PWD don’t just like to roll. Some also like to rock.

Let’s start with some good news. In my last article, I discussed the need for better accessibility and that Ottawa should be doing more since we are the nation’s capital. I also pointed the severe shortage of wheelchair-accessible port-a-potties in streets that are closed off to cars.

I’m pleased to report that the NCC contacted me to inform me that this issue has been brought to the attention of their Advisory Committee on Universal Accessibility, and it’ll be further discussed at their next meeting.

I think that’s fantastic news, and I hope it leads to a better understanding of what it means to be wheelchair accessible. To be honest, I had no idea that the NCC had an advisory committee on accessibility. I will be looking into this and perhaps talking more about them in the near future.

Hopefully, their committee is better organized than other accessibility committees in Ottawa.

Thank you for reaching out to me, NCC. I look forward to resolving this matter.

Unfortunately, I have yet to hear back from RBC Bluesfest regarding moving their wheelchair platform further and further away from the stage each year. I realize that Bluesfest isn’t happening this year, but this matter can’t be pushed aside. Quite literally.

Come to think of it, I’m pretty curious to see how wheelchair-accessible seating will work at venues once they reopen. In most venues, they tend only to have one or two areas set up for people in wheelchairs, plus a spot for one caregiver or friend.

All people with disabilities only know one person. I must’ve missed that memo.

Anyways, in most of these wheelchair sections, it’s typically pretty busy, and we’re all crammed in together. There’s certainly not enough room to stay six feet apart, or whatever the rules will be at the time.

I recall attending hockey games and concerts at both the CTC and TD Place. Often, I’d have difficulties getting in & out of the section due to other wheelchairs being too big for the space, so I had very little room to get by. There’s also the chance that the person sitting closest to me won’t be able to wear a mask due to their disability or medical reasons.

It’s good to see arenas and venues slowly reopening, but I haven’t heard anything regarding people in wheelchairs attending these events.

My question is how are arenas, and other local venues going to handle having wheelchair-accessible seating set up moving forward post-pandemic?

My concern is that PWD will have an even harder time attending events due to limited seating in the wheelchair-accessible section. It’s far easier to open arenas to able-bodied people because they can sit in a regular seat, and they can be seated further away from others.

So, this week, I’m urging the Canadian Tire Centre, TD Place, and other local venues to please contact me regarding how you plan to continue having people with disabilities at your upcoming events. Has the topic been discussed?

Both large arenas in Ottawa have events scheduled in the not so distanced future. Myself and other members of my community would love to know if we’ll be able to attend and how accessible seating will remain in place.

Like most people, I miss attending live shows and sporting events. I’m looking forward to once again having fun along with many others.