Wheelchair Inaccessibility - Natalie's Story

Natalie uses a wheelchair for mobility but finds many of the places she wishes to visit are either inaccessible or require a convoluted journey. When she and her husband wished to attend a cat show which was part of the Auckland Easter Show she had to obtain the services of the security guard to take them up in a goods lift.

Attending another event Natalie took the disability access lift which exited onto a hallway with stairs at the end. She discovered that the disabled toilets in this building were also situated down a set of stairs.

Natalie has found that when a ramp for wheelchair access is provided she is frequently faced with a high doorstep to negotiate to enable her to get into buildings. In many of the older buildings in Auckland there are no lifts available and she is confined to the lower floor or has to go home. When she is able to access a building heavy doors can prevent her entering offices or events unless someone is available to help her.

 

Natalie hopes accessibility legislation will ensure that developers, planners, builders and particularly plumbers will take wheelchair accessibility seriously and ensure that all areas of a building are totally accessible for wheelchair users.

 

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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