Disabled tenant’s fury as council bars door opening app

Resident left feeling 'invisible and completely disempowered' over gates row

Friday, 10th June — By Charlotte Chambers

Alexander Doodle with their care manager Elif Koklu

Alexander Doodle

THE council has been accused of breaching the human rights of three disabled people who have been stopped from using a new remote control system to open gates at their home.

Alexander Doodle, who identifies as non–binary, said they had been left feeling “invisible and completely disempowered” after being told they could not use a phone app which made it easier for them to allow people in.

The council instead wants Mx Doodle, along with the other disabled people in the block in Shalford Court, Angel, to have an intercom buzzer in their bedrooms.

Mx Doodle, who is 80 per cent bed bound and has clawed hands due to several different health conditions, already uses voice activation to turn on lights and currently uses it to open the door.

They are worried that carers, nurses and delivery drivers may now get locked out because they can’t use the buzzer system.

Mx Doodle said: “I’ve had to cancel the shopping orders and I’ve stopped medication delivery. They’re going to be ringing the intercom and I’m in bed unable to get to it. I’m already disabled but to feel so disabling and to feel so disempowered when one simple thing could happen that could make me feel equal and empowered and not a lesser person for being bed bound.

“It feels like we’re being treated as an afterthought and a pain for having other needs.”

Islington cabinet councillor Diarmaid Ward was unavailable for comment this week, but in a reply to an email from Mx Doodle’s carer he said: “In regards to the request for an application to be installed on the phone, it has been advised that this is not able to be carried out, as the council do not have the application or systems to support this function.”

He added: “I am informed that an alternative option has been suggested to relocate the internal handset to another location which I hope helps and the Estate Services Team will be writing directly about this matter.”

Elif Koklu, Mx Doodle’s care manager, said: “I have witnessed many occasions where Alexander’s basic human rights are being ignored.”

A council spokesperson said: “The new gate and intercom system at Shalford Court will not go live until the secondary intercom panel has been installed at Mx Doodle’s property. The council is commi­t­ted to working with Mx Doodle and fellow residents at Shalford Court to ensure the new intercom system works as well as possible for them, and to resolve any concerns they may have.”

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