Hello everyone, just wanted to share a holiday story with a happy ending…. — Scope | Disability forum
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Hello everyone, just wanted to share a holiday story with a happy ending….

RoseEmilia
RoseEmilia Member Posts: 4 Listener
“Sometimes being inclusive is just about being pragmatic….”

Flying with a severely disabled child is challenging at the best of times. In the age of Corona, it is a bit of a nightmare. 
Our daughter, aged 13, is physically and mentally disabled. She sits in a wheelchair. If we put a mask on her she will rip it off immediately or try to eat it. We would love it if she could wear a mask actually because we’d feel she is more protected these days.

Anyway, last weekend the inability to wear a mask proved a bit problematic on our return from holiday. Although our daughter has been doubly vaccinated and had a negative test result from a test two days earlier, the certificate provided us by our doctor (confirming our daughter cannot wear a mask owing to her condition) posed an issue. The certificate had not been issued on the airline‘s letterhead - unfortunately in our pre-holiday call with the airline we had not been informed that it needed to be. However, the information in our doctor‘s certificate was the same as that needed by the airline.

To our dismay, the staff at check-in soon told us that because of the letterhead issue, they would need to put our whole family on standby until the captain confirmed he would be OK to fly a disabled child who COULDN’T wear a mask. If they had stopped to think about the situation for a second, the staff would have seen for themselves that it was more than obvious that our daughter could never wear a mask given the degree of her disability and that the person at most risk from the situation was…our daughter.

Come on everyone! If we want a more inclusive society we need people to be a little bit more pragmatic, even in pandemic times!

Fortunately, there was a happy end to our story - thanks to technology (iPad and magic pencil) and a lovely, lovely doctor and his family taking the same flight, we were able to download the airline’s letterhead and get (yet another!) confirmation from our fellow passenger doctor that our daughter could not wear a mask… we were finally allowed to check in for the return flight home. Phew!

Sometimes don‘t you think that being inclusive is simply about being pragmatic? Taking the situation in front of you on face value and finding a solution befitting the (disabled) person. Removing barriers, trying to make things easier etc.

(No regrets about taking our daughter on holiday though - I am very happy to report that so many people see things as they are and just want to support, whether that means offering to help carry a wheelchair down steps when there is no ramp or offering to let us jump a queue in the midday heat. A big, big thank you to all those beautiful people!! ❤️)

Comments

  • Cressida
    Cressida Member Posts: 982 Connected
    I hope you enjoyed every minute of your holiday. There are some wonderful people out there, a lovely a heart-warming story. 
  • RoseEmilia
    RoseEmilia Member Posts: 4 Listener
    Thank you, Cresssida. We really did!
  • woodbine
    woodbine Member, Community Co-Production Group Posts: 7,773 Disability Gamechanger
    It's always good to hear a good news story, so pleased you got it sorted and that you had a great holiday.
    @RoseEmilia welcome to scope.
    Be extra nice to new members.
  • chiarieds
    chiarieds Member, Community Co-Production Group Posts: 12,478 Disability Gamechanger
    Hi @RoseEmilia - & welcome to the community. Thank you for joining & sharing your story. Coming at the problems you faced perhaps from a different perspective, my eldest daughter until 2 months ago was a travel agent of some 10+ years. Obviously things changed for her, & us all due to Covid-19. Until comparatively recently she told me that guidelines were being changed almost daily, & it was difficult to give appropriate advice to her potential customers. Of course common sense should prevail, & an individuals needs, disabled or not, should always be taken into account, but perhaps more so where disability isn't always considered.
    I'm so pleased your story ended on a positive note, both with the lovely Dr's help, & that whilst on holiday other people offered support just because they wanted to, or saw a need without questioning; there are indeed some great, considerate, & thoughtful people. :)
  • RoseEmilia
    RoseEmilia Member Posts: 4 Listener
    Thanks for sharing this Chiarieds, also for the nice welcome! 

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