About AID Association for the Independence of Disabled People
The Association for the Independence of Disabled People has been created as a direct result of its Founder and Chairman, The Hon. Mrs Ruth Adorian, being diagnosed with Motor Neurone Disease in 2007. This mind-blowing diagnosis was finally confirmed after twelve months of tests and visits to Neurologists, accompanied by the information (in response to Ruth’s question) that “if she was lucky, her life expectancy was three years” and Ruth’s response at the time was a very blunt “We’ll see about that”.
Seven years later, after much deliberation and determination, the Association for the Independence of Disabled People has been launched to actively promote the needs of severely disabled people by initially creating an Annual National Disabled Day to provide a focus for the needs of the ever-increasing number of disabled people who still, all too often, have difficulties in accessing even the most basic facilities in the course of their lives, particularly where severe disability is concerned.
Since being diagnosed with Motor Neurone Disease, Ruth has fought a determined battle to retain her independence, actively supported by her close family, friends and carers, who have also been determined to ensure that she lives as normal a life as possible.
All too often, in the course of journeys away from home where overnight accommodation is required, despite care being taken in planning such journeys, hotels, claiming to have disabled facilities, quite abundantly fail to meet the basic requirements of severely disabled people, particularly where the layout of bathrooms are concerned. Time and time again, when booking disabled accommodation at all grades of hotel, reception staff are blissfully ignorant of the detailed arrangements of bathrooms, thus making it extremely difficult to know, before arrival, whether the facilities will even be usable. Many hotel owners feel that a few handles on the wall (usually misplaced) and an emergency bell pull constitutes a disabled bathroom.
Almost invariably toilets are placed in a corner close to a wall, rendering it impossible for two carers to assist a severely disabled person and as if that wasn’t enough of a problem, some disabled bathrooms have a wash hand basin fitted so close to the WC that it is quite impossible even to push a wheeled device over the WC. Frequently, handles are placed 3” above the rim of a bath so that a disabled person has nothing to hold on to at the right height to maintain stability when getting in or out of the bath. Bathrooms have even been found with baths so long and deep, without any form of handle on the wall, so that, if even a mildly disabled person succeeds in getting into the bath, he or she has absolutely no way of getting out again!
We live in an aging community where the number of disabled people increases year by year, yet facilities for disabled people, in buildings to which the public have access, lag behind. Despite the growth in the number of people requiring such facilities and existing legislation for the benefit of disabled people, little is done, by Local or National Authorities, to enforce the legislation and ensure that the quality of facilities provided actually meet the needs.