Monday, August 25, 2014

Legless On The Ray D'Arcy Show (But With The Lovely Alison Curtis)

Last week, I was on The Ray D'Arcy Show along with the wonderful Declan Groeger discussing wheelchairs, access and life.

It was a very easy-going and lighthearted morning spent mulling over serious and sometimes emotional topics. I've often found that when I am brought on to be a 'talking head' for disability, a very negative angle or tone is used by the interviewer so, for once, it was an absolute delight to have a normal discussion about life in a wheelchair.

Thanks to everyone at Today FM that made it such a pleasant experience!

You can listen to the podcast Here or just down below.

Monday, August 18, 2014

Two Fifty Square

A very happy Two Fifty Square customer

UPDATED: 10 November 2014

Two Fifty Square
Williams Park, Lower Rathmines Road, Dublin 6

Two Fifty Square is the latest addition to Dublin 6. Neighbouring my gym (the very accessible Swan Leisure Centre) and favourite bar, Blackbird, this coffee shop couldn't have picked a handier location for me anyway. They roast their own coffee beans out back and one of the lads sat down with us as we pored over their coffee menu to explain the very specfic Aeropress and V60 serving options. While my pal went for the more adventurous Aeropress option, I went for the very safe yet very tasty flat white.
Other than coffees, they have a selection of Wall and Keogh teas, hot chocolate and an incredible new brunch menu. With a new chef in the kitchen, their menu includes a baked potato with chilli con carne, baked eggs with chorizo and chicken and two pea sandwich with basil aioli amongst many other mouth-watering things. I plan to elope with the potato and chilli. Sorry men of the world. I am taken.

What has it got?

Seating:  All of the tables have moveable chairs but not all of them have arm rests.

Doors:  The doors are wide and easy to open.

Ground:  It appears to be a non-slip lino surface so even if it's wet outside, you'll be grand inside.

Stairs: It's all flat inside. There is a slight raise at the front door - about an inch and a half - but I got in and out independently.

Bathrooms: They have a big wheelchair bathroom which should fit all types of chairs and they have all the correct bars in place. There is no mirror in the wheelchair bathroom but take it from me, you look lovely today.

Spaciousness: There is room to move between all of the tables even if it's busy.

Helpfulness of Staff: The staff are very sound and will give you an education on the coffee bean as well as a helping hand.

Parking: There is plenty of on street parking around Williams Park but there are two wheelchair parking spots outside.

Rating: 10/10
Why did it lose points? It didn't! Hurrah! Two Fifty Square is brand spanking new and because they totally renovated the place, it ticks off all the boxes for accessibility. It's very spacious and bright and it has a very laid back atmosphere. When I told them that they did well RE: access, they were delighted as it is something that they kept very much in mind as they were doing up the place. They have a great pride in Two Fifty and rightly so. 

Wednesday, August 13, 2014

The Ginger Man

The Ginger Man
39-40 Fenian Street, Dublin 2

I popped in here one Sunday evening for some dinner and it ticked many boxes. The food was fairly solid pub grub - highly recommend the fish and chips - and it wasn't massively expensive. As soon as we sat down, a bus full of American tourists came in so it was very busy but I'm sure they enjoyed its twee old country pub thing and eavesdropping on our conversation.

What has it got?

Seating:  They have high stools and low stools for tables of all heights and sizes. A few of the tables have benches with arm rests and some are tucked away in snugs.

Doors:  The doors are wide and easy to open.

Ground:  The floors are wooden which could make them a bit slippy when it's wet.

Stairs: There is an upstairs but everything you need is on the ground level.

Bathrooms: They have a wheelchair bathroom - rejoice! It's very spacious and in an easy-to-get-to location. The mirror is up way too high but everything else is in check.

Spaciousness: If a bus full of American tourists pulls up, it is definitely tight for space but the tables aren't piled on top of each other.

Helpfulness of Staff: Incredibly sound bunch. Chatty, friendly and helpful but not in your face.

Parking: There is plenty of on street parking around here. I couldn't suss out a particular wheelchair parking spot right beside it but there are spaces available on Merrion Square which is just down the road.

Rating: 10/10
Why did it lose points? It didn't. I didn't expect this pub to have the proper facilities but it did.  I'm glad I finally got to visit one of Dublin's famous pubs that actually has proper wheelchair access. Fair play.