Attitude is (almost) everything

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In the slightly less glamorous location of my office, and feeling decidedly colder I write my final reflections on a great trip to Las Vegas.  This time I want to focus on the importance of the attitude taken towards dealing with impairment and the difference it made for us.  For me, I think attitude is almost everything when dealing with impairment.  Barring being offensive, if the attitude is right, I think the rest follows on and it certainly proved to be the case for us in Las Vegas.  

In a previous blog I wrote how being treated as a consumer made a real difference to how our holiday felt and how we were able to experience more as a result.  Simply put, following on from that consumer treatment, the people we encountered started with the attitude that nothing was a barrier.  To give a simple example, when we walked into a show, our seats were originally meant to be down some steps, which were inaccessible.  Within a matter of seconds, we were shown to an alternative position, with an apology.  No fuss, no nonsense, no head scratching, just a ‘can do’ attitude and a simple solution.

By contrast, when we arrived back to the UK, the wheelchairs had not been bought up from the luggage carousels to the plane.  After much enquiry, no solution could be found so we had to suggest going down to collect our belongings.  Not such a great attitude and not the best welcome back to the UK.  Now it could be said that I am comparing apples and pears here but I am trying to show how approaching issues that might arise it is attitude that is key.

In another example in Vegas, we booked airport transport, which can be a complete nightmare.  The Supershuttle, however, lived up to its name.  There was an option to book accessible transport on the front page. Easy.  I didn’t have to call, just tick the box and make the booking.   The taxi turned up ahead of time and had all the adaptions needed and off to the airport we went. I’ve not found it so easy in the UK, far from it.

Now, there are some great examples of good practice in the UK.  My point however is that the attitude we found in Vegas was everywhere and not a shining beacon.  We love visiting America because of this attitude and lament the fact that it just isn’t the case in the UK.  With the right attitude and by starting with a solution (as opposed to merely observing a problem) then life with an impairment in Vegas was easy, fun and so much more accessible than it tends to be over here.

I am not saying everything is perfect, but with the right attitude, so much more can be accomplished and experienced as a result.  The impact?  Everybody wins.  I’m already looking at booking our next trip!  Now if only the casino machines had been a little more obliging…!! 🙂

About the Author

Dr Chris Whitaker is a disability blogger who writes on impairment related issues.

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