Joan is disabled and house bound. She lives in accommodation for disabled and elderly people even though she is not elderly. She is closely connected to people who live there – that is her community. The pandemic hasn’t really changed her day to day life. She faces the same challenges of loneliness, isolation and lack of services as before pandemic.
Newham has no day centres that accept working-age disabled people who are mentally capable. Joan feels such a day centre would enable her to socialise, form friendships and have a safe place to go during the day. It would also help her partner to have bit of time for himself. Joan engages in online learning. She can’t attend local colleges because they are not wheelchair accessible and the times don’t suit her. Many venues that claim to be accessible only meet requirements for the smallest wheelchairs. Sometimes Joan can’t fit or move around inaccessible toilets or lifts. This makes it impossible to use local leisure and community centres. She didn’t know BDCA existed. Joan has to exercise to stop her condition worsening. She has exercised at home, but lacks the necessary equipment. During the pandemic lots of activities have been made available online, this has been a game changer for Joan because she can enjoy world-wide art and culture without leaving her bed – her disability is irrelevant.