Early Wednesday morning found both Darrell and I boarding a Greyhound bus to Whistler Village. After much effort, we were both loaded and our chairs securely strapped into the bus. By batting my blue eyes and stating that I had done before, I was able to stay in my scooter on the bus; otherwise, I would have had to switch over to a bus seat and my scooter stored below, which I could have done, but sometimes its more the principle of it – not everyone can get out of their chairs.
Two and a half hours later, along the Sea to Ski Highway that is still undergoing major reconstruction, we arrived safely in Whistler – a host city for the Olympic and Paralympic 2010 Winter Games.
I understand that much work had been done to improve the accessibility of the village in preparation for the Paralympics. But, to be honest, I was less than impressed by what I saw. On the short walk from the bus loop to the Telus Conference Centre, the curb cuts were not well-defined and were in ill-repair. In the Conference Centre, I needed assistance to get around the tight corner into the washroom.
It is quite possible that I encountered the least accessible areas in an otherwise very accessible village. But, obviously, work is still needed before Whistler is invaded by an army of wheelchair users in less than ten months!
The reason for our day adventure was I had the pleasure of presenting with Karen and Emese from the SPARC BC (Social Planning and Research Council of British Columbia) at the annual BC Recreation and Parks Association (BCRPA) Symposium. I presented my lived experiences with accessible recreation. All went well except for committing the presenter’s carnal sin: ran out of business cards. Ooops!
Presentation is offered below. Enjoy!
If you enjoyed this post, consider buying me a cafe mocha. Thanks kindly.