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Wheelchair woes...

Discussion in 'General ME/CFS Discussion' started by Hell...Hath...No...Fury.., Mar 1, 2014.

  1. Hell...Hath...No...Fury..

    Hell...Hath...No...Fury.. Senior Member

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    :aghhh: Can anyone help or advise me with a problem I've encountered today? I live in a private rental in a communal block of flats on the 2nd floor.

    I have a wheelchair in my flat and I also keep another wheelchair in the communal cupboard under the stairs on the ground floor for outdoor use as it would be too difficult carrying a wheelchair up and down two flights of stairs and my mam who's in her 60's definitely couldn't do it.

    One of my snotty neighbours has reported the wheelchair in the cupboard and apparently the rules of the building is 'no personal items to be kept in communal areas'
    So i received a letter today saying there's been an inspection and there will be another on march 25th and if any personal items remain in the cupboard by this date, they will be removed and i will be charged the cost of removal...

    As I need the wheelchair to get out of the building, it has to stay down there. What do I do? Can the managers of the building force me to remove my wheelchair? Can i get them with disability discrimination or anything like that?
    I love where I live and don't want to have to find somewhere else just so I can use my wheelchair :cry: is there anything i can do? Or any organisation that could help?

    Social services wanted to put in a manual stair climber for me last year but i had to decline because I knew someone would put a complaint in about it. I didn't think management would have a problem with a folded up wheelchair though :(
  2. SOC

    SOC Moderator and Senior Member

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    There's the position you could take with the management and residents. They let you keep a folded up wheelchair in the communal cupboard or you let social services put in a manual stair climber. Which would they prefer?
    snowathlete, justy, peggy-sue and 3 others like this.
  3. leela

    leela Slow But Hopeful

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    This is blatant discrimination, but I cannot find a list of UK rights for the disabled and housing, just for public and work places.
    Maybe you could contact these people
    http://www.astepforward.co.uk/
    and ask them about how to approach management to work with you on finding a solution for your mobility.

    It sounds like you already found the least intrusive one, and maybe these people could help you help management see the light or create some other solution.
    justy, Valentijn and MeSci like this.
  4. leela

    leela Slow But Hopeful

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    I had the same thought....but it doesn't solve the mobility-when-out issue, unless you can out the folding wheelchair on it.
    Little Bluestem likes this.
  5. MeSci

    MeSci ME/CFS since 1995; activity level 6

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    This is outrageous. I don't see how they can prevent you from keeping your wheelchair on the ground floor!

    I did a bit of searching and found this page.

    It says:

    Whilst some of this is about services other than housing, I would have thought that a landlord would have to let you keep your wheelchair in a place that enables you to go out!

    Citizens' Advice also have some useful-looking info here.

    I would advise contacting them if you can't find your answers there.
    justy and Valentijn like this.
  6. leela

    leela Slow But Hopeful

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    I'm having trouble finding specific info still. But I'm thinking they might be required to build you a storage cupboard--which might be more work and expense than allowing you to use the one you've been using.

    I think your best bet will be to speak directly with an org for disabled as I know they will have dealt with this. I know this because I know two people who have had similarly uncompassionate neighbors--it's hard to fathom.
    justy likes this.
  7. minkeygirl

    minkeygirl Senior Member

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    In the US there are laws about making reasonable accommodations for the disabled. Leaving a wheel chair there certainly fits under that category.

    I would look for disability advocates. Like others I'm dumfounded at these morons.

    keep us posted.
  8. leela

    leela Slow But Hopeful

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    From one of MeSci's links:

    justy, peggy-sue, MeSci and 1 other person like this.
  9. Hell...Hath...No...Fury..

    Hell...Hath...No...Fury.. Senior Member

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    Thanks so much for the replies. I really appreciate it. Feeling quite weepy tonight because of it.
  10. PNR2008

    PNR2008 Senior Member

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    Don't you just love snotty neighbors?
  11. Min

    Min Senior Member

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    I am flabbergasted that someone would object to a disabled peson's wheelchair being kept out of the way in a cupboard. Maybe you could get the rest of the residents to support you in a letter to the landlord.
  12. leela

    leela Slow But Hopeful

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    You have the law and common sense on your side, @Hell...Hath...No...Fury..
    Here's a big hug as you relax and rest in the wisdom that it will self-resolve :hug:
    Little Bluestem and justy like this.
  13. Kina

    Kina Moderation Team Lead

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    I think maybe if you write to the managers with quotes why this is discrimination and then tell them that you will have no choice other to than report them, they might let you leave your wheelchair in the cupboard. :):hug::)
  14. Hell...Hath...No...Fury..

    Hell...Hath...No...Fury.. Senior Member

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    Thank you :) i hope it resolves before the 25th or i'll have my wheelchair stolen from me and be sent a bill for the cost of having my wheelchair stolen! If it wasn't happening right now, i wouldn't actually believe it.
    Valentijn likes this.
  15. Hell...Hath...No...Fury..

    Hell...Hath...No...Fury.. Senior Member

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    Because it was one of the residents that put the complaint in and I don't know which, i wouldn't know which ones to go to for support :( Out of the five of them, its a choice between 2 snotty women who could have done it but i really don't know.
    When i first moved in a year and a half ago, someone put in a complaint because it would sometimes take me 2 days to get downstairs to put my bin back in the bin house and it looked 'unsightly' Because i had no way of doing anything about that, i got the council to put my bin back for me thank god. Now its this... I'm going to be living in a prison if my wheelchair is removed. I can leave on legs sometimes but i really need the wheelchair :aghhh:
  16. peggy-sue

    peggy-sue

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    I'm in Scotland and the laws are different here when it comes to housing, but you will get excellent advice not only from the CAB, but also from Shelter - who run a very comprehensive website on your rights and what you can and can't do.

    In my searching I have also encountered regulations that say your landlord has to give you support to be living there with your disability - so it would I believe, be considered completely unreasonable not to let you keep the chair in the cupboard, but that's for Scotland.

    http://england.shelter.org.uk/get_advice/housing_with_support/getting_adaptations



    It's a cupboard, for heaven's sake! It's put out of sight and isn't in anybody's way.:bang-head:
  17. Hell...Hath...No...Fury..

    Hell...Hath...No...Fury.. Senior Member

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    Lol i know!
    Its tricky because its not my landlord as such who are stopping me, my landlord is the estate agent that i rent the flat from and they're lovely, its the managers of the whole building who lay down the law about the communal parts of the building and deal with resident complaints.
    The building managers deal with anything communal from cleaners, to window cleaning, to the gardens outside.
    The 6 flats are a mix of private rented by different estate agents and some of them are bought. Its the ones who are in the bought ones that shoot the complaints.
    They don't see disability and illness, all they see is 'unemployed' therefore scum of the earth :mad:

    The cupboard contains everyone's electric meters so the letter stated that the cupboard is for electrics... However if the cleaners can keep their hoovers in there safely, then a manual wheelchair definitely can.

    I was on the citizens advise website earlier and it seems we're going up in the world!! ME is used as an example of discrimination on their website!...

    Example

    You have ME which means you experience severe fatigue. Recently, you went to the pub with some friends but felt so tired you had to lie down on the bench seat for a while. A pub employee told you to leave the premises as she thought you were drunk. You explained to her that you were lying down because of your disability, but she refused to accept your explanation or listen to your friends. She made no attempt to talk with the other bar staff who had served you only one drink.

    This would probably be unlawful discrimination. There was enough information available to the pub employee for her to find out about your disability. You could therefore argue that she should have known about it.
    Valentijn, MeSci and peggy-sue like this.
  18. peggy-sue

    peggy-sue

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    It would seem an alternative way of solving the problem would be to have a through-floor lift installed so that you could get the chair upstairs!:p

    You could try writing a polite note to each of your neighbours, asking them if they have any objections to the chair being kept in the cupboard. Say there has been a complaint, and you want to know if you are causing any others severe distress by it's presence there, or would they support you in a quest to get permission?

    But really, I think you should just take it up with the letting agency and get them to deal with the managers. :thumbsup:
    Valentijn and justy like this.
  19. MeSci

    MeSci ME/CFS since 1995; activity level 6

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    Is the cupboard spacious, so that people can access their meters easily with your wheelchair in there? If not, is there room for an additional cupboard?

    I'm sure there must be a way round this - it would be a crazy thing to have to move for.
  20. Hell...Hath...No...Fury..

    Hell...Hath...No...Fury.. Senior Member

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    Its not huge, but the wheelchair isn't blocking access to anything its just folded up against the side wall. inside the cupboard there is also plastic chairs (belonging to the whole buildin) 2 hoovers (that the building cleaners leave) and a big plastic box that looks like cat litter.
    After the bottom of the stairs section there's a square space at the entrance that could potentially house a cupboard. Though i'm guessing that wouldn't be allowed as it would interfere with their hideous plastic plant they have standing there :confused:
    Valentijn likes this.

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