Well today started well, a walk with the dog, breakfast, that kind of thing. Then a quick email to The Independent.
I’m writing to draw your attention to a small but important issue.
Your article Ninety gaffes in ninety years (http://www.independent.co.uk/news/uk/home-news/ninety-gaffes-in-ninety-years-2290148.html#disqus_thread) whilst being quite funny displays a couple of rather worrying aspects.
In two instances you refer to wheelchair users as “wheelchair bound”.
“20 “Do you know they have eating dogs for the anorexic now?” To a wheelchair-bound Susan Edwards, and her guide dog Natalie in 2002.”
“56 “Do people trip over you?” Meeting a wheelchair-bound nursing-home resident in 2002.”
In this age of mass communication you have a responsibility. Propagation of such attitudes as seeing wheelchair users as “bound” to their wheelchairs is really quite awful. This is not a question of being politically correct, the is a question of just how you The Independent and your writers see your fellow human beings.
I would suggest you contact Susan Edwards and ask how she would like to be referred to, however i doubt you would.
Perhaps look at http://www.wheelchairusers.org.uk/ or http://www.bbc.co.uk/ouch/features/bound_to_annoy_wheelchair_users.shtml or http://www.wheelchairpride.com/2010/07/journalists-stop-writing-wheelchair.html and you will get the idea.
I would of course appreciate a reply, I would appreciate hearing that you will put in place some sort of action with your editors to filter out such terminology.
firstname.lastname@example.org (personal email)
Wonder if I’ll get a reply? It’s probably one of those emails they just laugh off, silly fool from manchester wrote to complain, what an ass. Well it needed saying anyway, and you never know, they may just Get It!!!
I should have read through all the comments they had, but the first couple of pages were just about how funny the Duke of Edinburgh is. (Having met him, yes he is as funny in real life, but that’s another story). So I wasn’t gong to trawl through hundreds of “my favourite is No44” type comments.
want to see a blog about wheelchair stuff http://www.wheelchairpride.com/
Anyway, on to other stuff………