Friday, 30 March 2012

Disability Rights

There was a long queue at the post office today. My comfortable chair a definite advantage over the almost-certainly achy legs of those in front. There may possibly have been a hint of smugness in my smile as I wheeled up.

The lady at the front of the line gestured towards me saying "Join the queue infront of me" - I turned round, looking for someone behind me with obvious difficulty standing/walking. There was no-one there.

"Me?" I said in surprise. "But I've got my seat, so I'm totally fine." I didn't take her up on her offer. My seat gave me an advantage over everyone else there. 

She was trying to be nice, so I wasn't offended - just rather amused at her slightly odd perception that sitting in a customised chair in a queue was somehow intolerable when compared to standing.

As she left after being served, she said to me "More rights for the disabled."
Disability Rights. 

If Disability Rights mean 'the right to demand totally unneccesary priviliges at the expense of other peoples rights' or 'the right to have your disability pointed out unecesarily' then I want nothing to do with them.

Actually, then and there, the only right I wanted was to be a person amongst people in the post office queue. An indivdual amongst individuals sending parcels. Although if recognised as Hannah Ensor I'd have been happy to be 'That author who does the stickmen'.

Disability Rights.

The right to be me. The right to ask for a sensible, practical, alternate solution should the need arise, and the right for that request to be treated with respect, common sense and a total lack of sensationalism. But most of all, the right to be just another person, going about my business.

Those are the Rights I want more of.

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