Caught in a prison because of lack of Accessibility
There is general agreement that accessibility is a human right and a prerequisite for participation. Sometimes these terms don't seem clear enough: Accessibility is a prerequisite for freedom, we should be aware of that.
The freedom of disabled persons is limited by a lack of accessibility: persons with walkers or wheelchairs cannot live where they want, drive where they want or do what they want.
I don't have to go into detail here. Individuals like Raul Krauthausen and many others have explained it in detail in hundreds of posts. Even if you are lucky enough to have an accessible and appropriate apartment, your own suitable car and assistance, you will always come across steps at your destination or on the way there.
This means that we are still privileged compared to many older persons who cannot leave their homes due to a lack of accessibility. Little is reported about these persons, who are completely dependent on outside help for lack of relatives to look after them. Most of them can't blog or tweet, so not only are they trapped, they're also mute as far as their presence in old and social media is concerned. They are invisible and forgotten, out of sight. Out of mind. The only question that remains is why we are doing this to our seniors.
We do not realize how many persons are affected and that the number will increase drastically due to demographic change. Let's imagine that the number of persons with walkers or those with age-related eye diseases will increase drastically in the next few years. We're not that far from 1 in 10 persons being affected.
Of course, not everything is great in the USA. But with the Americans with Disabilities Act, they have a now unassailable lead when it comes to accessible environments. That lead is widening as the EU steadfastly refuses to implement similar rules. Yes, public buildings are now fairly accessible, but apart from the persons who work there, nobody wants to spend more than a few minutes of their life there.
The crazy thing is that those responsible in politics will eventually be affected by the problem themselves. They or their caregivers will probably eventually develop a disability that prevents them from participating, but unlike us, they could do something about it, instead they remain passive or at best have tentative approaches. It seems that they have no interest in their own future or hide the fact that they themselves could be affected. It's the same tragedy as in climate policy: We actually know what needs to be done in the medium term, but we don't do it because we're only looking at short-term goals. I'm afraid that's a structural problem in our democracy, although that doesn't mean that a controlled dictatorship like in other countries would work better: You can see that clearly in China and Corona.
We have no choice but to keep fighting to ensure that politicians take the issue of accessibility more seriously in the long term.