About Me

My photo
I have been working to support disabled people to live as independently as possible and realising their individual potentials for over 20 years. I am qualified in Health and Social Care Management and Ethics and Social Welfare. All blog entries are my responses to issues I see affecting those I support and indeed myself as I joined the disabled community after surviving a stroke.

Thursday, 30 September 2010

I'm Close To Despair Is It Just Me!?!

Good day (evening) dear reader. A late blogging today for which I most humbly apologise, however should I be blogging at all? According to Nadine Dorries MP for Upper-Own-Arseville (ok not strictly true but she should be), I shouldn't be blogging or tweeting or facebooking, however it is okay for me to speak apparently.

Now I must confess some of my favourite disabled bloggers were significantly more aware of the lovely Nadine than myself, and assure me that she has a habit of occasionally removing her head from her own rectal passage to spit out her ill-informed points of view. In fact I had no idea who she was at first, maybe I considered her opinions not worthy of my attention. Whatever the reason I was put onto this blog and really couldn't believe that this person had been elected to our Parliament.

She begins by complaining about MPs blogging and why they shouldn't do so, she did of course put this on her ...erm ... blog.

She then turns her attention to Twitter, despite not having a twitter account herself she has made herself the Chief Commissioner of the Twitter Police by unilaterally deciding what is an appropriate tweet rate (best term I could come up with). Then in a thinly veiled attack on disabled tweeters she writes:

"Is there such a thing as Twitter addiction? How can anyone live a normal life who can do that? Surely these people cannot be in employment because if they are, how can they work? if they aren't then it's time they got a job which involves being sat at a key board because there's nothing much up with their fingers, brain or attention span!!".

Oh dear, where do I start?!? No mention of assistive technology required for some disabled people to be able to use a computer, no talk of screenreaders required by visually impaired computer users, no mention that many disabled people have one computer set up specifically for their individual use with the adaptations required for their individual needs that most companies would shirk away from. She also fails to realise that many employment agencies and services are on Twitter many of them attached to our very own government. And this person represents the opinion of her constituents, it's enough to make a beleaguered disability expert despair.

This followed on from a radio phone-n show I heard on BBC 5 Live about people with ADHD (Attention Deficiency Hyperactivity Disorder) and some research that had indicated that there MAY be a genetic link to the condition. Suddenly everyone with access to a radio and a telephone were experts on the subject. I found it hard to believe some people believe ADHD does not exist as a condition and is purely down to 'bad parenting'. Hmm, I wonder what study, experience wisdom some of these comments came from. Yes I have seen examples of bad parenting of children with ADHD, but not necessarily from bad parents, but more often from good parents who had come to the end of their tether after years of unsupported parenting and education. Another old chestnut that came out was 'it didn't exist 20 years ago', erm it probably did but it wasn't being diagnosed. You don't hear the argument (thank goodness) about HIV and AIDS which is also a recently diagnosable condition.

What I ask dear reader is: Is it just me!?! please tell me there is more than me who doesn't get it when our MPs and members of our general public come out with such ignorant disablism.


  1. Nadine's a star :-) http://www.timesonline.co.uk/tol/news/politics/article7120750.ece

    But the argument that if you can use a PC, even with assistive technology is, the chances are that you could be economically useful is inarguable.

    The genetic link to ADHD was 'found' in about 8-15% of cases 'They found that 15% of the ADHD group had large and rare variations in their DNA - compared with 7% in the control group.' Our great and free press missed that bit, so the link is partial and unproven.
    It's also strange that a 7% frequency can be described as 'rare'.

  2. Disability Expert1 October 2010 at 20:37

    I'm not arguing with the ADHD stats and agree there was something of a misrepresentation by the press, but it was the attitude towards ADHD by the phone-in participants that irritated me.

    And the argument about being able to use a PC means you can be economically useful is a very black and white argument that takes no account of attitudinal barriers disabled people encounter. There is more to being able to use a computer to having a job.

    Many disabled people use a laptop from their beds, many disabled people have major issues using public transport, how do they attend job interviews? And thats assuming they are fortunate enough to get an interview.