2017 began with a shocking story of a woman forced to wet herself on a train with no disabled toilet.
I was appalled to realise this was my friend, Anne Wafula-Strike MBE – a British Polio Ambassador and Paralympian who has campaigned tirelessly for those living with Post Polio Syndrome (PPS), and the millions who struggle to access even the most basic amenities. A three hour journey with no access to a toilet beggars belief but is a scenario our members and many of your readers will identify with. Anyone who knows Anne will not be surprised she had the courage to speak out, but the fact people still face such situations is a national disgrace and the time for action is now. Anne was prepared to crawl to a standard toilet but this is a situation we should all feel ashamed of and not just CrossCountry trains. These incidents are not one offs as many remain silent rather than come forward but the only embarrassment is for those who treat accessibility as a box ticking exercise.
Is access to basic services too much to ask? Let’s make 2017 the year we strike back and force those failing on accessibility to make it a Happy New Year for all. For those who would like our help or would like to support us, the British Polio Fellowship can be contacted on 0800 043 1935 or visit http://www.britishpolio.org.uk/
Ted Hill MBE
CEO, The British Polio Fellowship
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