Adelaide’s blind apprentice chef breaks down vision barriers

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PHOTO: Apprentice chef Alex Kolberg and head chef Kristian Livolsi prep for service in the restaurant’s kitchen (ABC Adelaide: Brett Williamson)

The only lack of vision Adelaide’s blind apprentice chef is limited from is from those who did not employ him according to Alex Kolberg’s new boss.

For two and a half years Mr Kolberg searched for employment, only to be told time and time again that he was unemployable due to his limited vision.

Finally one Adelaide restaurateur gave him a chance and they now both believe it is the best move they have ever made.

The smile does not leave 20-year-old Mr Kolberg face as he sits outside his workplace and talks about his job.

Mr Kolberg was born with a genetic disorder that left him legally blind, but he has always loved cooking.

After leaving school, he completed a Certificate 3 in Hospitality.

He worked with the Royal Society for the Blind’s employment services to achieve his goal of becoming a chef.

“Every employer I went to didn’t want to give me a chance and a couple of them even said straight out ‘you are just not capable’,” Mr Kolberg said.

“I didn’t agree with that so I just kept going.”

I see him as a gift to our business
Chef Kristian Livolsi
He volunteered at a cafe for one year to prove that he could work in the industry.

“Giving up doesn’t solve anything – if you want to get somewhere in life you have to take the steps.”

Six months ago Mr Kolberg met Kristian Livolsi, owner and head chef at The Taxpayer restaurant in Adelaide.

From the first day Mr Kolberg was training to prepare dishes.

“Within a month or two I was cooking the food,” Mr Kolberg said.

‘I think people are gutless’

Mr Livolsi does not mince words when he talks about why he believed it took two and a half years for Mr Kolberg to gain employment.

“People have stereotypes … it just shows you how shallow people are,” Mr Livolsi said.

Mr Livolsi said at first he had some occupational health and safety concerns placing Mr Kolberg in a small kitchen, surrounded by cookers and sharp knives.

“There are challenges, but in the same token he is challenging himself so I am challenging myself to bring him through the ranks.”

Mr Livolsi laughs about the occasional bump he receives from Mr Kolberg as they shuffle around the deep fryer.

“This kid has everything against him and everyone at work loves him for that reason and he actually influences the rest of the culture.

“I see him as a gift to our business and it is a massive loss for those people who didn’t give him a chance before.”

Australian Labor party to block payment scheme for intellectually disabled workers

The Australian Labor party is seeking to amend the legislation to allow workers to accept a payment without giving up their right to pursue other claims. Photo: Jessica Hromas
Labor will oppose Coalition proposals which would require intellectually disabled workers to waive their right to make discrimination claims in return for a payment.

The Senate is considering Abbott government proposals for a scheme to provide payments to workers whose wages were calculated using a tool which the Federal Court found discriminated against people with intellectual disability.

Under the scheme, in return for a payment equivalent to 50 per cent of their owed wages, workers, some of whom were paid less than $1 an hour, would give up their right to sue the government for back pay.

But Labor will seek to amend the legislation to allow workers to accept a payment without giving up their right to pursue other claims.

Labor will also seek to strengthen safeguards around provisions which would allow the secretary of the Department of Social Services to appoint a person to accept a payment on behalf of a worker.

The government announced the payment scheme proposal in January after law firm Maurice Blackburn lodged a class action to recover lost wages for the 10,000 workers.

If the government does not accept its amendments, Labor will vote against the bill.

“Labor wants to ensure people with disability can find work and receive fair pay for the work they do,” Labor’s spokeswoman on disability reform, Jenny Macklin said.

“Labor urges the government to get on with putting in place a long-term solution that will see people with disability receive fair pay, and ensure people with disability have every right to work.”

Assistant Minister for Social Services Mitch Fifield said late on Wednesday that Labor had not circulated its amendments, but he hoped it was not seeking to scuttle the bill, and deprive people with disability of the choice to receive payments from the proposed scheme.

“This would leave them with no option but to participate in a potentially lengthy legal battle with an uncertain outcome,” Senator Fifield said.

Senator Fifield has previously warned there was a risk of job losses if the payment scheme was blocked, because disability enterprises had raised concerns about the potential financial threat arising from accruing contingent liability.

The Greens appear likely to also vote against the scheme, but it could still pass with the support of the Palmer United Party and other crossbench senators. The Palmer United Party’s position was unclear late on Wednesday.

Groups including People with Disability Australia, the Australian Federation of Disability Organisations, the National Council on Intellectual Disability, and Disability Advocacy Network Australia this week sent a letter to senators urging them to reject the bill, and calling on the government to negotiate a compensation settlement with the workers.

The Australian Human Rights Commission has granted the Commonwealth an exemption from the Disability Discrimination Act to allow disability enterprises to continue paying workers wages assessed using the discriminatory tool until April next year.

Senator Fifield last week announced $173 million in funding to help disability employers move to new wage arrangements.

London cyclists ‘collide with 25% of guide dogs’ working in the capital

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There are 41,060 people registered blind or partially sighted in London

Blind ‘trapped’ by poor pavements
Guide dog owners’ anger over access
A quarter of guide dogs working in London have been hit by a bike, according to the organisation Guide Dogs.

A survey involving a fifth of guide dog owners in the city also found 70% had experienced a near miss with cyclists on pavements or jumping red lights.

Rob Harris from Guide Dogs said some visually impaired people were “fearful” about going out which was “worrying”.

The London Cycling Campaign said every cyclist had a “duty of care”.

Charlie Lloyd from the organisation said: “Any crash or a close pass which frightens or intimidates a pedestrian is unacceptable.

Cyclist reminders
“Far worse when that person is blind, partially sighted or in any way less able than we are.”

Guide dog owner Deborah Persaud said she was involved in a collision with a cyclist on the pavement while she was walking home in Islington.

She said: “My dress was torn, the contents of my handbag damaged and I was left with damage to my shoulder and hip.”

As part of the campaign, Guide Dogs said it was reminding riders to use a bell or call out to owners waiting to cross the road to let them know they were on the road and to remind cyclists not to ride up behind a guide dog in case it startles them.

It added that cyclists should always dismount if using the pavement.

There are 41,060 people registered blind or partially sighted in London with just over 320 using guide dogs in the city.

No Coffee shop restaurant union sq. Manhattan manager an Abel bodied person being kicked in a crowd and a wheelchair user being knocked around are not the same.

For the last three and a half years I have told readers on this blog and all my social media how great the coffee shop restaurant union square Manhattan was and how great Carlos the manager was, that stops now. They are bigoted uninformed and will always take the word of the trendy rich customer over the one with wheels under their asses. Let me explain-
Yesterday after a botched doctor’s appointment where I had to roll 97blocks(8 miles) one-way to get there I decided I needed a friendly face so I rolled into the coffee shop chatted with Carlos ordered lunch and a beer so far so good.
The bar at the coffee shop is wave shaped (imagine a snake) it is a series of horseshoe shapes connected that jut out into the room so I always choose the inside of the shape so Zeus won’t be trod on nor my chair kicked.
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About a half hour after I sat down and settled zeus on the floor
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Three white gentlemen and a African American gentleman all expensively dressed sat behind Zeus and I, and from the moment they sat down Comments about “fatfuck in a wheelchair” and “cow tipping”started almost immediately. Every time they stood up or went to the bathroom and some of it I think was for no other purpose than to kick my chair I was repeatedly kicked without apology. Sometimes tthe kick was so violent my wheels lifted off the ground.
In the past I have said something and was told “get over it this is New York” so I have learned to sit and take it for the most part.
Yesterday I had taken the precaution of being out of the walk way there was no need for me to “get over it” So finally after hearing comments of “points” and “That’s worth a drink” every time I was knocked I finally twisted in my chair when kicked and said to the well-dressed African American “really dude is kicking me necessary? No apology? what am I a drinking game?” he stopped and said laughingly “you’re right I am sorry, sorry your such a fat fuck in a chair” and laughed.
I turned my chair back and someone behind me swiped at my head I moved my head to the side it happened again and I blocked the arm I turned and with the superior position told the asshole what kind of disgusting pig finds the abuse of the disabled a game he tried to attack me again and Zeus growled suddenly security was all over us.
The manager who I thought was a friend and some woman whose only job was to scream and abuse me started in on me, I told them what had been happening, their words were “everyone gets knocked all the time get over it”? Sound familiar? I tried to talk to Carlos but she kept screaming over me, I eventually at my wits end told her to shut up and I said to Carlos that under the Americans with disabilities act my chair was my body an attack on a wheelies chair with them in it if deliberate is deemed assault. The loudmouth woman screamed “SHOW ME THIS ADA? I’VE NEVER HEARD OF IT”
As I was being screamed out and told I was wrong, the people talking to me were signaling the men’s bill be comped and another round on the house.
I was told I have no rights to speak to another customer even if they’re abusing me, even if they’re assaulting me, even if they have made both of the above a drinking game based on their perverse version of cow tipping?
Coffee shop I now see is everything people told me it was and I was too naïve to see, nothing more than a gathering place for the immensely emaciated the overly inflated egos of the fashion industry and glitterati staffed for the most part by failed models who all look like their two fingers away from their next bulimic episode.
Well folks wheels under our asses does not mean we deserve less treatment than the latest top model, yes Zeus is cute and you all loved to coo over him but I am at the other end of the leash and I am actually the one with the money who ordered the food.
So folks the coffee shop restaurant is neither a good coffee shop or restaurant it more resembles a waiting room for group therapy for those with eating disorders and a waiting room for wannabe models. So if your waist is bigger than size zero and you actually want to feel good about yourself I suggest the restaurant at the W hotel just across the square, they care for everybody and they discriminate against nobody and people are allowed to speak to other people and yes even say “please don’t kick my chair” and the only drinking games are between the sports team staying in-house and it’s about football not the disabled. Tell the musclebound doorman at the main entrance Mia and Zeus sent you.

BC accessibility law by 2017? Columnist Caune says maybe

Mia’s thoughts- Below is another story from my activist colleague from British Columbia Canada Paul Caune. To the government of Canada and all it’s provinces, the disabled are citizens. It’s simple,if you take their tax money then you fill their needs! They elected you, they can un elect you.
The world over disabled rights are on the forefront of the human rights fight, catch up now or watch from the sidelines as someone else does it for you. be warned.

Plenty of precedents for BC accessibility law in USA, Europe

There should be a BC accessibility law by 2017. Premier Christy Clark has said with regard to passing accessibility legislation: “we aren’t starting from scratch.”

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BC Premier Christy Clark. Photo: Handout.
The Premier is right: BC can benefit from the lead taken by Australia, Ireland, Manitoba, New Zealand, Ontario, the United Kingdom and the USA.

At the June 16 Accessibility Summit, at which the Provincial government announced how it will make British Columbia the most progressive place in Canada for disabled voters, Premier Clark said: ”We will look for options for a made-in-B.C. approach with legislation that will improve access for persons with disabilities. It’s important that we don’t see that as a way to increase red tape, but there is a way to do it, a way that makes sure it’s doable and that it works for people who need it. And it’s important to note as well that we aren’t starting from scratch here.”

To repeat, Premier Clark is right that “we aren’t starting from scratch.”

The BC Government knows other so-called comparable jurisdictions have accessibility legislation. For example: the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) was passed by the Congress of the United States of America and signed into law by President George H. W. Bush in 1990. This means there is twenty-four years of experience in a nation of over 300 million people for us to learn from. The US Congress amended the ADA in 2009 to rectify some flaws in the original law which had unintended negative consequences for Americans with disabilities. BC can learn from the Americans’ willingness to correct their own mistakes.

There are laws other than the ADA which can guide us on what to do, and what not to do, in British Columbia.

For example: USA’s 1980 Civil Rights of Institutionalized Persons Act, Australia’s 1992 Disability Discrimination Act, the UK 1995 Disability Discrimination Act, the UK 1996 Direct Payments Act, the Republic of Ireland’s 1999 National Disability Authority Act, New Zealand’s 2000 Public Health and Disability Act, Ontario’s 2001 Ontarians with Disabilities Act, the Republic of Ireland’s 2005 Disability Act, Ontario’s 2005 Accessibility for Ontarians with Disabilities Act, Australia’s 2006 Disability Act and Manitoba’s 2013 Accessibility for Manitobans Act.

All these laws were passed by small-c conservative, liberal or social democratic parties within the Western mainstream. Each of these parties concluded that their societies needed legislation to guarantee the full inclusion of disabled voters.

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Beacon columnist Paul Caune.
I’ve proven that Premier Clark is right that we don’t need to start from scratch in regards to the accessibility law she has committed to pass. The relevant experts working for the BC Government have no doubt already made cost/benefit studies of each of the laws I referred to above and given executive summaries of these studies to the relevant ministers.

We already know what some world-class disability experts have recommended: Spinal Cord Injury British Columbia and the Western Institute for the Deaf and Hard of Hearing have both told the Government that BC needs a BC accessibility law similar to the Americans with Disabilities Act. The Rick Hansen Foundation told the Government it “should develop a legislative framework to buttress and support its [disability action plan] and ensure its adoption and implementation.”

And since 2009 Civil Rights Now has pushed for a BC accessibility law similar to the UK’s 1996 Direct Payments Act to give disabled voters the power to make the providers of taxpayer-funded disability services genuinely accountable and for a law similar to the 1990 Americans With Disabilities Act.

Given the fact that so many comparable jurisdictions already have accessibility legislation and that Premier Clark has made a commitment to pass legislation to improve access for disabled voters, I think it’s reasonable for voters to expect the Clark Government to pass an effective BC accessibility law before the May 9, 2017 general election.

Paul Caune is the Executive Director of CIVIL RIGHTS NOW! He can be contacted at civilrightsnow@yahoo.ca or through CRN’s website

Yesterday a six year old called Ethan showed the Adults what respect for the disabled looks like.

Yesterday was a sad day in our family, it is each year it’s the anniversary of my mother-in-law’s death and this year it was one week out from my own moms death! Tough day.
Ella My other more beautiful half is one of only two children in her family both girls, so we arranged to meet in kissena park and she bought her middle son Ethan.
My sister-in-law has a 19 year old serving in the US marines currently deployed and then a 13 year gap and a 6 year old and then a younger one.
Ethan is a very quietly spoken but hyper active afraid of nothing kind of child, as we spoke about momma he climbed the jungle gym but not like other kids on the inside he climbed the outer skeleton making all who watched cringe he would simply laugh nothing scared him. After a half hour of play we started to roll, Ethan walked beside my chair if someone walked into me or cut me off or walked into Zeus my service dog he would quietly admonish them for rudeness and uncaring than ask me if I was ok remember he’s 6.

Diana and Ethan live about 3 miles from us, about 2 from the park we should have headed south to their north but we decided to go to 7-11 for a juice with them. We walked about half a mile and when we entered the 7-11, the door said wheelchair accessible as I tried to roll with the little man I kept hitting aisles not wide enough so when I pointed it out to the management they didn’t care.
I felt a touch on my arm “aunty Mia If you want something from those aisles I’ll get it for you”! I almost cried, six grown ass adults in the room, two of them own the store and it’s the six year old who steps up.
As we were leaving he turned to them and us and said “It’s not very nice of you to not make your store ok for wheelchairs it’s rude, and he walked beside my chair to the curb and then he said “you couldn’t get a slurpee aunty the aisle was blocked ,mine’s purple I’ll share” again I held back tears even a six year old knew I loved purple and as he and his mom headed for the bus home I told him what a delightful young man he was and how his marine brother would be proud and he replied “my brother is a hero he is fighting for his country”! As a proud member of a marine family I agreed with the little man, but as a disabled woman who lives with bigotry and a city wide “we don’t give a shit attitude” most days, right there that 60lb little man was my hero and my hope for the next generation.

George takei bullys the disabled because he sees one stand out of a wheelchair? where did he go to medical school

Bullying Disabled People Is Never Ok – But It’s Even Worse When You’ve Got 8.7Million Fans Watching

The story below was in huffington post UK about comments made by gay icon george takei bullying the disabled.

The comments were about seeing someone standing out of their wheelchair, I sufferred this when first in a chair. my disablity was a reoccurrence of an from a spinal cord injury sufferred in my 20’s that the doctors thought they’d fixed. But like people who sufferred polio in the fifties and had it return in their retirement years, my damage was so severe originally and did so much nerve damage that from my mid forties it was degenerative and I went from walking sticks to scooter to chair permanantly with great speed.
But even when first in a chair I could still stand for a few seconds. I would post a pic on facebook of Ella and I out socially with me standing for the photo, and would be unfriended by people who saw it using foul language calling me a fake.
What they didn’t see was the people each side of me with their hands behind me supporting me, or when It was just me I was leaning against a wall and after the pic I would immediately collapse back into my chair exhausted.
There are over 1,000 diagnosis that can require the use of a wheelchair, most of them you can still stand you just can’t do it well or for any length of time so the chair makes your everyday life achievable. Up until this story I admired george, now he is nothing more than an opinionated old queen who should mind his own business. It hurts bad enough when the average joe abuses you, but they feel armed and righteous in doing so when someone famous holds the same opinion. Read on and form your own opinion I’m impressed that it was written by a fellow wheelie.

We all love a bit of George Takei, don’t we? Of all the celebrities on social media; he probably wins for using it most effectively. Well, possibly second only to Stephen Fry. “Successful social media strategist” must be on the same bit of twizzly DNA as the gay gene. It would explain how I’ve managed to get more than 2,000 Twitter followers despite mostly just moaning about the waiting times at my doctors’ surgery.

I’m grateful for his outspokenness on matters relating to LGBT equality. His pictures frequently made me roar with laughter. Until this weekend when the laughter stopped.

On Saturday Takei posted on both Facebook and Twitter an image of a wheelchair-using woman standing up to reach something from the top shelf in a store. The picture is captioned “there has been a miracle in the alcohol isle” [sic].

I know Takei didn’t create the meme, I’d seen it before this weekend. But he has 1.3million Twitter followers and nearly 7.4million Facebook fans. He introduced a sum total of 8.7million people to this image.

Lots of disabled people were offended by this post and the harassment it encourages and told him so. This prompted a follow up post from Takei saying:

Fans get “offended” from time to time by my posts. There hardly is a day where something I put up doesn’t engender controversy. Concerned fans, worried the sky may fall, ask me to “take it down.”
So I’m also going to ask them also to take it down – a notch, please.
I wasn’t one of the people who asked him to take it down, I hadn’t actually seen the original post until after I saw the “ner ner screw you” statement.

I had no concerns about falling skies, but what I did have was a fear of disablist hate crime being escalated. A fear that’s not unfounded.

There’s this huge misconception that if you can stand up for even a second, you must be faking your impairment. For that matter; you get called a “faker” if you can move your legs at all. I remember once, long ago in my stand-up days, I was on stage in my wheelchair and I crossed my legs. I didn’t even notice I’d done it; I guess I must have been slightly uncomfortable so the subconscious part of my brain decided to do something about it.

This prompted a heckler to shout “Faker! You moved your leg!”

I had a microphone and a smart mouth. It doesn’t take a genius to guess who came off the worst in that situation. Even his girlfriend looked ashamed to be seen with him. I was lucky I had an audience on my side. That’s not always the case when people move their legs. Sarah said to me “I once had a woman come running over from the other side of the shop literally screaming “I saw you move your leg, you ****”. Luckily there were other people around or it would have been terrifying.” On the subject of Takei she added “People simply don’t realise the damage this sort of “joke” can lead to. (or don’t want to believe it)”

I have a condition that means that my bones break easily and my tendons and ligaments aren’t strong enough to do their job. Most people have tendons and ligaments that are like sturdy string: They have the tensile strength to make sure joints only bend in the direction they’re supposed to, and they’re also strong enough to stop the joint from dislocating. Not me: All my joints have either been shattered or they bend backwards. And occasionally sideways or in other directions joints generally aren’t supposed to go. Last Friday I managed to dislocate my knee by opening a window.

So I use a wheelchair a lot of the time because walking on smashed-up joints hurts. Walking with knees that bend backwards hurts. After a while my joints swell up so much from all the strain exerted on them that they just stop moving at all. It’s not only for pain purposes that I use a chair: I’m only physically capable of walking extremely slowly and having such wobbly joints means you could knock me over by breathing in my general direction. And when I hit the floor I almost always manage to break at least one bone. I’m 35 years old and have had roughly 75 fractures.

But – despite needing a wheelchair for anything more than a couple of steps – I can stand up to reach something from a supermarket shelf. The person being mocked in that meme could so easily have been me. It’s sheer luck that it wasn’t.

My friend Jack has experienced abuse while doing the shopping. He said “I’ve had people get quite abusive because of doing this, all of a sudden because I can stand I’m a scrounger, shirker and many more other horrible names.”

Another friend, D H Kelly, has learned to self-police to avoid getting grief: “I’ve not been abused but get more glares and mumbles than I could count. I’ve known to linger suspiciously for an inordinate amount of time until the supermarket aisle has cleared so I can stand and reach for the yoghurt without being noticed.” She lives more rurally than me. Living in Central London I’d be sat there until about 4am if I waited for the aisle to empty of people before standing up to get something.

Supermarkets aren’t the only place where disabled people aren’t allowed to stand up without the risk of mumbles, verbal abuse, or ending up an internet meme with 8.7 million people laughing at you. Abbi told me that “the train station where I live is unmanned so I have to get out without a ramp. Usually my brother is waiting for me on the platform to help me off, but sometimes he’s not there in time, so I’ll step out and pull my chair down after me. Other passengers will almost always help me lift the chair out, but on occasion – usually in the evening when people have been drinking – I do get dirty looks, and have been told I’m faking or ‘milking it’. I try not to pay much attention, because I’m so often amazed by how helpful complete strangers can be in that kind of situation, but it is upsetting. It’s hard enough trying to navigate inaccessible situations alone, which can be both stressful and painful, without being openly abused for it.”

My friend Charlotte said “One of the most upsetting encounters was when someone told me I was a waste of the NHS’ money and clearly wasn’t disabled because I was pushing my empty wheelchair / leaning on it for support across the grass.”

Lisa Hammond told me that comments she’s heard include “are you just lazy?” And “oh my god you’re such a faker.”

This ongoing background noise of bullying for existing while disabled is unpleasant enough. But it can get so much more serious than just verbal remarks.

My friend Pippa walks with a crutch. She was once followed home by someone yelling “f***ing DLA stick” at her. Can you imagine how vulnerable you would feel with someone like that knowing where you live?

My friend David was one of the disabled people that posted in reply to Takei on Facebook. He explained in his comment “I’ve been physically assaulted for walking while disabled, I’m well into double figures with verbal abuse, usually claiming I’m faking my disability for welfare fraud. And that’s pretty much a typical experience for all my disabled friends. Having influential figures like George Takei publishing a meme that reinforces disabled=fake is incredibly damaging to disabled people.”

Adam said that the attacks calling him “a scrounger and fraudster have become beyond the joke. I have even had to face an audit under Caution by [JobCentre Plus] when someone contacted benefit fraud line to say I was not as disabled as I made out to be.”

Adam’s not alone. In fact 96% of calls to the National Benefit Fraud Hotline are malicious or timewasting. That’s a lot of people really putting a lot of effort into their disablist harassment to make sure their victims suffer as much as possible. I bet they all found the meme Takei shared to be hilarious.

The really galling thing about all of this is that just 3 months ago Takei received an award for making “a significant difference in promoting equality.” Condoning and encouraging the bullying of disabled people does not promote equality. Far from it.

I’m not perfect. I know I’ve said offensive things in the past. Sometimes without thinking, and sometimes because I didn’t understand the issues involved. When people point out that what I’ve said is offensive, I apologise and try to learn from the situation. I’m hoping that Takei didn’t mean harm when he first shared that picture. I’m hoping that he shared it out of ignorance. Perhaps he genuinely thought that all wheelchair users are completely unable to stand up. Perhaps he didn’t realise just how much harassment disabled people face for trying to do such a simple thing as going to the supermarket.

Where he really screwed up was in his refusal to back down when countless people commented on the post explaining how offensive it was. Plenty of people shared their experiences of being on the receiving end of disablist bullying; a fire Takei was liberally pouring fuel onto. His reaction wasn’t to learn from what people were saying, it was to tell the victims of harassment to “take it down – a notch”. I wonder if he’d say the same thing to gay people telling him about their experiences of homophobic bullying for having the audacity to be true to themselves in the supermarket?

Since this weekend he’s posted this cartoon satirising discrimination against gay people, adding his own comment that so much bigotry and discrimination comes down “it’s icky”. As a gay person I’m deeply grateful that someone so prominent is so defensive of my (recently won) right to marry. But put into the context of his post mocking disabled people four days earlier my first thought was “I guess he thinks I’m icky then.”

In the UK around 18% of the population overall have some kind of impairment. But this rises to 45% of people over state pension age. I’m guessing that the figures are roughly similar in the US.

Takei is 77. If he hasn’t yet acquired an age-related impairment like arthritis, the chances are reasonable that he might at some point. A lot of older people with arthritis, like my late nan, are able to walk short distances, but need to use a mobility aid for longer journeys like the trek around a giant supermarket. If Takei – or one of his friends or relatives for that matter – was just trying to do the weekly shop and stood up for a second to grab a bottle of wine to serve with lunch, and ended up being a joke that 8.7million people were laughing at: I wonder if he’d still find it so funny?

Follow Lisa Egan on Twitter: http://www.twitter.com/lisybabe