A short TTC inaccessibility rant…
Today. Queen’s Park Station. Services a zillion bureaucrats - and part of Hospital Row. So you get a bunch of commuters - and some people who use the TTC to get to their hospital appointments with a variety of disabilities.
They have elevators. Yay. A lot of stations don’t. But they stuck the platform access elevator behind a gate that only takes a token or a monthly metropass. The token-spitter machines? You need to be of average adult height in a standing position to use them.
So, a woman with a large wheelchair can’t use the gate. Or the machines. She’s got to try to get the attention of the dude in the box - and the little “aisle” is too narrow for the wheelchair, and he can’t see her.
And the throngs of people trying to run for their Go train got irritated.
"Hi! Can I help?"
"I can’t use the elevator without a token."
"Sure." She gave me three bucks for it. I went through the cash turnstyle, and she went back to the elevator.
If you see an elevator in the TTC and think, “Oh. Accessible.” you’d be wrong. We’ve been dithering around worried about the letter of the law, rather than thinking “how is this supposed to work for the person in the wheelchair? or with the guide dog?”
As we make medical and technological advances, more and more of us are going to fit into that “disabled” category. So if you think, “not my problem”, you may want to stick a “YET” on the end of that thought.
So, let’s make sure this stuff works for everybody. Because you don’t know when it might be you that’s stuck behind a barrier.