When talking about access people usually focus on the accessibility to buildings or rooms. The Access Matters campaign is showing that there are other facets besides physical access.
As a teenager when I went to the movies with a friend my family would transfer me from my wheelchair into a movie theatre seat. On one occasion we requested a wheelchair place and were stunned to be asked to pay $1 extra for this. We wondered why I had to pay to bring my own seat.
Having a disability often results in financial discrimination. A friend recently told me they have to pay for a double appointment with their GP because it takes them longer to communicate their needs. Also, when I attend a concert my friends or family have to pay for expensive tickets as the wheelchair spaces are located in the more expensive area of the theatre. I believe this is unjustified and is a form of segregation. I would prefer it if we could choose where we wish to sit. A friend who recently purchased VIP tickets to attend a Pink concert as she is a music journalist was moved out of the VIP area to a wheelchair designated space when staff cited safety concerns and policies. Her partner was removed from the venue after asking to view the safety policies.
Aware that wheelchairs should not block aisles and exits, many wheelchair users feel that concerns about risk factors are exaggerated. This discriminates against people who want the same concert experiences as everyone else.
International venues such as Disneyland have installed accessible routes and people with disabilities are considered at all venues.
I believe an accessibility law would ensure that all concert venues are accessible and respect the right of disabled people to have an inclusive theatre experience.
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.