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Friday, 19 August 2011

The Injustice of the Inaccessiblility!

A dining experience in easier times, before having to worry whether I'd actually be able to physically get in to the restaurant!

Hi everyone, I hope that you are well.
Although I have thankfully been blessed with reasonably manageable pain levels this evening, I have also had the unfortunate experience of having had an extremely poor meal out at a new restaurant in my town. As a result of tonight’s disappointing culinary experience, I have consumed little to no calories in the form of food stuffs such as carbohydrates and have instead consumed perhaps double that which I have consumed in solids in the form of a rather lovely Merlot! I consequently feel just a wee bit tipsy and so apologise profusely in advance if I’m not that coherent and eloquent tonight!
Following the pattern of my daily post, it is obligatory for me to state to you that which has made me smile or feel grateful today. Well, to comply with my self imposed regulations- the thing that I am grateful for today is having the support and companionship of my amazing husband Garry when I have to face the big, wide, scary and all to often unhelpful world when I venture outside the safety of my home!
On arriving at tonight’s restaurant, we were confronted with the reality of five or six steps leading up to the entrance in front of us. ‘Surely that's not a problem’, (I’m sure those of you who are not disabled nor have a disabled relative or friend are saying)- ‘…what about a ramp? Wasn't there that law thingy that was passed a few years ago to ensure that all businesses and public services make reasonable adjustments for the access requirements of those with disabilities?
Indeed, what about that law thingy, because I don’t know whether it’s just that people have become complacent about the law actually being enforced and any kind of legal action realistically being taken upon their small business, (or indeed huge international conglomerate  for that matter!), or whether they just simply don’t care that they are alienating the millions of people in the UK who have a disability and their families? Either way, I just don’t get it! How on Earth in this day and age, in this supposedly civilised society is it acceptable to discriminate and inhibit the entry to public buildings of millions of people- how?
Well, in my opinion it simply isn’t, and I will state to you now, (so I will at least hopefully have one witness)- that I intend to tackle this problem head on. I intend to do what I can to raise awareness of the disgusting inadequacies of disabled access in our country and the world for that matter!
I aim this to be a factor in what my charity will aim to address, but whilst I am consulting advisers as to whether my quest will be best served under the constriction of a charity or charitable foundation, I intend to tackle this problem as of today, Saturday 20th August.
People of Britain I ask for your assistance in helping me tackle this immense problem by helping me compile a potentially mammoth list of inaccessible businesses and services across our nation.
With this I hope to show the extent of the complacency that is currently taking place in this country.
If you have examples of this shocking situation that regularly bother you, then please email me the details of the business or service along with a photograph if you can, to discoverdisbility@hotmail.co.uk
Although I would love to believe that this problem is contained within our British shores, unfortunately, having had a small amount of travelling experience since I have become disabled, I have been witness to the fact that like a cancer, this complacency that millions of this world’s inhabitants are being prevented from entering businesses or services, is spreading and becoming more and more acceptable. WHY, WHY, WHY- maybe a little bit of tonight’s Merlot coming out there, but that is not to belittle my frustration with this subject!!
Only this afternoon was I privy to another such experience of such discrimination. My original plan for this Friday night in England’s fine capitol city was to attend my friend’s birthday drinks in a bar/club in Soho. I was all set to start getting myself dolled up for the festivities when I remembered the golden rule of being disabled-
*    Always rule out all sense of spontaneity and always call the venue first to check that you are actually going to be able to attend
…well, I think it’s fairly obvious that the answer in this instance was no I would not be able to attend, which maybe should have been a clue to call the restaurant that ended up being my back-up plan! Oh well, we live and learn painful and frustrating lesson. Painful, in the fact that my chair had to be carried up the stairs, (& at over 190kg without me in it that’s no mean feat- thank goodness I was dining with members of one of London’s finest rowing clubs!), and frustrating in that I just can not believe this is happening when in this instance this problem is so simply fixed by buying a relatively inexpensive movable ramp!
Red wine fuelled rant over, I hope that you enjoy as sound a night’s sleep as I clearly am going to and that you wake tomorrow ready to join me in my quest to rectify this ridiculous attitude that it is acceptable to exclude people from public places where it is unnecessary!
Join my rant on Facebook   http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=100002588247268 and email me your details and photographs at www.discoverdisability.co.uk
Night, night. Sleep well.

1 comment:

  1. Hi hun, yes its all very true - And I often wonder myself when we go to places, knowing so many people with a physical disability, as to how they would enter many establishments, surrounded by an impenetrable wall of stairs, despite the 'law thingy'!!
    Thank goodness you had all those muscles to get 'the beast' up the stairs!!
    Its a shame that you have to check in advance before going out for a little fun. It shouldn't be that way, and I'm behind you every step, my darling. xx