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Gizmo

Reductions - do you take advantage of them?

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In Austria, there are substantial reductions for various groups of people (retired, disabled, students, soldiers in training, etc.)at cinemas, theatres, swimming pools, sports events - I guess this is the same in other countries, too.

So, do/don´t you usually take advantage of this reduction by showing your ID? Do/Don´t you think it is justified? (in the case of the disabled). Are you too proud to ask for this reduction even if you are entitled to it or not? Do/Don´t you think that it is some sort of prejudice, since offering it to the disabled automatically means that these people are believed to be less educated, hence to make less money?

REally curious to hear your opinions...

Regards,

Gizmo

PS: What really makes me mad, that hardly ever jobless people are included in this group of people entitled to reductions. Unemployment figures are on the rise (I myself have been on the dole a couple of times) and sometimes it is really hard to make ends meet.

Edited by Gizmo

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Damn right I take advantage of what's available to me! :P

I've worked from the age of 16 til I was 24, when I became a bilateral amp and deaf too. I always paid my taxes and National Insurance Contributions before, so why shouldn't I?? That's why we pay them anyway, here in the UK, it's insurance for a time when we MAY need it, even if for a little while.

Obviously, I'd prefer to work and earn my money, but until I can, then I do not consider myself too proud to do so, because I am entitled to it....and neither should anyone else.

And I don't agree with your view that there may be prejudice by that things are offered to the disabled automatically because "these people are believed to be less educated." To me, 'disabled' means 'less or differently abled', not "less educated." Just because someone may have difficulty walking, or seeing, or any other disability for that matter, does not mean that they are stupid, "less educated" or incapable of earning a decent living.

Afet

Bilateral b/k

London, Engkand

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Lili, if you had read my post carefully, you would have seen that I did not say anything about the elderly to be less educated. I was just mentioning it in connection with the disabled. And I put it there as a question, right, not as a statement, so no need to jump at me. I have heard these very two sentences from disabled people ("It is a fact that disabled people - at least in Middle Europe - have less access to higher education, hence they make less money" plus "I would be far too proud to ask for a discount since I do not think it is justified") These are different opinions and I was asking for yours, so what is the big deal???

As far as soldiers go, it is a law in Austria that every male has to join the army (which is not really a serious army since we are a neutral country not supposed to enter any conflict) for a year and during this year they earn close to nothing.

Lili, it might be that people choose to be jobless - but face the fact, the majority is not. So to say, that it is very often their own fault is highly judgmental in my opinion. A friend of mine who is a psychologist advising the jobless could tell you lots of stories where it is very obvious that these people would do anything to have a job. And there are black sheep everywhere!

Afet, i did not say that the disabled are less educated - but the statistics show that (at least in this country) they are either not offered the same education possibilities as the nondisabled people (barriers such a no lifts in old universities) or they do not take advantage of it to the same degree (as ratio) as the non-disabled. So, as a result, statistics conclude that they earn less. Sounds feasible, doesn´t it?

Regards,

Uschi

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Here in Ontario Canada where i live , there are programs available for those who need help or asistive devices for thier home or vehicle . While my dad bought me my truck , because he told them it was me and that i had a disablity , my dad told me that the dealer said that he could claim back part of the taxes paid on the truck because of that . ( i never saw the cost of the truck though .. but is nice :D ) I could have also had my house modified but did not want that since i thought i was going to be on two feet soon after the accident . Now here in Ontario ( could be in other places too but i don't know for sure ) a person can get a disability pension if they can prove they have a disability and trist me , it's not as easy as it sounds but once you get it , you get it forever ( well , that;s what i was told )

mj ( aka : harley )

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I see it this way: Equipment that is need for amputees is very expensive. So I feel justified in taking discounts. Like $15 lift tickets at Squaw Valley (normally $59!) but shhhhh. it's a secret...well it's not advertised.

Parking on the other hand is diffrent. Unless my leg is really hurting I don't park in blue zones (disabled parking in th US) It does intitle me to park at meters for free (which I do) and in green zones (time limited parking) without time limits. I still havn't taken advantage of the fule pumping I get with it. Even when it's snowing ;)

Unfoutunatly there are not many discounts offered to disabled people in the US. How hard is German to learn?

Eric

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Just a very short reply since I have to go to work:

Lili, also in Austria education is "offered" to anybody, without any exception (universities are even close to "free" as compared to the States or Great Britain - you pay about € 300 for a term!), but what hinders many d people is the barriers in architecture (the Vienna University is one of the oldest universities in the world - so there are just steps in certain buildings, no elevators) - and in the case of the deaf, there are not too many sign language interpreters around.

In contrast to the US for example, very few disabled go to university (when I first came to Michigan State University where I studied, I was wondering if there had been some recent war which had gone unnoticed in Europe since there were just so many wheelchairs on campus!). I might find out the exact figures for you, Lili, but it is a very, very small percentage (I once helped a student with a diploma paper about media exposure of the deaf - I was translating her questions and the answers into sign language and back - and had a whole chapter devoted to the higher education of the disabled, not only the deaf. That was about 8 years ago. And the ratio was frightening!) Perhaps this is also due to a difference in culture. Since for instance, the Americans are much more prone to "give something a shot", while especially the Middle Europeans always try hard to point out "that it could go wrong, which risks there are to be taken into account". Plus I think that the acceptance of the disabled is a LOT higher in the States.

Lili, I do not understand the "snausages deal" what are you talking about?

Being a journalist and advertiser, Lili, I am familiar with "Do" and "Don´t" as the opening of a question. But I had used "Do " a couple of times in a row in this post, so I thought to keep the balance, i start one with "don´t" to keep the questioning unbiased (you do that also in professional market research when designing a questionnaire!) It was not a persuasive or leading question, just a regular question.

The phrase "taking advantage of something" does not have a negative connotation in my ears at all, but as mentioned before, English is not my mother tongue and of course I perceive some words differently. We could have a discussion in German so I can have an advantage for a change.How about that??? LOl

German is a difficult language to learn (the grammar, really long words..),Eric, and hardly any foreigner ever manages to a master it really well (the exception being people with a Germanic background, mostly Scandinavians or Dutch - on rare occasions someone from Eastern Europe although the languages have not much in common).

When I wanted to know if you show your ID at the cinema for instance, I was thinking predominantly of people such as Kaz or Brenda, whose disability does not show, who are great athletes.

Have got to run now, bye..

Gizmo

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Sushi, (as a take away,please...with some tariaki sauce on the side).. :D ..:

as i don't feel in any way 'less-able' or disadvantaged compared to my neighbour standing in the queue at the cinema, i just can't bring myself to do it. (showing my ID) - and this is irrespective whether my prosthesis

is 'open to the public', or not.

Language can be a means of miscommunication (not only communication....) which ultimately leads to misunderstandings. e.g. 'taking advantage of'- the translation in German is much 'softer' and more neutral. Yes, in English it has a negative and harsher twang to it. I speak both English and German and work for a German company, and boy, do i get into some sticky situations due to the language barriers (and let's not forget the cultural differences...!) Luckily we are a great team , so all is forgiven (and something new is learnt) by the end of the day!

Giz, as far as language mis-interpretation is concerned, you have my full support!

cheers Kazzy B)

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I need to step in a little on this one,

If a discount is offered to anyone for any reason then why not take up the offer, after all it is also offered as a means to get you to spend money, even though it may not be as much as full price, it is still cash going to somebodies business. As for benifits etc...that i am entitled to then yes i will take whatever is offered, i have worked from the age of 15 -41, i paid taxes at full rate and NHS at full rate, so i am only getting back the interest that would have been accrued over the years, let alone the cash paid in. I was working full time until my op, i now get sickness pay, but only at a very low % of what i was earning.

I live in a small terraced house,it is over 100 yrs old, part of the road is cobbled, the village we live in is not wheelchair friendly, it is very old but quaint, i don`t expect the council to come along and spend money to make the streets nice and flat and easier to access ( that would take away it`s character) and i don`t expect the government to give my house a free renovation to make it more accessible but if i can get help to pay towards the cost of making things a little easier for me, then i am not gonna refuse it just because i am to proud to accept. I don`t want to have to move house i love it here but i do need to make living here a little easier and that costs. I say every litle helps.

Bye the way if anyone from the UK can tell me the full range of help i can get please let me know, i claim DLA at the top rate,have the blue badge and bus pass, but that is all, if there is anything else i would appreciate knowing, email/pm me please.

Lesley,Chester UK

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Hi Meggy,

Have you been in touch with social services, they will supply ramps for you to get in and out of the house. There is also motability where you get a car, I think you can still get this even if only your partner drives.

I have got a blue badge for parking, which I find is the most useful, I had to fight to get it though. I had an orange badge about 20 years ago and because my osteomyelitis did not bother me the whole time they took the badge off me, I've had to fight for one now and got it about Christmas time. I also applied for DLA on 5th November and was refused (my consultant was gobsmacked about this decision) so they are reassessing the application, perhaps when I've had my amp they'll believe me!!!! :rolleyes:

Are you going back to work eventually?

love Pam R, Cheshire, UK

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The DLA is rediculous isn`t it Pam. My letter states that "as i am virtually unable to walk" duh, one step and i fall over!!!!.

I think some of the questions they ask are daft

How long does it take you to bathe and how many times a day do you bathe

How many times do you need help to cook a main meal and how long does it take to cook

If you had help to get out where would you go a) during the day B) at night.

What kind of questions are these, i had never timed myself in the bath/shower. It depends on whether i am cooking a full rost with veggies or just a tin of soup.

I know they have to fgind out how you cope with things but i ask you !!!

Lesley

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So far the only discount I have used is at one of the movie theatres. I get in and 1 person with me gets in for free. Thats to say 1 person in wheelchair and 1 pushin' it. Never been challenged cause its pretty obvious, no legs. Still haven't tried it wearing my legs, but even then they do look different!

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Hi Meggy & Pam

The UK Government is determined to stop DLA/Incapacity Benefit/Cares allowance for over 6 million disabled people. This is because the UK government believes they are FRAUDS. Now to some degree this is true, there are over a million people classified as disabled. They were told by Major's government (1991/2) to go on the sick etc instead of claiming unemployment benefit. This is not the only time this has happened.

A High Court Judge said that disabled people don't need to have help for cooking and meals, and I quote 'they can eat at the Savoy' un-quote.

Now unless you are in a coma you will have to go to work. The Gov's medical examiners are paid bonus's to 'kick' people off the system regardless as to what is wrong with them.

Even all the people who get carers allowance are required to go to work. I know a carer who looks after her partner, he has MS and received a letter from the Government telling him that he has got to tell his wife she has to go to a 'go to work' interview or else they will stop his benefits. So he has to FORCE his wife to go!

Now for her to get Carers allowance she has to provide care for 35 hours per week. For this she gets £44.15p, which is £1.26p an hour. The minimum wage is over £4.50p per hour! But that is taken off his benefits as it is deemed earned income!!

So on top of a 35 hour week she is expected to get another job! Ok fine, so long as they employ someone to look after him. The carers in the UK save the Gov millions of pounds every year. There are children caring for their parent/parents and don't get any help what so ever.

As regards any claim for any benefits related to sick and/or disabled get a Welfare Rights advisor to make the claim for you. The 'forms' are such that University Graduates cannot fill them in!

If the Gov Examining Doctor puts in a negative report, which is practically guarenteed; you will find the same Examining Doctor is very likely to be on the appeals panel. This is being challenged in the European courts.

As regards DLA, the key to getting it is the following questions:

'Do you get pain or discomfort when walking?'

Answer is yes.

'How far can you walk before you get pain and/or discomfort?'

Answer, as soon as I put my leg on.

Also, DO NOT fill the form in over the phone, which is a new system. You are guareented to get turned down.

Best regards

Steve

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Hellow Steve,

Once again you are completly right and yes you do have to bear your soul and then some, if you can walk 50 yds forget it.

It all started out OK but like every thing some people take advantage of the system and the genuine guys well you know the story I don't need to explan :unsure: Keith Powys Mid-Wales UK

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To Lili: by the way, have you ever heard of constructive criticism? obviously not, since you draw my attention to the fact, that the phrase "taking advantage of something" has a negative touch in English (not in German, though, as Kaz has pointed out correctly), but still, you fail to offer an alternative which would be the logical next step.

Regards,

Gizmo

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First I'd like to say, I don't consider myself a person who takes advantage of anything or anyone, at least I've tried not to. Do I make use of what is available to help the handicap, YES if the need is there.

Do I feel it is justified, YES! What I don't think is, that the handicap should have to go justifying themselves for wanting a better quality of life!

NO, I'm not to proud to asks and neither should anyone else be, nor should anyone be made to feel their pride has to be compromised, by accepting what is available to them.

NO, I don't believe by offering to the disabled makes them automatically less of anything. Lets say your a divorce mother getting some assistance, does that make you automatically less educated...... hence to make less money?

What do I say to those group of jobless people that aren't able to collect..... why you have the ability, try searching a little harder. :)

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Lili, (she says sweetly whilst fluttering her eyelashes) :D, I too see the term "taking advantage of" in a negative way.

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I don't always ask, but if a discount is offered I accept, I'm not 'too proud'...why not 'take advantage'... I'd rather have the leg than any discount or advantage gained as a result of not having it!

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giz,

Since you asked???? I thought I would tell ya my two cents.. I avoided this conversation as I'm not one for a pisssssinnnng (is that word ok ?) contest. The statement taking advantage of is a negative statement as everyone else has pointed out. I don't think I take advantage of anyone I am very thankful for everything that I have. I work full time and even though I don't have a college education I consider myself pretty well educated. I work for the Clerk of court in my area and have a pretty important high knowledge job and I think I do a pretty damn good job. I know another amputee who is an attorney.. So that makes people with disablilites any less smart I don't think so. Some of us were born with our disablities as I was and some lost there legs and other disablilities later in life after college.. So what you stated isn't correct.

I do take discounts when offered but most times nobody offers me discounts as they don't realize I wear a prosthesis unless I point it out. I do have a handicapp sticker and YES I use it especially when I go to the store and there are no parking spots except the ones in the north 40.. ( way back in the lot). I know I can walk and yes I run and have run marathons but you know what without my leg I couldn't walk 2 feet in front of me without falling flat on my face so I think I'm entitled to the use of the spot. Believe me I see people with less disability then mine parking in those spots.

Ok maybe this was more then two cents but there you go...

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Brenda,

perhaps you should take into consideration that we come from different cultural backgrounds. I had pointed out that, in my impression, in the US the disabled have more chances to get access to higher education. This is not only an architectural barrier (Vienna is VERY old, all the universities have a long history, so in many there are no elevators or ramps; these buildings are unter "monument protection" so nothing must be changed!). And I think in the US the disabled are also more daring to give something a shot - here they (well, Middle Europeans in general) think twice before doing something unconventional. In the US also the attitude towards the disabled is completely different; disabled people who have lived both in the States and in Central Europe can definitely confirm this.

I have never said that I believe the disabled to be less smart - do you really think that I would write something like that in a forum?? They just have more limited access to higher education here, thus fewer - in contrast to the States - have a college degree. And as a rule, earn less.

Of course there are also able-bodied graduates who cannot "sell themselves" adequately on the job market and thus, tend to earn less. Or for whom money is not that important and their priority is on something else (such as more spare time..) But this is another story..

If I have the time - which I do not at the moment - I will try to find out about the figures of disabled graduates (since I never write something which cannot be backed up by statistics unless I explicitely state that it is a mere assumption on my part) since the ratio is really alarming (as mentioned somewhere I once had some figures when helping with a diploma paper, but I do not have the copy anymore - cannot collect everything - and the figures were from 7 or 8 years ago, anyway)

Regards,

Gizmo

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Excuse me Good Peep's.

I shall stay on topic.

The disabled as a section of society in the UK are recognised as having an income below the poverty level of UK society. This is regardless of educational status.

If I were claiming all benefits I am entitled to today but tomorrow I become a pensioner aged 65, I would receive an extra (estimated) £80.00p per week income! Purely because of age!! Pensioners get discounts, parents with children get discounts, so why not us?

Now those of you who drive in the Uk, did you know that you do not have to pay VAT on the purchase of amongst other things; cars.

Their is a criteria to be met, such as being a wheelchair user, but on a car costing £10,000.00p you will save £1,750.00p! Also, you will be VAT exempt on the servicing of the car etc.

VAT exemption on vehicles

Best regards

Steve

(Who is going to purchase his next car using this 'discount'.)

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..and we are all incredibly jealous of the educationally and culturally so advanced countries... ROFL

Regards,

Gizmo

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