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Positives from the pandemic

hdeakinhdeakin Member Posts: 103 Pioneering
edited June 30 in Guest blogs
Hannah became disabled after an injury when she was a teenager. It left her with Complex Regional Pain syndrome and a range of secondary illnesses and complications. After spending most of her teenage years bed-bound and in hospital, she is now a 29-year-old disability and lifestyle blogger.

These past 3 months or so have been a hard time for everyone. Particularly disabled people. But as a direct result of coronavirus there have been many positive experiences for the disabled and chronically ill community. I believe this has made the world more accessible.

Remote working

Working from home has become the new norm. I hope this will continue and that it has highlighted to companies what is possible. Organisations must make this an option for disabled people after the pandemic ends, despite the obvious social benefits of working together in an office. They are also missing out on incredible talent by not being inclusive.

Perhaps big companies will be able to save money when they see they don't need such a big office? The question is: why have disabled people battled so hard for these reasonable adjustments?

Open laptop in the middle of the screen

A more inclusive environment

The pandemic has also led to loads of opportunities for disabled people. We have now had access to a whole range of things. For example:

  • church services via Zoom
  • virtual quizzes
  • remote classes or lectures for learning
  • hobby or group meet ups via Zoom
  • virtual tours of museums and art galleries
  • virtual concerts or live streamed gigs

Some shops have even started home deliveries despite this not being available before. This means many people have had the opportunity to buy goods from local and inaccessible places. Coronavirus has made the world more accessible.

Another positive aspect I have noticed is a greater sense of community. These opportunities have opened doors for people who cannot get out as much or if they are housebound. It is enabling people to be more connected to the world and to reach communities they would have once missed out on. For the first time the world is coming to us when we can't get out into the world.

screenshot of people on a video call waving

A change I hope that will come

It would be such a shame to lose this increase in accessibility. I hope many organisations will seriously consider options of keeping at least some of these life-enriching services.

I’d like to think that they would be able to appreciate the difference access has made during these extraordinary times and maintain it for people who continue to need it.

One thing I am optimistic about is that the non-disabled community will have a better understanding about what disabled people go through once the pandemic is over. I hope they will think about how hard the last few months have been and consider themselves lucky that their isolation is only temporary. Unfortunately, for others it is not temporary. An end is not guaranteed.

If you would like to read more of Hannah’s work, visit her blog at Hannah’s Hope.

Have you had any positive experiences during the pandemic? Have certain things been more accessible? Let us know in the comments below!

Replies

  • TopkittenTopkitten Member Posts: 1,080 Pioneering
    Unfortunately I doubt these things will continue any longer than absolutely necessary and a lot of the extra helps around have only come about because people are not at work and they are catering to the majority, not minorities,

    Working from home might be good for staff but can be a nightmare for managers. Being unable to check up on staff and peer over shoulders would, if the option continued, lead to many of the companies using keyloggers and other spyware in order to ensure their staff are actually working for the benefit of the company as much as they are supposed to. Trust is not a big factor in business management.

    It's possible that some of the other services that are now available might remain but the majority are run by people who will return to work and they will not have the time or inclination to keep it going.

    As soon as the restrictions are relaxed enough ALL concerts, sports and other such pursuits will go back to "charging on the door" as it's easier to manage.

    I am also pretty certain that many of the new home delivery options will also disappear.

    Imo the actual outcome of the lockdown will be higher unemployed. more homeless, drastic price rises and a clampdown on wage increases. Every company that makes it through will need to recoup the lost income and this can only be done by passing it onto customers. Fewer staff will be used wherever possible to reduce costs and anyone who has borrowed money to keep going will find that interest was charged throughout and payments need to increase to compensate. I would not at all be surprised to see a larger number losing their homes to cover debts they can no longer cope with (assuming they have a job at all). Also, anyone looking to the government or councils to help out will be sadly disappointed as they too try to rebalance the treasury and recoup lost expenditure and income. I think we can expect an even harder clampdown on benefits and more refused than ever, maybe even the complete removal of some benefits altogether.

    Shutting down the country has led to a very bad financial situation not only for businesses but the country as a whole and I believe the number of people classified as "poor" will also rise dramatically. Apart from reducing the number of people requiring treatment at any given time and spreading it over a much longer period so that the health and support services can cope I see nothing good for anyone in the long run.

    And all because a panic was started over a virus that isn't even twice as bad as influenza and only one sixth as dangerous as SARS (which didn't shut any country down except in the Far East).

    TK
    "I'm on the wrong side of heaven and the righteous side of hell" - from Wrong side of heaven by Five Finger Death Punch.
  • christian96christian96 Member Posts: 54 Courageous
    But that is what will happen if you do not take action now @hdeakin. Sorry to burst your bubble cruelly but I doubt if things will stay the same. So many of those services are only provided on a temporary basis. As for understanding disabled folk it will happen very slowly instead. 
  • PhilipAndersonPhilipAnderson Member Posts: 1 Listener
    Thanks everyone for sharing your thoughts, some of which have been front of mind, as I came to terms with being isolated in lockdown - 15 weeks now, crazy!

    I have written three short blog articles during this period. 

    How a bumblebee helped me in lockdown

    Will coronavirus transform accessibility?

    Contagious Kindness Virus

    I'll be interested to read your thoughts on how these might resonate with you. Meanwhile, keep safe, this horrid virus is still out there
  • Wini1960Wini1960 Member Posts: 47 Connected
    PhilipAnderson Hi I think what has kept me sane is a business my husband and I share. I think the lack of something to do, and what you do enjoy your not able to do can be quite depressing if you let it. Work from home remotely immediate start, no experience required. Part time, full time home based opportunities.

    Commission based only

    Text these numbers
    07742929966 or
    07434827807
    leave your name and telephone number for further information.

  • serenkserenk Member Posts: 17 Connected
    Hey @hdeakin

    Thank you so much for sharing your story, and highlighting the positives of the lockdown. I for one really hope my university allows me to continue remote learning - it's exhausting and pain-inducing for me to attend in-person. 

    I noticed that when lockdown began to ease, some shops stopped their temporary delivery service. I totally understand why, but I felt the disabled community were more invisible than ever when this happened. For people who are shielding, we can no longer access the goods/services from these places. In a way, it felt like we were never actually considered. 

    Unless a person has a disability or knows someone with a disability, it's realistic to think that they don't consider us as they've never had to live in a world inaccessible to them. I hope that makes sense!

    That being said, I hope that now everyone knows this can work, that employers allow employees the option to work from home if they want/need to. You are so right - they're missing out on an enormous talent pool if not!
  • hdeakinhdeakin Member Posts: 103 Pioneering
    @Topkitten thank you for your reply. Yes I think you are right we will loose many of these good things, i just hope they manage to keep some. They make such a difference. I know these changes were for the majority though. It is a very difficult situation. It is going to be hard for businesses to get through. I hope disabled people don't end up paying the price too heavily.
  • hdeakinhdeakin Member Posts: 103 Pioneering
    @christian96 don't worry you are are not bursting my bubble! I know we will not get these things handed to us on a plate however i hope we may get some and by raising awareness of the difference they make it may help people to stop and think as well as understand. Although their experience is not the same. There is nothing like actually experiencing something.
  • hdeakinhdeakin Member Posts: 103 Pioneering
    @PhilipAnderson thanks for sharing your articles Philip. They are really interesting :)
  • hdeakinhdeakin Member Posts: 103 Pioneering
    @Wini1960 I am glad your business has helped you through this period. Also wonderful you have an opportunity you are opening up to others :) Good luck luck for  continued successful business 👍 
  • hdeakinhdeakin Member Posts: 103 Pioneering
    Hi @serenk , thank you! I will have my fingers crossed for you with continued remote learning at uni 🤞
    I definitely agree with you that there has been times (if not maybe completely throughout!) that the disabled community has not even been considered or perhaps completely forgotten.
    Definitely, I think you can't really understand something unless you have been through something or known much if you don't know anyone with a disability. I for one feel I was ignorant and had no experience, understanding or clue before I became disabled. 
    Thank you. I really hope so :)
  • Wini1960Wini1960 Member Posts: 47 Connected
    hdeakin Thank you I try to help but I get very tired sometimes with the amount of meds. Sometimes I'm in so much pain but it's still good to have purpose and something positive to focus on in life. Our aim is to help people achieve their WHY. For me it's not about the money but it's about self development and confidence. When you've had depression on and off for 26 years it rapes you of your self confidence, self esteem and the agoraphobia as well can be so bad but I get through each episode I keep trying. I want to leave something worthwhile for my children a willable legacy that's my WHY.
  • hdeakinhdeakin Member Posts: 103 Pioneering
    @Wini1960 I am sorry to hear you get so tired and suffer with a lot of pain. Living with pain is very hard. Definitely, love your attitude! I am sorry to hear about your struggle with depression. But wow that is a great goal and ambition.  I think that will help and support so many people :)
  • Wini1960Wini1960 Member Posts: 47 Connected
    hdeakin Thank you we can be amazed about what is on the inside of us. I think we all have some creativity of some sort and disabilities should not be used as an excuse. I love watching the Paralympics because they work so hard and don't let their disabilities limit them in what they want to achieve. I was employed as a support secretary for the ICAEW for 21 years and I could have given up totally as life has not been kind to me both emotionally,and physically however, I made the choice to live a life of purpose and I believe it's in all of us. I have a business page on Facebook and I put a video on it. If you want to take a look. Have a great day.
  • hdeakinhdeakin Member Posts: 103 Pioneering
    edited 4:14PM
    @Wini1960 what is the ICAEW? Well done for persevering, I know it is not easy. Yes I will- what is your Facebook page? I have a Facebook page for my blog 'Hannah's Hope' https://facebook.com/hannahshopeuk if you fancy a look :)
  • Wini1960Wini1960 Member Posts: 47 Connected
    hdeakin Hi ICAEW stands for the Institute of Chartered Accountants in England and Wales. I will take a look at your page and will leave the link for my FB page. Take care navigating your way through this pandemic and keep going with your project.
  • hdeakinhdeakin Member Posts: 103 Pioneering
    Haha! I thought I recognised it! I have recently finished my AAT exams and had just started 3 hours one day a week work experience to get my MAAT status before the pandemic. Hopefully I can continue again with it soon. Thank you and you too :)
  • Wini1960Wini1960 Member Posts: 47 Connected

    hdeakin Hi I would like to donate to your foundation but cannot see where on your page? I dont have any glasses awaiting cataract surgery. Here is the link to our page.


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