Disabled Players

Discussion in 'The Rehearsal Room' started by midnight_euph, Nov 26, 2006.


Does your band have any players that consider themselves physically 'disabled'?

Poll closed Nov 26, 2007.
  1. No

    17 vote(s)
  2. Yes. 1 person

    11 vote(s)
  3. Yes. 2 people

    1 vote(s)
  4. Yes. 3 people

    0 vote(s)
  5. Yes. 4 people or more

    0 vote(s)
  1. midnight_euph

    midnight_euph Member

    As a now physically 'disabled' player, I sometimes find some venues an absolute nightmare (stairs to stage, etc)... and of course, I now can't do the Armistice Day parade marches. I wonder how many bands have physically disabled players, and what if anything is done so we can keep playing?

    Likewise, you other players with disabilities (even simply 'age-related' issues), have YOU any tips/comments?

    The spirit is willing - but the body drank the contents
  2. WoodenFlugel

    WoodenFlugel Moderator Staff Member

    We used to have a guy with MS playing for us. Generally we found that at contests provided you gave the organising committee some notice they were willing to do the best that they could. However some venues are a bit of a nightmare, and I have to give credit to the organisers for finding ways round the problems the venues threw up.

    Leamington and the Wilkinsons contest in St Helens were both difficult due to the number of steps backstage. IIRC both ended up registering him "outside" and allowing him on from the front of the stage - not ideal, but OK. The Town Hall at Burton has a stairlift which you can use to get on stage from the rear. One of the few plus points of that particular venue!

    Other that that we found it OK - just be prepared for a bit of extra mucking around, but generally people are willing to help in any way they can.
  3. michellegarbutt

    michellegarbutt Supporting Member

    Stan my husband is physically disabled. He can walk short distances so is generally ok at contests. Round here most of our contests seem to be in leisure centres. There's usually a lift to the correct floor and from there everythings on the flat. The area is the only contest where we actually use a stage and they usually provide a ramp.

    Stan does play in all the marches including Armistice Day, Durham Miners Gala and Whit Fridays(as part of the TMP Band). He uses a Wheelchair and we usually have no trouble finding a volunteer to push him and the bass.
  4. Liz Loftus

    Liz Loftus Member

    My daughter was temporarily disabled due to Whit Friday ankle injury and had leg in plaster for several weeks which included Bugle. I think she will be replacing the cast for next year and loning it out to any other ladies who wish to experience being in the safe hands of a lovely welsh man who very ably and physically lifted her up and down the steps to the stage :biggrin: :clap: Pity he wasn't on hand to hold her cornet whilst she turned her music over eh Fi??

    In all seriousness there were lot of offers of help. I also noticed the stage access for disaabled people had been greatly improved at the Riviera Centre, Torquay.
  5. Hornblower RN

    Hornblower RN Member

    We took part in the contest at Treorci recently and one of our bass players, using two sticks, had to climb up two flights of stairs to "sign in". When I tackled one of the regional committee regarding the situation I was told "A lift is available for the disabled". This type of information should be communicated to band secretaries when an entry to a contest is accepted.
  6. RDH

    RDH New Member

    I'm (almost) blind and I've got a neuro-muscular disease. Being blind does not cause any problems, I learn my part (first horn) by heart, and a friend tells me when I have to be carefull walking to the stage. Most difficult is (at the moment) holding my instrument, I can barely do something with my left arm. Walking is becoming more and more difficult, I don't know how I'm going to solve that, but I don't think it is a problem when I play in my wheelchair, and the others will help my get on and off the stage. We'll see next saturday at the Dutch Nationals :)
  7. midnight_euph

    midnight_euph Member

    Disabled players - lifts and parking spaces.

    I agree with that, Hornblower. That would be really useful info BEFORE we get to the contest... also issuing of carpark passes or being told WHERE the disabled parking is! (After nearly missing the Area contest 2005 because a 'nice gentleman' tried to tell me that I couldn't park in the disabled bays at Burton-on-Trent but about 1/4 of a mile up the road... he changed his tune when I told him he could carry me AND my instrument into the venue) Yes, I was stroppy that day, polite, but severely unhappy. :rolleyes:
  8. midnight_euph

    midnight_euph Member

    Omigods. I hope someone from Ratby is reading this.... (or not - coz I've seen how some of them drive their cars!!) :biggrin:
  9. midnight_euph

    midnight_euph Member

    I'm sure someone has already said where the 2008 venue for the Area Contest (East Midlands) will be... does anyone know what the facilities are like for disabled players (mobility issues specifically). Fran
  10. themusicalrentboy

    themusicalrentboy Active Member

    most of the Bedworth centre is very flat, but the bits with stairs etc as I recall have lifts as well.

    it is a commercial theatre after all so they will have to abide by regulations.
  11. michellegarbutt

    michellegarbutt Supporting Member

    It is worth contacting the contest organisers before hand and advising them you have someone in a wheelchair who may need assistance. Before we played in the National Finals they asked us to contact them if we had anyone disabled who might need assistance. I told them about Stan and the assiastance given on the day was superb. They actually provided a volunteer to push Stan around the reheasal room, registration and on and off stage and to carry his bass. I honestly don't think more could have been done to assist us.
  12. mark_euph

    mark_euph Member

    Never actually thought this one through fully but with organising the BBL Spring League contest over here in NI I will take all the points made on board!!
  13. brownrob

    brownrob Member

    Hey Mark, well done on Grade 2!

    You guys are almost ready to make the jump into the Championship Section! ;)

    we heard you in Armagh... really well you guys did, Ive some mates in Rouhan and they did well stepping up to Grade 2 and getting 3rd :D
  14. midnight_euph

    midnight_euph Member

    Apparently, Burleigh College, where the Leicester Brass Band Association contest wil be held on the 23rd has ground floor access, and disabled parking right outside the main door - but 4 steps to the stage.

    Now I'm just hoping it isn't a sprint between the Registration and the stage! lol
  15. on_castors

    on_castors Member

    I have been disabled for some years now, and am effectively not currently seriously playing because of the problems I have had trying to keep going over the past few years. Initially, I gave up playing, but missed it a lot, so after a few years off, I went back, and was ok while my health was reasonable, but when I deteriorated more, I tried all sorts to keep playing - - methods I have tried include going to cornet & baritone instead of tuba, to playing bass and having loads of problems! I found a LOT of hassle at contests. (see threads on here that have been discussed at length!) One thing I have found lacking is help from other bandsmen - in fact that is the reason I packed my last "proper"band in a year ago - because of the attitude of a small number of people who are not prepared to put any effort in for themselves, or for others either - if I had been able bodied, that would not have mattered, but for me it means I can't continue :-(

    I suppose I have ended up doing what most people in this situation do, just forget about it, and not play despite being only 50, and otherwise having years in me!

    The Midlands bands are a mass of empty Bass seats, as seen many weeks on 4 Bars Rest, and I have played in bands up to 1st Section... but there is no way I could consider it now, at any level due to lack of simple consideration I have found (as well as being a bit restricted in distance I can both be comfortable driving, and can AFFORD to travel now on a restricted income). On those occasions when I was able to get help from a friend, I was coping without any more assistance from within the band, but come those too numerous occasions when I have been unable to get this help, there have been times I have felt as though I was stranded like a beached whale, without so much as a chair being moved out of the way & facing problems like having hundreds of yards to carry an instrument, and not so much as an "are you Ok?" as the rst of the band shoot off home! So I finally decided I can do without the hassle :-(

    Obviously there have been exceptions to this, a small number of people I have known HAVE been helpful in several bands, unfortunately it has just been far to few - and I am NOT talking about me being so disabled that I need manhandling onto a stage - it is just simple things like not getting in the way, making sure there is a suitable chair, and moving my instrument while I get up or down, or putting a tuba in the car perhaps - but it has just been far too much to hope for :-(

    Oddly enough, I find a group of old-timers I play with now are more helpful and accommodating (despite their own age related problems now) than all the others put together, so I do get a blow, but it isn't anything like real music! ;-)
  16. midnight_euph

    midnight_euph Member

    We're getting growing support at Dented-Brass (disabled players & carers).. more of our issues are being taken on board :) we now do a 'contest assessment form' for members to complete., which we can send to contest organisers/committees. So far - so good! (Dented-Brass can now be found on facebook)
  17. Dave Jaybee

    Dave Jaybee New Member

    Sad to hear the experience of the previous poster but one. I have a high level left arm amputation and play trombone (don`t even ask!) and both bands I`ve been a member of have been nothing but caring, considerate and helpful bearing in mind the extra work having me in a band entails. Indeed up here in Scotland that`s been my experience of the whole banding fraternity.
  18. hopeless

    hopeless New Member

    If players expert or novice are withdrawing from Playing, due to lack of facilities or helping hands etc., The movement should be ashamed to admit it....or perhaps are and say nothing.
    Hopefully, this thread will add weight to the cause and improve matters, ...one day the disabled player ( effectively barred ) may be you.