In our final report around the United Nations campaign on disability awareness, one student shares his thoughts on what needs to change.
Nirav Shah is at Nottingham Trent University, studying a graduate diploma in law. He has congenital muscular dystrophy and uses a wheelchair. He's doing the three-year course in just nine months and feels passionately about disability rights. He hopes to practise in this area once he's qualified.
"What needs to change? Blog by Nirav Shah"
There is still an enormous grey area around ‘reasonable adjustments’ in the Equality Act 2010. Too many businesses, institutions, etc are abusing the lack of clear guidance as to what reasonable adjustments are defined as.
The arguments often used against providing suitable access is that it costs too much or that the property is a Grade-listed building and therefore no changes can be made to the structure.
The government should be encouraging all businesses regardless of their size to become more inclusive. These businesses, in particular small businesses, should have access to grants to make them more accessible.
In 2018 I have come across far too many businesses that simply require a portable ramp to improve general access. However, the excuse often used is that it costs too much in investing in such adjustments.
The other excuse often used in the hospitality and food and drink industry is that access cannot be provided as they are not able to provide an accessible toilet. As a disabled customer it is disheartening to know that you cannot access the same enjoyment as an able-bodied person, merely because of the lack of access.
In my own personal opinion, I believe these businesses should provide access and work together with neighbouring ones that do have accessible toilets.
More in our series marking the United Nations International Day of Persons with Disabilities here: