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Snow, snow, and more snow to come

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Vaughan | 11:23 UK time, Monday, 2 February 2009


With much of the country waking up to some of the heaviest snow in years, the weather instantly becomes a disability topic. Well, we're Ouch, so absolutely everything is a disability topic to us ...

What do you find are the difficulties for you and your particular impairment in such snowy, icy weather? The authorities are advising people to stay at home and not travel unless absolutely necessary, whilst the essential gritting of smaller roads and pavements is obviously going to take some time. But what about if you absolutely need to venture outside - maybe to get in some food from the shops? What's the best way to handle yourself and your mobility aids - whether guide dog, cane, crutches or wheelchair - in these conditions? And if you're travelling further and need to rely on public transport, minicabs, taxicards or your own vehicle, how's that going? If you've got any tips or advice, stick 'em in the comments for other people to read.

Of course, one great source of info is right here on Ouch itself. Our messageboard community have touched on this topic in winters gone by: how to survive the snow, for instance; or here, from 2005, snow, ice and wheelchairs.

Elsewhere, if you fancy making the most of the snowy conditions, you could think about finding a disability-friendly way of learning to ski. That's what Emma Bowler did. If that isn't your kind of thing, there's always the option of trying out some 'mushing' - or dog-sled racing. Though the huskies might be hard to come by. Or inspire yourself by reading Ouch editor Damon Rose's tale of snow-bound bravery from 2003.

Finally, if none of that takes your fancy, and you're not a fan of the cold, the ice and the snow, then Ouch's very own Disability Bitch can sympathise - because she absolutely hates winter!


  • Comment number 1.

    There is no safe way to navigate snow when you're a wheelie. Yet again, I'll be marooned indoors for a few days, because my Housing Association won't grit our paths.

  • Comment number 2.

    Did online grocery shopping on saturday for delivery on sunday, they could'nt make it to my place because of some rowdy group of youths. Now with the snow, no delivery till thursday. I have absolutely nothing at home & unable to walk through the snow to the corner store. This is possibly a downside to living alone.

  • Comment number 3.

    Had to turn back on my way to work today. I just could'nt plough through the snow. I use a leg brace so can't bend my knee which meant my feet kept digging up the snow. I wasnt comfortable asking people for help, kinda felt I would slow them down, so I just went back home. Called the office, not sure they understood my difficulty. The snow looks lovely from my bedroom window but I hate it for reminding me...

  • Comment number 4.

    Fighting snow when blind can be a big challenge especially with a cane and no gloves! The best tenique I know is to put ones hands inside the sleeves of ones jacket and hit the cane hard on the ground as one walks. Also try to find the finner piles of snow. It can be fun poking about in thick wet stuff, but no joy if one gets stuck or lost. The main trick is to be positive and keep going until ones destination is reached. Any help provided by other people is welcome, but not at the expence of surrendering ones independants. I have travelled in snow both in the UK and abroad and found it both a challenge and an experience. Good luck to all fighting the weather, whatever their disability. An interesting blog. Tony

  • Comment number 5.

    I have to agreed with Disability Bitch remarks about hating WINTER...I also hate WINTER with a passion...

    ~Dennis Junior~

  • Comment number 6.

    The secret of having a comfortable winter is to prepare by getting stocked up in the Autumn when you or carers can get around.
    Like living in the 30's,40's,50's before central heating pantries were stocked so there was no need to go out and they stayed in and enjoyed themselves.
    Substitute fresh fruit and veg for frozen, which if the electricity goes you can put in a bucket outside as they did before fridges were used.
    Dried milk and coffee compliment for fresh.
    Flour, sugar, salt, oil, dried milk and yeast are essential with a breadmaker if you cannot knead it yourself. Gorgeous.
    People moan about the elderly and want to send them onto the next life saying they are a disability in their own right but believe it or believe it not they have the key to survival during their 'normal' times of hardship that everyone calls a disability.
    Who's going to know what to do in the 'post computer/electronic era if we all stay human.
    During my disability years I learnt that 'No problem was so great that it could not be resolved - nicely.
    During my Girl Guide years I learnt the motto. 'Be Prepared'. Still as humans we all have lapses of memory to our cost.
    To err is Human.
    Look at what you can do and not what you can't, make the most of what you have got and what you can do in a good way and the rest of the day will look after itself. God willing.


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