Wednesday, 22 April 2015


You can't fight one without the other

On his blog yesterday Ralph Strzałkowski wrote –
'There are two wars that we fight every day' – a friend in a wheelchair told me once – 'One is the battle with our own body that doesn't always cooperate with you. The other is facing all the other people in the outside world'.
I think he was right. As difficult as it may be to have a physical limitation, dealing with what everyone else thinks, projects and assumes often and in many ways is much worse. I've been dealing with cerebral palsy for 35 years. I got in covered. Nobody knows more about what it's like to be me than me, I think With my three law degrees and projects constantly developing in the background I've been doing a pretty good job. That doesn't mean of course that being in this body isn't trying sometimes.

We all have those days when it's hard to get out of the bed in the morning. And when it takes some effort actually and literally to lift yourself up in the morning. But I like to think I'm making it day by day. And there are times when I think I'm pretty fly for doing what I'm doing and getting out the door.

And then there are other people. And they do often get me down I know I shouldn't let them …
Ralph calls this other war 
'The war on ignorance, prejudice and prejudice. Because life is complicated enough without having to deal with all that added stuff...
Ralph has documented something of his inner war, including the three years of his life spent as a residential pupil at the then Pető Institute in Budapest, in his book Never, never quit! You can see something of his social battle, including the development of  FDAAF (the Florida Disability Access and Awareness Foundation) through the regular twice-a-week postings on his blog Lawyer on Wheels:
It is hard to think that anyone involved with Conductive Education, with conductive pedagogy and conductive upbringing, whether they be personal users or professional providers, can wage the inner war without recognising the other one, the outer social war. And contrariwise... 

There are two fronts, and to fight either without regard for both, and their potential interaction, is sheer reductionism.

Local app

Lauched today is FDAAF's latest project, an 'access app', for disabled and non-disabled people alike, to show local bad-access hotspots :

This is intended to create benefits on both fronts – a terrific idea for others to take up in their own localities.


FDAAF (2015) Look around (phone app), Gainsville, FDAAF 

Strzałkowski, R. (2013) Never, never quit, Birmingham, CEP

Strzałkowski, R. (2013) Two wars, Lawyer on Wheels, 21 April

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