Disability Access Failures At COP26

There was an opportunity to highlight the importance of disabled people’s rights at the global COP26 climate change conference. However, several disability access complaints proved it had failed to do so.

Last week, leaders from around the world descended upon the event being held in Glasgow, one of whom – Israeli energy minister Karine Elharrar – was unable to access the conference venue, as she was in her wheelchair, and had to leave.

Disability News Service reported she was also offered a shuttle bus that was not wheelchair-friendly after her vehicle was banned from entering the compound.

Jason Boberg from the SustainedAbility Disability and Climate Network complained about the accessibility problems. He had not been able to enter the venue due to the accessibility entrance being closed and had to wait till later that day when it was re-opened.

Mr Boberg told the news provider: “We are hoping these unfortunate circumstances shed light on the need for disability representation and accessibility.”

However, he noted: “How are we supposed to get our rights included if we can’t get into the venue?”

The SustainedAbility spokesperson stated that the exclusion of a disabled minister from COP26 “highlights the exclusion of disabled people in the climate change negotiations”.

Also appalled by the blunders was Kamran Mallick, chief executive of Disability Rights UK, who said it was due to “a lack of social model of disability being at the heart of government strategy”.

The COP26 summit started on October 31st and will continue until Friday (November 12th). It has brought together world leaders, including Prime Minister Boris Johnson, to discuss how they can drive forward the goals of the Paris Agreement and reduce the impact of climate change.

Other famous faces at the event have included Prince William, Kate Middleton, Leonardo DiCaprio, and Greta Thunberg.

For better disabled access at home, consider a modern walk-in shower bath fitted in your washroom.


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