The Liverpool Echo has the article on its web site – see link below
Is it me or have we become more selfish and intolerant in recent times? And why do some people feel the need to make fun of, intimidate and even attack those who look or speak differently to themselves? What fuels all this fear and loathing?
When I was at school in Maghull and there was a large epileptic colony in the Town I recall some youngsters making fun of the epileptics, some of whom had physical disabilities as well. As I grew up I realised it was fear of those who were different that caused the unfortunate reaction. To see an epileptic have an attack in the street can be disturbing if you don’t understand what is happening, so I guess fear of what happened was concealed by childlike mocking.
Then around the age of 17 I started to work with the epileptic residents at the Maghull Homes and I got to know some wonderful people and understand the challenges they faced every day. I guess I became a more rounded person through that experience.
What strikes me is that young people need to interact with people who are different by race, colour, sexual orientation, disability etc. etc. from an early age so that it becomes normal for them to accept such differences and to make friends with ‘different’ people.
But probably the biggest issue is that prejudices and fears of those who are different get passed down through family generations. I have said before in my postings that there was antisemitism in my family for reasons I have never understood but it stopped being passed down as I would not accept it.
Hate and fear is taught, young people don’t have to carry their parent’s prejudices with them.
I covered a story that first saw the light of day in the Liverpool Echo recently about the problems that parking vehicles on pavements causes for those with disabilities etc. The matter was also covered in the Aintree & Maghull Champion. Here’s a link my blog on the matter:-
Since all this publicity and the fact that the person who originally raised the issue was said to live in Lydiate folks have seemingly jumped to the wrong conclusion i.e. they have assumed it was raised by former Lydiate Parish Councillor Tony Fenton who’s a well know local wheelchair user – IT WAS NOT. And before anyone asks who then?, I have absolutely no idea.
The Liverpool Echo has the story on its web site – see link below:-
Often vehicle drivers can be very selfish as they don’t think about or in some cases even care about the consequences of where and how they park cars and vans. But sometimes it will be unthinking and the motorist will be horrified when they realise they have made the life of someone with a disability even worse.
But how anyone can abuse a person with a disability who has had to point out that a vehicle is ether blocking their driveway or stopping them getting along a pavement is beyond belief to me. And anyway, why on earth would any driver block any driveway (other than their own); surely that can only be done as a deliberate act can’t it?
The same day that the Echo article was pointed out to me I had walked along Liverpool Road North in Maghull and noticed two problems where vehicles and other obstacles had been placed on the pavement. Firstly I saw 2 ‘A’ type-boards and a car across the very wide pavement opposite the Coach and Horses Pub – I could negotiate them but what would a wheelchair user or blind person do? And then just a bit further down the same road I came across a very narrow section of pavement where a couple of cars had been parked on it. It would have been a very right squeeze for a wheelchair user but oddly the road is very wide at this point so for the life of me I could not even work out why the drivers had felt the need to bump up the pavement.
A know three active local people with disabilities, one in a wheelchair and two who are partially sighted and they must come up against things placed on the pavement each and every day. All I and indeed they ask for is a little thought for those who are less fortunate; please keep pavements clear of obstacles whether they be cars, ‘A’ boards or anything else.
With thanks to Keith Page for the lead to this posting
PS. It’s also worth noting that people with prams and pushchairs will also encounter difficulties with items abandoned on pavements.
My previous posting of 3rd June reported on the potential for some trains running into and out of Liverpool to Scarborough being disability unfriendly from July this year – the link below refers:-
Thankfully The RAILWAY Magazine reports in its July edition that the plan, which would clearly have made life more difficult for those with disabilities has been dropped.
Disability News Service has the story on its web site – see link above
The article does indeed make utterly shocking reading if the facts are as outlined. If they are then Government, the Dept. for Transport and the rail operating companies involved need to explain themselves.
Those with disabilities should be our first thought not our last.
The BBC has this so sad and frustrating story on its web site – see link above
Stories like this make my blood boil; you just can’t understand how the shop assistant in Halfords came to do such a terrible thing. I feel for Halfords in some ways because this is a huge embarrassment for the company and you can’t in any way think that they would have wanted their assistant to act in the way they did.
I spent many years working with people who had a disability at the Maghull Homes/Parkhaven Trust in the 1980’s and early 1990’s and frankly I’m grateful for what I learned over that period. I met some lovely people, some who were unfortunately institutionalised, but they were people with disabilities and they became friends of mine.
All I can say to Halfords or indeed any other employer who has staff that interact with the public is train them not to fear or reject disabilities. Their job is to help people and that’s what we who are fortunate enough to be able-bodied customers expect to see being done. When we don’t see help being offered we take our business elsewhere!