Wednesday, 26 August 2015

I Don’t Think Deafness Is Sanjeev’s Main Handicap, Somehow….

Frances Ryan is crying wolf yet again:
Against the backdrop of this month’s jubilant A-level and GCSE results, 17-year-old Sanjeev Singh provides a different picture of what it is to be young in Conservative Britain.
Oh, the humanity! I should provide a ‘trigger warning’ here, because it seems that Sanjeev is forced to…

*readers of a nervous disposition might want to look away now*

…ride THE BUS!
In many ways, Sanjeev is a young person “doing the right thing”. He lives at home with his mum and three siblings and, since leaving school a year ago, he has persisted in looking for work. But Sanjeev, 17, is deaf and once prospective employers know he has a disability, they don’t contact him again.
He keeps trying to get interviews but, unable to travel safely alone on public transport, he has no way of getting to them.
Yes, incredible as it may seem, in a country where a double amputee once flew fighter aircraft in combat in a war zone, the removal of a taxpayer-funded taxicab to job interviews is cause for weeping, wailing and rending of garments.

Personally, having ridden the bus in term time (thanks, RMT strikers!), I’d think being deaf would be a blessed relief from the screaming & shouting that seems to take the place of normal conversation, but there we are…
This is where the welfare state’s safety net is meant to kick in. Disability living allowance (DLA), for example – a benefit Sanjeev has received since he was six years old – could pay for a taxi on the days he needs get to an interview and has no one to help him communicate with the crowds on a bus.
But the government chose to replace DLA with personal independence payment (PIP) and after being tested for the new, tougher assessment in December, Sanjeev had his benefits stopped, after more than a decade.
What you’re describing isn’t a ‘safety net’, Frances, it’s a feather bed. Hundreds of deaf people cope with public transport, why should Sanjeev not be able to cope?

Clearly, the Benefit Office realised this, which is why the payments stopped.
Sanjeev tells me he’s going to keep looking for work while starting the appeal process to try and get his disability benefit back. He asks if I know how to fill out the forms. “I’m not getting any help,” he explains. “I’ll need to tell my mum to ring them.”
So you expect to get a job, but can’t manage to fill in the appeal forms without ‘help’? Good lord, you’re seventeen! Why would anyone employ someone so hopeless?

And this hopelessness has nothing to do with your disability, but with your attitude to life. Is being deaf and jobless a picnic? No, I doubt it. Has life dealt you a harsh card? Yes, undoubtedly. But that doesn’t mean you can expect a life coddled by your mum and the taxpayer forever!

Employers aren’t going to be impressed with ‘I can’t get to the interview ‘cos I ain’t got money for a taxi, innit?’ if they can look up and see their own disabled employees at their desks, working away, having surmounted the difficulty of commuting.

I think your main ‘disability’ is perpetual childhood. Grow up.

9 comments:

Bucko The Moose said...

Can't ride public transport to a job interview and needs a taxpayer funded taxi.

If he got the job and his benefits were replaced with a wage and he had to make his way to work every day, I bet public transport would suddenly become a good option.

Anonymous said...

Bunny

When I used to commute into Manchester there was a blind lady who got on the train to go to her job in Manchester. The train was from a station outside of Warrington, there was a group of regulars who used to catch the train. Everyone one of these people knew this lady and did everything they could to help her. Wonder what would happen to Sanjeev?

Actually he is bloody deaf, there is a street sign, there is a land mark, he is bloody deaf how does that stop him catching a bus ffs?

Lynne at Counting Cats said...

What would Helen Keller say?

Flaxen Saxon said...

To be fair have you seen the average clientele on the buses these days? The great unwashed doesn’t really cover it. I like to think of them as the ‘mad, the sad and the bad’. At least he doesn’t have to listen to nutters telling him about what they are going to do come benefit day or put up with an inebriate trying to sell ‘day glo’ underwear. Lucky deaf bugger.

Furor Teutonicus said...

So, text to voice telephones are not available to the deaf in Britain? Bet he has a fucking I-Pod though.

wiggiatlarge said...

Guardian readers of course see things very differently..............

I don't know but maybe he hasn't the tool of sign language yet to communicate to get on the bus? Its a terrifying world out there for even the most able teenager.

I rest my case.

Lord T said...

While other disabled people get on with their lives and want to be treated equally people like this having been brought up with our social system want everything spoon fed. Bet he still wants the positive discrimination as well though and speaking of which a deaf people is a good disabled tick in the box, disabled, tick, still can do most jobs, tick. Wonder why he can't get one. Let me think a minute.

JuliaM said...

"If he got the job and his benefits were replaced with a wage and he had to make his way to work every day, I bet public transport would suddenly become a good option."

Yup!

"When I used to commute into Manchester there was a blind lady who got on the train to go to her job in Manchester. The train was from a station outside of Warrington, there was a group of regulars who used to catch the train. Everyone one of these people knew this lady and did everything they could to help her. "

Ditto! There's a blind lady who is often on my morning train - never a complaint, never lacking in assistance. It can be done.

"What would Helen Keller say?"

She wouldn't recognise modern society, and not for the obvious reason.

"So, text to voice telephones are not available to the deaf in Britain? Bet he has a fucking I-Pod though."

Spot on!

JuliaM said...

"...maybe he hasn't the tool of sign language yet to communicate to get on the bus?"

Well, a) he's 17, and b) he can manage to communicate with a 'Guardian' interviewer! Bus drivers are much quicker on the uptake, so I'm sure he could manage.

"...a good disabled tick in the box, disabled, tick, still can do most jobs, tick. Wonder why he can't get one. "

It's a mystery...