I finally got round to watching this Channel 4 programme, which was on the Television back in June. It’s been in my recordings library ever since as I realised from the trailer that I would want to discuss some of the issues raised during the series. I’ve praised ‘I’m Spazticus’ (another hidden camera show) on this blog before but ‘Eye Spy’ is different because it sets out to ask probing moral questions rather than act for comic purposes, I did laugh at certain points but more out of shock and total disbelief. My disability has made me quite cynical when it comes to other humans but members of the public will never fail to surprise me.
However, one fact in particular did not come as news to me. It was the statistic that 65% of the UK population say they avoid disabled people because they are not sure how to act around them. This is an everyday occurrence for me, as people seem to find talking to a ‘Wheelchair Boy’ rather awkward and uncomfortable. They either address the carer directly or the new craze seems to be they are unsure who to lock full gaze with. I find that worse because it means that instead of being completely ignorant about disability, people have seen the Paralympics and just want to be polite rather engage in conversation.
To demonstrate the point, a blind man (actor) was placed in a restaurant where an able-bodied women (actress) would keep stealing his chips and wine without him realising. A few people confronted the woman but spoke as if the man was not there or mentally handicapped. This illustrated how people think they are doing the right thing but are actually being patronising and disrespectful by not speaking to the disabled person first. You wouldn’t fight a normal adult’s battles so why think he is blind so therefore defenceless. Just give him the full picture and let him deal with the problem. Don’t hold back as it’s “the kindest thing to do” because that turns a grown man into a mere child.
Another issue Britain in 2013 faces is that many people don’t want to help, my incident down my local park when people just walked by as I lay on the ground proved that. All the talk of a Big Society that Cameron speaks of is utter nonsense as unselfish people who come to the aid of others are in the minority. In fact, a fair few of my readers would have left me in distress according to the statistic (but I'm sure none of you would). Again, ‘Eye Spy’ showed most people are unwilling to help a ‘Wheelchair Boy’. Granted, the young boy wanted to be lifted up a load of stairs but the majority of passers-by refused to help even before they knew what was involved.
There are heroes hidden throughout the public and they should be commended (not just with Pride of Britain awards) but people who won’t stop to assist a ‘Wheelchair Boy’, shame on you.
Bye for now!