Have you ever had a moment where your face tells a thousand stories, that real eye-rolling moment in a conversation when someone says ‘oh I know just how you feel I once had an injury and couldn’t do anything for weeks’, I don’t know about you but I can pretty much tell when someone is about to say something along those lines and I’m thinking ‘please don’t say it, please don’t say it’? nope. There it is, you totally said it!
I spoke about ‘Ableism’ in my last post and this is one of those moments but not in a nasty way more of a they just didnt think before opening their mouths. As a disabled woman living with muscular dystrophy a Progressive muscle wasting condition I know the barriers, I face with a disability, as I’m sure most of you do. So what are the biggest barriers we face?
5 Biggest Mobility Barriers For People With Disabilities
Accessibility – The Physical barriers in our lives can be a huge stress to anyone with any disability that can cause anxiety, depression even feeling segregated from the world. it’s not a question of having the ability to go out it’s a question of does the restaurant, shops, GP surgeries, working environment even a toilet have the right access. When you’re faced with Physical barriers it can be down to the simplest of things like steps, stairways, kerbs, escalators and paving. If you cannot access the entrance of that shop or go to work because of a narrow doors or steps your facing a barrier that your unable to defeat.
The law has prohibited discrimination against Disabled people for more than 20 years, and yet we still face many barriers and sometimes find it impossible to access services. This is largely because it is left up to us to enforce this law.
By taking action to combat discrimination, you don’t only make changes for yourself: you are improving things for other Disabled people.
Public transport – Disabled people face considerable challenges when it comes to public transport from bus drivers not willing to take down the ramps, the bus being too old, forgotten on a train or no access to the platforms even staff refusing to allow you on. The lack of wheelchair-friendly taxis can even pose as major barriers.
1 in 4 disabled people say negative attitudes from other passengers prevent them from using public transport, while 40% often experience issues or difficulties when travelling by train in the UK,
Work environment – The barriers faced by disabled job seekers will vary from individual to individual, the first barriers many disabled people face is the simple act of disclosing their disability. It brings a fear that this disclosure may lead to discrimination. Employers are also under a legal obligation to provide reasonable adjustments for their disabled employees, but what is provided varies from employer to employer. some disabled people rely on PA’s [Personal Assistances] or carers and require some level of care during the work day but frequently care packages, provided by Health and/or Social Care within a local authority, aren’t enough to cover them.
The government’s Access to Work grant goes some way in covering specialist equipment and support but many aren’t sure what support employers should supplement and Access to Work is only available for paid employment – those working on a voluntary base do not receive any help.
Accessible housing – With a chronic shortage of suitable housing some disabled people are feeling trapped in unsuitable homes. There are over 400,000 wheelchair users in England living in homes which are neither adapted nor accessible, according to a Habinteg estimate, which will only add to the pressures on the health services, and local authorities.
Just 9% of English homes currently provide even the most basic accessibility features.
Disability awareness – A lack of understanding and awareness of disability is also a significant obstacle; nearly half of non-disabled people feel that they do not have anything in common with disabled people, and 26 % admit to avoiding engaging in conversation with a disabled person.
13.9 million disabled people living in the UK.
I would love to know what barriers do you face in your every day life? How does it make you feel?
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3 thoughts on “The barriers we face as disabled people”
I completely understand and like so many have issues with so many things, however, I think that disabled people have ways of coping, they are inventive and adaptable. There are also those that will help you find a way round difficulties.
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Yes absolutely we have a great way of adapting to our surroundings… and it is always lovely to see that people are willing to help make a situation better!!