By swan uk member and blogger rachel george - www.ordinaryhopes.com
If you are the manager or chief executive of a major business you might have trouble seeing these pictures.
My son is apparently really hard to see.
I can see him but I have obviously had years to finely tune my senses to spot him.
I will give you a couple of pointers to look for.
1. He is 10 years old.
2. He is pretty cute!
3. He sometimes uses an orange wheelchair with Power Ranger wheels.
4. Sometimes he uses a big blue powered wheelchair.
So far, very few of you have seen him, even when he has been present in your building.
At the cinema, you didn’t see him leave early, missing the end of the film.
At the supermarket, you didn’t see his discomfort as we queued.
At the theatre you didn’t see him struggling to hold on so that he could stay till the end.
In more recent times you didn’t see him because he chose not to come. He asked me if you had a toilet he could use, asked “Why not?” then he chose to stay at home.
Are you one of the places who have been asked to consider becoming properly accessible to disabled people? Asked to consider installing a hoist and bench to make your facilities accessible? Did you dither? Did you make an excuse? Did you think it didn’t matter?
My son isn’t the only one. There are hundreds of thousands of “hidden people” who you just don’t seem able to see.
Can you see him?
How about in these?
You saw him!
Then maybe we can start recognising him?
Maybe even welcoming him?
You might think that your business is accessible.
But without a fully accessible toilet facility we simply can’t.
Can you imagine what it does to a person’s self esteem to be unable to go out for the day or to know they are risking an embarrassing accident?