This morning, Katie Price, a well-known celebrity and frequent tabloid fodder, had a headline in many daily newspapers in the U.K. saying that she was now “registered disabled” and was struggling to walk. She had an accident jumping over a wall whilst on holidays, had badly broken both feet and ankles and now had chronic pain and had to use a wheelchair. Now anyone who knows Katie Price knows that she is the Queen of pink, given to bearing her soul (and many other things) for the tabloid press, and is a reality tv addict. But there is another side to he; she is also a staunch campaigner for disability and equal rights because of her son Harvey who has many learning disabilities and autism.
She appeared alongside Harvey on a TV documentary last week called “Harvey and me: a documentary on disability” where they were trying to find a college suitable for her son who had newly turned 18. It was fascinating to watch and showed a completely different side to Katie, a capable side, a firm, staunch and very able advocate for her son.
But after seeing the documentary (which I really enjoyed and was impressed in equal measure) and then reading the article, it got me thinking.
Is there such a thing?
Is there a list somewhere on someone’s desk with a list of all the people who have a disability, weakness or an issue?
Have I missed something?
Not that I know of?
Am I on some list?
Should I be?
Have I registered?
Have I missed my ‘make my appointment to register’ appointment?
When you start asking questions like these then it all starts to sound quite alarming? (Apart from the last one, that was just me being a bit silly) Well it did to me anyway. We know that numbers and statistics rule our world these days, you only have to watch the 24 hr a day news to see how today’s numbers have gone done up or down or the mathematic modelling shows this or that or the amount of unemployed has gone up by this percentage or other. And I also know that the Department of Work and Pensions who deal with disabled people in this country keeps many and various records on all of us, and we also know that they use those to justify making cuts so we would have to assume that they would have a ‘register‘ of some description surely?
But the word ‘register‘ really worries me. Especially as at the end of January, we had World Holocaust Day. We all knew that the Nazis compelled all the Jews to go to be registered and that resulted in their extermination and that also included disabled people who were murdered as well.
This word really bothers me for that reason and also for the reason that if we, as disabled people, are encouraged/required/forced to register, then we should be very concerned. We are already subjected to humiliating assessments in order to get any benefit , we are already given all kinds of abuse from uneducated people who think the Government gives us each a free car and we are already routinely denied benefits that we are obviously entitled to and then have to appeal and appeal in order to receive the paltry amount of money that they deign to give us.
(Oh dear, am I on my soapbox again? Uhem, better get off and get back to the post, apologies….🤦♀️)
So, back to the ‘registered disabled‘ point! Let me be precise and concise at the same time.
There is NOT a register of disabled people. We are not ‘registered‘ and we are not just names on a list! We are a kaleidoscope of wonderful, talented, artistic and remarkable individuals who are all different with a rainbow of abilities
We don’t need to be on any ‘list’.
We shouldn’t BE on any ‘list’.
What we want is to be seen and treated the same as everyone else, to have the same opportunities as everyone else and to just have an equal playing field.
Lists, statistics, registers, they all keep as being seen as different,’other’ or ‘less than’ other people and that is a road none of us want to go down.
So Katie, I think you’re an amazing mum and advocate for your son but we need to stop using such out of date phrases, they don’t help us shake off this old fashioned view of disabled people and they should be retired into the vocabulary box where all the not-acceptable words and phrases go…….
(if such a thing exists?🤷🏼♀️🤣)