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Gordon's D-Zone Arcive (2006-2014)

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Killer Ramps

When disability issues started to attract the attention of politicians and policy makers in Malta, the idea of a disabled people was usually that of a wheelchair user. Consequently, physical access tended to be the single most important disability issue for the public. Thankfully, through a combination of awareness campaigns and better information, issues facing other impairment groups. However, in spite of the early emphasis on physical access and the passing of an Equal Opportunities Act (20000, physical access is still a real barrier to disabled people with mobility impairments. While accessible toilets, vertical access to buildings and wide enough doors are all what physical access, a basic requirement in accessing most buildings are ramps.

Believe me; finding accessible venues to access a service, such as a shop, grocer, etc is a headache. Even accessible private health clinics are hard to find. It took me years to find an accessible dental clinic for example, and now that I did, it made my life a little easier. Yet, there are still a significant number of places that are inaccessible while others may impose limits. Fancy watching a movie at the cinema from the back of the last row?

In addition, yes, before you can access a building, you need ramps. However, I shouldn't mention the obvious. I've known shop owners placing an inadequate ramp just for decoration I guess orj because perhaps believe we have super-human strength. I wasn't aware of the situation worldwide (not exactly), so I was a little amused and mostly shocked when I visited a link from David Eaves, which shows pictures of a few 'infuriating ramps'.

The link is:
Infuriating Wheelchair Ramps

And that's all for today!

Wednesday, August 04, 2010

The Rite of Writing

Well, here I am writing another post after a long period of absence. Yes, I have neglected this blog, my pod cast and almost everything else that I used to publish online before. In my defence, I was catching up with my studies and, as usual, working. However, since today is my day off, I decided to write a few lines about my life so far.

I left you with a post on the world cup. I can say that now it’s over, I am back to my former self. I did have some good moments, I admit, especially when I got my predictions about who will win right. Sadly, I got the semi-final between Germany and Spain so wrong while my rival, Paul the eight-legged fortune-teller, got that right. Yes, ok, he got the winning country right as well! But… Let’s not go there… There was also my cousin’s wedding a few weeks ago. Great experience really. She married a guy from Brazil, which meant the wedding ceremony was conducted in Portuguese (I believe), Maltese and English. And when it came time for the marriage vows, she read her vows in Portuguese and he read them in Maltese. I wasn’t ready for that…

Anyway, people from across the globe came for the wedding, so I take the liberty of calling it my first international wedding of my life. During the reception, I got to meet a few cousins of mine from the US who came for the wedding (and a short holiday). I don’t want to brag about it but I will. I was told that I have people following me from across the sea. So, hello to you all! It’s good to know that someone, somewhere and some time, is reading this blog…

In the meantime, I was studying like crazy for my PhD topic during my free time. And writing, writing, and writing some more! Thankfully, after proofreading part of the PhD that was long coming, I submitted it and now will soon start to add another piece. However, once the work I had to do was now complete… well, I felt empty inside. It’s funny really; I guessed that I got to like my study and write routine and I looked forward to it. Although I really enjoy working at the office, over these two weeks my thoughts were on the ‘project’. Thus, I experienced frustrating moments when I got a brilliant idea but could not take a note of it since I was at a meeting… Or thinking about my ’project’ when I should really be having fun.

Ok, it was like an obsession. Or, yes, like being madly in love. There, I said it! I’m not sure if you can relate to my experience. However, I always end up with this feeling of emptiness when I finish writing a piece of work that’s been occupying me for weeks, or months. Once you’ve given birth to it, so to speak, you’re relieved, yes, but also sad. Sad because you know that you don’t have a purpose to write any more. It’s over! And you must accept that you need to move on.

I admit, writing can be a painful process. So, you ask, why do I persist? Some have suggested that I do it as a form of therapy. No, honestly, please. Others might suspect I’m a masochist who likes to torture himself with words. Original but no. I guess that I’ve been fascinated by words from an early age. Their power to create new realities and, sadly, their power to destroy. To think that such a simple alphabet could produce so many works of art and science. How much words have influenced religion and the way we look at the world and ourselves. I could go on forever. But I won’t.

After writing all that, I think I need a break. Inasmuch as I love writing, and exploring new forms of expression, I have learned that it’s often necessary for me to take a break and reflect on the past, the present and the future. Besides, I need to do more good reading and studying before I can start to draft another part of my thesis…. Enjoy!