Today we’re launching The Price is Wrong, an interactive online quiz that aims to raise awareness of the extra costs of being disabled. Working on this game over the past weeks has had a particular resonance for me.
Growing up with a disabled brother, it was evident from quite early on that there were massive differences in the cost of bringing us both up. This ranged from the extra costs my parents incurred driving him to regular physiotherapy and hospital appointments hours away from where we lived, to the cost of higher ticket items like the sports wheelchair he needed to compete on a wheelchair basketball team as a teenager.
The biggest unfairness that remains with me was the cost of our bikes. I was given my first bike for my 7th birthday, a purple and white “Miami Miss” BMX. As well as making me look cool – or so I thought – it was the extra independence from mum and dad and the chance to speed off with my friends that meant so much to me.
For my brother, this vital step took much longer to arrive. Not because he wasn’t able to ride a bike – he was – but because our parents just couldn’t afford the expensive, adapted trike he needed. His first bike was a clunky contraption that wouldn’t have looked out of place in a catalogue for surgical equipment. It had manual controls, looked a bit like a white, mobility scooter without the motor and lacked any kind of street cred whatsoever. It was also dangerously unstable and when he cracked his head open racing me and my Miami Miss downhill, was soon relegated to the garage. It wasn’t until he was 11 – four years later – that we finally had the money to afford a proper adapted trike, something that should be a rite of passage for every child much earlier on. The trike cost over five times the price of my Miami Miss and my dad had to drive an eight hour round trip to pick it up.
Our story is certainly no exception, but although extra costs are something that come up time and time again when we talk to disabled people and their families, the general public are relatively unaware of just how high these costs can run.
With the Price is Wrong, we wanted to create a fun and engaging way to start the conversation about extra costs with an audience that might not have any prior experience of disability. It is difficult to achieve a balance between discussing a serious issue and doing it in a way that really draws people in and gets them involved, but I hope we’ve nailed it here. I’d love to hear what you think though!
If you’d like to test your knowledge of the extra costs disabled people face, play The Price is Wrong.
And if you’d like to feedback your experiences of the game, feel free to drop me a line in the comments section of this blog.
For more information about extra costs, check out our extra costs campaign.