I was browsing my Twitter early this morning and I stumbled upon a short animation where a seemingly able-bodied woman is shown leaving a disabled toilet and two emus huff and puff and turn their heads in disgust (this version I found on YouTube has audio description). The animation was made by a governmental campaign called ‘It’s Everyone’s Journey’ and the campaign was officially launched by the Department for Transport on 25th February 2020. At first I thought the campaign was just about how people with hidden disabilities can use disabled toilets like people with visible disabilities can, but as I started following the campaign’s Twitter account and scrolling through its page, I saw that it also teaches public transport passengers to be more considerate towards others and aims to make public transport more accessible and inclusive for disabled people.
Not only did I see the animated advert of the woman leaving a disabled toilet, but I also saw one where a blonde woman appeared to be anxious when she learnt her bus was cancelled; a beaver had his shopping and luggage in the wheelchair space on the bus, but he cleared the area and sat in the seats behind when a wheelchair user boarded the bus; and some rambunctious hyenas sitting at the back of another bus. I particularly like this advert, especially the inclusion of the anxious woman at the bus stop because she could have autism like me or a mental health issue and the passengers sitting at the back of a bus being depicted as hyenas because they remind me of some noisy, chatty and giggly people who tend to sit at the back of the bus such as two women who I came across on the way home from work earlier this week. While I like the depiction of noisy back-of-the-bus passengers as hyenas, I feel that these passengers should be more considerate towards others whether they have a disability or not. I also like how the anthropomorphic animals became human when they did something considerate towards others.
Tortoise advert image credit: Department for Transport
Even though I enjoyed seeing the two aforementioned adverts, one quibble I have is a poster advert that illustrates two tortoises sitting in priority seats and a woman who could have a hidden disability worriedly standing up beside them because she is anxious about them not offering her a seat. One tortoise is reading a newspaper and the other is wearing headphones. The Paralympian Ade Adepitan shared the advert on Twitter and asked if anyone ever commutes “in a bubble” if they use headphones or read a book. One person commented saying that they use headphones to protect their hearing as they are hearing impaired while another commented to say that using headphones and reading books are essential coping strategies “for people who spend 15-20 hours a week on crowded and unreliable transport.” I agree with both these people’s comments on Ade’s Tweet because as a person on the autistic spectrum, I find that using headphones makes my public transport journeys more pleasant and enjoyable because they block out unwanted sounds such as people talking loudly on their phones on the bus for example, although I am aware of my surroundings on the bus such as when the person sitting next to me wants to get off.
In summary, I think the campaign is very effective on the whole in terms of encouraging passengers to be mindful of disabled people who use public transport and I like the art style of the adverts as well as the song in the video advert on the bus, although I think more thought could have been put in the poster advert with the tortoises.
‘It’s Everyone’s Journey’ campaign links
HM Government website: https://everyonesjourney.campaign.gov.uk
Department for Transport website: https://everyonesjourney.dft.gov.uk/partners/
Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/Itseveryonesjourney/
YouTube (includes accessible versions of the animated adverts with audio description and British Sign Language): https://www.youtube.com/channel/UChM1eA895MMbc0e0c6Wrg7Q
My similar blog posts to this one
Hidden Disabilities and Invisible Illnesses – My Thoughts and Experiences: https://stompgal87.blog/2019/08/31/hidden-disabilities-and-invisible-illnesses-my-thoughts-and-experiences/
My Thoughts On The National Autistic Society’s ‘Diverted’ Film and How I Find Using Public Transport: https://stompgal87.blog/2018/04/07/my-thoughts-on-the-national-autistic-societys-diverted-film-and-how-i-find-using-public-transport/
My Public Pet Peeves and Sensory Triggers: https://stompgal87.blog/2016/03/14/my-public-pet-peeves-and-sensitivity-factors/
Disclaimer: This is not a sponsored blog post. All opinions except the people’s comments on Ade’s Tweet are entirely my own. I took the Twitter screenshots by myself, but I gave credit for the tortoise advert.