Don’t Take Up Spaces that Aren’t Meant for You

I go to use the elevator in a high rise building only to find a sign that says Please ask security for access to this elevator. A week ago, that sign wasn’t there. When I ask the security guard why the sudden change in policy, they said that people from other floors in the building had been abusing their access to the elevator and that they needed to lock it down. 

Let me make this perfectly clear: I could no longer independently access the only elevator available to take me to this part of the building because other people decided to use / abuse a space that was not meant for them instead of taking the stairs right next to the fucking elevator.

Here’s another example: In order to have access to an accessible room on a cruise ship, I have to submit a form stating that I do in fact have a physical disability that prevents me from using a normal state room on the ship. I have to do this because able‐bodied people have, in the past, been dishonest about the level of accessibility they require in order to have access to a larger stateroom without having to pay a premium.

How about this one: I go into the restroom of a massive convention center. Every single stall  in this restroom is empty except for the one accessible stall in the back, which is being occupied by someone who does not need to use a handicapped stall. I now have to wait for that one person to exit the stall before I can use the restroom. Remember: This bathroom has 7+ other stalls that are built specifically to work for them, but they chose  to use the one space that is available to people like me.

Dear able‐bodied people: accessible bathroom stalls, seating areas, staterooms, and elevators are not meant for you and you should not use them.

I do not care how big of a hurry you were in and how that elevator got you to where you needed to go faster. Because of you, I have to go find someone every time I need to use this elevator and if I can’t find them I GET NOTHING. 

To you, that cruise ship can house 2000+ people and you have an opportunity to get a massive stateroom at no extra cost if you’re wiling to fib a little. To me, that cruise ship has a capacity of around 12 (the number of accessible rooms on the ship) and if they’re all full, I GET NOTHING.

To you, that movie theater has four really great seats right in the middle that just happen to have a sign reserving them for wheelchairs on them. To me, that theater has four seats and if they’re all full, I GET NOTHING.

And let me address the bathroom thing in particular. I don’t give a flying fuck if the handicapped stall was the only one available. You should pretend like it doesn’t fucking exist and wait in line like everyone else.

Don’t take up spaces that were not meant for you. Because everything but those few precious spaces were not meant for us.