Inaccessibility Simulator

Liz Car“I hate amusement arcades. When I was a little wheelie on holiday with my family in Wales, this was one of our safe havens on rainy days. Dad would ration out the two pences and send me and my brother off into a world of flashing lights, electronic beeps and underage gambling.

We both had very different experiences. My brother would have the best time, returning with handfuls of silver coins and tales of winning against all odds. I would have the worst time, returning with the same number of copper coins as I began with and tales of being the biggest loser.

I couldn’t reach to put the coins in the slot machines, the strength of my two arms was no match for the one armed bandit and even if I had won, I couldn’t have retrieved my winnings. I tried other ‘amusements’ but I was no pinball wizard, didn’t score with table football and never got to grips with the claw.

Years later, amusement arcades became video arcades and I hoped that the new virtual reality would be virtually accessible. I was still too young to learn to drive so I couldn’t wait to try the car racing simulator. You paid your money to sit in a car seat, push on the pedals, and steer your way to victory. I transferred into the seat. The screen barked out instructions to hurry and a countdown began. I tried to drive but I couldn’t; being a short arse, my feet didn’t reach to put the pedal to the metal and with my crippy arms, grabbing the steering wheel was just a distant dream. There were no virtual car adaptions, no steering knobs and no hand controls. I was sitting in an inaccessability simulator.”

Read the rest of Liz Carr’s excellente column at Ouch!

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