It’s early days and we don’t want to get too technical, but if you fancy a bit of inspiration, then read on.
Firstly; we didn’t invent Eric or his awesome searching website to only search for things that could cater for people in wheelchairs. We built the website (well our amazing IT gurus built it) to be INCLUSIVE. Why? well quite frankly, it’s about time, isn’t it?
As a therapist, I’ve never really used the word disabled, I completely respect and understand when others use it to describe things for them. But it also brings up questions, like ‘what alternatives do we have right now?’ and ‘what can I use in social media that still enables me to get my thoughts out there in the most understandable way’? Below are some thoughts I have had for many years about having different needs (yes I’ll use the word disabled, but I feel it helps the point….. you’ll see what I mean). Does this resonate with you too?
– A wheelchair doesn’t make someone ‘disabled’.
– Having a spinal cord injury, being an amputee or being a survivor of a stroke doesn’t make someone ‘disabled’.
– Being autistic doesn’t mean there is a ‘problem’.
What does impinge someone’s ability? What does make things a problem for someone? Here are some of our thoughts (feel free to tell us what you think):
– A ramp that is too steep to get up, or a door that is too heavy to open when you are sat in a wheelchair.
– An environment that is too noisy and distressing, and causes stress, and then people around you thinking you are different. Or that getting upset isn’t ok. That is a problem.
– Did you know, a lot of wheelchair accessible toilets aren’t accessible for someone who uses a powered wheelchair (and some other kinds of wheelchairs for that matter)? The same people who may struggle with certain toileting needs, therefore good access to a toilet is essential. So what options are they faced with? Staying in? Let’s take a look at the last 12 months and think about how that has panned out. I don’t know about you but I can’t wait to start going out and about again!
Here’s the crooks of it; it ISN’T a diagnosis, a condition, an accident or an injury that means someone is disabled. It is their environment that puts the limits there. I’ll let you absorb that for a moment.
This world is not just for the fortunate who can use their legs, or those who don’t get upset by certain environments, or need a certain routine, or those with excellent memory and brain functioning, or those who struggle with that. It is FOR ALL OF US!!
That is why, here at Eric HQ, we are happy to be changing things. By shining a friendly light on places that are accommodating, and also supporting companies and venues to be more accommodating and understanding. Eric is an awesome search website, but he is also about spreading the word. Want to know how you can do more? Want to know how you can support your employees and visitors to accommodate their needs more effectively? Maybe they have had an injury, and need some help in the short term, maybe you run a venue that has a lot of visitors and want to know more about what you can do to accommodate folk with different needs. Well get in touch, and tell us what you would like to know about, we’re good at listening and we’re great at ideas. They don’t have to be big ones either, so whether you want to start an amazing new venture to make your buildings and toilets more accessible or just want a friendly chat about what it can mean to be autistic, then let us know. No topic is off limits.
We will never point the finger or make you feel less than perfect because we might point out things you haven’t already thought of. You can’t be everything to everyone. And we don’t have any cures, but life isn’t about finding cures, it is about embracing that we are all different, together.
Thank you to imaginacioncreativos on pixabay for the artistic image!