Does the building or event have disabled access? Or what does disabled access mean to you? These two questions may seem easy enough to answer, right? Well, you would be mistaken. Unless you are around people with a disability or work in this particular sector then people don’t fully understand the questions, here’s why! An able bodied person will walk up steps or a curb a good few times a day, without even realising it because it is a simple thing to do without much thought. You’ve probably just read that and thought Yeah, I don’t give it much thought. Well for a disabled person in a wheelchair or someone with limited mobility, a simple step means “no entry” or that we can’t participate in a social event just because of steps.
Some people think ramps make anywhere disabled friendly. Disabled access means more than just ramps. “Are the doors wide enough? “ is there a disabled toilet? “Is there enough space? Due to the nature of how things are made, wheelchairs and other aids such as walking frames are wider, bigger and harder to move in confined spaces. This might be a shocker to people but there are various forms of mobility aids! I know, who knew. You maybe feeling my tone is super patronising, and that this is basic stuff, but I promise you these are the struggles we face. Struggles we sure as hell get around, of course we do but it would extremely helpful if public places (the pub, always the pub) could take into consideration that after I drink my (5) drink, I’d appreciate access to a toilet! Society just don’t realise as they have no reason to, And that’s not necessarily their fault. It’s through lack of information and education that make us this way. But this is where I come in! I’m here to share the amazing and sometimes not so amazing experiences with you beautiful people.
I have been to many places, some well known restaurant chains where there has been a step up to an advertised “disabled toilet” I’ve even had to sit on the tolilet while my wheelchair is taken out as there is no room for my career. How undignified is that? Now I understand if it is a listed building or a very old building, access is just not phisically possible, however it is law that everywhere now has disabled access wherever possible especially new buildings.
I’ve been to a well known event premises that has been built in the last five years and there is only one lift to accommodate over 100 disabled people! How does that add up? It just seems that disabled people are sometimes last on the list when it comes to making provisions about access.
I will keep on and on about how disabled people are just like everyone else, we should be able to go about our business and participate in everything that we want to, we should definitely be able to access public toilets with ease.
Disabled access means more than just ramps, it does require more resources, however let’s make it fair for everyone! Let’s make this basic requirement something which isn’t even an issue anymore. We will make change, that’s a promise.