|Welcome, BADD bloggers!|
|Local footpath "options"... FAIL|
|In Sydney city: "ramp" to cross road - FAIL|
1. As a carer for a child in a wheelchair. This child is a tall, lanky 12 year old, with athetoid CP, very limited motor control, no independent walking, and who is incontinent. Oh, and who has epilepsy. Oh, so much potential here! [I'm planning a whole post on the awesome that isn't 'the "disabled toilets" of the world, with their built-in assumptions that 1. you're in there alone, and 2. you're using the toilet, and 3. you're without any friggin bags, need for a rubbish bin, or have any kids/trolleys/cane's/dogs/etc with you. That is, they're usually just a "normal" toilet with a friggin rail and more room. FAIL. More on this in future posts.../rant] Here's the girl:
2. As a mother of a small child. Who is 3, curious, enjoys running and exploring, and who is sometimes in a stroller (and who was in a sling). So much of our public world excludes children, and (not by accident) their
3. As a woman. Who finds it is just so awesome that she can't go any-friggin-where without being hit over the head with what she isn't, and what she should be, and that the world is set up and catered to the male gaze (trails off into feminist rant inducing much soap boxing and probably spittle...). Here's me:
Welcome to Accessibility Fail. I'm blogging the Accessiblity FAIL I see in my life, either in person or online. Please join me! Post a comment below, or add your own experiences on your blog and I'll link 'em (See Simply Link doohickey below!). If I ever see Accessibility Wins, I'll post them too, but we all know those are few and far between!
The upshot of all this is: Here is my basic bit of advice for all town planners, policy officers, architects, engineers, public officials, politicians, bureaucrats, and anyone having anything to do with public (and private) building, public (and private) space design, and public life in general NEED to do this BEFORE building or 'adapting' a space:
1. Go there and push someone in a wheelchair.
2. Go there and push themselves in a wheelchair.
3. Go there and try any number of mobility "aids," vision "aids," and the innumerable ways and means with which some people with disability might access the world.
4. Don't assume if you've done 1-4 that you've a) covered everything and everybody, and b) have any idea what it's really like.
5. Go there and push a kid in a stroller.
6. Go there with with a small child who might behave unpredictably, or use the environment in ways adults won't.
7. Which should really be numbers one to six: ASK. Consult, converse, listen. Don't add us on at the end like a PC nod to the outsiders. We're not outsiders. We're YOU.
Only then can you go design, fund, build and so on.
Grab a button and post a comment if you'd like to Play Along at Home [Fun for All the Family TM]. If we can't laugh we'll drown in a lake of unicorn tears. Or something.
This post is for Blogging Against Disablism Day 2011, from the fabulous Diary of a Goldfish. My 2009 BADD post is here. I blog about being a stepmum to a child with a disability (and a teenager!), my 3 year old, Montessori doings, and general parenthood, feminist awesome. You might also want to check out my living with a wheelchair post here, and my post on being a stepmother here! A final link, to my post On Epilepsy, here.
Thanks for stopping by! Leave me some comment luv! If you feel like sharing your own experience of Accessibility FAIL, link yourself below, I'm making it a regular feature here.