Posts from the ‘frustration’ Category

Disabled Invisible? Or the Government and Media Blind, deaf and Dumb?

The 11TH of May 2011 will go down in history. Sadly, only a small sector of the British population will be aware of why.

The conservative government are bull dosing a welfare reform through parliament that will effect hundreds of thousands of sick and disabled individuals. Not only are local councils cutting services to their disabled constituents but the government is putting disabled people under siege by dramatically changing the benefits they are entitled to claim.

Not only will the long term sick and disabled only be allowed to claim Employment support Allowance [esa] for twelve months but the transformation of disability living allowance will not be recognised as something that helps disabled people live their lives. Taking the mobility component from people in residential care who are able, with that extra financial support, to visit friends and families and go to social groups that improves their quality of life, will reduce them to emotional despair. With that component gone, it will leave many isolated and unable to keep in contact with relatives and friends whilst participating in social activities that keep them integrated and active.

The extremely generalised assessment process neither assists those in need or accurately assesses disabled individuals needs correctly. And if found “fit to work” physically, is not to say someone is mentally prepared or actually able. Putting disabled people in to the “lion’s den” of the commercial workplace is going to destroy people. Having rejection upon rejection, while being virtually “bullied” by job centre Plus advisors so they can meet their targets, will mean many people are placed in frightening situations and pushed into a potentially soul destroying path.

Imagine, applying for a job, being interviewed over the telephone only to be told, when you have a disability that they are not sure how they can accommodate your needs, time and time again. Regardless of laws against discrimination, some of the reasons employers cannot employ a disabled person are not always their fault. For blind people, working with money is not practical, employers wouldn’t feel comfortable with money exchanging hands from a blind person to a sighted or vice versa in case the notes are not accurately identified or fraud is being committed. Blind people’s assessment of their own money often takes longer than that of a sighted person, so time pressure would be on them. And that’s if the technology, such as a cash register is accessible. Many are not and never will be in our lifetime.

Wheelchair users can only access buildings with ramps and lifts. And in fire situations, lifts can never be used. Not many employers are willing to take a risk of putting a wheelchair user on the sixth floor in case there is a fire. Some organisations have a buddy system but even if their intentions were their, many insurance companies would not cover the company for such circumstances.

The assessment deems myself “fit to work” if all criteria I have read and been informed about so far is accurate, because I have a guide dog. With the RNIB recently publishing a statistic 92% of employers would not employ someone with a visual impairment, where does that huge misconception that employers have no issue employing the blind come from? do the people behind this horrendous attempt at assessing disabled and sick people for work take into account that despite wanting to work, many being qualified, the employers are not able to for physical or legal reasons employ the disabled. And do these great minds who have created this ludicrous test not think that just because someone has a guide dog or a wheelchair that it can suddenly change employers or insurance companies minds? Changing the “being able to walk” criteria to “being mobilised” was a very devious thing for this government to do. Many disabled could “mobilise” themselves but for how long or how successful are many other questions that are not addressed.

Maria Miller, minister for disabled people, [if she can call herself that], stated that it is a system that is not working if there are more alcoholics and drug addicts claiming DLA than the blind. Well, Miss Miller, if your government has your way under personal independent payments, there will be very few blind people claiming dLA’s successor. Not to mention the fact that the statistics tell a different story? This is people’s futures, Ms Miller, not Jack and Ori.

The media have done nothing but promote the government’s propaganda efforts by publishing in various news sources that 94% in the Mail and 75% in the Daily Express incapacity benefit claimants are deemed “fit to work”. That figure blows my mind. Take away the fact for many disabled, they want to work but are refused employment because of their disability or lack of support into work, what about those suffering from cancer, HIV, MS, chronic arthritis that physically cannot work efficiently every day? That represents only six percent of incapacity claimants? Well, of course not. As usual, the press are promoting government support for tight reform with miscalculated, misinformed, and mostly outright . wrong statistics

The media proved yesterday how much they didn’t care about this society’s disabled. The only major news programmes to cover the march were ITV evening news who did a good piece of coverage and Channel four’s news at seven. BBC had mentioned it during the day but it was missing from it’s popular six o’clock showing on BBC 1 while it was covered on it’s website reasonably well. Sky News, one of the biggest news channels in the UK and streamed around the world mentioned it maybe once but nothing on their website at all. They were able to cover all the things going on in Libya, many foreign stories, even the sentencing of actress Lindsay Lohan but nothing on its website about the thousands of disabled marching through London to protest against the cuts.

It angers me that only the Guardian have been forth coming and extremely supportive of 11TH May protests; having constant updates on a live blog and several write ups both on its online distribution and paper broadsheet. A huge thank you to the Guardian, ITV News, and Channel 4 for having some great coverage of the protest and even interviewing Liam Burns, the shadow work and pensions minister.

None of us expect to be top of the hour news, or front page in the news papers but for crying out loud, we are still here, in our millions as a disabled community! Can this government not hear us? Do they not understand? If they want to cut the deficit, which we all agree on, why target those of us who fight enough in our every day battles with discrimination! I know cuts need to happen, but why are they cutting the quality of our lives? Why are they not recognising blindness as a disability, assessing it below even the threshold to gain a place on the into work scheme under the new ESA benefit, despite having input from organisations such as RNIB who feels their input has been ignored? How can they “assume” that my guide dog makes me more employable than a cane user who may have more sight? How can they say someone with MS can work for eight hours every day if they don’t see them in pain and unable to get up for work because every muscle in their body hurts? How can an abled bodied so called health professional, who is repeatedly passing people fit to work who clearly are not, capable of assessing someone if they’ve never dealt with that disability, some even come across it? If they are not willing to understand and take a fifteen minute snippet with a rigid questionnaire to assess someone’s abilities, it is clearly just a tick in the box and one more person off the sick and disabled list, the better, right, Mr cameron and co?

They say they’ve had conversations with organisations about these changes, but if that was true, then how was it that staff from over forty organisations representing disabled people across the board were marching alongside those people on 11TH May? Richard Leaman , Guide Dogs own chief executive marched alongside clients, dogs and staff alike to protest. Do you think if Guide Dogs as an organisation had agreed to the governments extraordinary changes that he would risk his reputation and the one of his organisation just “for kicks”?

Miller talked about the drug addicts and the alcoholics claiming both DLA and incapacity, and the media have publicised that fact over and over again, but what about those who are disabled who are going to get theirs cut? We didn’t make a life style choice to be blind, lame, deaf, or feel as though our body was on fire, we didn’t abuse the system so then why are we being punished, ignored, sidelined and forced into another system that has not worked for many?

I’ve claimed job seeker’s allowance. I claimed it for almost three years! During that time, neither I nor the job centre could find work. The disability employment advisors did not understand my needs as a blind client or how my blindness would effect me in the work place. No information was accessible to me. Not leaflets, their computer systems, the forms I had to sign every two weeks. It was only through my own research that I attended the royal national college for the blind and transferred to incapacity benefit. After I’d left college, I still couldn’t get work. And despite continued efforts to search, apply for different jobs, I am still unemployed. I was never understood and felt abandoned during that time. Ms Miller speaks of disabled people being abandoned on the current system, so what is she doing then? Throwing many into a system that is not designed to support people with extensive needs; Throwing them into a world of ignorance that no government has tried to change. She says attitudes have changed toward disabled people, really? I must have missed that evolution. We’re still pitied, avoided because people fear the unknown, shunned by others because we’re deemed too needy, patronised because we’re seen to be unintelligent and treated like second class citizens as we always have been, the media have only enhanced that point this week. And society’s attitudes have changed? Just because children are being educated more within mainstream education Ms Miller, it does not mean society’s attitudes have changed just because we’re not locked up and hidden away. The stigmas toward many disabilities still exist and many VI children are segregated within VI units within their school along with other special needs children. Being taught in the same building does not make society’s attitudes toward them any different!

Last year I started a home study degree which was funded by the university so I did not have any fees to pay. Because of the increase to come in for tuition fees, the scheme was cut at the end of my very successful first year. I couldn’t afford the fees and was forced to withdraw. I have and continue to try to gain work or qualifications to be “more employable” on a qualification basis but the truth is, unless my blindness miraculously disappears, or the attitudes of society, the employer’s being educated and insurance companies not deeming disabled people high risk enough to boot premiums to a devastating price change, I will remain unemployed from the mainstream workforce. I take offence to the many headlines calling incapacity and DLA claimants “scroungers” or “lazy” as While looking for work I’ve done everything in my power to gain employment. I’ve attempted study, I volunteer to gain work experience, I blog and participate in accessibility podcasts to widen my knowledge and experience while educating and informing the world best I can about blindness, access technology and guide dogs. I do not sit around, or enjoy four or five holidays to Spain, I do not own extravagant items or go out every weekend to clubs. I’ve tried, I continue to try to make my life productive and full but I can’t single handedly change the attitudes of employers.

Unless I gain employment within a sector for visually impaired or set up my own business, which I eventually would like to do, I will be punished for being blind and become isolated because I cannot fund my disability.

I keep hearing the phrase, “Genuinely disabled,” yet I and others seemingly do not fit into that category. As I stated earlier, the current assessment for ESA would maximumly gain a visually impaired person nine points or less and fifteen is required to qualify for the into work program. So, I clearly am not “disabled” according to these guidelines and to the media who have deemed many claimants to be “scroungers” and have insinuated “faking it”. What an actress I must be, to have faked blindness all my life!

Many do abuse the system and those people need to be caught out, no one would refute that. And that is why we are not asking this government to leave things the way they are but to listen, understand and implement changes suggested to them by the people who know. Realism and practicality need to be adopted here or else the government has outrightly broke its promise to protect the disabled and vulnerable in our society.

As MP Hunt said, stop providing abled bodied, healthy individuals from pushing out three or four children at the tax payer’s expense. If people want to reproduce, they should pay for them. My parents have worked every day of their lives and have contributed to this system and they, like others who are parents of disabled people are angry that it is more socially acceptable to get pregnant and have a child for the sole cause of living off of benefits when disabled families are having support, care and benefits cut.

Miller talks about the numbers of alcoholics and drug users on DLA and incapacity benefit, well stop them claiming it! Children born with disabilities don’t have a choice, soldiers fighting for this country don’t have a choice whether they are hit or not, police and fire service people do not have a choice if they are hurt while on duty, and yet those without the choices are the ones being punished.

This past few days, I’ve felt disappointed, angry, concerned, surprised, shocked and proud for a variety of reasons. Proud of the ones marching; proud of the efforts by those who couldn’t make it who have expressed themselves on the web; proud of some journalists who have maintained their integrity by reporting the events as they are. I was surprised how quickly my MP responded to my email that I sent her only the night of the march and even more so of her support. And yet I’ve been saddened, shocked and rather disgusted with the lack of coverage by many media outlets. No need for breaking news but it still happened! It was one of the biggest, if not the biggest march of its kind in regard to the disabled people in numbers present at a protest, and that wasn’t news worthy? I was also disappointed by the lack of response by some visually impaired people I know. Some were fantastic online yesterday and others I know marched while some remained quiet and as though it wasn’t happening to them. You may not believe writing to your MP will work, or that you’ll lose followers or friends on social networks by mentioning it, but if they’re real friends or interested in what you have to say, isn’t that better than being ignored by the government? I’ve heard people say it won’t have made a difference, maybe not but maybe it will open some eyes. It’s our future and if we don’t help shape it, then we have no real future to call our own.

Miller in my book represents nothing but an empty promise and a cruel and misconceived idea of what disability and sickness really means and how it effects those with it. She was more interested in the prime minister’s question time than the people she’s meant to represent. Even in a committee meeting about the welfare reform, she was vague, unable to give detail or straight, decisive answers to questions posed to her. Cameron’s conservatives are ignorant and malicious. Despite what they’re telling the media the reality of the assessment process, changes to DLA put the disabled in poverty and isolation, stripping them of dignity and independence. No wonder their precious media won’t report it and are more interested in US politics, affairs abroad and war because it’s not affecting them. If Hunt had denied Murdock the deal for Sky, we’d hear about that all right in its entirety but a few blind, wheel chair bound, deaf and sick people are invisible to them. Why hear the cries of the needy while you’re sat eating your finest foods and enjoying your life? Why take notice of a bunch of disabled people, “We’ll get over it,” right? Why take from the rich, corrupt bankers when you can target the ones in need? It seems they have enough money to bail Greece, Ireland, Portugal and others out of debt, give money to the rebels fighting in Libya, donate millions to countries in need and all because they neglected their own people! I feel for other countries plights, but Prime Minister, you and your government are meant to be the British government, here to make Britain better, but you’d rather help other country’s people than your own vulnerable and disabled people! If you want to cut the deficit, give us a chance to live and change the attitudes of employers and society as a whole, because without those changes, we’ll remain invisible to all while we suffer.

If that’s the society we live in, then by God help us all. Because wait until they cut child services more, or petrol prices rise again, that will be top news. I hope anyone who has blatantly ignored this demonstration of courage and pride by the disabled people of Britain never finds themselves in a similar situation. Because where will your loyal government be then? Helping Pakistan, or fighting in the middle East, or bailing out European countries or lending money to some superpower, and giving you nothing!

“The Invisible Disabled,” it seems so but I pledge to you I will not go unnoticed and neither should you. The women who fought for women’s rights were taken seriously eventually , and some would argue there were many more but many were too afraid to fight the system then. Let’s fight for our right to live good qualities of life and to gain opportunities like everyone else. Change society’s attitudes for the better, Clegg and Cameron, don’t change our lives for the worst.

[note. I am totally blind and cannot comment in detail on how people’s disabilities effect them. Hope I grasped the concept of anger we’re all feeling]

Interesting entertainment links

That’s a Cut, SunnieDae1
Broken Britain’s We have A Dream Speech, hardest Hit
Hardest Hit, Day of Action, Scope for Equality

Ignorance is Bliss; for the Government

Many knew that when the conservatives took over power, those on the lower end of the income bracket would get screwed over. Others knew that the vulnerable in society, despite repeated promises from said government would be left even more vulnerable and up the creek without a paddle. While few knew that some necessary changes would need to be put into place for the economy to recover but also knew that those who cannot help themselves would bear the brunt of these changes. Wherever you stood within these three areas, you were right.

Anyone who has picked up a newspaper, read an online article from any leading British media outlets, watched the national and local news programmes within the last year know that this country is in financial disarray. Back in October when the chancellor made his budget speech, there was a promise to protect the elderly and the disabled. This promise has recently been shown for what it truly is; a glossy lie.

We all are aware cuts need to be made, no one is actually arguing that fact but the level of which this coalition government is stampeding its path is only going to end in misery for many.

I, like many others agree there are abusers of the benefits system but it is safe to say that these benefits sustain a good quality of life for many. The new assessments being brought in for those on incapacity, while weeding out those “fakers” will put many disabled people An on the breadline and B in a severe state of vulnerability. And that’s not even taking into consideration the future preposed changes to Disability Living Allowance. And why? Because this government has not thought through how the assessments will affect a wide range of individuals with varying levels of disabilities and illnesses.

Already the assessment was reevaluated because it deemed terminally ill individuals fit for work. And even after these changes to the assessment process, many disabled organisations say the assessment is too harsh and not detailed enough to assess accurately.

For example, a lady on the national news today who suffered with a brain haemorrhage 10 months ago, who lost feeling in her right side and has limited vision has been deemed fit to work. What this government has not taken into consideration, are the many barriers that a disability will bring up for not only the individual but the organisation that will employ them.

For an abled bodied person, reading, writing, moving around unaided, being alerted to dangers or alerting others to danger are natural abilities. For someone with a hearing impairment, sight impairment or physical impairment, this is not always possible. For example, one of the questions on the test is can you pull a pen from your pocket with both hands. Many people could do this, even wheel chair bound individuals, depending on their condition. Someone with a visual impairment could pull the pen from their pocket but would not be able to use it in many situations. For those visually impaired people, many would use other formats to write and read with compared to the majority of individuals. For someone who is deaf, they may not hear the suggestion. In an assessment environment, their focus is likely to be on the assessor but in the work place, other tasks could distract and they may not hear a command to take a note.

Another aspect of the criteria to receive the new employment support allowance is if you have a guide dog. Apparently, the government foresee a blind individual capable of employment if they have a guide dog. I’m absolutely uncertain how my guide dog makes me more employable than someone who is a cane user or someone who uses neither. Your choice of mobility aid has little bearing on how you perform in a job. My guide dog will not assist my work. He’ll help me get to and from and around the work place, providing I’ve learnt the route prior, as would a cane user. Clearly, someone in government has not explained to these individuals what a guide dog does and does not do. The same apparently applies to an individual using an electronic wheel chair. So, guide dog owners, electric wheel chair users, you should know that your dog and chair clearly help you do a job. And because of these reasons, we are deemed fit to work immediately and would be put instantly on job seekers allowance.

If anyone has dealt with the job centre and has been disabled and has had a great result, I.E., got into employment that you’ve maintained, congratulations, you have to be in the minority and very lucky. Many disability employment officers, like the government, have no idea what a disabled person’s needs and abilities potentially can be.

And for one moment, put aside the assessment, the criteria and walk with me into the work place. Many, and the RNIB estimate, 92% of employers would find it difficult or mere impossible to employ a visually impaired individual. OK, government, please consider the fact you tell us a million jobs have been created in the past three months and now tell us how many of those jobs are going to be doable from a disabled person’s point of view. And not even that, how many of those prospective employers, would employ someone who is visually impaired, deaf or a wheel chair user. And not necessarily because of their own ignorance, lets face it, they’re also dealing with the economy right now. And does the government know that anyone who is disabled automatically has an increase on a risk assessment for any work place or public building? If they’re not aware of this, they should be. Because, risk assessments lead to insurance and higher risks means a higher premium. Can many companies afford a higher premium?

As much as I don’t think this to be a valid reason for a company not to employ a disabled individual, I understand it in the current economic climate.

Thus far, we’ve only talked about the physical disabilities. Does this assessment take into consideration those individuals who have mental disabilities? I’m sure someone with a learning difficulty could indeed pull a pen from their pocket when asked in a calm, controlled environment. Would that be possible in a stressful work place? Highly doubtful.

In short, the changes to incapacity benefit, although necessary to a degree are being done with such ignorance that not only is this government putting people in more vulnerable situations, they’re not helping everyone into a secure job. I do not mean secure as in financial, I mean in the practicality sense of the word. Someone who is visually impaired would struggle working in a visual environment. Likewise, someone who is deaf would find it challenging to the point of stressfulness in an auditory environment. The government want people into work, but realistically what are they going to do to ensure that happens? Many disabled individuals of working age, want to work and would give anything to work. But is putting them on the poverty line with virtually little, specialised assistance into work the right way to go? And this is before I get to disability living allowance.

Many disabled organisations understand the people they work with. Research shows getting work is not as easy as the government would have everyone else believe. Putting this aside, living with a disability, regardless of work or not is a costly affair. Again, some individuals may use little of their disability living allowance, while others may fluctuate over the months and many others depend solely on it to live day to day with their disability.

I cannot speak for someone in a wheel chair, or a deaf person but I as a visually impaired individual rely a lot on my disability living allowance to buy computer equipment so I can read emails, search for jobs, shop independently, read letters and books accessibly. I also use the mobility component to get to places I’m unfamiliar with. Despite what our oh so wise government believes, my guide dog does not have a map inside of his head and I cannot type a post code and he’ll take me there. He only works from my commands. So if I don’t know an area, he won’t know it either and we could become lost and vulnerable. So, taxis are often a way to get around. I attempt to use public transportation where possible and of the do but there are times taxis are necessary and sometimes my only option. They are expensive and on occasion I have to pay someone to assist me somewhere. For example, shopping for clothes items. I need someone to help me around the store and although shop assistants can be helpful, it is not always the case.

A minister recently said that after three years you shouldn’t need any further financial support when it comes to your disability, I’d like to see him try. You have to replace equipment, I.E., colour detectors/scales or bigger things like computers or washing machines even. People do not realise that using a launderette is not a task for the faint hearted disabled individuals. For a wheel chair user, I’d imagine it troublesome getting to the place, with all of your laundry, then many machines are probably not designed for wheel chair access. For someone who is blind, using the machines at all would be impossible without tactile access or someone helping never mind actually getting there with your laundry.

For anyone to say that living with a disability can be got used to after so many years is an ignorant and cruel statement. Without living with one, how would you know?

I’m not expecting everything to be given to me on a plate, I never would. But I want this government and any future ones to not just penalise individuals and put them on the breadline with no hope out. They need to change people’s attitudes, change legislation for insurers and companies. Make public buildings accessible to all. Put the disability discrimination act into practice and enforce it because right now, disabled people still have no rights. David Cameron talked about the happiness and quality of life for the citizens of this country, I see nothing but misery ahead for many disabled individuals. Some have said without their DLA, their lives would not be worth living. Without help into work, without changing people’s attitudes, without punishing disabled people and actually help through work experience in practical jobs and having an assessment process that was realistic for the individuals being tested and not just convenient to down the governments numbers, I don’t see life in this country worth living either. It’s a bleak future for anyone suffering with a disability right now.

The government do need to save money, they do need to get disabled people into work but not without support and not at the expense of those people’s rights. A right to live. This could be done correctly and competently but as this new system stands, they will be putting their disabled exactly where many suspected they would, at the bottom of a pile of trash.

Books + Blind = Forget it!

I just started back at University in the past few months and I’m afraid this is somewhat of a rant but a very well experienced one.

I have ran into these same issues ever since I entered into higher education but my first degree began in 2001 and so I hoped, beyond all hope that the services and transcription and alternative formatting may have advanced just a touch since then, after all, it is almost nine years ago. Sadly, the situation remains the same.

The degree I am undertaking is not exactly the streamlined subjects that some people may choose to undertake but the classes I am undertaking are more streamlined. A people skills book that could cross reference many subjects throughout the higher education spectrum and a well known psychology book are seemingly unattainable to someone with a print disability hoping for it to be in any format other than print.

Maybe it’s my sheer bad luck or maybe the figure of %96 of books in the uK never make it to alternative formats is far too accurate. If this is the case, knowing technology has advanced in those nine years, then it has to be asked why? Why am I still pulling my hair out because no matter how much I want to succeed the books I need cannot be bought/borrowed in a format I can access.

Some people would suggest buying the book and scanning it myself and although I have a scanner I would need new software to translate the picture into text but scanning an 800 page book from one class alone would be ridiculously time consuming.

When will publishers and authors realise that their book sales would lift considerably if they also published them in a format everyone could access.

And when will organisations realise that charging to lend books is actually extorting visually impaired people. It is unfair and unjust and lets hope that if Apple’s IPad opens up accessibility with its IBooks app being introduced, and huge publishers agreeing to make their books available in EPub format then it would open the doors, possibly to increased accessibility. And those publishers/authors who refuse to make their content accessible, shame on them for depriving those with print disabilities from reading for both furthering themselves or purely enjoying the leisure activity of reading a good old book. Should it matter how they access the books as long as an author and publisher benefit financially.

Furry Friends or Financial Hindrance?

Are our furry friends about to cost us all an arm and a leg, financially?

With a variety of dogs patrolling our UK Streets, ranging in size, colour, weight and temperament, it was only time before the UK government figured they would hit the responsible dog owner in the ass with the one weapon they know will damage us. Money! Instead of employing stricter jail sentences for those who flout the law and use innocent animals to fight one another for entertainment or those idiots who neglect to give basic care to their four legged friends, the UK government has yet again come up with a brain dead idea to penalise those of us who treasure our furry friends.

The proposals that they are outlining are deemed to “There would be a financial impact on dog owners, but there also might be an impact on dog risk.” according to one bright spark within the department of farming, environment and rural affairs. Really? And who, then, may I ask will that effect the most? Those of us who are in low income jobs who seek comfort in our four legged companions. As the trend has seemed to take a pattern of hitting the lower classes hard financially within the past few years, I am not altogether surprised that this blasé statement was offered up.

A proposal outlined on petparliament.com came up with some very plausible implementations that seemed more than reasonable and may I add affordable.

A test to prove you have the ability to care for a dog seems more than a great idea to me. [they should enforce that one for parents too]. But proving you can care for a dog and give it a stable home seems more than a reasonable request and the £40/50 they are proposing the cost to be also seems fair. A licence to help contribute toward associations like the RSPCA and the dog wardens again seems reasonable and quite a genius idea standing to cost the individual dog owner £10 per year per dog. This would cut down on overcrowding, and the continued support of those associations that help dogs that face not so pleasant existence’s.

Having stronger sentences also features on this groups proposals as does third party insurance like the government are suggesting but the cost of this insurance worries me and the blanketed effect it is taking even more so. One insurance company spokesman stated their basic insurance is £15 per month which does cover for £1000000 and serves as third party but their highest policy covers for £3000000. Which one is everyone guessing all dog owners will be forced to get? My money’s on the maximum insurance.

Most of us take out insurance for one thing or another and most sensible dog owners do have insurance to cover for vet bills but if the government expects everyone to have the £50 per month policy then this would make it extremely difficult for most house holds to keep a loving four legged friend. there should be some alternative, maybe a hierarchy as there is for certain breeds needing higher policies because of their genetic vulnerabilities. So if you wanted to own one of the dogs under the dangerous dog act then your policy may incur you more money. It still may hit a responsible dog owner hard but if your dog has a good temperament and can be allowed to walk on its lead through your town/city/park without snapping at a person or another dog then why should those owners be hit so brutally?

Another proposal is a database of dogs and owners. This makes perfect sense. Keeping a database of each owner and dog and having to change that information if the dog changes owners so all associations connected with monitoring dog behaviour up and down the country have instant access to the dog’s and your information. this method would make for easy reunions if a dog is lost. To add to this, I believe microchipping should be compulsory.

Alongside the database is more stringent rulings for suppliers who would be hit with a hefty fine if dogs were sold to someone who did not hold a valid dog licence. Again this would ensure that all dogs sold within the UK should be going to responsible owners and the money raised from the licence fees would make sure that troublesome dogs were captured and either rehabilitated or euthanized.

Coming to the topic of euthanasia, these proposals from

What A Wonderful World!

The past few weeks has taught me far too much about the social state of our society. several things have happened both directly and non-directly that provoked me to write this blog.

First of all, if anyone read my blog last week about The library then you will know the personal experiences I have had in recent weeks with the youth of society.

By no means do I think that all children behave in such a disrespectful matter or believe that all kids are bad but it seems more and more, with cases like the stabbing last week in the UK, multiple mass murders from school children in the past ten years that society has gone crazy.

I know that there have always been the odd child that gives the rest of them a bad name. Heavens knows we were all capable of being a little “cheeky” or insolent during our youth, its the way we tested boundaries but more and more we read of killings, abuse, and pure anti-social behaviour occurring on a daily basis that surely is not acceptable. Although, it seems it is.

Children cannot be disciplined by adults due to fear of repercussions for the adults involved. It shows how bad this particular situation has become when a UK soap shows a woman in her 70s being arrested by police for smacking her “naughty” grand daughter. This child merely wasn’t just talking back but she was trying to make it look like her grandfather who had suffered a stroke had wet himself by pouring water over his lap. This same character had stolen another little girl’s dress and her grandmother had covered up for the child’s bad behaviour until the water incident upon which she smacked the child. Not battered her, smacked her.

Now, when I was growing up, which is not that long ago in the real state of things, my mother smacked me if I was bad. It hasn’t driven me to be violent or abusive as a person so I’m not buying into that psychological theory. I don’t discount that can happen but a smack from a parent/guardian during childhood seems a norm to me. But now with all the human rights and children’s charities bleating on about children’s rights it seems not only the authority figures such as police officers, teachers etc who cannot have a handle on children’s behaviour but their own parents cannot discipline their child as they see fit either.

I would never condone beating a child but a quick slap on the rear end or back of legs surely, when used appropriately cannot do any harm. Children have no fear of authority figures anymore and this is steadily growing into a problem that before long we will not be able to get a handle on.

If a child does not have disciplinarianism at home, [I do not mean hitting, you can discipline in other ways], but if they are not taught to respect adults and adhere to social as well as legal laws then what hope do we all have for the future? If the parents won’t discipline their out of control children then who can? Teachers and police officers were given this role forty or fifty years ago, with the ability to use corporal punishment within the classroom and the threat of a “clip around the earhole” from the local bobby but now it seems no one can touch the brats of society because of their “human rights?”

It seems to me as if adult’s human rights are slowly shifting from the adults to the children. Only this past week did Apple remove “overtly sexual apps” from their app store. Regardless of the content, why did Apple feel the need to do this? Because of some “do-gooders” sticking their noses in where they’re not wanted? I personally don’t purchase the type of apps that have been removed from the app store but I also think its against the consumer’s right to choose what they buy with their money. All apps that in possession of “adult content” should be labeled so and you agree if you are over the correct age limit if you want to purchase and use the app. So then, Apple are legally obliged to remove those apps, I agree but if an app is rated as adult then why should it be removed at all? If you are an adult then you are old enough to make the choice whether you want to buy an app with bouncing boobs or an app to show you naked men/women. So lets hazard a guess why these “do-gooders” complained.

CHILDREN!!!

Yes those little darlings are not only infringing on our adult human rights to respect and common courtesy in every day society, they are now infringing on adults’ decisions to buy whatever they like from Itunes App store. So how long will it be until those brat loving fools make Apple feel obliged to remove rated R movies or explicit music? This is the first step people to complete and utter censorship. Whether you like adult images/apps on your IPhone or IPod, shouldn’t it be your choice, as an adult? No one makes you buy any of the apps, you search and buy your own at your own discretion. So then, how is it fair that our society is again revolving around children who some of us don’t have. And if you as parents are worried about what your little darlings are buying on ITunes, use parental control or simpler still, DON’T BUY THEM A EXPENSIVE DEVICE THAT THEY COULD DOWNLOAD CONTENT ONTO!. Or better still, DON’T GIVE THEM YOUR CREDIT CARD DETAILS AND MONITOR WHAT THEY ARE BUYING! You’re the ones who had children, you be responsible for them. Don’t expect society to babysit them and raise them, that’s your job.

I’m getting ultimately tired of my life having to revolve around children and be disrespected by them and have to deal with their abuse when I don’t even have a child. Let society be about individuals and not the offspring of those who do not give a fuck about what their “little darlings” are doing. I have every respect for parents who bring their children up with manners and show them about respect and being a social being but after witnessing recent events and then hearing about Apple’s decision to remove content specific to adults, it just reinforces an anger amongst those of us who are trying to contribute positively toward society whilst others sit on their backsides, claiming benefits for their umpteen kids and not taking responsibility for them. If you can’t be assed to have a child, use something or abort it, but don’t let the rest of us suffer for your irresponsible attitudes. Get a job and stop bitching about adults wanting to be adults. If a guy wants to look at sexy naked women, let him, he’s not doing anyone any harm and if your 11 year-old child is talking to his friends about a show he saw on TV about sex, then that’s your problem for not ensuring he’s watching safe content. There’s a watershed in most countries and if not, then turn your television off and teach your child some respect.

People need to start taking responsibility for their own children and stop blaming companies or developers or television networks for the content they’re producing. You’re a parent, watch your child! Being a parent is about nurturing not just feeding and clothing, educate them, its not only down to their school to do that. Remember one thing, you wanted society to stop disciplining your children, now look at the state it is in, little respect, rude and anti-socialites, wow what a wonderful society we live in! Don’t you think?

My apple Mac

With all the choices on the computer market nowadays, the general consumer has more choice than ever before. However, as a visually impaired user, the only option I want to have is mac and Apple products. Here’s why.

On Thursday, I turned my trusty macbook 13 inch, 2008 model white onto to check my email and such to discover it wouldn’t boot beyond the apple logo and timer thing. I was so upset. I love my macbook so much, it recently travelled to the US with me and if I don’t take the time to at least boot it once a day, I’m sick.

Anyway, I called Apple care and booked an appointment to see an Apple genius the next day. The problem I next had was that I had to pull out my old sony Vaio laptop that runs Windows XP and has a version of Jaws for windows running on it. It wasn’t a prospect I was looking forward too, let me tell you. Nevertheless, I loaded it up and encountered twitter issues with the program I have running on that laptop, then had issues setting up my gmail account in outlook express, followed by issues with not only importing music to itunes but getting the damn program to work correctly for me. I was still fighting with Itunes at lunchtime when I left to go to my apple appointment.

I never realized how counter-intuitive windows was, and I missed my specialized features that voice over on the mac offers, such as spelling as I type. I missed hearing, “misspelled” which happens frequently when I’m typing a lot. Itunes was a complete nightmare, how anyone uses that program on windows with a screen reader is beyond me. And the screen reader itself frustrated me beyond belief, freezing on several occasions, jumping on others, it was just a nightmare I do not want to repeat.

Hasten to add, my macbook was fixed and is happily being used again. I know some people prefer windows but for me, it is mac all the way. snow Leopard can keep purring happily inside my pretty white macbook with voice over being its Captain. ☺

Uncertainty

Came home to a place,
That feels so unsure,
Wanted to be back here,
Not so sure of that anymore.
Ambitions and dreams were once so very strong,
I knew exactly where I wanted to be,
Now that notion seems so very wrong,
And my heart feels so empty.

Darkened clouds lie overhead,
My heart feels very sad,
The love I once felt turned to dread,
And what I once felt I no longer have.

Is it pure disappointment that led me here,
Or something else at play,
I really feel like there’s no way,
I could survive this place.

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