Last Saturday will have been a very productive day in terms of quality of life for my son - I hope. We went on a 60 mile round trip to a swimming pool, an indoor ski centre and a shopping centre. He didn't get to swim or ski but he did get to people watch, which he enjoys a lot. (He's not very PC and liked the hordes of young women buying clothes and the semi naked statues.) We did also manage to establish that he will be able to swim at the fun pool and will be able to try out skiing. We'll have to take our own equipment - portable hoist, specialist seating system and 'wet' wheelchair to access these facilities. We'll have to book well in advance so the right instructors are there and go down in two vehicles (one for the people, one for the equipment.) and it is quite a long way to have to go on a recce trip.
These are things non disabled people take for granted, they can just turn up at their local pool etc. and expect to go in - but of course these supposedly 'universal' services' much mentioned in the Personalisation agenda are only available to people with a disability on a much more limited basis. Still at least the people we spoke to were positive about letting us in - they didn't invoke the dreaded risk assessment or fire regulations to exclude us. they should have had the right equipment so we wouldn't need to bring ours but the positive attitudes were enough to get us on side.
Slight downside - the hygiene standards at the pool look a bit 'iffy' - while we were there, one child who had obviously just been sick in the pool, was ushered into the loos to carry on being ill - and then escorted back into the pool by the staff!