Weekly Global Disability News

Sesame Access are not only a disabled access lift manufacturer but we are also advocates for an accessible and inclusive society. We create products which change peoples lives and ensure they can access the buildings and places they WANT to go to and not just because it is accessible.

The news stories below demonstrate the struggles and obstacles the disability community face everyday. Raising awareness is essential to combat the issues and make a change.

28th July-4th September

Disability ministry head wants change in attitudes

The new head of Whaikaha – the Ministry for Disabled People believes changing people's attitudes around disability is key to improving the lives of the 1.1 million Kiwis living with impairments who are more likely to be unemployed, living in poverty, and die young.

This week, Paula Tesoriero started as the CEO of Whaikaha. She told Q+A that, often, poor policy and service delivery stemmed from a lack of awareness about what the disabled community needed.

"And sometimes it can be at that more sharp end of stigma and discrimination and those are the things that really need to change," Tesoriero said

She said one of her key priorities was to change attitudes toward disabilities and people with a disability

"I think if the underlying attitudes can change then that, in and of itself, will actually really start to reduce those barriers over time."

Whaikaha would not deliver every service their community needs. Education and housing, for example, will still reside with those ministries. But, Tesoriero said, "it's about working with those agencies and forming close relationships with those agencies and really trying to affect that change".

Full article here: https://www.1news.co.nz/2022/0...

A quarter of disabled students feel isolated during their first year of university

New research from Student Beans, a company comparing and advertising deals for students, has revealed that a quarter of disabled students feel isolated during their first year of university.

The research shows that over half (52%) of students with disabilities have struggled with their mental health during university, while one in four (24%) admitted to feeling isolated and lonely during freshers week.

It found that the young disabled people who took part in the survey were twice as likely than their non-disabled peers to feel lonely and like nobody cared about them throughout the Ffeshers period.

One of these students is 25-year-old Bee, who has disabilities including fibromyalgia, joint hypermobility syndrome, inflammatory arthritis and emotionally unstable personality disorder.

‘During Freshers Week, I remember feeling really anxious – especially around meeting and interacting with new people,’ Bee revealed. ‘I wish the university had been able to provide me with the support they advertised for me – meaning, the therapy/course on chronic pain and mental health.

‘I think often, universities don’t bear in mind students with both mental and physical health difficulties, including chronic pain.

‘Chronic pain and physical disabilities have a massive impact on mental health, and vice versa, but often this isn’t taken into account when supporting students with mental health difficulties.’

Bethany, 23, had a similar experience while studying politics and sociology in 2017. She tells Metro.co.uk: ‘I have a bunch of different medical conditions, including ankylosing spondylitis and, for me, that results in full body chronic pain as it’s a form of inflammatory spinal arthritis. But, unfortunately, the pain doesn’t just affect my back.’

When she went to university, she was already grappling with being very recently diagnosed with a condition you’re not expecting to deal with as a teenager, and the culture at university made things harder.

‘I was already going into university struggling with chronic pain and being really worried about how that’s going to impact my university life, my friends, my social life, my studying abilities,’ Bethany shares. ‘But then you have to grapple with the fact that every time you say to someone “I have arthritis” they’re gonna say, you know, “what are you 60?” and that’s really lonely. It’s really, really hard.’

Full article here: https://metro.co.uk/2022/09/04...

Worcester woman slams disability access at Shrub Hill Station

A WORCESTER woman has slammed the lack of disability access at Shrub Hill Station.

Lynda Wood, who is currently waiting for a hip replacement, recently visited the station to say farewell to her brother and his partner after coming to visit.

Due to the lack of disability access for Lynda, she was not able to wave goodbye as she had to remain on the other side of the platform.

Lynda is asking where the funding went for the Government's Access For All campaign, in 2013, where Shrub Hill Station was awarded £1.5million to improve disability access.

However, a West Midlands Railway spokesperson said improvements were underway.

She said: "My question is where are the promised lifts, and what happened to the £1.5million?

"I find it outrageous that in 2022, people who have disabilities are still having to walk across train tracks."

Her sister-in-law is also awaiting a knee replacement, with staff having to help her walk across the lines.

Lynda said:" On Sunday, August, 28, I took my brother and his wife there to catch the train to Paddington, as they were going back to Australia.

"My sister-in-law is awaiting knee replacement, and as you can imagine with no lifts, they had to walk across the lines, assisted by a staff member.

"I am awaiting hip replacement myself, so I stayed on the other side and missed waving them goodbye, as two trains were in the way at the same time.

"I did get told I could have gone to Foregate Station, but you can’t park there for any time."

Full article here: https://www.worcesternews.co.u...

Ex-disability darts champion calls on people to take up the sport

An ex-serviceman and former disability darts world champion said he wanted more people to take up the sport.

Snowy Dyson, who lives in Arlesey in Bedfordshire, became a double amputee in 2016.

He had always been a keen darts player and began playing from his wheelchair after his operation.

Mr Dyson said he wanted to make people with disabilities aware there were "sports out there for us and darts is one of them".

"It helps with my PTSD as I'm concentrating on scoring and the mathematics side of it," he said.

"It doesn't matter if you win or lose, you just go out there and enjoy yourself - it's re-socialising."

The 51-year-old said he was first injured while serving in Northern Ireland.

"I got blown up and they left a little bit of metal in my ankle which got into my blood stream and turned into gangrene," he said.

Mr Dyson went on to work in security and in 2003 he was injured after falling off a stage.

"I went down with a prolapsed disc to the spine and had an operation to take out five discs," he said.

"I ended up as an insulin-dependent diabetic and it turned into diabetic gangrene.

"I had my first leg off in August 2015 and then the other one in July 2016."

Full article here: https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-...

I’m disabled and homeless – yet I’m constantly forced to jump through hoops just to prove I need support

When I was born, doctors said I would not be able to walk, talk or feed myself. And if it wasn’t for my grandmother getting on the lounge room floor, distracting me with Elmo and Sesame Street and stretching out my muscles, that may well have been my story.

My grandmother was basically my mother from birth. Nan knew everything medical about me – what I needed, what I didn’t. When she died in 2020, my entire world fell apart. I’ve had to retrain my body to go: “This is what my Nan would have done, this is what I need to ask for.”

I have quadriplegic cerebral palsy and scoliosis, but trying to prove that I need support is incredibly hard, because my grandmother did too good a job. I’m now 31 and, at a glance, you can’t tell there’s anything physically “different” about me.

People are quick to assume that I don’t need help – despite the fact I’m currently homeless.

Trying to get a rental property under my own name is a nightmare, because real estate agents don’t like the look of me on paper. I’m on a full disability pension. I’m searching for work – be it casual, part-time or full-time – but it’s hard to hold down a job when you’ve got weekly medical appointments. And with no employment or rental history, you can’t secure a rental property.

I recently came out of a long-term relationship, and for the last three months, I’ve had to jump through hoops to get a roof over my head. My half-brother and his partner have taken me in, but they’re expecting a child, so this is a temporary solution.

I’ve now been offered a place in a share house that I found on Facebook, where the current two tenants were looking for another housemate. I made an inquiry and told the tenants I’m on disability pension. That didn’t matter to them but it did mean extra scrutiny. I had to meet with the landlords and give them every detail of who I am, what my disabilities are and the supports I need.

After going through this rigmarole, I’m in. Or I will be, within the next month or so if I can scrounge together enough money to make it happen. And here lies the catch.

Because I’m on the waitlist for my own house through Housing Victoria, I can’t ask the Department of Health and Human Services (DHS) for assistance for a bond, because that will knock me off the list. I eventually want to have a house of my own, and Housing Victoria will allow me to have this, permanently, without it affecting my pension.

Full article here: https://www.theguardian.com/co...

Disclaimer- We do not own/write any of these article extracts, we are simply sharing to our audience in order to raise awareness and increase coverage. Credit is always given.


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