National Accessibility Week
How to support accessibility in your community
National Accessibility Week
It’s National Accessibility Week! While here at Rocky Mountain Adaptive, accessibility is always on our minds, we understand that not everyone quite knows how to advocate for a more accessible space. So, we wanted to highlight some ways in which you can do this!
Try starting with:
- If you own a business yourself, perform an accessibility audit. Often times, it’s the things you’d never think of that can make it difficult for someone with a disability to navigate your space. If you want to ensure this isn’t the case, you can hire someone who specializes in accessibility to perform an audit of sorts in your business and identify changes to make in order to better meet the needs of those living with a disability in your community.
- Educate yourself on disabilities. One thing we come across often at RMA is a misunderstanding when it comes to disabilities. For example, someone living with an invisible disability, such as a chronic illness or autism, may not be regarded in the same way as someone with a visible disability, like someone who uses a wheelchair. Take some time and learn about the different disabilities out there, talk to people you know who live with a disability, follow social media accounts that highlight different challenges faced, such as these accounts on Instagram: @the.autisticats, @disability_visability, @rea.strawhill, and so many more.
- Pay attention to your surroundings. See something within your community that doesn’t seem accessible? Write to your local council or your local MP.
- Get involved! Is there an organization in your area that aims to advocate for accessibility? Go check it out. If you’re local to the Bow Valley, come check us out! Sign up for some volunteering. We’re always happy to see new faces.
- Don’t assume or correct a person with a disability in how they refer to themselves. Both identity-first and person-first language is okay, but make sure you ask which they prefer. Assuming or correcting an individual can make a person feel like you don’t respect them, their decisions, or their autonomy. (@rea.strawhill has great videos on Instagram that highlight this!)
- Ask consent before helping or getting hands-on with someone who has a disability. The desire to help is awesome, but we want to make sure people have the independence that they have worked to build. A simple question like “how can I help?” can go a long way.
There you have it! A few things you can do to advocate for a more accessible world. Of course, if you ever have any questions or want to know more, feel free to reach out to us here at RMA. We would be happy to help in any way possible.