Sunday, August 23, 2009

Accessibility and Inaccessibility at Nay Aug Park

While we were in Scranton PA on this month's trip, we visited the new accessible treehouse in Nay Aug Park. Very dramatic! The walkway through the trees lands you in a wooden structure hovering 150 feet above the gorge. Maybe not a good spot for those bothered by heights, but it's a beautiful design. (There's a brief video of the treehouse here, and another video view here. Neither has audio beyond the ambient sounds of the site.)

Less beautiful was the inaccessibility at the nearby Everhart Museum. To get in, you ring a bell at the emergency entrance in back--using a button that's likely too high for many chair users to reach. A guard comes and opens the door, and you use an elevator from there. But to get out? Good question! There is no bell on the inside of the same door. My son and I waited inside the (very hot, glass-enclosed) vestibule for a while, shouted "hello? guard?" a few times, and eventually had to resort to pantomime to ask family members on the outside to ring the bell for us. I asked the guard if we missed something, if there was some way to alert him that we wanted to leave, or some other exit we should use. Nope. Lovely. I was a volunteer at the Everhart in my teens; I'm disappointed -- but not exactly surprised -- that so little has changed there in the past thirty years.


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