I’ve been thinking about these posts today as a result of a comment that Sarai left on the second of them.
I just wanted to say that nothing that makes life easier for someone with even more challenges than usual is a small thing. I’m deaf and need to wear two hearing aids. I have spent countless hours researching and testing alarm clocks for the deaf to find the one I have now, to make sure it would actually wake me up in the morning! It seems like a small thing to be in charge of your own waking up – but believe me – after years of having to rely on someone else to come wake you up, it’s incredible to be able to do it on your own!
I’m amazed it took so long to get a system in place so you didn’t have to go through that hoop-jump every time, but also, not surprised at all. My idea of a perfect world is when special needs are just needs… because there really are enough of us out there.
I totally agree with what Sarai writes about those things not being “small things”. And I always have.
I think the reason why I tend to refer to them as small things is because they are things which should be simple and don’t take long. And also because to an outsider be they able-bodied or someone with a different sort of disability or whatever it isn’t always obvious why they should make such a difference. It’s not like we’re talking about a ramp or a disabled toilet or something big and obvious or anything like that.
And also, maybe, because i want to downplay just how much of a difference they can make. I should probably stop doing that.
I love Sarai’s description of her “perfect world” too. It made me think of this advert:
This is an advert in French for EDF energy and it won some advertising award. There is one TAB person in the ad and everyone else is a PWD of some description. The phones are low down, the books in the library are in braille and when they cross the road the “green man” is a wheelchair user. It shows a perfect world for a wheelchair user or other PWD and what would happen if an able-bodied person had to cope in our world with no adaptations. The song “one is the loneliest number” plays in the background.
EDIT: I have seen this advert many, many times over the last several years. And when I went to view this post I just realised for the first time that it includes a person in a wheelchair pointing and staring at the odd on out able-bodied person. Yes! I love it!