If Buildings or Ramps could Speak

Reading time: 2-3 Minutes IMAGINE When you are about to enter someone’s home, the first thing you notice is their doormat, if placed. Let’s say it is a pretty one, and you appreciate it, or it could merely be the WELCOME mat. But what if the doormat warns you? For example, it reads DO NOT ENTER or UNWELCOME, would you be hesitant to ring that particular home’s doorbell? Now imagine when a Person of Determination tries to enter a building, any building - public/private, and they meet with a giant UNWELCOME sign delivered by stairs or an inaccessible wheelchair ramp. Automatically it makes us feel unwelcome. DO NOT ENTER THE BUILDING, PERSON WITH DISABILITIES is the message that the entrance to a building can deliver. Even though it could be a building that the Person of Determination needs to use, rather than want to enter. The frustration of such an unwanted welcome plays havoc with a human mind. Having the privilege of living in a developed community, I appreciate ramp's availability in the buildings, but not all wheelchair ramps scream WELCOME. Some are steeper than M.T. Everest, and it takes a team to push someone in a wheelchair into a building. I have had to meet many such unfortunate ramps who scream DANGER at me, and to me, all those buildings and ramps could keep a doormat that says UNWELCOME. If I do ever publish this and miraculously someone is reading this and physically fit to climb a ramp, I have a challenge for you: Next time you see a ramp, try to walk on it by bending one of your foot backward, imagine you twisted your ankle and cannot put your weight on it. You will face the following challenges: ● No railing to support you ● The ramp is not smooth enough for you ● The slope is just too slippery (because duh!! We live in a city out of desert…and DUST) ● The incline is too steep, and you end up not being able to go higher ● There is a huge step right before/after the ramp ● The BANE OF EXISTENCE AND LAST CHALLENGE – NO RAMPS (it happens from time to time even in UAE) Then you decide what would that building/ramp say if it could speak: Welcome Or UNWELCOME OR DON’T EVEN THINK ABOUT ENTERING HERE P.S. I know ramps don’t randomly start giving out invitations about entering or barring someone, this is just my take on how HUMANS can do better. By: Saira Sayed, Inclusive A11y, Proud to be a Person of Determination

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Comments 14

  • Muhammad Abdurrehman Azeem Oct. 8, 2020

    It's sad to see that designs that are in place to provide accessibility can prove to be unusable and dangerous to individuals who most need them.

  • Ayesha Khan Oct. 8, 2020

    being a person of Determination I can feel each word of yours, me myself facing the problem of accessibility, we as an INCLUSIVE team can play our part to make our cities accessible, so that each building, ramp, houses welcome us. Proud to be part of the INCLUSIVE team.

  • Amir Shahzad Oct. 3, 2020

    Such a nice way of opening the eyes of people like us who usually don't consider people with special abilities while designing our homes, workplaces etc. Thanks for changing my perspective.

  • Samena K July 17, 2020

    Determination/ willpower/ perseverance/persistence/bravery/boldness ------ the ture meaning and essence of every word can only and only be defined by a FIGHTER like you.... SALUTE to every fighter facing these challenges everyday , every second in their normal living which for others doesn't even seem to be a point of concern and thus no attention paid till date. What a shame that beauty of a building and a place is given much more importance than the worth of a human being.... THANK YOU for taking this step!!!! Reach out to those heights Babes, where you will one day make Mount Everst to bow and say "You're WELCOME Saira" and we will follow you......

  • Yaseera Amir July 17, 2020

    This is such an eye opener. Everyone in this world needs to give this a read. You are such a positive soul and I'm so glad to have known you. More power to you beautiful!!

  • Mudassar Javeed July 16, 2020

    Worth reading MA. Proud to share the same team with you. Hats off.

  • Nargis Sayed July 16, 2020

    Superb..reading this got me goosebumps imagining myself in such a weird situation of climbing a ramp with any one of my main organ not supporting me. This is truly an eye opener and it is a step took higher an initiation to change the view of people.Every human being out there should feel a warm welcome rather then a scary one. Proud of you Saira didi.

  • Ahmed Qadeer July 16, 2020

    Amazing read. As a POD, I feel the same way about stairs and ramps.

  • Henna Sohail July 15, 2020

    Sigh!! Thank you Saira for this embarrassing and hard hitting insight. Its shameful, that how "we" the so called "normal" population can be so oblivious to the basic and crucial arrangements around us. But what is more infuriating is that the lack of response stems from the appalling subconscious mindset of the society. A mindset that has conveniently categorized the people of determination to be a section who "should" naturally be home bound. The lack of these arrangements clearly scream "Return to the walls within your homes, the outdoors are not for you" Ashamed and Apologetic 🙏🏻

  • Gitika Khanna July 15, 2020

    I agree to every word Sara. If God is one who has WELCOMED 'US' into this world, why can't we be WELCOMED in every bit of human-made existence!!

  • Urooj Furqan Khan July 15, 2020

    Amazing good job!

  • Rumana Parmar July 15, 2020

    Great eye opener for normal people like us who takes so many blessing for granted in life.

  • Abhishek Gadhvi July 15, 2020

    you truly are, proud of you

  • Fauzia July 15, 2020

    Reading this article brought a lot of flashbacks of the struggle my closest friend felt and conquered,,,,I hope this reaches to millions of people and we together build a community that is truly INCLUSIVE of eveeryone.