to think BAFTA have just let down disabled people??

(85 Posts)

I was horrified just now when the Paralympics coverage won a BAFTA. Ade the wheelchair athlete wasnt able to access the stage the same as the other winners. They were all stood there saying "Where is Ade??" and he suddenly appeared from the side of the stage. It wouldnt have taken much to put a ramp there.
I rather hoped that after Tanni Grey Thompson was left off the winners rostrum at the Sports Personality award a few years ago that things might improve. Apparently not!!!! hmm

SirBoobAlot Mon 13-May-13 09:55:01

Speaking as someone who uses a wheelchair about 50% of the time, if there had been a slope going up to that height of stage, it would have been a nightmare. It would have either been short and steep, so a nightmare to get up, or would have had to run along nearly the entire front of the stage, plus room to access it... Having also worked with theater management, this would have been a nightmare to negotiate with the amount of people they have to accommodate within the hall. That, and it would have taken much longer to get past everyone and arrive on the stage.

They got him up on the stage. It's not as if they said, "This award is for a wheelchair user, but they can't get up here to accept it". They found a way for him to get on there, maintain his dignity and independence.

Honestly, I think they've handled it well in all honesty. It wasn't about making disability something to hide, it was about working within what was doable in the setting.

Booyhoo Mon 13-May-13 09:56:51

All this guff about it would have ti be risk assessed and its nit so simple etc. the baftas happen every year. This doesnt sneak up on them. They have to risk asses everything they build for it so really its bullshit to say a ramp would be an issue. It no more issue than building steps or the stage or seating or anything else. They should have disabled access planned and built regardless of whether they expect it to be needed because this is two thousand and fucking thirteen and it shouldnt even be given a second thought whether disabled people should be provided for. Disabled access should be factored into everything they do tbh. No way is it acceptable to say ' oh well, we'd have to do a risk assesment so too much hassle'

SirBoobAlot Mon 13-May-13 09:58:34

"Honestly... in all honesty"? Wake up, SirBoob...

<goes for more coffee>

CloudsAndTrees Mon 13-May-13 10:06:24

You are right QuintessentialOHara

There are a lot of places that it would be very difficult to convert and it would cost so much money that it would result in the business becoming unviable. Which is a sad, but understandable situation. Incidentally, we ruled out three beautiful wedding venues because their access for wheelchair users was separate.

But this is the BAFTAs FFS, they have the money and they could have done it. They have highlighted how inaccessible the world can be, and that even if it isn't inaccessible, access is different, which results in people becoming 'other' as Dawndonna says. If they had installed a lift next to the stairs it might have taken a bit longer, but at least the group wouldn't have had to be separated. They would have made it onto the stage together, rather than one person having to take a completely different route.

And award ceremony this big just shouldn't be doing this. We shouldn't have to question whether the person involved was annoyed or not. Even if he wasn't, what about the next person?

This should have been an opportunity to show what can be done when people think it matters enough.

Dawndonna Mon 13-May-13 10:06:25

No TSP I didn't think you were suggesting that users should be treated differently.
I accept that we have old buildings and that they are difficult to modify, however modifying is what we should do.

Not having seen the baftas, and having thought about it in view of SirBoobs post, I think more dignified and less problematic than ramps, is a properly designed wheelchair lift. Like this for example (Fgs, they even have them in my local B&Q for disabled customers to get up to the second messanine level, so why not major venues such as used by the Baftas!)

They take much less space, and are easier to use than ramps.

My dad has one at home, in addition to various ramps causing him problems in terms of space for turning his chair around on the bottom of the ramp, and getting up and down without problem. His house is on many levels, and with small stairs from one part of the living room to the next. His ramp to just get down two steps to the part of the living room that accesses his outdoors patio take nearly the length of the room, and then he needs a good radius for turning, at the end of it. Nightmare.

SirBoobAlot Mon 13-May-13 11:04:24

I hate having to use those lifts just in shops, when everyone hears the amount of noise they make, and looks around to see who is using it.

The idea of thousands of people watching would terrify me! I'd be bound to run someone over, or ram into the corner or... <shudders>

Yes, more practical than a ramp, though, I agree with you there.

SoupDragon Mon 13-May-13 11:07:53

Just out of interest, how many wheelchair users have needed to access the stage in the history of the BAFTAS?
Is the man in question this year, Ade, in any way embarrassed by the way he accessed the stage?
I assume that the high-ups in the BAFATAS know in advance whether they are going to need disabled access to the stage and plan accordingly (because Ade clearly did have access to the stage)?
I think that his colleagues were a little crass if they did not understand it would take Ade a bit longer to get on stage than they took (however he got up there).

They did provide access. I assume that a wheelchair user needing to gain access to the stage is a vanishingly small need compared to full disabled facilities and access to the venue itself (which I assume there was). It isn't the same as accessing a restaurant or an public space.

Had they made Ade accept the reward from the floor in front of the stage, that would have been offensive and completely unacceptable.

mrsjay Mon 13-May-13 11:09:23

I hate having to use those lifts just in shops, when everyone hears the amount of noise they make, and looks around to see who is using it.

I agree with you Sirboob the thought of going in 1 of those lifts fills me with dread id die of embarrassment and it would be too high for me <wimp> but yes i suppose it is much more practical I can just about manage to walk up stairs still but I think there will come a time where I will be looking for ramps for walking up and I do use a lift where there is 1

SoupDragon Mon 13-May-13 11:10:33

I am not for one second suggesting that anyone with a mobility problem or other disability should be prevented from accessing public space but I do think there will always be compromises necessary in certain circumstances.

SirBoobAlot Mon 13-May-13 11:13:20

MrsJay it's the ones where you have to keep the button pushed down that are the worst. If my hand goes into spasm whilst I'm using the lift, everyone who wasn't already looking turns around to see why the noise has stopped and started!

My local TKMaxx is the worst as it is on three floors, but has two separate lifts. <sigh>

mrsjay Mon 13-May-13 11:14:32

MrsJay it's the ones where you have to keep the button pushed down that are the worst. If my hand goes into spasm whilst I'm using the lift, everyone who wasn't already looking turns around to see why the noise has stopped and started!

oh bet you get quite the audience sigh

Chipstick10 Mon 13-May-13 11:16:52

I can't believe the channel 4 coverage of the Olympics beat bbc, was speechless at that award.

CloudsAndTrees Mon 13-May-13 11:18:43

The best lifts I have had experience of have been in other countries in newer buildings, and they have been quite quiet from what I remember. They don't have to be noisy, I think it's probably just the cheaper versions that are loud.

They did provide access yes, but the point is that the provided access that was in a different place when there would have been an alternative option to provide it in the same place as everyone else.

mrsjay Mon 13-May-13 11:21:04

I was in spain over easter the town we were in had stairs and ramps beside it although 1 of them was like a bloody hill felt like I needed my clampons and rope to get up it grin

I forgot about the noise. How could I? It wakes me up at the crack of dawn when I visit my dad, and he is going to daycare.....

infamouspoo Mon 13-May-13 11:28:40

what Dawndonna says
It happens all the time then the ablies make excuse after excuse. As usual.
Its 2013 ffs

CloudsAndTrees Mon 13-May-13 11:37:40

That's a fair point mrsjay, ramps in other countries can be scarily steep.

Booyhoo Mon 13-May-13 13:17:14

I think the fact his colleagues where asking where is ade etc shows that they hadnt considered that he would be in anyway disadvantaged by being in a wheelchair. As it should be. I dont think they were crass i think they were just expecting the same treatment for all of them and were surprised that one of them had been held up. Which really shouldnt have happened. It also looks like no-ine had informed them beforehand that ade would have to use back stage access if they won. I thinj they should have been and then at least they alm could have hone together and no-one would be wondering where he was.

happyscouse Mon 13-May-13 16:11:07

Just to put another slant on things, Ade was interviewed on 5 live this morning, He was obviously delighted at the award and he said it was a real surprise. He was laughing and as he said" I was saying to everyone around us its not us they would have put a ramp up by now" so when they announced them as winners it was a genuine surprise. If he was bothered about how long it took to get on stage he didn't mention it.

MsJupiterJones Mon 13-May-13 16:15:54

I was also shocked by this. I thought it was embarrassing for the RFH/SBC. And BAFTA. Hell, I work in the theatre industry and I was embarrassed by it.

It doesn't matter what a nice guy he is and that he wouldn't have been upset by it. Fact remains, theatres should be fully accessible. Plenty of time to sort risk assessments. Plenty of carpenters handy who can build extraordinary sets. A ramp would have been a doddle.

happyscouse Mon 13-May-13 16:32:39

But he seemed to view it as a positive that there wasn't a ramp. Do we need to get so offended on his behalf when he seemed to view it as something that actually enhanced the enjoyment of the award.
As the auntie of a wheelchair using nephew for the last 16 yearsI am right behind those who say we are nowhere near the standard we should be for accesability ,but sorry can't agree with those who considered this to be some sort of snub.

Dawndonna Mon 13-May-13 16:48:39

but sorry can't agree with those who considered this to be some sort of snub.
And that is exactly the reason we need to kick up a fuss and create a stink, because people like you won't do it for us. I want to be equal, I have every right to be equal and that means being treated equally, all day, every day by every person I meet, in every situation in which I find myself. It means not having to book a train weeks in advance, not being turfed off a bus because a buggy is more important than me, not sitting outside inaccessible government buildings. You obviously will not treat me as such. You may love your nephew very much, in fact I'm 100% positive that you do, but your upbringing has somehow instilled in you that he is effectively 'other', ergo you will not make a fuss, on his behalf, or mine.
Dd's daughter.

happyscouse Mon 13-May-13 16:56:41

Dawndonna I can assure you I did not have an upbringing that has instilled in me that my nephew is "other".
I just wanted to put another maybe positive spin on last nights events, gleaned from hearing Ade speaking himself.
I am sorry if I have offended you or any other wheelchair users that was not my intention.

Dawndonna Mon 13-May-13 17:00:07

That was my 16 year old daughter replying. She did say so, at the end. It's her perspective. I can see what she's trying to say. People have been brought up not to make a fuss in public, that's what happens, and more so with people with disabilities, it comes from the time when we locked such people away, and if we were confronted with them, well, it wasn't mentioned in polite society, was it.

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