I’m feeling a bit better; I’ve managed to have a shower. Put some clothes on and eat some cream crackers so I’m getting there. I still need to tackle the washing up and laundry though. I thought I might go back to last week’s “Hardest Hit March” in London. I would have absolutely loved to have gone, I would have been in my element. I did have an interesting discussion with my boss though with regards to the voice of us ticcers ( not me shouting obscenities in the village shop – sorry of the stereotype) but our political voice, we compared ourselves with another charity, a charity that represents those with another neurological condition that usually affects people later in live, this charity seem to have a stronger political voice and the reasoning behind that was that the people affected by this particular condition have already completed their education and many have had quite successful, high profile careers, unlike us ticcers, as you know TS in the main starts in childhood thus affecting an individuals education which then impacts on their career at the moment 2 out of 3 adults of working age with TS are unemployed which is a sad state of affairs, this in turn affects a person’s social mobility thus rendering them invisible to the political powers that be. I’m lucky in the fact that as a ticcer I am well educated ( but sadly unemployed) but I have been given opportunity via being voluntary policy officer for Tourette’s Action to voice both my concerns and opinions and those of other ticcers of both working age, children and teens.
It also seems to me at the moment that people with disabilities are invisible and have become scapegoats for society, it appears to be to be very much the in thing at the moment in the right wing press ( one newspaper in particular which is read by Tory wives) to print in-informed articles about people living on benefits. Being a benefit claimant is bad enough without this constant media abuse of “benefit scroungers” and people on DLA living the life of riley. Well is just isn’t like that a couple on Jobseekers Allowance get £105.95 per week, my weekly DLA could pay for a handful of microwave meals or a taxi to get away from an abusive person. Going back to the Hardest Hit march last week, the media coverage was pretty minimal, almost nothing on the BBC, a report on the Channel 4 News and an article on the Guardian website. guardian.co.uk/society/2011... Apart from the cuts that are about to be inflicted on people with disabilities is the acceptance to bully people with disabilities, for example how many times have you heard people joking about TS on TV? There is also a rise in crime against people with disabilities, it is sadly common place for ticcers to be verbally and in some instances physically attacked, kid ye not, and this has happened to friends, I have been verbally attacked also. Another problem that faces us ticcers is employment, I’ve been trying for a long time to get a job, any job will do, I’m even applying for warehouse work, and how many other graduates would consider such low-paid insecure work as a serious job option? I think this is a sad indictment of the discrimination that we face, there needs to be a much great awareness of TS in society particularly if us ticcers are going to play on an even playing field. The public at large and in particular prospective employers need to understand that us ticcers are a bunch of bright, articulate, creative, people who would make fantastic employees and have a lot to offer an employer. As well as those qualities you need to be a particularly tenacious individual as to try and over come both the physical and mental sides of TS takes an awful lot of effort and hard work. Tomorrow starts TS awareness week I the USA, I’m not sure about here in Blighty but it would be good if people could be more aware of us ticcers and the hurdles we face on a daily basis and give us a break! We certainly don’t want to be patronised, a woman comes up to me in Coventry Market puts her arm around me and says “you poor thing, you’ve got Tourette’s” eewww! Well I suppose it’s better than been sniggered at by someone. If you would like to buy an awareness wristband like the one in the picture follow this link. tourettes-action.org.uk/shop