Tuesday, November 03, 2009

YOU Are Responsible For Access

NaBloPoMo, day three. I am incredibly tired, so this is partly cross-posted from somewhere else. That's spoon-saving, baby.

I am so sick of people assuming I can always manage inaccessible venues - which gets them off the hook from having to arrange accessible ones - because I sometimes use crutches. My church is holding confirmation classes in a venue which has "a few shallow steps". This unwillingness to think about access means that the burden is conveniently shoved onto me - the burden of finding accessible parking near enough that I can walk in, the burden of coping with steps, the burden of sitting on unsuitable chairs in pain for an hour and a half so that the following day is a nightmare of agony for me...

And then there's the situations where friends organize informal things in inaccessible places. They tell me how awful it is that the place isn't accessible, and shouldn't society try harder? No. YOU should try harder. If you are organizing something, you are responsible for making sure your disabled friends can get in. Otherwise, they are left feeling like you don't want them there. As I feel this week about something that was organized in such a way that I couldn't get to it.

This isn't right. We are society. When society creates disabling situations, that's because, one at a time, individuals contribute to this creation of disability. People need to think about things like access - it's not all my responsibility. I've e-mailed someone important at church to say I'm 'worried' about access. I could have put that more strongly, but I'm British and passive-aggressive.

Damn, but I wish I'd inherited more Irish character for these situations.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Hear, hear!