Accessibility issues and advocacy
John received his first wheelchair in rehabilitation and immediately encountered problems accessing locations or services. He started advocating for better access. Initially, the advocacy was solely for himself until John realised that many PWD (People with Disabilities) were silent, didn’t know what to do, or couldn’t advocate for themselves. He contacted organisations, sharing the experience of being unable to access the service or goods in a wheelchair, hoping for change.
Advocacy is an individual or group activity that aims to influence decisions within political, economic, and social institutions.
More about Advocacy
Accessibility issues included the online booking of tickets via Ticketek, booking accessible taxi cabs, and accessing his local post office and church. Advocacy isn’t always about a lack of physical access, and John advocates for sponsoring children in developing countries.
Most organisations listened to John, but a few either didn’t care or didn’t understand access to goods and services is a human right, and the rights of people with disabilities are protected by the Disability Discrimination Act 1995. John reported a few organisations to the Australian Human Rights Commission, which mediated a discussion between the two parties.
John’s advocacy led him to meet a few parents of PWD who formed the Dignity Party, a political movement wanting better goods and services for their children. John contested the seat of Torrens in the 2018 South Australian election to assist in the re-election of Kelly Vincent in the legislative council. Unfortunately, Kelly wasn’t returned to the upper house, but John did manage to gain over 5% of the primary vote in Torrens.
John’s posts about Advocacy (from WheelchairJohn.com)
- Nick Vujicic – living with Tetra-amelia syndrome and a great attitude
- Men’s Mental Health
- 50 Successful People with Disabilities
- 20 Wheelchair myths, misconceptions and incorrect stereotypes
- The Top 20 Deathbed regrets and how to avoid them
- 30 bible verses for advocates
- How to include disabled people into your life, group or organisation
- Inappropriate comments to a disabled person – 30 things not to say
- Vote NO in the Australian Voice Referendum – 10 reasons
- Vote YES in the Australian Voice Referendum – 10 reasons
- Accessible Ten Pin Bowling
- Literary agent scam
- Sefton Plaza Accessibility
- Life Church Ingle Farm – An Inaccessible church if you use a wheelchair
- Australia Post accessibility
- Scentre Group accessibility in a wheelchair – my audit
- Westfield accessibility in a wheelchair and my bumpy ride
- Visiting the Doctor is dangerous to my health and my wheelchair
- RAA wheelchair road service – getting you and your wheelchair home
- Keep SATSS Taxi Subsidy, as the NDIS isn’t providing enough funding
- Adelaide Fringe Accessibility in a powered wheelchair
- How not to travel to the Adelaide Fringe via Adelaide Access Taxis
- Wheelie Good Cruises but PWD may pay twice as much!
- Botanic Park accessibility issues while at the Bon Jovi Concert in Adelaide
- Court Accessibility at the Sir Samuel Way Building
- The bad experience with a Real Estate agent
- Disability stock photographs by Shutterstock
- Adelaide Festival Centre Accessibility – using restrooms should be easy
- Australian Human Rights Commission – asking for help with accessibility
- Child Sponsorship Program – Compassion is a great choice
- Wheelchair accessible taxi – catching a cab shouldn’t be this difficult
- Carpet Court Review – people in wheelchairs are customers too
- Focus on Ability Film Festival – book project ‘MY disABILITIES’
- 2018 Dignity Party election result
- Dignity Party SA – Why I am contesting the seat of Torrens
- Wheelchair accessibility of toilets and car parking – do you need to use it?
- Ticketek Accessible Needs Hotline – 200 phone calls and still no tickets
Contact John here to share your thoughts.