Universal access insinuates that everyone in a population has access to publicly available communication network facilities and services. As an individual who has difficulty physically accessing so many environments, this has become increasingly important to my ability to participate optimally and feel included.
My recent holiday to Noosa definitely highlighted the importance of universal access. The Noosa council have just installed a mobimat on the sand leading down to the ocean. It’s a portable and removable rollout beach access mat for pedestrians, wheelchair users, prams, bicycles and all vehicles.
Watch a video of me here
Not only was I able to easily navigate the sandy terrain, but everyone could do so – whether it was people with prams, kids pulling their surf boards on trolleys and others who also had mobility issues. Everyone benefits!
So, when you’re considering how installing a piece of equipment or modifying access, remember that it isn’t just the marginalised group that benefits.
Perhaps, highlighting the ‘universal’ advantages may lead to more funding, awareness and better access!