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Iman’s testimony about her activities at TfA

‘’I am like you. I am busy and I have work to do’’. It’s difficult to believe that while trying to get on the bus with her scooter, Iman, one of the most dynamic volunteers at Transport for All (TfA), received complaints from other transport users unhappy with the ‘delays’ this caused. We asked her to tell us a bit more about her campaigning activities with TfA. Here is her story.

‘’I’ve been helping Transport for All, working at the office, sending letters and creating signs. I have also learnt a lot thanks to them especially about computers and printers.

Being involved in TfA’s actions was important for me. I like to volunteer to help for the future, make things easier not just for me but for everyone. I feel like I am fighting for our rights, fighting for our life, especially with all the difficulties I have had with buses over a long time. But I have also seen lots of positive changes.

In the beginning of 2013, I had trouble going with my scooter on buses. Many drivers didn’t know about the Mobility Aid Card and were telling me I couldn’t go inside the bus with my vehicle, despite the fact that this card was created to avoid this kind of problem. One day I had an appointment somewhere in London. I successfully got on for the the outward journey, but a number of drivers refused to let me board on the way back. It was a very difficult and stressful day. After that I complained with the help of TfA and I feel that things have changed now. But it is just tiring to always have to fight everyday for my rights. I want to live my life without these hassles .

Once I had difficulties with other passengers. The driver gave me the right to board the bus before other people. But I couldn’t get on as there was a pushchair in the wheelchair priority space. The driver asked people to move but they didn’t want to. People began to complain looking at me and saying ‘’I have work’’ or ‘’I have an appointment’’. I was shocked. I looked at them and said ‘’I am like you. I am busy and I have work to do. You can put your pushchair down and hold your baby. I can’t put my wheelchair down.’’

I always have a copy of the Big Red book with me – with some paragraphs highlighted ready to be shown to the driver. Drivers are always surprised and shocked when I show them what their duty is. Disabled people should know about their rights. If every disabled and older person knew about their rights it would be much easier. They also need to know that they can complain and Transport for All can help with that. Transport for All is our voice. With all the problems I face on public transport, I feel sometimes that I am swimming against the tide. Transport for All helps supports me to keep going .

One of my best memories with TfA is when I fought with them to keep the manual boarding ramps in train stations after the Olympic games in 2012. I attended a number of campaign events and eventually Transport for London decided to keep them and roll them out. I felt very proud and I look forward to working with Transport for All to win more changes for disabled and older people. ‘’