The site is the first of its kind, Red says; written by disabled people for disabled people, and featuring a blog on disability news from around New Zealand, as well as reviews on the accessibility of cafes and restaurants around Auckland, and an online forum where members can gather and talk about anything they like - whether its related to disability issues or not.
Red, who has cerebral palsy and uses a power wheelchair to get around, says that the website was born out of frustration surrounding the lack of an online presence within the disability community. “To me, the disability community seems quite fragmented at the moment, and I think it’s about time there was an easily accessible place where those with an impairment from anywhere in the country can log on and share their dreams and aspirations, as well as providing a forum for constructive collaboration on issues which affect the day-to-day life of those living with an impairment”.
The site is still in its early days, but Red is certain it has great potential. “No other New Zealand-based site has compiled a list of user-reviewed places around Auckland and details about their accessibility, so once things kick on it could become a really valuable asset for those already living in Auckland with an impairment, and those who are thinking of visiting our wonderful - but not entirely accessible - city!”
Red, who is studying for a Bachelor of Communication Studies at AUT, enthuses that his site aims to break the mould of the typically patronising or pitiful approach to disability. “I’m a positive kind of guy, and I think my writing reflects that - I want to post as much as I can about the awesome things that are going on all the time within the disability community, but at the same time I’ll call a spade a spade, and if an establishment doesn’t live up to my expectations surrounding accessibility, I’m not afraid to say so!”
So far, Red has undertaken all the reviews himself but says he is on the lookout for others to join the team. If you would like to contribute a review of a cafe, restaurant, or public facility like a museum or art gallery, then check out Red’s contact page on the site.
The new site can be viewed at walkingisoverrated.com