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Disability Narratives

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Interview excerpt: Devon explains some of the difficulties she had gaining access to old and new buildings for people with mobility problems.

Image representing Devon© Disability NarrativesThe main drawback in it is the old building, really. Which is - I'm sure you've heard from pretty much everyone working in Oxford [laugh] is that there's - there's only so much accommodation they can do in a lot of the older buildings. And for me, one of the, the biggest problems has been getting access. They have no elevator, no lift use, after five o'clock.

So we share a canteen and common area with [name] and [name] buildings, which are newer buildings, in order to access that area there's quite a steep ramp. So if someone is in a chair, say, they can probably get up and down that, easy. On sticks [laugh] it's not accessible unless you're very careful and very practised. So that kind of leaves that access out. And through there, there's ramps to get out of the building and all of that. But until I could get up that ramp, I couldn't access any of that.

And [there are difficulties to change] even really simple things. The very steep ramp, as well as the stairs of the building, don't really have railings. So, things like that. I can manage some of the stairs some of the time. But there's - there's no railing on both sides. So it's only really going up. Going back down it's too difficult without something to steady myself.