February - Podcast launch and restrictions lifting
What a busy and exciting month February has been!
This month I released the first episode of my podcast of The Wheelchair Activist. The first guest was Elisabeth Ward, a colleague of mine at Scope and a fascinating accessibility specialist . We talked about our own perceptions of disability and how we view ourselves, how we discovered the social model of disability and the challenges that come from trying to hide your disability in the workplace. Elisabeth has taught me so much about digital accessibility and challenged me to think about disability beyond my own lived experience. If you haven't already, I highly recommend listening to this insightful discussion and subscribing to the podcast as we have some amazing guests lined up.
I have honestly been overwhelmed by the positive reception to the podcast. So many people have been in touch with me to say that they learnt a lot from the first episode which means the world to me. I want this podcast to provide some much needed representation of disabled people achieving in all areas of life but to also challenge perceptions of disability both within and outside the disabled community. So far I have recorded three episodes and after each conversation I find I have learned something about my own understanding of disability. It is so easy for me to think that I know everything about disability having lived with it my entire life, but if I am still learning about it, I promise you will to.
You can find the podcast on Apple Podcasts, Amazon Music, Audible, Youtube and my website's podcast page.
This month also saw the lifting of Covid restrictions in the UK. This has been a huge concern for the disabled community. Now that people are no longer required to self isolate if they test positive, it places clinically extremely vulnerable people like me at an incredibly high risk of catching Covid and becoming very ill. I am planning to write a full blog about this but I must admit I have found this very difficult to deal with. Disabled people have been forgotten and ignored throughout the pandemic by government but this decision felt different to me. This felt like confirmation that I do not matter and if I catch Covid, it is all part of us "learning to live with it". I am very lucky that I have a very considerate and responsible care team who have always told me about any potential risk they pose to me and I know they will continue to do this. Only now they won't know if the person next to them in the supermarket is a risk and this is a very scary thought.
Shoutout of the month
My friend Fleur Perry is challenging the Government's decision as a possible breach of the Equality Act 2010. She is representing the 3.7 million shielders in the UK and I am behind her completely. Fleur is raising money to pay lawyers to challenge the decision by Judicial Review - please support this cause if you can.