Today I listened in a bit to the IACC conference call on “risks and prevention.” I ended up not listening to the entire thing, partly because I’m quite busy, and partly because the conference call format just does not work very well for me in terms of processing information and understanding what it’s said. And because of the different volumes at which people talk, I find myself constantly having to adjust the volume to prevent sensory overload. It is telling, I would say, that the IACC would select such an autistic-unfriendly method of holding its discussions. A chatroom, or another written format, would be much more accessible.
But the main reason I stopped listening was because of the conference call’s content, and the fact that I have very little desire to expend so much effort to listen to a discussion in which I am unable to speak and disagree with the premises so profoundly.
From there on, I automatically assumed that Campbell Alexander was faking. You know, the dog was just a regular dog, but the owner had a huge sense of entitlement and thought his being an attorney made him eligible for access with a dog. Even way until the near end of the book, when the dog starts barking loudly in the courtroom and Campbell refuses to remove it, I assumed that he was really feeling better than the judge. Even if it is a service dog, it should behave itself, right? I couldn’t imagine that maybe there was a reason that dog barked, until the reason Campbell has a service dog in the first place was shoved right into all other characters’ and my face.
I am so sick of people assuming I can always manage inaccessible venues – which gets them off the hook from having to arrange accessible ones – because I sometimes use crutches. My church is holding confirmation classes in a venue which has “a few shallow steps”. This unwillingness to think about access means that the burden is conveniently shoved onto me – the burden of finding accessible parking near enough that I can walk in, the burden of coping with steps, the burden of sitting on unsuitable chairs in pain for an hour and a half so that the following day is a nightmare of agony for me…
If we’re going to a place we have never been to, we must check if it is accessible. EVERY time we forget to do this, or we assume that the place will be accessible, the restaurant ends up having two flights of stairs or narrow doors. Sometimes, the staff will tell us they are accessible “but we have a few steps out front that we can help you with.” Assholes don’t even know how much my chair weighs. Plus, HELLO, dangerous! Lawsuits!
If I can get into a restaurant, I will either not receive a menu (because I am just at the restaurant to look at the decor, evidently), or the waiter asks if we all want menus. Or they ask if I need a children’s menu. I’m almost certain that able-bodied folk do not experience this phenomenon, and this menu game is only done for those who look gimpy. I know, I know, I should ask for a menu if I don’t get one, right? But no, I just borrow my mom’s. I don’t feel like dealing with it. Bad activist moment.
In the news:
Almost one in 10 disabled people in the UK have been the victim of a hate crime, according to a leading disability charity.
For the first time, the 2009 version of an annual survey carried out by Leonard Cheshire Disability asked respondents whether they had faced a crime which they felt was motivated by their disability, with 9% saying they had.
“Even without a comparison for previous years, this is a shocking figure,” said Eleanor Gore, from Leonard Cheshire, who compiled the review. “It’s often hard to know how big a problem disability hate crime is as it tends to be very under-reported, and sometimes police and councils don’t recognise it properly.”