Jill has asthma and small airways disease. She also experiences frequent bouts of bronchitis. These affect her breathing and she is unable to go out in the wind or on cold days.
Her home has to be constantly heated in winter. Even a visit to her letterbox is impossible on a windy day. A necessary trip means severe pain for several days.
Jill frequents malls, supermarkets and businesses which have underground carparks. When she needs to visit places with no underground car parking available she has to wear a scarf tightly wound around her face. She said this has produced some hilarious reactions, particularly in banks. On other occasions people have avoided her assuming she is infectious.
Jill would like to see access legislation require all new buildings to have an indoor or underground carpark for those with respiratory illnesses. She also believes that as many buildings already have underground parking reserved for employees this should be made available, via a special access card, to those with an inability to tolerate wind and cold due to respiratory disease.
This is a story about the barriers many face. We're sharing it because we want a law that puts accessibility at the heart of an inclusive Aotearoa New Zealand.