Barriers

#AccessDeniedDiaries by Siouxsie

I encounter access barriers whenever I am out and about with my white cane, especially when I am alone. I am grabbed, pulled, shouted at, patted, questioned, 'helped' without asking, and harassed by the public. Every time the environment I'm in makes me visibly struggle - in the eyes of others - it reinforces the idea that disabled people always require help and 'saving'.

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#AccessDeniedDiaries by Sanae

I have encountered many access barriers when trying to find a new job. It's difficult to find an employer who understands the way my brain ticks and tocks, and who can make necessary accommodations - such as breaking down instructions better, or simply not giving me so many instructions at the same time. My Dyspraxia also means it's taking me a long time to learn to drive, which limits my options a lot due to the location of many jobs.

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#AccessDeniedDiaries by SW

I encounter an access barrier every time I try to go to the movies. Not a single cinema, that I know of in Aotearoa New Zealand, routinely provides audio descriptions for its films. Overseas cinemas have headsets to listen to the audio description track, so blind and low vision patrons like me can follow the film.

The audio description tracks already exist. They are made by the movie producers and released with the film. The cinemas don't have to create anything! They just have to provide a few headsets, sync the track up, and play it. It's as simple as broadcasting subtitles, or the soundtrack at a higher volume - which are not perfect solutions from what I have heard from d/Deaf folks, but at least d/Deaf people get something to make movies accessible

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#AccessDeniedDiaries by Kay

I wanted to make a payment at Wellington City Library's Te Awe Branch. I was told they only accept digital and electronic card payments. Cash isn't good enough. Other branches still accept cash but they're harder to reach and open shorter hours. Some people can't do digital banking or transactions, or don't want to.

This is a policy change the library has made without any consultation.

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#AccessDeniedDiaries by Suzie

I was going up the road in Henderson, Auckland, in my wheelchair to buy milk. But I got stuck! And I couldn't cross the road safely.

Thankfully a guy jumped out of his car (he was waiting at the lights) and gave me a hand.

Embarrassment!! Humiliation!! I am too scared to cross the road there anymore.

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#AccessDeniedDiaries by Gerard

I have been denied access to an appropriate benefit from the Ministry of Social Development (MSD) because of my disabilities. MSD treats people with disabilities the same way they treat abled people. That is, MSD will provide as little financial assistance as they can get away with. The underlying rationale being, if beneficiaries are denied a livable benefit, then they will have to accept any form of employment in order to make ends meet

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#AccessDeniedDiaries by Blessing

We went to Keith Hay Park but I couldn't play with my siblings because my wheelchair can't get into the playground. This is because there is a wooden barrier around the entire playground. I had to sit in my wheelchair and watch my siblings play.

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#AccessDeniedDiaries by Karleigh-Jayne

I have an essential tremor. I find it hard to fill out forms by hand, but I have to when I need to get help or when I want to participate in activities.

I often encounter barriers that prevent me being able to partake in things that I love, or to be able to access services.

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#AccessDeniedDiaries by Susan

I was applying to participate in a market research project, but was declined because the office used for the research panel is upstairs, and they do not have any means to get a wheelchair user into that room.

I have been a member of Prime Research for many years and you have to apply for opportunities to participate via a survey. If you meet the criteria or demographic for the panel they call you to book a session. I have been called approximately seven times, as I meet the criteria, but when I ask if the venue is wheelchair accessible they say, "Oh sorry. No you cannot take part."  They never offer to try and do my interview any other way.

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#AccessDeniedDiaries by Stephanie

I was trying to enter the medical laboratory in Lower Hutt, to obtain a blood test.

The entrance door is heavy and I could not open it with my disabled hands and arms.

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