How to Improve Sidewalks to Help Those with Disabilities

Inaccessible Sidewalks

How Inaccessible Sidewalks are Not Acceptable

I have been taking daily walks for the last several months especially during the stay at home period.

It is my way of getting out of the house and still social distancing. Because I have been on walks a lot more than usual, I have really noticed and paid attention to the sidewalks in my neighborhood.

It is common for me, as someone who is visually impaired to trip a lot over small ledges/cracks because my perception can be off while walking.

I have also walked with a lot of people who are blind or visually impaired (with or without canes) who have to brave the sidewalks regardless of their conditions.

I can only imagine what it would be like to have a mobility disability including using a wheelchair, using crutches, or having limited leg movement on the sidewalks.

In my current and previous neighborhoods the sidewalks are so bad, and literally if you are in a wheelchair you can not get around without staying in the road the majority of the time,

This is just not right or fair and it is definitely not safe.

What about people on a bike, scooter, rollerblades?

What about those pushing a stroller?

What about children trying to get around?

Those with disabilities are not the only people who suffer from poor sidewalks, and it is a HUGE issue. 

It is not only the government and local leaders’ duty to fix these sidewalks by the ADA guidelines but as citizens, it is our duty to make sure our sidewalks are accessible for people of all abilities and ages.

Please, do your part, report your curbs and broken sidewalks to your city.

Take the time to pull your weeds.

Trim your tree and bush branches.

Don’t park your car on the sidewalk.

Don’t leave things on the sidewalk.

In the fall rake your leaves.

In the winter shovel your snow.

These are all things we have control of and can do to contribute to the community.

You can make a difference!

For those of you who are able to adapt to poor sidewalk conditions, put yourself in the shoes of someone else who can’t.

Next time you are on a walk, think about how other might get around with a wheelchair or a with no sight.

If you really want to understand, push a stroller, pull a wagon, or even use some crutches on your walk and see how that goes for you in your neighborhood.

It might help you see from a new perspective.

Let’s work together to make this world a more accessible place!

Here is a second video I made exploring a neighborhood of a family member. I wanted to see what type of issues it had compared to my own neighborhood to see if there were similarities.