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I don’t need step free access but….

So my time at the Edinburgh Festival is almost at an end, I’m staying tonight and going back to Glasgow tomorrow. Two more shows, one late one 11.10pm start, for goodness sake! Though my friend is in it so I really want to see it.

Anyway, that aside, it’s been an interesting experience having been here only ever for the film festival. When the film festival was on in August I used to never have time to do anything else other than see films, as that’s what I wanted to do, but now I am here in August (the film festival is now in June) there are no excuses. Four shows yesterday and just as many today mean that I’ve had an exhausting time.

OK, I chose to walk (almost) everywhere, I did get a taxi (once) I also got the bus (once) baring in mind I’m just as crap on buses seeing as I nearly always get off at the wrong stop (I’m sure that’s a confidence thing) so I walked everywhere. I just happen by chance to choose venues that are mostly near each other, but when I had time to kill yesterday and was here all day (didn’t get in till after 11pm!) and then I had to wait for my friend to get home so I could let him in.

But it’s still a trek everywhere, and towards the middle of yesterday I had a blinding headache, and really didn’t feel I could walk very far… yet had to queue for everything. Whilst they were forming a queue for the last show of the day, I sat by the piano, and nearly said something about having to queue the whole time… but I didn’t, and so I got up, and guess what… I stood in the queue, feeling as though I was about to fall over at any moment. I’m about to queue again in a short while, though I am actually sitting in a comfy chair near the queue, so I’m at least going to wait here until the queue actually starts moving.

N.B Not that I looked for any disabled performers, but I didn’t see any at the festival this year.
Searching ‘disabled’ as a keyword on www.edfringe.com comes up with nothing. Interesting that… Not funny, but interesting…
NB again. A PDF www.lothiancil.org.uk/imageuploads/Disability%20Shows%20Festival.pdf
Lists 8 shows by disabled performers this year, and their website makes it clear the festival is committed to accessibility.

Posted by Colin Hambrook, 2 September 2011

Last modified by Colin Hambrook, 4 November 2011

Booking special assistance

I am at the station on the way to Gatwick Airport. I still have a headache six days after a random assault. (I was rugby tackled to the ground from behind, kicked in the face / head and three times in the ribs before I ran.)

I feel more fragile than normal, aside from everything else, and yet I was pondering over whether I'm entitled to special assistance when I get to the airport.

I wonder if many people with 'hidden disabilities' have this feeling. It's a feeling of... well, having to explain (read: justify) why I should be entitled to assistance today, when I may not need it on the way back.

It depends how far the gate is away from where I'll be when the flights called. It depends whether I'm able to eat anything. It depends that I'm ok with my new hearing aid and not losing my balance. And, it depends how bad my headache is. Not to mention how I'll be when I arrive at the airport in the first place.

I do maybe think too much on what others will think or say before I get there. As it happens when I was on Easyjets' website I couldn't figure out how to actually book special assistance, so I have no idea whether I have booked it or not, and am not sure I want to mention it when I get there. I also wonder if saying 'I'm likely to smack someone round the head if they get in my way' would actually help at all. I suspect it wont!

NB: Actually found staff very good, and helpful, so it was worth asking at the check in. Shame headache is still bad though...

Posted by Colin Hambrook, 1 September 2011

Last modified by Colin Hambrook, 4 November 2011