Author Topic: Horrid, then lovely disability attitude  (Read 797 times)

Sunny Clouds

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Horrid, then lovely disability attitude
« on: 08 Oct 2022 11:15PM »
I caught a bus.  There was some sort of problem with the traffic and we were delayed, which was stressful, moving maybe a couple of hundred yards in half an hour.   But then we got to another stop and there was quite a queue.

I was sitting in the second row back of nearside front facing seats.  In the two front-facing priority seats in front of me were two children, maybe 7-11 or so.  Their mother was sitting on a sideways seat in front at the back of the 'wheelchair & buggy' bay.  Some disabled women got on.  We tried to rearrange ourselves but also some people were trying to get the kids to move.  I leant round and asked bluntly "Are you disabled?"

The mother refused to address anyone and kept telling her children, who were trying to move, to sit down.  I felt upset.  An elderly woman with a small four-wheel trolley was helped past me and sat in the seat behind me with her trolley in the aisle.  People were sympathetic but she shouldn't have had to do that.

I tried to stand for a woman with an elbow crutch but she said no, probably, I realised later, noticing my disabled bus pass.  I settled for holding a hand out to catch if she stumbled, which she seemed ok with my doing, then some others rearranged themselves.

I felt upset that lots of young adults and teens weren't moving.  Obviously some may have had impairments, temporary or chronic, but I doubt whether all did.

I was furious with that mother.  I watched her and her children after they got off the bus later.  Children active, bouncy but not out of control (i.e. not taking the priority seats for behavioural problems).

I will confess to having cried.  Not sobbed loudly, just unable to hold back the tears.

I got off the bus and crossed the road at a pedestrian crossing.  About five children crossed with a woman.  A couple of them barged into me and I fell.  Two lovely men dashed to pick me up and the driver waiting to continue on his way was patient, not inching forward.  So kind.

Children aren't always as careful as they might be, but when they're with adults who either stop them being kind and helpful, or who don't ensure they behave safely, I want to scream at the adults, although I don't.

And the children on the pedestrian crossing could also be hurt themselves if they behave like that.  Again, it's the adults I feel annoyed with.

I am struggling enormously at the moment with the whole issue of attitudes towards disabled people.  I oscillate between clinging onto every instance of kindness I see, not just to people who are or appear to be disabled, but to other people in general, and panicking over anti-disability attitudes.

I mustn't give up the fight for disability awareness, disability equality, disability adjustments.  But it does seem like a struggle at times, doesn't it?
(I'm an obsessive problem-solver, so feel free to ignore any suggestions or solutions I offer, even if they sound terribly insistent.)

JLR2

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Re: Horrid, then lovely disability attitude
« Reply #1 on: 09 Oct 2022 06:23AM »
With my short fuse I'm just glad not to be living in the US as I'd have to restrain myself from simply shooting the parent on the bus, funny isn't it just how the sight of a .357 magnum can be pervasive in changing attitudes. Seriously though, what you were describing there Sunny, has me thinking that if ever there was an argument for the return of bus conductors the situation being faced by many disabled as they try to make use of public transport services is a strong one.

Sunshine Meadows

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Re: Horrid, then lovely disability attitude
« Reply #2 on: 09 Oct 2022 11:58AM »
Maybe this quick story will help.


I had to go for my Covid booster the other day and because I did not feel able to travel far I booked it in at a local chemist. I figured all shops etc are supposed to be wheelchair accessible so it will be okay. Mr Sushine drove me there and got me in the chemist's where there was a queue so he waited with me. I have a burst eardrum so my hearing is impaired and I worry and fuss about not hearing it when I am called, but with Mr Sunshine there he was my ears. After a little bit he started leaning on my wheelchair more and I realised there were too many people around for him to be okay. I said its okay with me go and wait in the car. When I was called the nurse and I immediately realised there was not room enough in the counter gap for me to push myself into a back room. Weird dog leg type area. I did something I rarely ever did but I am doing more these days I asked for help. I had four years of therapy but still feel my early life dragging on me. Times when there was no help and only judgement so it is taking some strength to ask for help. The nurse was lovely and I think had undergone training on how to help a wheelchair user because the was a fair amount of arms in okay. The nurse did not fuss or judge me for being anxious and shaking, and there was no  mention or question of why I had booked in at that chemist and not a bigger more accessible place. Once I had the vaccination she said I would need to wait i n the car for 15 minutes to make sure I was not going to have a reaction to the vaccination. I asked and the nurse pushed me all the way back out the shop to the car. She even asked Mr Sunshine if he was okay.


I got in the car and said so we need to wait 15mins in case I have a reaction to the vaccination Mr Sunshine's response was to start the car. We had an argument my final reply being So you know better than people with a medical degree? He switched the car off and shut up.


With in this story there are unnamed and undescribed people who were bystanders who maybe moved a bit when asked to. People who saw the wheelchair and not me in particular. There was the person who helped by opening the door and of course the nurse. The complicated on is Mr Sunshine who has Bipolar Disorder and can also be a know it all, he helped me then I helped him and then he behaved like a dick but he did do what I asked.


Sunny the woman you describe on the bus sounds horrible and so does the parent on the crossing, they were either born that way, grew to be that way or a bit of both. Either way it is up to us to do what we can when we can by making the helpers and enablers feel good and that is what you do.




Sunny Clouds

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Re: Horrid, then lovely disability attitude
« Reply #3 on: 09 Oct 2022 12:21PM »
I have a 'daft' (but, I think, productive) activity I started, I think, a bit before the pandemic.  It's to do with pavement parking.

I live in a dense urban area and the police and council did nothing to stop the spread over the years of pavement parking, which they could have prevented getting too bad by spreading word along the lines of "We won't stop you parking on pavements, but we'll come down hard if you block access."  They didn't.

I used to growl at inconsiderate drivers who park too far across the pavement outside houses, flats, gardens, corner shops etc.  I don't object to drivers who park a little way across it, because that helps to keep the roads clear for access by emergency vehicles, bin lorries, specialist transport etc.

What I now do if I see someone parking up considerately is that I go up to them with a big smile and say something like "Could I just say something positive?  Thank you for parking considerately!  So many drivers think to keep road access clear by parking a bit on the pavement like you, but don't think to do what you've done and leave wheelchair access.  Thank you!"  If they respond, I may interact more, for instance explaining that I used to growl at drivers who aren't considerate, but it's so much more fun telling the ones that park considerately that people do notice their kindness.

I reckon it actually makes a difference and is fun to do.
(I'm an obsessive problem-solver, so feel free to ignore any suggestions or solutions I offer, even if they sound terribly insistent.)

ditchdwellers

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Re: Horrid, then lovely disability attitude
« Reply #4 on: 09 Oct 2022 12:51PM »
I love this attitude of positive reinforcement with people Sunny. I think people like to be noticed and even if their considerate parking was pure coincidence then at least you have brought an important issue to their attention without negatively heckling them!


Sunshine, asking for help doesn't come easily to us independently minded souls but I have found most people only too willing to open doors, carry a bag, reach something from a shelf, etc. And health professionals haven't blinked an eye at holding my arm, pushing my wheelchair, or helping me get dressed after tests and examinations. I just smile apologetically and ask politely "I don't suppose you could give me a hand with......?" and nobody has ever said no  - yet  :f_laugh:




Sunny Clouds

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Re: Horrid, then lovely disability attitude
« Reply #5 on: 09 Oct 2022 12:56PM »
I found myself briefly surprised when a few years back I went into A&E before my ataxia went into remission and the doctor took my backpack off me and carried it.  Until reading your last post, DD, it wouldn't have occurred to me to actively ask. Daft.
(I'm an obsessive problem-solver, so feel free to ignore any suggestions or solutions I offer, even if they sound terribly insistent.)

bulekingfisher

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Re: Horrid, then lovely disability attitude
« Reply #6 on: 12 Nov 2022 11:35AM »
Hello Sunny Clouds


About adults not been disability awareness on buses. Could you write a letter in the local press + embaress some of them by saying some thing like the woman wearing such + such a coloured dress with 5 child the eldest wearing a zipped up jacket + what coloured beaany + such a badge on the number bus getting on  at time


Or could you do a talk on local radio under education/disabilty awareness ?. Do more than complain in OUCH

Sunny Clouds

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Re: Horrid, then lovely disability attitude
« Reply #7 on: 12 Nov 2022 01:00PM »
Bule - I think that if I'd got a smartphone, I'd have considered taking a picture.  That being said, it's difficult because the woman was dressed in what I'll call 'stereotypical Muslim women's clothing' and there would be people out there that would blame it on her foreign heritage or her religion, which I certainly wouldn't.  Where I live, there are loads and loads of Muslims, some born locally, some not.  We had our first local mosque in the 1940s.  (No, not a big fancy building, just another building used as one.) 

That being said, with hindsight, it's quite possible she's a newcomer to this country, whether immigrant or visitor, and not yet used to our customs and priorities.  Her kids were definitely in favour of being helpful, though, if she'd let them.

So the bus incident and the road crossing incidents wouldn't be ones I could report, but I think your suggestion of local media is excellent.  I'm even more longwinded in speech than in writing, but if I could prepare a script, I could give a talk as you suggest. Alternatively, it occurs to me that local magazines & news sheets would be relevant.

Bule - that's just the prompt I needed to get off my backside and use some of my communication skills (when edited down) to get the message across to the public.

(I'm an obsessive problem-solver, so feel free to ignore any suggestions or solutions I offer, even if they sound terribly insistent.)

Sunny Clouds

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Re: Horrid, then lovely disability attitude
« Reply #8 on: 12 Nov 2022 01:07PM »
Incidentally, yesterday on a bus on the same route, we had a bit of a fight.  Nope, not a hostile one, a lovely one.  "Have this seat."  "No, I'm fine, excuse me, would you like this seat?"  People all shuffling round, offering seats.  Even stuff people don't always think of, like a bloke maybe in his forties, looking fit, but carrying loads of bags, being offered a seat by a couple of women, and me moving across to make space for him when a couple of stops later he offered his seat to someone else.

So I think that's what shocked me most about the unhelpfulness of the woman with children.  That's not characteristic of people round here.

Recently I got on a bus that was very full and decided to sit on the stairs.  A man who was standing reached across and took my bag off me, leaving my hand free to hold the rail.  When we got to the next stop, I was sort of passed up the bus to a seat like a friendly game of 'pass the parcel'.

So that's what I cling onto, and I can use the awareness of that attitude in the tone I take when following up Bule's idea.  Not a 'moany' attitude like I started this thread, but a "We're considerate round here.  Here's how we could be more considerate and what we need to be aware of."
« Last Edit: 14 Nov 2022 10:24PM by Sunny Clouds »
(I'm an obsessive problem-solver, so feel free to ignore any suggestions or solutions I offer, even if they sound terribly insistent.)

ditchdwellers

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Re: Horrid, then lovely disability attitude
« Reply #9 on: 14 Nov 2022 01:28PM »
I like that approach Sunny!

bulekingfisher

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Re: Horrid, then lovely disability attitude
« Reply #10 on: 21 Nov 2022 10:37PM »
Hello Sunny Cloud's


I'm very happy my idea's helped with the bus problem. About the Muslim woman in her religious dress. I think all religion's are like a man made intuition + church is a man man building +  God do's not live there the Bible Jesus say's where 2 people meet in my name the Farther will be there + I am the way, the light + the truth + no one come's to the Farther but through me


Jesus never went to church (man made building) + he threw the money lender's/ business men out of the synagogue another man made building


The muslin woman wore those cloth's because a man (made) deemed them appropriate many centuries ago

Sunny Clouds

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Re: Horrid, then lovely disability attitude
« Reply #11 on: 21 Nov 2022 11:14PM »
Where  I am, there are people of different faiths, with  most seeing to get on well most of the time.  (Typo corrected - if you saw it before correction, next para shows why it was a typo.)

I remember after the referendum, when sadly there were some people who, in the run up to the referendum, had tried to stir up hatred of people who are different, we held a demo in the middle of our neighbourhood, with big placards and banners encouraging people to love their neighbours.  There were Christians, Muslims, Jews, Buddhists, Sikhs, Humanists and more.  Different ages and social groups and genders.

I don't like it if people are bullied by their religious leaders or politicians or media to dress a particular way.  That being said, we have women who've got used to being covered top to bottom and need to be helped out gently, otherwise they can feel very exposed.

I love the way some Muslim girls dress round here.  Hijab, yes, but different colours, different styles etc., and worn with all sorts of clothes. Keeping their faith but in a way that's not restrictive.  I mentally map it onto the sort of Jewish women that wear wigs rather than headscarves.

I love a line in a song that goes "Faith's not a headscarf, it's the choice to wear it willingly."

And I love it when men stand up for women's right to choose what to wear, whether that's less than some men would like them to wear, or more than some men would like them to wear.

Bule - I wish you lived near me.  I'd love it if you were nearby and I could pop round and spend time with you.
« Last Edit: 22 Nov 2022 10:10PM by Sunny Clouds »
(I'm an obsessive problem-solver, so feel free to ignore any suggestions or solutions I offer, even if they sound terribly insistent.)

Sunshine Meadows

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Re: Horrid, then lovely disability attitude
« Reply #12 on: 22 Nov 2022 11:40AM »
The other day I was talking to someone about my life, not being helped when I most needed it etc and the person replied saying how much things were different for our generation. Things have changed but austerity measures have organisations and local councils scrambling for money. Many good people have become burnt out and no longer work in social care. I am not going down that rabbit hole right now.


It occurred to me that people who are able bodied might have felt and witnessed changes in how disabled people are treated eg in public. My reasoning is in order to survive I mostly gave up asking for proper help when I was young. I was no longer part of society because I stayed at home made a world I could live in. This survival technic was challenged this last year when my friend persuaded me to go out and about with her once a week. It has been an eye opener, the kindness of strangers and all that.

Sunny Clouds

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Re: Horrid, then lovely disability attitude
« Reply #13 on: 22 Nov 2022 10:11PM »
Yes, a lot of people have seen a different side of things with the pandemic.
(I'm an obsessive problem-solver, so feel free to ignore any suggestions or solutions I offer, even if they sound terribly insistent.)