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Tuesday, 9 August 2011

Disabled During The Disgraceful Disruption

As a resident of London, I feel a huge mixture of extremely strong emotions as I talk to you this evening.
Who ever would have thought that we’d ever be witnessing such scenes of mindless greed, violence and utter lunacy on the streets of our beautiful capital: I for one, ( possibly naively), never believed that we’d be seeing such sights and as such, feel like I have been living in a bad dream for the last couple of days as I have watched London burn from my flat’s balcony in utter shock and complete horror.
As a writer of a disability blog, and of course a wheelchair user myself; my thoughts turn to those who have and are still being subjected to this thuggish behaviour throughout the capital and the areas of associated behaviour throughout the country.
I’m sure that by this hour of the day on Tuesday 9th, we have all seen the incredible pictures of the terror stricken woman in Croydon who jumped from her first floor fire engulfed flat last night into the arms of the firemen waiting below- how utterly petrifying must that unimaginable experience have been?
With the pockets of violence now affecting affluent, leafy areas such as Ealing; it appears that whoever and wherever we are, we are all vulnerable to affects of this plague of crazy behaviour. I therefore feel it necessary that we should all spare a thought for those who are either physically or mentally vulnerable, (be it through disability or old age)- for example on hearing that the mob were potentially going to be hitting our area tonight, my husband and I discussed what options we had should they hit our block of flats, as it has a business below.
After eliminating the possibility of simply jumping into our car and heading straight for the rural hills that we left behind a year ago, after hearing that these yobs were attacking vehicles and pulling drivers out of the car before beating them to the floor, Garry suggested that should the high tower of apartments that we live in get set alight, then maybe we should put on casual clothes, and try to walk out and blend in to the crowd whilst we look for cover- perhaps an ok plan, if you don’t have to rely on a cumbersome and distinctive electric wheelchair to get around and also own a Golden Retriever who is more like a son that a pet! So, not so easy to blend into the crowd in these circumstances I fear.
Although it appears, (fingers crossed), that my husband and I may have  been a little paranoid and over prepared  tonight, it does raise a very interesting point that should I face an emergency situation such as those frightful scenes that those poor soul were subjected to last night,  in some instances I simply wouldn’t have stood a chance.
As I understand it, every large, recently built accommodation block such as mine, has to have an emergency escape plan, but these are of course for the ‘normal’ able bodied resident generally.
To me these horrid circumstances have just demonstrated another area of how a difficult element of life can be made all the more difficult and more significantly frightening by being mentally or physically disabled. Everything about this unprecedented event in our country’s history is frightening enough for everyone, let alone if you have the worries of not knowing if you are going to get out yourself, or if you have to rely on somebody else to come and help you are they going to physically be able to get to you to help you, and if you do get out, are you going to be subjected to abuse for being disabled by these mindless idiots?
The idea of this blog entry is most certainly not to scare monger;  it is instead to raise awareness that...
a.) We all think about things and are prepared.
b.) Look out for those who we may be able to assist.
c.) Highlight to people that life is always that little bit more difficult than however difficult the norm may be.

Be safe, look out for one another and pray for peace on our streets again.

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