A disability summit in Melbourne, Australia, has been heavily criticised after it emerged that the event was not accessible for wheelchair users, the disabled toilets were blocked and the food was too high up for the mobility impaired attendees to reach.
The summit only allowed SEVEN disabled people to actually attend and made them sit at the back of the conference on a table together – and forced wheelchair bound speaker Deborah Haygarth to be carried up to the podium to speak – because it was NOT wheelchair accessible.
The disabled toilets also left a fair bit to be desired given they were also unusable with the bathroom used as a storage place for excess chairs.
When you consider that the attendees also paid in excess of $1,500 USD per ticket, it becomes all the more deplorable.
Activist Jax Jacki Brown claimed:
Deborah was carried on stage by two people. She spoke eloquently about her experience of the NDIS in the Barwon trial site. Deborah was then carried off stage again at the end of the panel.
This lack of access is a visual reminder that as people with disabilities we are not really thought of as important, that our needs are an after thought, which can be remedied by a ‘sorry we forgot’. This is not good enough.
She also added that the table which the food was placed on was too high up for the wheelchair users too even reach.
[via Huffington Post]