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Tuesday, 1 May 2007

Blogging Against Disablism Day, May 1st, 2007

So, May the 1st has come again and it's time for me to have a deep think about what being disabled, and particularly in my case, what being a wheelchair user means.

Well, the simple thing is that without my wheelchair I wouldn't be able to go to many of the wonderful places I do now. OK, I can walk with crutches, but not for far at all, but, in my wheelchair, as long as the terrain is good, I can go as far as I want.

Speaking of terrain; that is one of my biggest bug-bears. Why oh why don;t local councils make more of an effort to make footpaths smoother and install more dropped kerbs? Why don't they stop having footpaths with ski-slope cross falls? I seriously think that council officials should get there backsides in a wheelchair for the day and try to negotiate their local roads and footpaths!

I occasionally get peeved that shops, restaurants and pubs are not as accessible as they should be, but things are getting better. OK, not perfect at all, but better. If only people in these places started looking downwards when they walk though, instead of bashing into me.

So, all in all, the wheelchair is a damn good invention, and many many people would be far worse off without it!

Oh, here's a gripe - why do manufacturers charge so damn much for a few tubes and a set of wheels?? Come on you suppliers, give us a break and start charging realistic prices.

Time to sign off and enjoy all the riches that DLA gives me, time to use my discounted railcard, time to use my cinema card which allows my partner in free and off to brag about the reduction in council tax I can have (a massive 10%). Yes life as a disabled person is sweet (or at least so many non-disabled people think)and all I had to do was have my leg chopped off!!


Ziggi said...

Unhappy with the high cost of wheelchairs are we? Well, according to industry insiders the banter on cost includes, ever rising production costs, engineering costs, retooling costs, advertising costs, liability related costs, dealer margins, consumer support (got me??).

I almost forgot the couple of dollars that are spent every now and then to influence legislation in their direction. One of the industry giants reports $606,539 spent in 2006. Now that's a few wheelchairs!

Ruth said...

Ooh those massive freebies pwd get! I got a free ticket into the disability expo one year - to spend thousands of dollars (they wish) on medical stuff! NOT (They no longer show many low priced items there so I skip going these days.)

Attila The Mom said...

...over here stores now have enormous race-car shopping carts for families, and increasingly narrower aisles. You'd think they'd be able to spend some of that brain power figuring out how to produce top-of-the-line wheels more affordably. [sigh]

Philip. said...

I appreciate that there are tooling costs but so does every industry and they can manage to produce cheap goods. Most manual wheelchairs are hardly complicated - no more than a top-end bicycle!

It really surprises me to see how much industry in the US bungs government!

Anonymous said...

I have been looking at the blogs written.

There are just too many to read in one day, I think I will be reading for a week.

Stoaty Boy

Blue / Kay Olson said...

A lightweight manual wheelchair has the same basic materials of a bicycle. That one can cost a couple hundred bucks and the other a couple thousand shows it ain't about the materials, advertising and production.

Anonymous said...

The fact is: Many people are forced to use and maintain wheelchairs regardless of the costs. Medical supply companies know they can get away with charging exorbitant prices.

Philip. said...

Blue and Paco have hit the nail on the head!

Companies know they can get away with fleecing us and once insurance companies are involved, they can charge whatever they want.

Colleen said...

I do have kyphosis of the spine, since around 12 years old. It slowly got worse. I can still walk, but not as fast as people today. I feel so bad when children stare at me like I am a freak. And, some people treat me bad in the stores. If, I see anyone else disabled or in a wheelchair I understand how it feels. I give them a smile and I am polite to them. Some people, especially young, pretty girls just do not understand the pain of being disabled. But, I try to be happy and laugh alot.

Philip. said...


I have pretty much got used to people staring at me - it took a while though.

Keep smiling :-)

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