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Making Your Environment More Accessible - Small effort, big difference.

Updated: Jan 27, 2023

So maybe you have a relative, a friend, a colleague or a neighbor that goes through life using a wheelchair. Or maybe you've once broke your leg and had to use a wheelchair for a few weeks. In that case you might have noticed it isn't easy rolling around. How can you change something in your own environment to be more accessible?

Most of the time the adjustments are not as big people think they need to be. Maybe you are a business owner and you can adapt the entrance with a simple ramp or make the bathroom accessible. And maybe you are not fully accessible but changing one thing is already more than nothing. Even mentioning on your website how accessible your building is could help a lot of people. Sharing information and asking for information could lead to a better world. A lot times the government supports businesses or public spaces to become more accessible.

All of the changes start in your mind. The right mentality changes behaviour for the best. If you want to help, contribute, change in any way, you can! Here are a few examples:

  1. Street: As a neighbor you can make sure the apartment-building or the street is accessible. Don't put the garabe or other objects on the sidewalks, always make sure someone in a wheelchair can pass.

  2. Parking: Don't use the handicap parking space If you are not allowed.

  3. Clean: Don't use the accessible toilets If you are abled to use the regular one. And most important keep it clean. You have no idea how many people think it's ok to leave a mess in there and being paralyzed, means you need to do everything with you hands.

With small efforts and taking a step in the right direction you can make a big difference.
  • If you see someone struggling offer to help but always ask for permission first.

  • If you notice an elevator is not working call support. As a wheelchair-user it really sucks when you find out the only way to go up or down is to take the stairs.

  • If you organize an event, don't forget the accessible part (entrance, restrooms, safety).

  • Are you an architect? Please don't forget the accessible part. For every stair, there has to be an elevator.

  • Are you a CEO or manager? Think about hiring people with a disability. Everybody can sit behind a computer.

  • If you are dance teacher, think about mixed classes. Everybody can learn to dance.

It is important to be aware of the different needs of people to ensure that everyone is included and has access to the same opportunities. By taking the time to think about these needs and how to accommodate them, we can create a more inclusive and accessible environment for everyone.

Photo by Tiger

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