Banane's conversation with Isaac shows that she has an excellent understanding about disability rights because of her work. However, other Deaf and Disabled people who do not have her knowledge struggled to make sense of the information they received during COVID. Banane believes that Continuity of Care, as set out in the Care Act, did not happen in real life. However, she feels that communities supporting people during lockdowns was a positive aspect.

Disability Rights UK (DRUK) and  People’s Voice Media have engaged in dialogues with Deaf and Disabled people about their experiences of the COVID-19 pandemic and lockdowns. These lived experience narratives detail how people were treated by health and social care professionals, together with the difficulties Deaf and Disabled people faced when support and services were withdrawn by local authorities. Additionally, the dialogues explore how Deaf and Disabled people are currently managing in their daily lives, their hopes and expectations in terms of the COVID Inquiry.

These narratives are great ways to learn from one another, and can be powerful communication methods. Some of the people sharing their lived experience are speaking on behalf of people they care for who do not communicate verbally.

mhm. So thank you for agreeing to take part in this. Would you tell me a little bit about yourself? Yes, of course. So I'm a disabled person

I have muscular dystrophy since birth, and I have a heart failure condition as well. I'm on the wheelchair. I am also on direct payment

So I'm an employer who employs a personal assistant. Um, I have experience of a disability as well as my, uh, my sister and my late sister, who died. She was also disabled

Uh, and I have got friends who are disabled. Uh, I personally, uh, understand the different obstacles that disabled people face. I face it on day to day life

And also, uh, I, uh, work, uh, at the disability rights UK and the person budgets. Uh, advisor. And I deal with in, uh, queries on the helpline and also, uh, in in my email as well

Thank thank you for that. I was just wondering if you would share with me. What was your experience? Um, personally, um, and and you can bring in your work as well of the pandemic

So, um, what impact did the covid pandemic and lockdowns have on the lives of disabled people. OK, so the, uh the impact is obviously quite immense on various levels, depending on the type of every disabled person, their circumstances, and also because it's the initiate was a fear which, actually it was shared by disabled and non disabled people. It's something new that no one has came across

We don't we as disabled people, we didn't know what the future is like, uh, and how long it will last. And, uh, the the the fear was because of the virus and because it was spreading, uh, people, uh, saw that they will die. And there will be also shortage of food as well

Uh, because, uh uh, I personally, when I first heard with the pandemic, uh, I didn't take it that serious, but then the with the media and talking about it and then people and my p a s. And they they advised me to do more shopping. Uh, and I did obviously, like anyone else I did buy

But I only bought just for maybe the supplier of a month. Uh, but then, uh, it is a fear that actually was the initial thing. The, uh Then when things worsen

We were also worried in terms of finance whether the local authority will still continue to fund and finance the our support or whether it will stop, uh, whether the, uh, pandemic, uh, will have a very, um, uh, immense impact on the economy, which means less money. Uh, whether, uh, I wasn't sure whether I will still continue with the r UK whether the r UK will survive the pandemic. And of course, uh, people who called the helpline they were not sure whether the government will still continue to pay the the benefits

Uh, and there was fear of starvation whether we are going to, you know, to be starving, et cetera, et cetera. But that that was the the the the the initial fear. Yeah, uh, thank you for Shanette

It really resonates with, um my own experience. So I'm wondering how you, um, organised kind of the things that you need to you talked about, like shopping and stuff. So, as a disabled person, how did you make sense of what you needed to do and organise your life in a pandemic? Yes

So, um, I knew that I'm going to be stuck at home and I will not be able to go out. So I thought, Let me deal with the important thing. Uh, if I actually, uh, went to the bank, I withdraw some cash because I didn't know whether I will go out with again in the next few months

So I withdrew. Uh, a substantial amount of money, almost £2000. And, uh, that's the first thing Secondly, I bought, uh, whatever

I can, uh, survive on dry, uh, beans, uh, pulses, rice. And I know that I couldn't find any from the market. There were no eggs

There was no milk ketch. And then my friend told me of cost and of a shop called, uh I think it was like a wholesale thing. We went there

We bought, like, two big packets of rice, basically the main sink. So this is how I did it. And then, uh, also because of my daughter

Because of my parents as well. My daughter was wondering, Is she going to continue with her education? Is the school going to stop what's going to happen? Even the schools were not sure whether, um how how would they continue? Uh, the the Children Uh, and, uh, there was a fear of people being unemployed. And I was also concerned whether I'm going to be unemployed as well

Um, and whether I will lose my job. Uh, so same thing. Even the family, you know, family members, et cetera

So I I did I I withdraw cash. I, uh, wanted to make sure that I have enough clothes for the winter. Uh, and, uh uh, I think this is all amazing

And of course, I went to, uh to the, uh, to different. I had called the GP to find out what's going to happen with the checkup and all this and he himself. He wasn't sure what's going to happen

Um, so I think it was because it was new for everyone. We were not sure we were all confused. Really interesting

Like how you planned. Um, So you talked about having, like, daily support from P. A s? Um what changed? Like, you know, how did you have people coming into your home? Do you think that having a disability made things more complicated or Yes, Yes, yes, yes

OK, so, um, obviously, uh, I was expecting some visitors from abroad, but everything changed. All the travel plans change, Uh, because of the government guidance, saying that we should social distancing. And we should not, uh, get anyone in the house except essential workers now essential workers

At the beginning, we were not sure what it referred to, because clearly the government was only focusing on the, uh, talk about NHS and doctors. Even the p A s uh, the P a asked me whether they will continue. They will have to come

Uh, they will have to leave the because some of them have got Children. Uh, and because of the self isolating, you know, if they were also not sure. And I told them, you know, that I need help

And because of my health, I because of my health, I need, uh, personal care. I need, uh, obviously, uh, to prepare the food, the meals. I said to them that even if I have to pay extra from my my own money, my own earnings from work and from my, uh, Pip, I will, uh I will pay you more, but I do need your help

Because I personally myself, I wasn't sure whether the local authority would still continue to make the the the monthly payment. Obviously, after probably a month or two. Then the picture became clearer that the government issued guidance

Uh, the I UK was also involved in that, and, uh, the the government made, uh, clear. Um uh, you know, uh, clarified that that PS are essential workers and they need to come, uh, and they don't have to go through the full scheme or the job retention scheme unless it is necessary. However, if they self isolate, they can still be paid by the direct payment

But at the same time, the local authority again, uh, give guidance on people. Uh, so that has helped the fact that the I I, uh, during that period, I still managed to get my, uh, p A s coming to my house helping me and also using the some of the money of my direct payment to pay them for taxes, Taxi journeys, because public transport, as you know, is hard. Wasn't, uh, you know wasn't recommended

Did you decide to do that yourself? Or did you have any support from social care to make those kind of decisions? OK, it was very, very difficult. Honestly, extremely difficult to get hold of to get hold of social services. Uh, that's one of the, uh, problem that I face and other face

Um, so I actually relied on, uh, the, uh the guidance delivered by the government. And also, I asked my colleagues at work. We we had online staff meetings and we spoke about it

As you know, some of my colleagues are disabled, and they also, uh, get support from P. A s. And that has helped

It helped because of my work. If I wasn't working for the UK, I'm sure a lot of the information I wouldn't know about thank you really important. Um, contribution

So I'm wondering about the guidance. Do you think that it was easy to understand? And do you think it came at the right time for you? Yes. OK, now, the government was a little bit late, and that's why uh, it has put a lot of strain and emotional strain on disabled people

Uh, especially those who have mental issues. Those who have mental issues suffer. I think they suffered the most

Some had suicidal thoughts. The the the thought that the social element, you know, where a lot of people who, uh, who are have mental issues. They rely on socialising and because the socialising element well is not there because of the of the coronavirus they had all those suicidal thoughts and they call the helpline

They say, I feel suicidal. Uh, there's no p a. There's no support

What can I do? And we will we will. We? I mean, initially, I, um because I know with the care act, we, uh the the direct payment is meant to be used flexibly. I did say to them that the the direct payment can be used flexibly and in an innovative way, because the main focus is that, uh, the outcomes that matter to the other person

Uh, but again, that was my own, uh, you know, personal interpretation. Um, until I was 100% sure. And certain of the fact that, uh, direct payment couldn't be used flexibly following the government guidance

And, uh, and the and the people can use, for example, they can buy, uh, like, uh, you know, devices. Uh, which is basically the the only means of communication with the outside world for some of disabled people. Then I give it

I advise them accordingly. Uh, but I think the government was a little bit late in giving that kind of of, uh, you know, uh, uh, that kind of, uh, guidance. Yes

Thank you. Thank you for Shana. So I was just wondering about you

You talked about those with mental health challenges and the impact of mental health. And I'm wondering, like, about sort of different impairment groups, maybe disabilities, sort of blind people, deaf people and all the additional barriers. How, like, what was going on for, you know, people from those communities in relation to covid, you know? Yeah

Uh, I've got, uh, a neighbour, actually. Two neighbours, or or actually a a brother and and and, uh, and his sister, who are deaf in my own building. Uh, the parents support them, and they were initially didn't understand what's going on because of their disability

And the parents tried to explain, uh, and they they they are young. They finished their university and they were forced to find jobs. Obviously, they could not find any job, so it was a huge challenge, and, uh, especially one of them was actually learning the, uh, the driving how to drive, and it all stopped

So it was a huge, you know, it it it had impacted emotion and psychologically on both of them. Uh, the the the the girl used to go for coffee and socialise with some of her friends. She couldn't do it anymore

The, uh, and she couldn't find work, and her brother could not continue with his training with the driving licence. It all stopped. And, uh, and it, uh, it it it basically it affected them

But I I spoke. I spoke to them, Uh, because, you know, we as as community, we support each other, Uh, you know, in order to, uh, alleviate the suffering of disabled people as well. Even sometimes when we are worried, we try to you know, myself as an adviser, I try to, you know, give some assurance to other disabled people that everything will go smoothly despite the challenges

Uh, and we need to move on. Uh uh, wi wi with life. Uh, but, uh, I must say that, uh, you know, like, uh, I think one of the inquire on the help line, you know, with the, uh, portability, uh, the portability of care when you move from one local authority to another

And, uh, that, uh, Conti continuity element in the in the care act was actually not happen in real life. Uh, because of the pandemic. And some people changed their plan to move to another local authority and other people who moved to another local authority, unfortunately, couldn't get the support, Uh, until they battled, they tried to call, uh, social services

And probably after several weeks, they managed to get something. But again, the assessment was only on the over the phone or online. And and these things obviously will be a barrier to certain groups of people

So I'm interested about your own experience now. So, did anybody from Social Services call you to see if you were doing OK? No, not at all. Not at all

In fact, no, Uh, the the, uh, I have an adjustable electric bed, which was, um, uh, recommended by the, uh, o t. Occupation therapist. Uh, and, uh, there was an issue with the mattress, and I asked I called MediQuip who provide the, uh, the the equipment

And I said, can you please change the mattress to a better one? uh and they said, Oh, you need to go through the social services and it's very hard to get it. It may take months and months for that, Uh, so we can't change it to another type. We can replace it but not change it, because it's very difficult now, uh, because of the pandemic

So I just said to them, OK, replace it with the same type. Um, that's, uh, that's that's that's about it. The only thing I must say that was uh was good from the local authorities is after, I would say after probably four or five months

Um, I received a letter from the local authority, uh, stating that I can get P PE from them. And I just need to call the number, uh, the relevant number to get it. Which, which I did

I called the number and I received, uh, different boxes of gloves and, uh, you know, uh, P PE equipment. That was that was a good thing. Apart from that, no, there was, uh uh, actually, maybe a year on

I they are. They told me I will. It's time to do an assessment, which, actually, it wasn't time

It the time was actually a few months before, but they were late. So we did it. We did it online

Uh, sorry. Not online over the phone, which which I was happy about rather than face to face. Uh, in fact, uh, even a lot of disabled people on the phone, they they were happy that their assessment is just over the phone

Some of them are the fear have face to face meeting with local. So with the social worker, it's interesting because I picked up, um, that that fear element. And so, like, when you were telling people about the how they could use their direct payments, Did people believe you or, like, people were still too scared like I did people? That's a good question

Thank you. No, they said, but the social work is so we can only use it for that specific purpose. I said no, no, you can still use it flexibly, even till now

Uh, they say, but the social services dictate on us that we can only use it for that purpose. I said no. Uh, some disabled people think that it's only to pay the wages of P A

They don't know that a direct payment can be used flexibly and to purchase different services, not necessarily from the P A s from P A s or even from care agencies. And can I take you back to the idea of not knowing you had a job? So, um, there's a couple of things I wanted to go back to. Uh, you You work for a user led organisation? Disabled people's organisation

Um, lots of organisations didn't know if they were going to survive because of the pandemic. Um, do you think there was enough information and support for disabled employees to understand what you know, working from home? What kind of a covid thing I personally is the good about? You know, Cameron, He's our, um Yeah. So, Cameron, uh uh, uh, I I think it was if I'm not mistaken, probably seven months before the pandemic or even more, I can't remember

Exactly. Uh um, he actually he actually spoke about people having a choice to work from home. And he actually, uh, uh purchased a number of laptops which he gave to each individual

So he was actually at the front of it even before the pandemic and that issue was something new, because for I, I was working for N c A. L before we merged. Since twe 2, 2007

And we we always worked for at at the, you know, the office, um, to work from home was a good opportunity. Uh, not to miss. Uh uh, you know, uh uh, not to miss, uh, important

Um uh, how can I say it? Uh, you know, sometimes when you go to the office, and sometimes you're not well and you're tired or because of transport or because of the strike, you are stuck at home. But having a laptop and having a choice to to work from home. Even if you you have a little bit of headache, you can still do your work, which is actually very good

And it actually helped, uh, others, some of my colleagues because they were travelling, uh, far. And it helped me as well to organise my life better, uh, because my muscles, sometimes I have fatigue. Uh, I get tired by the time I reach, uh, the office

I'm exhausted. Uh, so it, uh, the the good thing is that disability rights UK actually gave us a choice to work from home before the pandemic, which was very good. And for people that didn't know, You know, a lot of people didn't know what kind of how working in a pandemic and, you know, disabled people particularly

Do you think there were some challenges that people faced around work and the pandemic as disabled people? Yes. Yes, yes, that's right. That's right

Uh, true. The, uh the, um ok with, for example, um, with work, period, there's a type of work that you have to do it obviously from the office, especially if you have to do to send letters by post and you have the material at the office. And I I think if I, uh if I recall, uh, there are people who were obviously worried in terms of how would they do the work if they can't go to office and whether the p a

Because for for a disabled person to go to the office, they always need support in the morning for personal care. So if the p A is unwell or is self isolating, uh, how will they go to the How will they get the support that they need, um so, uh, because disabled people need to plan beforehand. So, uh, yes

Uh, that was one thing. The other thing is, I think there was just a few who actually left work. Uh, they, uh they said they can't take it

Uh, they can't continue. They feel it's too overwhelming. The the the the the the circumstances that were surrounding the pandemic and all the negative things

It was too much for them, and they they basically just stopped working. So what did you do for like that? Five or six. How did you get P PE in the beginning? Like you? Because you said that you got this phone number that good

Good. The p PE. I used to buy it from the pharmacy

Uh, and that was, uh What? I also advised people before the the the the guidance prior to the guts of the government. Uh, people wondered where would they get the p PE? And, uh uh, So we said, uh, you know, like, Amazon or, um, local supermarkets or, you know, promises. However, there was a time when there wasn't any

There was no p PE at all, and people were stuck and some p a s didn't go to work because they need obviously to They need to to offer safe care and support. If there's no safe care and support, they can't deliver the, you know, the, uh uh and and And, um, I forgot to mention that one of my peer had also the the, uh, the covid. And, uh, she couldn't come

So which meant that I had to tell the other p A to work more. Uh, but I must say that I also relied on the support from my husband and from my daughter. So there are p A s, uh, who even didn't go to

Some of my friends and my friends have had to get the support from family members. And it was later on when we, uh when we we, we, we, we we When we read the guardian of the of the government that, uh, family members can be paid as p a. Uh, but we they needed to liaise with the local authority

That must have been really difficult. If it was hard to get hold of the local authority to get Yes, Yes. No, no, that's true

It's hard. It was It was And this. See, um, I wanted to now, like, explore with you around

Did you shield? Like what? What impact? What was different about, like, covid and the shielding? Because a lot of people have told me shielding was, like, really impossible for them as they weren't able to do the things that were asked of them, like, live independently and not see other people. Do you know, do you have any views or experience on the shielding experience? Yes, personally. Oh, the first one, like so it came

It came as a positive thing, Not a negative thing. So, um, and I I don't go out much during the winter either. Um, but with, uh, you know, when you do a, uh, when you ask for delivery of food comes from Marcus, uh, online

It was difficult. Uh, there was a huge, uh, list, uh, until the the supermarkets, uh, again, I think it was. It took probably three months

They came up with that, uh, scheme of, uh uh, you know, having that slots, uh, specific for vulnerable people and old people. Uh, and some supermarkets also, uh, had the morning slots as well. Uh, I can't remember exactly

But yes, A a It was, uh uh, Yes, that's right. That's right. I because I I I did, Um I did some shopping online

Um, So, uh, yes. Um the what, actually, uh, upset me the most is that I couldn't visit my sisters. My two sisters who are disabled, Uh, one of them

Unfortunately, she passed away in August 2020. Uh, so there was a number of many, many months. I couldn't see her

She couldn't see me. Although we spoke on the phone and on WhatsApp. Uh, but at least I'm I'm glad that I have seen her probably a month before her death

And I was at her house one day before her death. So I missed obviously my sister during that time and my other sister, who has learning difficulties, she's living in a in a self. Uh uh, you know, it's, uh what's it called? Supported living accommodation

Uh, she used to come with her p a twice a week. And, uh, unfortunately, the whole time of the pandemic. She couldn't come, and even my late sister could not see my other sister

Yeah. I'm so sorry. That was your experience

So that's my experience. But I know of others. Uh, like my my one of my friend

She used to get help a lot from her mother, and, uh, and she used to visit her mother. She could not visit her mother at all. And that that was upsetting, uh, in an in that

Yeah, but I personally being at home for me, I like home. I'm a person who is family orientated, and, uh, the fact that, uh, my daughter was studying at home, it actually saved a lot of time travelling, et cetera. And you know, I don't know whether you have Children, but it's so difficult to wake up for school

At least there were some positives for you in during the pandemic. Um, can I ask you about So what? Oh, yes. And there's other things

Sorry. Sorry. It's hard to interrupt you

I I just remember the the main because I'm a Muslim, so I couldn't go to the mosque. Uh, I I I I normally, I pray every day five times, but, uh, to, uh, I miss the community. So not just a family

The community as well. So the community and being in the community going out with, uh, the the the the sisters I know from the community or praying together. The congregational prayer

Uh, that's all I missed. That's all I missed. Even my husband, he just prayed at home

Even Fridays as well. Yeah. Thank you

Even funerals. Some people died. Some of them died during the pandemic

And no one could. No one could receive the you could do the the funeral. Uh, and also I I, uh, lost my good neighbour

I had a very good neighbour next door. I lost her as well. I'm so sorry

Like for all of your bereavements and must have been very difficult. Yes, yes, but I know there are people who lost more members of their family, and so this. So this kind of loss and impact of covid Do you think it's had an impact on your mental health? Uh, to be honest, as ha, there was the sadness and the grief, but I can't say it's deep because I'm a believer

Uh uh. I'm a believer, and I be I have faith, and it's faith that keeps me going on, But, uh, there was grief. There was UPSETNESS

And, uh, my parents as well were upset by the death of my sister. We were very close. She was also safe

She's just one year difference between me and her. So, uh, losing my very good sister. It had an impact? Yes, on mental health

No, no, no. I kept going. Yes

I'm so glad that your faith has given you comfort. So can I ask a question? And this might be So, um, a lot of people watch the news, and a lot of people were really upset with the way that things happened in the world and that you've said that you didn't see your your family and this was really difficult. How did it make you feel knowing that I, in the world people were still not following the rules and people were still kind of behaving in in different ways, and yeah, uh, So I I lost you the last I was wondering, Like you said, you said something about the news and how people, uh, and I didn't catch

So I was thinking when you were talking that, um you've making some really big sacrifices not to see your sister and loved ones and there were a lot of people not following the rules. How did it make you feel like knowing that? Ah, yes, yes, yes, yes, of course. Of course, there were people not following the rules, and there were people who were against that against injection as well

Uh, which, Uh, I know there's a choice, but at the same time, you are putting yourself and others at risk as well. So not following the rules, Even with the politicians not following the the rules, they put the rules and then they don't follow it. Uh, it's, uh it's very it's not a It's not a good feeling, because you feel that, uh, you know, the the rules should be followed by everyone

Uh, and, uh, it is for the good, the good of the community of everyone. So, yes, it is. It makes you angry as well

Yes. It makes you angry. Yeah

And because the the the disease actually spread more. My husband is indian originally, uh, from Kolkata, and, uh, he told me that initially indians were not following the rules at all, which actually made the disease spread even more. And as you follow the news uh, a lot of Indians have died a lot, and some of my husband's friends have died as well

He lost some of his friends, so So And I come from Egypt, and I know some people in in Egypt they died because they didn't follow the rules. Uh, but yes, it is upsetting. They're putting everyone at risk, including disabled people

And there are disabled people who died because the the virus has spread. But I must say, it's hard that, uh, on one hand, I would read because it's important to keep an update on what's happening. But at the same time, I deliberately I would try to avoid sometimes the news

And this is a case of not only my case, I've heard it also from some P A s who said to me they don't want to hear the news anymore because it can be so upsetting. It's like they feel that every that it's the end of the world. They don't want to hear it

Yeah, I I that really, um that that's where I got to in my kind of like the news was too much. So I wanted to ask you about what do you think we have learned from the covid pandemic and lockdowns as a society? OK, uh, I believe that being together supporting one another, it's very, very important is vital and communities supporting each other. Uh, the I the the the good thing that what happened in the pandemic, uh, has actually made people supporting each other, uh, community where even the mosque, even community centres, they actually give food, provided food for the vulnerable

And my parents received, uh, food every week. Uh, because they are obviously old. Uh, so that sense of you know, that community It's very, very good

Um, that's the first thing. Secondly, though, it is important to be positive to because we in life there are so many obstacles. And now, for example, it's so gloomy

I mean, now I The way I see it is actually worse than what happened in the virus or during the time of virus, because now we have we're faced with economic crisis. Uh, with, uh, it's a global thing. Uh, with the war and, uh, it it there's that, uh, un uncertainty

So it is importantly, positive, because if we are not positive, we will just uh, give in and we'll just you know, I mean, we'll just like, how can I say it? Uh, we we If we lose hope in life, then we can't We can't manage. It's going to affect us mentally. And it is important to to keep going on to keep going

Yes. Yeah. So and And also and also, yeah, you know where it hard

You know, when you overcome an obstacle, it's It makes you feel good that although this this there are, uh, there are obstacles. You are overcoming it. Yeah

Thank you. Um, and you Resilience. Resilience

Yeah, and and this question probably speaks to this. So there's lots of talk about a post pandemic world or life after covid. Whatever you want to call it

What does that feeling look like to you as a disabled person or disabled people? You said there's a Sorry. Could you repeat it again? So there's lots of talk about a post pandemic world or life after covid. What does that look like? Um, to you, as a disabled person or disabled people

What does that feeling look like? They're moving. There's another company that are coming on there sometimes Don't worry. This is another one coming again or something in in the on those slides, like cholera

Do you call it in English? Sorry. Yeah. Because sometimes I mean, I follow the news because, well, it it's it's called Cho in English

That's right. And Ebola as well. Yeah

OK, so, uh, when you hear something happen in another country, sometimes you say, Oh, it's good. It may come also to To the UK all the pandemic can come again. Uh, but, uh, I think, um I think, uh, I think we are more, I would say, because we have learned previously, I think we are more, uh, we are stronger

We are stronger because we had that experience. We feel stronger and that if there's another pandemic that we feel that we are again going to overcome it, uh, with good planning, uh, being positive, uh, being together as a community, we can overcome it again. So we we we we became We are stronger than before, so that's really great to hear

Uh, so this might come across like So Do you think that as a disabled person, if something like that happens again, that you would get the support that you needed. Do you think that we're in a space now? We've learned all of those lessons. Disabled people will get the support from social services, Get the support from the government

What do you think? Um, I think social services. They always, uh they are more concerned about spending money more than the well-being of disabled people, which is sad, but this is all the perception. I've had it from

Social services. Uh, they will always say, Oh, it's too much. Your care package is is a lot

Uh, the other. You should be grateful, uh, to have it. Um, they actually want to keep and retain the money rather than than giving the money to disabled people

Their approach, their attitude is disempowering disabled people. And, uh, because I you see, they are not in our place. They are not in our, uh they don't go through our own circumstances

They look at from a financial perspective rather than OK, I need to other than, uh, focusing on what the disabled want to achieve. Uh, why it's important for disabled person. So they I think they always think from a from a, uh, a money

A monetary perspective, unfortunately, thank you. So my final question is like, what messages would you want? The covid inquiry to hear about the experience of deaf and disabled people during the pandemic. So are there messages you'd like to share? Mhm that if disabled people are going through obstacles, they are

I I mean, of course, they are human beings. They can go through different, you know, phases of life. But they are also strong, and they want to remain independent

And they want to manage their own life. Uh, for not just for their own interests, but for the interest of the community as well. So the disabled person also cares for others, not just for himself, but for others

And it's important that he or she is included that she and or he participate in the mainstream society. And, uh and, uh and, uh, they have a lot to offer. Despite their disability, they still have a lot to offer

Uh, I've got a friend of mine who, uh, who is Egyptian. And she sometimes when she was in Egypt, she said, sometimes she goes through a lot of difficult times, but the good thing is, that. She said she has a neighbour who is bedridden, completely disabled

Uh, whose name is Ahmed. She said she always goes to Ahmed to get that inner strength when she feels down. Although he's bedridden, he's always smiling, so that smile means a lot

It can change people's life. Thank you for sharing that. Do you have anything else you wanted to share to the covid inquiry in the pan about the pandemic? Um, it's a difficult question

The sharing the, um I don't know. Uh, I mean, there there's a lot of turbulent moment we all go through. Uh, but, uh, the strength comes from the from the inner from the inside

Uh, and, uh, it's important to be strong and confident, uh, and and and having a network of support, uh, so that you keep going. Mm. Thank you

Um, that's a really lovely place to stop. So I'm gonna stop the recording, if that's OK. Yeah, of course

Of course..

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