The world recently enjoyed Car Free Day and our timelines were treated to images of joyful cycling through streets, yoga on the roads & enthusiastic pedestrians strutting down the highway. Alongside this celebration, a recent report by think tank Common Wealth called for a car free London by 2030, but only mentioned disabled people once.… Continue reading Car Free Cities Risk Excluding Disabled People
As a visually impaired woman using a white cane I experience unwanted touching in public every single day. I have been dragged across roads, pulled out of train carriages and pushed around shops, without being asked if I wanted assistance first. These experiences can be distressing and disorientating, occasionally they cause me physical harm. Whenever… Continue reading Private Places, Public Spaces
I live in a suburban family neighbourhood so I regularly encounter small children on my walk to work. My white cane totally fascinates them and I almost every day I over hear a loud “WHAT’S THAT MUMMY?” Parents seem to have two responses to this question, they either answer it or they shush the child,… Continue reading Don’t kids say the darndest things?
In an article titled, Extremist and Disability Chic, academics Kauffman & Badar state: “we do not want disability to be seen as merely another form of good or acceptable diversity”. They argue that disability is inherently ‘bad’, a curse rather than a gift, something to be prevented, cured, segregated and institutionalised. According to Kauffman &… Continue reading Academic Ableism
Amy asked me to do a blog several months ago. I liked the idea but didn’t know where to start. I’m also not a natural writer. I’m an engineer so am much happier with numbers and diagrams than words. Yesterday Amy told me about Dr Phil saying “100 out of 100 relationships that involve caregiving… Continue reading View from the Other Half
For nearly 27 years I used to say that I wasn’t “defined by my disability”. The reality was that I had internalised pervasive, toxic and negative representations of disability. By refusing to be defined by my disability, I denied myself an identity, a community and the support I needed. My disability used to be something… Continue reading How does disability define me?
Ironically, visual impairment is often an invisible disability. That is until you use a white cane. Thinking back, I recognise how many coping mechanisms I had developed to compensate for the absence of a mobility aid like a white cane. From my slow penguin shuffle walk, to my tippy toe taps to feel my way… Continue reading Cane Accessories
With the rise in hate crime so evident, street harassment is on the minds of many of us. However, for disabled people, street harassment is a matter of every-day living. It is a very rare day that I am able to leave the house with my wheelchair and not be subjected to some form of… Continue reading “Just Ask, Don’t Grab”: the role of Active Bystander Intervention
The first episode of my interview with the Blind Abilities Podcast is available! This was an amazing opportunity and I'm so glad that Jeff approached me a few weeks ago. I didn't realise how much I would enjoy doing the interview and talking about my experiences. Jeff is such a great interviewer and I chatted… Continue reading Blind Abilities Podcast – Part 1
Whenever someone gets a new pair of glasses what’s the first thing everyone does? They ask how strong they are. Then usually someone asks to try them on, giving their own verdict on what the world looks through someone else’s eyes. We never expect everyone to see the same. We understand that every pair of… Continue reading Narrow Views