surer sign

Wheelchair users not welcome

[Images are a series of images and Google Maps screenshots of restaurants and shops in Bend, Oregon. All of them feature one thing in common: stairs leading up to the front door.]

There’s no surer sign that I’m not wanted than a set of stairs - or even just a solitary raised threshold at the entrance of a business. It’s a slap in the face, but it’s more than that. It’s a systemic way of keeping disabled people out of establishments, whether it’s intentional or not. 

Above are just a few examples that I could get clear images of in the city closest to where I live, but there are so many more. These examples don’t have ramps to side entrances, either (but honestly every person should be able to use the front door). Businesses like this exist in every town and city in the United States, and I imagine it’s worse elsewhere.

It’s unacceptable. Accessibility should not be optional. It should be default.


Brutus Malfoy (fl. 1675) was a wizard who lived during the 17th century. He edited the anti-Muggle periodical Warlock at War, and advocated the notion that witches and wizards who associated with Muggles lacked magical talent, writing in 1675, “Nothing is a surer sign of weak magic than a weakness for non-magical company." 

In Brutus Malfoy’s lifetime, persecution of wizards and witches by Muggles was at its height. Under these circumstances, anti-Muggle sentiments were widespread in the wizarding community. Brutus himself perpetuated the prejudice that wizards and witches who associated with Muggles lacked intelligence and magical ability. 

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