A disabled man that was traveling the Iarnrod Eireann on the Cort to Thurles line has been repeatedly harassed by the crew on the train. The man was given permission to travel on the train as long as he stayed in the food cars so there was room for everyone to move around. Unfortunately the powered wheelchair was wider than certain areas in the cars and he would become stuck while trying to move. Instead of trying to help this disabled man the crew became nasty and rammed him with food carts to vent the anger they had to deal with a man in a wheelchair. In addition, the crew would gather to talk about the man in public and point to him so that everyone in a particular car would know who they were talking about. To add insult to injury, as the man was disembarking from the train the crew members were throwing raw eggs at him. The train company has offered to give the man a manual chair but that was refused because he does not have the strength to move himself with his arms. (Source: Belfast Telegraph)
Obviously there are serious problems with how disabled people are treated by company employees. It is not this man's fault that he is disabled or that he requires a powered chair to get around. He has the right to be anywhere that an able-bodied person is and should not have to worry about physical torture. Crashing carts into this man because he can't get out of the way fast enough is truly disgusting. One wonders exactly the kind of people are hired by a ghoulish company and how they stay employed. If there was ever a group that needed anger management classes as well as classes on how to deal with people different than themselves, it is this group on the train. There is no excuse for this disabled man to dodge trays and eggs thrown at him as he moves from train car to train car. I seriously doubt that these employees would like to be treated as they treated this man on this trip.
This is also a good time to talk about getting an ADA type law in the UK. Disabled people have been on the bottom rung of society for too many years. Most of us had good paying jobs and paid our taxes until we were injured to the point that we could no longer work. At that point society has a responsibility to take care of their own, now just whoever is strong and beautiful today. That type of thought died out when the Nazis were defeated in 1945. Disabled people are just like anyone else, they just need equipment and help to move around from place to place. Most of us don't want the able bodied help or pity but we do want to be on the same level as everyone else. We should be able to get into buildings and homes without any special equipment. Taxis should be modified so they can take a wheelchair. The disabled as demanded to go back to work regardless of their injury, but society makes no attempt to help make that happen. Helping a disabled person get through a manual doorway not only helps them, it helps you to be a better person.
Spinal Cord Resources Network, 18th June 2009