Angela and Jessie James are facing issues in Ipswich for their daughter Diana James who has a disability and requires wheelchair access.
Angela and Jessie James are facing issues in Ipswich for their daughter Diana James who has a disability and requires wheelchair access. Inga Williams

COMMENT: Time to make Ipswich an accessible city

IT IS heartbreaking and eye-opening to hear the story of the James family of Fernvale.

Dad Jessie offered an honest look inside what life was like for his much-loved daughter Diana, who lives with a rare genetic disorder that has left her wheelchair bound.

For Jessie and Diana, nothing is simple.

The pair cannot catch a train, pop into the shops or go to see a movie without calling ahead, finding someone to go with them and in most cases finding a back or side door.

Due to lack of access for people with disabilities, there are some places they simply can't go no matter how much planning they do.

As someone who is able-bodied it is hard to imagine being excluded like that.

One example Jessie talked about left me speechless.

While at an Ipswich train station the father was recently forced to physically lift Diana and her wheelchair up the stairs and across the overpass and back down to get to the Brisbane-bound platform.

Ipswich should be doing better than that.

It's time to put inclusiveness first and make ours an accessible city.



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