At what point does a person with a disability become entitled? It is a huge question, as the majority of people with disabilities fight for opportunities, there are always times when it appears a sense of entitlement is broadcast. For many years I tried to fit in and not alienate myself from normal activities, until I was given a travel pass which allowed me free access to public transport in Perth. This was great because I didn't have to ask people to help me use the ticket machines at the train station. When the ticketing system wasn't so advanced technologically things were simple. Flip a few coins in the driver's hand and off we went. Now its a complex button pushing exercise and understanding of zones and so on to go anywhere.

Since the introduction of the travel pass I have enjoy the simplistic manner of showing a card on off I went. It took some time before I used the additional concept of allowing a guide travel for free with me. I never felt comfortable getting someone on as my guide because I never quite needed that support at the time or rather I had so much pride to allow my self to be different. As time progress so did my loss of sight and the need for a guide and more support became normal. The process of showing my card and saying this one is my guide took some getting used to, but, became common practice. I still get the cain out so I look like I need more help than I actually do. In any case, the guide has prevented me from sitting on someones lap many of times lol so it definitely has made things easier.

When the companion card was introduced, it allowed people with disabilities to allow helpers into venues free of charge. This is is a great initiative as it allows those to participate in events and not have to worry about basic things such a toilets, locating seats and other areas needing support. 

But, have these initiatives created a sense of entitlement?

The reason I ask, is that I was refused the use of my companion card for the reason I had a guide dog. I booked a trip using my travel pass which allows me free travel and presented my companion card for my wife to travel with me as my helper. When I said I will have my guide dog with me, the coach service refused to accept my companion card and asked that my wife pay full fare. I argued that my guide dog is no more than a mobility aide much like a cane, a wheel chair or walking frame. And would a person in this these cases have the same issue. The answer was NO. The person in a wheel chair is fine to take a companion on the trip at no charge. This means a blind person with a dog is considered helped or already has a companion.

As you may think 'How weird'.

I then asked 'so who will help me use the on board toilet? locate my allocated seat or simply buy a bottle of water from the driver?

The simple answer was 'Silence'

To conclude, my guide dog is expected to learn how to operate a toilet, read numbers to locate allocated seats and paw of 2 bucks to the driver while picking out a bottle of water from the cooler box. Wow, what a dog.

Now this brings up further questions within the disability community and whether discrimination occurs with certain disability groups. The mere fact that I feel the need to express my dissatisfaction for the view of people who are blind or vision impaired and argue that we/I need more help than you think says a few things.

1. I am entitled to the same support & opportunity as others

2. I am entitled to the service that is meant to be offered through signing up to the companion scheme

3. I am entitled to bitch and moan if I am  treated unfairly. hehe

 

I asked that the company in question review their policies to consider the reason why someone requires the use of a companion and adopt a common sense approach to disability. The response to this very feedback email was MUTE!

Maybe I am feeling entitled!

Benny

Comments

OaeGonae August 16, 2019 @11:23 pm
 

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