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Disability Narratives

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Video clip: Gabrielle explains how hot and cold temperatures affect her MS and the dilemma she feels when seeking equipment to mitigate that.

Oh, your question about work environment was really interesting. Oxford is a bit odd, and I think it's worth maybe saying here that colleges - and I'm not sure how many departmental buildings have this problem as well, but there's definitely temperature control issues [laugh]. I don't know how many of the old buildings you've worked in, but it's sweltering in the summer, and very, very cold in the winter. And that's - I work in a historic building, it's a mediaeval library. It's going to happen, and I can't really judge. You know? [Laugh]. The fact that we don't have perfect insulation in the building, it's not going to happen. But it is challenging, the summer heat tends to aggravate my MS symptoms. And the cold makes my hands very stiff. So it's quite difficult to work.

But it's just something that needs to be said, something that might be - to flag up in my next workplace, would be - you know - I will deal with this, because we have to. But if there's anything we can do about sort of trying to control the temperature. Because it is - it's quite aggravating, if - and you feel like you can't quite move your hands, because you have slight - I have slight motor problems. Not enough that anyone would probably really notice, but I really notice it. And when it's cold, it's very difficult for me to type. And then in the summer, it's just miserable [laugh]. So, what can we do? Do we need to get portable air conditioners in? But it's again difficult when you know you're only going to be in place for one year, to say "Can you go buy this extremely expensive air conditioning unit that possibly only I need?" When, you know, I'm out of here in two months’ time.