an able-body I don’t think I would have ever thought about accessibility. I didn’t have any family members or friends in wheelchairs and I don’t remember ever seeing anyone in my school who was a wheelchair user. Now it seems to consume me, not to always complain about our issues, but to work together with organizations and community members to see change. It is so easy to sit back and wish things were different, but nothing would ever get done. If we do things like they have always been done, what do we learn?
My son who thought the shark painting was the coolest thing ever, was ABLE to attend a community event like everyone else. You might have just seen a wedge against the curb, but I seen progress and a boy independent. One day Isaac will grow up and move out of my house, I will not be there to help him down a curb 24 hours a day. I have to know that our world cares enough about the future of our country, not just the able-body children but children with ALL abilities.
I think this was a victory!