Honk for gas station accessibility

March 31, 2010 at 6:31 am Leave a comment

I remember the first time I had to pump my own gas.  I was in college in Pennsylvania and luckily had a friend with me to walk me through the steps.  This is memorable to me because I grew up in New Jersey, the land of the full-service gas stations.  This did give me a new appreciation for full-service gas stations, but not until I met my husband did it really leave an impression.  

Bill lives a very active lifestyle with a C5-C6 incomplete spinal cord injury.  He drives an adapted truck, but with all of this gained independence is still frequently at the mercy of a gas station attendant to pump his gas.  Over the years he has become savvy enough to try to position his vehicle so that he can get in between it and the gas pump to try to pump his own gas.  However, deploying his lift is a safety hazard and this is frequently not an option due to the location of the payment method on the pump being out of reach.  

Trying to access the pump independently is certainly a challenge, but attempting to get an attendant to assist, appears to be just as difficult.  An El Paso news story/video reports on this same issue.  Bill has many stories about accessibility at the gas pump; from waiting long periods of time for the attendant, to having to justify the need for assistance by showing proof of his wheelchair in the truck.  

So next time you are at the gas pump and someone is honking, take the extra few moments to see if that person needs help and/or is trying to alert the attendant.  Spread the word; spread accessibility.

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Entry filed under: Accessibility. Tags: , , , .

Universal Design, Aging-in-Place, transgenerational design, oh my! What is Occupational Therapy???

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