Friday, 20 May 2011

Gates, Wheels, and a new perspective!

In checking the final details re my flat purchase I discover the impending arrival of 'Gated Access' - a 'poser' feature that insurance might like, but isn't needed.

And? so what?

I've had a proper dose of 'wow my perspective has changed since becoming a wheelie!' I wouldn't have thought twice about it before.


*wails* I don't know if I'll be able to open the gate from wheels!

Part of me thinks 'Oh don't be daft, it'll be fine'.

Part of me thinks 'What if my bendy hands can't open the side gate? what if I can't use the main gate?'

At least I have established that the main gate is electric and in case of electronic failure will stay open. But I still don't know what the trigger/key will be for the main gate.

I plan to get fitter and hope to be able to do 'race for life' or similar next year, so I need to be able to leave the flats in my wheelchair, without my car. But the agent thought the pedestrian gate would be key operated. Urgh. Dislocate-y and uncoordinated hands really don't like the sound of that.

But the agent could be wrong. It may all be OK really.

And I can't go check because they haven't finished installing it.

I can't spend thousands and thousands of pounds on a flat that I will 'probably' be able to get to. Or even a flat I will 'almost certainly' be able to get to.

I've asked the agent to get me the spec. I pray it all turns out to be fine. But I can't sign final papers on hope or a promise.

I am so excited about the flat itself, but now I have to deal with the gate. Part of me is panicking that I won't be able to get the flat after all. Because of a stupid gate. Who would have thought that a gate installed purely to look posh could crush my dreams of independence? Yes, I know It will probably be fine, but until I know for certain I have to live with the fear. I have to plan, research, discover, negotiate and educate. But that method didn't keep me my job, so why should it keep me my flat.

Of course, under the DDA reasonable adjustments must be made and there will be solutions, even cheap solutions to any problems the gate might cause. But I don't believe in the DDA.

I am not an 'equal'. If I can loose my job and health for the want of £300 worth of adaptions in a refurbishment costing 100's of thousands -by a government organisation, why should a relatively small, private company make any allowances at all?

Wobble over. Time to ignore the past and listen only to the assertive, decisive parts of me.
I will find out what they are installing,
I will make sure it is suitable,
I will request adjustments if needed,
I will demand adjustments if requesting fails,
I will make my dream of living independently a reality.


  1. just ask for a second electric gate opener so you can clip it to your wheelchair when you go out!
    No key required

  2. True - but that only works if the main gate operates on a remote electronic gate opener! - Because I don't know what they are using I still can't plan a solution. Sigh! Solicitor is doing some more chasing today.


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