Nursing Home Public Accessibility Travel Wheelchairs

When Accessible Really Isn’t — At the Pizza Parlor

Veg PizzaTrips are a big deal at my dad’s nursing home. The recreation department does a great job of scheduling a variety of outings that otherwise home-bound residents can enjoy. Finding the right venue can be a challenge sometimes, though. Take the pizza outing, for example.

It’s a big hit. Pizza isn’t served at my dad’s nursing home — probably because restaurant-style food, as opposed to fast-food, is the preferred style. The local parlor has a friendly, welcoming staff, a side door leading into an infinitely re-configurable dining room, and ‘handicap accessible’ restrooms. Sort of.

The restroom door is wide, the bars are up, the towel dispenser is low enough to reach. There’s just one problem: Once you get the wheelchair through the door, it isn’t possible to get to the toilet. The open door is in the way, and it can’t be closed because the wheelchair, once inside the restroom, blocks the door. Oops.

How about a new mantra for the 21st century? Designers/architects/builders: try it before you sell it! Is this really too much to ask? Grab a wheelchair and see what it looks like from the user’s point of view. Is that so hard?

Image from Flickr