I live in an apartment block which is gated and has shared common areas. It is managed by a committee and body corporate.
Recently the installation of a new gate was proposed to allow access to an adjoining commercial block. I was very concerned as it was to be located next to my bedroom and I enquired whether the gate would be wheelchair accessible. I was assured that access was part of the planning process. The majority of the residents wanted the gate and it was installed.
Unfortunately access for my wheelchair was not provided. When I enquired about this the village management explained that stairs were going to be installed instead as they would provide easy access for residents and a ramp was “not required.” I can’t believe this is right in this day and age.
I think accessibility legislation should include a requirement to ensure housing, including apartment blocks, is fully accessible for everyone, including those of us in wheelchairs.
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.
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