Cruising the jagged streets of Harlow

Image by Devon Taverner-Hailou

DEVON Taverner-Hailou is an eighteen-year-old student, who has a condition called PFFD (Proximal Femoral Focal Deficiency), which means she does not have a thighbone in her left leg. Therefore, Devon has to use a mobility scooter for everyday life. Today, she went around Harlow to discover how easy it was for her scooter to cruise on the streets.

A girl on a mission, I’ve got my scooter on full power and throttling down the street. The ride isn’t as smooth and quick as I’d like… The curbs stall my scooter; I barely make it through the narrow pavement and it’s a struggle to get on the footpath.

Image by Devon Taverner-Hailou

Uneven surfaces are a common hazard

In this town, my priority was to visit the equipment supplier of scooters: Harlow Mobility. I wanted to explore how this shop caters for different disabilities that exist in Harlow.

A sales advisor, who did not wish to be named, said: ‘Harlow has very deep curbs and bumpy pavements… So those with a disability need a scooter or a wheelchair with big, strong wheels that are able to overcome those difficulties.’

She added ‘We come across people who have to change direction to their destination because their scooters can’t handle the jarring grounds.’

Image by Devon Taverner-Hailou

Harlow Mobility shop

Finishing my quest, I now had a journey negotiating crowded streets and fast cars. It wasn’t an easy trip, with my scooter screeching to a halt on the uneven cobblestone, right outside Harlow College, in the middle of a large crowd of students.

Overall, the town of Harlow is reasonably accessible, however there are uneven pavements, which could be mended to make my journey into town as hassle free as anyone else’s.

Cobble streets are a regular problem

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Devon Taverner-Hailou

I am a strong character, who is determined to follow my goals and achieve my dreams. Ever since I was able to write, I would always carry a notebook and pen with me and I would fill the pages with songs, poems and stories. Writing has always been an outlet for me, a way for me to express my emotions and to overcome any difficulties. I used to want to be a singer-songwriter, though; unfortunately I have not been blessed with the best singing voice, so that dream had to go. Nevertheless, I still write songs and maybe one day, I will hear someone singing them on the radio. My dream would be to become a successful writer in the future; when people hear my name, I want them to think of a particular novel or article that I’d written. I would love to work in publishing or screenplays because I feel it will ignite a spark inside of me, if I see my name in print or in the credits of a film. I have a range of topics I am passionate about, from films and TV series as they give me inspiration for my own work, to being involved with promoting the rights of disabled people, as that’s a subject close to my heart. So far, my articles have covered a range of subjects; profile pieces, disability rights, college open evening, the new Stansted Airport College, and the Apple Distinguished Status at Harlow College.

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