On March 26th, I published a post regarding the situation that occurred during the National Disability Summit in Melbourne. I was not the only person who was offended by the horrible treatment of people in wheelchairs. News of the situation spread quickly, and one day after the event, the organizer of the event (Informa) issued an official apology statement which I pasted below.
Statement from the Organizers (Informa)
Friday, 27 March 2015
Informa Australia apologises for the accessibility issues faced by participants with disabilities at the 2015 National Disability Summit.
We are looking into how and why such incidents could have occurred and we are committed to ensuring that this does not happen again. All procedures are currently under review.
It was our responsibility to ensure that there was ramp access to the stage. A ramp was en route and the decision to proceed without it was made in consultation with the speaker and her carer and she was escorted to the stage by her carer and a registered nurse.
Here are her comments:
“I am the woman that was allegedly carried onto the stage at the recent Disability Summit. I am lucky to be able to walk short distances with assistance, so I elected to join the panel on stage the way I did. I know not all disabled people are as lucky as I am and for that reason, I believe a ramp was an absolute, overlooked necessity. In hindsight, I wish I had of addressed the issue of the ramp whilst on stage. The humiliation I felt that day was from my photo being placed on Social Media without my consent and the comments that followed. I am a proud disabled woman that owns my disability. I am not ashamed of my disabled gait, or my decision to be assisted that day. I hope a very important lesson was learnt by all the organisers involved. This should never have happened.”
In order to ensure that this will never happen again, Informa Australia would like to thank everyone who has forwarded reference guidelines on accessibility to follow for all future events. In addition to concession passes, on-site live captioning and an audio induction loop were features introduced at this year’s event. We are committed to continually improving the experience and learnings of our events.
This year’s National Disability Summit brought together an esteemed group of dedicated, passionate and experienced speakers and attendees. Please visit Slideshare to access these presentations.
For all further queries, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org
To learn more about the summit, click here.