How many more appalling cases of disability discrimination is acceptable before we see action? There’s an even more appalling case in the news every day. This time, Steve Smithers was refused the right to fly from Belfast to see his dying father in England, because his wheelchair repair kit (including spanners) was deemed a security risk.
You can board a plane drunk, creating a genuine safety and security risk, but cannot carry a wheelchair repair kit, in case you ‘decide to dismantle the plane’! Tired, pathetic excuses follow. Service ‘fell well below standards expected’; ‘customer service will ‘be reviewed’; ‘it will be ‘escalated’. It’s time to stop accepting these stupid insulting apologies after the event. Instead, companies must put proper systems and training in place that will effect real change.
Those of us living with Post Polio Syndrome (PPS) have heard it all before. 13 million people of us in the UK have a disability; the time for empty words is over. We now need action. No excuses. No exceptions. On being fobbed off with the usual compensation offer, Steve said they should donate to a disability charity instead. Steve is a hero for making it clear it’s not about money. We can’t be bought off and silenced with hush money and lame excuses. We want to travel with dignity. You can’t put a price on that.
The British Polio Fellowship is committed to campaigning for change. Call 0800 043 1935 or visit www.britishpolio.org.uk
National Chairman, The British Polio Fellowship