A Field Guide to Taking the Alternative Route


  • Tatianna Lopez


Accessibility, Disability, Dignity, Mobility issues, Activism, Digital Art


The lack of accessibility to safe and functional sidewalks is a widely ignored concept. This lack is true despite the vast population that this puts in danger and at a disadvantage every day. While the lack of accessibility is seemingly due to the disregard for the needs of certain disabled groups, it is also physical proof of how wealth and status are privileged over basic human necessities. Sidewalk accessibility as seen through their level of function and maintenance send a clear message of who belongs and who does not. It shows the complete absence of care and consideration for community members with disabilities. The condition of the sidewalks in three areas in Kelowna were most telling: Downtown, Rutland, and Dilworth. I found that the majority of sidewalks in Kelowna are inaccessible. The intention or the cause of the inaccessibility is what differed. Higher-income areas, like Downtown or Dilworth, are inaccessible in a way that keeps able bodied wealth as the majority, and works to keep everyone else at a distance. Less wealthy neighbourhoods, like Rutland, are inaccessible as a result of the world being unconcerned and dismissive of the safety and function of lower-income communities. My hope in conveying this message through drawings was to display the emotional side of facing inaccessibility.

Author Biography

Tatianna Lopez

Hi! I’m a fourth year psychology major from Southern California. I do lots of projects in my freetime, including digital art, drawings and paintings. I wouldn’t describe myself as an artist, just as someone who likes being creative. As a psychology major, I haven’t had the chance to do many artistic assignments in my degree, so whenever the opportunity arises I take it!