When I started working on a group promoting access to all in my hometown I had no idea where it would take me. The crazy brainwave came about after I was getting nowhere with an accessibility issue and had nobody to turn to for support, mediate or so on who understood the town. Equal Lives kindly stepped in and put me in touch with some other access groups last August and what has snowballed from there has been a series of events, networking and pain piercing meetings.
I have over the past few months since being retired due to my ill health put about 5 hours a week aside for volunteer work in my community (never been one to sit still and not contribute), much of this has been taken up by attending Council Meetings, networking with disability groups in the town and county, other members of my community with an interest in politics, disabling barriers so everyone can benefit from the community and also so that they can access simple things such as post offices and parks.
What I have been overwhelmed with is peoples generosity and good support of the community project. I have spoken to many people who want to have some sort of involvement, I have at least some Cllrs who really get what I and the group are all about and we have specialists giving up their time for free to support us. At the first meeting we had people from Equal Lives, a Councillor and a Community Connector in attendance. At our next meeting scheduled for next week I have a lady called Norma MacHaye NRCPD, MAVSTTR Mod. EFSTTRS.Registered Speech-to-Text Reporter Realtime Captioner | Stenographer Proofreader. Yes that is all a mouthful what she does is effectively provides live subtitles on OHP’s at conventions in London and all over Europe, her only piece of advice is to always use a Registered Communication Support Professional.
It is the range and wealth of knowledge, expertise and people who have all provided their time free to see the project getting off the ground and I am thankful for every single one of them.