Disabled AND a parent? Don’t be silly.

Right. I’m not a natural blogger, so apologise for the state of this before you read it. The point of this blog was more for me to keep track of stuff than for anyone to actually read it. But I’m getting genuinely pissed off with an issue that keeps cropping up, and need to share it with the world.

It is possible for a disabled person to be a parent. It is possible for them to become a parent when already disabled, and even to become disabled after becoming a parent.

Nothing and nowhere seems to take this into account. From my current argument with the bus company that I have to pay for a toddler travelling with me (when it would be free for an able-bodied adult to take a child), to the old one about providing a “wheelchair” space, but nothing for a parent who cannot fold his/her pram they are pushing, to all family deals being based on two full priced adults (and yes, sometimes one, as single parents do officially “exist” now in the land of zoos and family attractions). 

Schools do not take a parents disability into account when you apply for a place, nor can they arrange for non-disabled children to be included in the transport available for disabled children. So yet again, my son has missed nursery today (luckily it’s only nursery, when its school I’ll be fined for it) as I was unfit to take him. Because not only is he not in the closest nursery, I have to catch a bus to the next one (paying for both him and his younger brother as they arent included in my bus pass), and then I can’t manage the walk from the bus stop to nursery. I’m not allowed to drive by the way, before anyone complains that I should, as I faint. A lot. I am entitled to a Personal Assistant from social services. But they can only help with MY care, not my children. Not that I can find anyone that can work the hours I have been given. Because its not a full time job, my husband is expected to care for me and both children at any time when he isnt in work. And he doesnt get carers allowance for that either, by the way.

Anyway, got a little distracted there! Train stations will provide someone to push a wheelchair for me, while my husband is expected to deal with two children and our luggage on his own. The airport refused to allow one child on the golf buggy with me. What would they had done if I’d been travelling alone with the children?

As I said, bus companies acknowledge that they need to provide wheelchair spaces, and then kick disabled parents off buses for daring to be unable to fold their pram. This is illegally discriminating against a disabled parent, and is covered in the Equality Act, yet people hear disability, and think single adult in a wheelchair. But what can we do? We’re already struggling with the shit hand dealt to us, trying to make the best of it for our children. I don’t have it in me to fight to be recognised.

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