Tanni Grey-Thompson, the former Paralympic athlete now in the Lords, spoke to the Telegraph about a recent experience on a train, when she was forced to throw her chair to the platform and crawl off the train because there was no one to help her on the platform or train:
‘As a disabled person travelling you always have an element of fear, feeling very uncomfortable, of panic, of just wondering whether you’re going to get off. I think it is fair to say that a lot of disabled people feel like second class passengers because they don’t have the same treatment as everyone else. I don’t expect to be swept in to first class and treated better than everyone else – I expect to have the same experience, and that is often just not the case.’
Pretty fair, I’d say. What do Daily Mail commenters have to say?
I used to be very sympathetic to people like this lady, but after having numerous incidents where disabled people behaved in a most arrogant and demanding manner including queue jumping, and using their disability to get preferential holiday time I just let em get on with life. They demanded and rightly received equality in law, so I just treat them the same as everyone else now. – Parent, Co Durham AGREE 100%,. best made point of the day. These people cannot have it both ways. Very very well said.
– Jonathon, N.London, 26/3/2012 10:45
We have been hearing for years that everyone is equal, now she wants special treatment the cry is different. I always help if I can, but more times than I care to remember, the disabled person has given me abuse for trying to help them……..you can’t have it both ways.
– James 001, West of Nowhere, 26/3/2012 10:52
The huge cost that disability has added to everyone’s burden over recent years doesn’t help public sympathy for you. Also you can afford any means of transport and help, why expect it? Your outdated romantic view of charity is your problem; and lets face it how long before it’s illegal not to help?
– Andy, Bath, 26/3/2012 10:49
Illegal not to help. Tyranny.
I find it odd that this Woman expects to be treated the same as everyone else.Yet as far as I can see she has been as no one helps able bodied people either. She’s received exactly as she asked for.What she is in fact demanding is special attention and moaning about not getting it.
– Andy, Norway, 26/3/2012 11:25
If one is disabled it is important to organise ones life more prudently. Getting off a train at midnight is not the best of an idea. May I humbly suggest that too many disadvantaged people expect everything to be handed to them on a plate , and that there could be a slight degree of arrogance involved.
– Malachy, Belfast, 26/3/2012 12:17
The arrogance of crawling unassisted off a train at midnight.
she did get the same treatment as every one else. know one helps me of the train
– Sue Previsor, Doncaster CC HSE, 26/3/2012 12:17
Are you in a wheelchair, Sue? Or just allergic to logic?
It may not be PC but the railways and the underground are not a taxi service. The staff when available are always unfailingly considering of disabled people but they cannot be expected to provide a continuous butler service to everybody who travels. If we equipped all train to cope with someone with Ms G-T’s disabilities why should it end there? What about people who cannot even move at all? or speak or live without apparatus? The sad fact of life is you can only go so far to accommodate diabilities. You cannot put an escalator up Everest.
– Andy, Portsmouth, 26/3/2012 12:28
You want to live a life that doesn’t involve abject humiliation when commuting? PC gone mad.
Hang on. These people fought for equal rights. And rightly got them. They are entitled to equal pay, equal everything as far as I can see. When they have a bad experience they run to the papers. I only ever see tanni in the papers when she is rubbishing able bodied people. If i was to rubbish disabled people the way she is complaining about able-bodied people there would be holy war. Where are my equal rights??????
– Luca, France, 26/3/2012 12:35
I don’t know about you, but I get the impression Luca’s a white, straight bloke. What about his equal rights?
Dear DM. I had a bad experience at Croke Park recently. I didnt get priority booking. I didnt get priority seating. I didnt get parking at the front door. Nobody held the door open for me. Nobody carried my food and drink for me. please please will you write a story about me – you did a story about this lady so its only fair – I think they call it equality.
– Patrick, Leinster, 26/3/2012 12:38
Oh, Patrick, poor love. Buy a new dictionary.
What about able bodied men in this world. Where have our rights gone ?
– Arthur, Stoke, 26/3/2012 12:46
HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA oh god, my soul has died.
And she is a Baroness because??? 11 gold medals does not justify a title!– Pete, Midlands, UK (not EU), 26/3/2012 12:15——————And the ironic thing is that they do not race in ‘wheelchairs’ – they are specially built very expensive machines that make it extremely easy to race. Where is the achievement in that ? I would like to see them race in actual wheelchairs.
– Sam, Manchester, 26/3/2012 13:15
Would you, Sam?
They could put a little cattle type wagon with a big ramp on the back of every train where all the wheelies can travel together so they don’t feel so different. – Bill, NY, 26/3/2012
Thanks, Bill. Nothing screams inclusivity like being hidden in a cattle wagon and called “wheelies”.
And yes, it’s easy to roll your eyes and say the bottom half of the Internet isn’t representative of public opinion. But the Daily Mail do moderate their comments, and the ones above are those that have been deemed inoffensive enough to stay up. Several comments, since taken down, suggested that wheelchair users lead a cushy life, and that they should be made to wait until no able-bodied people need serving in a supermarket or post-office because they have a “comfy chair” that able-bodied people are denied. I’ve had enough bad experiences on public transport, when I’ve had seizures and people have left me for three stops before calling for help, or the time a bus driver who refused to stop was chased by an ambulance and screamed at by a doctor on board, to know that these opinions are common. So really, it’s no wonder the government’s onslaught on disability rights is moving on apace.