The system working against anyone who lives with physical disabilities and/or invisible illness is bad enough. Odious comments from the disablist public have now reached incredible lows I couldn’t have thought possible. What’s even more disturbing is that ill-informed hatemongering isn’t coming from the chattering classes slavishly loyal to the Daily Mail and other tabloid fodder. These are people who, in theory, are meant to be the more “enlightened” readers of The Guardian.
In my post Not “disabled enough” and mobility aids, I briefly looked at some broader issues related to our need for mobility aids and access to motability schemes. I was inspired by the conundrums facing Kaliya Franklin, one of the Founders of The Broken of Britain, in her attempt to get an NHS power wheelchair. Today, The Guardian published Kaliya’s own accounting of her most peculiar situation. Though I was already familiar with her plight, it was still heartbreaking to read the details.
My heartbreak turned into anger as I read through the comments. Evidently we should refrain from even trying to get help knowing that we’re going to be shafted by the criteria. It is our selfish “sense of entitlement” to want an obviously much-needed mobility aid and waste time trying to get what we can’t afford of our own volition.
The fact that you applied, knowing full well that you couldn’t possibly qualify, surely means that someone who would qualify has had to wait longer. I’m not sure that helps anyone.Wouldn’t this article be better if it had used an example of someone who actually did qualify for one, maybe the person who had to wait while your application was blocking theirs?
This same charmer continued on…
if you apply for something, knowing full well that you cannot qualify for it, the answer is always glong to be a “no”. She gives many reasons why she shouldn’t qualify for one, so it’s not like she’s a borderline case. To apply for one, in these circumstances, is a wilfull waste of time, money and resources that are desperately needed by those who do qualify. For that reason, this article seems to request people pull it apart. A similar article from someone who would qualify, would be very hard to argue with, even if anyone wanted to. As it is, knowing how hard it is for the disabled to get the help that they do qualify for, I find it hard not to resent such a knowingly futile claim. To then write an article that basically says “isn’t it terrible that I can’t have what isn’t suitable for me, I don’t qualify for, I would probably injure myself using, I couldn’t control properly and doesn’t exist”… Words fail me. I really think that a similar article, by someone who had to battle to get something they actually did qualify for, would have carried so much more weight. Another wasted opportunity for the disabled to be heard.
I’m sure that some could make a point or a few about trolling or astro-turfing (usually I’m one of them). However, it is increasingly clear that there really are huge numbers of wilfully obstinate and woefully ignorant people covering every demographic. Unfortunately it is these people who wield the sword of power and none of them are seriously interested in “opportunities for the disabled to be heard”.
It seems the adage “you don’t ask, you don’t get” is no longer relevant – but only if you’re disabled..