Introducing… Disability Horizons

For those for those of you who follow me on Twitter or Facebook, you will have seen a notable lack of posts from my blog and a lot of interaction with the free online magazine Disability Horizons.

Disability Horizons - free online disability magazine

Well, back in April 2011, I met the lovely Co-Editors of said magazine, Srin Madipalli and Martyn Sibley. Both are young, cool, charming, and fearless twenty-something guys who have Spinal Muscular Atrophy. They both use powered wheelchairs, hoists, electric beds and various other disabled paraphernalia, as well as needing personal PAs, but neither allow anything, disability-related or not, get in their way of enjoying life. They’re both travel-crazy adrenaline junkies, only working at their day jobs – Srin as a lawyer, and Martyn a freelance disability consultant – in order to pay for the next adventure! Check out Srin’s scuba-diving trip and Martyn’s plans to volunteer abroad.

Disability Horizons - Srin and Martyn - free online disability magazine

Knowing that we all have the same ethos – to portray disability and related issue in a positive and inspiring light  – I joined the guys in helping to build this start-up publication.

Disability Horizons promotes a unique and positive 21st Century view of disability. It aims to inform and inspire its readers to believe that everything is possible. No matter what your disability, everyone should feel that they can achieve their dreams, be confident in themselves and enjoy life to the max.

I’m thus very excited to have been asked to be the Content Editor for Disability Horizons, a website that I am passionate about being part of and ensuring that it reaches as many disabled people as possible.

As we as working with Disability Horizons, I also have a full-time job as a journalist, so the Inspire blog will have to be put on the back burner. But, as Disability Horizons is a community-driven website, with a high volume of personal stories from disabled people across the world, we would love to hear from you. Email us at, tweet us @DHorizons, or message us on Facebook.

I look forward to seeing you there!


February 12, 2012. Tags: , , , , , , . About me and Inspire, Entertainment, Goings on, Inspiration, News. 2 comments.

Sainsbury’s Super Saturday

Like festivals? Then you’ll love Sainsbury’s Super Saturday festival celebrating the Paralympic Games 2011.

Sainsbury's Super Saturday festival - image -

Set in Clapham Common, London on 10th September 2011, the event will include live music, a variety of food and drink (some alcoholic I’m sure!), and activities for kids. So it’s an event the whole family can enjoy. Performing are acts like The Saturdays, Taio Cruz, and Chipmunk.

Visit Sainsbury’s Super Saturday festivals website to buy tickets (£45 for an adult, minus a booking fee).

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May 20, 2011. Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , . Goings on. Leave a comment.

DadaFest starts today!

DadaFest, the annual festival promoting deaf and disabled art, starts today (19th November) and runs until the 3rd of December. Based in Liverpool and in its 10th year, the festival displays an array of events with this year’s theme being objects of curiosity and desire. Events range from workshops such as film making and multi sensory art, to theatrical shows of comedy and poignant drama, to burlesque and drink-fuelled dancing, to lectures and discussions, and to art instillations and poetry. With so much to explore, there really is something for everyone.

DadaFest International events - disability arts - image -

And this year the festival is expanding to Scotland, with a highlighted selection of the events. But don’t despair if you can’t get to either of these locations as you can take a look at some of the images from the shows in DadaFest’s gallery, and learn more about the artists. For full listings of the events visit Dada Fest International 2010‘s website.

DadaFest International events - wheelchair dancing - image -

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November 19, 2010. Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , . Goings on. Leave a comment.

The Liberty Festival – celebrating people with disabilities in London

Looking for something to do this Saturday (4th Sept)? Then head to London’s Trafalgar Square to see the annual Liberty Festival celebrating the contribution of people with disabilities to London’s culture.

The Liberty Festival London - image -

A whole host of activities will be happening; from cabaret and comedy, to music and dance, to talks and theatre. And they’re all free! Plus there is a children’s zone for the kids to unleash their frustrations as the summer holiday ends.

Look out for performances by Candoco Dance Company who offer inclusive classes for both disabled and able-bodied dancers (at 1.50pm and 4pm).

There will also be a photographic competition giving people the chance to win original artwork by Rachel Gadsen and have their work exhibited on WheelPower and Rachel’s website. Simply send one of your snaps taken on the day at the Visual Art and Sport Zone to Rachel Gadsden at by the 14th of September 2010. The winner will be announced on 27 September 2010. Good luck and have fun!


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September 3, 2010. Tags: , , , , , , , , , , . Goings on. 2 comments.

Deafblind Awareness Week AND Learning Disability Awareness Week

This week sees focus on two disabilities as Learning Disability Awareness Week and Deafblind Awareness Week kick off (both the 21st-27th June 2010).

Learning Disability Awareness Week, run by Mencap charity, is this year looking at improving the NHS and how they relate to and treat people with learning disabilities in a campaign called ‘Getting it right’. You can help by emailing your local healthcare authority to tell them to sign up to the ‘Getting it right’ charter, or email your MP and ask them to attend the ‘Getting it right’ parliamentary launch on the 22nd of June. 

Learning Disabilities Awareness Week - image -

Deafblind Awareness Week with Deafblind UK is this year focusing on acquiring a better understanding and care services for deafblind people in a campaign called ‘Putting People First’. Hoping to give deafblind people more choice and control over their care as well as creating awareness of the disability, visit charity Sense‘s website to see what events are happening in your area, and take a look at their sense gallery and collection of short films.

Deafblind Awareness Week - image -

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June 21, 2010. Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , . Goings on. 1 comment.

Carers Week

We are part way through Carers Week 2010 (14th – 20th June), but it’s not too late to get involved. 

Carers Week - image -

With 3 in 5 people becoming an unpaid carer at some point in their life, saving the government an astonishing £87 billion each year (the same cost of running the NHS) carers week will highlight and celebrate “the incredible contribution that carers make, sharing the positive experiences as well as the more difficult.”

This years theme is ‘A life of my own’ aimed at highlighting the isolation carers often feel as they sacrifice their own lives; “a life of my own is a daydream. Caring demands are relentless, and costs you your health, relationships and happiness. To have a life of my own, for just one day would be marvellous,” Theresa from Glasgow.

To find out what is happening in your area, visit the Carers Week event finder. Also take a look at these blogs and forums to speak to other carers and hear their stories; Carers UK; NHS Carers; CarersBlog; Young Carers blogs; Carers Corner.

If you are a carer you can get advice and assistance from the seven charities organising Carers Week: Carers UKCounsel and CareCrossroads CareMacmillan Cancer Support, the Princess Royal Trust for CarersHelp the Hospices and Parkinson’s UK.

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June 16, 2010. Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , . Goings on. Leave a comment.

Injured serviceman in London Marathon

Phil Packer - London Marathon - image -

After having suffered a spinal cord injury in 2008 whilst serving in Iraq, Phil Packer continues to live an active life with an aim to inspire and support others.

Despite using a wheelchair or sometimes crutches, this Sunday he will be taking part in the Virgin London Marathon, 26 miles in 26 hours.

A patron of Help the Heroes for which he has already raised £1.3 million, Phil now plans to raise support and awareness for charities campaigning for young people who are disadvantaged or have disabilities.

With the help of 26 charities (Leonard Cheshire Disability, Scope, Mencap, Whizz-Kidz, to name but a few), all of whom will join Phil for the end of the Marathon, he hopes to raise enough to open an eco-friendly British Centre of Excellence. The Centre, dynamic and unique, will be a conduit to enthuse and inspire young people with disabilities, including our injured service personnel, between the ages of 16 and 25.”

After facing dark times in the early days but coming through thanks to support from friends and family, Phil is passionate about offering the same support for young people in difficult situations and showing how life can and will continue.

To sponsor see all 26 charities and to donate visit Phil Packer‘s website.

April 21, 2010. Tags: , , , , , , , , , . Goings on. Leave a comment.

Photography and video competition for Mencap

Get your cameras at the ready as another photographic competition has begun! This time run by the charity Mencap, who support people with learning disabilities, they are looking for videos as well as photographs that represent the idea of keeping active.

The competition is open to everyone, whether you have a disability or not, with the theme relating in some way to learning difficulties. Suggestions to inspire your creative juices include capturing people participating in and watching games and sports, or being part of the local community.

Enter by the 21st of June to win a Fuji digital camera, have your photo or film shown at a London art gallery and on the Mencap website, and receive an invitation to the prize winners’ party and award ceremony in London, where you will be presented with your prize by a celebrity. So what are you waiting for, get snapping!

Here are some of the photography winners from 2009. Click on the images to see the full story behind them, or visit Mencap‘s website to see all the winners.

Mencap - photography competition 2009 - image -

Hanging around by Gaynor Wright

Mencap - photography competition 2009 - image -

My portrait (my life) by Anthony Quinn

Mencap - photography competition - image -

David and Hardy by David Stubbs

April 8, 2010. Tags: , , , , , , , , . Goings on. Leave a comment.

World Autism Awareness Day

Today is World Autism Awareness Day aimed at encouraging people to ‘Stand up’ for autism and show their support.

Autism Society - image -

Autism and Asperger syndrome (a form of autism), are often misunderstood disabilities which can be difficult to diagnose. They are hidden disabilities, i.e. not physical or obvious, and the social issues that many people with autism and Asperger syndrome have means others might interpret their actions incorrectly.

So for World Autism Awareness Day show your support and raise understanding of the disability by simply going on Twitter or Facebook where you will also find information on events, fundraising and family holidays.

Oh and I found a picture of Gordon Ramsey on the National Autism Society‘s Facebook page that I thought I’d throw in – see even the celeb’s are getting involved!

Autism awareness - Gordon Ramsey -

April 2, 2010. Tags: , , , , , . Goings on. 1 comment.

Inspiring Down’s syndorme exhibitions and blogs

If you’re unsure of what to do this weekend, then I have the perfect suggestion. Why not visit the photographic exhibition, Shifting Perspectives at the Oxo Tower in London (until Sunday 28th March), aimed at changing people’s perception of Down’s syndrome.

I popped along today to take a look and I highly recommend the exhibition as a way to give you a shot of inspiration and put a smile on your face.  With a mix of images, annotations and video, I was particularly moved by the wider themes being explored; Down’s syndrome and breastfeeding, and human rights.

Breastfeeding a baby with Down's syndrome - image -

Attempting to break the taboo surrounding breastfeeding a baby with Down’s syndrome, which steams largely from the belief that they are unable to do so, a selection of mothers have posed for intimate portraits of themselves feeding their Down’s syndrome child.

To highlight the importance of human rights, photographs of 12 individuals with Down’s syndrome holding something that symbolises human rights to them, are accompanied by inspiring and touching writings explaining the items; a book symbolising the right to education, a taxi pass for the right to freedom and independence, a staff badge representing the ability to work, an image of an ear for the right to be listened to and valued in the community.

Down's syndrome - image -

If you’re not able to make it this weekend, check out the Local Heart. Global Soul blog with photographs of a similar exhibition. The images are amazing, capturing the innocence and beauty of children with Down’s syndrome.

And if you don’t want your blog surfing to stop here, why not take a look at these other inspirational blogs about Down’s syndrome, all telling individual stories of the experiences they have with the disability; I’m waking up for the first time in years, Ski’ing through life, Enjoying the small things.

March 26, 2010. Tags: , , , , , , , , , . Goings on, Inspiration. Leave a comment.

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