When walking down the street on our way to work or entering a building to take part in an important meeting, we rarely stop to think about accessibility. Some of us perhaps aren’t even familiar with accessibility and its importance. In its essence, accessibility is the means by which disabled people can get included in society. Accessibility provides disabled people with the necessary independence to live a dignified and secure life without the fear of getting hurt or embarrassed.
The daily challenges people with disabilities face can be largely minimized if we stop and think about accessibility. An accessible school, swimming pool, apartment building or supermarket won’t change much for us, but for a disabled person it means the world.
Not only disabled people benefit from accessibility. Parents with young children or baby trolleys, elders, young children or people who suffer from obesity are some examples for people who benefit from accessible infrastructure. In many cases, people’s disability is visible, such as people with wheelchairs, blind people, people in need of hearing or walking aid or individuals with a cognitive disability. Sometimes, however, disability is invisible. People who suffer from mental disorders, short-sightedness or hearing impairment all require equal consideration and the right structure to ensure that they can walk anywhere, get anywhere and live a normal life like anyone else.
Understanding accessibility means to discover and raise awareness.
More often than not, making something accessible is as easy as building a ramp next to stairs or building a lower ATM machine to enable its usage by handicapped people. It’s as easy as making visible signs for the hearing impaired and eliminating sidewalk obstacles for the blind. While change is easy, it begins with awareness and in order to increase the awareness of the local Viennese population to this issue, the SocialWorkHUB partnered with Access Israel and brought to Vienna the Accessibility Trail.
The Accessibility Trail, to us, is the first step towards change. It’s about respecting others by experiencing the challenges they must face on a daily basis. It’s about entering their shoes, or in this case sitting in their wheelchair and going through the same challenges, but for a minute. The Accessibility Trail demands the usage of the different senses, physical strength and mental courage. It requires patience and concentration and much more effort than we normally would invest in a simple walk down the street.
Join the experience
Change begins with awareness and awareness can only be developed through experience. We invite you to join us, experience the Accessibility Trail and change the way you look at disability. The Trail is perfect not only for children and youth but also for companies, governmental agencies and organizations. For more information and for booking the Accessibility Trail for your next event, click the BUTTON!