Edinburgh's choice - improve or exclude

As our city streets become more crowded and businesses increasingly compete to attract the attention of the passer-by, our footpaths are increasingly becoming an obstacle course to be negotiated. As temporary signage and outdoor seating encroach more and more into pedestrian thoroughfares we are excluding more and more of the very people that businesses are trying to attract. 

The Scottish city of Edinburgh has taken the leap and is working with business owners and disability advocates to ensure it's city streets are kept clear of clutter and open an accessible to everyone.

The city council's transport and environment committee have unanimously agreed to a city-wide ban on street clutter as an "equalities issue".

In an article by the BBC, equalities champion, Derek Howie, spoke about his experience with his guide dog.

`"We are facing a situation where the streets are immensely crowded. We have to be inclusive. It's not a city just for the fit and able, it's a city for everyone.

"If we don't improve the situation, we will be excluding people from the city centre."`

An Accessibility law here in New Zealand could provide national standards for public access, ensuring that we don't exclude people with disabilities, injuries, and parents with pushchairs from our city centres. Such a move is not only the right thing to do, it is also good for business as our city centres become a more open and inclusive place for shopping, dining, and recreating. 

You can read the full story about Edinburgh's law change on the BBC website here

 

 

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Harnessing Digital Accessibility

The digital world is an increasingly vital part of our lives. Here we are, right now. You, me, and your device. You, me, your device, and millions of other kiwis perusing online spheres for information, love, consumer items, friendship, or education.

Perhaps today in the digital world you’ll get a job, pay a bill, or express yourself through an emoji. Maybe you’ll order groceries, find out how to get somewhere, or post a selfie. Whatever you do, there’s no denying that accessing the digital world is not just an add on anymore, for convenience. It’s now a basic human right, and it’s something that most of us find we need access to in order to be active and included members of society.

But is the digital world built for everyone? At the moment it isn’t, but it could be.

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Podcast - Dianne Rogers interviews David Lepofsky

Dianne Rogers, Advocacy and Policy Manager at The Blind Foundation and Access Alliance Project Coordinator interviews visiting Accessibility Advocate David Lepofsky. 

 

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David Lepofsky and Amy Hogan interview on Radio New Zealand

Four in five NZers want accessibility standards - study.   5 September 2017 - Emma Hatton RNZ.

You can listen to the full interview (25 min) interview with David and Amy here.

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Prominent international disability advocate David Lepofsky to visit New Zealand

The Blind Foundation is proud to bring renowned disability rights campaigner David Lepofsky to New Zealand to speak on behalf of The Access Alliance Access Matters campaign on the need for Parliament to pass accessibility legislation. 

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