Tuesday, December 12, 2006

Not my baby...

I was reading another blog (http://midlifeandtreachery.blogspot.com/) today and this made me think. I have a colleague at work who I often have tea with in the morning. The other day she was telling me about her life and she confided that she had gotten pregnant with her first husband. She found out this child had Down Syndrome and subsequently aborted the baby. She noticed as she told me this that I was visably affected. She said she had been hesitant to tell me because of my own disability. I was taken aback, and I did try not to show it. I do believe, as readers of my previous posts will note, in pro-choice. I agree that it is her choice whether to abort or not, and believe it or not I do understand her decision. But a part of me still took her decision very personally. You can be friends, family, partner, colleague to someone with a disability and care for them, love them, be incensed at the injustice they endure, but it's a whole different issue when you are about to give birth to a child with a disability. Not my baby. And to be brutally honest, I think that's part of what's fundamentally wrong with our society. Disability is fine as long as it affects someone else. Which begs the question of how acceptable disability "really" is in our society? How can it not affect us when we hear that our family, friends, colleagues don't want a disabled baby? And how do we keep respect for personal decisions when it touches something that is so personal to us? I like this person. I think she's a good person and I hope to maintain a close relationship with her, at least at work. But it still hurts to know that she felt having a down syndrome baby was a sign that this baby wasn't mean to be. She is since divorced and remarried with a healthy baby, and I am happy for her. But I am still left feeling a little less because of what she told me.

Monday, December 11, 2006

Subhuman standards once again

I went to this play on the weekend with 2 friends. I had been to this theatre before with no problem. They have this contraption that they bring out that is like a little platform that they put on the aisle slope so you can wheel on it and make it even. The last time I went, they put this right beside the person I was sitting with. This weekend there were big problems with that. Apparently the fire marshall was enforcing strict regulations of wheelchairs not being put in the aisles. This is pretty standard in Canada. However, I was not told this when I made my reservations. And considering I was able to sit near my friend the last time, I assumed I would be able to do so again. Not the case. The platform had to be set up, not only against the wall on the other side of the aisle, but a few rows down as the entrance was right where the bought seats were. I voiced discontentment and the reply was immediately "we have no choice, there are regulations from the fire marshall we must follow". There was no apology, no voiced understanding of my frustrations. Most importantly, no clarification of this when I called to buy the tickets in the first place. They are talking about renovating the place to include taking out a row in the front for wheelchairs, but this would still not allow your companion to sit beside you, it would require them to sit behind you in the next row. Oh, and to top things off? Where is the accessible entrance to the theatre??? Yep, right next to the dumpster. Classy, eh? I am so sick and tired of less than adequate plans made to accomodate people with disabilities. I am so sick and tired of people spewing off excuses such as fire marshall regulations. Granted, I understand fire marshall regulations are real, but I do not for an instant believe that there is not a way to accomodate wheelchairs AND fire safety regulations. It can be done, it just takes some thought and work, people. God forbid. One of my friends I went with was actually more incensed than I was. I will, however, be writing a letter about this. Not impressed, folks. Not impressed.

Monday, December 04, 2006

So this is hell...

Well, remember about a year ago when I wrote that entry about a friend who wasn't really a friend and never replied to me when I said it upset me I never saw her? Well, lucky me. I get to see her Monday to Friday now. She is the lucky recipient of the last permanent position I applied to. We now get to work in the same building. I've already seen her 3 times since last week. It's been real fun. I actually said hello the first and third time, as I passed her by because it took me by surprise. The second time I just passed by without a word. Can you say awkward? Oh, and I meet tomorrow with my boss and my manager to discuss a complaint. Again. Could I feel any smaller? Yep. This is hell.