Tunnel Vision Syndrome


Last week I had the opportunity to look at a lot of inns and B&Bs while I was on the road. For the most part I liked what I found access-wise, however it only takes one innkeeper to leave a sour taste in my mouth. I suppose I shouldn’t be so hard on this person, but to be honest she just really got on my nerves.

For the most part her inn was do-able for a lot of people. The rooms were nothing to write home about, and the accessible room would work for anybody who could transfer to the built-in shower bench. There were some shortcomings access-wise, but if I would have covered it I would have done what I always do — describe the access and let readers decide if it will work for them.

But then there was her attitude. She has what I call the tunnel vision syndrome. Her friend Tom uses a scooter and because of this she’s unilaterally decided that everybody that has a mobility disability is exactly the same as Tom. Since Tom can climb a few steps down to her deck, she assumes that everybody can. Since Tom can use the shower with no problem, she assumes it’s optimal for all wheelers. Tom, Tom, Tom — that’s all I heard about. And then of course she had to add that Tom was “more motivated” than most disabled people.

I held my tongue, but tried to educate her and explain that no matter how motivated you are, if your spinal cord is severed you are not going to get up and walk. It went completely over her head. She just came back with “Well, we don’t get those people here. We get the ones who are a little more motivated. It’s all in the attitude, you know.”

And with that final comment, I thanked her for her time and went along my way. In some cases there’s really nothing you can do. But that’s OK, because down the road I found a superb property, with innkeepers who really understand access issues. And that’s the property I will cover.