Saturday, 23 August 2014

things that are unfair #1

The social model of disability holds that a disability is located not in the individual, but created by the barriers in society that have the effect of excluding that individual from taking part, and it is the responsibility of society to minimise these barriers, dismantling them entirely where possible.

But it seems there are limits.  

We live on a bus route, and I don't remember the last time I saw a bus on that route that was not wheelchair accessible.  Sounds great, right?  But what about when the one wheelchair space on that bus is already occupied by a wheelchair user?  If you don't use a wheelchair, you're fine - there's what, fifty seats, something like that?  Just because one is occupied, no matter, you sit on one of the other forty nine.  But if you are (in effect) waiting for a bus with a single seat, and someone else is already sitting there, you're buggered.  You can't get on that bus.

Should buses be required to be representational of the population?  Proportional representation of wheelchair spaces, seats with plenty of leg room for people with other mobility issues and so on in relation to ordinary people who can just get on the bus and sit on a seat?

Bristol City Council subscribes to the social model, and regulates local transport, including buses.  According to this model Smiler isn't disabled by his need for a wheelchair, but by the barriers created by society - in this case, the limited number of spaces on the bus for a wheelchair.

So does this mean Bristol City Council is disabling my son?

I don't have an answer, I don't have a wonderful solution, I'm just asking the question.


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Friday, 8 August 2014

Special Shapes Launch {Bristol Balloon Fiesta}

Fancy new Smurf balloon!

The Up balloon!  Not it's proper name, but that's what my lot called it, and they weren't the only ones!  A bit of a crafty 'special shape' - it's actually an ordinary shape covered in shaped vents which gave the impression of a massive bunch of balloons lifting the basket

The lightbulb - probably one of the more easy to make and fly than a lot of the other special shapes, but they still get points for joining in

A new daisy balloon - brought over from the States according to the announcement over the PA - a very special shape, and one of our new favourites.

Miss Daisy was the last special shape to launch, flying off with a cheeky wink

After the special shapes launch there was a wait of a couple of hours before the nightglow...

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an afternoon at the Bristol Balloon Fiesta

Yesterday was the first day of the four day long Bristol International Balloon Fiesta, and the skies looked promising.

 A Lynx helicopter dropped by, landing in the arena - not really Smiler's thing but both Noah and Petal took a turn sitting in the pilot's seat.

Smiler decided he was going to stay in his chair, under his blanket.  We'd brought blankets because we were planning to stay for the night glow and it can get chilly, but sometimes with Smiler you have to choose your battles, and this one wasn't worth fighting!

Petal and Noah - don't ask me what they were up to, I have no clue.  Absolutely none.

Snacktime, courtesy of the Seed Pantry - believe it or not, the kids were full, and this all ended up being packed away again - oh well, perfect treat for another picnic!

I've spilt this up a bit because of all the photos, but the special shapes launch and the night glow coming soon...

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word of the week

A difficult week in the abstract household, for all sorts of reasons, but I try and focus on the positives for this.  Not so much a summing up of this week as an aspiration for the next few, but my Word of the Week this time round is

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focus (ˈfəʊkəs)
npl -cuses or -ci (-saɪ; -kaɪ; -kiː)
1. (General Physics) a point of convergence of light or other electromagnetic radiation, particles, sound waves, etc, or a point from which they appear to diverge
2. (General Physics) another name for focal point1focal length
3. (General Physics) optics the state of an optical image when it is distinct and clearly defined or the state of an instrument producing this image: the picture is in focusthe telescope is out of focus.
4. a point upon which attention, activity, etc, is directed or concentrated
5. (Mathematics) geometry a fixed reference point on the concave side of a conic section, used when defining its eccentricity
6. (Geological Science) the point beneath the earth's surface at which an earthquake or underground nuclear explosion originates. Compare epicentre
7. (Pathology) pathol the main site of an infection or a localized region of diseased tissue
vb-cuses-cusing-cused-cusses-cussing or -cussed
8. (General Physics) to bring or come to a focus or into focus
9. (often foll by: on) to fix attention (on); concentrate
[C17: via New Latin from Latin: hearth, fireplace]
ˈfocusable adj ˈfocuser n

Sourced here

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Focus on the important things, let go of those that don't matter.
Focus on looking forward, resist looking back.
Focus on the things that go right, forget about the others.

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The Reading Residence

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