Wednesday, May 9, 2012


I'm having one of those days where I can't recall what I've said here thus far, so please forgive me if anything is redundant.  I'm avoiding pain medication as I'm leaving my office shortly, and I don't drive under the influence (even though there are days where I might be safer driving with medication than with pain, but laws are laws).

So this past Friday I graduated with my masters degree in Women's and Gender Studies.  I was a bit worried about my ability to walk at the ceremony, but I somehow managed...even though it almost gave out at the end while trying to get back to my car.  There were so many things in the physical building and in the ceremony structure that were so inaccessible that it was frustrating.  Stairs to the floor of the stadium, narrow aisles between seats that made it hard to walk with my cane (or even walk for the students that weren't very thin), hard seats that were jammed next to each other, not being able to see the platform because of the height of the platform, the stairs to the platform (irrelevant for me as my institution only has doctoral candidates cross the stage)...the list goes on.

In hindsight, I should have used the transport chair I have (it's this model in it on a good sale), but the number of "special" accommodations that would have had to occur to make that happen were numerous.  My line would have likely either rerouted or I wouldn't have been able to be with my fellow masters graduates.  I either would have been put at the end of an established row without chairs moved (making me not fit in the block of bodies) or someone would have had to move a chair mid-processional as we don't do a rehearsal walk-through or have assigned seats.  Same issues getting out...either would have had my own special route or the line would have to be moved.

Universal design for the win, y'all.  Even folks without disabilities benefit from accessibility.  The young women wearing the six inch heels (not or any number of slippy shoe issues.  Or the nervousness of a big ceremony with lots of people.  Or any number of reasons that stairs can be bad, or that sardine-packed seating can be bad (that much body heat all packed into one area for instance).

Anyhow, next adventure, PhD :-)

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