Chris Ashton

dai11y 04/06/2021

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Accessibility and outdoor socialising: ‘I feel unwelcome in my own city’

  • A BBC article from mid May. As the UK gradually opens up and people are able to dine outside, this must not happen at the expense of wheelchair users. Restaurants are filling pavements and roads with tables for customers, leaving very little (if any) room for wheelchair users to get past.
  • Some wheelchair users are reporting that they can’t use their old bus routes, as the roads to get to the bus stop are “covered with tables and chairs”. They now face arriving 20-30 minutes late, or many hours early.
  • The article references Katie Penick’s videos on Twitter, demonstrating how difficult it is for her to get through the available gaps in public spaces. This is despite the fact that hers is a 23-inches-wide ‘teenagers’ wheelchair, so smaller than most.
  • Holly Greader reflects: “I think the hope was that lockdown had given people an insight into what it can be like for disabled people – the isolation and everything else. I feel like now we’re coming out of the restrictions, we’re forgetting all these things that we’ve learned, and there is a lack of understanding.”

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