Last week, London played host to the first Global Disability Summit, with ministers, businesses and charities coming together to find solutions to the barriers disabled people in developing countries face. We welcome such initiatives, but they can feel like trying to take a speck from your brother’s eye, oblivious to the plank in your own. The experience of those with disabilities every day shows we have a long way to go in our own country before barriers disappear.
Post Polio Syndrome (PPS) affects 120,000 people in the UK, who struggle with accessibility. As the recent experience of Tanyalee Davis on her train journeys illustrate, we are light years from a place where the 13,000,000 people in the UK living with a disability can claim equality, with 20 percent of us fearing to travel.
This is not to argue against supporting those with disabilities overseas. The British Polio Fellowship continues to support Rotary and those leading the global Polio eradication drive. The survivors will face PPS and our campaigns have one eye on the future – that disabled people of whatever stamp can navigate a more accessible Britain. We must tackle disability issues worldwide, but our own back yard remains a good place to start. If you need our support, call 0800 043 1935 or visit www.britishpolio.org.uk
National Chairman, The British Polio Fellowship