Phil Pavone is accepting letters for consideration at this time for his 8th annual Gift of Mobility Give Away to be held at the Holiday Inn in Norwich, CT on Sunday, December 10 at 11:00 am.

After receiving neck cancer treatment in 2008, Pavone wanted to help others. He saw that many veterans, children and others were slipping through the cracks and were unable to get motorized chairs and scooters to help them in their daily lives.

Donations of motorized wheelchairs and scooters awaiting their new owners

“There is no other program like this in the United States. We get donations from all parts of the state of Connecticut,” Pavone said.

He began collecting unwanted scooters and chairs, repairing them and replacing batteries as needed. Pavone starts accepting donations of motorized scooters and chairs the prior February before his holiday giveaway.

After reading the hundreds of letters requesting the devices, which are free of charge, Pavone gives priority to disabled veterans and the severely handicapped.

Those interested in receiving consideration for a motorized device should send their name, address, phone number, description of disabilities, weight and height whether they are right or left handed and type of chair needed to:

AZ Pawn
4412 East Main Street
Norwich, CT 06360

Those who are chosen must provide their own truck or van at the Holiday Inn, which has generously donated the room where the scooters and chairs will be located. Those receiving devices will be fitted properly for the chair or scooter.

CVS Westport

I walk with a walker. The distance I can walk is limited since my legs are weak and the damaged nerves are in constant pain.  The aisles are wide and accessible for me. I am able to stop as needed.

Restroom access

Another aspect is access to toilet facilities.  If one enters from the back, the facilities are to the right   The entrance appears to be wide enough to accommodate not just my walker but it appears to be wide enough for a wheelchair.

This CVS is located in Westport Connecticut.  I use this place frequently so access is important.  Off of the Post Road there is one handicapped parking space in front of the  store.  There is another entrance in the back which makes access easier. In addition there are several handicapped parking spaces close to the back entrance.

The men’s room is wide and it has the three bars around the toilet.  There is also a call pull string. The facility is generally clean.

Please note that there is only one toilet for the men, and I suspect that there is only one for the women. However, over many years I have have only had to wait once.

Maybe that’s because most people don’t know that CVS has restrooms.


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A visit to the venerated Broadmoor Hotel, February 2017

Broadmoor Hotel, Colorado Springs, Colorado, Rate the Access, access ramps, Summit Restaurant

One would expect a lot of snow in February, however with the underground parking that the Broadmoor Hotel offers, visitors can park in comfort.

Broadmoor garage underground

The underground parking at the Broadmoor 

In my opinion, the underground parking is adequate and I am a fully ambulatory person. Visitors will definitely be parking in comfort, but again, my opinion is that like many resorts and hotels, challenged visitors are encouraged to use the valet parking.


Rate the Access, The Broadmoor Hotel, Broadmoor Resort, Colorado Springs,Colorado, parking garage, conference center

Visitors arriving from the underground garage will come off of the elevator to the conference center

The Broadmoor Hotel main campus is located across the street from the Summit area, where the conference center is located.  The Summit Restaurant is part of that complex.

Summit Broadmoor menu

The menu for the Summit Restaurant at the Broadmoor, located near the conference center

Broadmoor entrance ramp

The ornate ramp allows visitors access to the lobby of the Broadmoor Hotel

A gift shop and a coffee shop are located on the main level, as well as a Pub.

Sabrina and Gayle at the Broadmoor

Gayle and Sabrina Piersol outdoors at the Broadmoor, August 2016



My view: an ambulatory observer’s opinion of the challenges of others

We here at “Rate the” have been busy traveling this summer to Ohio, Pennsylvania and upstate New York in the Catskills, and visiting with friends who are experiencing access challenges, every moment of every day.

It might be families on vacation, loaded down with the essentials such as strollers, diaper bags, toys, food and such. Or it could be a business associate who needs an aide to drive to a restaurant for a business lunch using a special lifting device to allow access to a specially outfitted van in a wheelchair.

We recently went to hear a Carrillon concert of stunning bell tones at Yale University. Even though I called the campus beforehand, I really couldn’t get a good sense of handicapped parking. We were fortunate enough to secure a convenient parking spot on the street right near the campus quad. Right behind us was a young family with a husband and wife and their children. The wife clearly was challenged, due to her responsibilities to the children and to her disabled husband. Challenges such as these affect planning for the entire family and can cause great stress.

Yale University

Another eye opening experience occurred in Pittsburgh. Pittsburgh, PA is nestled on top of low mountains overlooking three rivers: the Allegheny, the Monagahela and the Ohio, which begins there and therefore it is very much a vertical city. It even has 2 inclines, devices that look like they may have been invented in Switzerland which traverse uphill.

Duquesne incline

One evening we were at a restaurant situated atop Mt. Washington overlooking the twinkling lights of the city, enjoying dinner.  We needed to use the restroom and a dumbwaiter type of elevator was the only way to get down to it. The manager was very kind to escort us to the apparatus to help us in and out, but it was a real production. Still, it is an improvement over stairs which would have been impossible to use.

Rate the Access, Accessability, Difficult Access,

Pittsburgh at night

Finally, we visited a college chum whose medical career was cut short as an emergency room physician when he needed amputation surgery due to diabetes.

Even though he had a workable stair elevator, he felt more comfortable living only on the second floor of his 3 story home.

Every day so many of us face challenges to get where we want and need to go. Rate the Access will report these obstacles and some solutions and we invite you, our friends and readers to join our cause. We will be asking the owners of facilities to post their impressions of the access to parking, to entrances and departures from their buildings and toilet facilities. so that you have a better idea of what the challenges may be when planning a visit.