Sunday, February 28, 2010
Tuesday, February 9, 2010
If you're fortunate enough to have someone/s offer their assistance in auditing your space for its accessibility, DO NOT accept the help & make promises about what's going to happen with the results of that work you have no intention of keeping. Follow through. Respect the time & energy of the folks doing the work. They're supporting you in creating more inclusive, amazing communities. Return the favour.
Monday, February 8, 2010
Solidarity tip #283: Do The Research Yourself. Non disabled folks doing your own part to investigating the accessibility of an event you'll be attending. Call around, ask questions, report back to organizers.Know that you might need to ask more questions, or touch bases with others who do this stuff regularly to fill in gaps. Result? More awareness of the spaces we use, increased solidarity, fabulous community.
Sunday, February 7, 2010
Often a space is listed as being "wheelchair accessible", but on followup it is discovered that an event held there was actually not wheelchair accessible or disability friendly at all. Accessibility is often (but not always) about the physical space, the architecture of the space itself, absolutely, but often that physical space changes dramatically when an event is happening.
For example, a space that may be considered wheelchair accessible when empty is entirely unnavigable when an event is underway, because of crowds, seating, lighting, etc. So, when talking about a generalized disabled access, it is *really* important to have a sense of how a space will be set up ahead of time, to ensure there is free access to washrooms, to fire exits(!), and the like, to ensure the space is properly lit, and has well lit areas for certain kinds of communication, to ensure there are volunteers dealing specifically with disability access tasks, etc.
If you're unsure what to look for when determining whether a space is actually accessible, ask questions. You can chat with me about it, i make myself pretty available. i offer a pretty extensive accessibility audit, and don't charge for it (though i'll happily accept offers and freebees lol). There's much to consider, and because wheelchairs arent objects which magically propel themselves (ie without a user) it aint all about whether "a wheelchair" can fit through the front door, yknow? Aside from the fact that wheelchairs come in a *huge* range of dimensions, there's a whole person involved, trying to navigate the space.
There are also folks on crutches, folks new to being disabled or with temporary disabililties who may not be accustomed to navigating spaces while disabled, folks with chemical sensitivities, elders, non sighted folks, deaf folks, fat folks, folks with kids, etc. Many folks require various kinds of accessible spaces, so let's work together to make that happen. Ask questions, research, collaborate!