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Moving office – The perspective of people with learning disabilities
This month, My Life My Choice has moved offices.
It has been a very difficult process to find an accessible and suitable space, but thanks to the great work of our dedicated trustees and members, we have a great and accessible office.
Moving house, or office is never easy because there are lots of things to think about, such as price, location and style.
Despite these difficulties, we think it is essential that offices are accessible and that people with learning disabilities are included in these decisions.
The trustees, all of whom have learning disabilities, started out by making a list of the things they wanted for our new office. These included:
Good links with public transport
Big enough for the charity to expand in the future
These things were important to the trustees to make the office as accessible as possible to people with any kind of disability.
With this list, our charity coordinator went away and researched what office spaces were available. He then went back to the trustees with the options to let them decide.
The trustees thought about what was good and what was bad about each one.
For example, they did not like one office because the toilets were not accessible, and they did not like another because it was too far away for people to travel to independently.
In the end, the trustees chose our new office.
They had to compromise a bit on the transport links and location to be able to get good accessibility, enough room, and not too expensive.
As one trustee said, “sometimes for the good of the charity you have to make difficult decisions. Compromising is sometimes very important.”
After checking it out for real, the trustees liked the office because it was spacious, had a lift for access, and a bus stop outside.
The final difficult step was to sign contracts and make the office ours. Our chair of trustees was responsible for signing the contract. This was difficult because it was not in easy read or made accessible.
All in all, we are happy with our new office, it is big and accessible and will be fantastic.
However, it was very difficult for us to find a space that was accessible to everyone, and we think this needs to change.
We think that more organisations should have completely accessible offices so that people disabilities are not excluded.
This means we need more accessible buildings, and more people with disabilities to be involved in decision making.
We hope that 2019 will be the year when access for all people starts to become a reality!
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