I think August 2020 has been a rather successful month; got to interview a few disability A-listers, managed to publish a week’s worth of news content, my audio description campaign received some media coverage and I’ve used my spare time to binge watch Breaking Bad.
This month my Disability Horizons content has exploded. I’ve managed to publish five news stories, a sixth still in the pipeline and my interview with actress, author and former CBeebies presenter, Cerrie Burnell – all of which you can view in my blog roundup below.
I’ve also managed to conduct three phone interviews in the past week. Joanne Roughton-Arnold is a New Zealand born opera singer and musician who is visually impaired. She discusses what life is like as a performer with a disability. We hope to publish her article sometime next week.
I also got to speak to two people who I consider disabled A-listers. Firstly, I got the pleasure to speak to former wheelchair basketball player and TV presenter Ade Adepitan. I was quite nervous about interviewing him as it had taken over a year to organise and he such a big name within Paralympic sport and television. He is probably the first disabled person I saw on TV as a child when he presented X-Change on CBBC. Thankfully, he was a real gentleman, very honest and down to earth.
Secondly, I got the opportunity to interview the finest man on TV, journalism and comedy, Alex Brooker. I’ve been a superfan of The Last Leg since day one. Plus, thanks to this show, it started my journalism career and gave me my first ever published article at Disability Horizons, with a review of The Last Leg in 2012. Alex is by far been my favourite interviewee and a highlight of my career so far. He told some great stories that made me laugh out loud and he is just as friendly as he is on TV.
Both Ade Adepitan’s and Alex Brooker’s interviews should hopefully be published by the end of September or early October.
After almost four months of waiting, I finally have a date for my eye surgery at Moorfields Eye Hospital. Therefore from Monday 21st September, I’ll be away from my desk for a couple of weeks while I recuperate. I will of course try and schedule some content for you to enjoy during my absents. Then I will give a double blog summary in October.
As gigs and festivals are continuing to be postponed or cancelled due to Covid-19, obviously my music news is still slightly thin on the ground.
However, I did try and purchase tickets to see Biffy Clyro in Southampton for April 2021. Unfortunately, I was unsuccessful due to the fact the box office was closed and by the time I got online, they had sold out. I understand staff may still be furloughed but if you need disabled access to events, booking over the phone is the only way.
It concerns me that if phonelines continue to be closed at venues, thousands of disabled people are going o miss out on shows and events next year.
In August 2020, I was ecstatic to find out the TV series Breaking Bad has audio description on Netflix.
I first watched Breaking Bad about 7-8 years ago on DVD but needed my family and friends to try and describe the non-verbal/action scenes. I still enjoyed it but still felt like I was missing out on some key moments.
In 2018, I decided to sign up to Netflix and found the box set of Breaking Bad, but again no AD. A year on, I continued to get frustrated that many shows and films were not providing AD.
Then one evening earlier this month, I was scrolling through Netflix finding a new box set to watch and I stumbled across Breaking Bad. I selected it in the hope there was a teeny tiny possibility it was updated… and to my amazement, AUDIO DESCRIPTION IS NOW AVAILABLE ON BREAKING BAD!
I managed to watch all five series in four weeks, and it was incredible. I loved watching all the memorable moments such as the pizza on the roof, the plane crash and the fly in the lab. Plus, there are so many episodes and scenes I forgot such as Hank being shot and injured, Marie’s theft habit and Skyler’s affair with her boss, to name a few.
I’m now planning to watch the El Camino movie again. I watched it about a year ago but couldn’t really understand the story. Now I’ve finished Breaking Bad, I feel like it might make more sense a second time. Also, after that I may give Better Call Saul a go too.
Audio Description petition
Following the great news about Breaking Bad having audio description available, my petition began to gain even more support.
Then two weeks ago, I sent out a press release to see if my campaign could get some media coverage. It hasn’t reached the big guns like national newspapers, the BBC or ITV yet, but it has reached some disability publications and organisations including:
- Enable Magazine
- Disability Rights UK
- Sight and Sound Technology
- Disability Horizons
- Visualise Training & Consultancy
If you’re a journalist, blogger or writer and would like to feature my campaign in your publications, website, blog, newsletter, channel or programme, please email me at firstname.lastname@example.org and I’ll forward you a copy of the press release.
Fortunately, all this publicity is making a difference and the petition has now gained an outstanding 852 more signatures, making the total 1686 signatures, which is incredible!
But I’m eager to reach thousands. The more signatures we get, the more likely changes could be made within the TV & films industries. Please, please, PLEASE continue to sign & share my petition!
Guest Bloggers Wanted
I’m still eager to collaborate with even more bloggers in 2020. So, if you’re a lifestyle, disability and/or music blogger, send me your blog stories. Plus let me know if you’d like me to feature on your blog as a guest blogger.
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!
Blog post roundup
In case you missed any of my blog posts this month, here is a roundup of them:
- Music Interview: Bison Face
- 5 reasons audio description is important to people with sight loss
- 10 live albums to rock out to this summer
- Cerrie Burnell: disabled actress, author and TV presenter
- Disability Horizons News Roundup: August 2020
5 favourite blog posts
Here are my 5 favourite blog posts I’ve read this month:
- Why Fear Should Never Win at The Secret Blind
- The Power of Empathy at Make It Ultra Psychology
- Can Virtual Gigs Make Live Music Accessible For All? at Simply Emma
- Bearing Disability: Dyslexia and Reading Challenges at Little Sea Bear
- The Importance of Audio Description at Access For Us
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