When I saw that @GinnyAndT was starting #AccessibleAdvent on social media I had to get involved.
Every day of December I added my bit to #AccessibleAdvent by posting one thing that would make my life more accessible as a wheelchair user.
For those of you that don’t have, or don’t follow me on social media, here are my Accessible Advent wishes.
Door 1 –
Wider doorways with no plastic threshold for me to get stuck on.
Door 2 –
Detailed access information on websites would allow me more spontaneity and to spend less time planning and enquiring.
Door 3 –
Accessible toilets aren’t cupboards, so please stop storing mops, high chairs, coats and wet floor signs in them. Unless the floor is wet.
Door 4 –
Stop parking on the pavement! Too many times have I had to turn back on myself to find a dropped curb and travel on the road.
Door 5 –
If you can’t adapt your shop or premises, be creative. Get a portable ramp. It’s really not that hard.
Door 6 –
Stacked products and bargain baskets in shop isles can make navigation almost impossible. Stop cluttering, I can’t buy anything if I can’t get in!
Door 7 –
Seating plans in cinemas, theatres and music venues that allow wheelchair users to sit with their friends and family.
Door 8 –
Representation on tv. Opportunities for disabled actors, but also disabled characters where disability isn’t the main storyline.
Door 9 –
End the awkwardness around disability. Speak to me and not the person I’m with, they don’t know if I enjoyed my lunch.
Door 10 –
Accessible table options. Bar benches can feel isolating if you are seated in a wheelchair. Coffee tables can be hard to reach.
Door 11 –
Using a main entrance rather being sent round the back, past bins, through a kitchen would stop me feeling like an inconvenience.
Door 12 –
Folding seats and space for more than one wheelchair user on buses allows spontaneity and less chance of getting stranded.
Door 13 –
Access should not be an afterthought. Consult people with disabilities during planning, building and organising of events.
Door 14 –
Personal space. Having a disability doesn’t give you reason to pat our head, stroke our arm or lean on our wheelchair.
Door 15 –
Make pavements wide and keep them clear of hanging branches, shop signs, parked bikes and stupidly placed posts.
Door 16 –
Talk like I’m human. I don’t need you to speak loudly or slowly or cutely or act like I’m a well achieving toddler.
Door 17 –
Hoists in every GP surgery and hospital department. It’s surprising how inaccessible healthcare can be.
Door 18 –
Stop with the extortionate cost of anything disability related. Wheelchairs, gadgets, hotel rooms, holidays, taxi journeys.
Door 19 –
Large buttons pressed by a foot, footplate, crutch or walking stick would enable independence crossing roads and using lifts.
Door 20 –
Let kids be inquisitive and ask questions. Knowledge allows understanding which makes disability less scary and more everyday.
Door 21 –
Models and mannequins with disabilities would make clothes more appealing. Everything looks different when you wear it seated.
Door 22 –
More playgrounds, parks and theme parks with accessible and wheelchair drive on rides. It’s done, but not enough.
Door 23 –
Being able to stay in my wheelchair on a plane would mean that maybe one day I would travel again.
Door 24 –
Language is crucial. Terms like ‘wheelchair bound’ and ‘special needs’ give a negative and incorrect message.
It’s been great taking part in this challenge. Not only have I been able to share some of the barriers I face as a wheelchair user, I’ve also learned a lot from my peers about how we can all do small things to make life accessible to all.
Go search #AccessibleAdvent.
What would make life more accessible to you?