Just a few lines to write about something that has been going around in my head recently. Over the last few years more and more adaptations are appearing out in the environment to make things easier for people with disabilities. Announcements on trains, trams and buses are a huge help to me as a blind person for example. However, time and again, when feedback is sought about these systems some people always say that they are intrusive and disturb their commute. Yes, I guess they are intrusive but if it makes the difference between whether someone gets off at the right place or not, are they not worthwhile?
Then I heard something even more worrying last week. It is only hearsay, a chance comment made by someone I encountered but it made me feel quite sad in a way. In some parts of Nottingham, textured paving near to crossings is being removed because wheelchair and mobility scooter users have complained about it. Yes, I expect the chair or scooter will judder a bit when wheeled over textured paving, but is it really that much of a problem? Why would a group of people with disabilities compromise the safety of another disabled group to make their lives more comfortable?
Personally, dropped kerbs can be a bit of a problem for me sometimes as it is not clear where the pavement ends. However, stick some tactiles on them and they become obvious to me. I wouldn’t dream of suggesting that they shouldn’t be there as they are vital for wheelchair users and I am aware of the extra distance people with wheelchairs sometimes have to cover just to find them.
Why would anyone be so intolerant of adaptations which make life safer and easier for blind people?