Feeling hopeless…

Sometimes I feel beaten down by the constant effort for inclusion.

When you have to ask if your child can be included it means that people have already excluded them. Whether that is intentional or not, it hurts.

The last week or so has been incredibly difficult. Since the day my son faked illness in order to get out of seeing a film at the cinema, despite wanting to see it, just because our city centre doesn’t have any toilets he can use, I have struggled. Really struggled. 

How can this happen? It was some time ago that I had written to the town council and I am still hurt by their response.

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To know for three years that you are excluding people but to do nothing about it is just beyond my polite words.

And that lack of caring is still causing my son to be excluded, to suffer emotionally and to feel that he doesn’t matter.


We struggled this week on a trip to Bristol for an important spinal appointment.

The Changing Places toilet at our carefully planned stop was out of order due to a broken lock on the door, so we had to go off route to find another. This should only have added an extra 40 minutes to our journey but it added an hour as there was no signage anywhere to advertise where to find it. Even once inside the building, there were no signs.


And then I attended the Loo Of The Year Awards!

“Wow!”  I hear you say – yes I do live the high life!

I was invited as a guest of Cornwall Services (according to my son it is a top tourist attraction – simply because of their hoist assisted toilet) and I was very hopeful that they would win.

A little timeline reminder of just how much Cornwall Services value all people.

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I was very excited when the “Space to Change” category was announced as, surely, this kind of customer service should be recognised?

I was beyond disappointed. Not because it didn’t win but because the “winner” should never have been placed in the Space to Change toilet category as it had no hoist! It was incorrectly in the category for something it isn’t and then somebody (my mind fails to comprehend this part) actually judged it to be the best! Did that person know anything about the category???

A Space to Change toilet MUST have a hoist and changing table or it simply isn’t one.

So many campaigners feel so very let down by this.

Not only does it undermine the campaign but there is a facility proudly advertising itself as something which it is not. People may visit because they have seen the facility has a Space to Change toilet and then find that they are unable to use it. Yet it won an award!

Credibility may not matter to the the Loo Of The Year awards team, but it matters to me.

And it matters to my 10 year old son.

Campaigners have been trying to get this issue into the mainstream media but do shows like This Morning really care about issues of inclusion? I don’t think they do.

I came across a chap this week who has barely left his home in 10 years, because he had just the incident in a cinema that my son was so scared of.

And I feel hopeless.

What can I do to make life better? All ideas gratefully received.

 

 

 

 

Keep Calm and Carry On Linking Sunday

25 thoughts on “Feeling hopeless…

  1. Even though I know this is Adam’s reality, and yours, I’m still shocked every time I read about it. The ‘no enthusiasm to offer facilities’ part is just unbelievable. Thank you for continuing to post and share your experiences. I consider myself very fortunate that I don’t have a personal need for these facilities, but we all need to be aware that in the blink of an eye, Adam’s experience could become ours.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. I was hugely hurt by this toilet winning Space to Change loo of the year too. It undermines everything we have been fighting for for our children. I’m sure the organisers did not do that deliberately, but the fact is they did do it and it does undermine our campaign. The damage is done. To tell the hundreds of the people in the room that day that it’s ok to not have a hoist could have potentially devastating effects. I know people think we go on, and perhaps even that we are exaggerating, because they don’t have to go through what we have to. It’s just a dumb toilet award no? But they don’t have to watch their children suffer discrimination and exclusion. And they themselves don’t have to endure what our beloved children put up with. Perhaps if the people at the awards had a child with a disability or they themselves needed a bench and hoist and a toilet in a loo, then they would take more pride in deciding who they hand out praise and sparkly silver awards to. Public perception is everything. And if you are saying something is something it’s not people will get upset. And people like us, who are fighting to get things changed and to get benches and hoists installed, will have yet another hill to climb. The one where venues say – ‘but so and so won Loo of the Year and they don’t have a hoist, so it’s not that important.’ We have to struggle enough. We need organisations like these awards to be on the same page as us. Or stick to what they are good at and just give out awards for cleanliness. Leave the accessibility awards to the experts and please don’t damage our campaign. A campaign that hundreds of people have been fighting hard to establish for a very long time. We’re with you Rachel! xx

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you.

      I felt very emotional reading that. I think about and talk about accessible toilets far more than a person should, but I do it because it is necessary.

      Yesterday I asked if my son could attend a party for disabled children. But the venue doesn’t have accessible toilet facilities and neither does it have a toilet large enough to get a mobile bench and hoist in. So we can’t attend. It would take us 45 minutes to drive to it, so it really isn’t an option.

      Thank you for your support. I feel quite alone in this a lot of the time.x

      Like

  3. What a shame; the point was missed. Maybe they (or someone) could review it and do a future award to recognise the actual requirements…as it’s a big over sight..it wasn’t understood despite your clear description / statement of what’s needed. And the campaign’s. Baffling really. Ditto Liz’s comment. Thank you for making me and others aware of this. I think of Adam/you whenever we are out in the community, using toilets, which means we CAN be there, however tricky that might be for us in other ways. Keep strong and speak as you do for all those thousands who aren’t being heard as they’re not seen due to this failing. Seeing how efficiently Cornwall Services got into gear shows that this is so achievable.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. I don’t know what to say to this.
    I’m not surprised about the award. They generally don’t mean much apart from who paid who the most to pat each other on the back. So it’s not a shocker about the winner.
    But how can the council write they found “no enthusiasm to offer facilities”?
    Before your posts, I assumed that if I saw a disabled toilet, it was suitable for all disabled people. Because it’s stupid if it isn’t.
    So sorry the world is stupid 😦

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you for your support.

      I am stunned at the Loo of the Year Awards and I think you might be right about the lack of meaning with these things.

      As for Truro City Council I am considering my options regarding further action. It is not acceptable for them to knowingly ignore their responsibility to people. They have disabled my son for the last three years now.

      Like

  5. Well done! And I do hope little by little, you’ll get what you hope for your son too. It’s a long trek, but definitely worth it. Hopefully the authorities and establishments will listen soon.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. It is shocking. Made the whole thing meaningless.

      And worse, people will visit because they think there is an accessible hoist assisted toilet and not discover the truth till it is too late.

      Like

  6. That is very disappointing. I hope that the organisers of the award have been made fully aware of how upsetting the choice of winner was and perhaps the winner could be contacted to suggest further improvement of the facility. The UK has a long way to go in terms of inclusion. Even places I work still don’t have fully accessible buildings even though I’m pretty sure it’s the law. I also wonder if there’s a way we could get some bloggers together to make this issue go viral and get it in the news that way – although this may already have been done, excuse my ignorance. #kcacols

    Liked by 1 person

  7. Every time I read your posts my heart breaks a little. Toilet access is something we all take for granted, and should be available to everyone in public places. Keep fighting the fight, and shouting it from the rooftops, eventually you will be heard, and everything you are doing is raising awareness. I wasn’t aware of the issue until I started reading your posts. Thanks so much for linking up at #KCACOLS. Hope you come back again next Sunday X

    Liked by 1 person

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