Monday, June 11, 2012

Access Guide

This post is dedicated to all of the future interns who will be new to the D.C. area, particularly individuals who use motorized devices.

Tip one: Surviving the metro (this will be crucial to your stay here). As you've most likely read the metro in DC is extremely accessible. This is true. However...there are a few things to pay attention to.

1. Your motorized device is a delicious entree for the metro train. On occasion your wheels may get stuck while entering the train. You have unfortunately made yourself vulnerable to becoming a snack. No reason to panic. There are a couple of ways to avoid this.

  • Only enter the accessible cars. They will have the symbol of the person in a wheelchair stamped on them. (These are not always easy to get to in time). 
  • The number one suggestion, look for a yellow 8 sign at the end of metro platform. This always your accessible entrance. The driver will be there when you enter. That way if you get stuck, he or she will help. 
Let's talk the Metro Center stop. Any one who has been to this stop knows the reason why it's worth mentioning. It can be confusing. There are TWO elevators on the platform. You may not notice the other one tucked away at the end of the platform behind the escalator.  And our compass, the man in the wheelchair symbol, will direct you to go in the opposite direction, back to the first elevator. Do not heed his guidance. Keep going. This will save you time. Plus potential, brutal humiliation and belittling from a metro worker.

Tip 2: Metal detector etiquette and your Assistive Device.

  • If you go to the Rayburn building, you may go through the metal detector, device and all. 
  • If you go to the Cannon building, you need to go around the detector. Otherwise they tell you the right way to do it next time, oops. 
  • So general rule. Ask before you proceed. 
Ending spill.

Despite the tone of this post. DC is my favorite city in the U.S.

And a policy recommendation. Write something on the back of the elevator in Metro Center, like, ELEVATOR in bold letters. Or perhaps have the sign pointing in two directions, indicating two elevators, like the city did with the Foggy Bottom stop. Thanks!

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