Accessible Pandemic

By Gemma Price

It’s taken a global pandemic to make the world of media and culture become accessible to disabled people.  There has always been many disabled people that are unable to leave the house for prolonged periods of time, if at all, there are also groups who are able to leave for short amounts of time but struggle to visit venues because of accessibility, travel etc.

Covid 19 has opened up a world of experiences to them, or all of us!!!   I am now part of a baby signing class that’s based in Lancashire, we zoom every Friday morning and my son loves it.  When my daughter was still off school we used to watch a zoo show via facebook live, we looked forward to it every week, and although lockdown meant we couldn’t go out, it felt like we had been, just for a little while.

Gemma and her baby son

I think baby groups through Zoom or Teams are amazing, it’s still making sure new parents, well not even new parents, just those who are locked in with young children, have support, without the stress of having to dress themselves, their newborn, pack baby bags etc.

There’s been many times where I’ve thought ‘I’d make an appointment to see the doctor but “I’m feeling too ill!”  Having E-consultations or phone appointments can make health care much easier to access, now that restrictions are lifted a little it makes sense to keep this going.

I know people who have been to online film premiers, conferences, attended training courses and presented courses, its completely opened up some people’s worlds, what scares me now is that as restrictions have lifted and places reopened could we lose the good that’s been done over the past year and more?  I hope not!!

There are some people who have not benefited from the digital revolution.  I’m not forgetting the people who get very anxious speaking on the phone or via zoom call, I think that they have been forced into using this technology and that could be so hard.  Neither am I ignoring those who cannot afford technology, are elderly and don’t have it or wish to use it, or those who find using technology in itself difficult.  I’m sure these groups of people are relieved that restrictions are ending because they have felt secluded.

I guess I’m just trying to say we hope you’re all doing okay!  We know that some find the new world hard but we’re really hoping it’s also brought you new opportunities!

Have a little look and see what’s available to you!

Gemma – Accessible News Team

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