I have achieved a lot in my life, not as someone with cerebral palsy or a disabled person, but as a person, far more than most people of any age. This is not because I have been especially privileged or things have been easy, far from it, but because I have been prepared to make … Continue reading A lifetime full of Memories
I remember a time when disability politics was simply about the issues, providing improved accessibility and greater rights to people with impairments regardless of who was in power. The disability lobby always received a more friendly ear from Labour than the Conservatives but it was all friendly. But in recent years, as sick people and … Continue reading I Am Disabled and I Am Not a Socialist
Over the last few weeks I have noticed a number of supposed news articles which appear to call for public anger at the legitimate process of claiming disability benefits rather than any apparent failures of the system. These lead me to suspect that it is now a trend and even fashion to find anything to … Continue reading ATOS Bashing Is Just a Fad
My life is always changing, improving, and the last six weeks have not been any different. My frustration over the last year or so is that I did not have a opportunity to write for a national newspaper and have the level of voice I desired. But in August, my patience was rewarded when I … Continue reading Having a voice
In 1999 I started a MA in Disability Studies in Sheffield that I gave up after a year because it was bias towards psychoanalysis, something I really could not get my head around. I however gained a lot from the experience and the first lesson I learnt was that within disability, there are two basic … Continue reading What Does Disability Mean Anyway?
I strongly believe that everyone has the opportunity to achieve happiness if they wish it, including disabled people. By happiness, I mean a natural contentment, a level of inner stability and a positive outlook that enables people to deal with anything that life throws at them. It is not a perfect state of bliss but … Continue reading The Barriers to Disabled People’s Happiness
The bedroom tax is one of those simple and understandable ideas that looked great on paper, until you start to implement it and realise it is not going to work in the way anyone hoped. The aim was to help match the size of homes within social housing to those who needed them by discouraging … Continue reading Yes, the Bedroom Tax Is a Mess
For over a century the majority of disabled children have been educated in special schools, excluded from their non-disabled peers. It is only in the last 30 years that this has started to change as more disabled children have been increasingly been given the right to a mainstream education as this form of apartheid is … Continue reading Mainstream Education Is So Important for Disabled Children
The politics of disability used to be about achieving equality and inclusion as contributing citizens but in 2010 the welfare reforms changed everything. The charities, supported by a whole host of new generation sick and disabled activists have ripped up the equality agenda and replaced it with a list of demands that see disabled people … Continue reading Changing the Conversation on Disability
For many disabled people working in the field as consultants and activists including myself, the welfare reforms have dominated the agenda since 2010 pushing so many other issues, like grassroot sport and quality of wheelchair services, to the sidelines. But the big question and frustration is in terms of disability, is it really possible to … Continue reading Is a Proper Debate on Welfare Reform Possible?