Let me tell you, my friends, about a little story of discrimination. Such an ugly word, but a word that until today, never reared it's head upon me and my disability.
I called a place here in San Antonio called HAUSMANN MILLWORKS. It's a warehouse that has been transformed into a huge space where a small community of artists can rent small studio spaces to create and, possibly sell their art. I wrote them, through their website, yesterday, and had not received a response, so I called this morning to see if I could get some information regarding studio space rental. The call was answered by a happy sounding man who seemed almost too happy to answer any questions I had. Yes they had available spaces, yes they were affordable. I was happy to hear all of this. Then I asked "Is the location wheelchair accessible?" That question was met with a slight pause then he said "OH...did you write us about that last night?" "Yeah, that was me." I replied.
"Well, we just don't really want to have to deal with all of that accessibility stuff, like, we don't have a bathroom that's wheelchair accessible. Our building is basically flat and you can get in, but we just don't want to have to deal with it"
"Yeah, we just don't wanna deal with the whole accessibility thing. You should look up Blue Star or fine silver studios, they would be better suited for someone in your situation."
"...so I can't even come in to see your place then?"
"Well, I'm in Kansas City setting up an exhibition right now and I won't be back for two weeks. I can meet with you then. But I would try Blue Star and Finesilver first because we really would rather not have to deal with it"
"Ok" then I hung up and sat in my truck as I tried to process what I had just heard.
I didn't ask for anything special, I didn't request anything, I only asked if I would be able to get into a place. Not only was I discouraged to even come visit, but this guy was pushing a potential tenant to another property. I was only calling because I had heard that they were looking for tenants, apparently they are only looking for able-bodied tenants because wheelchair bound people can't create art.
I was going to let this go, but it would be a bigger TRAVESTY if I didn't say anything or bring this to the attention of my small circle of friends.
Please feel free to share this sad and sick, but TRUE story with anyone and everyone you think might give a damn.
Thanks for reading.