17/04/2010

Is Disabled Access All Bad

As disabled people we nearly all complain about it, most of us can tell horror stories, however, as a wheelchair user of some 30 years plus but still young enough to have a long memory I can positively say ‘things as far as access is concerned are definitely on the up.

OK before you bombard me with your valid claims of ‘I can’t access this place or that place', please let me explain from where i'm sitting.

Many moons ago at the ripe old age of 16, I left hospital after being in for just short of a year. I couldn't cross many of the roads due to very few having dropped curbs, these were a rare thing back then. Going into my local hostilary (you could get away with underage drinking then) was just about impossible and as a disabled person, you would be frowned upon for doing so, disabled people drinking, whatever next!

I was denied access to many public venues such as cinemas as I was considered a Health & Safety risk’ in case a fire broke out. Booking into a hotel was no better as very few had disabled rooms, as for flying, I would have had more luck trying to grow wings.

Disabled people did not drive standard cars either, they had (Bright Blue) ‘invalid carriages’ that stood out like a sore thumb and screamed out ‘Look I’m disabled’ See invalid carrige article here.

Thankfully there have been many improvements and changes over the years but more importantly the attitudes of people in general have changed a great deal and I really do mean a GREAT deal. As disabled people we now have a rightful place in society and in the big bad outside world.

OK so there are still many places we cant get access to and to be honest there always will be but if you look at the whole picture, access has evolved in leaps and bounds.

Putting right all the worlds access issues is a lengthy and somewhat mammoth task, especially in many older countries and cities like London etc but i'm please to say we are getting there, slowly yes I grant you but we are getting there, disabled people are no longer denied access to cinemas, booking into (most) hotels is now possible and yes, they even have disabled friendly rooms if not always DDA compliant ones, not only have we got rid of the‘Invalid carriages’ but society has gone one step further and got rid of the word invalid along with them, UK anyway, the Americans are behind us but they will soon follow.

So there we have it, in a nutshell, we are getting there access wise, we just need to start seeing see it and comparing where we have come from.

Supplied by: Access All Areas - DDA Audits

1 comment:

  1. A great post, so nice to read an alternative view for a change instead of moan moan and moan a bit more.

    I agree, thing have inproved a great deal and will continue to get better access wise in the coming years, like they say 'Rome was not built in a day'but at least things are getting better.

    ST Hammilton
    W/chair user of 6 years

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