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Society: the accident that traumatises.

On the road to equality, I often feel strangely disempowered by the process of Disability Equality Training. Why is it only the temporarily non-disabled who get offered a training opportunity? And why only on occasions?

I rather fancy the idea of some training myself. Not exactly the same kind of course, but there must be skills I could practice in order to combat the negative effects society has on my moral and there must be advanced skills I could use to influence or change the mindset of those folk who never get the benefit of expert guidance.

I just don't want to leave something so important to me totally in the hands of others, even if they are experts; but I do like the idea of being proactive, as well as the possibility of making a more subtle contribution to equality.

People who suffer trauma through accident are offered help to find ways to cope. Society is frequently the accident that traumatises disabled people, but at best we are offered nothing more than passing, sympathetic acknowledgement.

Years of feeling like a leper have taken their toll, I want to be more responsive and positive to the people who have actually taken equality onboard. And with those who haven't got there yet, I'd like to find creative ways to take the initiative, I do rather like the idea of having more control.

 

 

Rolling in to a lift I need

space to turn around,

like the wheelless do, I prefer

a face-front exit.

Equal opportunity needs

Spatial Justice.

Wheelless take turning

for granted, without the need for

explanation, or

negotiation. Just a quick

foot shuffle, head turn;

on the spot, no-brains-cells-needed,

body re-placement.

 

 

 

Posted by Gini, 6 July 2012

Last modified by Gini, 6 July 2012

Having choices = being human

My new skinny-wheeled powerchair doesn't seem to be fussed about getting its controls wet; I'm starting to believe that they might actually be weatherproof. Chunky-chair would splutter and stop if I neglected to wrap the joystick and control panel in plastic protection.

Chunky's wheels however would take rain in their stride, and were never phased by leaves on the road. Not so with the skinny-wheels. That slightly oily surface that glosses city streets on rainy days is a factor to be reckoned with and decomposing leaves a decided hazard.

 

But skinny-wheels' ace is never leaving me stranded. Masses of battery capacity plus the ability to convert to manual gives me a safety-net; security I have not had in almost 15 years.

Play or pass? Who am I today? Slim or chunky? Pumpkin at midnight, or 24/7 party animal? Am I in a rush, or can I take time for a relaxed stroll? Do I want city slick, or the off-road experience?

Working different wheels is far more significant than wearing different shoes; I'm getting choices that would have eluded me mere weeks ago.

If dependence on wheels shapes my personality, am I about to discover whole new sides to the Chairborne Identity?

 

 

Yesterday I forgot

to recharge my battery.

That should mean I'm grounded,

waiting and kicking myself.

Today though I'm out

free; I have a spare

to fall back on. Planning

tomorrow has never been

this easy. The prospect

of spontaneity

rears on it's hind legs

to tantalise and

enchant me.

Posted by Gini, 5 July 2012

Last modified by Gini, 5 July 2012

Earthbowl 4 - Homo Sapiens Sapiens.

This is the last in the series. The timing is deliberate - this is my contingency bowl.

In case time and tide conspired against 'Creating the Spectacle!' In case the event was cancelled; in case the worst case scenario swallowed up the adventure and the underwater wheelchair disappeared into oblivion.

But actually it also makes a rather splendid trophy to present, with a fanfare, to all the successful participants of the most carefully prepared and choreographed adventure - the journey across the Fleet.

Sue and the underwater wheelchair, the undeniable stars of the occasion, were backed up, supported, carried, by the skills, knowledge and talents of dedicated teams all totally inspired by her wild idea and persistent enthusiasm.

Like the legend of history, 'Creating the Spectacle!' had no power over the tide; yet forever undaunted, the team completed their mission and this new legend was fact for a day.

And like the red carnations that bloomed over the water and sailed out on the tide, the story will travel, the myth of the chairborne aquanaut will spread and grow as the journey continues.

Lapping relentlessly against
prejudice and preconceptions,
the tide of enthusiasm
rebrands the stereotype,
the metaphor that presents all
and every disability
as cheat or hero, scrounger or
object of pity. Introducing
Individuals, people with
real lives, real hearts, real connections
that link us all into one world;
one people. The diverse glory
of the human race, Homo Sapiens
Sapiens.

Posted by Gini, 28 June 2012

Last modified by Colin Hambrook, 28 June 2012