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THE WHEELCHAIR ACTIVIST
I am Emma Vogelmann. I'm 28 years old, I have 3 beautiful dogs and I have a condition called spinal muscular atrophy which causes me to use an electric wheelchair. In 2009, I contracted the swine flu when I was living in Chicago which left me needing a tracheostomy and a ventilator. I know, that's a lot of equipment for one person! But hey, it keeps me alive and doing the work that I love which is activism.
I first came across the term 'armchair activism' back in 2019 when it was criticised for not doing 'real' activism. Essentially, “armchair activism” is being vocal on social media about causes and campaigns but not going out into the community to volunteer your time or physically lobby politicians. As a disabled person and someone who loves a Twitter rant, I was angry that this type of activism wasn't seen as equal to physically chaining yourself to the gates of Parliament (you'll soon learn I'm a fairly dramatic person!) Society creates so many barriers for us to go out and do anything so why was our contribution to causes that we care deeply about being undervalued?
I have worked with organisations such as Muscular Dystrophy UK, Amnesty International, SMA UK and Scope to raise the profile of issues facing the disabled community. I have written policy reports, met with Members of Parliament, recorded podcasts and so much more, while sitting at home on my laptop and there is absolutely nothing wrong with that.
It's not about how you do something, it's about the fact that you're trying.
That is why I have created this beautiful corner of the Internet called The Wheelchair Activist. I want to shine a light on the amazing disabled community I have come to be a proud member of. This website will not only share all of the work that I am doing, but will also introduce you to some other pretty amazing disabled people who are changing the world in their own way. Want to know more? Head over to my podcast page.
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