I get tired of people telling me in shops, cafes, and the supermarket that things I want to purchase are “over there”.
I am vision impaired and find this is the standard reply from people working in many goods and service industries. I was recently presenting a workshop at a disability organisation and needed to find a toilet. I went to the reception desk to ask for their location and was told “they are over there.”
My friend Bella had the same experience at this organisation when, with her guide dog beside her, she asked for the location of the toilets. She also commented that at a branch of this organisation the toilets used to be in a corridor behind locked doors.
Accessibility legislation should require all employees to undergo disability awareness training so they are sensitive to the needs of disabled people and treat them with respect and dignity.
This is my access story, it is one of many. I'm sharing it because I want a law that puts accessibility at the heart of an inclusive Aotearoa New Zealand.