For several years I have been asking Work and Income case managers for support in paying a gym membership so I can keep fit in a safe environment. Their reply is usually “go out and exercise on the roadside.”
I live in the country and the roads have milk tankers, logging trucks plus local and tourist traffic. I have been walking my dog wearing a high visibility vest but have had several near misses. I just want to be healthy and the local police say they are surprised I haven’t been hit already.
I wish Work and Income would take my request seriously and not make me feel marginalised. I think they should be more flexible in the way they treat customers like me who wish to exercise in a safe environment.
I think an accessibility act could ensure that people with a disability who are on a benefit are treated with equanimity by government departments when wanting to live a healthy lifestyle on a limited income.
This is my access story, it is one of many. I'm sharing it because I want a law that puts accessibility at the heart of an inclusive Aotearoa New Zealand.