Ever looked at an item thinking I can totally find that cheaper elsewhere or online – every penny helps right?. But what if you already know it won’t be cheaper elsewhere but it’s something you need to help keep your Independence.
Society seems to have this deluded conception that when you have a disability everything comes for ‘Free’ when the real truth is we are paying way over the odds for ‘basic’ products and equipment that is labelled as ‘Disability’ or ‘specialist’ item with a price tag that can make your eyes-water!
On average 1 in 5 disabled people will incur extra costs for £583 per month – with 25% looking at £1000.This is calculated after welfare payment designed to meet those costs have been taken into account.
Charging the disability community for the privilege to dare to be independent seems to be a thing as well, that seems to come from the attitude of we won’t spend the money to make the world more accessible place but we’ll definitely ask you to pay a premium and if it’s not in your budget. Never mind!
Get the feeling your being ripped off
Need an electric wheelchair starting price from £2000 up to £30000 that’s before you’ve added on the extras you might need like seating and backrest cushions plus headrest that can be hundreds, spending doesn’t stop there you have maintenance and new batteries that set you back £200 – £600 depending on your wheelchair. It’s not like getting a second hand electric wheelchair for a fraction of the price helps as wheelchairs do have a shelf life as your body changes so does your wheelchair.
My neater arms that help me to keep my arms moving as well as keeping my muscle memory came with a price tag of nearly £4000 because it’s classed as a specialist disabled item. It’s interesting to see the premium often put on items named ‘Special needs’ or ‘Disability’ like pedal exerciser £24 add disability or elderly at the front £190. Cutlery less than £10 for a normal set add ‘disabled’ or ‘ specialist’ just for 1 fork £10.
Insurance companies deem us as ‘high risk’ so charge you more sometimes exceeding the price of a holiday. I was once quoted £859 and my husband was quoted £14 for 7 days away. Meanwhile booking an accessible hotel room aren’t as accessible as you might think, need a hoist you’ll need to buy and transport it yourself no problem just a few grand!
Adapted wheelchair vehicle can set you back from £3000 even more depending on what you need and that’s upfront no payment plans as your paying a monthly fee as well if your on the mobility scheme. Ordering an accessible taxi to go just a few miles £10 each way that’s if you can find a taxi company will take you.
My own home is controlled by voice-activated equipment such as the Amazon Alexa, turning my lights on and off and controlling my heating and tv. Nevertheless for a more bespoke home alterations cost over £14,000, as 93% of homes in England do not meet basic access standards.
My question is how are disabled people and their families supposed to live independently when devices and adaptive products are unattainable and leave many of us with financial burdens? When living an independent life has been proven to create a healthy mental wellbeing meaning it saves Society money in the long run,
As much as society might think we’ve never had it better and things have gotten better for us by having an inclusive fashionista range of barbie dolls and our very own set of disabled emojis. As much as I love them it’s more of a token gestures of inclusion and equality like a wheelchair user emoji that represent me with blonde hair is nice and all but definitely does not make me feel like an equal member of society when I’ve had to fight for 2 years for a new wheelchair. But thanks for the acknowledgement.
Surly the government position as the minister of State for Disabled People, work and health should be disabled person representing the disability Community having that knowledge is key to understanding just what it’s like living with a disability. The bottom line is the most vulnerable members of society are being taken advantage of and pushed further into financial hardship.
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