My name is Conor Handel I am almost 20 years old and I am completing a work placement with QAC at Cerebral Palsy Midlands. 
Last week I interviewed six service users about access in the community. 
Over the last few weeks I have been speaking to adults about the real problems they face when trying to get out in the community. Here are my findings below. (Please click on the images to make them larger) 
how do you have to plan when you go out? 
Do you face any difficulties? 
When I spoke to the service users there was a lot of frustration because they want to do things but feel sometimes that they can’t. I am also a wheelchair user and I usually get around with my mum in the family car if I didn’t have this option I would be very frustrated and worried about accessing the community. 
 
Gary Ironmonger said "I have to go and find places where there are ramps, I may even have to call the shop or the person to find out if where I am going is accessible. Most of the shops in Harborne, Birmingham local to me have steps to get in and they don't always have ramps." 
 
Carl Painter said "I have to go out with my mom, otherwise I would get lost and confused." 
 
Anthony Lunney said "I have problems with taxi's, I order a disabled friendly taxi and then a taxi comes without a ramp for me to get in and the I have to wait for another to arrive. Most taxi's will refuse to take me if I have not booked them. It always hinders your journey, taking more time and more effort. Not to mention the added expense. I was in one taxi where they started the meter and started charging me before we had even moved with me in the taxi! Sometimes this ignorant attitude makes me not want to go out." 
 
Development Officer Sarah Lilly said "With immenent third sector cuts facing day-care centres like us, Cerebral Palsy Midlands, we are being told that individuals that attend our centre would be able to access the community like everyone else and those without disability. This is not the case. Everyone who attends our centre is assessed with substantial or critical need leaving them vulnerable adults and this makes it harder for them to access the community. Many of the disabled adults who attend here would be isolated without centres like ours. I know through having a sister with CP who attends CPM all the things we need to put in place to get her our and about; transport, care, accessibility, disabled toilets with hoists and profile beds to change her and then we have to hope that the attitude of those where we are going is accomodating for people with needs. There is a lot to be done in our local community before our adults feel confident in being able to access services and the community." 
 
By Conor Handel 
QAC Work Experience student at Cerebral Palsy Midlands 
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