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From Pauline Medd

on level access, dropped kerbs and toilets

I was asked to write an article for the Scottish disability equality forum, I thought to myself, what could I write on and I thought, what’s close to disable people’s heart, it’s level access, dropped kerbs and toilets will you not all agree.

             We talk about it, we prevaricate about it, we use up reams of paper writing about it, and plethora of paper reading about it, so why can’t the people in charge get it right. Even when builders put up new houses they make the ramp up to the house, but there is probably a step up to the ramp, or they get away with changing it after building control have been out. Do the designers, architects, builders, building control, and indeed, the Scottish government, not realise how important this is for inclusiveness and equality. At the time of building, would it be not be so easy to put in lots of dropped kerbs.  I knew of someone who couldn’t get out of a housing estate, because that is no drop Kerb, have you ever heard of anything so ridiculous. Have you ever looked at a dropped kerb and thought will I take my life in my hand and see if I can go down into the valley and get back out again, or get grounded, why do the powers that be think wheelchairs can negotiate anything, or should we be members of extreme sport clubs. Who thinks some drivers think drop kerbs are handy to park beside so they don’t have to step up on to the kerb. But of course we don’t mind going another 100-200 yds looking for another drop kerb, do we?

            Toilets, now should it be 2000x2000 or 2500x2500 or 1500x2200 or in some cases 1400x2000 or whatever they like and just stick a disable sign on the door, some people think they can build what they like and are getting away with it. There should be no grey area there should be minimum standard and anything over is best practise. I don’t know if it’s because I am getting older but I am definitely getting less patient with this lack of responsibility and care. I was watching is it the one show on BBC at 7pm there was a toilet in Liverpool it was BIG and had a hoist great, someone at last getting it right.

            Pavements, since sweeping pavements have obviously become one of the cut backs, we now have to negotiate slippy gritty pavements, dog poo, A boards and bins empty and full, cardboard put out on paper day and not to mention the café table and chairs, do you feel often our needs are not even being considered.


            Disable parking bays, I say no more, we all have stories to tell.

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Disabilities Fife
West Bridge Mill, Bridge Street,
Kirkcaldy, Fife, KY1 1TE
Scottish Charity No: SC 026112