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.
jennyst: Jenny on a photo of space (Default)
I'm reading a good article at work from the Harvard Business Review, and a few bits stood out to me.

More than 25 years ago the social psychologist Faye Crosby stumbled on a surprising phenomenon: Most women are unaware of having personally been victims of gender discrimination and deny it even when it is objectively true and they see that women in general experience it.

I've seen this happen and felt horribly betrayed by women who said they'd never suffered from sexism, but the article explains how this is often because they don't want to admit to something that they feel they can't fight.

How work is valued may similarly give men an advantage: Research indicates that organizations tend to ignore or undervalue behind-the-scenes work (building a team, avoiding a crisis), which women are more likely to do, while rewarding heroic work, which is most often done by men. These practices were not designed to be discriminatory, but their cumulative effect disadvantages women.

I've definitely seen this happen - it's very hard to shout about how I've prevented a crisis when others are shouting about how they solved all the crises (that they created).

These kinds of subtle biases are something we need to talk more about with mixed groups.


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

December 2017

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