If disability is more than just wheelchairs, then access is more than just ramps
That was something I tweeted some time ago, and I used it in a conference presentation, because I knew it was one of the most profound things to ever come out of my mouth.
If disability is more than just wheelchairs-
Disability is more than just what walking aid a person uses (if any). Many are invisible, and yes, under the social model of disability, things like mental illnesses and chronic illnesses are impairments that cause the person to experience disabling barriers.
Let’s take me for example:
My impairments are:
– Anxiety (a mental health issue)
– Dyspraxia (a neurological impairment/ specific learning difficulty)
– Joint hyper-mobility syndrome (joint problems and chronic pain)
All of these are impairments that make me a disabled person, and – surprise- I don’t use a wheelchair, and most of my impairments can’t be seen to the naked eye (I use a crutch because of JHMS on a regular basis)
Access is more than just ramps
So that leads us onto the next part- if disability is more than just wheelchairs, then the scale of access issues people may face goes beyond just having a ramp to get into the building, and a disabled toilet.
What happens if the environment is too loud?
Or the signs showing you what room to go to are absolutely terrible or non existent?
Even at the level of getting in, can the disabled person access all floors/areas of the building?
If the answer is no, then it’s not accessible!
I don’t just want this to be another long angry post, so if you think what I’ve said makes a good point, please consider taking a few moments to review a place you usually go, thinking about it’s access, via Euan’s Guide.
The website is great, but it relies on people reviewing the usual places they go everyday! Consider yourselves recruited!
Until next time.