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Sesame Access are not only a disabled access lift manufacturer but we are also advocates for an accessible and inclusive society. We create products which change peoples lives and ensure they can access the buildings and places they WANT to go to and not just because it is accessible.

The news stories below demonstrate the struggles and obstacles the disability community face everyday. Raising awareness is essential to combat the issues and make a change. Educating society on these problems is the least we can do and implementing products which benefit the lives of wheelchair users is our passion.

28th June-4th July

Access for disabled people: ‘People like me can’t visit our city centre’

City of York Council seems determined to press ahead with plans to permanently ban blue badge holders from accessing the city centre during the day.

The authority expanded the city centre pedestrian zone and hours at the start of the Covid pandemic.

Blue badge holders used to be allowed to drive in certain pedestrianised streets - but the council banned access during the day, allowing bollards and barriers to be installed. It is now planning to make a traffic regulation order to make this permanent.

The council does plan to increase blue badge parking on the edges of the foostreet zones - including, for example, extra spaces in Blake Street, Deangate, Duncombe Place, Lord Mayor’s Walk, St Leonard’s Place and Stonebow. These, however, will simply replace spaces lost to blue badge holders in July 2020.

The council will soon be advertising its proposals - and says residents will be able to have their say.

It is important that we do. Disabled people have already faced almost a year of not being able to access the city centre. A change to permanently exclude us from being able to park in the city centre - and so effectively prevent us from being able to visit our wonderful city - is something we have long worried was coming.

Full article here:

Cambridge Freemason grant supports SEN and disabled young people access DofE awards

Overall, an estimated 30,000 young people with disabilities and special educational needs will now be able to take part in the Award scheme as a result of a partnership

Thousands of young people with disabilities and special educational needs will be able to take part in the Duke of Edinburgh Awards thanks to a grant of £35,000 from a Cambridge Freemasons Lodge.

The huge grant from the Isaac Newton University Lodge will add to the £300,000 strategic partnership between the United Grand Lodge of England (UGLE) and the Masonic Charitable Foundation (MCF) with the Duke of Edinburgh Awards.

Overall, an estimated 30,000 young people with disabilities and special educational needs will now be able to take part in the Award scheme as a result of the partnership, which will ensure that young people with diverse difficulties and disabilities will be able to build crucial skills and become more independent; it aims to offer students the same experiences available to their peers in mainstream education.

Full article here:

Police seize car which blocked disabled man's driveway for more than 24 hours

Officers were left with little choice after failing to locate the owner

Police have seized a vehicle which blocked a disabled man's driveway for more than 24 hours.

Officers from Derbyshire police were called to Nelson Street in Swadlincote after receiving reports a disabled person could not get out of his driveway.

When they arrived they found a silver Nissan had been left parked in front of the drive, despite clear signs saying it was required for disabled access and the presence of a dropped kerb.

Members of Swadlincote Police Safer Neighbourhood Team (SNT) tried to find the owner of the vehicle, but were unable to do so.

Officers then decided to seize the car, allowing the man to leave his property to get to important medical appointments.

A spokesperson for Swadlincote Police SNT described the owner of the Nissan as "inconsiderate".

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They said: "SNT officers Holmes & Dean were called to Nelson street, Swadlincote where a disabled person could not get off his drive due to an inconsiderate Nissan driver blocking his access.

Full article here:

Christchurch gets money for improving disabled access around the city

One councillor says planning rules discriminate against disabled people in a way that society would not tolerate for other minorities.

Reuben Cleave, 21, lives with cerebral palsy which means he approaches walking and talking differently.

He loves visiting parts of Otautahi but unfortunately, there's only a handful of wheelchair friendly places.

Completing a diploma in web design this year, he has been unable to find a job but while he continues to search he's working on a passion project of his own.

He's building a website to showcase wheelchair accessible activities and sites around the city.

"I am building the website because there are no other website out there that have a sufficient amount of information about wheelchair accessible places around Christchurch and New Zealand."

Last month, he put out a nationwide survey asking disabled people for feedback on whether to build the website and there were dozens of respondents in support of the idea.

Immediate improvements could be made by putting more ramps on streets and shop fronts, Cleave said.

The New Zealand Disability Survey released in 2014 said 24 percent of New Zealand's population identified as disabled.

Christchurch City Councillor Aaron Keown also chairs the Council's Accessibility Regulatory Working Group.

Despite making up a huge part of society, people with disabilities had been left out in the design of cities and within workplaces, Keown said.

"I have this issue with built prejudice. Where we build buildings around facilities or city but they discriminate against people with disability."

If you build a two- or three-storey commercial building there was no requirement to have a lift, he said.

However, that automatically meant someone using a wheelchair could not access the first or second floor.

Wheelchair access through a back door or alley was unacceptable, Keown said.

"Imagine if you said all men, women, or of a certain age, colour or religion has to come in through the back door. But it seems society is ok to do that to disabled people."

The Building Act, as it stands, does not have any minimum standards on accessibility for disabled people in residential housing builds either.

Christchurch City Council has for the first time allocated $100,000 for a disability committee to access for improvements.

Although it was not a huge amount, Keown hoped there would be more funding to come.

"It may pay for an access ramp, toilet door changes, signage, a cut down in a footpath ... it's just a start," Keown said.

Accessibility was not done well in Christchurch, Keown said, and while the funding was only a start, he would like to see "Christchurch become the most accessible city in the world".

Cleave's website will take at least another six months to finish but he hoped it will develop the conversation within cities and workplaces about the importance of accessibility.

Full article here:


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