October has overall been a rather successful month; completed a majority of my Disability Horizons projects, attended another council meeting with AccessAble, continuing rehearsals for my drama group’s Christmas performance and chillaxing with friends, binge watching telly and reading books in-between.
Firstly, I’m pleased to say our big secret project has been published. This month we launched our first digital panel discussing accessible air travel. We also ran a survey to find out disabled people’s experiences of accessible flying.
My role was to look through the answers we collected from the survey and write a news article for the online magazine and a press release to send out to media outlets.
I also helped get in touch and organise the guests to appear on the digital panel. Moreover I assisted with editing the digital panel and adding video descriptions and social media copy.
I was privileged to be given this much responsibility and it was a great learning curve.
I think the team will be having a de-brief meeting to discuss how the project went and what we could improve on for future digital panels.
You can read the article and watch the digital panel in my blog roundup below.
Furthermore you can check out in the blog roundup my news content plus interviews with disabled poet Neal Pike and Breaking Bad star RJ Mitte.
As well as all this, I’ve been helping upload products to our new online shop. It has been rather complex at times but I’m getting the hang of it now. I’m just amazed how many disabled-related products are available out there.
In addition, we’re looking for more writers and volunteers to join our community. If you’d love to be involved in Disability Horizons to help us reach more people, email firstname.lastname@example.org
This month I attended another council meeting to discuss the benefits of AccessAble and persuade them to fund more Access Guides.
The meeting was in Petersfield with East Hampshire District council and Havant Borough council.
Unfortunately they agreed with everything we said but reluctant to provide the funding. I’m starting to feel central government needs to be involved but unless Brexit is ever completed, we could be waiting a very long time.
It got completely blocked at the beginning of October, resulting in needing it changed.
Three weeks later, it began bypassing again meaning I needed another change.
In addition, my urine smelt unusual, which made me think I had a urine infection. I sent a urine sample to the doctors to be tested.
While at the surgery, I asked the receptionist to chase up my referral to the urology clinic so I can discuss these complication with a consultant. It turned out the referral was never made despite asking 5 weeks ago. I was very pissed off. I’m now awaiting for another referral so no idea how much longer I’ll need to wait.
On the plus side, when I got home, the doctor phoned to confirm I did not have a urine infection.
The most exciting news to happen in October is I’m officially begun the application process to try and get a guide dog – well more specifically a dual purpose dog.
A dual purpose dog is an assistance dog who supports someone with sight loss and an additional disability such as a physical disability, hearing loss or epilepsy.
I first looked into a guide dog in 2006 but at that stage they couldn’t have a dog be able to support my physical disability and my sight loss.
Then in 2017, I contacted Guide Dogs as I knew a dual dog service was available. Unfortunately the waiting list was at full capacity at that time. I was hoping to try again in 2018, but other commitments held me back.
Now I feel I’m at a stage I’m ready to try again and eager to commit to the training involved.
At the moment I’ve just had an initial phone consultation giving them my basic details and disability information. The next stage will be a face to face meeting at my home in December with a member of staff specially trained in dual dogs for electric wheelchair users.
This doesn’t guarantee me a guide dog but just to assess I meet the criteria for one.
The fact I’m getting assessed means I’m a lot further than before and heading in the right direction.
The first weekend of October I joined the 300,000 other people to book Glastonbury Festival tickets. As you can expect I failed – again.
I think instead of selling all the tickets in one morning, they should sell a certain amount each week for a month or so. That way the website wouldn’t crash because of the volume of people online at the same time.
A couple of weeks ago, I shared a news story on Disability Horizons about disabled actor Zack Gottsagen starring in the film The Peanut Butter Factory.
After writing the article, I fancied seeing it at the cinema. However I was gutted to find out it was only being shown in selected cinemas. I consider this to be discriminating because if this was a non-disabled actor, the film would be shown at every cinema.
The next story in one of my favourite book series has been released. The Secret Commonwealth is the second book of The Book of Dust series by Phillip Pullman. This series follows from his first trilogy His Dark Materials.
The Secret Commonwealth sees the protagonist Lyra Silvertongue as a 20 year old, 8 years after her adventures in His Dark Materials. I’m over a quarter of the way reading so far and my initial thoughts are that it is a lot darker and quite depressing at the moment but an amazing read.
My only concern is I’m confused about the ages of the characters (spoiler alert coming). In Le Belle Sauvage, Lyra was a baby and Malcom was 11. But in The Secret Commonwealth, Lyra is 20 and Malcom is 38, which means the age differences don’t match up – unless I mis-heard the audiobook?
Petition – Make audio description available on ALL films, TV programmes and streaming services
As you may have recently seen, I’ve started a petition to get audio description available on all films and TV shows. It frustrates me that only a small portion of films and programmes have audio description, which I believe is unfair and discriminating.
To support this campaign, please SIGN & SHARE my petition.
Guest Bloggers Wanted!
Please remember I’m very eager to fill my blog with more guest bloggers.
So if you’re a lifestyle, disability and/or music blogger, send me your blog stories.
I’m flexible with any type of blog posts; life story, disability awareness, music event, musician promotion – basically anything to do with life, disability or music!
As I mentioned back in August, I’ve altered my blog schedule and taken a step back from blogging regularly to concentrate on my freelance work.
However I continue to be active on social media, where I share life updates, previous blog posts, freelance work and disability and music news. So if you haven’t done so already, please follow me on Facebook and Twitter.
Blog post roundup
In case you missed any of my blog posts this month, here is a roundup of them:
5 Favourite Blog Posts
Here are my 5 favourite blog posts I’ve read this month:
1. 5 thought-provoking TED Talks by disabled people by Alex at The Life Quadriplegic
2. Multiple Munch like guide dogs? Interesting by The Secret Blind
3. 2019: October is Dyslexia Awareness Month by Amanda Gene
4. Coming out, rising up, standing strong by Ellie at My life, my story
5. PoTS Awareness Day 2019 – What is PoTS? By Holly at The World in my Words
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