One Woman Went To Work! #BADD13

Large Plain Text Version One woman Went to Work BADD13

This is a belated Blogging Against Disablism Day, blog post…

Getting to work is something many take for granted; it can be a bind, and if you rely on public transport it will have all manner of annoyances; Will the bus be on time?  Will I get a seat?

If your disabled the daily commute often comes with many other considerations, this blog  is about one woman’s commute to work – using photographs to illustrate the kind of barriers she faces that an able bodied commuter might not even have to think about.

We have a Pinterest account, and this blog launches our “Barriers to Life “ Project – send us photos of the physical barriers you face in daily life – whether its going to work, socializing or getting to appointments.  We want to use this to illustrate the physical barriers people have to living – and how we could work with Planners, Landscape Architects and Local Authorities in creating an urban landscape that we can all enjoy.

Email your pictures to

My Day at Work

  My drive    gate to bus stop

View from my front door to my gate (exactly 20 meters)…  From my gate to the bus stop; I’m lucky I have one right outside my gate (approx 50 meters, from my door)

My bus to work     internal view of my bus to work

This is one of the buses i have to get, some are accessible this one is not…

Bust stop nearest work    Looking back up to the bus stop

View from the bus stop nearest to work…  I work in the building on the right, but the entrance is right at the bottom of that row of cars on the right…

The second pic is a view back up the road to the bus stop where I got off, up by the catholic church building you can just see in the distance.

End of road looking up at my work   Main entrance stairs

View from that corner up towards the college entrance…  View of the Main entrance…  Hmmm…

Looking for the disabled entrance  Back entrance to the College

View past the main entrance to the disabled entrance; if you look really hard there is a person standing high up the hill, on the right way past the salt bucket, he’s at the disabled entrance…  Next view the disabled and back entrance to the college (back entrance… dont go there) notice you can just make out some blue metal work on the right, that’s the entrance to the engineering workshops, keep it in mind it will be important later…

Down the hill to the disabled entrance    Disabled Entrance

Through the gate and down the hill is the disabled entrance…

Through the doors    Main entrance from inside

Through the doors, heavy and not power assisted double doors…  Leads us to…  The main entrance…  Phew…

round the corner    Double doors

Round the corner through two more heavy doors…

my class room

To my class room door, on the right… thank god the canteen is straight through those double doors…  I need a cup of tea!!!

All is well… until I need to go up to the computer rooms or use the photocopier; that is upstairs on the first floor…

Then I have to…

Back to the main entrance     Main entrance lobby

Come back through the doors, cross the lobby by the entrance and…


Go up two fights of stairs… I have to make sure I can manage this by giving myself enough time to take it really slowly, because there is no lift!

A wheelchair user would have to…

Main entrance lobbyDisabled Entrance

Come out of the disabled entrance…

Up the hill to the disabled entranceBack entrance to the College

Come back up the hill to those two blue pieces of metal outside the engineering workshop I told you to remember earlier… This is the disabled entrance to the first floor…  Through the engineering workshop…

Engineering room    =Up stairs corridor

A view through the engineering workshop door to the road out side you have to come through here to access the first floor…  And yeah a ramp down the steps that leads to the media room…

Up Stairs Corridor     Fire Door

The ramp leads to the media room and others and eventually to the fire door and the fire exit for the first floor…

Fire Exit    View through the fire exit door

Shame there’s two steps to negotiate…

So that’s work… But how do I get home?

Looking back up to the bus stop    View down the hill

Back outside and to the corner where I started, where I cross the road and to my nearest bus stop which is right at the bottom of this hill…

Bottom of the Hill    Town

Looking back up the hill to the college…  From here I just have to cross the moor.…  our town centre…

View across the street    Looking for the bus stop home

I need to cross the three roads to get across to those shops over there…  At last just down by that Taxi pulling out is my bus stop…

If I had the energy to get to it…  I get a taxi home from the college…  My trip to work, around work and home makes a mockery of the 50 meter rule let a lone the 20meter rule… being able to walk such short distances has little or nothing to do with the reality of working when you dont have a car and some times even if you do… I can only manage this trip once a week as it utterly exhausts me and it takes days for me to recover.  I do it because I love my job and the people that I teach… It cost so much in taxi fares there is little to no financial incentive to do it. This is what I use some of My DLA for and I dont get Mobility Allowance.

The point here is, this is not an example of bad accessibility, this is an example of acceptable accessibility…  But acceptable to who…  and if an able bodied person had to put up with that kind of access, going outside in all weathers to be able to get to class, we would have heard a lot more about, Accessibility.

 Link:  Access to Work


International Wheelchair Day…

International Wheelchair Day Large Plain Text

Happy International Wheelchair Day folks, to celebrate this day we decided to look at not only the inspirational but the slightly more humorous or maybe that should be comical side of wheelchair use… We have a few stories that are a little gigglesome  and a few that are moving stories from Through the roof’s project, Wheels for the World, so I like to state here and now that no disabled person was harmed during some of the events that follow…


Wheels for the World – Kenya, November 2012 – Joseph is disabled through polio and works as a shoeshine man, sitting on the ground. With his new wheelchair Joseph is able to take his baby daughter out for a walk – the team even found a strap to put around her to keep her safe when she’s sat on his knee.


A disabled lady was being wheeled by a nurse into the garden at a hospital that shall remain nameless when the nurse inadvertently tipped the lady into the rose bed, the nurse hurriedly tried to help the lady out of the flowerbed just to end up there herself. Both flailing about in fits of giggles as they had been attempting a stealthy exit of the hospital into the garden to let the lady have a cigarette… AVC …  the moral of the story always look where you’re going. 🙂


Wheels for the World – Ghana, November 2011 – Mary had been cured of leprosy but it had left her with damaged hands and feet and extremely swollen legs – She had not left her bed for 2 years. The Wheels volunteer therapists, with the help of a volunteer technician, adjusted a wide chair with elevating leg rest enabling Mary to leave her room for the first time in two years, to enjoy the sunshine on her veranda.


Another lady told me when ever she was in her wheelchair in town and it was busy her partner would speed up and start singing the mission impossible theme tune… dun dun duna, dun dun duna, dun dun duna, dobedo, dobedo … lol I can just see them now weaving in and out of the crowds… DS


Wheels for the World – Uganda, April 2011 – Henry works with disabled children in the community and is a role model to them as he is disabled himself. The Wheels for the World team fitted him with a suitable wheelchair — one with removable armrests to make it easier for him to sweep the floor!


Getting stuck in metro centre Gateshead on a shop mobility scooter which had a dodgy battery.  AF


This story’s about the chap whose carer would wait till they where coming down hill and would let go of the handles and run along side the wheelchair racing it to the bottom…  I will reassure you that the carer always managed to grab the wheelchair and they would both slow it down in time… when I asked why they did it they said you should see the look on peoples faces… priceless… JW

OK that was a little cruel but your get your kicks where you can eh?


Another one from a lady.  I have had some funny situations with my wheelchair one was when I went up a kerb my electric chair got stuck and I was balancing on the edge of the kerb I couldn’t go forwards or backwards.

Then another time I was in a clothes store the handle at the back of the chair got caught in some clothes on a stand I ended up dragging the stand over with all the clothes on top of me.

The most recent one was when I was when I was being helped to take my coat of in my wheelchair and I forgot to turn the power off as my coat came off it caught the handle you drive with and my chair started moving forcing me into the table I was sitting at sending the table flying.  APH


There was the time I was drunk and had to wheel myself up a hill. Or there was the time I was drunk and my friends decided to wheel me round the estate at one in the morning! ‘sh…people are sleeping!’ Maybe you had to be there! Or there was the time when my friends decided to try and get me to do wheelies! It’s not all bad. It can be quite good fun sometimes. HS


And finally I have a story that warns of the dangers using portable ramps…

“I managed to run myself over with my electric wheelchair when I was walking down some portable ramps. I was walking backwards holding onto the armrests and working the control. I forgot to turn down the speed and ran myself over…

I had to get my son to rescue me by putting it into reverse. Asking a blond 3yr old boy to turn down the speed and make it go BACKWARDS was a very difficult and risky business, but when you have a heavy wheelchair on your legs you just have to take your chances.  Needless to say as I’m writing this you will know that he did manage to get it going in the right direction!!” CR


So anyway folks Happy International Wheelchair day may we celebrate the good, useful, the potential dangers, the independence they give us and comical aspects of wheelchair use and as for me the best advice I ever had, was from a toddler who said  ‘Bla Bla Bla’ he was referring to the two adults talking to each other over our heads… he was right it really does sound like Bla Bla Bla… 🙂

Here’s a link to the Disability News Services article on International Wheelchair Day