A newly built, high tech, world class sporting facility built to modern architectural and building code specifications omitted to provide proper facilities for people with disabilities. Downstairs, where the public do not sit, it has provided accessible toilet facilities.
Upstairs, where the public watch sporting events and where there are the conference and other facilities there is a huge accessible toilet complete with shower. The room is large enough to park a small car in. Unfortunately, this accessible facility is situated at the top of a flight of stairs next to the ordinary toilets. There is no other accessible route. While these toilets are able to be used by mobile disabled such as people with a guide dog, anyone using a wheelchair, mobility frame or who has difficulty walking is unable to use these ‘accessible’ toilets. A trip to the other accessible toilets requires a trip down in the lift to facilities which are difficult to find. This has proven to be stressful for disabled people attending sports events or meetings at this venue.
Accessibility Legislation would ensure that both the building code is adhered to and mistakes such as this are rectified.
This is a story about the barriers many face. We're sharing it because we want a law that puts accessibility at the heart of an inclusive Aotearoa New Zealand.