Thursday, 4 July 2019

Disabled by society

So I wanted to do a bit of a different kind of blog post and open it out to comments from people with a wide range of disabilities and access need and their experiences of where they not been disabled by a health condition but instead have been made 'dis-abled' by society.

Tiri...

"There have been lots of situations where I've been disabled by people refusing/limiting access because of my assistance dog."

Natasha...

"Recently I had to vote (which is mandatory in my country) and the local voting booth wasn’t wheelchair accessible... they ended up bringing me the voting papers and putting a box on top of me in my wheelchair. Let’s just say it was embarrassing and ridiculous that they are setting up polling in places which aren’t accessible - and worse... this was at a school! So if a parent wanted to watch their child perform a play or something and that parent uses a wheelchair, they wouldn’t have access to watch other than from outside. Plus I’ve had to miss out on school interviews before as they’re held in areas which aren’t wheelchair accessible. Basically, I always question, would I actually be disabled if the world was completely accessible for all people and not just able bodied people? And why are we still creating shops, workplaces, schools etc. That aren’t accessible? It’s discriminatory to say yes, we know you won’t be able to access, but it’s cheaper so we are going to do it."

Kel...

"I have Dyslexia and Irlen Syndrome and when at Uni asked for any 'in class' reading to be provided in advance so I could 1) make it a format that worked for me 2) not feel super stressed when everyone accept me had finished reading. I had one particular teacher who though asked many many times never provided me with what I needed. I ended up not doing well in the topic, feeling super stressed in the class, and I became seen as 'disabled' for constantly asking for what I needed. Surely emailing me some reading isn't too much to ask for?!"


Deaf Girly...


"I think the most marked one is when I want to plan my social life and things like the cinema and the theatre do not allow for spontaneous decisions. Captioned performances are few and far between. Date nights cannot happen at weekends or normal times if you want to see a movie and the choice of movie is not yours."


Sage...

"A lot of buses in my area have stairs instead of ramps so I can’t get on them when I’m with my wheelchair. Another thing is that my apartment complex has doors you have to pull to get into the lobby which means I can’t enter myself as the door itself is very heavy and impossible to open when i’m in a wheelchair."


Zoƫ...


"I had an incident once where my train was delayed and when I got to the station there was no staff to assist me off the train. With difficulty if I hadn't;t of gotten of the train I would have headed back to where I came from with no ticket and no way of getting home. Train conductors and other member of staff are crucial and proposed cutswould hinder accessibility as well as safety for disabled travellers."

Caroline...

"I use a wheelchair for longer distances but I find it hard to know with taxi's if my wheelchair will fit in the trunk ahead of time."


Holly...

"I often find myself in situations where passenger assistance don't turn up when I'm travelling on the train; this happens more often than not. In terms of busses it would be great if we had talking buses where I live, this would really help."

Deafie Blogger...

"Inaccessible health services where they say you can only call to make appointments or enquire about healthcare or lack of access at GPs and hospitals (e.g. audio announcements) no support at all!" 

Breanna...

"I've had several instances where cars would park on the dropped curb. I can not get to the building if cars are parked on the dropped curb. The dropped curb is essential to getting to where I want to go. Don't park on dropped curbs!  You may be limiting someone's access if you do."


Johna...


"I've had lots of instances where I was denied access or limited due to societal low expectations and/or barriers. For example, I have been denied rides with rides sharing services (i.e. Uber or Left) due to my guide dog. Also, I am often forcibly offered a wheelchair in airports even though I'm perfectly capable of walking, I just need a guide as I'm legally blind."


Christina...


"When I was recovering from surgery I was having to use a wheelchair full-time with no weight bearing. I went to a conference at a big medical school on EDS. They had a bunch of signs leading to the disabled parking spaces in the parking garage, so we followed the,, got out, got me in and then there was a curb in front of the elevator to the building. My mom had to get me onto one foot and lift the wheelchair while I hopped on one leg... and this was a medical school!"


Lauren...

"Since having Crohn's Disease/IBS it's literally hard to function on a day-to-day basis. The challenges I face as a chronically ill individual is being able to scope out the nearest bathrooms."


Ross...


"A good friend once said to me "it's not you that's disabled, it's it's the world we live in that lets you down". These words have stuck in my head over the years and have proven to be true on many occasions. As a full-time wheelchair user, I am often faced with anxiety when travelling to new places due to the uncertainty of their access.This is why I am now proud to be a Champion for AccessAble, an app that provides detailed accessibility guides for disabled people. Flying on an aeroplane is a big 'bug bear' of mine. I would travel more if it wasn't for the difficulties faced in boarding an aircraft. It's 2019 and the fact wheelchair users cannot stay seated in their chairs blows my mind - considering we can now drive adapted cars and easily travel on buses and trains. Dignity pals a he part in this. A few years ago i had a falling out with one airline after they refused to load their disabled passengers on board first. This rested in 150+ people watching me struggle to transfer, and be manhandled by special assistance staff. The word humiliating is an understatement. Don't even get me started on the poor access to toiling etc once actually on the plane. Staff training is so important in situations like this. Society doesn't always think about those with disabilities, or consider we actually have feeling too. All that was needed in this case was a bit of time and privacy to transfer, but once again is is the environment that let us down."


Holly...


"What I find difficult is people's perceptions, obstacles that are in my way, inaccessible buildings, unequal access at gigs, common misconceptions and struggles in education and employment."


Natice...


"I find it difficult going into a shop and getting stuck due to displays in aisles etc (my biggest pet peeve that I face all the time. Also, high shelves in shops and steps into shops so you can't access [the shop] to begin with, shops thinking they're being disabled friendly by having a foldable ramp but you have to buzz and ask for it and they tutt and sigh and make you feel like it's so much hassle."

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