My Version…..

I often think to myself if people really knew what was going on in a disabled persons head, would we get treated better?

Let’s find out the answer to the question by me been fully open about my thoughts and feelings about being disabled. I must state before I begin this account of being disabled, it is important to note these are my own views and opinions. They are my own personal feelings and experiences. I am defiantly not speaking for all disabled people and saying we all feel like this because I am not! I’m sure there might be similarities but everyone is unique and experience things differently!

Now I have that out the way here goes some of the things I have never said out loud to anyone!

How does it feel to be disabled? Well if people were giving it away for free I wouldn’t be queuing up to get it that’s for sure! I can’t really remember struggling with it when I was younger as I was born with my disability, Cerebral Palsy. My parents say I did struggle and get upset about it but as a child I think I must of known that I was different because of my wheelchair but not understanding why. I asked my parents questions like “why can’t I run around like the other kids? I never missed out on anything, my parents made sure of that! I had a very ‘normal’ childhood. It’s when I became a teenager and into adulthood that I fully realised what the word ‘disabled’ really meant. As a disabled person a lot of the time I feel like I’m in competition with society, if society says I cant then  I  show them I can.

To get a better understanding of what it physically feels like to be disabled I am going to tell you something someone once said to me, (again its not any proven statistics or reaseach its just information that I got told so that I’d understand my disability better) someone who had a disability requires their brain and body  to work three times as hard to do simple tasks then the average able bodied person!

People really don’t realise how lucky they are to be able to just do a simple thing like walking up a step or being able to make yourself a sandwich without a risk assessments being carried out first. I will go into the joys of them beauties in a later post.

I often feel very frustrated that people seem to class me because of my wheelchair as a second class citizen, I often don’t feel valued as a person because I spend most of my day feeling invisible as people are stepping over me or falling over me as they are so wrapped up in their own lives to notice.

Due to my disability I have to rely on other people constantly to help me do everyday tasks. I have wonderful people to help me with this but sometimes I just would love to be able to do it all myself as in my head I feel able bodied and my body is disabled so you can imagine the conversations I have in my head with myself right? I often feel attached to an old lady’s body as it feels like my body doesn’t want to do what my head is saying. I hate relying on people when in my head I’m quite capable of doing everything myself.

Being disabled is just a series of battles between yourself and parents the government professionals and society and its exhausting.

Simple day trips and holidays take sometimes months to plan because all the provisions that need to be put in place to make sure your needs are met.

It also angers me that disabled people also seem an afterthought or the last on the list of priorities when new buildings are been built. We are just as important as everyone else.

Being disabled means I always feel like I am always putting each other’s feelings before my own and I just wish I could scream and say it’s my life not yours, I’m doing this. If I had the chance to redo certain things it would be my choices and I’ll be really happy.

This post will continue at a later date as I could go on and on about my feelings.

Would I change being disabled If I had the opportunity? Yes, in a heartbeat however, being disabled isn’t all bad and I have a wonderful life!

Remember being disabled doesn’t stop you from doing anything and nothing is impossible. Also look on the Brightside!

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Ramp is the word!

Does the building or event have disabled access? Or what does disabled access mean to you? These two questions may seem easy enough to answer, right? Well, you would be mistaken. Unless you are around people with a disability or work in this particular sector then people don’t fully understand the questions, here’s why! An able bodied person will walk up steps or a curb a good few times a day, without even realising it because it is a simple thing to do without much thought. You’ve probably just read that and thought Yeah, I don’t give it much thought. Well for a disabled person in a wheelchair or someone with limited mobility, a simple step means “no entry” or that we can’t participate in a social event just because of steps.

Some people think ramps make anywhere disabled friendly.  Disabled access means more than just ramps. “Are the doors wide enough? “ is there a disabled toilet? “Is there enough space? Due to the nature of how things are made,  wheelchairs and other aids such as walking frames are wider, bigger and harder to move in confined spaces. This might be a shocker to people but there are various forms of mobility aids! I know, who knew. You maybe feeling my tone is super patronising, and that this is basic stuff, but I promise you these are the struggles we face. Struggles we sure as hell get around, of course we do but it would extremely helpful if public places (the pub, always the pub) could take into consideration that after I drink my  (5) drink, I’d appreciate access to a toilet! Society just don’t realise as they have no reason to, And that’s not necessarily their fault. It’s through lack of information and education that make us this way. But this is where I come in! I’m here to share the amazing and sometimes not so amazing experiences with you beautiful people.

I have been to many places, some well known restaurant chains where there has been a step up to an advertised “disabled toilet” I’ve even had to sit on the tolilet while my wheelchair is taken out as there is no room for my career. How undignified is that? Now I understand if it is a listed building or a very old building,  access is just not phisically possible, however it is law that everywhere now has disabled access wherever possible especially new buildings.

I’ve been to a well known event premises that has been built in the last five years and there is only one lift to accommodate over 100 disabled people! How does that add up? It just seems that disabled people are sometimes last on the list when it comes to making provisions about access.

I will keep on and on about how disabled people are just like everyone else, we should be able to go about our business and participate in everything that we want to, we should definitely be able to access public toilets with ease.

Disabled access means more than just ramps, it does require more resources, however let’s make it fair for everyone! Let’s make this basic requirement something which isn’t even an issue anymore. We will make change, that’s a promise.