Thursday, 24 February 2011
Big Pawed Bear's Blog: Thoughts From The Den #TBofBTT
Now, you might ask why I use the image of a bear in my Twitter account (@BigPawedBear) and on my MSN Messenger picture.
I am a writer, work with horses, and help others if I can through use of the internet. I have also been active in the disability rights movement, helped by the Broken of Britain. Oh yes, I am blind too, I almost forgot that - well, actually, that's not true.
Every day I come across things which remind me of my blindness, from the computer I use, to the fact I can't get cash out of a cash point without help. "But why the bear?" you ask. Well, a bear, let's study this in more depth.
Is s bear cute, cuddly and gentle? Well yes they are, even wild bears are that. I am watching wild bears live on the net, as it were. More accurately, I'm reading text descriptions of what the wild bears are up to, as pictures are inaccessible to me.
Yes, bears are gentle to their own and to others too, if you get to know them, but anger them and disrespect their place and space, they become angry and are raging furies that you wouldn't want to meet. This is what the government are finding with the disabled community at the moment.
Disabled people have been seen by government for so long as meek, passive people, whose lives they can do with as they wish. This government has seen fit to treat them without respect by withdrawing benefits from them without meaningful consultation on what that withdrawal would mean for them.
For example, he government thought that the cut of high rate mobility component of the disability living allowance to those in residential care was an easy cut to make - how wrong they were. Stories have emerged of how those with disabilities use their mobility component of DLA to aid them in their daily lives, and how this cut will impoverish those in residential care.
As a blind person, recently eligible for the higher rate of mobility component, I feel strongly about this because I know now from personal experience how valuable that help will be when I get it. DLA is a small amount of money when compared to the costs of disability, but it gives disabled people the independence this government are supposedly committed to on one hand, while seemingly wishing to deny independence with the other.
This bear is fighting with all four paws and a roar to protect not only his own benefits, but the benefits of those who have no voice. Please read the ProjV hash tag on twitter to find out what people use their DLA for. In this wau, able-bodied people might get an insight into what disabled people's lives are like, and how DLA, though it might seem a lot of money, really isn't when coping with a disability.
Next time, I will blog about blindness and the costs involved. Paws up!
Big Pawed Bear