We have been physically isolated and disconnected from our community through this pandemic.
We have witnessed Business Models shift from in-person to Digital.
We have witnessed Operational Models shift from working in the office to working from home.
We are being given new policies to protect our health as we prepare for reentry.
These new health guidelines for people to reenter are going to make things challenging for everyone, but for people with certain physical disabilities, these new health guidelines will make things exclusive.
Using me as an example,
How will I put a mask on?
How will I put gloves on?
How will I push an elevator button with a stick or elbow with my limited dexterity?
Even though self-isolation will be coming to an end for many, sadly it will not be coming to an end for all.
Prior to Covid19, we had made amazing strides to redesign a more inclusive world. Ensuring we design and build things with accessibility in mind, not an afterthought for some future date.
As our world shifts to post-covid19, is inclusivity and accessibility going to fall back to an afterthought as we transition to the new normal?
It is not my disability that restricts me from having a full life. It is the environment around me that cannot accommodate my disability that restricts me.
A good measure to see how far we have come as a society will be how long it takes for the new normal to become inclusive for people with a disability.
I am bracing myself to hear, “Sorry, we have not updated our [insert product] [insert service] for accessibility under new health guidelines” or “Sorry for the inconvenience, please check back to see when we have updated to accommodate accessibility.” Sorry is not inclusive.
As we plan reentry into the world, let’s plan for reentry with inclusivity for all!
Until next time…