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Rain is so inaccessible!

Jemma Brown | 14:47 UK time, Saturday, 1 December 2007

It’s true it really is! See today has highlighted all the issues I have with the wet stuff, its been raining pretty much all day; ranging from thin drizzle that’s slightly pathetic but still manages to soak you right through, to really heavy fat rain that’s just pelts down on you.

Lets start with the blatantly obvious, everything is wet therefore slippery for someone with a condition that affects there balance the chances of falling over are very high. What’s worse still is that if you fall over in the rain not only do you get the standard ‘ouch that hurt’ (or expletive) but you also get the ‘great now I’m soaking wet’ effect. There are also more outside risks; manhole covers are very slippery when wet.
The thing is the slippery-ness does not just apply to being outside on pavements for example, when you go inside everything’s slippy too, or your footwear is wet and slippy, thus again increasing the risk of falling over in the dry!

Then there is the whole rain on glasses issue, not a good mix especially if you are already partially sighted. furthermore when you get out of the wet the glasses are not only covered in rain but then steam up.

In desperate attempts not to get soaked through one chooses to wear a sufficiently waterproof hooded coat. In the attempts to stay relatively dry this causes another issue, when wearing a hood it is very difficult to hear traffic and it significantly reduces the already somewhat sketchy field of vision.

Then there’s the waterproof footwear issue, the problems with this particular coping strategy start early on while trying to purchase suitable walking boots. I will be the first to say I have VERY odd feet; this is due to my disability. My feet are very flat and very wide and for a woman very big (at least a UK size 9) add to that the fact that I have to wear supportive orthosoles inside my footwear of choice. It all makes finding walking boots very tricky!

As a long cane user there is also the ‘ewww my cane is soaking wet I don’t want to put that inside my bag now’ reaction when you reach your chosen destination. Using a long cane in the rain also has other issues, a wet hand usually equals a cold hand, other people would perhaps wear gloves in such circumstances but I myself find that wearing gloves reduces the tactile feedback of my cane to much, so I have to put up with a numb blue hand.

As a future guide dog owner there is also the smelly wet dog issue and the necessary towels required to dry said disgusting but still loved small pooch. It is also a fact of life that a dog will run in to the muddiest possible puddle when off the lead but cannot stand getting wet on the lead so rain usually equals a sulking miserable dog!

Then there are even more issues when it finally stops raining, for example the sun comes out. I absolutely hate it when it has been raining and the sun comes out, I can’t see a thing! People that know me are usually completely shocked by my sudden blindness and I am frustrated when it takes me an eternity to travel what should be a 2 minute walk from the bus stop into college and popping up every lamppost on the way.

See rain, its disabling and it does not make reasonable adjustments to include disabled people who can’t drive, it makes our life harder.

It’s completely inaccessible and I am seriously considering taking up a case under the DDA!

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Comments

My vision is fully corrected with glasses (and my glasses aren't even that strong) but once when they were all rained up I almost pushed straight through a window believing it to be a glass door.

Rain is a nightmare for wheelchair users too. You get far wetter than walkies because your legs are at the right angle to catch every drop of rain that falls.

Plus being a manual wheelchair user there's the whole issue about not having a free hand with which to hold an umbrella.

I find it stupidly hard to push my chair in a rain. Then I end up using a stick when I shouldn't, and can end up on my behind like you do. No fun.

  • 3.
  • At 07:29 PM on 01 Dec 2007, Alison Fox wrote:

rain is better than sunshine for me
i am VI and the low angled sun of winter can be very difficult
personally i prefer overcast , dull days when it is not raining

The sort of days other people hate ,:)

On the other hand, several of my friends/family/work colleagues were skeptical about whether I was 'really ill' until they realised that I was ill whatever the weather: that I would collapse even if the ground was wet, muddy, icy or snowy; that I would stay sitting on a bench in the pouring rain because I genuinely couldn't stand up; that I would stagger in drenched and miserable despite having an umbrella with me, because I didn't have the hand-arm strength or stamina to hold said umbrella over my head... I think on the whole, precipitation did me a favour in being taken seriously.

Of course now that I'm post-diagnosis it would be nice if the rain could stop.

It's still raining!

  • 6.
  • At 05:34 PM on 07 Dec 2007, FourthBronteSister wrote:

No, rain definitely isn't disabled-friendly! I'm never particularly bothered about getting wet, but I do hate tottering anxiously along wet pavements, trying not to slip over. Cold, sunny weather is much nicer, I think.

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