I got my first proper job out of high school and was so excited. It was at a place where I really wanted to work - with a group of people who were super-accepting, and pushed me to be my best. The only problem was that ...
The workplace had no bathroom that was accessible. My choices were either to quit that job, or go to McDonalds to use the bathroom; so everyday that’s what I did, and I had to travel to get to the McDonalds in the first place.
It’s really hard when you want to work, and yet you have to face so many obstacles to work. Obstacles that are unnecessary. My disability, my access need has challenges that I expect, but in this day and age it is unnecessary for a place to not have accessible bathrooms.
I had to battle everyday to do something simple, I don’t think that’s fair. And I don’t think everyone is prepared to do that either - and they shouldn’t have to be.
It’s time for an Accessibility Act that ensures that all public buildings have accessible bathrooms, and it should go without saying but, accessible routes to get to those bathrooms. It shouldn’t be up to disabled people such as myself to have to fight for accessible bathrooms one building at a time.
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.