Most of the programmes on TV are mindless drivel. As Kate Adie said in a recent interview, broadcasting is now focused so much more on entertainment and less on documentary and fact finding. If you want to learn stuff, BBC Four and occasionally channel Four and Beeb 2 churn out good documentaries (I don’t have sky).
One I watched tonight focused on how policies and public opinion towards disability have changed over the decades. These documentaries provide a helpful reflection on just how dire things were and what more needs to change for the future. Thanks to protest marches, the media and pressure groups, all buildings have to be designed with access in mind. I take this for granted now but a documentary filmed back in the 80s showed how it was virtually impossible for a wheelchaired person to go to the shops or take a ride on the bus. What was even more shocking was the reaction of other people, the bus driver, the fellow passenger, the passer by – they just didn’t give a shit. It was almost as if they were saying ‘you are disabled, live with it but don’t expect us to make life easier for you’. I also found it hard to believe that only a few decades a go, the Government was not required to provide educational services for children with learning or physical disabilities – thank God my husband was born in the seventies or he would have jut been put on societies reject heap.
The biggest change has been in attitudes, that disabled people have the right to enjoy life regardless of any physical barriers, therefore they have the same rights. The documentary showed footage of hideous institutions were grown en were made to queue up naked in wheelchairs in prep for their hose down instead of a bath. In another piece of footage, a boy of 10 is tied to a post for 5 hours because they cant control his behaviour – which is nothing more than a cry out for attention.
Its a fascinating documentary and I recommend taking a break from all the x factor and reality TV shit to get some depth in your life on BBC Four on BBC iPlayer.
I am blogging every day to raise money for Unicef. Tomorrow I hope to have hit target of raising 100 pounds through this blog – I would be very grateful for any bloggers who can give this campaign a boost – check out my site on Unicef’s site here.
Thanks for reading.