Why Accessibility is Important for Living A Full Life

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On Friday I needed to get my license renewed. The building where the department of driver services is located is supposed to be state-of-the-art because it is only a couple of years old. After opening the door for myself using the automatic door button, I went to the check-in desk. Explaining the website would not let me download the form I needed for my renewal information, the gentleman at the desk inquires if I can use one of the computers near where he checks people in.

Looking at computer desks, I quickly realized I cannot use any of them because the desks are not accessible. Explaining this, he hands me a clipboard with the forms on it. He tells me to fill it out and hand it back to him when I am done. So much for state-of-the-art I thought. I do not physically write all that much because it is easier on my body and quicker to use technology to write. I did not know how I was going to manage to fill out both forms, but I knew I had to. I did it just took a while, and my handwriting was very messy. I handed him back the forms and one of the female workers told me that she would get me a service ticket and that I would probably be more comfortable and be able to manage better at station one or two. Thanking her, I went down in front of station one and two to wait.

When the worker that was manning station 1 came back from lunch, she called me over. Handing over my forms I apologize for my messy handwriting. Assuring me it was alright and putting my information into her computer, she told me it was time to take my picture. The next several minutes were spent trying to get a good angle for the picture. This proved to be impossible, and the camera would not move. After a few minutes, she took me down to one of her coworkers’ stations and had her coworker take the picture. It took some finagling, but the picture turned out surprisingly well. I was frustrated. I thought to myself this place is state-of-the-art. No, it is not.

In 2023, new government buildings and facilities should be extremely compliant with the tenants of the Americans with Disabilities act. I had a difficult time understanding how this building was not compliant. That said, I did what I always do: overcome the challenge presented to me whether by my condition or circumstances. I should not have to here I thought, but I certainly did. I share my experience at the department of driver services to tell you all what it is like to be me, sometimes, and to shed light on the work still needing to be done to ensure full accessibility and inclusion for people like me who have physical challenges.

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