How about ‘We Block Your Access to Work’ or ‘We Laugh At Your Inability To Open Large Double Doors Without Regularly And Painfully Subluxing Your Shoulders, You Scrounger’ or ‘Your Appalling Lack of Access Is Our Profit’ or ‘We Pay Our Assessors Six Times What You Earn Per Hour So That They Can Recommend Products That Bear No Relation To Your Needs’? Other suggestions gladly accepted.
Here is an e-mail I sent to my ‘Access to Work’ advisor this evening. Note that I attempted to be polite. I probably failed in a major way, though… E-mail is slightly edited to protect my identity (don’t much care about anyone else’s!), but very little has been taken out.
Dear Ms -,
Thank you for organizing the ergonomic and complex assessments for me, which have now resulted in some of my equipment arriving (I am still waiting for the desk chair – I’ll let you know when it arrives). Some of the equipment is unsuitable and will have to be sent back, but some of of it is going to be very helpful. Many thanks.
I have been contacted by [name of assessor] at [name of company that carries out AtW’s assessments]. He wanted to do an assessment of the physical premises at which I work. You may remember that I was asking urgently for such an assessment back in August, and that I was told repeatedly, both by yourself and [assessment company] that it was not possible. I have had to tell [assessor] that, since my contract ends in July – and he says that the assessment plus work on the buildings is likely to take longer than this – I cannot agree to this assessment at the moment, as it would not be of any use to me.
For your information, in relation to future jobs that I may have, [assessor] has said that I must have this assessment done at the earliest possible opportunity when I am in my next job. I would like to ask that this request is upheld, so that I need not wait so long again for the work premises assessment. The delays incurred because of confusion over whether or not such an assessment was necessary have caused me a lot of pain and stress, including having to have several weeks off work recently. I very much hope that I will now be able to keep going until July, but this is by no means certain, largely because of the building where I work, as well as the way that my employer asks me to move around a large, only partly-accessible campus so often during my working day.
Some more background to this is that I was asking for this assessment to be done, as a matter of urgency, between August and November (when I gave up asking, out of sheer exhaustion). Two of this company’s assessors, who came to do IT and workstation assessments for me, recommended that the building assessment was done as soon as possible. Nothing happened. I continued to ask my AtW advisor for it, as the manager of the assessment company was getting nasty and practically accused me of being demanding, and still nothing happened. Then I went off work for six weeks. Now the manager of the assessment company is ringing, only six months too late, to ask if I’d like this assessment. Not only that, but he rather patronisingly told me today to get this assessment done “as quickly as possible in any future jobs you are in. Don’t leave it this long in future.” Oh, well, thank you so much for the advice. I only wish I’d thought of it myself. *headdesk*
Oh, and this fantastic equipment that arrived today, most of which is completely unsuitable? I’ve been waiting for it since November.
Yes, I forgot to post yesterday. It’s been a *really* long week. Work is manic, I had to meet a scary official of the Church of England on Wednesday (the joys of being a PCC member), and I actually managed to drag myself to the pool on Thursday and do fourteen lengths through quite some pain. I want to get into a sport that I can do from my wheelchair. I just can’t find one that doesn’t involve hand-eye coordination or possible dislocations. I may go for something that could cause dislocations anyway. I haven’t had one since I was a child, so my joints may have stiffened up just enough to avoid them now. And it would hardly be the end of the world anyway. Hmm. Must try to find out if any interesting classes are running locally and whether they’d let me do an activity from a wheelchair. I’ll avoid discussing my diagnosis in too much detail. 😀
Edited to add: Yay! The Puddle is OK! And it’s growing. Hurrah. The little things…