So maybe you have a relative, a friend, a collegue or a neighbour that goes through life using a wheelchair. Or maybe you once broke your leg and had to use a wheelchair for a few weeks. You've maybe noticed it isn't easy rolling around everywhere. How can you change something in your own environment to be more accessible and inclusive?
Maybe you are a business owner and you can adapt the entrance or making the bathroom accessible. Most of the time the adjustments are not as big people think they need to be. And maybe you are not fully accessible but changing one thing is already more than nothing. Even mentioning on your website how accessible your building is could help a lot of people. Sharing information and asking for information could lead to a better world. A lot times the government supports businesses or public spaces to become more accessible.
There are many ways, there is just no excuse anymore.
All of the changes start in your mind. The right mentality changes behaviour for the best. If you want to help, contribute, change in any way, you can! The little things count;
Street: As a neighbour you can make sure the apartmentbuilding or the street is accessible. Don't put the garabe or other objects on the sidewalks, always make sure someone in a wheelchair can pass.
Parking: Don't use the handicap parking space If you are not allowed.
Clean: Don't use the accessible toilets If you are abled to use the regular one. And most important keep it clean. You have no idea how many people think it's ok to leave a mess in there and being paralyzed, means you need to do everything with you hands.
- If you see someone struggling offer to help but ask first.
- If you notice an elevator is not working call support. As a wheelchair-user it really sucks when you find out the only way to go up or down is to take the stairs, a.k.a mission impossible, when an elevator isn't working.
- If you organize an event, don't forget the accessible part. (entrance, bathrooms, safety)
- If you are an architect, please don't forget the accessible part. For every stair, there has to be an elevator.
- If you are a CEO or a manager, think about hiring people with a disability aswell. Everybody can sit behind a computer.
- If you are dance teacher, think about mixed classes. Everybody can dance.
Who ever you are or what ever your profession is, there is always a way to make intergrate inclusion, diversity and to be accessible.