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?
For many years disabled people, like myself, who have needed care and support have employed personal assistants (PA), using monies from the government, instead of using care agencies. While disabled people once had to fight hard to employ a PA, in recent years the government has recognised the benefits they bring as they have encouraged … Continue reading What is a Personal Assistant?
My all-time favourite song and my personal theme tune is Proud by Heather Small, because it sums up how I feel about my life and who I am as someone with cerebral palsy. I believe the media along with the disability charities and many activists has polarised the lives of disabled people, where we are either heroic … Continue reading Why Can’t Disabled People Be Positive?
Since the start of the welfare reforms in 2010, I have noticed a number of urban myths being created which I would like to unpick for a moment. I say urban myths as the examples I will give are shortcut statements that appear to have no origin or have any meaningful evidence to support them. … Continue reading ‘Atos Declares Coma Patients Fit’ and Other Disability Related Welfare Urban Myths
As someone who was born with cerebral palsy, I discovered the old 'disability movement' when I went to University at 18 in 1992. I quickly saw this unelected and unaccountable body as a way for a minority to dictate to the majority. I quickly understood the Solidarity others find so precious was actually quite oppressive. … Continue reading Is Solidarity an Excuse for Disabled People Not to Work?