Sophia, who attended the Blind Foundation’s Access for All Advocacy training programme, tells us why access matters to her.
I was off to my hairdressing appointment and I needed to cross a road. I found the button for the traffic light, and pressed it, expecting it to beep regularly, but this one didn't make any noise. I listened hard to see if the traffic had stopped. When I thought it had, I decided to take my life into my own hands and cross the road quickly.
I was nervous as I really didn't want to get hit. I needed to cross this road to get to my hair appointment, and I was frustrated that I had to risk my and other people's safety to do so. I did finally get to my hair appointment, about 10 minutes late, and more stressed than I otherwise would have been.
After the advocacy training, I decided to go visit Council to ask them to fix the light and they said it would be next week! But I don’t just want to be advocating as an individual. I want to help change the system because a truly accessible New Zealand benefits all of us. That’s why I’m part of the Access Matters campaign calling for all political parties to commit to introducing mandatory and enforceable accessibility legislation. Add your name to our open letter now to show your support.