I recently read this article “Shops are ‘dumb’ for ignoring disabled customers”
The article talked of how shops are sometimes inaccessible due to narrow aisles and obstructions. This got me thinking, “Why is it acceptable to discriminate against a person who needs an electric wheelchair or say somebody with a stick or crutches, where the use of a narrow aisle creates an inaccessible space? Firstly, it’s not okay, however I then thought how many times have I been shopping, seen an obstruction and not done anything about it? Whilst the Equalities Act 2010 should ensure accessibility for all what happens when this is not the case. So I made a decision. From now on whenever I see an obstruction / narrow aisle I will try my best to report it.
Now in my head I’m thinking what difference can I make, but we all have to start somewhere, right. I mean imagine if more people started to complain about how inaccessible “that” shop aisle is? Appearances are everything to a company and what company would want to be missing out on the £249bn slice of pie?
Do you remember the 2012 Olympics?
I remember the atmosphere in London being electric. I was so excited by these events that I took the journey into town on my own. No friends, just me, I wanted to see the torch with my own eyes (I actually went on to see it on three separate occasions, but that’s another story). Anyway, I’d always been quiet a sporty person despite my ‘disability’. I was in a meeting with my orthopaedic consultant when he suggested that maybe I take up sport as a way to keep mobile. I loved badminton, my PE teacher said I had a brilliant smash technique (shame my feet couldn’t keep up with my desires) so I thought I’d investigate. Now this is where it gets slightly hazy, but what I do remember is my utter shock at the lack of Paralympic legacy.
The Paralympic legacy programme has 3 main themes:
transforming the perception of disabled people in society
supporting opportunities to participate in sport and physical activities
promoting community engagement through the Games.
I remember trying to access a poorly laid out website and not really finding anything of use. I also remember trying to contact a badminton team that were ‘disability friendly’ or something to that effect. I sent an email and had no response. Maybe I was unlucky? Now I don’t blame my email recipient, although my encounter did put me off from investigating further, although now I’m wondering is it time to revisit the minefield of sport and disability?
I’m hoping that in starting this blog I can explore the idea of sport in order to improve my fitness and mobility post op (currently recovering from extensive foot surgery) to share my experiences and hopefully hear other peoples and above all to actually have fun!