Dec. 8th, 2017

jennyst: Jenny on a photo of space (Default)
Since starting to use a wheelchair, I am gaining experience in all the ways a venue can claim to be wheelchair-accessible and yet fail. For example, these are some of the questions I may ask to check, because I've encountered places that said they were accessible and then failed these tests:

◾ Is the pavement outside smooth paving, cobbles, tarmac or something else, and does it have any potholes or uneven paving? Is there space for a taxi to pull up?
◾ Are there any steps at the entrance to the venue? How high is the lip at the door? Is there a ramp, and how long or steep is it?
◾ Are there any doors you have to pull towards you or push away? Do they have automatic buttons? Are any of them self-closing or heavy fire doors?
◾ How wide are the doorways – are they normal width, extra wide, double doors, etc?
◾ How high is the bar, can a wheelchair user get the bar staff’s attention, reach to pay via card machine, or pick up a drink off the bar?
◾ How much room is there in the wheelchair-accessible toilet? Can I fit my wheelchair in there? Does it have grab bars? Is there a basin within reach of the toilet, or do I have to push my wheelchair with dirty hands and get germs all over the chair? Is it regularly maintained and cleaned?
◾ Will all attendees be standing, at an awkward height to talk to, or will some people be sitting?
◾ Are there narrow passageways or tables crammed together where I won’t be able to get between without moving furniture?
◾ Will the food be at a normal-height table, or how will it be served?

I would love for more people to be aware and think about these things when looking at venues. Let hosts know that this matters to you, and that you'd rather patronise a venue that everyone can use, even if there isn't a wheelchair user attending on that particular day.

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jennyst: Jenny on a photo of space (Default)
Jenny S-T

December 2017

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