Monday, 17 September 2012

A day off spent reading and writing



'Little Princess on wheels', by Susie Mallett, Summer 2012



Blogging and bloggers

All about adults on wheels

There are a few blogs that I read regularly, sometimes I mention them here. One that often gets a mention is dean’s stroke musings

There, amongst many interesting links, you will find another recent posting from the saga of learning to ride a bike, post-stroke –


Another blog that I enjoy very much and read regularly is Lawyer on Wheels, from the desk of R. Strzalkowski, Esq.

I have just read this –


As I was reading I was wondering about how it is possible to make people more aware of the associated problems that come with motor disability. Problems that could be described as little things, but as they happen daily are actually big important things.

Like wanting to arrive somewhere well-dressed only to find that the wheels of the wheelchair have left black smudges on the sleeves of a newly, carefully, strenuously, crisply-ironed white shirt, the overcoat having been removed as it was much too hot!

Then there are the many situations, as the lawyer-on-wheels described, like arriving hot and sweaty after a long uphill, or, just as bad, a downhill ride. And then there is the arrival made soaking wet as it began to pour with rain half way along the route.

I have experienced this all while accompanying wheelchair users and to some extent I have experienced them myself as a cyclist without a car. But I do not have a motor disorder I can quickly find a spot to change when I get at my destination. Most wheelchair users would need another extra hour added to an already long journey to do this.

Yes, awareness is improving in some respects. Children attend mainstream schools where some have school assistants, and public transport is more accessible, theatres and cinemas too. Even most buses now have ramps, but not all buildings have automatic doors, and phew are some of them heavy to open, and still not all pavements are lowered at junctions meaning long detours need to be made. Using a manual wheelchair really is very hard work.

Having a manual wheelchair however, often makes it easier to access buildings and transport, they are smaller and it is easier for someone to help if necessary to maneuver it. The alternative, a heavy bulky motorized wheelchair would take the sweat out of the journey but at the end of it you may not get in the lift or through the doors.

I know many people who opt for the hard work so that they can still have greater accessibility. I admire their determination but I also wish, again as the Lawyer on Wheels puts it, that people would take just a little bit more notice of how these wheelchair-users actually ‘get there’ when they attend functions, parties, the cinema, etc.

The offer of a lift on a humid or rainy day would, I am sure, be most welcome.

R. Strzalkowski, Esq., our lawyer on wheels, please keep the brilliant posts flowing!

I look forward to the twice weekly installments about life as a lawyer on wheels, just as much as I look forward to receiving my Guardian Weekly newspaper and reading its Nature Watch.