Join Jamie Pauls, Ricky Enger and Joe Steinkamp as they discuss the top news stories of the week which include:
From Jenine Stanley: Perk or service? Here’s a theory about why people might see some things like being able to bypass Disney lines if you have a disability, or being able to have your service animal with you, as perks and hence something to desire enough to fake disability over.
I think people see us going about our business in particular with our guide and service dogs and hey, we look pretty normal, whatever that means. We’re at Disney or somewhere else doing what everyone else is doing. So why do we get special things like the ability to jump lines?
People seem to have forgotten the limitations that we have as the reason for these things, i.e., needing my dog to guide me versus just bringing it along as a fun thing to do with my pet; or, not being able to stand for long in the heat, or not be able to tell when lines are moving and stay in the flow as a reason to get me out of that stream and into something I can better manage.
This is probably not making a lot of sense, but I think many of us are in this sort of parallel universe of being capable, regular people, until we’re not.
We’ve been having a lot of home improvement work done lately and the contractors have learned quickly that though I can’t see anything, describing it even marginally usually gets the point across. Then they forget that oh yeah, they really should move the pile of stuff on the driveway that I wasn’t expecting to be there and tripped over.
The one that still gets me the worst though are those people who say things like “It must be nice to take your dog everywhere.”
My response is swiftly becoming “It would be better to have working eyes and a car. Wanna trade?”
“I wish I could take my dog everywhere.” Usually said by a 20 to 30 Something.
My response: “Well, I wish I had your eyes and your car. Again, wanna trade?” Jenine Stanley
From Jenine Stanley: More On Disney I, my partially sighted husband and our two guide dogs went to Disney world, particularly EPCOT, for the day on May 19 with two sighted friends. It was honestly a mix of getting pulled out of line and not. The first ride we went on in EPCOT was the Energy Adventure or something like that, commonly known as the Dinosaur ride. We didn’t register with Guest Services or anything special because we just weren’t going to be there that long. I wish I’d gotten one of the receivers but given how hard it rained, good thing I didn’t.
Pulling us aside was fine in this case because it allowed the people on the tram portion of the ride to explain the car layout and such. Our friends got to come with us.
Then I wanted to ride Mission Space, the fast version, so one of our friends and I left my dog with the other two and started the “line adventure”! Yep, because I had no cane and was doing sighted guide, they probably had little to no idea I was totally blind until we had to stand in specific places and do specific things. My friend did a great job of letting me know where to look and what to do. I then teased her that they wouldn’t realize I was blind and just think we were really, really good friends.
Next we did the walk through the different lands and I have to say, the restaurant staff in China was outstanding at describing menu choices and such.
By the time we finished lunch and headed for the monorail to the Magic Kingdom, it was pouring rain. Fine, no big deal as everyone was wet. We took the Frontier Railroad and were immediately shepherded over to the front of the train to wait with a little guy and his mom. He had CP and used a wheelchair. He was getting to drive the train which was way cool. My husband was ready to go help him as he loves trains. Granted, I hadn’t heard your show yet at that point of course and it was just a little weird to be there under those circumstances but frankly, cramming into a train car with large wet retrievers is really best done with friends only so this worked out OK.
Finally we decided to ride It’ S a Small World. Here we were sent into a shorter line but I think it wasn’t special at all, just the shorter of 2 lines for groups who wanted to stay together.
Regardless of how much or how little assistance we got, I am still completely amazed at how Disney has developed this science of moving people. Even when we waited in the longest line, it moved steadily. I stopped hanging onto my friend at times and had to pay attention.
Joe’s point is a good one about having the service of skipping the line for folks who aren’t used to doing lines yet as a blind or partially sighted person. Lighting was probably a huge variable too in some of these lines, making it even harder to stay with the flow.
What I found most disconcerting though at Disney was the total oblivion of my fellow park visitors. My poor dog worked his furry bum off dodging people, strollers, packages and stuff. It was harder than his annual Fifth Avenue walk at Christmas in NYC.
I was body slammed by several people who were looking around at all the sights, recording video, doing who knows what. Most of them never acknowledged that they even ran into me or my dog. They were in the Disney stupor. It was scary.
That said, the dogs did a masterful job and I never would try it with a cane, though it could be done I’m sure. I’d find myself, especially in the lands in EPCOT, drifting into that Disney stupor as we passed through the different music, smells and such. Usually that’s when someone would plow into us though.
All in all, It didn’t feel as if we were being singled out for anything and it was nice when people actually knew the rules about the dogs and such. In the scheme of moving that many people, maybe it is just efficacious to have such special services. I’d be curious to see the Disney data on such things as you know they have to be keeping such data on line times and things to improve service. Jenine Stanley
From RJ Edwards: Comment on the Disney disabled persons scam Good Day,
I have been to Disney a number of times with friends and family. I have used the disabled line a few and I have not. I do think it is a great service. However I think it is important to note and mention that there is a similar service offered to the non-disabled community called Fast trip. This service is at a cost where the service for the disabled is free. Therefore I believe that if your gonna pay for the service then you should then pay for the fast pass and leave the line for disabled individuals alone. The more people that attempt this scam the longer the lines for us disabled folks becomes and therefore renders the line pointless. I do see Ricky's point about hiding the visibility of the disabled community. However, I do also think it might be also a liability issue for the parks as well. Some of the main entrances to these attractions are rather tricky to navigate. especially for someone who has a walking disability. I myself have taken a tumble or two on some of the rides. However does that go into they should designed a better entrance or let them use the disabled access. All things to ponder. Thank you for your time.
From Beth For “SeroTalk podcast 154”: Mailbag: Address correction Hi, on the podcast, you gave the Kindle feedback address without saying “Hyphen” or “dash” and I went to the show notes and found the address written correctly, you may want to correct it in a future podcast.
Here is the address:
From Beth For “SeroTalk Podcast”, mailbag: All-in-one accessory for desktop Macs and PCs and for smart phones Hey, guys, I’ve been wondering and researching: Is there a Bluetooth or what I call long distance USB device with a full-sized keyboard, mouse, medium-sized monitor and good speakers? That way, you could control your desktop or phone from a distance, you also wouldn’t have to buy a laptop Mac or PC unless you wanted to. Keep up the great work! Beth
From Catherine Turner: No queuing for disabled people Hi,
I was interested in your item about some parents paying for their children to avoid queuing at Disney World by going with disabled people. I find this sad, not only from the view that people with money to spend can’t bear for their precious children to stand in a queue for a while, but also the poor impression the policy as a whole gives the public of disabled people. Of course there are sometimes impairment-related reasons why queuing for a length of time would be difficult for some people (fatigue, pain) but this doesn’t apply to all disabled people. I’m not saying they policy of allowing disabled people to skip queues is wrong, but it should be flexible enough so that someone can choose to queue if they want to and from your discussion it doesn’t seem that this is the case. I expect a lot of people will choose to skip the queue, but people certainly shouldn’t be pulled out of the queue – apart from anything else, what about people with invisible impairments? Give people the choice an let them decide. It might seem a small thing to get concerned about but in a world where most of us are unemployed and I, for example, (as a blind wheelchair user using a power chair and a cane at the same time) can’t go down the street without someone either complaining about my existence or, at the other extreme, congratulating me for (it seems) getting out of bed in the morning, small impressions matter. I feel that true equality means taking an equal share of the bad, unpleasant or tedious things in life and queuing at Disney World should be no exception – unless the person has an impairment-related reason why queuing is a problem for them.
Thanks for the show, I only recently subscribed and am glad I discovered it – great podcast.
Catherine (Colchester, UK)
From Wayne Mills: Cues Hello Ricky, Jamie and Jo,
I thought I’d just chip in to the debate on disability and queuing re: preferential treatment.
For me, I’m afraid I have to line up with Ricky. There are some quite subtle implications surrounding perception of blind and visually impaired persons in society today. We have the greatest opportunities as a community given the solutions offered through assistive technology whilst at the same time seeing no improvement in the employment statistics of blind persons.
There are interesting social tensions even within our own community re:what is the social identity of the blind community? I am a chap with RP who could see well as a younger man / teenager but have become blind in my mid-late 40’s. As my vision worsened, I built skills that maintained my independent travel and have made full use of the various technology available to maintain my independence. I believe I have achieved a well balanced view of my own life and abilities (although I might need to ask my wife what she things?)
However, social amenities such as theatres and cinema still want to treat me in a charitable way. For example, I am married and when we go to our local Theatre, they want to allow my wife free admission because they see her as my carer. I say my wife is not my carer, we are having a night out together and I am taking my wife out for a lovely evening meal and Play. I insist on paying for us. Naturally in a very pleasant and amenable manner (smile)
I am employed and so do not require a discount – as Ricky said, if I were unemployed, I would accept a reduction on the basis of low income and not on the basis of being blind. By the way, the theatre does offer live audio description and does allow me to go on stage before the show to touch all the props and locations. That is actually helpful to knowing what costumes are being worn re: texture etc.
However, we also have a community with variable abilities. Some in transition because of acquiring blindness and others who have fully transitioned from loss of sight to either maintaining independence or greater dependency. I believe this is often informed by what message we have internalized as sighted persons becoming blind re: I can and will maintain my lifestyle and preferences or I have lost the ability to do this activity or that activity. There are also the challenges of accepting resources such as a white cane or braille re: psychological adjustment to the public presentation of being blind.
In some ways, we are continuing to see a form of disability apartheid. Women and black people needed to assert their rights as equal human beings in recent decades and with this, expectations and social readjustment re: social roles and beliefs changed. As a community, we do need to take responsibility for the personal message we project and reinforce to a sighted community that wants to be empathic with our challenges but also needs to recognise our strengths and abilities.
Of course, I do want to be sensitive to those who are experiencing changes to their vision. with the associated emotional impact of this. However, the emotional and psychological impact of sight loss can inform the decisions a person makes in engaging with their challenges. Not an easy thing.if a person believes loss of sight equals loss of dignity and personal freedom when trying to understand their experience, then we enter that cyclical reinforcement of wider social beliefs that the blind community needs help rather than empowerment..
Thanks for the chit chat everyone . One Nil to Ricky (soccer reference). Big smile