A little children’s story about inclusive design for you all to enjoy…suitable for all 🙂
Read time: 5 minutes
Hello, come in, welcome to my house. My favourite part is my bedroom where I can play all day. What’s your favourite room where you live?
At the front of our house are lots of steps. I imagine it’s my pyramid and I’m a Pharaoh! Mum rides a bike to work though and she doesn’t think it’s so cool when she has to carry it all the way up my pyramid every day!
My grandma, Mimi, uses a whizzy scooter. Sometimes she lets me ride on it too! I wish it could change into a robot and carry us up, but instead we all get together and push her in!
My best friend is Mo, we have the best time riding on his wheelchair. He can go so fast! But when Mo comes round to play, we can only play outside games. I mostly go to his, but I wish he could see my amazing bedroom.
My pyramid is cool, but I’ve been thinking….what would make my house even more marvellous is a way in and out we can all use.
In the middle of my house are stairs up to my room. It’s where the loo is too.
Mimi, comes over to our house lots. If I’m really good she sometimes gives me sweets too! But when she comes over, she doesn’t stay for long because she can’t get to our loo. Sometimes she’ll have one less cup of tea so she can stay a bit longer with us. I think she thinks we don’t notice but I do. I think it’s sad because she loves tea. She must love us more though.
Sometimes I get reeeeeally desperate for the loo too and have to run all the way there. I imagine I’m sailing the seas on a pirate ship – under, over, climb the rigging, all the way up to the crows nest! But sometimes even I don’t make it! Eeek!
When mum fell off her bike and broke her leg last year she had to shuffle up and down on her bum every time she wanted to go. It was very funny, but don’t tell her I said so!
In Mo’s house the loo is downstairs. I used to think that was weird but I guess you can put them anywhere.
My pirate ship is cool, but I’ve been thinking….what would make my house even more marvellous is a loo we can all get to.
My living room is where the TV is!
Last month me and mum painted this room together (I chose the colour – blue – because it’s my favourite) and it looks awesome. Mum is always bumping into our freshly painted door frames with her bike when she brings it inside after work though. I don’t mind the chips but mum definitely does. Sometimes she even says some naughty words when she knocks it, but sssshh, don’t tell her I heard!
When we got a new sofa they tried to get it in the living room door but it got stuck! We had to bring it in through our window and the whole street came out to watch! It’s soooo comfy though and sometimes mum even lets me build forts with the cushions. I like to imagine our door is a star gate to another dimension protecting us from aliens and only a few people can travel through.
I wish Mo could come over and build sofa forts with me and stay for tea – that would be the best day ever – but his wheelchair would get stuck in the star gate for sure.
Mimi’s scooter gets eaten up by the star gate too. When she comes over she leaves it outside and gets around by leaning on all our furniture to help her balance. I secretly think she is really magic because it looks like she is casting spells on everything she touches!
My star gate is cool, but I’ve been thinking…what would make my house even more marvellous would be doors wide enough for us all to get through.
The kitchen is where all the yummy food gets made.
In our kitchen we have this little step into it, which I think is like the step into the Apollo 11 lunar module. When I was little and playing (I was pretending to be an astronaut in a spaceship and flying at a billion miles an hour through space!) I tripped up it and went flying into the kitchen instead of to the moon! It hurt so much and mum had to take me to hospital for stitches. I was really brave though and now I have a cool scar that mum says even looks a bit like a spaceship!
Mimi uses a stick when she’s not in her whizzy scooter (which makes her look even more magical like a wizard!) but she’s always catching it on this step too so we always have to bring her her cup of tea in case she drops it.
We don’t have a car so mum uses a shopping trolley when we go to the supermarket every week. It’s so big I used to be able to get in it! If I asked nicely sometimes mum used to let me ride in it for a bit on the way there! On the way back it’s always really heavy full of all my favourite food though. The other day mum pulled the trolley up and over the kitchen step too hard and all the eggs fell out and smashed everywhere! She was so mad! I helped her clear it up, but there is still a stain on the carpet.
At school we don’t have lumps and bumps like this between rooms so Mo doesn’t have to ask anyone to help him get anywhere, which seems like a really good idea.
My lunar module is cool, but I’ve been thinking…what would make my house even more marvellous would be if things were a little bit smoother
At the moment I have a pyramid, a pirate ship, a star gate and a spaceship. But I think I’d rather Mo and me could play all day, mum was less stressed and Mimi could stay for an extra cup of tea. Then I reckon it would be the most marvellous house in the world! What do you think?
One day we’ll make all homes marvellous like this. Because when kids like you and me grow up, and become brilliant builders and awesome architects we’ll get to design anything we want. I think mine will be red and made of jelly! What will yours be like? But we can also make sure we make them a little bit more marvellous for people like mum, Mimi, Mo, me…and you too!
Only 7% of homes in England have the four most basic accessibility features: level access entrance, flush thresholds, wider doorways and a toilet on the entrance level. That means a whopping 93% aren’t fully visitable – keeping ourselves, our friends and family out (and sometimes in). Making our homes more accessible benefits everyone – not just wheelchair users – but parents with prams, owners of rusty knees, people with crutches, scooters, luggage, bikes and everyone in between.
Thanks for reading. I would love to know what you think! Or please share with anyone you think might enjoy it. And if you know any nifty illustrators, send them my way too!