Wednesday, January 14, 2009

Accessibility a Disappointment for the Biggest Inauguration of Our Time

This Election Day was an exciting and proud day for all minorities. Obama’s win is a profound example of how the face of America has changed over the last five decades. It is a representation of true equality and equal access to the greatest job anyone could have in the United States of America.

This January 20th America will unite to swear in her very first African American President marking this Inauguration the biggest of our time. Despite claims of being the most accessible of inaugurations the International Press takes notice that equal access unfortunately does not apply; including seniors, the disabled and parents of young children, it's going to be a fierce challenge to see Barack Obama take the oath of office.

Washington Metro has warned that the days before, during and after the Inauguration crowds and security conditions will limit access of service. Station escalators will be turned off which means long lines at elevators that are needed for wheelchairs, strollers and the elderly. Washington Metro went as far as to advise all those who need assistance or special accommodations avoid coming downtown Washington on these days.

What about the challenged people who work downtown?

Then once people in wheelchairs or with walkers get to the site where swearing-in is due to take place, they will be met with the challenge of bumpy surfaces, grassy areas, and possible weather issues not to mention the challenge of inaccessible porta-potties and limited accessible restrooms. Backpacks and diaper bags are banned from the seated area on the National Mall as well as push chairs such as wheelchairs and strollers.


Mandy Van Cleave said...

My son will be attending a "Virtual Field Trip" of the Inauguration in his 5th Grade classroom. They are having the students bring a packed lunch to further simulate the field trip experience.

Adam Lewis said...

It is sad that an Inauguration costing as much as this one is, the most expensive in history, can't even provide for people with special needs. Hope this isn't a sign of future things to come...

Virtual Field Trip? That is just too awesome.

Andy Wendt said...

"Backpacks and diaper bags are banned from the seated area on the National Mall as well as push chairs such as wheelchairs and strollers."

There you have it and I knew it all along: Obama hates babies.

Etha W said...

I personally know I will have a better view from my nice warm house in front of my TV. It is however ironic that such an election over breaking barriers would have accessibility issues.

I just feel for the people with challenges getting back and forth on the metro to work on the days before and after the event.