Well it is true that in the course of my short life I've heard some shockers. Too many to list in fact.
But, the one most shocking line delivered from one of TFL's bus drivers working the 261 bus en route to Lewisham Bus Station. that I wasn't allowed on the bus.
Why? You may well ask, I was expecting some bogus remark about my guide dog being a risk to health and safety. No that was not it at all, the bus driver added because
I have another lady with an assistance dog on the bus and I can not take on more than one dog.
I firmly but politely replied that this was a violating of the Disability Discrimination act and was therefore not politically correct. I continued to pitch my point asking where the dog was and that my dog was also a guide dog and therefore would be fully trained and not a threat.
The rule seemed somewhat peculiar to myself, as I have encountered many previous situations where public transport played host to more than one dog.
What's more, consider the question of if there were two visually impaired colleagues traveling together?
After this confrontation I exited the bus and tried to forget the whole story business, after asking for his name with no luck and being informed that there was another 261 behind the first one in question. It seemed like the better option after all.
However, on speaking with a TFL representative and researching this "rule" online I found a contriving online source that informed me that there was in fact
no limit on the number of assistance dogs allowed on the bus, as long as there is space
As I am visually impaired and could thus not observe the number plate I was unable to make a full complaint in order the right this incorrect information.
However, the aftermath of this incident results in one to ask one question where did that idea stem from initially?
This is again a result of miscommunication and an unsatisfactory set of rules within today's politics.
Events like this within the UK are rare, but this does not mean to say that they do not occur. There is a strong need for a drastic change in the world of the disabled. A set of rules and regulations firmly enforced by the law in order to defend disability minority groups from a confrontation like this and the humiliation of it.
As a libertarian my approach towards life is inclined towards the Millian approach which would be to argue that the individual should be free to do as they see fit provided that they do not infringe on another's well being.
The answer to this anecdote with disability would not only be that more Positive freedom is required for them to live independent, autonomous lives in terms of the means to live freely. But, also negative freedom is paramount to the functioning of disability groups. That is, disabled individuals should be free to live independently without obstructions.
This is true in every sense of the word.
Sadly, modern day society does not always share the views held by John Stuart Mill. it seems to me that many of Mill's very simple ideologies would have a big and very positive impact on events such as the one expressed within the article and in fact on the lives of many disabled people.
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