Do you ever feel as if you have to justify yourself to people who have little or no knowledge of what you do or how you run your life? Ah ha, another loaded question you think, but I can assure you, it’s not asked with a loaded agenda.
As I’ve just started my new job, I’m going through the access to work process again. Dealing with the DWP (department for works and pensions) element of this can be an experience to say the least and often demands a huge amount of patience, humour and an ability to swear a lot under your breath.
Admittedly, they do have to look after a budget which needs to go around a bit, but in my mind it should also necessitate an understanding of the challenges that we face on a day to day basis. One example of this is the need to have your doctor to complete and sign a form to state that you have some kind of disability. To me, this is an issue that need not be certified by a medical professional. After all, wasn’t the medical model of disability consigned to the rubbish bin some time ago? Isn’t it interesting how disability is so often tied in with health; yes there is usually a medical cause to many things, but the many issues that we face are socially created.
Additionally, whereas I can see the need to confirm disabilities within unknown clients, why does the dear old dwp have to ask for this information yet again; especially when they have lots of information on the long term nature of my eye condition; i.e. I’m blind and it’s there for life. Maybe, I should send them my knackered eyes to prove the point?
Interestingly, on the form that I have passed onto my doctors, it asks how my ‘loss of sight’ impacts on my ability to drive. Now what answer could I give them? The temptation was to write anything from my indecision on what colour car to go for to the highway agencies inability to put Braille on their road signs. In the end, I just said ‘for obvious reasons, I wouldn’t be able to have a driving license due to my total blindness’. Hmm, they may still try to get round that one.
I’m sure there is more to come; watch this space.