Sunday, 9 April 2017


This page arose out of sheer frustration!  Considering we have disability access legislation (via the European Union) it can be horribly difficult to get into many places.  In fact I'd say that about 50% of the time I can't get into buildings unless someone goes off and fetches a ramp, assuming I can get their attention to ask for it.

Then there's the problem of uneven pavements, potholes, lack of dropped kerbs, etc etc.  My favourite Italian restaurant in the nearby village centre has a ramp up to the door, but then a wooden lip that my wheelchair can't mount.  Oh yes and the toilet is upstairs, but because its a historic building they don't have to do alterations for one downstairs.  I could go on but had better not - I would definitely sound like a crabby old cow.

Anyway I got out my Neocolour II crayons to make this background - still trying to make myself use multiple shades, and wanting to create circles and shapes within it.
Next I began to outline the shapes with black (Posca paint) pen, and although I didn't invite her this woman then appeared, followed by the words that obviously really needed to come out.
So having been surprised by their appearance I had to figure out and explain what I meant!  When the practical difficulties seem insurmountable and just a trip to the post box can be more trouble that its worth, you end up hiding inside and not going out.  And that simply Won't Do.
It was time to remind myself (again) that I am NOT prepared to settle for half a life, mostly spent at home, but choose to live as fully as I can within my limitations.  I just wish someone would really understand the barriers to integration and participation when you're on wheels.  My beloved says all council officials should be obliged to spend a day in a wheelchair at least once a year .... and then they might Get It.
So having got my grumpy inner woman sorted out I settled down to enjoy lots of doodling and dots.  Sorry if my fit of frustration makes me sound grumpy (which I was) but sometimes you just have to let it all out. And of course I do that in my journal.  Job done.


alexa said...

What a splendid page, with a moving shift from understandable crossness to determination. As my Dad now needs a wheelchair more often, pushed by yours truly, I can share your frustration and annoyance.

Tricia Havens said...

I agree that people that are making the laws should have to "live in another's shoes"... or Wheels as the case may be... before setting laws in motion. Their understanding would be reflected in the changes they'd make after that experience.

I had the privilege to work at an office that assisted individuals with disabilities to live independently right as the US had signed the ADA (Americans with Disabilities Act). That work experience helped me understand the struggle that people go through in their daily lives to an extent. What really helped me learn this life lesson was when I borrowed one of the office's wheelchairs and went to a professional basketball game. People did everything they could to not look me in the eye as my husband wheeled me to our seats. Using the restroom proved to be difficult, even though I was in a handicapped stall. At the end of the game people accidentally ran into my chair, giving me quite a jolt, but didn't even apologize once they saw what they hit in to. The whole night I felt invisible! I learned so much that evening; I highly encourage others to give it a try!