Disabled mother outraged at Paralympic ticketing

Wednesday 15 August 2012

As confusion grows over Paralympic seating for wheelchair users, a disabled mother calls for change after being told she may have to sit separately from her two young children.

 Melissa Chapin [pictured] was told that her children cannot be guaranteed seats next to her at some Paralympic events because she is in a wheelchair.

A Locog ticket agent also said that her children should not have been sold tickets without an accompanying adult, Ms Chapin told Channel 4 News. “I explained to her that I am an adult, and she had to backtrack and admit she meant a non-disabled adult.”

Locog’s aim to make the Olympic and Paralympic Games the most “accessible and inclusive ever” has been well publicised, and it says it exceeded the usual number of wheelchair space provision in other UK sports venues.

However, there is growing concern that this is not enough, with politicians such as John Prescott joining the debate: “Come on @sebcoe. Let’s allow families with disabled parents enjoy the Paralympics together,” he tweeted.

‘Wheelchair policy’

And Ms Chapin is not the only wheelchair user to have had problems with Paralympic ticketing. Beth Davis-Hofbauer [pictured below], a mother of two who uses a wheelchair, also says she was told she would not be able to sit with her children when she tried to get tickets this week.

She says the Locog ticket office told her there is a policy that wheelchair users can only be accompanied by one other person – something Locog denies. Ms Davis-Hofbauer booked four tickets but was told only one person could accompany her in the wheelchair area. Her husband is her carer, and her four-year-old autistic son and 19-month-old daughter are also attending the event.

I explained to her that I am an adult, and she had to backtrack and admit she meant a non-disabled adult. Melissa Chapin

She launched a Change.org petition, urging organisers to change their policy, which now has almost 25,000 signatures.

A Locog spokesperson said the availability for all spectators – including wheelchair users – was now an issue as some events are selling out in the weeks approaching the Games, meaning that tickets together are more difficult to obtain. More than 2.1 million tickets have already been sold for the Paralympics.

Q and A: How to get Paralympic tickets

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Ms Chapin bought tickets for herself and her carer, as well as her eight-year-old twins last September.

They are hoping to attend sitting volleyball at the ExCel arena and have day passes to attend other general admission events, including boccia, table tennis and powerlifting.

“This is about the kids. They’ve been looking forward to this for over a year. They shouldn’t be penalised just because their mummy happens to sit on wheels,” she said.

Wheelchair users not ‘separate’

Despite the confusion, a Locog spokesperson said the sitting volleyball tickets Ms Chapin purchased are not allocated, so are made available on a first come first served basis.

“As we have designed our venues such that accessible seating will be located around the new venues at different price points, this means that wheelchair users will be able sit with their friends and families rather than in a separate designated area,” he told Channel 4 News. “Children can be accompanied by any responsible adult, whether a wheelchair user or otherwise.”

Our situation highlights an important issue, namely that planners in this case, but also society generally, haven’t considered that disabled spectators might have children, spouses and friends who are not their carers. Melissa Chapin

Ms Chapin said she is now confident about volleyball seating. “But my concern is the other open events,” she said.

“I don’t think as a wheelchair users will be able to roll in to any event and be able to sit with my children. And I’m worried for people who don’t have tickets yet.

“Our situation highlights an important issue, namely that planners in this case, but also society generally, haven’t considered that disabled spectators might have children, spouses and friends who are not their carers,” she told Channel 4 News. “It’s not Locog’s fault – you don’t know what disabled people need unless you ask them.”

Telephone booking

In addition to wheelchair users’ difficulty in securing seats next to their family members, they have been forced to book tickets via telephone, rather than online.

Locog stopped selling wheelchair tickets online last November, and users now have to call up an 0844 number. Locog said this was because of a “separate quota” for wheelchair tickets, and the Disability News Service reports that some users have been put on hold and forced to put up with greater inconvenience as a result.

Ms Chapin says she was “one of the lucky ones” in booking her tickets in September.

August 17th is The fifth anniversary of the passing of a great lady our momma

This Friday will be five years since we lost Rozyla”Rita” Vayner, or as you hear me refer to her momma. She was Ella’s mom but momma was mom to everyone whether you were her child by blood or not.

When I first told I had been molested I lost my siblings, when I came out my mother disowned me and when my marriage fell apart my ex and the courts took my children and I come from a family where if my mom the tough matriarch hates you, you become persona non gratis to all. So I went from being one of over 400 descendants living from my great grandmother to being an orphan over night.

Over the next two decades I taught myself that mothers were what other people had. When I met Ella in 1998 I met her mom, she told me three things

1/ ever make my daughter cry and I’ll return the favor

 2/ stop the Russian you suck at it

 3/ and if I hate you because you’re trans or lesbian then I am no better than those who hate me because I’m Jewish.

 So I became family, over the next 9 years she taught me the cuisine, and  she taught me the language until i was conversational and didnt suck anymore and she taught me I could have a mother who loved me unconditionally again she became momma. Then she got sick , One day when momma was sick I was between work so I caught two buses and two trains each way every day from Belmont in the Bronx to flushing in queens and I nursed her.  I lifted her I cooked for her I joked with her and when she first tasted my food she was in love, she joked one day “ I give Ella away and adopt you your food is fucking wonderful” (yes momma could swear like a sailor) so when she was at her sickest with cancer and going through constant bouts of chemo I used to ask every morning as I arrived “hey you old bag signed the adoption papers yet?” she would yell back “fuck off my pen broke” then she would laugh and tell me she loved me.

 When we could do no more and chemo had stopped workingand we were told  she was dying we were called to Columbia Presbyterian oncology ward. We were told she had barely the night left and if we wanted to say good bye we better do it because they were about to increase her morphine and she would not know we were there. She called me to the bed in Russian and said “I found a fucking pen that worked, I signed the papers yesterday you’re mine”.

I sat at her side for 12 more hours and I was there when she her drew her last breath on earth. We live in her apartment we feel her everywhere we smell her scent and we feel her love we always will because when philosophers talk about one great love in your life so many think they’re talking about your wife or a lover or a husband for me it will always be her.  Momma gave me two great gifts I will forever cherish, her beautiful daughter Ella the love of my life and 9 fantastic years when if you asked if I had a mother I could once again smile and say “of course I do” ya tibia lu blu momma I miss you every waking moment.

  The world got is so fucking wrong august 17th 2007, so wrong and the universe was left with a hole in it that can never be filled. She is the reason I am doing the roll for the cure I promised to crawl over broken glass to save her and I failed, I promised her I would do it anyway she never saw me in a chair only on walking sticks.

So I won’t say all mothers are great and should be loved because that’s not true some woman should ever have children my birth mother was such a being .Rita Vayner was living proof that when the universe gets it right it really gets it right this Friday I won’t be on line much I’ll be with poppa and Ella crying and smiling and remembering so here’s to the mothers who mean it who are there for all time and get it right love you momma.

Suicide risk teacher left alone to hang herself at hospital three months after report said it ‘wasn’t safe place for vulnerable people’

  • Jessica Philpott, 38, had made two apparent attempts to hang herself on the ward on the night she was found but was still allowed out unsupervised
  • Staff allegedly told a patient that they thought she was attention-seeking and hadn’t actually wanted to kill herself

 Reposted from a story PUBLISHED: 17:09 EST, 14 August 2012 | UPDATED: 18:07 EST, 14 August 2012 

Tragic: Teacher Jessica Philpott, 38, was found hanging in the grounds of a psychiatric hospital three months after inspectors expressed ¿major concerns¿ that it was not safe for vulnerable people
Tragic: Teacher Jessica Philpott, 38, was found hanging in the grounds of a psychiatric hospital three months after inspectors expressed ‘major concerns’ that it was not safe for vulnerable people

A teacher with a long history of suicide attempts was found hanging in the grounds of a psychiatric hospital three months after inspectors expressed ‘major concerns’ that it was not safe for vulnerable people.

Jessica Philpott, 38, had made two apparent attempts to hang herself on the ward on the night she was found but was still allowed out unsupervised, an inquest heard yesterday.

A community nurse who had been closely involved in Miss Philpott’s care had also warned staff just hours earlier that she was suicidal and had sounded ‘final’ during a conversation.

The same day Miss Philpott told staff and patients at the hospital that she wanted to kill herself.

Staff allegedly told a patient that they thought she was attention-seeking and hadn’t actually wanted to kill herself.

A Care Quality Commission report on Mill View Hospital in Hove, East Sussex, in November 2011 had identified that ‘vulnerable people have unaccompanied access to environments where ligature points exist, placing them at risk of harm’.

Although the CQC ordered the hospital to carry out ‘compliance action’, Miss Philpott managed to get hold of a television cable and shoelace and walk into an unlit  garden in the hospital’s grounds where she was found on February 13 this year.

Yesterday, Brighton coroner Veronica Hamilton-Deeley asked Mill View nurse Anthony Jones: ‘What do you think about an unlit garden accessible to patients with a ligature point area that can’t be seen?’

He replied: ‘With hindsight, that needed addressing. It has been.’

The inquest in Brighton heard that Mill View operated a 72-hour discharge policy in accordance with national guidelines set by NICE.

Miss Philpott, of Brighton, was admitted for three days and was being observed every 15 minutes, but was found hanging the day before she was due to be discharged.

Patients, friends and staff told the inquest that Miss Philpott was unhappy to leave the hospital, but had also attempted to discharge herself.

Miss Philpott, a former head of year who had worked at Oakmeeds Community College in Burgess Hill, West Sussex, had suffered from emotionally unstable personality disorder since she was 13.

 She had a history of regular self-harm and attempted suicide and had been detained by police a number of times for her own safety.

She had mostly been cared for by community mental health workers, but her condition escalated from 2009 onwards and she was eventually admitted to Mill View.

 
Worrying: A report on Mill View Hospital, pictured, had identified that ¿vulnerable people have unaccompanied access to environments where ligature points exist, placing them at risk of harm¿Worrying: A report on Mill View Hospital, pictured, had identified that ‘vulnerable people have unaccompanied access to environments where ligature points exist, placing them at risk of harm’

Jude Godden, a community mental health nurse who had been involved in her care, said he had spoken to her shortly before her death and had been concerned by the ‘finality’ of what she said.

He said: ‘I phoned the ward straight away to say it was very final, the way she talked about things.
‘I was worried it was a form of final planning. My worry was she was planning to do something when she went home.’

The inquest heard that Miss Philpott’s friend Natalie Fforde had seen her the day before she was found and she was ‘clearly suicidal’.

Miss Fforde said in a written statement that Miss Philpott had told her she was due to be discharged, but ‘I kept reassuring her that the nurses wouldn’t let her out’.

The inquest continues.

Read more: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2188426/Jessica-Philpott-Suicide-risk-teacher-left-hang-hospital-months-report-said-wasnt-safe-place-vulnerable-people.html#ixzz23cUGgeY7