Yesterday, I woke up in the wee hours of the morning with another major migraine. That means that for a few days, I have to rely on my walker to get around my flat because of my poor balance.
I often rely on my rollator walker outside of the flat too, as some days I get random stabs of pain in my head that can cause me to lose my balance briefly. I also rely on it as my fatigue makes it difficult to walk very far. Not only can I lean on it, but I can use my rollator as a chair too.
Using my walkers has made my health issues visible to the public eye, and I’ve experienced judgement and barriers because of them (although they also let me walk around on my own… So yay for that!).
How disabled people are treated is an interesting discussion.
I turned on the television this morning to watch the Victoria Derbyshire news programme on BBC 2. There was a segment with a group of people with various disabilities, discussing their experiences and how that affects their views on the upcoming UK election.
One of the panelists stated that when he went to the job centre to look for work, they couldn’t understand why he, a disabled man, would want to work.
He was in a wheelchair, and had a visible disability, but why should that stop him from working, socialising, and living a life, just like anyone else?
The same man explained that his closest accessible train station was about 25 minutes from him. He had to plan to get a ride there, if he wanted to go anywhere.
Independence and accessibility have come up elsewhere too. I recently heard a lady on the same show say that her son was often unable to go out because he required a toilet with a hoist and there simply aren’t many public ones in the country, let alone any near them.
In the UK, the benefits system has been changed around, and there have been a lot of stories of people losing their cars, or mobility devices as the government denies their claims. Many of the appeals are won, but the person has already lost their car, so they may have lost their job in the meantime.
An injustice that does nothing to help further the integration of disabled people into society.
From stereotyping disabled people, and dissuading them from working, to the government refusing to put in adequate, accessible infrastructure, and taking away valuable resources that disabled people rely on…
Do you think society has done a good job treating those with visible and invisible disabilities fairly?