How One Man’s Quest For A Rainbow Bagel Illustrates The Accessibility Issues Millions Face Every Day

It shouldn't be this hard.

According to Google Maps, only a 28-minute journey lies between YouTube star Zach Anner and breakfast glory in the form of the striped, multicolored original rainbow bagel. But for Anner, who lives with cerebral palsy and uses a wheelchair, a 28-minute journey is never just a 28-minute journey.

Anner and his film crew start in Manhattan, where it takes him over an hour to reach the lobby of his hotel. Several full elevators arrive and leave before Anner gets on his hands and knees to navigate a flight of stairs to a second bank of elevators. With a promise to the doorman Judd to return with a bagel for him, too, Anner sets off on what he dubs "Bagel Quest" to The Bagel Store across the East River in Williamsburg, Brooklyn. 



Screenshot / YouTube
Screenshot / YouTube

It takes three tries, and some directions from friendly strangers, for Anner to finally find the wheelchair-accessible entrance to the subway and for viewers to begin to doubt the feasibility of Anner making it back to Manhattan with Judd's bagel before his shift ends in five hours.

After a journey that requires taking a ferry and asking a few more friendly strangers for directions, Anner arrives at The Bagel Store only to find there are two steps in between him and the front door. Luckily, an employee comes outside to take Anner's order.

"How can I help you today?" the employee says.

"I need a rainbow bagel," Anner answers.

"Anything else?" the employee asks.

"Umm, no," Anner says. "Just a ramp."

Anner created the video in partnership with the Cerebral Palsy Foundation in recognition of March's designation as 'Cerebral Palsy Awareness Month'. It has been viewed almost 1 million times on the foundation's Facebook. More than 17 million people around the world have cerebral palsy, 1 in 3 of which cannot walk on their own. Even as one of most accessible cities in the U.S., Anner notes, New York has a long way to go before the city is fully accessible to all of its residents — or even anyone who just wants a rainbow bagel.

Watch the full video below:

(H/T Mashable)

More From A Plus