Crippled: Austerity and the Demonization of Disabled People by Frances Ryan
My rating: ★ ★ ★ ★ ☆
This book is so insightful. It is heavy on facts and statistics but this backs up to points made by the author and the facts and statistics given help support the depth that the author goes into on the different topics she covers in the book.
The chapters are split by different disability related topics such as housing, women, children, work, employment, education and healthcare.
As a young disabled adult I already know the challenges I've faced such as claiming benefits as I'm unable to work and to help me with the extra costs I incur because of my disability and how claiming these benefits this difficult process in filling out the paperwork and being assessed by people who have little knowledge of disability. Or difficulty in accessing healthcare including medication and specialist services (which are often dictated by how much these things cost) and also my experience of desperately trying to get a care package through adult social care.
This book made me realise how hard it will be for me when I try to return to education and the challenges I'll face at University to get the support I need there both for my education then for my accomodation and then the challenges I'll face when I try and get paid work that will fit around my disabilities
For me I enjoy statistics and it really helped paint to the picture of the hardship, ablism and austerity (and much more) that disabled and chronically ill people in the UK face in all aspects of their life.
The book made me realise, despite the many challenges I have faced and will face that I'm one of the lucky ones. I haven't had to go to a tribunal to get my PIP (Personal Independence Payments) that will help me with the extra costs of having a disability. Though I am struggling to get some healthcare services my experience so far has mostly been great and I feel blessed to have such as good healthcare team.
I have access to my specialised prescribed nutritional shakes unlike some disabled people interviewed in the book who aren't able to access specialist meals or can't afford electricity to store their refrigerated medication such as insulin.
As well as the book being heavy on facts and statistics it also features a lot of case studies of disabled people which help, I felt, made the book more relatable and realistic. You could hear real stories of real people and the real situations and challenges that these people featured have faced.
I think that featuring case studies alongside the factual elements and statistics have made this a really insightful (I listened to it as an audiobook which is great for accessibility).
However I don't think that this book would be for everyone as some people may find the facts and statistics cited too much - it did take me a while to listen to this book partly because I wanted to keep up with understanding the book but I also had other books on the go too - but if you can I would seriously recommend to give this book a go at reading/listening to.
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