Latest Hurdle in Renewing Freedom Pass.

In the post I received a letter from my local concessionary travel team which left me feeling stunned and concerned for other people who also happens to be deaf, living in my local borough. I knew not all would be claiming Disability Living Allowance (DLA) or be in receipt of the Higher Rate  Mobility Component.

Me being me, I set out to challenge the Local Authority over concerns they raised within me in said letter by sending them an email which I can only hope I made it clear enough that one could not send out a letter like this without giving those who are eligible any other alternatives to provide proof they are entitled as not everyone claims DLA or gets the higher rate. If people / councils are going to manipulate residents into feeling worry and despair then surely I am going to pull them up on that!!

“Dear Sir / Madam,

Thank you very much for your letter advising me to renew my freedom travel pass. There are issues within the letter which concerns me because not every deaf person gets the Higher Rate Mobility Component of the Disability Living Allowance – surely our deafness which is covered by the eligibility rules should be enough?

I recall in the past Hounslow Borough requesting our audiograms of which I am sure many were obliged to produce however being told I was not deaf on my audiogram was a farce and I had to defend myself by correcting them that if they were going to ask for audiograms as proof of our deafness they should be employing an audiologist who is qualified to read audiograms and then able to determine who is deaf enough or not. I have been profoundly deaf since birth and this felt like an insult to me. I was then allowed to renew my travel pass but it was not without any ill feelings.

The subsequent new Freedom Pass renewal system went very smoothly and was a pleasure however this time around; I am left stunned at the lack of knowledge in the differences between disabilities and our needs. You are requesting proof of mobility of which some may not choose to claim or do not have the higher rate of. I understand that this rate gets automatic renewal but it is very unfair to ask this of those who are eligible already by being deaf – covered by the rules for the Freedom Pass by the Transport of London and the “Guidance to Local Authorities on assessing eligibility of disabled people in England.” I attach photos of the categories and some points from the Guidance for your information.

rules
Guidance to Local Authority PDF.
Freedom Pass website.

22 For applicants outside the above categories, the Department recommends that  the next most robust means of assessment is likely to be via local authority lists of  registered disabled people where these are relevant. This is covered in more detail below  for people who are blind or partially sighted, or profoundly or severely deaf. Where a  person is registered with an authority outside their current area of residence, the local  authority may wish to consider the desirability of contacting that authority as against other  means of assessing eligibility.

39 There is no statutory registration system for deaf people. However, many will be registered on a voluntary basis with their local authority social services department. The register is open to people who have varying degrees of hearing loss, so in checking the register a local authority is advised to check that the applicant is profoundly or severely deaf before issuing a national concession bus pass.

Please could you now explain to me, why we are being expected to provide proof of our income/benefit when it has nothing to do with our eligibility for a freedom pass when we are already eligible and entitled to one due to our deafness? It is becoming even more apparent to me just how much knowledge staff has in terms of the differences in disabilities and the various needs / abilities of each resident in the borough. One cannot send a template letter to all those categorized, claiming DLA when they may have other disabilities that decrees them eligible otherwise.

My records should show evidence of the audiograms I provided you with in the past and I would have thought this was more than enough proof of our disability which we happen to have. To see other people like myself be put through this ordeal is very unfair on them and because of this, I will be taking this up with certain charities that advocates for the deaf and hard of hearing, local mobility and disability teams as well as Transport for London as it also concerns them it being their concessionary passes of which we fulfil their criteria that one could mistake you for overlooking.

I would be more than willing to come in for an assessment but only if you are able to reassure me there is a qualified audiologist present – who can sign. Or as the guidelines suggest, you could contact my local audiology department for the necessary proof.

29 Where, as a last resort, it is necessary to use a GP, the contact should be made  direct by the authority, having secured the applicant’s agreement, and the GP should only be asked for answers to factual questions. They should not be asked for an opinion on whether someone meets the criteria.

I have asked for another copy of my awards letter as requested which should not be any of the concessionary team’s business so will also be taking this up with my local MP and councillor as our deafness and audiograms in the past should be more than enough evidence to allow us to continue being in receipt of Freedom Passes. The rules and eligibility guidelines is there in black and white which works out for the best all round to protect everyone in their best interests.

I look forwards to “hearing” (pardon the pun!) from you.

Regards,

Sara Jae.”

 

(Full name not disclosed on here for privacy reasons)

 

Updated on 12/11/2014

My second email:

Dear Sir / Madam,

Last week I emailed the below (forwarded) message to some of the recipients named above and received no response except from Hounslow’s Advocacy team. I am appalled at the inefficiency of the customer service given by the civil service because they are paid to do their jobs, not to ignore residents and to actually know the guidelines for Travel Passes without being told them from eligible users.

I had to phone the concessionary Travel team the other day who instructed me to obtain a letter from my GP when it is clear in the Guidelines that this should only be done as a last resort and if this info is required, the authority concerned are the ones who are supposed to contact the GP’s. My GP is currently writing up her letter to confirm my deafness however we should not be required to provide new evidence every x number of years in case we miraculously become hearing because this is a life long disability. I understand this is one way to weed out the fraudsters but this is very troublesome for those who are genuine and those who do not need to be exposed to template letters regarding mobility and rates of the DLA because it’s not applicable to them when they are eligible otherwise.

29 Where, as a last resort, it is necessary to use a GP, the contact should be made

direct by the authority, having secured the applicant’s agreement, and the GP should only

be asked for answers to factual questions. They should not be asked for an opinion on

whether someone meets the criteria.

I will email my GP’s letter to the concessionary travel team once I receive it for their records and I trust this will be good enough as reassured by the admin staff who answered my call which was relayed via my husband. But what about everyone else who has had to endure signs of ignorance from those who instructed their office workers to carry out such an inefficient job yet this is not their fault when they are only being told what to do?

One of my friends who does not claim DLA and is deaf, received the exact same letter as I did asking for proof of the higher rate of mobility – this confirmed to us this was a template letter being sent out to everyone concerned. Hence showing the extent of knowledge regarding our various communication needs and abilities from those not in the know when they should be – after all, its their job which they are being paid to do? Being in the know would make life so much easier all around – nothing about us, without us.

Please, could someone this time take a moment to respond and reassure me they are looking into the inefficiency of it all as it affects both ourselves and yourselves.

Thank you ever so, for your time and patience,

Sara.

 

 

Updated 13/11/2014

A response from one of my councillors:

“I am sorry that you got so little response to your letter, but many Councillors will have thought that they have little chance of affecting the outcome, and cannot see what they can usefully do. We do not have any contact with the staff who make these decisions, and no input into how they devise their procedures. If I could see a way of making them simplify what require of you I would do it, but I am sure that any intervention from me would be ignored.

You make very good points about the bureaucracy surrounding disability making it so much worse. I have a family member whose struggles to get the flu jab would almost fill a book. No one wanted to take responsibility for letting him have an egg based injection although he has had them for years without any reaction. I do bear such things in mind when we make changes to services at LBH, and try to ensure that common sense prevails.

I hope Hounslow’s Advocacy team are able to help you to move things forward, and I am sorry that I cannot do anything to assist.

Regards,”

 

to which I replied with;

“Dear Sir / Madam,
Thank you very much to Councillor XXXX XXXXX for responding – it was nice that someone finally took the time to do so however it left me feeling quite stranded because I thought that was what Councillors were for? I was advised that they CAN affect the outcome. The guidelines for the councils are quite clear as you have been elected to represent us and do our bidding – in my case, the councillors on the Chiswick Riverside / Turnham Green ward. The council staff work for the councillors, of whom are obliged to follow the laid down guidelines.
You should be contacting the councillor with the disability portfolio and subsequently go to the staff if the rules / guidelines are not being obeyed or fulfilled which is very obvious in this instance with the issues I have presented to you.
It is already hard enough for deaf people to reach the correct contacts because we cannot scream down the phone demanding to be put through to those in a higher position – it’s a much slower, longer, and more stressful process trying to find the right people to speak to. Yet most will not take the time to respond to an email and brush it under the rug. As I have experienced bar two people so far.
Please do not make us feel like we are not your responsibility and that we should find someone else to complain to – we need to be listened to by you because we are feeling the side effects of the inefficiency within the council’s structure, that you work for. It is crystal clear no one knows the guidelines, or has the knowledge regarding different disabilities and needs to carry out a more successful system for it to work with minimal stress and imposition on others.
All those who happen to be disabled/ deaf/ without speech/ blind and other eligible statuses should not have to feel aggrieved by the “bureaucracy surrounding disability making it so much worse.” We should not have to provide new evidence every x years in case someone has grown legs or become hearing again. when the exhausted avenues of evidence we have provided in the past should be more than satisfactory. We have a lifelong disability that people know nothing about and it is those people who dictate our lives according to their limited knowledge of our disabilities and various needs.
I find it extremely hard to explain how frustrated I am at the barriers I am encountering and seeing my family and friends experiencing the very same barriers. I am not doing this for myself but for all the residents in this borough who have fallen victim to a system which is extremely flawed especially for those who have been eligible from day one.
When there is a will, there is a way – please, help your residents who happen to be disabled to have a fairer experience which is justified based on our various disabilities and needs? One cannot send out a template letter (just because it is easier to do so) without giving those who are eligible any other alternatives to provide proof they are entitled as not everyone claims DLA or gets the higher rate for mobility as this is not applicable to all.
Regards,
Sara.”

To be concluded….

 

Update: I had heard nothing at all since my last email to the Team which enclosed a copy of my audiogram and a letter confirming my deafness and the level it was at (and always had been! and always will be!) so I relatively soon after paid a visit to my local Town Hall where the receptionist made a call to the Concessionary Travel team on my behalf. She finally had some good news for me – my Travel Pass would be renewed and will arrive in the post early in the new year, 2015.

We will always have to fight for our rights, even though we are entitled.

The #hotfingers Challenge.

In usual true Tree House spirit we sometimes tend to spin off lines from songs to get that loving feeling going. A song from a classic film was started off by yours truly and a fellow dweller gave me the idea of challenging people to fingerspell one  extremely long word from a particular song. Can you guess which word it was??

Here is a chart to help you or a video by another beloved Tree House dweller.

fingerspelling-right

Hence the birth of the #hotfingers challenge which encouraged several dwellers to learn finger spelling to complete their challenge and for some, even how to film themselves so they could form a part of this challenge. This completely humbled me just seeing the passion unfolding. Some of us had to do several takes because one swore and another screamed in frustration!

Last but not least who has kindly narrated throughout.

How would you finger spell this word, in your sign language? Please show us as we would love to learn from the various finger spelling manuals.

Carpe diem 🙂

By SJ.

(Photo credit to british-sign.co.uk)

By Any Means Necessary

A recent article at the Rim actually made me think and see things a bit clearer after recent posts over at the Tree House was questioned regarding our preferred methods of communication…. I did not know whether to laugh or feel insulted as I had not seen any evidence within the Tree House to justify said question. Dwellers were extremely quick to reinforce the ethos of the Tree House and supported the fact that it was a place where everyone could be themselves and accepted regardless of their communication needs and/or abilities. After a few moments of head banging on the wall, peace was once again thankfully restored.

At this moment in time, the rifts between certain communities could not be wider. Attitudes in today’s society seem to be going backwards that even I am disturbed to find this trait exists within our own government.

In our case, I shall use the example of the “deaf world” and “hearing world”. A lot of it comes down to other people segregating the two worlds, categorising and judging. I have not felt accepted in either “world” because of how they have perceived me to be “different” and dictated how one should be,  i.e.: I was damned if I did sign/speak or damned if I did not sign/speak. Coming from a family who happened to be deaf and having signed all my life you would assume I would not present myself the way I do – why should I appear in a certain way? I am who I am and here in my world, there is only one that everyone shares. No one is categorised unless they categorise themselves and impose the two worlds onto us.

Why does there even have to be any restrictions in the first place when it comes to communication? All forms of communication should be embraced and not rejected. Surely it is an advantage if one can express themselves by different means necessary? Over time as communication evolves and improves, it will become even more enriching for us as there is nothing wrong whatsoever in being multi-lingual.

 “If all my possessions were taken from me with one exception, I would choose to keep the power of communication, for by it I would soon regain all the rest.” – Daniel Webster.

SOS
SOS

~ SJ (Sara Jae)

What Is “Deaf Culture”?

E. Adamson Hoebel’s book of Anthropology: Study of Man. “describes culture as an integrated system of learned behaviour patterns which are characteristic of the members of a society and which are not a result of biological inheritance.”

Ask a British person “What is British Culture?” and they may struggle for the very first few minutes before trying to answer with possibly the majority using examples due to characteristics based on tradition, customs, habits, cuisine and environment they live in. Ask a deaf British person and most likely he will give the same answer as a British person who happens to be hearing. My question is as deaf people do we actually have a separate set of customs and traditions to the British who are hearing?

How did the deaf community start using the term “Deaf culture” when it is actually a subculture – a particular social group within a national culture? If “Culture” is not supposed to be applied to biological or genetic inheritance – is there such a thing as a hearing culture?

Are we making it hard for ourselves if we are excluding ourselves from the world around us by creating this “Deaf Culture” or is it a positive thing that should be celebrated?

Being deaf makes those of us unique in the sense that it is a hidden disability but there is a percentage who corner themselves even more so expecting the hearing world to understand them, to learn sign language and come totally their way. Those who think that, do so because they believe there is nothing wrong with them – that the negative lies within the hearing world and so they should make that effort. This again is sometimes not of their own doing when they have been so immersed with their own surroundings and peers for so long. But there are those who may go to an extreme when so proud to say “Deaf Power!” – Even several hope their children will be deaf too. They have on occasion been branded as Fascists. Yet with that kind of mentality nothing will be achieved in terms of improving services and access for deaf people in general.

Those who are able to wear hearing aid(s), have a cochlear implant or learn/choose to speak do so in order to improve the quality of their lives and in an attempt to be able to engage with the hearing world better. This is not a bad thing to want to do. To meet half way and for this reason I believe parts of the deaf community should not be looking down on these people as some sort of traitors who in their eyes are betraying the so called “Deaf culture”. The hypocrisy of these people is very clear when they rely on a hearing person or their own hearing children to be their interpreter and will not accept anything less when they can make the effort to meet half way. My point is, the more we isolate ourselves from the hearing world – the harder it will become for the hearing people to make any effort to understand us.

Extreme views are never a positive thing in any walk of life so you can only imagine (for some to an extent) my utter disbelief when someone arrogantly once said “Interpreters should be grateful to the deaf community for providing them with a job”. Some may also say that providing interpreters, and the time it takes to get one is drainage on the tax we all pay.

Just because we happen to be deaf, deafened, HoH, deaf-blind and so on, it does not mean certain attitudes, chips on shoulders etc. exist only in one part of the world that we are in – this behaviour will manifest regardless, wherever one may be. Except that it does not give anyone the right to disrespect, degrade and/or humiliate another.

There are also those who dictate to us still that we should be using the “big D or little d” to identify and potentially divide within the deaf community – once again, would you use a big H to identify and describe certain hearing people or their world? I do not even feel comfortable using the term “hearing world“ because this is everyone’s world supposedly united – for each and every single one of us. So why impose that onto our own? Or accept it even especially when it is not grammatically correct?

Sadly, people are far too easily influenced by others around them. People have for so long been telling others what to do and/or who to be and it is high time for that to stop. For people to think for themselves and stand on their own two feet, to not follow the flock just because of peer pressure. To be true to yourselves and do what you feel is right – ask questions and seek knowledge, for knowledge is power whilst striving for equality – as equals.

“The beauty of the world lies in the diversity of its people”
“The beauty of the world lies in the diversity of its people”

Now ask yourselves wherever you may be, what is “deaf culture”?

– SJ (Sara Jae)

Many thanks to SLFirst for publishing this article in their magazine.

Be A Good Sport – Not A Spoilsport!

When the Olympics first began, competitors used to start making their way there, months beforehand on foot from their homelands. The ‘lucky ones’ (who had the means) would ride on their four legged animals. Just so, they could take part. As long as there is a will, there will always be a way.

I keep being reminded of a healthy debate I contributed to some years ago on another forum – due to an age old record player which needs fixing, I have decided it was time for me to publically contribute my opinions.

The media, unfortunately, lacks the inclination to present both sides of the stories on the same piece of paper when everyone deserves to see the balanced argument with explanations, rather than just one side of the story brewing some ill feelings.

An ancient olympic statue

Firstly,

Here is a quote from the Paralympics FAQs:

“Why are deaf athletes excluded?

ParalympicsGB is non-discriminatory and applauds all disabled sportsmen and women who achieve on the world stage. Deaf sportsmen and women have taken part in their own Games ever since the International Silent Games (now the Deaflympics) of 1924. As a result deaf sports are not members of the BPA and are not funded in the same way as other NGBs. Athletes with a hearing impairment do compete in the Paralympic Games when the hearing loss is one of their impairments but when they also have another impairment which is classifiable at the Paralympic Games.”

As deafness is considered an impairment by the IPC, it therefore falls within their eligibility rules – so, shouldn’t there be a category/classification for that particular form of impairment?

But then again as someone rightly pointed out “Blindness is a sensory disability not physical yet they are in?”

Deaf people are not excluded – from the Olympics. As there are athletes past and present – as listed on this link: Deaf people in the Olympics.

Just that deaf people are sometimes stuck between a rock and a hard place, sometimes not of their own doing.

Deaflympics first held their event in 1924 because in the olden days, there was no deaf awareness at all within society. Which is understandable and it was within their rights. Yet now times have changed – so has technology. There are now starting light indicators and systems in place to alert those with deafness. The only problem I can spot is there is no “False Start” indicator (that I know of) to alert them of such – at my school, there would be a line dropped down into the swimming pool whenever there was a false start, to alert the swimmers.

Modern times require modern attitudes.

Here is a quote from a friend who wishes to remain anonymous:

 “Though international meets for Deaf athletes, under various titles – Deaf Olympics / Deaflympics, have existed many decades before the Paralympics. Had the Paras been formed first, I suspect they’d have already categorized Deaf / HI and not only under the current additional disabilities – as for those who competed within the CP classifications. Methinks main issue is communication within, and wanting to organise under the same facility and not as an afterthought (using speech-to-sign interpreters). Personally I think the Deaf should lobby to become a part of the Paras but with deaf organisers as in a slightly separate arm of the umbrella organisation. Majority of the Deaf around the world have experienced negative discrimination indirectly or otherwise, so understandable is the desire to perform as a collective on an equal footing, recognition by peers is that powerful. “

Regarding the lack of Paralympic funding or lack of deaf participants – the younger deaf sports generation needs to be told why this is so in the first place as the decision to remain separate from the Paralympics and have their own games, did not involve them. Let them have their choice and the right to use their voice to be “heard” what they would like to see happen. The older generation, just needs to be reminded that their decision to remain separate caused their funding to cease further.

There are foreign Paralympic participants from third world countries who have had no or very little funding and they have been driven to raise their own funding by doing sky diving jumps etc just so they can participate in the Paralympics. They are not complacent at all. Just google for them and you will find them – I did.

It is such a shame to see that people forget how good their life is, how free everything is. How available money and equipment is. That one’s decisions have consequences. They / we have all these things yet certain people still want more money to be handed over.

There is no excuse not to participate in the Olympics / Paralympics when one can / wants to do so – they have the means to treat one as an equal, as long as one wants to be treated so – it would be fantastic to participate in the ‘lympics AND have their own Deaflympics games. What’s so wrong with that? One would be a better sportsperson, in all senses.

I am a big fan of equality as you may have worked out already however I have spotted this paragraph on the Deaflympic website:

 “Unlike other games for athletes with disabilities, which are all directed by non-disabled officials, the Deaflympics are run by deaf people for deaf athletes.”

Is this not discriminatory? There will be hearing coaches/teachers for the deaf or qualified officials who have dealings with the deaf yet they have no right to be a part of it?

The Paralympics and the Olympics do allow deaf participants if they meet their sporting standards. They are not refusing them – they cannot. Otherwise the deaf would point and say ‘Discrimination’. We would all be the first to lobby for their access and rights had the Olympics and/or Paralympics denied the deaf. Turn the tables and what would happen?

There is not much to ask for in the games – do all the foreign nationals who are taking part need a language translator to be with them all the time? Are all the announcements translated in succession? Of course one will be provided if there is a meeting or interview etc if needed. Yet again, the translator is most likely to be a volunteer so using the expenses of hiring interpreters etc as an excuse, does not really fly. I used the example of foreign nationals because they have the most in common with us in the sense that we have difficulties with following/understanding speech/language – do the foreign nationals make an issue out of not being able to understand another foreign language? They cope. Just like the rest of us could / would. With a smile and a positive attitude. 🙂

There are other examples who require far more assistance than the deaf do yet the Deaflympics are the ones who are asking for the most assistance / to have certain events dedicated to them. They to refuse to participate because the committee said no to interpreters? Then they have the cheek to ask why they don’t get the same level of funding as the others who are taking part, regardless.

Do we need assistance to use the loo? To take a shower, to change our clothes? To be fed? To get from A – B?

People take life, limbs, senses for granted. It’s here with us now but it could be gone tomorrow. You never know.

The Olympic and Paralympic committee know what each and every disability needs or means. They cannot be fooled. They are treating everyone as an EQUAL as long as they want to be treated so.

I was told by someone from the Deaflympics that they have participants who have faster times than some of those in the ‘lympics – Let’s give them their moment of glory in the elite world games. Let’s give them the encouragement / support they so deserve?

We as deaf people get hearing aids automatically as very young children because of the wealthy country we live in, just because we can. Other deaf children in poorer countries have to do without. What annoys me most of all, is that there are certain people saying others get everything they want which in my eyes is rather cheeky and spitting the dummy. So much so they will even use the “deaf card” in order to get what they want.

Do people actually know how long a child goes without a wheelchair before it is their first set of wheels? Someone who once worked with me felt stuck in a manual wheelchair because there was no support or funds for her to have an electric one. She was working so she could save towards one.

Why should they have to experience all of that and be told ‘they get all the support they need, all the funding they want’?!

If that was the case, there would be many more Paralympians taking part.

An independent investigation is needed.

No one has taken the initiative to question what is being said and/or why, to think for themselves. To find out what’s on the other side of the coin – it is very easy to imitate when one has a close connection to certain people due to influence of a natural bias.

The deaf community have every right to have their own games as everyone else has their own inclusive communities. The deaf will always have their own Deaflympics to have the opportunity to shine / compete in all events, within the deaf community / world. It is their right. As the OAP’s and other like minded/bodied communities are entitled to their own.

Just I ask, for them to view the Olympics and the Paralympics as a place where everyone comes together as equals. No one is asking them to drop their own games or refusing them participation.

Fitness levels are filtered out and dictates who wins a medal. It is not the impairment / disability although they will be filtered into the appropriate categories.

It is the future deaf generation that we need to concentrate on, to help them think along the same lines – equality, integration – which needs to be incorporated as soon as possible.

Be a good sport – not a spoilsport!

~ SJ (Sara Jae)

Suarez Bites The Dust – Adios!

Luis Suarez, what a naughty boy he is, instinctively yet again bit another football player, Giorgio Chiellini, for the third time (so far) during his footballing career. Is this acceptable?? No. It’s disgraceful!

Luis Suarez biting Giorgio Chiellini, Italy vs Uruguay match 24th June 2014.

Does FIFA need more evidence which is damning enough for Suarez’s third time unlucky?

10501310_562978730477261_1505000436_n
Luis Suarez biting Otman Bakkai. Ajax v PSV 23th Nov 2010
10488850_562718930503241_164069467_n
Luis Suarez biting Branislav Ivanovic, Liverpool v Chelsea 24th April 2013

If so, here is my version. With the famous delayed live captions in true UK style.

None of this allegedly “Did he bite or not?” He did bite and he knows it – hence why he showed no joy at the win. Also, none of this “He fell into my eye” when he clearly BIT and left teeth marks as a parting gift. Nice (!) Though he did try to make out as though his teeth were hurting due to being “elbowed” when actually his biting caused the player to instinctively react in order to defend himself.

Bite marks clear as day.
Bite marks clear as day.

Besides, Diego Godin who scored the winning goal for Uruguay should not have even been playing as in his previous match, he should have been given a second yellow card (equalling a red) for a foul he made which should have meant he was banned from this match. With actions comes consequences, the referees are not doing their jobs properly in the very first place.

Suarez bites the dust – Adios!

Do one.

Rant over….

🙂

Now, I shall leave you with a video depicting Inclusion at its very best and respect – regardless, which I shared to the Tree House FB group very early on when the World Cup 2014 started. Enjoy.

Hopefully this will remind society how it should be done 😉

~ SJ (Sara Jae)

Disabled Parking.

Some of the troubles the deaf-blind have to face – that even we are not aware of just as much, ourselves.

Parking like this is a hindrance, endangers and disables pedestrians using their guide dogs from safely walking on by.

She says whom I quote:

“I have asked my husband to film this for awareness to show how blocking pavement affecting us and evidence. The great way to raise awareness about parking on pavement blocking us, it’s forcing us to get on the road. In the fact, I’m deafblind I’m never able to know if another car is about to come, my guide dog refused to go through the gap because it’s too narrow, it’s very unsafe for visual impaired people with guide dogs, and other people with any assistant dogs, prams, wheelchair. Please be considerate and be kind not to park your cars on pavement. Feel free to share video thank you.”

Disabled Parking.
Disabled Parking.

Hence the title, “Disabled Parking” simply because they cannot park – correctly.

Another friend remarked how the other day, after seeing the above video which demonstrates one of the daily frustrations the deafblind community faces:

There was a van parked on pavement of a quite busy road, there were a chap who lives near me who has blindness and uses a guide dog, last night I was walking Boris and I saw his dog refusing to go anywhere, I asked if he’s alright, he said the dog won’t go further or go in a different direction (because he only knows this specific route to home and he uses this route every day), I said there’s a van on the pavement and he said “But the road is very busy too!” So I assist him different way of getting home without having to go through the traffic. He was very grateful, I left a note explaining the situation and said if it happens again the police will be called on the van (and photo taken with date on it!”

Show us you care by being aware!

~ SJ (Sara Jae)