An Inaccessible Society

A few days ago I went to see ‘The view from here: The photographic world of Alfred Elliott 1890-1940’ at the Brisbane City Hall.  The biggest thing that struck me was that even now, in 2015, we live in such an inaccessible society.

We have created all of the laws under sun such as: Disability Discrimination Act and many others although in practical terms, is there any point to them and do they really work?

Having to use an electric wheelchair, small ledges can be impossible to get over especially when I can’t get a run up.  In this exhibition there were a couple of displays (I have no idea what they were because I couldn’t get in to see) that required you to step up to a seat to view it.  There were also items in cases that I could see though I was unable to read the information about the piece because you needed to stand over the cabinet to be able to see the written explanation.  Other display cabinets were placed too high for me to even see into.  Some of the typed explanations were large enough font to easily read, yet others were too small to read from a distance – because of my wheelchair and other visitors, I couldn’t get close enough to read some of them.  I don’t want to ask anyone to read stuff out to me just because I can’t see it, when I am perfectly capable of reading for myself.

Simple adjustments such as: not having individual displays with ledges, having the written details on a slight angle, having the typed explanations on the walls the same larger size and making all the display cabinets either see through or at a lower height would make shows like this much more enjoyable for people similar to me as well as open to a wider audience.

No wonder I do a quick lap around these events in 5 seconds!