No one would ever accuse the French of bending over backwards for handicapped visitors. It’s not a handicap-friendly place, yet.
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? Paris
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
. 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. Paris
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.
|...but that's as close as I can get...|
A typical case of the
blind French leading the blind...