Best Places for Us to Live

Hey, happy Saturday! Feeling a little better. My husband dropped me plus the bike off at the church where the yoga benefit was being held. Second time in two days I was in a house of worship. So far nothing has blown up or caught fire so I guess I am safe!😇/👿

Did two classes. Had a banana split at the ice cream parlor. Got money out of the cash machine. Rode home. I would have gotten some leaf lettuce at the farmers’ market but I forgot they close at noon.

Before I forget, I just want to quickly note my bike mileage is now over 50 miles. Am I going to get my usual 300 for the season? Maybe not, but 50 is better than the seven miles I did last year. Adaptation and increased accomplishment are possible.

Anyway, back on track, as I was puttering around in town it dawned upon me I am pretty lucky to be living in a town that not only has the basics but a few amenities, most of them easily reached from the town center. Then I started thinking about a little concept called livability.

Livability is a “different strokes for different folks” sort of concept. I like having four seasons. I like having a lot of green space and opportunities for outdoor recreation. I also like access to cultural events. Spectator sports? Nope, but for some of us that is an important consideration.

Being part of a ‘special’ segment of the population means we have similar needs, though. That means there should be towns and cities that fit us as a group better than other towns and cities. And that begs the question: where are all the other disabled people moving?

Wallethub.com did a study just generally for disabilities. Generic. This study looked at cost of living, medical facilities, jobs filled by the handicapped, etc. Their overall ‘winner’ was Overland Park, Kansas.

The American Foundation for the Blind did a study in 2003. Not sure how recent the update is (2017?) so caveat emptor once again. Don’t pull up stakes and head for Charlotte, North Carolina, the number 1 pick, until you have checked the current data.

Why Charlotte? Decent public transportation for one thing. City ‘walkability’ is good and there are some audible traffic signals. Such accessibility features allow for more independence for low vision residents.

Don’t want to move to the east coast? Berkeley came in second.

I looked for the best places to live with a visual impairment in the UK. Got nothing although there were some thoughts on where to go for an accessible vacation.

Canada? Burlington and Hamilton got good, general ratings but nothing specific to those with vision loss. If you want, you guys can come on down here. I think there should be room. 😁

And now the discussion questions: what do you need for a town or city to be more livable for you? Can you find those things already in your community? Can you advocate for those things to come about? Change is possible. We just have to be willing to do the work.

Written June 10th, 2017

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