Councils don't allow wheelchair accessible carparks in front of schools. They have to be on school land, which is not always possible, and not necessarily the closest carpark. This makes it very difficult to pick my older son up from Nelson Intermediate (his brother is a wheelchair user), or to go to teacher interviews, or other school social events. I end up having to park way down the street.
I have had lengthy discussions with council staff, but they will not accommodate our access needs. They think a wheelchair accessible car park will be unsafe, even though every one else can park there. I think the real reason is the council can't be bothered policing it and believe others will abuse a mobility carspace. Which is probably true ... there definitely needs to be a firmer stand on unpermitted parking in disabled carparks, full stop!
Accessibility laws should provide for appropriately policed mobility carparks in front of the main entrance of all our schools.
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.
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