There are two different types of gates we encounter. We have all seen them and we've all had to use them but these 'disabled' gates below are a danger to us. There are the white gates and the 'prevent you from removing buggy's from the store" red gates.
The White Gates: The spacing between the white panel and the tubing of the gate can and is a hazard. The arm of your mobility device can get caught in there as you are paying attention to opening the gate to enter through it. I have no idea what clueless wonder developed this gate but they seriously don't have a clue as far as I'm concerned. Not only have I had this happen to me and it almost tipped my scooter right over (it did tip but being caught in that space was my only saving grace, otherwise my scooter would have landed on its side) I know other people this has happened to as well. One had her scooter arm damaged. We all know how costly it is to fix scooters, she got ahold of the manager of the store and basically made them take responsibility for the bill. They did and said they'd fix the gate. They haven't fixed the gate to date and that was some time back. This is a picture of the gate she got jammed in. This picture was taken at the World's Biggest Bookstore July 2002! Still has a gaping space.
The open spaces on these gates need to be filled in. I know a store that has done it for safety sake when a request was made to the manager after someone got the arm of their scooter jammed in their gate and they fixed it. Below the picture of what we normally see, these unsafe gates, you will see what can be done simply and quickly to make them safe. *note* Not only are these unsafe for disabled people but for children as well. I have witnessed a baby get it's little arm caught in one of those open spaces while it's mother was pushing it through in a stroller.
This spacing in these gates are dangerous to disabled and children in strollers.
This is proof that these spaces can be filled in and these gates, if they insist on using them, made safe for everyone. The Shoppers Drug Mart in the lower level of The Bay Mall at Yonge & Bloor St. has corrected this problem of the gap in this gate.
Then there are these lovely gates that we see more and more of these days that are put up in front of stores or just inside to prevent people from stealing the store buggy's. I understand the store's perspective on this, those things are expensive but these 'gates' are also a hazard to anyone in a mobility device. While concentrating on squeezing through you can hit your head, your arm, pinch your arm, and it can also catch the arm of your scooter and either jam it or flip it back.
There is a simple solution to this particular kind of gate. Get rid of it! In any stores I've seen this kind of gate used there is only one way to get a buggy out of the store, through a checkout counter. When someone wishes to take a store buggy to their vehicle or whatever the store should just demand a piece of identification the person must come back for. Driver's license, health card, social insurance card, etc. I understand not everyone has a drivers license but everyone has a health card or a S.I.N. card. Something you can't just leave behind and it's also a way to track a person if they don't come back. Problem solved. Too simple I guess.
I have been seeing more and more of these new type curbs in the city lately. Look closely and you can see a hump in the middle of it. Please be aware of these new curbs. You must go to either side of them to utilize the ramp on the sidewalk. I have no idea why the city has started making the curbs this way. It can be difficult enough getting past people to cross but now you have to detour even more.
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