Hello. It has been a while since I last wrote. Apologies for my apparent neglect dear reader. Life has taken over in lots of ways, thankfully a lot of them positive.
This morning I was lucky enough to be asked to appear on BBC Radio Cambridgeshire to talk about a piece of research by Scope which highlighted discrimination that disabled people face at football grounds. This is something which I can relate to having unfortunately had previous experience of this, which thankfully, for me at least is very rare. I was asked about the impact of such discrimination and this made me think about experiences that both Fran and I have had of late.
Fran’s on going battle to get a suitable wheelchair made me think that sometimes just getting out of the door is an achievement. This is especially the case given widely cited figures that 900 people are losing their Motability cars each week thanks to government welfare reforms. Add in to the mix the state of social care and that people can often not receive the care they need to have even the most basic levels of dignity day to day and you begin to understand that, whilst a home may be a castle, it may also actually be a prison.
The experience of negotiating with several healthcare professionals to try and make them understand the fundamental importance of having a suitable wheelchair for Fran has been a real eye opener. It requires a crates worth of stubbornness just to be heard sometimes, let alone to make any progress. I wonder how many people who lack the means or allies to have a voice are left.
Life happens too. This week I’ve had a virus which, unusually, kept me away from work sick on Monday. The less than helpful response of my body was to make walking, no mean feat at the best of times, a virtual impossibility. I hate days like Monday. Sometimes your body just says no, and sometimes, just sometimes, I have to reluctantly admit defeat for the day.
My point? That every day there are often silent battles going on for people just to keep their heads above water and get out of the door. We need to find ways of making that everyday contest easier. Each time I leave my house, I take a deep breath and vow to live the day to the fullest. If you ever wonder why you don’t see people day in day out, it might just be because of their own war behind the door.
Thanks to Scope for setting in motion a train of thought. I hope we can focus on solutions to make society a more accessible and welcoming place for everyone.