Imagine you are a wheelchair user and you are running late for a meeting. The meeting is in a building which is being renovated and the only efficient way of getting there involves crossing a busy street without lights before wheeling up a temporary ramp. The ramp hasn’t been lined up correctly with the kerb but you try to wheel onto it anyway, and one of your wheels gets lodged between the ramp and the footpath. Eventually you free yourself, only to land in a lane of upcoming traffic. You are almost hit by a motorbike approaching at speed.
We know that about one in four New Zealanders have to tackle accessibility hurdles like these on a daily basis. These include:
We also know we can remove these accessibility hurdles sooner and smarter, so together we’ve formed The Access Alliance to lead the charge.
When we talk about access and accessibility, we are referring to our ability to engage with, use, participate in, and belong to, the world around us. Accessibility legislation will be an invaluable step towards making this access real. That’s why we are campaigning for Government to introduce the Accessibility for New Zealanders Act.
Lobbying for it, drafting it, and implementing it will require perseverance and leadership from disability advocates and organisations, policy-makers, business and local government. We have to invest in this leadership now if we are to realise every New Zealander’s full potential.
Support accessibility legislation now - it’s the right thing to do, it’s the smart thing to do and it’s the right time to do it.