Another week and yet another story about transport failing people with disabilities. This time, Paralympian, Nikki Emerson, was told on an Emirates flight she would ‘upset other passengers’ by crawling on the floor and must wait an hour for the toilet. How many of these incidents must we see before we see a change?
At The British Polio Fellowship we know these are not isolated incidents because we have been speaking out for years. Nikki argued using the bathroom is a basic right, only to be told her ‘behaviour’ was unacceptable. The main unacceptable thing in this sorry tale is the attitude of staff. If high profile people like Nikki have such experiences, imagine what it is like for those of us living with Post Polio Syndrome (PPS), when waiting hours for the bathroom is not possible.
Those asking what the fuss is about, should reflect that by 2040, one in seven will be over 75 and living with a disability. You will have little grounds for complaint when it’s you or one of your nearest and dearest stripped of dignity by ignorance. Who will stand up for your rights on the day you no longer can? If you’re one of the 120,000 people in the UK who’ve had Polio and now have PPS, Join our fight at www.britishpolio.org.uk or call 0800 043 1935.
National Chairman, The British Polio Fellowship