Try life in a wheelchair and then tell me disabled people have equal rights

Umm, you can be in a wheelchair and have the same rights as Usain Bolt. You’re not going to have the same outcomes though.

29 thoughts on “What logic!”

  1. “Try standing next to someone in a wheelchair trying to flag down a taxi, and watch one cab after another drive past, only to stop 50 yards on to pick up someone else. Surely this is discrimination and there must be a law against this? Well, there is, but the government is unwilling to enforce the law on the carriage of wheelchairs in taxis.”

    Hang on, I thought cabbies were good guys, plucky little small traders, a London tradition, fighting the evils of Uber?

    “Similarly, a tenant who needs adjustments made to the common parts of a building – say a stair lift, for example, for which he is prepared to pay – cannot compel the landlord to do this, even though the law is there. It is simply not enforced.”

    But really, this is all about incentives. If “society” wants nice things, “society” has to pay for them. This pervasive idea that businesses have deep pockets and their owners spend all day on the links is hugely damaging to improving people’s lives. If we want disabled people to have stair lifts, we have to pay that owner to fit one.

  2. Surely there’s sufficient ground floor flats, or flats in buildings with lifts, that there’s no objective *need* to fit stairlifts in rented accom…

  3. The Stigler,

    You pick the wrong quote. It clearly states the tenant wants to pay for it.

    Overall the logic is still sound. A separate wheelchair ramp isn’t cheap or else they would be everywhere without a law.

    What doesn’t make sense is why ramps aren’t planned into the initial construction. The price difference between a new set of steps and a ramp is not that much different then. We need to blame the real estate developers and go after them. As long as I don’t have to pay it’s ok, isn’t it?

  4. ” If “society” wants nice things, “society” has to pay for them. ”

    Like Maternity leave on the Continong. It’s the social security system that pays for it rather than forcing the employer to cough up. (don’t know how it works these days in the UK).

  5. What doesn’t make sense is why ramps aren’t planned into the initial construction.

    As far as I understand, French law requires all new build apartments to be wheelchair friendly. Which, in one apartment I looked at, meant the bathroom was half the size of the living room.

  6. I was thinking in terms of the average retail business.

    Apartments are a different story. While using useful floor space to a bathroom is an issue it is not my primary concern. I’ve never had a problem using a handicapped bathroom so I doubt it would be a major inconvenience.

    Was the kitchen set up to be wheelchair friendly? This is where I would have problems. Thanks to my back issues I have problems reaching anything near the ground in my normal sized kitchen. If all kitchens had to be designed to be wheelchair accessible I could not reach anything thanks to it being too low.

  7. The Stigler

    I’m with you right up to your point on ‘Society’. Because ‘society’ to me here is the landlord and the tenants combined. Bring anybody else into the equation and ‘society’ begins to read like ‘State’.

  8. Already, disabled people make up just under 20% of our population

    1 in 4 people are cripples?

    How come the vast tracts of handicapped parking at the supermarket are always mostly empty, then?

  9. “the government is unwilling to enforce the law on the carriage of wheelchairs in taxis”

    I do sympathise, but how would you do so? Even with a camera, it’d be hard to prove that the cabbie wasn’t distracted by a squirrel just as he was passing you.

    Dunno why they don’t use an app, tbh. Getting a confirmed booking, even 30sec before pickup, gives the passenger a much stronger position. (Thanks Uber!)

    “cannot compel the landlord to do this, ” well no, why would they? I appreciate that the tenant is willing to pay for the work (plus the cost of the landlords time to manage it, and to have it taken out when they leave?), but it’s still the landlord’s property. The name is the clue, an Englishman’s home is his castle, all that.
    Now, if someone wanted to set up a company that would get this done for you, quality assured and all that, that would be a great idea (if expensive, I imagine)

  10. TimN, was the bathroom half the size of the living room, or the living room twice the size of the bathroom? I assume that square footage of the apartments have not changed.

  11. Society must accommodate people in wheelchairs. WHY?

    My brother has a handicap parking placard. He has arthritis. In his fingers.

  12. Intractable Potsherd

    @Steve: “How come the vast tracts of handicapped parking at the supermarket are always mostly empty, then?”

    Because local councils seem to have the attitude that if they issue a blue badge, then they have lost something. It is all but impossible to get a blue badge without basically lying. Conditions that have variable symptoms – like my rheumatoid arthritis – depend on either getting the assessment on one of the worst days, or requiring the applicant to lie by pretending to have all the worst symptoms that day. I, and presumably others, refuse to do this, meaning I lose days of work because getting from the car park to the office is simply too painful and risky (fall risk, etc), whereas using the disabled spots would make it much easier on those days (when I’m reasonable well, I enjoy the exercise).

    However, I don’t necessarily blame the councils. So many people have misused the system over the years that the criteria have become more strict. It is irritating to see the number of empty disabled parking spots, though.

  13. “Already, disabled people make up just under 20% of our population”

    That’s because the definition of disabled has been extended to cover all manner of long term mental and health condition, . Whether or not a person’s anxiety attacks, agoraphobia or diabetes actually impairs their daily liviong is a different matter entirely.

  14. In Tim’s words, we should rejoice, these are rich world problems, that we can afford to transfer so much to those who are unlucky in the draw of life.

    We must be careful in that while we want equal rights, we do not want equal outcomes.

  15. The disabled parking spots are empty because the disabled just get home delivery. Certainly beats hours spent faffing around with wheelchairs and trollies, and saves the embarrassment of throwing an epileptic fit in Tesco’s. The delivery driver will even help you put perishable foods in the fridge/freezer if they see you’re in a wheelchair.

    If you’re renting and you want to pay for a stairlift, the landlord also has to factor in the cost of removing that stairlift when you move out again. Hence the resistance. I’d have thought it would be cheaper for the disabled tenant to move to a ground-floor flat or a bungalow anyway, rather than pay for fancy electronics. Isn’t such flexibility the main advantage of renting rather than owning?

  16. TimN, was the bathroom half the size of the living room, or the living room twice the size of the bathroom?

    The bathroom was oversized, and ate into the available space for the living room (which was too small as a result).

  17. That’s because the definition of disabled has been extended to cover all manner of long term mental and health condition

    In Norway, it’s simply used to keep people off the unemployment statistics.

  18. It is irritating to see the number of empty disabled parking spots, though.

    A pal of mine has terminal cancer and apparently that entitles him to a disabled badge. Because he’s still mobile, he uses it only to get free parking and leaves the blue space free for somebody who might really need it.

  19. I sneeze in threes

    Steve, you were right the first time with 1 in 4 as you have to add back all those who’ve died due to IDS’s cuts

  20. Steve – because we share a car, take the bus, use internet shopping etc.
    Its darn hard at certain times of day – like most of the opening hours – to get a disabled space at the supermarket.

    Besides, requires a blue badge. Which is given based on ability to walk. Many disabilities exist that don’t limit walking or limit it only a bit – one of my 4 disabilities is an allergy and impacts walking not at all. The other 3 do but not to the extent of meeting blue badge requirement. I just use the wife’s blue badge.

  21. “Already, disabled people make up just under 20% of our population”

    Total bollocks for any sane definition of the word ‘disabled’.

    You wouldn’t have got anywhere near this figure in 1919 after four years of a significant part of the male population being pounded by artillery for four years.

    As always, the losers from this kind of inflation are the ones who need help the most.

  22. “What doesn’t make sense is why ramps aren’t planned into the initial construction.”

    ‘cos in 1885 when my shop and upstairs flat was built and in 1638 when my great-grandmother’s shop and upstairs flat was built, when you got mobility problems you moved into ground floor accommodation, like my great-grandmother’s maiden aunts’ tenant in their downstairs flat where they lived upstairs.

  23. Ramps are fine and all – but dangerous for non wheelies.
    Thats why places that have ramps fitted usually have steps too.
    The joy of an icy ramp using two walking sticks is an experience. As is the cracked ribs and bruises.

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