Did you know? Disabled people don't have to be "registered". Disability is twice as prevalent amongst prisoners as others. Registration.  The concept of being "registered disabled" still perpetuates despite being misleading.  Nowadays, some, and certainly not all, disabled people themselves choose whether or not to "register" their impairment for a whole range of reasons.  For example, the RNIB recently reported that, of the 190,000 working age people in the UK who have seeing difficulties that affect their lives, less than half have formally "registered" themselves as blind or partially sighted.    As for myself, I didn't even consider "registering" for some years but, in the end, it was sensible as it helped getting a Blue Badge and other types of assistance.  Yes, I can walk about but it makes it much easier for the person guiding me if we can get a parking slot near the shops: negotiating a blind person plus all the shopping bags around crowded areas with trip and other hazards is difficult enough so proximity is a huge boon.  And shame on anyone who misuses "disabled" parking bays – often there's no alternative but just to give up and go home. Prisoners.  Reviewing a report by the Ministry of Justice, it was clear that they are only recently starting to appreciate the much higher prevalence of disability amongst prisoners: nearly double the level in the rest of the population (and their data may still be conservative).  This begs the question as to whether some disabled people are abandoned by our social structures and relegated to the Criminal Justice system or whether that system itself disables prisoners.  I don’t pretend to have the answer but surely this is an area that merits closer scrutiny? But the data does send important messages for all those organisations that assist ex-offenders: they have to be really clued up on disability issues.  And any new contracting by the Ministry of Justice also needs to take this in to account – the limited success of the Work Programme for disabled people provides some important lessons. Bouquet of the week. I gave up on supermarkets years ago when the local one replaced my familiar weekly assistance with ad hoc arrangements resulting in a young man who didn’t know what a courgette was.  Now I do miles better with a wonderful local butcher cum greengrocer (Dave’s in Highlands Road).  A simple phone call once a week brings a delivery of excellent produce – not just to the door but even unpacked on to the correct shelves in the fridge.  Perfect personal service from Dave and sons, Kevin and Darren – and complete customer loyalty.
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