Tuesday, 15 May 2012

Disability Fair, 9th May

Oxford Disability Fair was fun.

I reckon I had the happiest stall. Certainly the brightest and most colourful. Probably the most immature.

I got to speak to quite a few disability related organisations, and got some wonderful feedback. It seems that there are lots of people who like my sense of humour and my stickmen were much loved. Plus, of course, I got to tell people about the amazing-ness of the HMSA and Whizz-Kidz.

Not all feedback was positive. One lady thought the communication card about hearing impairment (Here) was insulting and implied that people with impaired hearing couldn't do anything.....which struck me as a very odd interpretation. If people think that is the message it conveys, please tell me so I can adjust it! If it was just a random strange misunderstanding I'll leave it as it is.

I informed the photographer from the Oxford Mail that I was a genius and needed photographing for the front page. I didn't make the front page, but I did make it into the paper. I totally wasn't with it when the journalist called the next day - but hey, they managed to make a decent article.

Well, relatively. I had my wheelchair sign "The Sky is my Limit" on my chair, and the article was titled: "Visitors told there's no limits for disabled" - which mildly annoys me. I do have limits, but that doesn't mean I can't fly. But hey, it's not bad for an article written after interviewing me when I could scarcely string a sentence together. (Sorry Mr. Journalist for being very dull on the phone. Hopefully if we speak again I will be more awake.)

As an event it wasn't brilliantly attended - although there was a lovely atmosphere. I suspect this may be because the location was....interesting. Personally, if running a disability event, onsite parking would be a top priority. As would level access without needing to press a button to call someone to open the coded door. As would big signs showing where the lift was. But there we go, as the first event of it's type for some time it was always going to be a learning experience for the organisers.

I appreciated the quiet patches though. It gave me the chance to lie on the floor and rest periodically. Even wearing my cooling vest I'm not sure I'd have got through it otherwise. This amused the stallholders opposite (OMEGA  - a local ME/CFS support group, really lovely people) who got to talk to my boots instead of my face. They worked on a shift system so none of them did too much - I may try that next time. And they loved my Communication Cards. Which of course means that they must be intelligent people with an excellent sense of humour.

I only resorted to Communication Card usage once all day, although by the time I got home speaking was not an option.

My energy was still missing on Thursday, but I'd had fun and I'm sure I'll do it again.


  1. I know I'm not hearing impaired so maybe I have a different view but the communication card only seems to say there is one thing the hearing impaired, can't do - respond to verbal questions. I don't think it's you, I suspect it may be them! Lol.

    Your stall definitely looks colourful. How much do you charge for appearances?

    Arwedd xx

  2. Thanks :D
    It depends on the event and location - email me if you want something more specific :D


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