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No Free Pass

This is Julia a woman I know, because I have an interest in spinal cord injury. We have had an interview before, and I have read her books on bathroom design for accessibility. I highly recommend this article. ( Read the article below.) Ten years ago my Mom fought and won against breast cancer. That put me on the fast track to early screening and I started having yearly mammograms shortly thereafter. Then I got hit by a car, and all that took a back seat for a while. When my doctor pointed out that I should still be up-to-date with my scans, I booked and attended my local hospital imaging clinic. No big deal.

What I didn't know was that, for many people, accessible mammography was not really a thing. Totally adjustable height and rotation for just the right amount of squeeze… I belong to a network of powerful women on wheels, one of whom is starting chemotherapy this week. She reminded us all that there is no free pass; just because we've been hit by a car or fallen off a mountain, we still get cancer.

That friend has not had an easy time getting the diagnosis and treatment needed. She's been turned away: "We don't treat people with disabilities" and been told to figure out for herself how to get on and off the radiation table. For real. This sh*t is happening in Ontario. A month ago I just about missed my yearly appointment (too busy to look out for myself), but they were kind enough to fit me in even though I was late arriving.

This is what accessible mammography looks like, and if we can do it here, in off-the-beaten-path Huron County, why does my friend, who lives in a major city, not get the same treatment? Delayed diagnosis and treatment because of a lack of accessible infrastructure and equipment is not okay. Having to fight your way through a system when you are already scared as hell is not okay.

People in charge of funding, purchasing and running medical facilities have a DUTY to provide access right alongside all the able bodies also in line. Our bodies got broken, but we didn’t get a free pass. #AccessibilityMatters

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