Disability is portrayed by the left wing and liberal media as an issue about poverty, focusing on people claiming out of work benefits and struggling with their impairment identity and situation. Because the UK government is not pandering to their exclusion agenda, providing benefits to stay at home for anyone who wants them, and within an era of rights without responsibilities culture or consideration for others, they feel the need to criticise the UK and portray it as one of the worst countries for disabled people in the world.
Going on a cruise as someone with an impairment or indeed as anyone is an opportunity to see disability in another context, and to remind yourself of the facts of the situation that the anti-inclusion media wishes us to ignore. There are 2 specific simple points about disability that can be learnt by doing a cruise.
The first is that a lot of disabled people of all ages go on a cruise, although as in society, the majority are older people. Any cruise, however basic the cabin may be, is not exactly a cheap holiday and therefore disabled people going on cruises are unlikely to be in absolute poverty. Even if they are on benefits, they are clearly managing and found a way to enjoy life, like the majority of society.
But the point here is that while disability may indeed cause additional costs, in the same way being a parent of a young child does, the supposedly inseparable link between disability and poverty is untrue, a creation to keep the organisations that disempower people with impairments in power. By definition, impairments are blind to social status and background, affecting everyone and anyone in a manner they choose.
The second issue is accessibility. Most cruise ships are fully accessible as far as possible, especially as a lot of disabled people like cruising. It is when you go ashore to far away islands and lands that you can begin to realise what a privilege it is to be a disabled person living in the UK. The cruise terminals, like airports, will be accessible as far as possible, even if it is clumsily done, because of the demand from the tourism industry. The area surrounding the terminal may also indeed be accessible due to its dependency on tourism.
It is when you start exploring by foot, or rather by wheel, beyond this point that accessibility becomes a matter of luck as opposed to anything else. While many disabled passengers simply do not go ashore, unwilling to take on the adventure, I will always try to explore what I can as far as possible. My mobility skills mean I am confident to use the roads when the pavements are inaccessible or unsafe. I love to simply soak up the atmosphere of the place and the people, where my presence is often an unusual sight.
This is the time I would like the UN to explain to me how can they describe the wonderful and accessible UK I appreciate as the worst country for disabled people, when I am witnessing proof that this is simply not the case. The lack of accessibility I am seeing in these places will be a sign of a general lack of consideration for people with traditional impairments people understand, let along the array of new milder impairments invented in the UK.
Going to a cruise is a reminder of the truth about disability issues beyond the ivory towers many disability activists, who experience little suffering themselves directly, have built around themselves as they show they are out of touch with the real world.
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