Access matters when you’re running a small business with 101 errands to do.
Access matters when you have a visual disability so are unable to drive, meaning you have to walk everywhere to complete your 101 business errands.
Access matters when you have a visual disability and your local bank branch has closed so you can no longer walk to do your business banking, but have to use under-funded and inconveniently scheduled public transport to get to your nearest bank branch.
Access matters when you have a visual disability and the now centralised banking system has become increasingly technology focused so you have to deal with a self-service kiosk, not a real person to do your business banking.
Access matters when the self-fulfilling use of technology initiatives by banks and other service providers are implemented without considering the accessibility needs of all their users.
Access matters when the human touch is removed from service delivery because technology has replaced people, meaning if you cannot see, and there is no one to assist, then you cannot access the services you require.
Access matters when technology has been carefully and thoughtfully implemented. It can help a blind person find their way around town or enable a hearing-impaired mother to hear her children laugh.
BUT ACCESS MATTERS THE MOST when the indiscriminate and self-serving use of technology prevents visually impaired people from accessing simple, everyday services, such as banking and shopping.
BECAUSE ACCESS REALLY MATTERS TO VISUALLY IMPAIRED PEOPLE.
This is a story about the barriers many face. We're sharing it because we want a law that puts accessibility at the heart of an inclusive Aotearoa New Zealand.