In recent times I've banged on a lot about my foundations. Thankfully, for now, my health/care/equipment/housing/finances/relationships are in a good place. Of course I'm always protecting, fighting and securing these. But overall I'm in a place where I can enjoy them, and concentrate on new and exciting things.
If anything festivals are starting to lead the way in demonstrating how deaf and disabled people can fully enjoy the whole experience alongside their family and friends. In my own experience many of the big festivals are going beyond the simple legal access requirements and doing more than paying lip service to accessibility.
It is striking that despite the significant variance in mathematical ability between within gender, generalised binary rules are often applied when discussing these issues. This phenomenon is not exclusive to gender and skills, but seen consistently in situations where there are different groups, leading to stereotype formation.
Like many disabled people, I just want access to the same places and products as everyone else, and I hope disabled people feel as encouraged as I do that this report may be the best way in which we can start to access them. So if you are reading this as a disabled person, the next time you feel discriminated against, my advice is to do a Julia Roberts...
It is a daily experience that anyone who is disabled will know all too well. I have been a wheelchair user for 35 years, and while there is now a law stating that businesses should make every "reasonable adjustment" to ensure that they are accessible the real experience is that many places are still closed to disabled people.
It's not just the big chains and shopping centre that is easy. Through out the city centre there are arcades of boutique style shops and restaurants, and pretty much all of these are equally accessible. Most of these are historic in nature and yet there has been great effort taken to ensure as many of them are as accessible as possible.
Imagine you need to use the loo. Really, right now, you desperately need a loo. Now imagine you're in Uganda, one of the poorest countries on the planet. Now imagine you're in Uganda and you don't have the use of your legs. You don't have a proper wheelchair to get around with either - you use a hand-pedal bike, creaky and rusty.
The Mid Staffs crisis is testament to the appalling problems which besiege the NHS organization or shall we say NHS disorganization and I believe are down to the fact that the whole thing is a haphazard configuration of dilapidated sites - the operations of which can never be properly mapped nor measured and thus efficiently managed.