Non-partisan UK-based Disability campaign. Advocacy for people with invisible illness and/or physical & mental health conditions. Also Carers, their Families and Friends.
Our individual voices are too quiet to be heard, but collectively we can shout loud enough to drown out this tide of abuse against us. Disability Hate Crime, lack of full legal protection, people in care homes costing too much to be let out and not one political party willing to fight for us.
@BendyGirl has asked: “Disabled tweeps. What was the defining event which made you become an activist or campaigner?”
Following is my answer.
The defining event which made me become an activist or campaigner was becoming disabled 2 years ago & having to face the realities of needing help & not getting it.
Twitter was invaluable in connecting me with people like The Broken of Britain Co-Founder & Director Kaliya Franklin aka @BendyGirl of the Benefit Scrounging Scum Blog who have lived this life for far longer, many from birth. The things that I was fighting for personally were the same things that other disabled people were fighting for. The things already in place were there no thanks to the past efforts of campaigners and activists.
I had already had bitter experience and lessons learned about the arduous fight for assistance in the aftermath of my marriage breaking down eight years ago, losing the investment banking job that I had at the time shortly afterwards and becoming homeless off the back of both. It was one thing to have to deal with all of that whilst able-bodied. It is quite another to have to deal with the “you’re breathing, you’re fit for work” attitude by governments past and especially present as someone who is most definitely not fit for anything approximating my old life because of my physical and mental health concerns.
What I managed to achieve helping with The Broken of Britain campaign gave me a reason for staying alive and went some way towards finding the tiniest bit of the “old me” who managed to be useful and productive in spite of any disadvantages. On the surface I’ve always given people the impression that I’m very confident; that I’m a woman who knows exactly what she wants and exactly how to achieve it. Nothing could be further from the truth, and especially since I’ve become disabled.
I was, and still am, acutely aware that I am particularly lucky to be a very strong person in many respects: I am not afraid to be open, direct and searingly honest; qualities that have worked against me as much as they have for me. So, as with other things I’ve been involved with, disability campaigning enables me to give a voice to the unheard. Whatever I do to help myself also benefits other people and vice-versa. We really “are all in it together” at the grass roots level.
As Kaliya always says,“alone we whisper, together we shout”.