ColumnistsVogue Williams

Vogue: My brief glimpse of disabled life was truly shocking

The access provided is quite shocking and not up to standard in most places
The access provided is quite shocking and not up to standard in most places

I never thought much about access for people with disabilities before because I assumed they had good access everywhere they went.

I was so wrong to think this.  The access provided is quite shocking and not up to standard in most places.

Obviously I’m not disabled, but for the past few weeks I’ve been very limited in what I can do. Stairs are a big struggle for me and getting anywhere far away is almost impossible.

I now find myself avoiding going out; it just seems a hassle to me as I struggle to walk on crutches.

This could be made so much easier if establishments and shops were more accommodating for people with any sort of disability.

I’ve also never realised how often people bump into you. It’s like they look through you and are attempting to knock you over half the time.

I worry about people knocking into me all the time, because they do!

I was doing radio interviews the other day and a man with a fold-up bike hit me right in the knee with it. He didn’t even see me drop my crutch to lean down and grab my knee.

Another big issue is disabled bathrooms. A lot of people could argue that I shouldn’t be using a disabled bathroom, but the reality is right now I struggle with stairs and I use them for an easier life.

The problem with disabled toilets is that they aren’t in every place you go to, although I thought they had to be in every public building. I am able to get down stairs if I really need to, but what about people confined to a wheelchair?

The state most disabled toilets are left in leaves a lot to be desired. 

A lot of them double up as a store room, filled with buckets, mops and a store for toilet paper. I have visited many that are filthy.

I feel sorry for people who have to use these all the time because I am sure that, like me, they have been put off going out to save themselves the hassle.

I may be off my crutches in a few weeks, but this is an issue I will definitely be looking into in the future because it needs to change.

So it seems that Donald Trump has gotten himself an invite to Ireland?

I’m sure there are people crying into their cornflakes at the thought of this and if you’re looking for someone to blame, I have just the man… Enda Kenny!

Yes, our very own Taoiseach has invited the one and only Donald Trump to our beautiful Island. Of course, Mr Trump wants to come over, but I have news for you Donald, not many of Ireland’s citizens want you here.

The U.K. almost had an issue with Trump arriving on their soil, but they quite smartly started a campaign to ban him from the U.K. and I think we should follow suit!

I did wonder what Enda thought he would gain by inviting him to Ireland, but I think I have it figured out: He is, quite frankly, taking the piss out of us. I mean, he’s hardly going to be re-elected so this is his last little joke on the Irish public.

Enda Kenny, the man who only a few months ago called Trump a racist, now thinks it’s a great idea to invite him over. He also furiously back-tracked on his previous statement by saying: “I did not refer to the person of the now-President as being racist. My comment was in respect of his language.”

What does that statement even mean! Anyhow, the visit will be happening within the next four years, which thankfully gives us all ample time to book a holiday abroad!

MY week was filled with so many exciting things and I don’t think I’ve felt so happy in quite a while!

I just feel like everything is where it should be. I have great friends and family around me and I’m getting to do a job I adore, so I’m feeling lucky.

I started my week with a creative speaker session at the Discovery channel. My new show is airing on their brand new channel, Quest Red, so I went in to talk it over and watch clips with lots of people at the network, which was a lot of fun.

I went to dinner with a friend on Monday night and then it was off to bed early.

On Tuesday I had a whole day of press for my series, I was on Lorraine and Fearne Cotton was hosting that day. I just love her so I was really happy to meet her again. The whole of Tuesday was spent going around to lots of different radio stations and then I headed to physio for a couple of hours before I went to the airport.

It was so nice to land back in Dublin because I hadn’t been here for about two months, which is the longest stint away I have ever done. My mom and stepdad collected me from the airport and we went and met my sister, her girlfriend and my aunt for dinner.

On Wednesday I was up at 5.30am for the gym and then it was straight into hair and make-up. I was hosting Regatta’s press day in town. I’m the face of their new SS17 range so I was chatting all about my involvement with that.

On Thursday and Friday I was up at 5.30am for the gym and I was shooting for my book for those two days. Writing a book has always been on my list of goals and I’m bursting with excitement to hold a copy of it.

I was probably the most boring person in Ireland on St Patrick’s Day, I worked all day and then I got to babysit my niece Jeanie. 

I haven’t seen her in so long and she is just the cutest thing ever. I was minding her on Saturday and then I spent the rest of the day working on my book.

I will try get up to more mischief and less work next week and report back!