My name is Tony and I live in a small village in Co. Limerick.
Unfortunately, I had to spend some time in hospital recently.
While lying on a bed in Accident and emergency I heard someone shout out ‘Are you alright?’
I couldn’t see the person calling me as I lost my sight in 2008 and use a guide dog to help me get around.
The voice got closer and impatiently asked again whether I was alright and why I hadn’t answered.
The hospital staff never took the time to address me by my name or to tap my hand and let me know they were there.
They failed to take account of my sight loss and had no idea how to guide me as a blind person.
I regularly use public transport and the staff there are much more considerate.
My other concern is with motorists who seem to have no respect for people with disabilities.
They constantly park illegally on the road where I live and create an obstacle course for myself and my guide dog.
I have brought the issue up with the local authority a number of times and other advocates have also done so on my behalf.
Despite this the problem persists.
The changing seasons also contribute to the problem.
When overhanging trees and brambles are not regularly cut they add to the difficulties I face when trying to access my community safely.