Tonight 9p.m. Disabled In An Instant

"Disabled In An Instant is a film about what happens to young people who have battled to survive a life-changing illness or injury, only to get out of hospital and find themselves facing an even bigger fight to access the support they need to live the life they want.

Coronation Street actor and wheelchair sportsman Peter Mitchell, who was paralysed in a car crash 13 years ago, sets out to help and questions why the very systems in place that are supposed to assist disabled people don’t work better.

Along the way, Peter meets 19-year old Billy, who broke his back in a motocross accident last June and lives in a hotel room after leaving hospital because of the time it's taking to adapt his family home; Jacob, a 23 year-old who survived meningitis and spent two years in hospital, but when he finally gets home finds himself trapped there without a specially adapted car; and Helen, who had to learn to walk again after being paralysed by a rare autoimmune condition, but whose struggle with the benefits system is ongoing."

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21 Replies

  • Hi Eleanor

    Had just set recorder and was about to post a reminder. Beginning to collect programmes like this and its a shame that the BBC seems to be planning to do away with BBC 3.




  • Really ? Well I agree Random, that IS a shame. xx

  • thank you RandomPhantoms, yes i should have watched more of the defying the label series. i thought the programme was good (apart from seeing the disability ministers stupid face.) take care x

  • I watched this show, so much inspiration but I felt like such a fraud, with me being able to do everything (well almost everything) an able person can do, and those people struggling with day to day life. I've always said I'm not disabled but have a disability, but now feel like I shouldn't even be saying this. very much 😪

    Lisa85 xxx

  • Same, Lisa- I haven't watched it yet, but did send an email to the programme about 'invisible' injuries. The emotional toll of being 'different' is still there, but I feel rude for even mentioning it now. I'll blame the brain injury, and the fact that I don't always question my first impulse?

    I'm still fumbling about in the VERY early stages of adaptation, trying not to pull everything down around me, looking 'normal', and feeling anything but.

    It's the scabbing-my-knees stage of learning to ride a bike, isn't it? Just need to take care not to fling myself over the handlebars.

  • Everything is relative ... Xxx

  • i think that there have been programmes on autism, bi polar disease , compltely different from autism obviously, there have been programmes on fairly hidden disability. i could be wrong but i dont think i have ever seen a programme on how it can be for fairly able bodied brain injured people having to go to work , and run a house and family. there doesnt seem to be a voice, a channel an outlet, much awareness at all apart from of course headway. i dont mean to be a creep but you are doing an amazing job.

  • Yes very true I agree completely, I have always said that I may look and act normal but I'm neither of them things, I'm very quirky and odd lol.

    Yes try not to over do yourself and take each day and thing at a pace that won't tire you.

    Lisa85 x

  • You are NOT a fraud Lisa, I have a job and like you I can do most of the things I could do before I became ill but I have no problem with telling people that I have a disability x

  • I totally agree, I don't have any problem with people knowing that I have a disability, I just don't like being referred to as disabled because I dont See my self like that, I am able bodied and able to do every thing someone without a brain injury is. But I guess that's the problem with a brain injury, it is a hidden disability and not many people see it as a disability.

  • I missed it Eleanor but not to worry, I'll catch it tomorrow eve on BBCi player. Thanks for the alert ; I didn't watch TV tonight & hadn't checked the listings !

    I'll get back to you after I've watched it. xx

  • thanks for reply Cat. Just to say, having posted a remindeer, im not sure when ill get to watch it (got loads on here, touch wood brain fatigue ok atm, but comes and goes) take care

  • I missed it. I went and relaxed in the bath for a wee while........

    Woke up and got out of bath just as they were in the gym playing basket ball and he was summarising. I'll have to see if it gets repeated.

  • They'll play it for a week on bbc iplayer x

  • i won't watch it for a bit, got loads on, hope the brain fatigue doesnt kick in properly

  • I watched it and was disappointed with the focus being entirely on physical disabilities. In fact all four people on the show, including the presenter, had mobility problems, either being in a wheelchair or being unable to walk far. With brain injury being the leading cause of death and disability, you'd think they'd at least include someone on the show.

    I've no problem with the term "disability", it merely refers to certain aspects of function, whether hidden or not, but would never say I'm "disabled" because that is an all-inclusive term that gives no suggestion for any "ability".

  • i dont know about the term disability, i'm not blind i have defective vision, i think i see what youre saying . i am ok with the word disability . the 1st time i heard it applied to me i thought eh? i have tried to walk down the street without a crutch at 3 years post b i i think its a no go and i am absolutely fine with that.

  • i agree, just replied to gaia saying i think there should be much more in the way of public awareness and understanding of what it is like for people who have been brain injured and have some degree of cognitive challenges , think i just realised. this was a 15 programme series something could have been said

  • it was part of a series of 15 programmes on disability called defying the label.

    i tried to watch it earlier (what i could hear of it)

    i was interested in the me and my new brain programme, where the focus of the programme was Charlie mainly who didnt have mobility problems, but with respect the programme makers didn't get it quite right then , what it's like for brain injured people on the whole, far from it.

    my autistic nephew lives with me , so i'd be the first person to say can you make more of hidden disability as an actual disability, include hidden disability in a programme on disability, so people can begin to get the picture! ie its all disability!

    in last nights programme, the amputee had his legs amputated as a result of meningitis. i didn't catch what kind of neurological disorder the girl has.

    i did like this programme. as in the other programme me and my brain i found myself listening quite intently to what people were saying.

    what i didnt like about this programme was how the new disability minister was handled, i'm not up to speed on him yet, but all indications are that he is bad.

    3 year post bi walkin down the street minus a crutch or two aint gonna happen. i wasnt wheelchair bound for very long. ive a lot of respect for wheelchair users. i got emotional to see the young bloke dancing thinking how amazing wheelchair users are. ...and i think it should be Against The Law for any potential employer to say to him is there any way you can make yourself less disabled.

    just to say that believe it or not physical disability gets ignored also like hidden disability does. its happened to me twice quite big time, and i read about it in the paper the other day.

    sometimes ive felt like saying, as regards hidden disability if you think my legs are malfunctioning, youve got no idea what my brain does sometimes, but it can all be overcome and got round in my case at least.

  • I watched the Peter Mitchell programme tonight on BBCi portraying the challenges of young people struck down by injury or illness and I found it both enlightening and depressing. The minister was a waste of space and simply offering lip service so contributed nothing to the programme.

    I thought the comment from Mr.Mitchell that he'd accepted his disability and 'wouldn't change anything' rather disingenuous considering all he'd lost as a result of his accident. But everyone was courageous in their own way.

    And as Barney commented, you would have thought the producers could have included head injury issues. I've never seen any programme about hidden disability which is shameful considering the thousands of folk out there struggling to cope alone with no aftercare, and whose voices can only be heard through the medium of television.

  • head injury issues are the most hidden of hidden disabilities. i dont know how long overdue it is; the balance needs to start being redressed.

    i'm a carer/mum of an autistic boy, my nephew. his disability is sometimes fairly hidden, sometimes obviously hidden. there is a book about autism called 'pretending to be normal'. there is a general acceptance among some key people & the general public to a degree that the disability is there, having said that sometimes this recognition has not been there when it should have been, but there is still greater awareness than there is with head injury issues.

    my sometime slightly garbled comments on the programme indicate that i do agree with yourself, Barny and Gaia. Barny's was an interesting and informative comment. i'm in complete agreement with you about the minister.

    i was only wheelchair bound for a short period of time. ive tried to walk unaided but i cant really do it. this was the first time since injury that i'd heard people with mobility issues speak on the subject, thats why i was drawn in. as far as physical disability goes i am at the fairly lesser disabled end of the spectrum. having said that the 1st year post b.i was a real challenge, that i relished, with vision defect (nystagmus) and physical disability inter-playing, i accepted it straight off. but i had a load of support with the brain fatigue etc in that 1st year. (now its 3 years psot b i ). had i been wheelchair bound that would have mentally been much tougher i am guessing not to mention physically.

    i expected to find the programme depressing, as anyone would. i dont know if it is because i have now read about so many cases of people struggling under the tory government combined with 'just being left' to get on with it as regards disability , (i think was the quote), that i found this programme concerning (there are so many concerns under tory government) and i wanted to urge the people in the programmme on, but i didnt find it depressing.

    i think this series was a rare if not sole missed opportunity as regards head injury issues, i do think it is reprehensible that tv for example is our only chance to get it across what its like for us.

    it is also reprehensible that the young girl with the neurological disease cant get any support from the government whatsoever because of having resided outside of the country for a period of time. what is she supposed to live on then? i know about this rule, and it doesnt matter if you have paid NI contributions for 30 years, then spent a couple of years outside the UK working when you are struck down by terminal illness, then when you return to the UK, you are not entitled to benefits. i very much digress, and this IS depressing.

    regarding the programme, ( on a personal level )i just was amazed in particular by the disabled dancer, ive captured that picture of him on stage in my head.

    i know we're all one community, we stick together, its good.

    best wishes

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