Ashamed To Be Disabled or Just Shamed

IDNot too long ago I had the pleasure of  participating in a car club run for the VW Club of Wagga.  Hubby and I woke early to make it in time to meet up with the Club and then drive onto the Air Museum in Temora.

It was a great day until we decided to go to the local RSL for lunch.  You see, I’m disabled.   Generally I walk now with a zimmer frame or on a walking stick if I don’t have to stand too long and on the rare occassion I use my mobility scooter to get around.   This day I was using my zimmer frame .

We went into the bar area to sign in.  At this point I was asked for ID so I pulled out my Pensioner card as issued by the Australian Government which included my full name and address but this wasn’t good enough.   The lady wanted a photo ID like a drivers’ license….umm I’m disabled….I can’t drive so no photo ID there.   I then rifled through my handbag and found my passport…..this Photo ID wasn’t acceptable as it was expired…..despite the fact I haven’t changed since the photo was taken (right down to the same hairstyle) and the photo was to verify I looked like me right?  So wouldn’t the point of showing the passport regardless of it’s expiry date still prove that I was …well…me?

After stating “Well that’s all I have”  the lady quite nicely told me that whilst she would get into trouble and the police were “cracking down on us” about photo ID’s I was allow to enter…..which was great because the other 20 people I was with were all behind me waiting for me to sign in so they could too.

I was embarrassed and annoyed and felt I didn’t “meet” the requirements to get into clubs anymore.  So, when I got home I decide to research the active law and guidelines for NSW Registered Clubs.  I started here  and found there are two requirements to enter as an Adult Temporary member

1.  I have to be over 18 years of age (I’d like to think these days I’d pass for 40 but I unfortunately do look older than 18)

2.  I have to live more than 5kms from the location of the Club.

Nowhere does it state that Photo ID is a requirement.   Each club has it’s own “requirements” but legally you do not HAVE to produce photo ID when entering a club premises.   Some also have a greater distance requirement which I believe encourages people in the area to pay a regular membership fee each year.

I then rang the Local Police as she stated “they were cracking down”  so I asked them what this crackdown was she was speaking of?   Apparently it was directed to correct entries being made by people entering club premises eg.  correct address information and that it’s been signed.   Again, I was advise that no photo ID was required providing I met items 1 & 2 above and have filled out a correct entry form.

Now to get around this I can go and get a Photo ID card.  For that I need a valid passport or Drivers’ license and a medicare card….now just to be sure you were paying attention…..I don’t have a drivers’ license because I can’t freaking drive!!! I’m disabled!!!   Rub it in why don’t ya!  I’ve lost my independence and it’s good of you to remind me of it every time I need to prove who I am!  Also I’m a pensioner (gawd that makes me feel old) and I can’t afford the nearly $400 it will cost me to get a passport I am not going to use as I don’t intend on leaving the country again….ever.

So I’m going to have that argument every time I enter a Club where they want photo ID……and while I am on the topic what happens to those images that are scanned every time someone enters a club?  Why do we like sheep produce this information without ever checking what happens with the information we give them?

In the mean time, I will have to keep explaining I have a disability and explain why I don’t have photo ID and hope then let me in….Oh and if you are in the queue behind me….Sorry for the delay.


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