Here at The British Polio Fellowship, one of our most important roles is focusing on challenging the perceptions and often misconceptions surrounding disability in everyday life. Many of our members live with many forms of disabilities as a result of the late effects of Polio and/or Post Polio Syndrome (PPS). It is one of our priorities therefore to ensure we fight for disability rights for all those affected by Polio and PPS across the UK to ensure that discrimination of any kind doesn’t occur.
Donald Trump’s apparent mocking of a disabled New York Times reporter during a recent campaign addresses highlights how disabled people are still stigmatised as we move into 2016. Trump was born in 1946 and his attitudes and opinions would appear to be still anchored in the dark ages.
With around 11.9 million disabled people living in the UK, disability is an area that needs support, funding and compassion. Seclusion and bullying is something that unfortunately disabled people still have to live with, and people like Mr Trump are actively winding back the clock in an extremely unhelpful and distasteful fashion.
Of the 120,000 people in the UK with PPS; those living with it can develop weakness, fatigue and pain. A general reduction can often be seen in stamina, combined with problems in breathing, an impaired ability to sleep, swallowing problems, and severe cold intolerance. Understanding, awareness and care are the ways forward to assist those living with such challenging medical conditions. Not mockery.