Imagine living your life and there always being someone telling you that you cannot do something.
You wake up one morning and want to go for a walk. No says the person. You ask why but there is no answer.
You get ready to go shopping but as you approach a place, no says the person, you cannot go in there. Again, you ask why and again there is no answer.
You take your child to the park, but the person blocks your way and tells your you cannot enter. ‘Why?’ You say, but as always, there is no answer.
Imagine that happening, every day of your life. And imagine that person being society and the world you live in. There is no answer because there is no one person. It is the steps to an entrance instead of a ramp, the pavement with cracks and potholes and kerbs without a dip; it is the park without an inclusive playground, the shop with the doors too narrow and the aisles too blocked and cluttered.
Would you accept that? Would you accept that for your child? The simple answer is no.
Do not ignore it. Do not pretend it is not happening. Turning a blind eye makes you as bad as the person who could make a change and chooses to pass the responsibilities to someone else.
It is the fault of every person who passes the buck and says it is not their problem. It is every person who turns a blind eye to what is happening before them. I got my MP involved who contacted the Secretary of State for Housing, Communities and Local Government to raise the issue.
The response received was not even from him. An issue that effects hundreds of thousands of people was not important enough for him to address himself. And the content of the response was pitiful. It attempted to state this issue is local.
Sadly, this issue is not local, if it were, I would move to a more inclusive part of our country. This is a national issue. It is a national problem that not all areas are accessible for the disabled community.
Legislation states ‘reasonable adjustments must be made to prevent those protected characteristics (including disability) from experiencing a disadvantage’ (Equality Act 2010). Well, where is the equality?
I want to take my child out without having to worry whether he will be included or not. I want to know there will be suitable changing facilities in place- that I will not have to lie him on the floor to change his nappy because he is too big for the baby changing station. That restaurants will learn to cater for people who are tube fed so I do not have to worry about taking food with us specifically for Alfie.
Make the change. Be the change.