Convenience For Some, Accessibility For Others

By Brandon Smith

There is one way the world is becoming more disability friendly without that being its intent. How is this, you ask?

It’s in the form of food and grocery delivery, and ridesharing services. With so much inaccessibility still to conquer, these services seemed to be specifically geared to those who are unable to drive, or transport themselves so they can restock their pantries and their stomachs. That isn’t their purpose of course, but those of us who have visual impairments and other disabilities are definitely not complaining!

The visually impaired are more than capable of cooking and going to the grocery store on their own. I definitely wasn’t implying they aren’t. But the support systems have to be there for them to do so. Support systems in the form of sighted individuals willing to assist them in performing tasks like grocery shopping. Unfortunately, these support systems aren’t always readily available. A blind shopper isn’t guaranteed a pleasant customer service representative every time they step into a store.

Driving is out of the question for many individuals with disabilities so ridesharing services allows for more freedom to get around. Sure, buses, taxis, and paratransit have been available for years. These options have their drawbacks, such as safety risks, high prices, inconvenience, or all of the above.

I’ve heard the case made that it’s society’s failings that has brought on the success of these services. Laziness, antisocial behavior, lack of responsibility, etc. We in the disabled community can thank these shortcomings- if that is indeed what they are-for the world becoming just a little bit more accessible.