Suivre ce blog Administration + Créer mon blog


  • : freewheeling
  • : Blog on being a disabled person, different cultures, diversity, equality, disability, travel, being diaspora Chinese and disabled travel.
  • Contact


Here are some of my photos. This shows some of my travels.


Notice Board



Books I am reading

Xiaolu Guo
A Concise Chinese-English Dictionary for Lovers
A love story - cultural differences, misunderstandings and yes, I see what she is saying.
Su Tong
Binu and the Great Wall

Binu and the Great Wall

Binu And The Great Wall is a wonderful myth retold in the words of Su Tong, the author of ‘Rice’.  The myth of Binu and how her tears washed away the Great Wall have been passed down through the ages. It is a tale of hardship, brutality and undying love. Su Tong’s version of the myth, brings to the reader the harshness and brutality that led to the constuction of the wall and the terrible effects it had on the common people.

14 octobre 2007 7 14 /10 /octobre /2007 01:13

Independent Living Mass Lobby

 2pm 17th October, Westminster Hall, House of Commons


Our Lives Our Choices is the national campaign for right to independent living. We seek radical reform
of health and social care so that:-
✓ Disabled people of all ages and backgrounds can take control of their own lives, live with dignity,
and participate fully in society as equal citizens;
✓ Families and friends of disabled people are not forced into poverty and lack of opportunities by
the inadequacies of the current system;
✓ All of us can enjoy security now and in the future without worrying that our independence will be lost.
When we experience disability, illness, or old age we should all be able to rely on a level of state support
that allows us to maintain our independence.
The current system simply cannot deliver. The result is dependency, poverty and exclusion.
Things could be very different. Lord Ashley’s Independent Living Bill would create a system that is fit
for the future – one we can all rely on. We are campaigning for the Bill to be enacted within the lifetime
of this Parliament and for Governmet to invest in all our futures.


The current system is broken:
 At present we cannot rely on the support of the state when through disability, old age, or illness
we need to maintain our independence. Eligibility for social care has become so restricted
that only those in the most difficult of circumstances receive any support.
 The individual has to pay for what little support there is, even people in receipt of state benefits.
 The reality today is many disabled and older people are being forced to live on the edge of society,
unable to choose when to get dressed or to have a bath.
 Families are struggling to stay together under the pressure of providing support the state cannot
be bothered to help with.
 What care there is often falls far short of basic standards of decency.
 People’s lives are being wasted because they are unable to reach their full potential to participate
in society.
 Because there are no basic access standards, houses, even new built, are very costly to adapt
to the needs of disabled people.
 Social care workers are disillusioned and fed up with the bureaucracy, penny pinching and
having to say no to requests for assistance.
 The current system is inefficient and wasteful of resources.

Our Lives, Our Choices
The campaign for rights to independent living

Our Lives! Our Choices! Is campaigning for a future that will: -
✓ Give us support we can rely on from the state so that through disabilty, old age, or illness we can
keep our independence and contribute to society in whatever way we can.
✓ The support we receive is support that we choose and control based on our lifestyle, interests
and aspirations – support that will let us live the lives we want to live.
✓ Ensure no one is forced to supply levels of unpaid care that limit their opportunities in life.
✓ We will all know what level of support we are entitled to, wherever we live.
✓ Treat people who are receiving support with dignity and respect.
✓ Give fair pay and a decent career path to those who give support.
✓ Ensure that houses are built to a standard that can easily be adapted to meet all stages in life.
✓ Give people what they say they want from our system of health and social care.
Lord Ashley’s Bill
Our proposals are set out in Lord Ashley’s Bill currently before Parliament. It is winning broad support.
Investment will be needed to make these changes happen but with that will come huge savings for the
Exchequer in terms of reduced benefit bills, higher rates of employment, better health outcomes, and
a housing stock that is much cheaper to adapt to the needs of disabled people.
Everyone is affected by this Bill. If this does not affect you now, it will do one day. We all need support
at some point in our lives – or our partner, or our mum, or our children, or our friends.


 Join the campaign. Membership is free and membership forms are available from
 Support the official launch of the campaign in London on 18th June 2007
 Support the mass lobby of Parliament on the 17th October 2007
 Lobby Members of Parliament to sign the Early Day Motion number 334 supporting the Independent
Living Bill
 Join and support the national steering committee for the campaign
 Raise the campaign in meetings and any public events you may be holding
 Use the campaign postcard to involve individuals in the campaign
 Get your local community group, voluntary organisation, disabled people’s group, carers’
group, trade union branch involved in the campaign
 Lobby local councillors to pass a motion to support the Bill
 Identify funding and resources that could be used to support the work of the campaign
Partager cet article
8 octobre 2007 1 08 /10 /octobre /2007 23:55
I went to the Disability Capital at the Docklands this year - not that I am a Londoner but because my new friend Maria is one of the speakers and she asked me to go listen to her. Some of my other colleagues were also speaking so I thought I might as well turn up.

List of speakers: (Archived webcasts)

  • Ken Livingstone - Mayor of London
  • Peter Hendy - Transport commissioner
  • Anne McGuire - Minister for Disabled people
  • Michael Lynch - Chief Executive of the Southbank Centre
  • Teresa Blankmeyer-Burke - Philosopher and Bioethicist at Gallaudet University
  • Edwin Black - renowned investigative journalist and author
  • Baroness Jane Campbell of Surbiton DBE - Chair, Disability Committee CEHR
  • Roger Berry MP
  • Caroline Bernard - Policy and Communications Manager, Counsel and Care
  • Mark Wheatley - Executive Director European Union of the Deaf
  • Penny Beschizza - Deaf Positive
  • Lee Jasper - Director Equalities and Policing, Greater London Authority
  • David Ruebain - Levenes Solicitor
  • Selina Aktar - Mental Health Activist
  • Tara Flood - Director, Alliance for Inclusive Education
  • Michelle Daley - Researcher on disabled people and the Transatlantic slave trade
  • Frances Elton - Researcher on BSL London dialect
  • Lucy Mason - Helping Empower Youth Activism
  • Peter Gichura - disability activist and asylum seeeker
  • Maria Zedda - Deaf business woman and writer

                                        Michelle and Maria

It was very interesting especially the bit at the end when Edwin Black, 'War Against the Weak' , scared everyone by his talks on eugenics which is the present day genetics. See the webcast.

I think my main take on the event is how it took me so long to get from Euston to the Docklands!
Partager cet article
4 octobre 2007 4 04 /10 /octobre /2007 17:33
I have been busy trying to catch up after being in Newcastle for a meeting and then down to London for another meeting and spending sometime in Walton on Thames with a friend. One of his African PAs  remarked that he was living in the bush which caused us a great deal of mirth that she compared Walton on Thames  to  the African bush but I am not so sure that it is wrong seeing that it is in the sticks and the buses are not accessible. I am too used to Coventry - that I can at a pinch get somewhere if there is public transport.

In the meantime, when I am not wasting time on Facebook (I really do not have that many friends or spend much time there) I go searching on youtube for treasures and I stumble on this two - an old film with Chow Yun Fatt (before his Hollywood fame), 縱橫四海 (Catch a Thief) where he does a dance with a wheelchair - now, in the film, hes not really disabled but I think he's cute in it.

T  The other is a Chinese sign language clip  from a film supposedly named ' Silent Love' 聽不到的說話 - so sweet. It is a George Lam song.分分鐘需要你

I also watched Zhang Yimou ' House of Flying Daggers' with Zhang Ziyi  on channel four  last week.  As usual, she is superb to watch.  But at the back of my mind , I was  trying to gauge how  a Chinese audience view this as disability. Given that neither Chow Yun Fatt nor Zhang Ziyi were only pretending to be disabled in their characters - this two films would not stand up to much but what about the other kungfu movies?
Partager cet article
13 septembre 2007 4 13 /09 /septembre /2007 22:34
I lost my camera full of my photos at the Freedom Drive and London's Liberty Festival on my journey home from Strasbourg. This really disheartened me. I guess I was too distracted on the last day with all my stuff and since it was the last day, my energy and concentration level was low. This was the day I was catching up with some friends too.

I had so much to catch up from having been away that I did not write any here - however the photos of the Freedom Drive can be found on Flickr.

It was a heady experience at the rally and the European Parliament - just being with other disabled people.
Partager cet article
29 août 2007 3 29 /08 /août /2007 22:25
Tomorrow I am going to meet up with Michelle and Nick in Stratford for lunch and after that Nick and i will get ready for Strasbourg Freedom Drive. i am excited because this year I am going with other people - Miro will also join us there.

So much has happened since I attended in 2005.  I cannot believe its this time 2 years ago when I  went for my interview to come back to UK to work. I  think i made the right choice.  We will see what this year brings.  More than half this year has gone.
Partager cet article
21 août 2007 2 21 /08 /août /2007 21:36

Scott Rains of Rolling Rains report told me to check this out in his blog - I am smiling at the thought. Would' nt what he suggest below be a dream?

from Rolling Rains Report

The Beijing government has decided to make every 16th of the month the “barrier-free” day from this August. A special theme will be set for every 16th of a month. August 16th is hotel barrier-free day, September 16th the hospital barrier-free day, October 16th the transportation barrier-free day, November 16th the scenic spots barrier-free day, December 16th the supermarket barrier-free day.

The themes and main activities of the barrier-free day in 2008 will be scheduled according to the working task and the preparation for the Olympic Games.

The programme of the barrier-free day targets barrier-free facilities in hotels, hospitals and the capital airport which have signed the contract with the committees of the Olympics and Paralympics; the barrier-free facilities of public serving like roads, banks, post offices and other facilities around the Olympic gyms; barrier-free facilities of the streets, subways, flyovers and other transportation equipments; barrier-free facilities of the scenic sites like the Forbidden City, the Great Wall; barrier-free facilities in the shopping malls and other supermarkets, libraries, museums, banks and so on.

I am booking my ticket to Beijing!
Partager cet article
19 août 2007 7 19 /08 /août /2007 12:27
This morning I stumbled on a home grown Australian wheelchair. I don't suppose it will ever make its way to Europe but it looks interesting,. There is a lengthy video associated with the website - it gives me a feeling that this chair is to be an extension  of a car  or an office, not something you  would go  traipsing  around  a city  with to do you shopping.

Anyway the Baribunma Wheelchair is billed as user led design -
from http://www.baribunma.com.au/

The Baribunma Wheelchair

Baribunma Holdings was formed in 2001 to develop an idea. The concept was that a wheelchair could be built which would be able to adjust itself to a range of environments rather than modifying environments to suit the dimensions and peculiarities of the wheelchair. The rationale was that significant cost savings would exist for wheelchair users in that environmental modifications would be minimised.

After two years of full-time research and development, the Company was able to produce a prototype of the Baribunma Wheelchair for compliance testing. The primary aim was to achieve ADR 3/02 compliance which involved a satisfactory automotive "crash test". The RTA "CrashLab" Report has been reproduced as Appendix 1 to this document. Our research has so far indicated that no other electric wheelchair has reached this standard. Achieving this milestone has created enormous interest in the Baribunma Wheelchair and significant investment in the Company.

The Baribunma Wheelchair is certified to the standards of an automotive seat whilst in its lowered automotive configuration and can be raised to a normal electrically-powered wheelchair height when removed from the vehicle. It can also be safely operated at any position in-between. This allows the user to "fit" the chair under tables and to "transfer" more easily.

Partager cet article
18 août 2007 6 18 /08 /août /2007 17:28
I went with Martin and had dinner at My China last night and the owner, Charles Lim told us that he was in the papers because they, the traders at Priory Place, were not getting enough traffic, Sam the maitre'd gave me a dinner voucher £10 off for 2  for dinner and £5  off a bottle of wine. Apparently there will be live music evenings to encourage a European style cafe culture. Hmmm, I look forward to that.

(Click on picture for a larger print).
Published Aug 16 2007 - Coventry Times.
Partager cet article
14 août 2007 2 14 /08 /août /2007 21:39
I have been on the look out to buy a flat at the moment. Last year I went to Lower Ford Street to look up the new part buy New Homes flats. Off I trotted with Emma and Bobbie, but the office although up a ramp was not accessible because it had one of those pvc french windows type door with a lip. Anyway they said the flats were not accessible - they will be in the next phase.

and that is now, I got the notification through my letter box. The next new phase is ready. I was excited, i rang and made an appointment. This time I could not get to the apartment-the kerb had no dropped kerb.I was not happy - so I informed the main office. The woman told me that  the developers had told her that the road will be built up to the level of the pavement later but not before all the flats were sold- well, that would not be very helpful for me - however, on top of that they think  they did not need to provide me access (or words to that effect) since they were not advertised as disabled units. I said coolly to her fine but i would like that in writing. She soon rang me back saying that that did the trick and I would be provided with a ramp  on the Monday - that was yesterday. Sure enough there was a tarmac ramp up to the pavement.

It is a shame that I am not overwhelmed by the flats available. I think they look like solid flats - reasonably proportioned and i would really seriously consider getting one if it had not been for the fact that they look towards the ring road. The doors were quite wide - why does such a small flat need two bathrooms.

Any person who wants to have an easy affordable 50% share 2 bedroom flat prices from £65.000 near Coventry University opposite the Sports complex can have a look at Monea Hall, Lower Ford Street, Coventry CV1 5PY

For what it is, its not a bad property and quite accessible in terms of the way its design (no narrow corridors, wide enough doorways) and the bathroom is quite sensible - you can get near it with a wheelchair as ditto with shower although it is not a wet room.

Telephone 02476228882 for a viewing.
Partager cet article
14 août 2007 2 14 /08 /août /2007 18:14
I had a brilliant day in London last Friday with Nick - we walked along the south bank till we got to the Tate Modern.  It was lovely, the sun was shining, people were milling and I felt a bit like a tourist in London.

House of parliament as viewed from across on the other bank

We met up with Jonathan who showed us around and took us into lunch at the members restaurant at the Tate. It was a lovely view from the restaurant. We did not stay that long because as Nick noticed, I did not have a long attention span at museums and he had to catch the train back from Waterloo.

However, on leaving and meeting Jonathan again at LSBU, Silvia broke the news to me about Xavier Perrot's death which gave me a great shock as i've  had an email from him not 2 weeks back. I really felt an immense sense of loss. Remembering Xavier's warmth, great sense of humour and humanity, I had still this great memory of having met him originally in Boston for a Museum and the Web conference in 2002 (same time as I met  Jonathan  )  where  we  stood in front of  some museum (must be a Science Museum), watching chicks hatched from some eggs.  I remember him  pushing  me to my  hotel  after an ICHIM  team meeting in Paris where he showed me his old house (he's moved since then) and he told me his plans for his new house. I remember the times we shared jokes about the anglo French differences and the meals we had in Vancouver at the last M&W conference I attended. I remember him telling me of the plans he had for ICHIM 2005 where we might hold an event in the Louvre pyramid itself (he didnt quite manage that ).. And the great ICHIM conferences we worked together in Berlin and in Paris cite universitaire and the BnF. I remember the great pride he had in his kids and his introducing me to Zadig, his son. Adieu, Xavier. I wish you well wherever you are. I shall miss you. Xavier Perrot, 2004 taken at the l'ecole du Louvre cafe
Partager cet article