Advocacy

The barriers faced by persons with hidden mobility disabilities are unfortunately truly invisible to policy makers, researchers, and government departments and organizations mandated to advocate for those with disabilities. In fact, many people with hidden mobility disabilities are still unaware that what they view as “their problems” are in fact external barriers created by a lack of attention to accommodating the needs of persons with hidden mobility disabilities.

The World Health Organization’s World Report on Disability: 2011 states: “Key requirements for addressing accessibility and reducing negative attitudes are access standards; cooperation between the public and private sector; a lead agency responsible for coordinating implementation; training in accessibility; universal design for planners, architects, and designers; user participation; and public education. Experience shows that mandatory minimum standards, enforced through legislation, are required to remove barriers in buildings.”

In addition to becoming invited to participate on Advisory Groups regarding disability accommodation, the following are areas particularly needing advocacy focus:

  • Built environment:
    • Building codes
    • Healthy city guidelines
    • Walkable city guidelines
    • Parks & open spaces
    • Recreation facilities
    • Community centers
    • Walkability Index
    • Universal design principles
    • Green design principles
  • Policies regarding accessibility
  • Policies regarding accommodation
  • Access to air transportation
  • Access to other public transportation
  • Airport management