Maman Poulet | Clucking away crookedly through media, politics and life


March 10th, 2007 · 17 Comments · Disability, Personal, Uncategorized

As I have alluded to on and off on the blog recently my life has undergone a huge amount of changes in the past year. Apart from the new body and mindset, and new home and job and new woman in my life, I’m thinking about embarking on a new journey in terms of the way I live my life as a disabled person.

There are lots of buzz words around that I too am guilty of using like access, independence, empowerment, freedom, equality.
The purchase of this machine may mean all of those to me in years to come. But the prospect also terrifies me.

I have been thinking about it for the past 6 months or so,
I used one to get around the Ryder Cup, then I used it in Dundrum Shopping Centre, and in Liffey Valley. I was able to attend a sporting event and enjoy myself to the full. Christmas shopping and other shopping trips have become pleasureable rather than chores. I have been able to shop with friends and combine shopping (and getting much needed advice on clothing of the Trinny and Susannah variety) with meals out and trips to the Cinema. So I began to consider applying the concept of using a mobility scooter to how I live the rest of my life.

From an employment point of view, living and working in the City Centre there is no doubt that I would benefit from it and combined with ready access to taxi’s and other forms of public transport the fact that I am unable to drive will mean that with this I will be more effective at my job. (that’s what it says in the script – I’m choosing to believe it at the moment!)

Some people don’t know I have a disability, or in fact choose not to see me as disabled. Others think I have a temporary impairment. The purchase and use of a mobility scooter means that there will be little doubt or will it? Will people think I’m copping out? Will they too understand the impact and positive benefits that increased mobility will bring to my quality of life? And why the feck should I be bothered what other people think?

Well actually people with disabilities particularly those who may have acquired disabilities do think a lot about what other people think.

Body fascism in our society looms large, all the equality legislation and disability sectoral plans in the world don’t mean a thing when you have to think about every move you make, decision you take and place you go for a cup of tea. Jobs, education, places to live, holidays, relationships, all of these are impacted by the fact that society is disabling me – yes society is also disabled.

As someone working in the disability sector with other people with disabilities I don’t have all the answers and don’t have the certificate in how to adjust or counter the attitudes.

I still have to put in the order and to pay over the money and have the item delivered. And I have to think about the way in which I will use it. And the first person to make the L plate joke will have their toes run over…I promise!

This post might self destruct 15 minutes after you read it – I have just come to the end of a 6 day week, sometimes surrounded by people who should know better saying ridiculous things, other times gaining a few inches in work situations, motivated by the people I work with and then generally feeling very disabled by both my body and the world around me.

Time for a cup of lesbian tea! What you never had one? Ah you don’t know what you’re missing!



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