We were recently invited to a surprise birthday party to be held at an upscale, popular restaurant. Ashleigh was excited to attend and frankly these family get-togethers are one of the few sources of entertainment for her. However, it was not to be.
The restaurant was across the river from Cincinnati in nothern Kentucky about an hour away from home for us. Traffic was bad and we were really rushing to make it there before the birthday girl arrived. When we were about a block away Ashleigh’s aunt called and said that the restaurant’s party room was not wheelchair accessible.
We continued on to the restaurant since we were so close and the people at the restaurant confirmed that the dinner location was not accessible. They said they usually carry people in wheelchairs up the stairs. When I told them that her wheelchair alone weighs 350 pounds plus her body weight they agreed that carrying her was not feasible. I try not to be overly sensitive but I found it insulting that they ask people in wheelchairs if they can carry them up the stairs.
I felt just terrible for Ashleigh and I was very upset that she may be feeling left out again. There are already so few things she can participate in. I think all of the parents can understand when I say that you can mess with me but don’t mess with my kids. Ironcially enough this happened the week they were talking on the news that it was the anniversary of the passage of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA).
We ended up leaving the restaurant quickly so we did not spoil the surprise by being seen in the parking lot. So instead of steaks with friends and family, we ended up with Wendy’s drive-thru.