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The Contemplations, Rants & Reminiscences of DavidB327

Something Sensational To Read On The Train

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Disability Discrimination on the Underground
Given my own experiences at work, and great trauma I am going through in fighting back against discrimination by my employer, it is not surprising to learn of other cases – in this case against customers.  I find this particularly upsetting, as I travelled for a long time on public transport through London after becoming disabled, and I know very well how daunting this is.
I used to go into the office each day, getting the Underground to Paddington, and then the train to my workplace.  I was actually able bodied at first, but as the RP progressed my eyesight deteriorated.  Eventually I was set up to work from home, though initially still travelling in to work 1 day per week. This was feasible when services were running smoothly as I knew the route well.  However there were often problems with the service (both the underground and over ground trans), making my journey somewhat circuitous and stressful.
In the end I had to stop going to the office once per week, and became based at home full time.  This was mainly because my eyesight had deteriorated too much, but also because it was becoming too dangerous – most notably at Paddington station.
On the way home, at Paddington whichever way I made my way to the Underground, there was always a sea of people – including many running madly in the opposite direction to me (mostly by the way not to catch a train that was about to depart, but to make sure that they could get a seat on the train).  I managed to avoid being run into, more by luck than judgement, but I knew that eventually my luck would run out and I would get hurt.
Hence I am particularly incensed at the lack of empathy in this case.  Instead of dignity and respect, the LU management are displaying contempt for the company’s disabled customers, and complete disregard for their well-being. I dare say a visually impaired VIP would be treated rather differently.  The sentence “They are more trouble than they’re worth.” did not appear in the memo, but it might as well have.
I would like to think that the visually impaired LU customers (travelling through Victoria) will not be intimidated, and continue using their current route, rather than LU’s so called alternative.  I would also like to think that the able bodied customers will rally round and help anyone in difficulty.  Even in a seemingly soulless city such as this, there are some ‘good Samaritans’.  Not many in the upper echelons of LU though.