Stacie Lewis’ experience raising hell…
... erm, raising a little girl with severe brain damage. The blog began in 2009 when May was 4 1/2 months old.
Currently, May enjoys bouncing and the dulcet tones of dub step.
Click on May's photo here to link to her best bits, including videos!
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- March 19, 2011 // 56 Comments
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- November 14, 2009 // 36 Comments
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- October 9, 2013 // 11 Comments
- By Mama Lewis, December 7, 2013
- By Kristen, December 6, 2013
- By Katie B., November 26, 2013
- By Ellen Lewis, November 26, 2013
- By Madgew, November 26, 2013
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Post-Paralymic horror stories of disabled Britain
It’s a year to the day of the Paralympics Opening Ceremonies in London. They opened with enormous fanfare, sold-out crowds and an enthusiastic hope that they were the start of a change in Britain.
Even then, as excited as I was to attend the Games, I knew it wasn’t the case. As I wrote at the time, “the same week we watched world-class, disabled athletes, we also received a letter from Lambeth saying they would no longer provide SEN transport to children like May. The Paralympics is the show; the letter is the reality.”
A year on and the disability charity Scope reports that the Paralympics was more about show than progress. And even though I knew that, I’m no less disturbed by it.
Here are some of the things they uncovered:
1. “81% of disabled people say that attitudes towards them haven’t improved in the last twelve months – with 22% saying that things have actually got worse.
2. “[Paralympian] Tanni Grey-Thompson recently summed up the impact of the myth that most people who claim benefits are scroungers: ‘I’ve lost track of the number of letters from disabled people who have been spat at in the street…’
3. “Despite welfare fraud being 0.7% of the benefits budget, the Government regularly contrasts the hard working person gets up early for work, to his benefits claiming neighbour’s whose blinds are pulled.
4. “Cabinet members have had their wrists slipped for misusing welfare statistics. But people continue to think benefit fraud is worse than it is.”
And here is the result, personal stories collected by Scope:
“I’m leaning on my crutches by the broccoli when a lady in her late fifties walks up behind me, shoves me hard into the broccoli box – face first – and calls me a disability scrounging unrepeatable in front of my children.” – Tinna on Facebook
“I had a female idiot tell me my one-year-old daughter Abby should be killed… She also added Abby ‘will never be useful to society.’” – Tara, via email
“I’ve had ‘friends’ explain how I have to accept romantic rejection because disability is ugly.” – NQ, via Twitter
“I was accused of stealing a disabled person’s bus pass. It had my name and my photo on. I am partially sighted. You can’t see the damage I have to my optic nerves. I’ve had someone tell me I shouldn’t be on [benefits] because there’s nothing wrong with me.” – Sofie on Facebook
The government and media are pressing forward with an idealistic agenda set out to frame disabled people as scroungers. (Even today, an article in The Metro asks “Wonderful athletes… or benefit scroungers?”) Yes, I am cynical about it; they are taking advantage of very vulnerable people to rid themselves of any responsibility towards them or simply to sell papers.
For the lives of disabled people to improve they need genuine support, not rhetoric. It’s not enough for the government to make vague claims that the lives of disabled people have improved since the Paralympics. They have to help them get there.
Are you shocked or are these stories you expected to hear about how disabled people are treated in Britain?