Our team member Filip gets interviewed

In this interview, Filip will talk about himself and how he views accessibility. Filip will also share his thoughts on how we can improve accessibility, what problems arise when you have a disability and how people without a disability can help.

First of all, tell us a little about yourself

My name is Filip, I’m 25 years old. I grew up and I’m living in Helsingborg here in south Sweden. I have been a wheelchair user since 2014 – 2015. This is my second wheelchair, the light version. I’m currently studying something called Front-end developer, Web Developer.

How do you find accessibility in your city? Where do you look for information?

I usually mostly check as probably many other wheelchair users do, Google, Google Maps, Google Images. Sometimes the place has their own website. I usually go in and check there too. Usually, the websites are not always the best, but I do anyway trust most Google Maps.

I usually drop a pin in the street and rotate towards the building or the entrance and check the entrance. You can often see if there are any stairs or if it is a flat entrance. I also check if there is a door opener, usually there is none. So, generally I check images on Google if I can find any so that I can get as much information as I can to make my decision whether this place is accessible to me or not.

This is usually my way of getting information.

What are the problems you face when looking for accessible information?

There are a lot of problems. The first problem is that there is not much information out there. As I mentioned before, you have Google but it’s only half the step or rather the first step because you can usually only see the entrance there.

Sometimes if you are lucky the place has a website, and they may have posted pictures of the place on their website and then you can usually get a reasonable overview or information if it’s accessible. But it’s still a problem because you do not have all the cards on the table. You can’t decide and it’s still a gamble. So, I would like to say that the biggest problem is lack of information and can you trust the information, is it outdated and when was it last updated.

What would be the best motivation for people to log data about accessibility in places?

Yes, that’s a difficult question but would like to say that they must have a devotion to contribute to society and those who have that devotion will understand what value they bring when mapping and logging places on Log This Place. Others who may not really have the devotion to contribute to society, there I think we must work a little to teach them and tell our story. What it is like to live with a disability and what difficulties there are with accessibility. So, I think that’s how we can grow a community.

What does accessibility mean to you?

Accessibility for me is that I should be able to navigate around the city without having to get help from someone else. Then it is very different depending on which disability one has. I use a manual wheelchair and have some strength in my arms so I can push myself around. For others who do not have it, it is different there, but I would like to say to navigate freely in the city, that’s what accessibility is for me.

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