Imagine for a moment, if our public and private spaces were made more accessible with ramps, level flooring where needed, safe stairwells with railings, decluttered corridors with enough floor space, clear signage with ample lighting, pavements without cracks and potholes, working traffic and street lights, clearly marked bus stops with sheds to cover passengers, lifts or escalators in multi-storey buildings, covered manholes, roads and streets with clear crossing points and so on…
How much safer would walking to different places be for you? Whether you are 8 years old or 80 years old, your city or town would be such a pleasure to walk in. How much more business could be generated for landlords, supermarkets, hotels, all kinds of businesses, informal local market if customers did not break a sweat just thinking of how hectic that experience will be?
A wheelchair user would be much more sociable because she could get to her date at any restaurant if there was a disabled parking spot by the entrance. People With Disabilities would have the confidence to apply for jobs anywhere they felt qualified because they can travel easily to any buildings in the city.
So many needless accidents would be avoided because you have a safe choice to walk – not the footbridges where you are scared to be robbed at. It would be easy for anyone to move into that fifth floor flat that has working elevators – unlike today where a visually impaired person would avoid the trials and tribulations that would come with five flights of stairs.
Imagine how much safer would it be for cyclists if they did not need to hang on for dear life every time a matatu decides that bus stops are mere decorations and instead stop anywhere on a whim.
Imagine just how many Stephen Hawkins’s, Whoopi Goldberg’s, Beethoven‘s and Henry Wanyoike’s could be nurtured and share their gifts of the world if kindergartens, schools, universities, Sports facilities, libraries, museums, Theatres and event venues are made accessible for absolutely everyone?
The possibilities are endless!
We are looking for volunteers who, like us, care about accessibility for all in Nairobi. We shall work with them to map out the city over a few days, to review every street and building and establish how accessible they are.
In the planning stages of Ability, We have been out and about talking with anyone that will listen on the importance of accessibility. We feel that each and every citizen needs to truly understand how this work will positively affect the lives of each of us in the country. The purpose of these kinds of conversations is not just to explain the nuts and bolts of Ability, but help people to see the future the way we do here at Open Institute.
Interested? Email us: firstname.lastname@example.org