Disabled Access

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PaddyFrog
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Disabled Access

Post by PaddyFrog »

I do not want people to feel that what I say is critical of any posts on this forum!

But anyone or their partners who are dealing daily with a disability are done an unintentional dis-service by able bodied persons.

Being a Grand Malade myself able bodied people have a completely different perspective on daily life to disabled persons or our partners.

Before Anne and I go anywhere it is like a Military operation!

I must make sure I have not only that period medication (midi etc) but in case of a problem with me/the car/train/ plane.
that I have two days on my person:

With the associated bandages/plasters/ creams/ Betadin.

When we go away by Plane my cabin luggage is full of various types of medication.

Restaurants ( Toilets must be street level no stairs, parking outside)

Bars must have seats that take our weight as we use them and the tables to get up and down.

Ville's and Villages, Street's must be flat without uneven pavements or high kerbs,no acute angles.

Public buildings must be easy to access without heavy doors and lifts to all floors.

Museums/ Theatres must have lift access to all floors with the associated Toilets and Museums must have Wheelchairs available, If not I cannot chance it.

Parking. We must be able to park without some selfish person parking tightly behind so that a wheelchair uses cannot easily open the boot.
We must be able to open the doors wide to allow us to slide in or out easily.

! it is so demeaning explaining every time to non French that we have priority and are not pushing in.

Stores where guys or women's clothing is on the upper floor with the only access being stairs, how do you buy a present for Christmas/ Birthday/anniversary, or even look for your own clothes.

Handicapped Toilets/ Parking are for our use, not yours even though " you you are only using my facilities for a minute" I cannot use them when you are there, my needs are greater than yours.

The Seats on Buses Trains reserved for Handicapped persons
are reserved for a reason.

Associations that arrange trips, never think of the walking involved/ steps to navigate/ lack of seating because we cannot walk and stand the distances that able bodied persons can.

Airports where at a moments notice they close the moving walkway without supplying wheelchairs.( Stansted and Dublin are very bad for this)

Immigration where you have to stand for maybe 10mins + without any seating available.

The next time you go out, Look at the Heavy Doors/ Parking/ Kerbs/ Pavements/Toilets/ Boxes in Aisles/ motor bikes/ push Bikes chained in Handicapped parking spaces.

People who are Handicapped have a different perspective on what constitutes a good or a bad town.

Manchester which I love does not have seating within the Main shopping areas, but they loan electric wheelchairs which allows you to get around all the city ( So do a lot of other cities except London).

Certain French/Spanish Hypermarkets also offer them.

And Remember I do not look Handicapped, whatever that means!!!!

France is better than the UK but it still has a long way to go!

Michael
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Roger O
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Post by Roger O »

Michael, just for the airport/airline side:
All airports are required by law to cater for any disablement which allows a passenger to fly with a permanent medical card or doctor's certificate!

There are several categories of recognised disablement which entitle you to the use of manually assisted (by airport personnel) wheelchairs, priority "pre-boarding" ahead of other passengers and special allocated seating. Types of disablement (carrying their own reservation codes) include "sitting" case, "wheelchair" case, "Stretcher" case etc. and each type carries its own set of booking regulations.

There is a difference in on board seat reservation for frequent flyers, club members, etc and seat allocation which means certain seats are allocated at time of reservation (provided the requisite information is supplied by the passenger or agent!) for handicapped and mothers with small infants, etc - subject to ICAO safety rules for aircraft evacuation, etc.

Presumably lowcost passengers are also entitled, as even lowest cost airlines are subject to minimum IATA/ICAO rules, even if not paid up IATA members. Personally, I have never (yet) flown on Ryanair, Easyjet, FlyBe or any other lowcost - so I can't comment on actual conditions, but I imagine in the above respects, they are constrained by the same regulations as "scheduled" IATA airlines. You should be able to insist and get.. provided you have the requisite documents proving your disability and fitness to travel by air in spite of it..

Refer to the IATA link (.pdf download) on health tips for travellers and transport of disabled (in any form, major or minor) passengers, if you are not already familiar with all details
http://www.iata.org/Whip/_Files/WgId_00 ... 20TIPS.pdf

If you are already familiar with all this, please forgive the repetition!!
Cheers,
Roger
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PaddyFrog
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Post by PaddyFrog »

Thanks Roger.



Michael
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groslard
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Post by groslard »

Thank you for that Post Paddy.
I spent a couple of months in a wheelchair last year, and can see things with your eyes.
I am not yet at your stage of disability, but I do have a paralysed leg, hobble around on a crutch, and have great difficulty coming down stairs (escalators are impossible).
I would second what you say about access to toilets, etc and add that in my 'half and half' situation I often have difficulty clambering up into a Corail train or Bus. The new TER and the TGVs are much easier.
In a wheelchair you are at least visible: I am often treated as as encumbrance, blocking other people's way.
I find that electric scooters are much less widely found in France than in the UK.
On the other hand on a recent trip to Sweden via Amsterdam and Copenhagen the only place where I was given priority boarding automatically was at Toulouse, not in the Scandinavian countries that I might have expected to be more aware.
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john
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Post by john »

That's a very fair point,Groslard. When I broke my leg last year and spent some time on crutches and wheelchair it changed my outlook on disabled access completely.Whilst I was in the happy position of knowing that my disability would,unlike the unlucky ones,be over in a matter of weeks,it DID concentrate my mind as to how much time,effort and planning must go into even simple tasks,made even worse by thoughtless design in public spaces.
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Roger O
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Post by Roger O »

My daughter Tanya works at the Operations Centre http://www.rega.ch/en/rega/einsatzzentr ... 0202000000 of REGA (Swiss Air Rescue Service) which is a non-profit donator-funded foundation. They are REAL experts in all kinds of "medical transport". Together with my experience with Swissair then Amadeus which now hosts hundreds of airline systems, we are quite well up on air transport of "incapacitated" passengers of all types. If you ever break your leg in Switzerland, John, you'll know who to contact!!
http://www.rega.ch/en/start_en.aspx
http://www.rega.ch/en/rega/regavorgehen_ch1.aspx
http://www.rega.ch/en/rega/start_rega_w ... 0207000000

(They do also repatriations from Switzerland to home country using connex onto scheduled airlines with pre-installed MEDA transport facilities)
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opas
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Post by opas »

Just to put a different slant on the accessability issue, when i had our eldest daughter (now aged 14 years) I felt as though I had gone mad as everywhere I went there were those elevator stairs or lifts (I have always been the odd person to walk up a flight of stairs even when there were other options ) and seemed to spend my days queueing for lifts that could only accomodate 2 prams at a time, none of the busses had the special areas they now have for prams to wheel into(I had to carry baby, shopping and pram onto the bus............and hope that someone would be kind enough to take something off me!) I even remember going into one particular store which I had used for years and finding that I was dragging thir stock off the hangars with the pram as their isles were so tiny, and the final thing as paddyfrog said in his orriginal post abaout catering for the day.........there was only one store in our town (Mothercare) at the time who had a room available for breastfeeding mums.........well you can imagine what that was like around 11.30-12.30 !! Fortunatly times have changed for the better and I did notice a difference 4 years later when our youngest was born, and breastfeeding mums in the ASDA where I worked were not only offered a comfy place to feed we also gave the mums a snack too!
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Kate
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Post by Kate »

Maybe we should have a thread (or even a seperate forum title) for handicapped access, both recommendations and the opposite. Let me know if that would be of interest to people
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groslard
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Post by groslard »

Kate wrote:Maybe we should have a thread (or even a seperate forum title) for handicapped access, both recommendations and the opposite. Let me know if that would be of interest to people
I think that's a good idea, especially to highlight the good and the bad ...
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PaddyFrog
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Post by PaddyFrog »

Excellent Idea Kate.

Here is the link to a PDF of Perpignan Handicapped Parking places, Access to public buildings etc.

Pity its 4 years old but most is still correct.

http://www.mairie-perpignan.fr/pdf/perp ... ssible.pdf



(Right click/ save as ......) is the quickest


:P :P :P :P :P :P :P :P :P :P

Michael
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