So the other day, I am waiting in line at the pharmacy. Yadda yadda, just minding my own business when I hear the guy behind me complaining to the pharmacy technician.

I wish ADA would fix the credit card swipers, they are really not conducive to left-handed people.

And I’m kinda hoping he’s joking, because really? Of all the things the ADA (American Disabilities Act) has done – isn’t this kind of a joke?  But he keeps droning on complaining, clearly not joking here.

The best part was I am standing in front of him, in all my 4’1” glory, not even able to see the text on the credit card swiper which stands at eye-level. I am reaching above my head to sign the screen but not able to read the text due to the glare.

I’m not saying any of this to gripe about the ADA. This is the least of their worries. And yet, the ADA does not exist to customize my world for me. I’m not the norm and I just wanted to say to that guy, “dude, deal with it. If you’re not in the norm you can’t expect the world to cater to your every need. ADAPT.”

Duh…deal with life. The ADA has done a lot to make life liveable, but please, don’t ever expect anyone to cater to your every need. In a way, the struggle brings greater appreciation. When I find something that fits me or can access something “my-size” it is so exciting! I really appreciate it. Especially when my legs don’t have to dangle off, sitting in average-sized chairs, making them fall asleep!

mysink.jpgMy dad lowered the counters in our kitchen and made an extra little sink in our bathroom (my family is 4/5 little people) so that I could be independent and self-reliant. But never in a million years did they teach me to expect anything in the world to accommodate me, I must adapt to it. When you can’t do something, get a stool, climb up and do something about it!


One response »

  1. Such a cute pic of you as a kid!

    I’ve been thinking about you (and about a couple of friends with MS)a lot since we’ve moved to Copenhagen. Nothing is ADA here, and all the streets have really uneven cobblestones. Even ground floor apartments often have 2-3 steps to the door, and there’s no braille signage or anything like that.

    Of course, this is all part of the European charm. Still, it must suck to be “differently abled” here.(disabled? otherly-abled? What term do you think is best Jen?)

    I remember when the ADA requirements first went into action in the states and everyone was bitching and moaning about having to put in ramps and elevators. But even as an averagely abled person, I can see how empowering they can be — and how insenstive people can be about not noticing the needs of others. I really appreciate all the ways you’ve educated this ‘average’ person about seeing, really seeing, others around me.



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