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Bethany's Story

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To mark our 30th anniversary, we’re releasing 30 stories from wheelchair users across our history.

This ambitious and historic project will result in stories being archived as part of the The British Library Sound Archives ensuring that the life experiences of wheelchair users today are captured forever. With thanks to the National Lottery Heritage Fund and The British Library for their support.

Having lived independently at college for a few years, Bethany talks about her experience and the adaptations required to do this. She highlights the differences of the places she’s lived in, telling us that whilst she’s still waiting for a dropped kerb outside her house in Wales, that the accessibility in Gloucester clubs where she moved to, was a great experience. 

From the wheelchair skills training she’s received which has given her a love of travelling, to surfing in Wales, Bethany appreciates the support she has got from Whizz-Kidz over the years. “Whizz-Kidz make you feel like you haven’t got a disability, you’re still able to do really good things. I never thought I’d be able to go surfing but Whizz-Kidz made that possible for me.”

Listen to some clips from her interview below.

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On accessibility in clubs and loos! - listen to a clip here

“They don’t really get the input from someone with a disability so for example when they build a disabled toilet, they just put anything anywhere you know? So I’ve been in a toilet where the tissue roll is miles and miles away from the toilet and how are you supposed to get it?”

The one cup kettle - listen to a clip here

“I just press a button and it fills the cup up for me and that would be good for anyone living on their own because obviously you don’t have to pick up the cups. So for some people with certain disabilities have weaknesses so this kettle avoids the risk of picking up the cup and dropping it.”

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Public Attitudes - listen to a clip here

“Be aware of disabled people and that we might take longer and just treat us you would anyone else. For example, I have been in a shop and they think I can’t communicate so I’m in the queue and they are then chatting to somebody that’s with me, my mum or my nan but they are actually serving me. It really makes me feel intimidated”

Travelling - listen to a clip here

“How’s it’s changed is that I have the confidence now that I’ll be ok to travel, I’ve got all the training I need, it’s ok I absolutely love travelling to the point it makes my family nervous with how far I actually go. I keep teasing them that I’m going to go to London. Travelling just doesn’t faze me at all.”

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For Kidz

For Families

For Supporters