Tuesday, October 14, 2008


Half of the automating work on my bedroom door has now been done - thanks to intervention from: The Girl, the disability support team at the Equality Service, the Equal Opps Officer for the School of Sociology and Social Policy, the Director of Estates, and the head of the Disability Studies course (who also happens to be my personal tutor). Apparently the motto is something like 'when all else fails, get in with the top people'.

So I am now able to kick my door open without injury, and on Friday I'm promised it will be fully automated. We shall see, of course, but right now I'm just happy to have injury-free entrance and exit to my own home.

As I said thanks to the Accommodation Services woman for (*finally*) arranging this, I heard myself apologise for being 'difficult'. Oh God. Someone please have me shot - I'm a really, really terrible example of a disability rights activist. (But seriously, how do you thank someone for arranging something about which you've been really quite forceful, while acknowledging both their hard work and your inconvenience, without either backing off from your original strong position or sounding ungrateful? Best answer wins the last gingerbread person from a lovely little homemade batch that my PA brought me the other day.)

Monday, October 13, 2008

More Glorious Weeks

It could perhaps be seen as a bit ironic that this week I'm reading up for a seminar on 'disability as social oppression'. Hmm...

The access nightmares here continue. I discover more and more that they are ticking the boxes for access, but don't always have what they promise. Last week I disclocated my wrist opening my bedroom door, which I have been complaining about for the past four weeks since I moved in - it's supposed to be being made automatic, but they're dragging their feet on technicalities. Meanwhile, I've been trying to get union lifts fixed, working on sorting out some fairly major PA problems, and attempting to persuade the police that the long row of cars *entirely* blocking the pavement (and therefore my access) to my own house is an issue that they need to do something about. No one is very interested in any of these, or any of the other dozens of DDA-flouting barriers I keep running into. Latest development on the nasty door: two security men come around to see if "the rodent" - my hamster - has been removed. It has. They are satisfied and make as if to leave. I say as politely as possible, "Are you able to tell me if there has been any progress on the door?" Apparently it is now 'out of their hands' and been sent on to be dealt with by a higher authority of some kind. Have I been informed about this? When The Girl rings Accommodation Services about it, do they know anything about this development? I expect you can work out the answer to both those questions. TG is currently working out who the registrar at my university is - she's going to make a high-level complaint. Looking forward to it. Not particularly hopeful though.

[insert three-hour-long break here]

I was going to write a paragraph on my reading into social oppression and disability, but I've just come back from a lecture *on disability in film* which was completely wheelchair-inaccessible, and I can't quite deal with the theory while there's so much practical crap going on with it. Maybe tomorrow you'll be lucky enough to hear about why Paul Abberley thinks it's important to consider issues of impairment which is created by society, just as much as the social construction of disability. (Pray that you are not.)