Keeping Us Out.

How badly do some places want to keep disabled people out?
How much will they spend to do so?
Will it be more than it would cost to just enable us to come in?

These are the questions currently going through my mind.

My son is eleven years old and a full time wheelchair user.
His wheelchair enables him.
He is, however, often entirely disabled by facilities.

It is no secret that I am exploring the option of legal action to ensure that my son has equal access to everyday life. We have a couple of cases currently in progress and I admit to feeling scared to go ahead.

But I am not scared of the process, and I am not afraid of losing. We have an experienced legal team who would not go ahead unless they were confident.

I am scared because these places might just be prepared to spend more money in court defending their choice to not improve access than it would have ever cost them to simply improve it.

How awful would that be?

The Equality Act states that there is a duty to make reasonable adjustments if a person is placed at a substantial disadvantage because of disability compared to non-disabled people or people who don’t share that same disability. “Substantial” is defined as being “more than minor or trivial”.

When my disabled son cannot go to the same places as his brother, simply due to facilities, or when he cannot stay all day like his brother can, he feels that he is at a substantial disadvantage.

Equality should matter to us all.

What kind of society do we have when big businesses are prepared to battle in court to not make simple changes which would enable access for future generations of disabled people?

Would I ever want to take my son to those places which would rather spend their money keeping him out than welcoming him in?

I am scared that I might see just how badly these places don’t want to enable disabled people to have full access.

And that is truly scary.

Children should not be scared to go out.
Nobody should.
But unless we challenge things, nothing will ever change.

So I will face my fears in the hope that future generations will not have to.


13 thoughts on “Keeping Us Out.

  1. Your concerns are (in my limited experience) well founded. Our concerns and fears are the weapon most often used against. May the gods of justice be with you.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. You totally rock! My biggest fear is they assume they can do it because they assume we’re too downtrodden to fight back.

    Well done for finding an awesome legal team who are prepared to take a risk for what’s right.


  3. Good luck with your fight. It is beyond belief that companies would spend more on legal representation than it would cost to upgrade their facilities.


  4. I think disabled access and facilities have come on in leaps and bounds in the last 20 years or so, but it’s still not good enough. Large businesses especially need to lead the way in this I think. It’s easier to build good facilities and good practice into buildings during the planning stage, rather than retrofit them. Good luck with your fight!

    PS. I stayed at a hotel a couple of weeks ago where you had to climb a flight of steps to get in and there was no lift to the bedrooms, so stairs again. No mention of the lack of access on their website. I was shocked!


    1. A few years ago we booked a wheelchair accessible room in a Travelodge in Manchester so that we could attend a hospital appointment. We arrived late in the evening to discover that the “accessible room” was upstairs and they had no lift.

      Fortunately, we had the manual wheelchair with us and my son was small enough to carry so I carried him upstairs and someone else carried the chair. That would not be an option now.

      Yet the Equality Act fails us because it does nothing unless we mount a potentially expensive legal challenge. And if we challenged every time he endured less favourable treatment due to disability we would be doing little else all day than dealing with legal cases!

      But we are going to take on any where my son is really suffering. Two cases are currently in progress!


  5. Oh Rachel I can’t believe the fights you have to go through to get the access your son so rightly deserves. It is shocking that places are so inaccessible for him. Sending you both lots of love and best wishes for your legal battle.

    Liked by 1 person

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