RFD Question Time with Simon Sansome at Ability Access

For today’s RFD Question Time, I’d like to welcome presenter, journalist,  blogger and disability campaigner Simon Sansome, who runs Ability Access.

1. What inspired you to start blogging?

After becoming disabled, I realised how difficult it was to get around and how difficult it was getting funding for things like wheelchairs and ramps and I wanted my voice to be heard.

2. What advice would you give to other bloggers starting out?

Write down your thoughts, and then just let it all flow. I find it easier if you put emotion into the blog. It’s also a kind of therapy and it’s a good way of raising awareness.

I would also suggest you take an IT course to learn things like WordPress as it makes life so much easier. As a qualified journalist, I know the laws and what I cannot say and how not to liable or slander anyone.

People who think they can just go and blog have to be exceptionally careful because otherwise they could face legal action in the courts, which could be quite scary.

3. What is your disability and how does it affect you on a daily basis?

My disability is called Caudia Equina syndrome, (spinal damage for anyone else), which affects my ability and feeling of sensation from the waist down.

I have no feeling in my feet, back of the legs and bum. I’ve also use catheterise as my bladder function doesn’t work.

4. What do you love about being disabled?

Blue badge parking and free entry for my wife to events.

5. If you were given a pill to cure your disability, would you take it and why?

Of course I would take it, nobody would choose to be disabled. I would like to go back to work full time and have a better social life and play football with my nephews and nieces. I would also like to travel a lot more.

6. What has been your favourite concert or festival you’ve attended?

My favourite concert believe it or not was Take That Circus tour. And I’ve seen every band in the world including AC/DC, REM, Guns N’ Roses, Foo Fighters, Leeds, Reading and Glastonbury.

7. If you were organising a music festival, which three acts would you book as your headliners?

Just for the fun of it 90s cheese so things like Spice Girls, S Club 7, Steps and Chesney Hawkes.

8. If you could travel to anywhere in the world, where would it be and why?

I would love to travel back to 1985 and watch Live Aid concert because it’s probably the best concert ever, i’m watching it over and over again on YouTube just isn’t the same.

9. If you got stranded on a deserted island, what three things could you not live without?

I would never find myself stranded on a deserted island because the three things I would take with me is an aeroplane, my iPhone and a boat, and therefore Amazon will deliver everything I need anyway within 24 hours.

10. What is your favourite film and why?

As a former film reviewer, this is a very difficult question to answer. I like films that you can put on over and over again that you enjoyed watching again and again so there are a few films that like that, which include:

  • Moneyball
  • Begin Again
  • The Greatest Showman
  • The Dish (a lovely Australian film)
  • Amazing Grace
  • Erin Brockovich
  • The Social Network

11. Who would you like to play you in a movie of your life?

Funny you should ask me that question as we start casting for me and my wife in a few weeks time, as a film of my life is being made into a biopic in the next year.

12. What is your favourite book and why?

I don’t have a favourite book as I can’t really read as I’m dyslexic and so I watch films instead on TV for education and enjoyment.

13. If you were to write an autobiography, what would you call it?

The biopic about me is being called Finding My Feet.

14. If you could go back in time, where would you go?

I wouldn’t go back in time I will only go to the future has been disabled and go back in time is not good for you.

15. If you could be an animal, what would you be and why?

A bird as I love the idea of flying.

16. What is your worst habit?

Picking my nose and eat it. (Just joking)

17. Are you an early bird or night owl?

I’m an early bird as I have to catheterise about 6 o’clock in the morning and it’s very difficult to get back to sleep after you stick a 12 inch rod into your penis.

18. Which is your favourite season and why?

Summer as it’s easy to get around in a wheelchair.

19. As a child, what did you want to be when you grew up?

I wanted to be a famous cricket player and I was very good and could’ve played for England. Although Freddie Flintoff did score a century against me once as a teenager.

20. What is your dream job?

Being a writer, which is what I currently do.

To find out more about Simon Sansome, visit his blog Ability Access, like his Facebook Page and follow @simonsansome1 & @abilityaccess1 on Twitter.

ICYMI: Please check out my first interview of the RFD Question Time series with Gemma Orton at Wheelescapades.


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