Today is Blogging Against Disablism Day.
For the last five weeks I’ve been dealing with a somewhat ridiculous access situation. What I actually need should be incredibly straight-forward. I need to be weighed. I am not allowed to go sailing until I can confirm my weight to the powers that be. That’s because they’re checking equipment safety. I have no problem with that.
You can buy scales in Argos for less than £30. But as a wheelchair user it’s not accessible to me. The accessible scales you can get cost over £1000. You can go to the GP to get weighed. I can’t. There isn’t considered to be a need for accessible scales.
I’m told I don’t need to be weighed, I can track weight gain or loss through measurements or how my clothes fit. I’ve been having versions of this conversation for years. But I do now need to be weighed. To keep me safe and more importantly to keep those helping me at sailing safe.
This whole situation is ridiculous. No one who might be in a position to help seems to want to help. Those who offer help can’t do anything.
People have led me to believe access was available when it wasn’t. People haven’t understood what I need and then got annoyed when I corrected them. I’ve been asked three times in the space of one phone call “you cant stand on the scales?” I sent an email to somewhere that we think can help and their admin person replied that they had passed my query on to the relevant person. This is somewhere that request email is used if possible. Three weeks later I chased it and got what boils down to “you know we’ve had your email, shut up and wait” in reply.
I don’t usually have “if I wasn’t disabled” on my radar. It’s not healthy and it’s not necessary, as a CPer life on wheels is all I’ve ever known. But there is no escaping the fact that I’m currently five weeks and counting into trying to find a way to do something that were I able-bodied could have been done in five minutes or less. And I don’t know when it will be resolved.