All our voices need to be heard

27 June 2018

Hi, I’m Josh Reeves and I live in Leckwith, Cardiff in a supported living service. 

Josh Reeves, one of our campaigners, chatting to a friend

I am a disability rights campaigner and speaker volunteer for Leonard Cheshire. I have been a campaigner since 2014 because I feel that society doesn’t treat people with disabilities fairly.

We should all have equal opportunities and experiences, and travelling by public transport is one example. 

Turn up and go

My last experience of catching a train left me mortified! I was going to an Occupational Therapy assessment at the National Star College in Gloucestershire where I had studied. Ironically I was being assessed to see if I was safe to travel independently (which I passed!).

However I didn’t book assistance because I thought ‘why should I?!’ I wanted to see what would happen if I chose to be spontaneous like other people who don’t have to think and plan ahead so much for an everyday journey.

It was humiliating

When I wanted to get off the train there was no ramp at the ready so I had to ask another passenger for assistance. The train driver got very frustrated with me, which made me feel really annoyed and frustrated in return. I felt like I wasn’t a customer like everyone else. I was told I was holding up the train for everyone else, and it was humiliating.  

Why should I need to book everything so far in advance — what if I just want to explore and turn up on the spot like so many others?

All our voices need to be heard

Accessibility is important to me and I think it should be for everyone. If we don’t live in an accessible world we will be continued to be labelled as different  and that shouldn’t be the case.

We are all human and we are all the same, we should all have the same opportunities. 

We all have a voice in this world. And all our voices need to be heard no matter if we have disability or not.

We all have a right to catch a train, plane or bus whenever we want to without it making us feel like we are holding people up and causing problems.

Find out if your local train stations are step-free and write to the rail company telling them why it’s important to make rail travel more accessible for disabled people.

Comments

Lift out of order at Whitton yesterday

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