I believe that everything can be accessible for everyone if there is a will. After all, where this is a will, there is a way, as the English saying goes. As much as I love my country, I’m not willing to overlook the lack of accessibility. Whenever I apply for a job in my cover letter, I always say I’m a wheelchair user. However, employers tend to skip reading it and just look at my resume.
For about 65% of the interviews, I was invited to, I couldn’t even enter where the interview was taking place. When this happens, I get two emotions disappointment and anger. There is a law in place called Equal Opportunities (Persons with Disability), 2000 that states that business or public place needs to be accessible for everyone.
A few months ago, I was lucky to land a job at one of the local agencies for disability. I have to say that I never thought I would feel more in my element at a job. My A level assignment was solely based on accessibility in Malta and Gozo. I have written countless posts on the topic on my blog. In the upcoming weeks and months, I will try to develop ideas on how to make this situation more inclusive for everyone.
The link Equal Opportunities (Persons with Disability), 2000 here.
4 thoughts on “Employment and Accessibility”
My local county library decided to relocate to better accommodate people with physical disabilities; its original housing was an old building from the 1800s, but the aisles were too narrow to space everything the minimum 1-meter width for permanent structures; there was no elevator, but the stair lift was in a constant state of disuse and repair.
Now I hear the occasional complaint from people in that town was it was no longer within walking distance. However, the people in that town didn’t have free access to the library because they had a separate town library, and their taxes didn’t subsidize the cost of the county library, thus they had to pay USD$100/year to be a member there as well. The new location is a five minute drive, and not all of them have cars. (We live in a rural area dotted by towns, so cars are essential.)
But for people with physical disabilities, the new library is a godsend. Accessibility ramps, much better parking, sidewalks without the effects of age (cracks and potholes), two elevators, much wider aisles to access books, a computer lab with ample space if you use a wheelchair.
I had to use crutches and a walker when I was 14 for a good number of months. (A story for another day.) My school just got upgraded to better accommodate students with physical disabilities. My life would have been hell if the school didn’t have them. It was still a pain to have to go to the far end of the building to use the elevator to head to lunch or attend gym class, and then back again to resume regular classes, but it was easier than the risk of going up and down the nearby steps in our ancient school building.
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Awesome! Keep up the good work!
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