When planning a trip into town I don’t think about if I can get around in stores and on the streets. But this is actually something that many people have to do because of their disabilities. There is a law that has requirements which explains accessibility and I think everyone should be able to take it for granted. Unfortunately we aren’t there yet, but we have come a long way.

To see what our local politicians do about this, we contacted a member of the municipal council for disability-questions, Henrik Harlitz. During the interview we got answers about how the council works to ease the daily life for people with disabilities. In the council there are politicians from government-committees and representatives from disability-organizations. The representatives bring up problems that they have seen and the politicians then take the information to affect their committees into putting resources on the problem. This way the council is saving money on not having to hire consultants since they already have access to direct-information from the council.

The wide variety of disabilities do not cause the same problems in the everyday life. One of the issues that Harlitz mentioned in the interview was advertising signs outside stores. The store-owners often put them out without thinking about that people in wheelchairs should be able to get around them. In addition that, this also causes problems for people with visual impairments since they can end up on streets. When trying to avoid the signs they then are being exposed to getting in an accident, which is a big safety-issue.

A solution to minimize the stress that comes with not knowing whether you will be able to get into stores, is the accessibility database. In this database everyone that has some kind of business can explain their premises. For example they can write if it is adapted to wheelchairs with ramps instead of stairs. I think that this database is a huge step in the right direction for everybody’s right to accessibility. No one should be restricted by the society but instead have all the possibilities to get around wherever they want.

Sofia Gavelin