Wednesday, 28 August 2019

Inspiration Porn

Inspiration porn is a term you may have heard or read at some point from the disabled community or Pc “abled-bodied”….It basically means when someone who does not have a disability looks at someone who does have a disability leading a “normal” life and sees them as an inspiration for doing things that anyone would take for granted such as raising kids, going to work or going out.

Don’t get me wrong, I don’t want people to think am an inspiration for them just because I had kids or got married, but I want to be inspirational to someone if I have done something that is amazing that even if I wasn’t disabled would be incredible.
Abled bodied ( I hate that term by the way), or disabled, overcoming the odds should be celebrated and used by others as a benchmark of just what can be possible if we put our minds to it. Humans are great at adapting and finding new ways of doing things, having a disability is no exception.

Things  I hear often are, “you're so brave,”” I don’t know how you cope,” and this is to just do with me being in a wheelchair let alone living my life! What I don’t understand is the need to have two distinct groups of people, disabled and nondisabled or abled bodied, whichever term you prefer to use. How can we have full inclusion if we are going to get bent out of shape over language that is used? It just propagates the whole “them and us” thing.
I agree words hurt, like one of my favorite Pat Benator song “words are like weapons”, and  people should be careful of the language they use and the labels they put on people. Certain words and turns of phrases are just not acceptable, at all, under any circumstances, but people need to stop getting bent out of shape over everything, Political Correctness, in my opinion has gone wild. It has now got to a situation where the divide is bigger and the hate crime is on the rise. Because of all the PC language and the bickering over what terms should and shouldn’t be used, people have no idea what is acceptable and this makes them scared or embarrassed to talk to anyone who is different in any way in fear of being offensive and branded bigot, racist or accused of a hate crime or discrimination.

Again in my opinion ( which is an unpopular one, but hey, never been one to follow the crowd), the people who seem hung up on the nitty-gritty of it all, are the do-gooders who have never in their lives experienced what it's like to live with/ through whatever it is, or the people who are really bent out of shape, are bitter with their lot they have in life and the cards they have been dealt and all they want to do is take it out on the world as it owes them because it's unfair and they want to watch the world burn.

To be honest, if you want my opinion, ( which you probably don’t, but you're getting it anyway),  the current Social Economic Status and Political Climate of the country is not helping this either. Fingers are being pointed, lines being drawn in the sand regarding benefit fraud, the rise of people claiming PIP and sickness related help by the policymakers as they look for a scapegoat for their misspending and backhanders. Basically, the politicians need someone the people can point their pitchforks at and someone to blame other than who it really is that is causing the issues.

To me, it seems that there is a bigger divide than ever. Terms such as “inspiration porn”, people getting bent out of shape because we use the wrong terminology that some think tank has now decided is the PC way of saying something, instead of what was acceptable a couple of days ago, these aren’t the important issues we should be concentrating on.
Don’t get me wrong am grateful for all the people who fought for me to have equal rights and equal opportunities, for all those people who fought so we wouldn’t all be locked up in asylums or “special homes”, for the people who fought for my right to access services, businesses and transport the same as everyone else, but I refuse to get bent out of shape or sit in my room and cry because someone uses my story, my struggle to get through or over theirs. In fact, I hope they do! I hope I make them think “well if she can do it, so can I” For the few who do patronize with the whole well aren’t you brave, yes love I am because I put up with idiots like you, how does that song go “ fools to the left of me, jokers to the right?”

Wednesday, 21 August 2019


I thought to be a disabled child and in mainstream school was bad during the ’70s and ’80s before the Equality Act 2010 and its predecessor the disability act of 1985, but how wrong could I be?

I look at the kids who are going to school today who have anything that is different about them, not just a disability and my heart brakes. What’s worse is it is now happening in the workplace.

Instead of things being more inclusive, accepting and equal, it appears to be even more judgemental, harsh and segregated than ever. My son is Autistic and has been bullied the whole time through school, but things have steadily got worse as the years have gone on. As he has learned not to give in to his bullies, to feed their narcissistic satisfaction of reacting, they soon learned that the way to get to him was through his little sisters and touching his books and pens. This resulted in this year, him and one of his younger sisters being surrounded by 20 kids and jumped on, being beaten to the ground, hit with sticks, having stones thrown at them, their things thrown around, bags jumped on, name-calling and my son having his legs, sides , and head kicked . All this just outside the school gates, when the crowd was starting to form at 20 strong, the teacher on gate duty walked up, told them to disperse and when he got sworn at turned his back and walked away. The school's reason for this? Because he’s not insured outside the school gates and the teachers union would have kicked off if he had been injured. What happened to being a decent human being? What happened to be in that type of career because you care? If that teacher had stayed with my son and daughter, then they would not have been assaulted.

The school's solution to all of this? To separate my son, for my son to be the one removed from the class and his friends, for my son to have to get into school early so he can get into his classes before his bullies show up. For my son to have to go to a special room on his breaks and for my son to be the one who has to leave school 5 minutes before the bell in order not to get trapped in school or walking home at the same time as the people who assaulted him. The police? They could not get one witness out of the 20 children who surrounded them to give the 3 boys names up that had physically and verbally attacked my son. The police wanted to prosecute under the hate crime law, something that I believe as not yet happened to a minor in this country and the exact reason this law had been brought into effect for.

This is just one example of bullying today on our streets and in our schools, not to mention the unseen bullying that takes place every day in the workplace. Just because we are adults does not mean we are exempt.
The police seem to have their hands tied between the perpetrators having such sway over a certain sector or people or area, to people being too scared to come forward, to their own crown prosecution who won’t take a case to court unless they can guarantee a definite win and besides, don’t like prosecuting children.
Schools are just as bad. They're too scared of upsetting parents of children who are out of line, for fear of being accused of discrimination, repercussions from the law as the law seems to more and more to support the lawless. Teachers more and more are wrapped up in paperwork, red tape, and bureaucracy. What’s even worse is that more and more teaching staff seem to be just as bad as the kids that are doing it. I hear more instances every day of not just children being the bullies, but the teachers as well. What’s worse is it no longer stops at the school gates, thanks to social media platforms and the internet the bullies can no access their victims 24/7. Parents who don’t enforce the rules because they don’t see the point “as everyone is doing it/ on it” or simply they don’t care, not interested or just can’t be bothered with the aggravation of standing up to their little precious. Not only that but so many of these parents have no idea exactly what their little darlings are getting up to on or offline.

What about social media platforms? What are they doing about this epidemic? Well as much as they lawfully have to, which is nothing much. They have rules, if it’s reported and their not inundated/ lose it /or can be bothered they will send a warning message to the little darling or adult (let’s not forget that this happens to adults as well!). Who is causing the pain, they will post up the rules to be ignored by everyone and they might even go so far as to ban, for a short time anyway, the person in the wrong, just until they can make another “fake” account of course.

And what about the victim? They go on as before, feeling unsupported, lost and alone. If they are lucky they will have a supporting family or network to help get them through this, which by the way, can last for years. My son doesn’t leave the house when he’s not at school, panics about walking home, went from a boy who loved learning and wanting to go to University to someone who struggles every day with depression and hates going to school as he just wants to leave and completely has a meltdown if he is stuck in the open on his own

I thought bullying was bad when I was at school, but at least I left my bullies at the school gates, the teachers had time to care and to listen and the police did actually have power. At least when I was a child, the bullies where stilled scared of their own parents and still worried about the consequences.
Facebook: The Psych Twins/JC Disability Talks

Wednesday, 14 August 2019


“Access denied!”

That’s what it often feels like the world is saying to me when it is impossible or complicated to use buildings, services or trying to attend events.
I cannot speak for every wheelchair user or disabled person in the world, but surely I cannot be the only person who finds it frustrating in this day and age or supposed “inclusion” and equality.

Since the Equality Act 2010 services, businesses, and events should make things accessible and if it is not possible then that business should bring the service where possible to us. It’s classed as making a reasonable adjustment. There are exceptions to the rule which include listed buildings, but businesses will get around this by saying that the building is listed which stops them from putting a lift in or if there are stairs saying that they are prohibited from putting a stairlift outside due to it being listed, when the railings are either not or the stairlift will cause no damage to the building. They use loopholes in the law and building listings to great round or just flat out not make any kind of reasonable adjustments as the cost could be prohibited. However, what these businesses don’t realize is that they are losing out on a substantial amount of revenue.

If I want to go anywhere, do anything I have to do research days before, sometimes months before in order to make sure that where I want to go is accessible. How fair is that? Would you do that? Would you think that is reasonable even if all you want to do is go out for a meal with friends or take your children somewhere?

It’s never about trying to get something for nothing, and just like any minority issue, there are a few bad apples who will try and get something for nothing or special privileges and this results in the stories you see in the news and you hear people talking about. Benefit scroungers, pretending to be disabled or ill to get things or extra help, people complain about how people on disabilities or in wheelchairs are jumping queues , however, all I want is to be able to access the same things as everyone else, a point I proved recently at Showmasters London Film and Comic Convention.  One of the days we needed to early so go through the main entrance. I had not bothered to register as needing extra help or a carer as I don’t when am using my electric wheelchair, different story if I had been using my manual wheelchair to some degree as David would have to push me everywhere as I cannot self-propel. Instead, I used my electric wheelchair for the weekend, mainly because I wanted my independence.

 So when we went through the gate they automatically showed me to the carers line for extra help. When I asked if I was in the right queue as I didn’t need the extra help the guy looked surprised and told me, in that case, go through the normal queue which I was more than happy to do, much to the surprise of some of the attendees.
You see the entrance was flat, I didn’t have to self-propel and the lines were maneuverable, so no need for me to skip ahead. I did slow the line down to some degree as my electric wheelchair only goes at a very slow speed, this did annoy some people so guess am dammed if I do (get extra help and special treatment), and dammed if I don’t( and I access I like everyone else). Like I said I cannot speak for another person who has a disability or uses a wheelchair but am happy to access services, events and businesses just the same as everyone else, that’s all I want. Whether its everyday things like going out shopping or going for food, to special occasions like a night out, event or weekend away or even if I feel like treating myself or my husband wants to spoil me and we want something a bit more luxurious these are things I should be able to access without having to spend a ridiculous amount of time on research beforehand.