Everyday Disablism seeks to collect and archive examples of disabling encounters and/or disablist incidents from around the world. We’re talking about situations in the midst of life when people make a problem of us just being who we are, disabled people. These could be personal or institutional and happen anywhere at any time.

In doing so, we hope to build a resource for disabled people to share accounts of our experiences of prejudice, ignorance and downright stupidity within a disabling society. In sharing these stories, we want to make connections with other disabled people who, until now, have been expected to put up with and keep their mouths shut about the little unnecessary indignities that characterise everyday life. The more we talk about these things the better prepared we’ll be to understand and challenge them in future.

It is also hoped that Everyday Disablism will be used by academics and policy-makers to gain insight which will help them continue to remove disabling barriers to inclusive participation of people with impairments in ordinary community life.

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39 Comments on

Pinkie said : Guest Report 4 months ago

It's always when you're least expecting it, when it's the furthest thing from your mind. This afternoon I was walking back into work, heading towards my office, having been at a meeting at City Campus, when this bloke - I don't know who he is, his name or anything, but he's another lecturer - who's coming from the other direction says to me "There you are, ambling along, in no particular hurry." What a fucking cheek. What a stupid thing to say. If I'd had the slightest inkling he was going to come out with something as absurd as that, I'd have like to have had a retort ready like "Yeah, if you had an artificial knee and arthritis in your hip you might amble too. Now fuck off." But I hadn't. As it was I replied "Yeah, why bother?" And I'm left wondering why. I suppose it's about being unprepared. It's about having to make a shift in consciousness from being absorbed in your own thoughts to being aware of yourself as for-another, and not having the time to come up with a decent answer. Still, he's the tosser.

Jack Greenwood said : Guest Report 8 months ago

I try to get around the local park but there was a council pickup on the path, when I asked them to move they said the grass was too wet for them to drive upon I would had to go back the way I came. Minutes before in the same park another van had slightly swerved onto the grass to let me pass. ?

John said : Guest Report one year ago

I was getting out of my car and taking my wheelchair out when a stranger came from behind (why do they always come up at you from behind) and said 'can I give you a hand?'And I said 'with what?', She said 'anything, I thought you might be struggling?'I said, 'do I look like I'm struggling?', At which point I reached down and missed my chair and fell on the floor, at which point another person ran over and together with the first proceeded to gush over me ... Just fuck off everyone!

chris said : Guest Report one year ago

I was walking using crutches down to the beach with my family, when a guy in a convertible sports car with the roof down pulls up beside me and says to me "what's wrong with you", I say, completely taken aback, "err, I have a neurological condition", he says "getting worse?", at which point I just turn off and ignore him. Then he drives off. Thanks for that mate.

carol said : Guest Report one year ago

I get to the front of the taxi rank queue and every cab passing turns off its sign when it sees me and drives past. This can be so obvious that other people in the queue have hidden me until a cab stops or a member of staff at a train station stopped a taxi on my behalf. Or the times when I have approached a rank with several taxis waiting and the drivers have got out their cabs to argue with each other over who should have to take me. Or the lovely "I'll not bother with the ramps I'll just tip you in", "why don't you have handles? How can I tip you back?" My real favourite ones are the cab drivers who manhandle me into their cab then insist on telling me how much more expensive wheelchair accessible cars are, or how unfair it is that they are expected to take wheelchair users for no extra cost. All of this leaves me feeling like a burden not a paying customer.

Christopher said : Guest Report one year ago

Went to drop my son off at the swimming baths, arrived to a busy carpark, one car in front of me and I spot an accessible (disabled) space near the entrance. Yey, I think. Then the car in front goes into it, Boo I think, what's the chance of that, another fucking disabled person! Then I see a very fit looking person with the window down looking a bit sheepish at me as I pull along just behind her, to whom I say, have you got a badge? She says, no, have you? I say, yes. She pulls out and goes to the back of the car park. By the time I get out and go inside the sports centre, I see the same woman, in running gear, stretching with her running mates inside the centre just about to go on a run!

Christopher said : Guest Report one year ago

In the post office today (wheelchair) and as I was going out that woman behind the counter said "do you want me to get the door?" I said "no thanks, it's fine", she said "oh I know, you like to be so independent don't you?"

caroline said : Guest Report one year ago

So yesterday I go to the garage, fill up the car and go to pay. The young man man behind the counter says "you do so well don't you, you got your wheelchair out on your own and everything".

caroline said : Guest Report one year ago

Yesterday I was sitting in my wheelchair in M&S waiting for my daughter to come back from the loo when a woman tried to give me £2 and asked me where my 'box' was to put it in! Clearly the only reason I would be allowed out if my home is to collect for a charity!

chris said : Guest Report one year ago

I was on a hill, pushing my chair into an office doorway when I spied an oldish fella coming up the hill looking at me. Suspecting that he was going to ask me if I wanted a push, I turned my back to him, facing the road. Then yes, when he was near enough to speak, he said 'do you want a push?' coming around my chair to my front, which I avoided, ignored him and further turned my back. He insisted, saying again 'excuse me do you want a push", again I ignored him and offered him my back. Then, he poked me repeatedly on the shoulder, 'do you want a push?'

Fletch said : administrator Report 2 years ago

Any Trump fans out there? http://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2015/nov/26/donald-trump-bigotry-disablism Didn't think so.

Fletch said : Guest Report 2 years ago

Not quite sure how I feel about this: https://www.bvsc.org/news/hmrc-201619-grant-funding-opens-uk HMRC make themselves look nice by providing grant funding to (among other things) help disabled, LD and MH people pay their taxes. How kind of you, HMRC, we're so grateful you care. Discuss.

Kit said : Guest Report 2 years ago

I went to a restaurant with my family and getting in was a step. There was the usual kerfuffle as several staff held open doors for me and looked worried as I was using a wheelchair. I told them to leave it to me as I could do it better without them watching. It was tricky as there were four levels, two different depth mats leading up to a 3 to 4 inch concrete step and then on top of that a 1 inch metal door stop/rain guard - but by wheelieing to get my from wheels over the metal rain guard then grabbing the door frame and pulling myself in. Job done. One the way out I thought I could just wheel off as it's easier going down steps and I didn't think the gradient was too bad, but I caught it wrong and I went flying out of my chair. All the waiters and people outside panicked and ran to help, which I said I didn't want any. Then they said, hurt and a bit shouty, 'just trying to help'. My poor son watching on (10) helpless. Finally got in chair, into car and off. Great evening out.

Lizi Jones said : Guest Report 3 years ago

I had completed a small spot of stand up (sit down) comedy at my local open mic night, and afterwards, made my way to the bar with my crutch and got myself a drink. Two things that happened tonight. I stood next to a woman at the bar and commented about it being a while since I'd had a good drink, to which she replied, 'should you be drinking in your condition?' My response was of course, 'I'm disabled love, not pregnant!' Then a chap (who was, in his defense, quite hammered) walked up and proceeded to congratulate me on a brilliant set. He then stuck his hand out to shake mine, so I simply looked at my drink, and my crutch and back at him. poor soul didn't quite get it, and just sort of wobbled then hand at me, then wandered off a bit offended.

christopher said : Guest Report 3 years ago

I have just had a knock on the door from a delivery man. It always takes me a wee bit of time to get from the seat I'm sitting in, into my wheelchair, and wheel to the door. Often, the delivery man is on his way out as he thinks there is no one in. Today was no different and when I reached the door and opened it, there was nobody there, he had already started walking to the neighbours to try and leave the parcel with them. When he heard the door opening he backtracked and said “oh sorry, I didn't realise you were disabled.” This guy was not using ‘disabled’ as in the social model meaning, i.e. “oh sorry, I didn't realise you were disabled by society”. He meant, “oh sorry, I didn't realise you were hampered, constrained and otherwise unable because you are in a wheelchair”

Christopher Hartworth said : Guest Report 3 years ago

Let's keep this live people ... it is important! I was meeting a friend for lunch at the Northern Stage Cafe in Newcastle and I had arrived early, so I was having a coffee and a think. After a while I needed the toilet, so wheeled into the lift area, busy thinking about the day, seeing my friend and how pretty and engaging the waiter had been. I noticed out of the corner of my eye, a middle aged man about to go up the stairs, next to the lift, which I was approaching. After he had taken two or three steps, he noticed me and came back down the stairs towards me, and as he approached me he said, "let me get that for you", and he walked around me and pressed the lift button, which was directly in front of me about half a metre away. I was astounded and disturbed from my pleasant thoughts of anticipation and experience of the cafe, into a world where abled bodied people offer benevolence to people who are disabled by their actions. Needless to say, I didn't say thank you.

Liz Summerfield said : Guest Report 3 years ago

As a member of my local community council, and also several local arts and/or pressure groups, I attend many meetings at Edinburgh City Chambers. There is a supposedly state-of-the-art (and doubtless expensive) loop system in the Business Suite. It's never working, and there are never any engineers on duty (even during the day) who can fix it. I always alert organisers to the fact I need the loop well in advance of my attendance, and I'm getting fed up not only with lack of access, but with the fact that my money, as a taxpayer, has obviously been wasted if the system doesn't work. The council expects organisations it grant-aids to be fully accessible (as I know from making grant applications), which is another source of annoyance in that it doesn't extend the same service itself. I've delivered Disability Equality Training to Council staff several times (never with a working loop in the training room) and it seems the money it paid me is wasted too - but then, managers are never sent to be trained, and the people who are don't have the authority to make policy changes.

Christopher said : Guest Report 3 years ago

Back in 2012, I wanted to go and see an Olympic football match between Brazil and Paraguay at St James Park, with my family, consisting of a six and eight year old, non disabled woman and me, wheelchair user. On phoning up, they offered me a place in the wheelchair enclosure with a 'carer' and the other two seats would have to be elsewhere. When asking could those other seats be next to those in the 'enclosure', they said no - they could be anywhere in the stadium. So we could not be accommodated as a four unit family. When I protested, they came back at me with, it is because we have to be an accessible venue, that we cannot do this. I phoned up several departments to complain, both at St James Park and the Olympic organisers, but got no joy. It could not be done - a family which included a wheelchair user could not be seated together. Wheelchair users had to be enclosed in the disabled gulag. I wrote to by MP and the Minister responsible for the Olympics. I then received my booking and tickets and we went to see the footy, all together, in the top row just above the fixed seated area, no problem, all happy. This was a monumental event in my 'waking up' and realising the level of oppression of people who have impairments and who are disabled by society.

Maggie said : Guest Report 3 years ago

Emmeline's volunteer experience reminds me of a time when on asking if a video excerpt we were being shown, as part of my diploma in social work training course, was subtitled the tutor replied in the negative but then asked if I wanted to go and get a cup of coffee whilst it was being shown!

Sarah said : Guest Report 3 years ago

I'm dyslexic, and when I was a teenager I had an English teacher who seemed to really struggle with the idea a dyslexic person could (or even should) study English. I loved books and wanted to be a writer, and I used to do really well at English, but suddenly on starting having her as a teacher I started getting nothing but C's (I normally got A's for this subject). She didn't seem to read my work and would just put smiley face stamps and patronising comments like 'Keep Trying Hard!' after my written work, or she'd highlight all the spelling errors and not comment on what I had actually written about, despite regularly being asked not to do this, as I was working on my spelling issues separately, and this sort of thing was unhelpful and incredibly discouraging. I was very upset to be getting a lower grade all of a sudden without getting any indication as to why, or how to improve. I used to sit at the front of the class so it was easier for me to copy stuff and less distracting, but she kept sitting the most disruptive students next to me, and she said she expected my attitude to 'rub off on them', instead I got my text book stolen and used as a hat or throw across the room. So once a week I'd have to wait after class to remind her way I sat where I did, and why this was especially unhelpful to me. Her attitude seemed to be it didn't matter if I was disrupted. Eventually, my mum got so concerned she arranged a meeting with this lady. I came along as well, and I asked why she was giving me lower grades and what I needed to do to improve. My mum said she was worried as I normally did so well, and she was keen to support me. My teacher's response: 'All dyslexics eventually reach a ceiling with English, this is Sarah's ceiling. This is the best she's ever likely to do, which is perfectly okay. Over time she will gradually do worse and worse as she simply doesn't continue to improve past this level.' I was shocked by this response, but she said it so calmly, with a little sympathetic smile that she often used with me, and which I absolutely loathed. She then said she'd heard I was good at acting, and said this was often the way with dyslexics, and said she tried to create opportunities for me to act in class as she felt the rest of the lesson was a waste of my time. By this she meant getting me and another dyslexic boy to read Shakespeare aloud to class (reading aloud archaic language, while the whole class watches, being a dyslexic kids dream experience). He could hardly do this, and she told him off for this as if it were his fault, and I just loved reading a line about Lady Macbeth's breasts to a class mostly composed of teenage boys. She also told us when we asked about extra time in exams that I wouldn't qualify for this or any other support as I 'wasn't dyslexic enough.' and because I coped well. I was once described as the most dyslexic child the person who assessed me for dyslexia had ever met. Luckily, we did not listen to her and I did get extra time in all my exams, so I was actually able to finish them, and with a new teacher who did read my work and who treated me as an individual and not as a word they didn't fully understand, I got A*'s for all my English coursework and an A overall. I even went to University to study English and Creative Writing. At the time I was so used to this sort of thing I took it in my stride, as just another of many hits to my self esteem, now I look back and I am horrified by these sort of experiences. For a long while I was scared of this ceiling she'd told me about, until I graduated, and realised there wasn't one. It was simply something she'd made up because she couldn't be bothered to make the effort to teach, or otherwise meaningfully engage with me, because of my disability. She never took my actual level of ability or any of my other unique attributes into account.

Michelle Keifer said : Guest Report 3 years ago

I have been volunteering for a well established counselling service for over 4 years and during this time I have gained my qualification and gone onto postgraduate study in this area. This allowed me to earn a small amount of money for assessments, I then had to take an extended leave due to my ill health. On retuning to work in this same establishment there had been many changes naturally, but most of all they opened another office with counselling rooms near by but this wasn't accessible so I stayed back in the accessible building. Great where's the problem your probably thinking, well I have been involved with many meetings with this charity and liked the fact that management could see that paid work was something that all qualified counsellors should have access to. Sure enough slowly paid work has started to emerge BUT only at the non-accessible building even the small amount of money I earned doing assessments is now only carried out at the non accessible building and any future paid work will only be available at the non accessible building. The managements thinking is that with the limited money they raise they should only use it for the majority and not the minority this way they are helping as many people as they can with their limited funds! I feel very much ignored and feel that I don't have the same equal opportunities that my no- disabled counter-parts do. Its ok for my to work with high risk clients for free but not to get paid for doing the same work.

Josephine Quick said : Guest Report 3 years ago

I fear my experience of discrimination came from other disabled people because I don't fit into the blind, deaf or wheelchair user box; nor do many of my disabled colleagues. I am "head injured", a form of brain damage resulting from a near fatal car accident, an impairment which is very common in today's car driving society but is often invisible. I joined C Disability Partnership, a local group run by and for disabled people; I was permitted to join because I am partially sighted and walk with a stick. I lead workshops using Augusto Boal's "Theatre of the Oppressed" to address issues which disable; for World Disability Day we staged a performance at an event hosted by C Disability Partnership. After the performance the Partnership Secretary who uses a wheelchair approached two of the performers, one of whom has chronic agoraphobia and the other sever depression, to tell them they were not welcome but should go to the NHS. I had to take both home in a state of acute distress. I subsequently resigned from the Partnership. Several months later I started attending wheelchair basket ball at our local College. The Chair of the Partnership who uses a wheelchair was involved. Some participants were disabled; many were not. I thoroughly enjoyed playing wheel chair basketball, however after a few weeks the Chair of the Partnership told me never to come again.

Christopher said : Guest Report 3 years ago

I was watching my seven year old son trying to limbo underneath a barrier in town. A man approached from my rear and interrupted our play "do you want a push, I don't mind wherever you want" ... I don't have push handles on my chair, I ignore him.

Dee said : Guest Report 3 years ago

Routine blood test at the doctor's surgery where I've been registered for fifteen years. The nurse - half turned away from me - says something, and I ask her to face me so I can lipread her (I'm deaf with speech). She opens her mouth and jabs at it with her finger, then tips her head back and mimes quaffing what appears to be at least a quart. "If you're asking if I've eaten or drunk anything this morning, then no - it says not to on the form I was given" I say, pointing at it. Which would have been an easy thing for her to do too, if she couldn't manage just doing what I requested, and talking to me face to face.

Emmeline said : Guest Report 3 years ago

As I said in a previous post, I'm a wheelchair-user. During the past year-and-a-half or so, I've done periodic voluntary work at an archive in London. Volunteers work in a large open-plan office on the second floor of the building. Just before my third stint at the archive, I was asked if I could arrive one hour early, which I duly did. When I got there I was told that the staff had done an experiment and discovered that it was physically impossible to evacuate a wheelchair-user from the second floor, and that consequently I would be working alone in a room on the first floor, and meeting up with the other volunteers for coffee mid-morning and mid-afternoon. After my stint had finished, I emailed the archive to tell them that in segregating me they were not only acting inequitably, but were also in breach of sections 10 and 19 of the Equality Act 2010. I received a reply saying that in view of this, the archive would now put its volunteers in a room on the first floor. Unfortunately this never happened as the project I was working on ended and my services were no longer required. The cynic in me wonders if there was a connection between me complaining, and my project 'finishing'. In addition, I feel that the way they made no attempt to involve me in seeing whether it was possible to evacuate a wheelchair-user from the second floor was high-handed and inconsiderate. I was also considerably annoyed that, when, in my email to the archive, I complained that I felt segregated, they replied that they 'were sorry I felt segregated', and that that 'was never the intention'. Well, if you send someone to work alone in a room separated from all the other volunteers, then it's hardly surprising that that person feels segregated - owing to the fact that the person is BEING segregated.

Pinkie said : Guest Report 3 years ago

The institution of higher education I go to has just spent I don't know how many hundreds of thousands or millions of pounds refurbishing the ground floor of the main building at one of its campuses. The door to the new shop where students buy sweets and stuff is quite narrow. The first time I saw it, a couple of weeks ago, I went to ask Derek, the bloke who works in the shop, what they thought they were doing creating a space like that, that's probably completely inaccessible to wheelchair users. "Ah, but you're wrong," he said. "We had little David in last week, and he managed to get round it. Mind, you couldn't get one of those big electric chairs in." This is wrong on so many levels. There's the straightforward discrimination involved in creating a space that's inaccessible to anyone in a power chair. There's the discrimination involved in someone being expected to 'manage' to get around. But what stunned me the most was his use of the word 'little'. The David he referred to is the son of a colleague, who had obviously been using his manual wheelchair. But he's nineteen and he's got to be at least five foot ten or eleven. He's not little in any sense of the word. Why would it even occur to Derek to describe him as little? I'm reminded of words Johnny Crescendo wrote in one of his poems: 'Disabled people are allowed to say victim, brave, helpless, special, little, severely, chronically, profoundly, vegetable - but they're not allowed to say 'fuck'. But they do.' The thing is, Crescendo published that poem in 1989. Twenty five years ago. You'd have thought we might have come on since then. But apparently not. I've got a friend who's a teacher who said earlier this week that she's noticed a resurgence of kids at her school telling disablist jokes that she wouldn't have heard three, four or five years ago. What's the connection between these two narratives? (Derek and David are substituted names.)

Christopher said : Guest Report 3 years ago

So today I want to write about displaced disablism, experienced by my partner, a non-disabled woman. Our kids went to a new school and my wife normally does the school run. After a few weeks, I went to pick them up and was duly noted in the playground as a wheelchair user/dad. The next day when my wife went to pick them up, another mam came up to her and put a sympathetic hand on her arm and said "I had no idea ... but you always seem so happy." On a different occasion, one of many, whilst she was out walking our dogs (which I generally walk), someone stopped her and said "he manages so well." The displacement here is twofold: through the experience of my partner, who is experiencing disabled prejudices of the non-disabled as a direct recipient – and although I have not talked deeply about this with her, it must take all her strength not to let it be a weakening experience; and it is displaced because the non-disabled onlookers do not feel able to say those things to me, so they choose to tell them to my partner – they displace their comments about me and my disability to my non-disabled associate - are they too scared to express their prejudices to me for fear of upsetting me? they clearly feel they need to express their pity for the nondisabled woman who has to live with the disabled man. This bothers me much more than experiencing the disablism myself as it is something I have no power or control over, I have no comeback, as I do not know it is happening. Moreover it is happening to someone I love and feel protective over, who is experiencing negativity because of me. However we can laugh at it together thankfully. I dread to think what my children will have to put up with, now or as they get a little bit older.

Christopher said : Guest Report 3 years ago

Wheelchair user ... I get this a lot, being approached when I'm putting my chair into my boot, happened today for the umpteenth time, so here's how it went: car parked behind me with driver in, watches me open boot, put bag in, she sticks her head out and says "you want me to back up for you?", I clearly don't as I'm already busying myself putting stuff in, so I shake my head and say no. I then get out of my chair, and put it into the car. This the driver cannot bear so she gets out of the car and says "can I help you ... Do you want me to close the boot ... My granddaughter's in a wheelchair so I know what it's like." I ignore her, close the boot and drive away. It's like low level noise, the non-disabled gaze, benevolence and charity ... If I challenge it, say help should only be given when asked for, it invariably results in a fight, the non-disabled get very upset as 'I was only trying to help', I even made somebody cry once, when I was calmly challenging her about helping. So now I ignore them.

Rebecca Key said : Guest Report 3 years ago

There are so many! These are examples when using my walking stick: In a hotel lift (going to press the button) 'Hey, let me get that for you- You're looking a bit HANDICAPPED there' At any time, out of the blue - 'What happened to you?' 'What happened to your leg?' In an airport, member of the floor staff: 'Shall I give you a fireman's lift??' In wheelchair: In a disabled queue at the airport fast tracking to the check-in desk someone at the front of the non-disabled queue:'I bet she's not even disabled' A nice walk along the beach, partner pushing me in my chair and our little neice was sitting sort of on my lap. A man with his teenage son stopped us, tapped me on the arm and said, (with the head-to-one-side -sympathy-simper) bending over so right in my face: 'Awww. Is this hubby?' Me (confused): 'Errrr ..sort of' "And is this your little one?' Us: No, she's our neice "Awwwwww. (nodding) So. Will you get better?' Me: Errr....No..... "Ah well, nevermind (patting me on the arm) GOOD LUCK" And off he went, with his son who also, nodded with the obligitory Head To One Side Sympathy Simper (HTOSSS), feeling like they had done a very nice thing indeed. From my perspective, I was so surprised, confused and upset by the intrusion, it played on my mind and pretty much ruined what had and could have been, a really lovely day.

Keith Armstrong said : Guest Report 3 years ago

A supportive song that deals with Everyday Disablism Elaine Kolb – A Crip Can Be Hip https://soundcloud.com/user8580052/elaine-kolb-a-crip-can-be-hip and a photo https://www.flickr.com/photos/ruhuman/14119180655/

Colin said : Guest Report 3 years ago

I went to see my GP about concerns of having been on Lithium for several years. I explained that my fears of being on the drug long-term with no clear advice of what the future impact might be were informed by the fact my mother had died as a consequence of long-term use of anti-psychotics/ major tranquilizers. The doctor responded by saying: “If the medication hadn’t have killed your mother, the schizophrenia would have resulted in her death.” She had no proof for what she believed and simply reiterated what the psychiatrist had said: “that I needed to be on the medication for the rest of my life.” I did my own research into Lithium, which is known to have adverse effects. There are many records of people ending up on dialysis treatment due to the drugs impact on the kidneys. I stopped taking the drug and never went back to the GP. My mother was one of a generation of people who were part of the early experiment in what were then called Major Tranquilizers. These days the psychiatric profession draws attention away from the fact that these drugs ‘work’ by blowing your brains out: they refer to them as anti-psychotics – as if they were a magic cure-all for the so-called ‘chemical imbalance in the brain’ – a toe-rag of an excuse for the fact that aside from some inkling of the neurotransmitters that send messages between synapses in the brain, they simply don’t know how the drugs work. Mum was on a large dose of Largactyl. Tardive dyskinesia (involuntary shaking) had kicked in as a result. The drug is also known to cause Neutropenia where the body stops producing white blood cells, thus having a profound effect on the immune system. As a result she was unable to move for long periods and was subject to constant shakes. For 2 years I wrote letters and made phone calls to get to see her psychiatrist. When I eventually got to see him, he greeted me by saying: “I’ve 400 patients in my care. What makes you so important that you think you’ve a right to take up my time.” I explained that the high dosage was having a detrimental effect on mums’ physical health. His response was to take her off all medication and to refuse any further support from psychiatric services. As he well knew would happen she had a massive withdrawal and increase of psychotic symptoms. After another period in hospital under section she was back on the same level of medication. She died a year later of a sudden cardiac death caused by a coronary artery atheroma. In his book Mad In America journalist Robert Whitaker describes the sudden withdrawal of antipsychotics as being like driving at top speed with the brakes on – and then suddenly taking the foot off the brake. The dopamine neurotransmitters that the drugs prevent from being produced are suddenly sent into overdrive, causing psychosis. Just because you’re paranoid, doesn’t mean that they’re not out to get you!

Pauline Heath said : Guest Report 3 years ago

being dyslexia you don't get your needs meet by the job centre an lot people don't find out still adults there no help for them find way to cope with it! they don't help with filling form! if you are lucky to get work they now cutting access to work

Maureen said : Guest Report 3 years ago

A couple of years ago I was at the private view party of an Art Fair in Surrey. There were glasses of wine and refreshments on sale and I went up to the counter to buy one. I asked the waiter for my drink and offered him the money. He then seemed to panic and kept asking if there was anyone with me. He was looking over my head and around me - looking everywhere except at me. It was a curious experience - as though I was made invisible by virtue of being in a wheelchair! It wasn't until someone intervened on my behalf and explained that I was perfectly capable of buying my own drinks that I was eventually served. I am certainly quite old enough to buy drinks and certainly large enough not to be easily missed by the way!

Maggie said : Guest Report 3 years ago

A while back I explained to a receptionist I was deaf and asked her if she could look directly at me and repeat the directions she had just given me to get to a meeting room. She then turned and spoke directly to my colleague. It seemed like I had suddenly become the invisible woman!

Fran said : Guest Report 3 years ago

I have just got off the phone to [the Go North East] customer care line after a driver refused me on the 21 bus at Durham Road because I am wheelchair user. There was one buggy on the bus and space for me to travel, however he decided he wanted to tell me 'I had no right' to be on the bus. I asked if the space (there was ample as there are two spaces one for buggies and one for wheelchair users) was his concern if he would ask for the buggy to be folded down, he refused and carried on about how I had no right to be on the bus over the buggy user, however not only did he refuse to ask if the buggy could be folded down or move to the space opposite (I was outside of the bus) but there was plenty of space. Therefore he either did not understand the rules regarding space or did not want me on the bus full stop. Either way he was rude, had a bad attitude and embarrassed me in front of my employees. I was told that I can not receive any feedback on how this would be addressed. Whilst I would never expect confidential employee information to be shared, I would expect a document that outlines training and standards for drivers, but I was told there was nothing that could be sent to me, to follow up this upsetting experience. If any other sector failed in this way, there would be assurances or follow up they could offer their customer, I can't understand why this would be different for Go North East. I have worked in sustainable travel for four years and personally advocate for Disabled people to use public transport and the streets, after this experience I am disappointed in both the drivers disabling attitude and customer services capacity to offer me resolution or reassurance as a customer.

Colin said : Guest Report 3 years ago

It was my first job after I got my degree from Brighton Polytechnic. I was working just outside Slough as a residential social worker with young people labelled as having learning difficulties and challenging behaviour. Quite often I'd answer the front door to workmen. "Can I speak to a member of staff, please?" they'd ask. "I am a member of staff. You can speak to me," I'd reply. "Well..." I'd see the doubt working it's way through their minds. "Well, can I speak to one of the nice ladies, please?" they'd finally come out with. Tossers.

Emma said : Guest Report 3 years ago

My son has a statement of 'special educational needs'. I have spent all of his school life watching him be labelled as somebody with a 'statement of special educational needs', being told to be proud when he achieves the indicators that say he is 'progressing' and being expected to say how well he has done... given his difficulties. Always a caveat. Always having to accept a label. Never enough to just be him? My son likes loud (very loud) rock music, he likes to laugh 'til he cries at the randomness of life, of his sisters, of his friends, of himself. He hates spiders, loves dogs, loves loud rock music and the xbox. The statements say he is a happy boy who gets on well with peers, has a good family relationship and has a good sense of humour but can't do maths and struggles with an 'un-identifiable' special need. The teachers who know him know where he needs a bit of extra time to work out the story, the issue, the way to write things. The one's that don't say, well given his needs he does quite well. What kind of reference is that for the rest of his life?

Emmeline Burdett said : Guest Report 3 years ago

I'm a wheelchair-user, and it seems that the problems I encounter often stem from an assumption that I am permanently in need of help. This seems to cloud the 'helpful' person's judgment to the extent that he or she enters autopilot mode, insistently doing things which he or she believes are helpful. For example, a few days ago, I went into a branch of Marks and Spencer at Victoria Station in London. No sooner had I entered the shop than an M&S employee came up and said to me 'Just let me know if you need any help'. This was fine, and it was nice of him to say it. If only he had left it at that! In the event, when I tried to look around the shop, the employee in question hurried after me, calling 'Are you going to pay now?'. I replied (none too gently) 'No - I'm just looking around the shop - IS THAT OK???'. He continued to hover behind me, so in the end I decided that I would go and pay, to enable me to get out of there as soon as possible. He again asked me if I was going to pay, to which I replied in the affirmative. I went to join the queue, but he said 'You won't be able to get through there - it's too narrow. Use the till at the back', whereupon he grabbed the push-handles of my wheelchair and pushed me towards the till at the back of the shop. I duly paid and left. What annoyed me about this was the way he was presumably following either an impulse or an instruction designed to make disabled people feel welcome in the shop, but he overdid it to such a degree that his treatment of me was extremely insensitive. He was so fixated on being 'helpful' that it seems he forgot that I was sentient, or even, quite frankly, real.

kaz said : Guest Report 3 years ago

This is my most recent encounter of disablism: Apologies for this long status, but I'm sure my disabled friends will get this. I was refused on the bus this morning because a buggy was on, the person with the buggy looked as though they were willing to get off, until the driver said they didn't have to. When I said can you tell them to fold it or give them a ticket to carry on the next bus the driver refused as he said he didn't have to do that. I mentioned the sign which says the space MUST be vacated for use by a wheelchair by law, then was quoted this by another passenger "I'm all for equal opportunities, but this is ridiculous, you are holding up a bus full of people" then she misquoted the sign saying "its or buggies" which is not true. To provide some context here I was part of the decision and training on the signs all those years ago ( I made a film about it when I was 15). I can honestly say that I had an out of body experience of wanting to get out my wheelchair and get on the bus and shout expletives (having a chip the monkey moment - Adele and Laurence Clark will get this). Keep reading it gets more interesting: I said to the driver you are not letting me on your bus? He said "yeah" I said that's fine give me your driver number. The driver refused this instead quoting the bus number (again making me feel like an idiot). At this point it has become more than being denied access to a bus. Again by law if a passenger requests the driver number it has to given. This back and forth exchange went on for a a while, and other passengers starting getting involved. One passenger came down to the door saying "I'm not being fucking late for my work because of you" I said well I'm late for my work, to which he replied with a scouring look " your not going to your fucking work". Context here again- people making assumptions about me, that I don't work or that I'm less important than them. The driver then proceeds to say "you can get another bus". It was at this point that enough was enough and I put my foot on the bus preventing the door closing (probably not my smartest move but I had a pair of handle cuffs I'd have hand cuffed myself to the bus, even if they are only toy ones). The driver then has a radio conversation with the operator, which I cannot hear although I do hear the words "being aggressive". This is the bit that made me write this today. I said to the driver "so standing up for yourself is aggressive?". To my friends I just want to say I'm not normally a confrontational person, but I felt that everything that I was saying was being manipulated to look like I had a chop on my shoulder or learning disability, and that the spaces are given as a generosity rather than an act of equality and rights, and people are only willing to acknowledge them as long as it doesn't inconvenience them. The breakthrough came to the driver when I said "don't worry, everything is recorded". To which at this point he still denied - all buses have recording devices. Complaint logged with Lothian buses, watch this space: