Figuring out backpacks and satchels was just the beginning of the mobility problems I had to solve. Disability access impediments have not gone away with the advent of the ADA in 1990. For instance, last month the ten foot nylon strap I always carry came in handy to adapt a motel’s so called accessible shower. Fortunately, the world is now accessible enough and with my lift-equipped van I get to use a power wheelchair. The briefcase on the back of my wheelchair and the purse hanging from the seat makes it so I can carry far more stuff than anyone should be allowed to have. In addition to a full size DSLR camera with a spare lens, I have two flashlights, gloves, a watch cap, a red-blinking LED light for night travel, scissors, tweezers, three different eye drops, etc., etc.
Now that I can carry too many tools I can use my practiced ingenuity to make my life easier with less sweat and worry. Vice grips? Yup, I got ‘em. Phillips head screwdriver? What size? Disability or no, I would probably be kind of a gadget guy. All that stuff pleases me. The stuff I carry and my now well-practiced ability to solve access problems in a less than hospitable world means I have a little more ease and comfort. Living this disability life gives me many, many opportunities to invent and repurpose both the micro and the macro. It’s satisfying to concretely solve disability-related access problems in the face of issues like employment, transportation, and healthcare for disabled people. Those aren’t easily solved. Little by little we chip away at the mundane and the world changes.