Getting serviced, or not—accessibility success and failure

Today Brad went with Felix and me to get our van ramp serviced and drop my Kitchen Aid mixer off to get serviced (it won’t turn on).

We went to Ilderton Conversions first to get our van ramp serviced. That’s where we got our van from, so they all know us well. I decided to bring my wheelchair to work on heeling and going through doors with Felix.

After we dropped off the keys, Brad got some videos of Felix and me working on going through doors and heeling around the showroom (currently empty). Felix did a really good job! It was a little hard for him to leave the building because the way the door opened left only a very small sliver of space for him to squeeze through to get in front of my chair. He did a much better job on the way back! And his heeling around the building was superb!

We got a couple of pictures of ourselves waiting in the waiting area. I am wearing a white dress with blue and purple flowers, a galaxy mask, and am in my wheelchair. Felix is a sable and white Japanese Chin wearing a purple harness. Brad is wearing lime green pants, a lavender shirt, a red blazer, and a pink and purple straw fedora. He looks super snazzy!

We weren’t there for too long, maybe an hour, and our van was done! Best of all, since our ramp was in pretty good shape, they didn’t even charge us!!!

Next we headed over to the appliance repair center to drop off my mixer. When we arrived, we didn’t see an accessible entrance. Plus they didn’t have a van accessible parking space. We made the parking work, and then got out of the van. I decided not to take my wheelchair so that I could walk in and ask where their accessible entrance was.

I walked up the step with Felix, and inside. It was empty inside, and I spent 5 minutes looking around for someone before I noticed a bell on the desk. I rang the bell and someone came out to help. I asked where the accessible entrance was, and THEY DIDN’T HAVE ONE!!!!!

So I made her come outside to see Brad in his wheelchair unable to come in. He had the mixer on his lap, and Felix was a little weirded out by the smells and sounds of the repair place, so I had to carry him and couldn’t carry the mixer, too. So the lady carried the mixer in for me.

I really didn’t want to give these people my business, but they are the only people that fix Kitchen Aid mixers in the area. Otherwise I’d have to pay for a box to be mailed to me, pay to mail it in to the company, pay to get it fixed, and pay to have it mailed back. That’s too much paying!!!!

So we went back inside, and there was nowhere for me to sit. By now I’d been standing about 10 minutes, and 15 minutes is about my limit. But she still had to check me in, get all my information, and explain their policies to me. 10 minutes later and my ankle is really complaining and my hips are starting to get quite sore, and we’re finally done. She did apologize to me about three or four times about not having an accessible entrance. I never said “It’s OK”, even though that’s the socially acceptable thing to do. I just said “Yup” each time.

I understand that most of their business is commercial kitchen users who probably have their equipment brought over in trucks, so they aren’t big on the walk-in customers. But still, it is a business open to the public and not only should it be accessible, but by law it must be. Brad couldn’t even get in the building, and while I could get in the building, I couldn’t take my wheelchair and was in pain because they didn’t have any chairs!

We were fuming about that the whole way home. I have to go back in about a month to pick it up. I don’t know how we should handle that. Maybe we should both sit outside the building in our wheelchairs and call them and make them come out to us!

Here are pictures Brad took of the inaccessible appliance repair place. In one of them, Felix is peeing on the bushes near the door. Serves them right!

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