Recently I posted a story online about the difficulty of finding a post box (they had been removed) and as a person with a disability, I can not drive and rely on walking.
After recent floods I had received letter that asked for permission to enter my property to assess storm stormwater drains that run under it.
The issue was the only option to reply was by post and the postboxes nearby had been removed. Searches on then internet still showed them as being there. Meaning I walked over 4km to post box locations to reply by post with no success.
Today a representative of Auckland Council reached out asking for an appointment to discuss improving their processes for those with disabilities.
I look forward to the conversation as I have multiple suggestions for them, including a design process with accessibility at the beginning and engaging with disability organisations to streamline processes.
Good on the Auckland Council for first noticing and then doing something, beginning a process to do something about it.
I have been meaning to write this post for a couple of weeks now—a shout-out to Auckland Transport for adding audio descriptions of stops on buses in the suburbs.
This has always been a feature of inner-city buses but has never been available on all buses. A few weeks ago, I noticed stop announcements like those on trainings and, as a blind person, find this extremely helpful.
The Stoned Cow is a cafe in Browns Bay, Auckland. This shout out is for both customer service and the redesign of their printed menu.
Last week I visited the Stoned Cow with a friend and my Service Dog. We were greeted at the door and given the option of Sofa seating or a table. Being a dog-friendly cafe, the server suggested table seating as the sofa was close to the door and many dogs may be less well trained than my service dog and she was concerned that this could be a problem. We agreed as table seating was better for our meal choice.
I had visited the Stoned Cow previously before I had a service dog. At that time, I had found the staff less willing to assist and the menu particularly poorly laid out for those with a print disability or low vision.
What stood out this time was the improvement in the menu (and I don’t just mean the food selection). The menu had been reformatted. Instead of the old Single page backed menu and very small print, it was now a larger Book that was spiral-bound on thick card, making the pages easy to turn.
It included (a larger than 12 point font size along with high contrast (white writing on a black background) and good spacing making this much more readable.
The cafe is dog friendly, and the staff have homemade dog treats and a pupachino made with lactose-free milk.What made a big difference was the way the staff interacted with my service dog.
They didn’t treat her in the same manner as the other pet dogs, who they approached and immediately interacted with. The server asked if she could interact and then asked if my dog could have a treat. Because my dog was working, I said no to the pets. However, I asked if I could give her a treat and did some easy obedience work before she was given the treat.
Here’s some information on allowing service dogs into premises and New Zealand –https://communitylaw.org.nz/community-law-manual/chapter-17-disability-rights/access-to-shops-transport-and-other-services/assistance-dogs-disability-assist-dogs/ along with some information on assistance dogs https://www.companionanimals.nz/disabilityassistdogs.
Some other good points about this restaurant, there is a flat entrance and it is wheelchair accessible there is an accessible bathroom alongside non accessible bathrooms.
To finish off I will add a photo of one of the kids meals we saw go out. Boiled eggs with toast soldiers.