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Friday, July 5, 2013

Being Obsese Keeping You from Enjoying Certain Activities?

More than one third of Americans are considered to be obese. Of these, some have difficulties getting around, and need to use wheelchairs to transport around areas where walking may be the only mode of transport. For these people, the standard wheelchair isn't something that is either comfortable or feasible.

They are in need of a wider wheelchair up to 36 inches in width to be comfortable when using places where you may sit in it for several hours.

Well if using these wheelchairs the person cannot gain access to many public places that have double doors with the middle bar.

With obesity statistics rising in numbers and now that is considered a disease will ADA change the width standard to meet the needs of those suffering from obesity or just a disability that requires them to use a wheelchair to gain access to stores, offices, tours, and the list goes on and on.

Recently, I went to go on a tour with my family and was unable to complete the tour due to my having to use a 36 inch wheelchair. I was injured in December of 2011, and since then have restrictions on walking, and have had to use a wheelchair when going to places that would normally keep you up on your feet for over 30 minutes.

I watched as my two young boys had to watch the staff take me back to watch the movie about the making of this dam. I sat in an air conditioned room watching a movie, and it was quite disappointing that I couldn't go through the two hour tour with my family.

Luckily, the staff allowed for my children to finish the tour since they really wanted to do the tour. I realized that many Americans will be facing these same issues. They too, will be unable to complete certain fun trips with their own families.

It saddens me that such a thing is taking place. Is there some sort of discrimination against obese people, happening? I, myself feel a little gilded by my inability to gain access to certain places because of the need to use an extra large wheelchair.

Recently, I have been paying closer attention to these places that I cannot access. Many stores, restaurants, tour areas, and other buildings that use the double doors with the middle brace have been the biggest issue. For many of these places they have wheelchair access lifts, elevators, but then aren't consistent throughout the building which limits access.

Obesity is an issue and it isn't going away, it is here to stay. Being an obese person myself, I can tell you it has nothing to do with laziness. I have been changing my eating habits for years and I swim for 30 minutes almost everyday in the pool. I have lost maybe  35 pounds and then it stops. I have been stuck for many years, but was able to get around until I was left injured and unable to walk long distances nor standing for long periods of time.

I never realized what an issue it must be for disabled people to get around and gain access to all the places that everyone else can go.

I think it might be time for the ADA to change the standards so that access is equal across all people not just some of them.

I would love to hear from others that feel like they too have had to face these circumstances because of their own Obesity or Disability.