But of course, very often, it is the letter of the law and not the spirit of the law which is enforced and too often, this right of access is not challenged by disabled people when their rights are abused - such as where a building or service is ' non compliant' with the DDA. It is not easy, it is up to the individual to fight the case for her/himself very often. Advice lines are available such as the Equality and Human Rights Commission helpline but not many know the process and feel intimidated by the complications and fearful of the expense of a legal case or going to court.
Scott Rains (of Rolling Rains Report) had picked up my blog entry about the Shine Unconference - he wrote
I would have expected better of organizer and participants like Ashoka. Clearly, if they do have Fellows or staff with disabilities they are not being put in positions of authority sufficient to represent the community they are part of. If the temporarily able-bodied social entrepreneurial class in London had been onboard with the project of social inclusion and accessibility this post could have been about all the good accomplished at the Shine UnConference.
I understand that these social entreprises (like Ashoka and UnLtd) are not public bodies so I cannot expect them to have Disability Equality Schemes and involved disabled people in their design of programmes and organisation but it still leaves me disappointed when I read that the in the NoLimits the Unltd magazine - the quarterly magazine for Millenium Winners - where the lead is on How to organise and run successful events, there was no mention of accessibility and not much more on health and safety.
Am I on sour gapes when I ask if all these social entrepreneurs are on their shining armours but they do not think to include disabled people like me? They would say but we did not mean to exclude you - but surely, then they should be more pro active in the provision of facilities.
I know UnLtd have awarded grants to disabled people and they have been featured but who wouldn't want to be seen as having benevolent to ' the disabled' but why do I catch a whiff of the odour of colonisation? All I know is that it stops me from asking them for funding for myself, stupid I know but I would feel uneasy about taking their money - yes, I know I should rant and let them know but I am weary and maybe I am not hungry enough....there is a point when you get fed up of saying hey, you forgot me....it might be time for me to go fight different types of battles. Not to spoil it for others who do not see what I am ranting about. Its easier to fight big bad wolves we know than those individuals " with innovative solutions to society’s most pressing social problems. They are ambitious and persistent, tackling major social issues and offering new ideas for wide-scale change."
We should have no fight with them. They are our allies.