“No legs – no cartoons”, or How a business refuses to serve 40 million potential customers
Weak, old, and not sufficiently dexterous could not only bring no benefit to the relatives, but they became a burden and a threat. A good solution to the problem was to throw such people off a cliff, sacrifice to the gods, start and leave in the forest, in the desert or on the mountain …Several hundred, or even thousands, years have passed since then, scientific progress has brought medicine and technology to a level that allows a significant part of people with disabilities and low mobility to live an ordinary life and to be full participants in economic relations.However, society is changing its view of this part of the population much more slowly and more difficultly than the world around it is changing. And this is most clearly reflected in the operating and business models of commercial organizations, from the smallest to the largest federal, in which decisions are made by ordinary people – members of our society.
You can be more or less confident that you have unhindered access to the organization’s services and products only if this organization is on the list of socially significant objects – a pharmacy, a large shopping and entertainment or sports complex, notary, transportation services and the like. At the same time, even here, very often the approach to ensuring accessibility remains formal and on the principle of “if only lagging behind” – the Internet is full of photographs of ramps going into the sky or resting against a wall. They think even less about the needs and convenience of people with disabilities in the sensory canals – their difficulties are almost invisible from the outside, which means they don’t exist at all. Moms with children, elderly people, people temporarily limited in the scope of movements due to illness – just find a way to overcome all the obstacles in order to take your money to business: your children, injuries and age are often your problems even from the point of view of legislation.
By the way, about the Internet: in RuNet they like to talk about the unenviable situation of people with disabilities, the elderly and parents of young children; about the obligations of the state in relation to all its citizens; They like to compare how rationally everything is arranged abroad. Moreover, these same people, opening a coffee shop, barbershop or questroom, in 99 out of 100 cases will not think that people from MGN might want to become their customers. They want, but do not. Because so many of these people are forced, when deciding to purchase the company’s products and services, to take into account the possibility of physical access to them.
In the meantime, article 9 of the UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities, signed by our country back in 2008, states: in order to empower such people to lead an independent lifestyle and to participate fully in all its aspects, the participating states shall take appropriate measures to ensure that people with disabilities are equal to others access to facilities and services open or provided to the public.
Accordingly, in cases where the availability of services and facilities to people with disabilities is not ensured, they are discriminated against – a violation of constitutional rights.
It should be understood that where legislative and educational activities of the state do not help to ensure 100% accessibility of all facilities and eliminate discrimination, it can only take “appropriate measures” by force – by organizing additional checks, approvals and fines for all violators. And then the same active citizens who were sick in Odnoklassniki with a soul for old people, disabled people and parents of young children will cry out on the entire Internet that their business is “being terrified” and “strangled”.
For this reason, or for some other reason, the activists on the part of society, education and the larger and more socially responsible business are still more occupied with raising the awareness of business. That at the level of a hairdresser or pizzeria in the average provincial city is almost not felt.
People who are directly interested in a business that will turn their backs on not to them, but to the forest, theoretically having the opportunity to hold any cafe or a hairdresser accountable, prefer to vote in rubles, without choosing physically inaccessible products and services. But a business that was not originally targeted at these people simply does not notice that something is going wrong.
However, there are incidents, which it is impossible to proudly ignore, since they very vividly illustrate how unusual and unusual for our business to take into account the needs of people with limited mobility when making business decisions. So much so that even possible legal risks are not taken into account. One of these incidents was the reason for writing this article.