Ataxia UK

Oxford is not ataxia friendly

I find that nobody here ever heard about ataxia. Also, the shops have very high steps with typically no handrail or banister. I am including the famous colleges here. Last night we dined at Balliol and to get to the spot we had to climb twice banister less. To get to the library required many more steps. Also, cabs have a rather high steps. Sadly, awareness seems to be zero.

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Nothing new there then! You have only come across what is typical of many places added to which Oxford has many old buildings, etc. which pre-date having to be disabled-friendly! I am guessing from your previous posts you live in USA - do people there always know what Ataxia is? I would be surprised if they do. Hope it didn't spoil your trip.


I have known Oxford since I was A child.I am an Oxonian with an advanced ataxia.I live in Willtshire aand go to see my Neuro at the hosp I was born in.It feels weird.

As Tiggywinkle says the city is very old and some places innaccessiible. It is usually and always full of tourists and cameras. I think it's because it's the seat of acaedemia.Many of the streets were cobbled.()Certainly not wheel friendly).

When I was walking and using the ro,llator I could not access the post office in my present v illage as it was too old and had steps,was very narrow inside,had a v ery narrow piece of pavement outside and once I had stggered up the steps and left the rollator at the bottom,lurched into th e shop,grabbed onto the displays of cards and fell towards the counter,they did not have the thing Iasked for-sigh.In my last town it was my ban k.Step-big one.When I men tioned it to staff they said as it was a listed building there was nothing they could do. It is frustrating!!

Sorry about the typos-tremor.


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I live in the US and many places here also are not handicap-friendly! So frustrating! Also, most people (even in the medical field) have never heard of ataxia! Sounds like a world-wide situation...,

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Yes, well, I think you are all (each of you) right. Oxford reminds me alot of Italy.. in that way. I just would have thought it being the UK, things might have been different. More advanced. Signs (for the disabled) are a dime a dozen; there are also discounts on certain plays and concerts. but the general state of affairs is quite hard. And the challenges of ataxia (the ups and down of ramps) are totally ignored. For instance, every university seems to have a small door with a plank on the floor, one has to step

over the plank and hold the door to enter. I am sure the universities would create another entrance if alerted. No?

Knowledge? Recognition in the USA? Zero. But there are flatter streets in the newer cities. Maybe here too.


It makes me wonder how disabled students manage, there must be some.


Yes, indeed, there must be some though I cannot imagine many because there are so many obstacles. For example, going to see "King Lear" at the prestigious Merton College and going to the toilets or bathrooms are a huge challenge because it is dark, the pavement changes suddenly from cobblestone to grass, or gravel and there are numerous banister-less staircases to negotiate. Usually, I don't move during intermission but the play was long and it was quite chilly outdoors. I almost broke a friend's foot. (He was escorting me on the darkened stairs.)

People are generally very very kind however. At Heathrow Airport a cop or someone with authority allowed me to jump the very long queue at the security check out when he saw my cane and told me to always check in Business or First class even though I fly coach.

I wonder what people did in the olden days.


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