Posted by: SM | December 16, 2007

Take Me To The Pilot of Your Soul

March 27th 2007 

Lennon – McCartney and John – Taupin are two legendary partnerships which work equally well apart (latter probably more true than the former), yet today the Dunford Moult double act is officially on hiatus as his computers broken. Which means that I’ve been able to do nothing today apart from work, bloody despicable! I did write some bumf on the Disability Discrimination Act for someone, don’t know why, didn’t ask but I knew about it so it was easy enough. That document is a wondrous piece of legislation y’know, it says that businesses, bus drivers, taxi drivers, restaurants and other places cannot lawfully act the way they have been for years. Places like the Subway up the giant steps on Hardman Street should really have worked out access now but you see the problem is, almost as soon as a document like the DDA comes into law companies are given a grace period of a few years to implement changes and make the ‘reasonable adjustments’ to comply. Many places do, some on the other hand spend that time in consultation with whoever they consult with, to find ways around the rulings. So that in effect what you get is a document filled with all the best intentions, and a secret un-announced list of reasons why some companies do not have to comply. If you think I’m just another spaz on his moaning soap box, you may be right but on this I’ve every right to and I’m correct as well.

I know for a fact that business meetings have discussed the cost of the new legislation, and I know for a fact that where it can be avoided, it has been. “This is an old building, it would cost too much”, “there really is not the demand for access here”, “you can just call a security guard down and he will help you, we don’t need low floor access”. It’s all very well except calling someone who most of the time cannot hear you, to get the ramps out in the middle of the street, to go into a shop you only want to be in briefly in the first place is all wrong. It happens, and we keep our gobs shut but that bloody document is supposed to ensure that me and my fellow wheeled warriors don’t have to ask in order to gain access, provisions are there to make it as easy as one of the able bodied lot to go anywhere we want. In a perfect world, it would do.

Sorry, to rant on a bit but when people saw me writing all that DDA stuff today the egg heads came up and said “but you don’t have any problems with it in the world now, do you, it’s all better now…” Bollocks, quite frankly. It isn’t, it’s slowly getting better but impact of the loss of a few wheelchair users on a big business is minute when weighed against the impact of re-modelling a shop so that they can gain access. A sad but true fact. Taxi drivers have to accept any passesngers, legally, as long as their available light is on. They don’t, some turn you down. Bus drivers are supposed to lower the floor and get the ramp out when they see you waiting at the bus stop, I’ve been driven past though because the driver didn’t want to get out in the rain. Same with trains.

Law does not make it happen.

Funnily enough, I didn’t include any of that in the summary of the DDA that I wrote.

And yes, the project is continuing, for most of today she has been constantly refurbishing herself…


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