Strong Sustainable Communities

Inclusivity and Safety

As a person with a disability I applaud any initiatives that move towards the respect of and inclusion of people with disabilities into a diverse society. Research consistently shows, however, that many people with disabilities find community attitudes and prejudices to be unwelcoming, uninviting and often violent. I fear using the bus, or subway, for example because, though the accessible symbol tells me I'm welcome, the reaction of other passengers to the moments it takes me to get on the transport can be extremely frightening. I have been elbowed, and yelled at and told that I am wasting people's times. Inclusive access must be more than employee training there needs to be a broader based societal expectation of civility towards everyone, including those who take a little longer. Again, research suggests that as many as 80 percent of people with disabilities experience social violence on a near daily basis. 1 in 4 non disabled people would choose to NOT have a conversation with us. There can be no inclusive society without a focus on a safe society.

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Idea No. 34