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I wish that Iain Duncan Smith would “lose a limb!!”

14 May

No-one really knows what it’s like for a disabled person. No-ONE! Only that disabled person knows what it’s like to navigate this able-bodied world for them, with their particular impairment. SO imagine my shock when I read this article (don’t hit me – I know it’s from a trashy news site, but sometimes I do find myself liking trash, woe is me). Is Iain Duncan Smith serious?? Apparently HE knows what it’s like to be without a limb. Apparently, HE knows that if you lose a limb you can still work (and this is the crunch – yes, you probably could still work, but not every job would be open to you; your choice in jobs would be diminished, AND you have the added aspect of dealing with disability discrimination, because frankly, disability discrimination is out there people, no matter how much you want to deny it!!). But whether you can work or not is not the issue here . . . read on . . .

Iain Duncan Smith is an idiot. Don’t know who Iain Duncan Smith is? Check out this little link – ahem-tosser-ahem. Yes, he is the “caring” man who is the Secretary for Work and Pensions for that devilish of all devilish parties – the Tories. I personally think he has a screw loose . . . for only a person with a screw loose would hold the opinion that people are “festering” on DLA (Disability Living Allowance . . . the best thing since sliced bread . . . for disabled people). DLA is not like other disability benefits where it is judged on your ability to work. Nope. DLA is a support there to help people with various disabilities live there lives . . . even work (yes, it even helps disabled people get out of their flats and work, WORK . . . did you hear that Iain Duncan Smith – WORK!!!!). To threaten to take away this support from over half a million people is effectively going to take away the means for these people to work. Effectively, they will “fester,” because their means of living will be gone. Um, doesn’t that sound a little like hypocrisy? Iain, a word of advice, you want disabled people to get off employment and support, then don’t take away their means of doing this, don’t take away their funding that helps them get to work, buy tools to help them work, and generally get the everyday help they need to function.

This perpetual attack against the disabled is sickening, and still these politicians (who I am convinced, ever more daily, know nothing about the real world, and frankly don’t want to know) make assumptions about the people they are supposed to support and help. Iain Duncan Smith you disgust me – seriously, I wish you would lose a limb, and then maybe you would be able to show a little compassion and empathy instead of cruel, wanton ignorance.




It’s crazy!

15 Feb

It’s very crazy, I know, that I often feel I have to exaggerate my limp for the benefit of “convincing” others that I am truly disabled? Here is little ol’ me, with my prosthetic leg, feeling like that isn’t enough to justify me using a disabled park, claiming helpful benefits, and generally asking for help when I need it. In these experiences, however, it has always been the disabled parking that has made me want to exaggerate my disability to extremes. Do you want to hear my process of parking, getting out, moving away, coming back, getting in, and driving off? Okay? Here we go . . .

I pull into the disabled parking spot and immediately start to avoid eye contact with people (I don’t want to invite questions and/or disapproving looks), I then make a HUGE show of having to lift my prosthetic leg out of the car (this is something that I have to do anyway, but as you will soon notice, I start to make a HUGE show of everything that marks me as disabled), then, once I am out of the car I make sure that my shortened right arm is waving around – like a white flag – to announce to everyone that I do indeed have physical issues. Then I lock my car and start to walk away (still avoiding eye contact), and as I walk I exaggerate my limp to the point of resembling a buoy bouncing around on an ocean wave! Rocking to and fro, I can often feel my back starting to hurt at the extreme movement and my head start to spin. I must get away from the car and the parking spot as quickly as possible so that I can go back to just me and my disability, so I can rid myself of the unjustified guilt I feel for using a parking spot that is available for me to use. It’s the same when I return to the car; like a switch turning back on, once I hit the car park, the little arm is out waving it’s surrender again, my limp amplifies to the point of discomfort, and all eye contact is avoided at all costs. Once I am back in the car I get out of there as quick as I can. I can’t breathe again until I am back on the open road, away from potential confrontation.

. . .

Is this fair? As has been implied in government and media spin – that disability is a lifestyle choice – I would like to let people know that, well, no, I didn’t choose to be born with limbs missing just so I could get the “good” parking spots. My missing limbs just happened, no ones fault, no ones design, or desire, it was just a thing that happened and I am fine with that. Why can’t everyone else be fine with that? Why do I feel I have to justify myself in todays society? Why should I have to feel threatened for doing something that has been put in place to help me?

At least, if someone does confront me I can show them my prosthetic leg, show them my missing limbs, and hopefully put to rest that fact that I am entitled to use disabled parking because I actually, desperately need it. But what about the people whose disability is not as visible as mine? I know a few people who are looked upon with suspicion, who are at greater risk of abuse because their disability is not visible, like mine. This is also not fair. Why should people be able to make snap decisions about a persons health and physical ability based on the way they look, I mean look at my experience – even with my visible disability I still feel I have to justify it by swinging my shortened limbs around like a crazed loon and walking like I am extremely drunk.

What are your feelings on this topic?

On a lighter note, I picked up my new car yesterday –

Elizabeth Wright, paralympian, swimmer, medalist

Isn’t she pretty? You know what she represents to me? FREEDOM!!!!!