Welcome Visitor:

Jura's accessibility - call for input

We would like to invite contributions (online or in person) from comrades about how to make Jura more accessible.

Jura is committed to making our shop, library and events as accessible as possible, to as wide a range of people as possible, including people with disabilities. We try to have an intersectional approach to anarchism, and this means working towards ending all forms of oppression, both in our own space and in the broader society.

As most of you probably know, Jura is not very accessible to people with mobility impairments. The downstairs shop area is fairly accessible to a person using a wheelchair, but the rest of the building (including the library and toilets) are up one or two flights of steep stairs. When Jura moved into the current building (over 20 years ago), collective members did work on the entrance to the shop to make it more accessible. At that time, the rest of the building was not used for public meetings or events. This was partly because the upstairs area was rented out as a living area so that Jura could afford repayments on the mortgage for the building. Gradually, this situation has changed over the years, and a significant proportion of events have been happening upstairs in the library. A few years ago, a Jura collective member made and installed a rail on the stairs to make the library more accessible to people who are able to climb stairs, but have some difficulty doing so. However the library remains fairly inaccessible – certainly it is not accessible to anyone who uses a wheelchair. Some years ago, after discussions about accessibility, we decided on a policy that ‘most meetings and events can be moved downstairs on request’. However it has recently been pointed out that this is not a very good solution because it puts the onus on people with disabilities to ask for the event to be made accessible.

In future years we would like to dramatically improve Jura's accessibility. We would like to do extensive renovations (such as installing a lift) or move to a new, accessible location. However, in the short-term we do not have enough money to do these things. (We barely have enough money for our rates and bills, which are paid through donations.) So we are trying to develop some better immediate solutions to making Jura more accessible to people with disabilities – including mobility disabilities, sensory disabilities and others. We intend to do our own research and planning about this, but we would also like to invite input from any comrades who are interested in providing it. We are happy to accept this input online (preferably by email to jura[at]jura.org.au) or in person. We also hope to schedule an open discussion early in 2018.

The Jura Books Collective