Before getting to the office
One of the things that often occupies the mind of a disabled person on the
way to work is all of the things that need to be faced before reaching the
office. It all starts with the walk to the bus stop and ends with the
arrival at one’s desk.
So many people have told me about their anxieties of getting to work.
Waiting on the bus and ensuring that one gets on the right bus. Finding a
seat on the bus and making sure that they do not miss their stop. If it is
winter or otherwise bad weather, making sure that they make it safely to the
It does not end there! If one has to take the subway then there are the
added challenges of navigating one’s way to the correct subway. Just like a
sighted person, a disabled person has to ensure that they get on the correct
subway but if you are blind or sight impaired then guess what? The blind or
sight impaired person has to deal with navigating through crowds and using
their memory to pinpoint the location of their subway. Then when the subway
arrives, they like everyone else has to jostle their way onto the subway and
try to find a seat or the nearest pole to hang on to.
The trip is almost at an end but not quite. There is the final leg so to
speak of getting from the subway station or bus stop to the office. For the
disabled person and speaking as a blind person, this last leg is just as
challenging as the previous ones. A disabled person has to navigate through
crowds coming out of subway stations, walking on sidewalks, and going into
office buildings and office towers. If the weather is bad, then the same
concerns as described above re getting to the bus stop apply.
For me, when I worked in the mainstream workplace, all of what I have
described applied directly to my challenges. With time, it got better.
There is no easy way to deal with this. All that I can say is that as long
as one realizes that these challenges do indeed exist, that’s half the
battle won. The other half is to overcome them.
I’m Donna J. Jodhan your free lance writer and roving reporter wishing you a
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