Sunday, 28 February 2016

Many disabilities DON'T have a wheelchair

There seems to be this very strange practice creeping into society at the moment. It is also very disturbing!

People with disabilities are coming back to their cars to find rude notes attached to the windscreen.
They have been parked in a disability spot, they have a disability permit to park there and yet people are taking it upon themselves to write nasty little notes.
These notes are stating the obvious....You are not in a wheelchair.....blahblah…..

I have a couple of issues here and I would like to address these people who feel it is their civic right to behave in this manner.

  1. SURPRISE!!!!!!! The wheelchair in the image is ONLY to let you know it is a DISABILITY car is NOT A WHEELCHAIR ONLY car park!!! Therefore if a person is NOT in a wheelchair, please don't assume there is nothing wrong with them.
  2. If you are that concerned, why don't you actually approach and ask the person (politely) if they have a disability??? Yes, a novel idea, I know…What? TALK to them and have the issue cleared up? It is much more powerful to assume the worst and leave a message on some vulnerable persons windscreen.  This is just a type of bullying - dressed up as doing your civic duty. If it really bothers you - speak to the person.

People who have a disability that can't be seen clearly have a hard enough time trying to navigate this complex world we live in. Perhaps a little kindness would be a good replacement for this type of behaviour.

It is the same with public toilets. Miss Chloe has a disability, but can walk. I can't tell you how many people give her dagger looks when she goes to the disabled toilet...
They believe the wheelchair sign means it is ONLY for people in a wheelchair.

It seems there needs to be a big campaign around re-educating society as to the meaning of the disability logo.

COME ON big advertising companies, how about you do a huge community service and create a funky ad around this concept?

iDareU to help make our most vulnerable and ill count.


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Monday, 22 February 2016

Let them Flap till they Soar

iDareU recently hosted a workshop to assist carers of loved ones with a disability to become 'naturally' involved in their local community. I decided to eliminate all the 'YEAH BUTS' and other excuses why this can't be done at the beginning of the session. There wasn't one valid reason for not being involved in the local community.

The most interesting thing that came out of the workshop was that 'we' (the carers) are the biggest obstacle to allowing our loved ones to become involved in the local community. It's amazing how often we think we need to protect our children from the 'big bad world' and inadvertently make them dependent upon us. We just KNOW if we allow them to become travel trained they WILL be bullied or worse….We KNOW if the train isn't running, no-one will help our loved one...This is so sad…It is just as likely that the OPPOSITE will happen.

Miss Chloe has been out on her own in the community for approximately six years now and not once has she been bullied or ignored. In fact, she will go up to a person, hand them the phone and tell them her mum wants to speak to them. They will let me know the situation and then watch out for her and make sure she gets to the right place. Many times she has asked school times have they treated her badly.

Now I'm not saying that bad things don't happen in the community…But I AM saying:


Life is all about taking risks. Risk taking is how we grow, become empowered and gain self-esteem. Please don't take this powerful gift away from your children because you fear they CAN'T.... Or because you believe they need protecting from EVERYTHING. Get the local community on board and create a safety net, allowing your loved one to take risks and learn to fly.

A mother bird will push her baby bird out of the nest when it's time for her baby to become independent. They have no idea they can fly until they awkwardly flap their wings about - heading for the dirt. But they keep trying and before they crash, they get the flying thing worked out and they soar.

Isn't it time to let your loved one flap around and learn to soar?

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