Today (3rd December) is International Day of Persons with Disabilities - and the theme for this year is inclusion, access and empowerment. We've asked four bloggers to share one thing they would like to change. Here, Whizz-Kidz Trainer James talks about the importance of accessibility.
One thing I would like to change: Everywhere should be accessible and have an accessible toilet
This would mean people with disabilities wouldn’t have to plan everything and could be more spontaneous. I have had this so many times in my life. Having to call ahead and ask venues if I can get in the front and if they have a accessible toilet which isn’t being used as a storeroom.
A few months ago a friend of mine was playing a gig and I wanted to go. The venue said I can get in the front door but had no accessible toilet. This isn’t always a big problem as I can not drink much and just make sure I wont need the toilet for the few hours (not a ideal situation but i never want to not do what I want to do just because i use a wheelchair). The venue then said that the gig was in the basement with no lift but not to worry as the regulars of the pub would be able to carry me down the steps! I was planning to use my powerchair!
Needless to say I didn't go to the gig!
To me it's disappointing that some places don’t seem to take accessibility more seriously- it is the law! Not to say all venues are like this, some are great so it is possible to have great access everywhere.