Accessibility around Edmonton

Have you ever wondered how accessible Edmonton really is for people with limited mobility? Cassie Chaba gives us a glimpse!

People think getting around Edmonton in a wheelchair is easy. Ha! It is totally not. Sometimes getting in a doorway is difficult because it might have a bump that is hard to get over, or a narrow doorway or even worse, stairs. For instance, most bars in Edmonton have stairs. I am lucky because I can walk upstairs with assistance or sometimes the bouncers carry my manual wheelchair up the stairs. But if me or somebody else has a power chair, there is no way the bouncer could carry 200 pounds up and down the stairs. Inside, the bars are crowded and small- there is barely enough room to move around and some tables are so high, I can hardly see anything.IMG_3854

Because winter is brutal in Edmonton, I have to take a special kind of transportation, DATS. Taking this kind of transportation is an inconvenience for a person like me because this specific transportation can be late and then they still can be an hour more picking people up and dropping people off.  If I have to go to work or school or an appointment, I would be late. Also, if I was five minutes late, they would take off and leave me stranded.

In the spring, summer and fall I take the normal transportation (ETS) wherever I need to go because it is faster and it is usually on time, other than traffic and trains. Also, I don’t have to wait for the special transportation and it making me late; I can come and go as I pleased without waiting forever. The only bad thing about normal transportation is people sit in the accessible sitting and don’t move. Also sometime the buses are too full people or the ramp doesn’t work and I can’t even get on the bus- I have to wait for another one.

Another barrier is if the elevator not working, I am out of luck. I either have to wait for maintenance to come or I have to go home.

By Cassie Chaba

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Posted on March 20, 2015, in Uncategorized. Bookmark the permalink. 3 Comments.

  1. Thank you for sharing your experience, Cassie. You shed some light on the challenges that people in wheelchairs face getting around in this city that is snow-covered 6 months of the year. Maybe with more awareness and consideration, people on buses will leave the front seats available for wheelchairs, seniors, and moms with strollers. Hopefully, you will notice changes happening, and the mobility situation will improve. All the best!

  2. Check out mighty wheels. He has a blog and fb page. Trying to organize more awareness for this exact struggle. Good on you for speaking out

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