Archive for January, 2011

Message to a Friend

Losing a friend is a sad moment in time,
When they’d been there through the ups and downs,
To walk away for whatever reason,
As though they never cared.
It’s hard for me to believe,
That the time we spent as friends,
You didn’t want to be there,
You didn’t want to lend
Your ear and heart to care,
To comfort in times of distress,
And now you’re gone from my corner,
I’m forced to think much less
Of an old friend,
Someone I held so dear,
And each moment I try to forget you,
You seem to be just there.
You’re in my mind,
Things you’ve said,
Kindness you’ve showed,
Happy moments we’ve shared and
Some hard ones,
but were they real?
Or was it all for show?
Was I just the pick you up friend,
You used until you had to go?
Even through our fights,
I thought we’d always withstand,
But now I’m almost certain you’ve done,
And no longer will hold out your hand,
And that makes me sad inside,
And has taken me a moment to digest,
The thought of not being friends with you,
Makes me feel a little of unrest.
Despite the hurt that has passed,
The sorrow that has been felt,
The confusion and incomprehension that remains,
And issues that remain undealt,
I can’t imagine you not being there,
To share those joys and cries,
And if this is the end of a friendship,
I’m truly sorry that it has died.
I’ll hold up my hands and show my blame,
And I know you’ve done the same,
And just to talk things out,
Get the air much more clear,
But the challenges that lie ahead,
I feel you wo’t deal and so I fear,
That there’s no going back,
No moving forward,
And so the friendship remains,
Shattered and broken.
I want you to know,
I treasure the good points,
I’m thankful for the times you seemed real,
And I’m sorry that you feel
That my friendship is not wanted or needed anymore,
But just so you know,
I’m not closing the door,
It shall remain and if you want to take the steps,
Nothing is truly lost unless,
You don’t want it to exist no longer,
And for that,
I’m sorry our friendship wasn’t stronger.

I’ll hold the 5 years or so we were friends,
Close in my heart,
And somehow I’ll learn to live without you
But in my heart,
There will always be a spot with your name,
Because I can’t just turn my care off
No matter who’s to blame,
My corner will feel empty without you on my team,
And I will miss you and so I deem,
a sad moment of my life,
And here is the truth,
I cherished you as a mi amiga,
Always, through and through.
And although I know,
Or so it seems to be,
You’ve washed your hands of this friendship,
You’ve washed your hands of me.
And as your choice,
I can respect that, i know,
But respecting and liking what has passed,
Are two different things, you know?
So as long as you know the door remains open,
And the journey will be uphill,
But if its what you want,
I’m here for you still.

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Disabled Britain in the Workforce

With this week’s Vision conference being held in the UK, many questions about equality and access to various areas of society are being asked. Various organisations, including the RNIB and the Guide Dogs for the Blind Association are two of the main blind charities who are involved in many campaigns to better the lives of the blind and partially sighted people around the UK.

Some of the campaigns have included, transportation with the AV addition to the bus network and shared surfaces along with improvement to access of many services.

One of the questions raised on the social network twitter by the guide dogs account was are the government policies hindering or helping people into work? I know personally, the schemes seem very helpful once you can get them but it’s the attitudes of employers and the lack of implementation of the disability discrimination act that are preventing visually impaired and other disability groups from gaining full employment.

67 percent of visually impaired people of working age are not employed, the same figure that this country saw during the 70s So why? It’s very unlikely that 67 percent of working age visually impaired individuals don’t want to work, so what is the reason? From my own experience, it’s a lack of work experience on the individuals, not having the same opportunities of many of their peers during their younger years. Working with money is not possible and some other environments are unrealistic for visually impaired people to work. But above all, it’s the attitudes of potential employers. Many times, most can gain an interview and still are not able to gain employment. Continued rejection can lead to a psychological barrier and the added fight to gain equal access can make it harder for disabled individuals to keep on fighting.

Finding a job is hard for anyone in this economic climate, but for disabled individuals it is much harder. Employers, despite sometimes having the fats will not want to deal with the process of access to work programme which can take weeks and months to implement. They would possibly sometimes be more interested in hiring someone who can instantly start work without any adaptations than to wait for a perfectly capable disabled candidate take the position because of the support that would be required.

It would be interesting to know tho many of those employed are employed in the disability realm or assistive tech area? My guess would be a fair few. And the stereotypical jobs of call centres and such would be high on the check list I have no doubt. However, why should we as disabled individuals be restricted to these areas when sometimes, we may have the intelligence and the ability to do so much more. It sometimes seems, that either if you are outstandingly brilliant in an area, such as law, or you are willing to work in a demoralising position such as call centres, then there is very little support for disabled individuals to get into a job.

I’m not saying that this is true in all circumstances but it seems to be the norm. The attitude of, it’s a job, take it and be thankful should not even be relevant. The same argument is said about the tax dodgers but why should it be any different? most of those, can work in any job, but with retail and most base line jobs being out of question for most severely visually impaired people, why should they be imprisoned by their disability?

The truth is, once a visually impaired person gets into work, they are more likely to continue to come across accessibility barriers. When computer systems change, they are not always designed to work with people’s screen reading technology and then again they may struggle to work. In a lot of situations, it can work well and most disabled individuals can continue to move up the employment ladder. But with the percentage of the unemployed being so high in the visually impaired community, it is a small celebration to have.

Until the country actively acts on the disability discrimination act and actively promotes employing from all sectors of disabled groups while providing simple access to support for those individuals in work, the figure will continue to remain stagnant or increase because with the many cuts, more support will being pulled and the focus on disabled individuals is becoming very blurred. The government, with its new strange views on disabilities could be leaving millions of individuals in very difficult positions. They want to get people into work and create this “big society”, well I suggest they remember who is actually included in their society!

Goodbye Dear Friend, Rest In Peace

As I sit and watch the starry sky,
I know you’re looking down on us tonight,
Taken to be with the angels dear,
We can still think of you near,
Although your soul has gone to a better place,
We really wished you’d been able to stay,
But God had bigger plans for you,
He needed an angel today.

And as you leave this earth and fly up high,
We know you’re amongst the stars,
And wherever we can see the midnight blue,
We know you’ll never be far.

So left behind are the ones you loved,
The ones who cared so dearly for you,
And they’ll be strong because they know,
You’ll always be standing by to see them through,
Every bad moment and time of need,
A warm hand will rest on their shoulder,
and when they shed their tears for you,
You’ll hug them even closer.

So goodbye dear friend and good luck too,
Because you were a joy to know,
And although you’ll never be far away,
I just want you to know,
Here on earth we’ll continue to love,
Those ones you left behind,
And when we watch the stars at night,
We will never say goodbye.
It’s farewell for now,
And rest in peace,
For now you’re home at last,
Be the angel we know you can be,
And thank you for all the laughs,
The joy you gave and love too,
And the gifts to the world, you did bring,
A mother, a daughter and a sister too,
You did all to be asked and gave them everything.

And so you’re an angel with those gone before,
And at night we can see your glow,
So goodnight dear one and watch on down,
You’ll always be treasured and loved.

In memory of Maureen, a angel gone to the stars

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