Image description: a set of stairs, viewed behind a tree, that has a wheelchair ramp zig zagging through them.
Even then, I was in the disability world as I worked with people who had both physical and intellectual disabilities. It amazed me.
Recently I have been seeing similar pictures on social media like the one below, also a ramp cut through stairs:
People are, rightfully, commenting on how clever this is. It is clever now, it was clever 36 years ago. Yes, 36 years ago.
But it’s important to recognize that, even though it is beautiful, the concept is not new. It’s a concept that just simply isn’t much used.
The ability to do this has been there for a long time.
The will to do it has not.
I drove buy a brand new building, here in Toronto, that has shopfronts on the bottom level.
Not only could they have been built to have been easily accessible, some of them have been.
Others have a step with an awkward narrow ramp that would be nearly impossible to use.
The choice was there.
For some reason the builder, or the builder’s client chose not to take it.
So, it’s the will not the way that keeps people with disabilities out.
Never forget that.