The Chocolate Bar on West Alabama in Houston has some fine deserts. But I’m not writing about their fantastic deserts today.
The shop is located in a small shopping center with limited parking and a narrow sidewalk along the front. I would say that the building is accessible despite a few minor issues. Also, as a popular cafe/retail establishment, it is often crowded with people and chairs making maneuvering a challenge for individuals with mobility or vision impairments.
Regardless of how well a facility is designed, it is the human element that will ultimately discriminate against people with disabilities. This is why I applaud the security guy on duty last Saturday night.
In front of the shop is a striped access aisle with a curb ramp. It’s not adjacent to an accessible parking space, but it is the nearest curb ramp to the front door. We watched as a car parked in this access aisle blocking the curb ramp. Moments later the security guard saw this and, with my help, tracked down the owner of the vehicle. He asked him to move his car and even went out of his way to make sure the guy found another parking spot.
This blog is focused on architectural barriers but it is the human barrier that is often responsible for denying access. It is refreshing to see someone like that security guard pay attention to the needs of others and remove a barrier.