What Pisses Me Off: The lack of disabled access to homes in our world and on TV 78

What pisses me off


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I heard the cry! I can no longer visit my daughter and her family at home because of my impaired mobility and there are steps and stairs and that’s even before I get to the inside.

There are so many mobility impaired people of all ages who are denied access to living, visiting, recreational and tourism activities. The access, equity and inclusivity are being ignored and the situation in Australia is becoming worse. We are living in a society where governments and non-government agencies are talking about making all of our communities accessible yet nothing is being done to provide models that better meets the individual needs and choices.

Many thousands of people with impaired mobility, the disabled, the frail and aged and those with a disability, spend many recreational hours watching television and enjoying the programs that provide interest and informative management of life, in particular the lifestyle programs. Watching programs such as House Rules, Better Homes and Gardens, The Block – to name a few – are all interesting and competitive with exciting design ideas and fun to watch. Not one of these programs take into consideration accessibility as the gardens are landscaped with layers and steps, paving that is impossible to wheel or walk over with mobility problems and we have all seen ramps being removed in renovations to be replaced with steps and ask WHY? Every opportunity to visit family and friends is denied as the houses offer no inclusivity for the relatives or community. House Rules’ renovations judges go on and on about gardens that are perfect, yet not one would allow access or inclusivity. Then we look at the house interior that is if we can get that far, without ample space for wheelchairs or other mobility aids and the flooring is appalling for use by anyone with a mobility problem. The bathrooms and wet areas are a disgrace leaving no inclusivity.

While there have been some amazing inroads to tourism, holiday accommodation, roads and walking paths this has not extended to living. As we age the mobility issues affect everyone. It’s time we included inclusive housing so that no one is denied access and can freely visit family and friends with our the heartache of sitting outside in a small flat space sometimes on a footpath isolated form everyone else.



Tell us, do you agree with Bill? Do you think more TV programs should show sensitivity and awareness of disabled viewers?

Guest Contributor

  1. The houses being renovated on house rules are, for the most part, those of the contestants. If one of the people living in or visiting the house had a mobility issues, then that would have to be considered. Maybe lobby the producers to include this aspect in a future show.

  2. Why would you need access for a disabled person if no one in the house was disabled ?

    18 REPLY
    • Perhaps so your disabled friends or relatives could visit? My sister-in-law recently became disabled and we realized this was now an issue.

    • I admit it was not a consideration when I built however, even though not planned my home is wheelchair friendly.

    • Because they may have disabled visitors, including people who they have not yet met.

    • Owen, no one will realised things like this until something happened to yourself or any member of your family and friends. It happened to my husband 3 yrs ago unexpectedly, our children ( luckily) build a ramp in front for wheelchair access as we couldn’t afford paying someone to do it, , no shower access, and very limited areas for him to wheel around, no access at the back due to slide door , we did a few alterations but it’s very limited as it’s an average 3 bedrooms house , so anything can happen to us or to our family and it’s true there’s not much access out there neither . We stopped visiting friends n family members because of no access for wheel chairs!

      1 REPLY
      • I so agree Jacqueline Laroche. Disability can happen to anybody,any time.We live in an “over 50’s” Village and most houses have disabled access. Bigger showers with tiled seating. However ramps are something that can be a problem with lack of space. It must be a very lonely time when all family/friends visits are off limits because of mobility .

    • If one of your friends became disabled would you not like them to visit anymore

    • You could have disabled relatives ot friends who would like to visit an they are faced with no access either to the house or the bathroom. Actually your question and attitude simply underlines the difficulty in having mobility access made available in fact you question indicates that you feel the disabled dont have a right to visit your home be they friend or not.

    • Ever thought about if you or someone in your family becomes disabled for some reason? Or what if you need to be taken away by ambulance and need room to get the trolley to take you away. A stitch in time saves nine ! If renovating, that little extra width is not too hard to do.

    • Thank you all for wishing that I or my friends or family become disabled and you Joan Savell, that is the most disgusting thing I have ever read here , for starters if they were not my friends they would not be visiting my house.

      1 REPLY
      • What if they worked for some agency that you needed?

    • Building houses with wider doorways and accessible bathrooms,means that anyone with a mobility or injury issue can be accommodated safely

    • Owen your response to the replies given you particularly mine confirms your bias about the disabled you also have thr attitude that it can never happen to you or your friends..what a sad reflection on you.

    • Owen, I have suffered a disability for many years & am nearly 79 years of age. I would not wish that on you or any member of your family, however I avoid visiting because I find steps and stairs difficult, also toilets are generally too low in most homes & there are also other hurdles to overcome. I will admit that before I was disabled I never gave it much thought.

    • Joan Savell, you are the rudest person I have ever encountered in my life, please do not make any more comments on any post of mine ever.

    • Owen, I think you have read a few Phobies in what Joan said. I cannot see where she wished anything upon you nor has she been rude. The lady obviously has first hand experience what it is like to have a loved one disabled and I can assure you Owen, these people fight and claw for everything that they obtain to assist those that need it.. I suggest you stand back and reconsider what you said.

    • I’ve just read some of the comments and can’t believe that some people are so short sighted (excuse pun) that they can’t see how many people are actually affected by some kind of disability or impairment. It is 20% of the population and given they don’t all live alone and live in families, that raises it to at least 60% of the population living with a disability. Recent research showed that a new home built today has a 60% of needing to house a person with a permanent disability and a 91% chance of having a visitor with a disability. Don’t leave granny out of the family celebrations!

  3. I have been in a wheelchair for 3 years now and went from a very active still working 60 year old who loved to travel – even many countries make it very hard to get around.
    Even in Australia trying to book a Hotel room and a couple of the even big named Hotels consider wheel chair assess able because they have a lift what about mobility in room and bathroom.
    We have an aging population and still think we have a long way to go for disabled people both here and overseas

    1 REPLY
    • I booked my mum into a motel and asked for a wheelchair accessible room. She could get into the unit but could have a shower or anything and she was going to her grandsons wedding.

  4. Step in baths in hotel rooms could consider aged people more…..we couldn’t afford to travel when we were younger!! Have installed a stairlift at home for older relatives and friends…we could need it someday too….at the mo we use it for heavy groceries

  5. The English life style shows like ours DO. Sara Beeny’s shows are all about what people need in access ability.some of the Australian ones do too, but if they are working on a specific and there is no need, they don’t…I do not think they can put it in to everything, it only goes in when needed to show what you can do when, where, how and why….

  6. It is also a problem because there aren’t as many disabled people as there are non disabled people. Just because I go some where and need not to have a step in bath or shower, doesn’t mean that the next 1,000 people don’t care if it does. Most places I go now ask if I have special requirements and usually give me what I need.

  7. I find having to climb in a bath to shower beyond me, I find a lot of houses and hotels in England have this. It makes traveling that much harder. But realistically it would be because of the lack of space that this is the case

  8. Step up over and in baths are a slip hazard for all ages…..step down easier….all about the cost and the space which is understandable. Most public are not disabled….but it only takes one slip to get a bit closer to that……I would set my place up to be as accident proof for all as possible

    1 REPLY
    • After recent knee surgery i was mobility impaired for a couple of months. I didn’t find our shower over a bath difficult. Sit on the edge of bath, swing legs over, wella! Done. Not sure how I would have handled stepping down into a bath – much more difficult with an uncooperative knee.

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