Several years ago I was working for an organisation that held a national conference for its staff. Half a day was allocated for team building bus trips to various local sights and activities
Due to my invisible disability, a neuromuscular condition, weak muscles meant I was unable to climb the steps onto the bus. Although I explained my health issues with senior management they refused to let me miss this activity and asked me to follow the buses in a work vehicle. I had an embarrassing and lonely afternoon travelling alone.
Although some buses kneel today many, such as school and tour buses, do not. It is unfair that people with both visible and invisible disabilities are required to share their medical history with strangers to access their community or take part in team building exercises with their work colleagues.
An accessibility law would ensure universal design is implemented and allow people with disabilities to fully access their communities.
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.