Monday, September 25, 2017

'I feel like a second-class citizen': readers on navigating cities with a disability - THE GUARDIAN

by Ellen Hunt
Originally published: September 22, 2017
Publisher: TheGuardian.com 

We asked readers with a disability to share their experiences – good and bad. Their responses show the many ways people can be shut out of their communities.

“Sandwich boards on pavements, a crowd of smokers blocking the disabled entrance, bins or vans parked over lowered pavement edges, disabled toilets being used as performers’ changing rooms or storage, ‘accessible ramps’ being far too steep or only available on request, scaffolding on both sides of the street, pushchairs filled with shopping in the wheelchair space on the bus, the housekeeping trolley left in the lift – you get the picture!”

One Guardian Cities reader painted a vivid picture of what it’s like to navigate a city in a wheelchair. Following our report on Chester, Europe’s most accessible city, we asked readers with a disability to share their experiences of accessing cities, good and bad.

We’ve shared a selection of responses from around the world below. They are testament to the ways in which people can be shut out of their communities, whether it be by infrastructure, poor or outdated planning, or simply thoughtlessness.