Saturday, 7 May 2011

Attitudes More Suited To 100 Years Ago - Is It Due To The 'Official Stance'?

 Cross posted with kind permission from CrimsonCrip

I’ve been a bit quiet online this week, partly because I’ve been ‘licking’my wounds’, as I faced the worst and most blatant disablism ever personally targeted at me.

I’ve been trying to buy a new flat, I thought it would be my dream home. Adapted apart from needing a ramp, I didn’t see too much difficulty. I needed the permission of the other residents, as a group they hold the freehold. I had contact with the chairman of the group, he claimed the attitude was that of the committee, something I can’t confirm. First they are reluctant to allow me any kind of ramp, and are generally difficult.

This week they had a meeting and I rang to see what the conclusion was. I was told I couldn’t have a fixed ramp, even though I agreed to have it removed if I sell the property, I was told I could have a temporary ramp, and would be expected to move it when not in use. I was then told they knew this wasn’t suitable for me. I was also told I would not be allowed to lower the pavement, and it was repeatedly said there was no support for what he called my predicament.

This person then took it upon himself to discuss what he saw as the unsuitability of my choices. He couldn’t understand why I had chosen something appropriate, when I said it was he disagreed, because with no ramp I couldn’t access it. He then said that they were like a family, and I wouldn’t fit in, so would be lonely. Next he suggested it might be better if I lived in the local sheltered housing, with what he called my own kind, When challenged as to whether his attitude was due to my disability, he didn’t deny it, but said I was putting words in his mouth. My assertion that it wasn’t his decision where I lived, he said as chairman who lived there was his business.

To directly challenge his opinion to save my flat would take too long, both for me, I need a home, and the seller who needs to sell. I have made her aware of his attitude, it has cost her a sale. What I will do in regard to him I haven’t decided, but have worked this week to make sure all options are open to me.
It did make me question though, is he just of a type that thinks disabled people have a place, but only out of the mainstream, or is it a sign that the Gov/media campaign is taking hold? Will it be that soon the only ‘right’ place for us with be the modern equivelant of the workhouse? I feel that this situation is proof positive our rights to ‘normality’ are slipping, and we must fight like never before to halt the slide.


Joliebella said...

I am so sorry - my heart goes out to you. I think you are correct in your thoughts that the current gov/media assault on the disabled means that people of prejudice who have in recent years been more careful, if not more thoughtful about 'the predicament'of the disabled now feel they don't have to even try to be respectful or helpful. Meanwhile there are still Acts of Parliament in place which can be used to challenge this disgusting behaviour - albeit if common humanity were to prevail it would not be necessary in the first place! I do hope you find yourself a more welcoming home very soon

Yell in the Dark said...

Contact the Equality and Human Rights Commission first - this is illegal. It is also increasingly common as the media are trying to demonise the disabled.

Irishmist said...

I'm totally appalled. When my son bought his flat, luckily the other residents were helpful and welcoming, and he was able to get a proper fixed ramp put in place. In fact, other people have found the ramp useful in all kinds of ways. Apart from the maybe not wanting to live near to people like this man anyway, I think he needs showing up for what he is. I know it means sacrificing some of your privacy, but do you feel able to contact the local press about this? Otherwise, I hope the place you eventually find to buy will be tons better in every way!

Baskers said...

I see someone has already suggested that you contact the EHRC.

Please, please, please contact the EHRC, This is what they are there for. You should *not* have to deal with "situations" such as the one you describe above, alone.

I'm truly shocked that something like this has happened in this day and age. I thought that as a society we had matured past this level of ignorance and discrimination :-(

Anonymous said...

I am not surprised about this man's attitude and I am not sure it is just about his attitude to disability. Many people have bigoted views. We did a survey about housing needs. I saw feedback saying 'council housing should be built next the factories where those people work', and 'we don't want those sort of people here', type comments. The survey did not mention council housing only affordable housing gor local people & young people.
The rhetoric against the poor, young men, women, people with disabilities, benefit claimants , immigrants,moslems etc is not just a government thing it is a nasty human thing that we all need to look at so we can all keep it in firm check