What is Accessibility? – My own personal experience

Accessibility The quality of being easily reached, entered, or used by people who have a disability. (Accessibility definition. Oxford Dictionaries (2018)

Accessibility. Every single day, every single one of us encounters an accessible building, path, shop, home. This isn’t an issue though if you are an able-bodied individual because we can walk up steps, through tight doors, up and down high paths or be dodging around people in shops… this to us is easy and accessible. But what about for a disabled wheelchair user? Accessibility is a tough area when designing for a wheelchair user, there are so many regulations which are mandatory and extra care is (or should be) put into designing for the disabled.

As part of this accessibility post, I am including primary research that I have done. In order for me to understand properly the difficulties that wheelchair users face, I got in a wheelchair and went shopping. This experience really touched me because it became apparent that the research and other peoples personal experiences I have looked at, is true. I genuinely felt invisible to other people just because I was at a different level to them – this made my passion for designing for disability stronger.

Here are some images taken from my trip to show the limitations I faced whilst doing this experiment.

This was a different but eye-opening experience for me because I am an able-bodied person; this really helped me to recognise the issues that limit a wheelchair user faces as well as recognising that with minor changes, full accessibility will live to its meaning.

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