Friday, September 01, 2006

Cripples Ask Permission To Use Potty At Mexican Villa

The Civil Rights movement, as it applies to persons with disabilities, is still in its infancy. From the White House to the Governor’s mansion right down to Mexican Villa, persons with disabilities are still seen as second-class citizens. For some reason, I cannot quite explain it, the public does not see it as a problem.

We were eating at the Mexican Villa East tonight and my daughter needed to use the restroom. Mexican Villas are not known for their bathroom cleanliness. I don’t eat at them for their tidy floors. The best tasting Villa is the original one on National and it is a filthy rat hole, but it’s my favorite. I notice a new, bathroom near the door, but we can’t use it. Mexican Villa has it locked. That’s right, they keep the door locked.

I asked and the clerk at the counter said she has only seen it “unlocked once since it opened.” She went on to say that it is only for the “wheelchair people.” To my surprise, it has a sign on the front that states the same: “Handicapped Use Only.” It is for "their" use assuming they can find the key. I didn’t realize I was getting a dinner and a circus at the same time. We can parade our cripples around the building, once to the counter to get the key and then again through the building, to the front, just to use their special bathroom. Ain’t that nice?

My guess is someone came along and forced Mexican Villa to comply with the Americans With Disabilities Act by providing an accessible bathroom. And they don’t like it one bit. So they lock it up, just to prove a point.

And of course they miss the point. Accessibility isn’t about wheelchairs. Accessibility is about creating something that works for everyone. A man in a wheelchair, an elderly woman who uses a walker, a single Dad with an infant can all make use of a large, single unit bathroom. My daughter is 6 years old, but still, occasionally needs help in the bathroom. But she is ever so aware of her surroundings. A private bathroom, such as the new one at Mexican Villa is perfect. And when we are done using it, the elderly folks who cannot maneuver the tiny bathrooms in the back of Villa can use the one up front too. Target and Silver Dollar City get the point. They both have “family” bathrooms. These are large, single unit bathrooms, located next to traditional bathrooms. I can attest that these family bathrooms get a lot of traffic from a diverse group of patrons, including those with disabilities for whom they were originally designed.

Once again, pride, ego and plain old hatred get in the way. At Mexican Villa East the padlocked, crippled bathroom is located up front. I couldn’t find the Colored’s restroom. Oh I know, it must have been out back next to the dumpster.

Accessible isn’t really accessible if it is locked. But then again the bathroom doesn’t say accessible, does it? It says Handicapped. Poor crippled up bastards have to ask permission – permission – just to use the restroom. As I said, they are still treated as second-class citizens. Too bad we can’t stop seeing folks as crippled and handicapped and just see them as people – people with disabilities – but people first.

Mexican Villa Corporate Offices
1100 W. Sunshine
Springfield, MO 65807


Granny Geek said...

Great rant. Total respect. Vote with your feet. Find another Mexican restaurant. This restaurant needs to GROW UP and join the 20th Century.

And kudos to Target for the "Family Restroom."

Anonymous said...

Unfortunately this is just one small example of the kinds of obstacles that individuals with disabilities face. Its sickening that someone would refer to the facilities as for the ‘wheelchair people’. . . this portrays an image of less than human! Some other species. . . “wheelchair people” and . . . gasp. . . they are invading . . and. . . duh, duh, duhhh. . . want to use a restroom! We must lock it so that we can regulate their restroom use, surely they cannot make the decision to take a piss on their own. . . we will let them in, those poor bastards. Please!!!! Thank you for posting this and shining a little light on an outrage that is the tip of the iceberg!

Just say no to the Mexican Villa.

marmoo said...

This is so true. I have a son with cerebral palsy, and even though he is in his early 20's, he needs help in the restroom. Nothing like parading back and forth through the restaurant while trying to find a restroom that his mother can enter and help him. I hope others let this restaurant know that this is not OK.

tashia said...

mexican villa lockes that restroom door so that is will be available for any handicapped customers,so you should thank them and not rant and rave mexican villa doesnt have locke it they could let everyone use it and then you would have to wait and you could add that to your rude comments.