I wish I had studied the law.
If I had known the direction my life would take I would definitely have studied law.
As it is, I am floundering in a world which subtly excludes my family.
For example, I know that direct discrimination is where a person is treated less favourably, because of a disability, than someone who does not have that disability would be treated in the same circumstance.
I know that organisations have an “anticipatory duty”, which means that they should be constantly looking ahead. They should not wait till they are told that a disabled person cannot use their services before making changes.
I know that The Equality Act exists and protects disabled people should discrimination occur.
I know that service providers must make “reasonable adjustments” for a disabled person if they would otherwise be at a substantial disadvantage compared with non-disabled people.
I know that making reasonable adjustments includes providing special equipment.
But this is where it gets a bit confusing.
What is considered a reasonable adjustment?
Personally, I think that needing the toilet is a really important matter for us all.
I think that not having the necessary facilities needed to use the toilet when out puts those with disabilities at a substantial disadvantage.
My son is 10 years old and he certainly feels disadvantaged by a lack of properly accessible toilet facilities with a ceiling hoist and changing bench.
I have been writing to local councils and have had this response back from Truro City Council.
I know that they mean this nicely, but I read that they have known for three years that my son and many others are effectively excluded from the city centre. If you cannot use the toilet, you cannot stay all day.
And they know this.
I recently read a news article which said that Truro has 43 coffee shops.
Yet not one place where people who need a hoist or changing bench can use the toilet.
Is that reasonable?