Paris Fail: Oversight...
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Friday, June 10, 2011

Paris Fail: Oversight...

Um...
No one would ever accuse the French of bending over backwards for handicapped visitors.  It’s not a handicap-friendly place, yet.  Paris is an old city, and who can imagine adding elevators and ramps in every little medieval building?  I understand the frustration on both sides.  Reconstructing the city to make it accessible to everyone is costly and difficult, but why shouldn’t a wheelchair rider be able to access the metro?

There is some progress.  For example, hotels are now required to have a wheelchair-accessible room on the ground floor – a huge improvement and a step in the right direction.

The visually impaired is another group that has difficulty navigating Paris.  Fortunately the city isn’t impossible for the blind and it’s not rare to observe people managing with a cane or being helped across the street by a kindly Parisian.

Braille, however, seems to be a language that the French themselves really don’t understand.  It’s curious since Louis Braille was, after all, French.  He's even buried in the Pantheon.  Take a look at this diorama at a local chateau that caters to French speakers and, almost, to braille readers as well.

One has to wonder, however, how useful that tactile language is in this instance.  Call it an oversight (pun!) or someone’s idea of a (successful) joke, but I think the French need to get schooled in braille so that everyone can enjoy this city regardless of their capabilities. 

Great concept...
...but that's as close as I can get...
A typical case of the blind French leading the blind...


3 comments:

  1. ha!! quelle surprise... it's also not a very baby/stroller friendly city but I'd rather see the handicapped get around better here before the aggressive stroller moms...

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  2. Totally agree with you Lindsey (LostInCheseland), there are some fierce stroller pushers out there and they seem to have more official entities vouching for them than the handicapped or the blind.
    But Bryan, I am confused by the photos...are they meant to touch the little squares of sample achitectual materials in order to discover them?

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  3. the braille is within the glass case.

    so the people trying to read the braille aren't able to get near it.

    defeating the whole purpose of having braille.

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