November 2020 has been another productive month filled with tons of work, online events, being accepted onto a journalism mentoring scheme and much more.
As always, my workload at Disability Horizons has continued to be as busy as ever in November 2020. My interview with Royal Navy veteran Allen Parton is now published. Plus, I conducted an interview with blind actress Anna Cannings, who had a role in the BBC crime drama Strike.
I also published two news stories on the BBC marking the 25th anniversary of the Disability Discrimination Act and Paralympian Hollie Arnold taking part in I’m a Celebrity.
In addition, I’ve spent November 2020 writing up several featured pieces promoting products on the Disability Horizons Shop.
You can check out all my Disability Horizons content published this month in the blog roundup below.
Also, from today, all my Disability Horizons content is now available to view in one place on the Emma Purcell Author’s page. This link can also be accessed on the “Disability Horizons” button on the menu page on the left of this site.
To read my latest news stories, interviews and featured articles on a regular basis, as well as browse other content from the rest of the amazing DH team, subscribe to Disability Horizons newsletter.
Making the Most of Now: Kandu Group online events
This month, I was invited to take part for the Disability Horizons team in an online event with the organisation Kandu Group, which represents a range of disability companies and charities that support disabled people with independence and technology.
Making the Most of Now are three online events in which people share advice, tips and experiences in managing their lives with a disability, particularly during the coronavirus pandemic.
I took part in the second event – Making the Most of Now: Getting the Most out of Home Life. This was an interactive expert panel discussion & practical session for those with a disability on home life.
Topics included finding and creating accessible homes, maintaining your wheelchair, assistive technology and working from home.
In case you missed it, you can watch it again on Facebook or on the video below:
You can also catch up on the other Kandu Group events:
- Making the Most of Now: Boosting Your Physical & Metal Wellbeing
- Making the Most of Now: Accessing The Outdoors
Eight months after AccessAble staff became furloughed and the team unable to create travel and accessibility content due to lockdown measures, the AccessAble marketing team and AccessAble Champions are finally reunited and back to work.
November 2020, I got to create my first content since the start of the pandemic, with a video titled: AccessAble’s Guide to Blind Friendly Video Calls. I was inspired to create this after watching fellow Champion Ed’s video, AccessAble’s Guide to Deaf Friendly Video Calls.
With lockdown restrictions continuing, people still working from home and using video calls for meetings, events and socialising, I thought this would be a perfect video to advise people how to make video calls accessible to blind and visually impaired people.
Please follow my blog and on Facebook & Twitter to watch my video when it’s published.
The John Schofield Trust Mentoring Scheme
Back in March, I sent an application to the John Schofield Trust Mentoring Scheme for journalists. This week I received the exciting news that I’ve been accepted onto the scheme.
John Schofield was a young journalist who was killed in a Croatian conflict in 1995 while reporting there for the BBC. After his death, John’s wife Suzannah set up the John Schofield Trust to support young, aspiring journalists thrive in their careers.
In the next few weeks I should be matched up with my mentor and the scheme will begin 1st January and end 31st December 2021. I’m still awaiting further information but I’m assuming in early days it will be mostly virtual meetings then, once the pandemic is over, we can have in person meetings.
I was so surprised and honoured to be accepted. One because it’s been so long since I applied for it that I kind of forgot about it and second because I honestly didn’t think I’d even be considered. I’m looking forward to meeting my mentor and this year’s other mentees.
Talking of virtual meetings, due to the second lockdown, my drama classes at the West End Centre have been moved to Zoom video calls.
Instead of our usual Christmas production, we’ve decided to record a short piece of us trying to rehearse last years production in a similar style to the BBC show Staged that stars Michael Sheen and David Tennant.
So far, we’ve had two session and I think it is going well. There is the classic tech issues such as internet cutting and people muting but it is still a lot of fun.
As some of you may know I’m an avid reader and been a membership of Audible for almost ten years now.
Throughout November 2020, I’ve managed to read quite a few books. I read the autobiographies Once Upon a Tyne by Ant & Dec and Life is What You Make It by Phillip Schofield. I find these books about famous people fascinating; finding out about their early lives, how they started out in their careers, behind the scenes gossip and stories of their friends, family and relationships.
I then moved onto one-off fictional novels. I first read The Bermondsey Bookshop by Mary Gibson, which is set in 1920’s London and follows the story of Kate Goss’ struggle against poverty, hunger and cruel family secrets.
The interesting part for me was she discovers she has a younger brother with a disability, and we find out how disabled children were treated in those days.
After that I came across the debut novel by Ruth Jones, who is best known for co-writing and starring in the BBC sitcom Gavin & Stacey.
Never Greener is a story about a love affair that happened 17 years ago, resurfaces to the present and unleashes heartbreak, loss and lies to those around them.
It does have a similar vibe to Gavin and Stacey in that the characters are spread between England, Scotland and Wales and it has the complication of which person is right for who.
The overall story was good but I admit the ending was rather strange and abrupt and seemed to have fat forward a bit too much.
Now I’ve just begun the new book by one of my favourite authors, Sophie Kinsella, who writes romantic and contemporary fiction.
Love Your Life is about a woman called Ava who travels to Italy for a writing retreat and ends up falling in love with a man. They later discover thir lifestyles are completely different.
As well as all these books I’ve read so far, I’ve got several novels and book series still to read. Audible has so many discounts, deals and competitions that I can’t stop buying books.
I am still slowly working my way through Buffy the Vampire Slayer and Taskmaster but the next three weeks are being filled with my ultimate guilty pleasure I’m a Celebrity… Get Me Out Of Here! This year’s line up is incredible and the fact it is set in a castle makes it more exciting. Plus, any show with Ant & Dec I love!
I’m also glad to see the return of the medical draama Holby City and the fantasy drama His Dark Materials, which is based on my favourite book trilogy by Phillip Pullman.
Audio Description petition
My campaign for audio description has continued throughout November 2020 and the petition has now gained another 434 more signatures, making the total 2336 signatures, which is awesome!
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. 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!
In addition, I’ve launched a new guest blog series called “RFD Question Time with…” where I interview disabled people and/or bloggers. If you’d like to be interviewed in this series, please also contact me.
Blog post roundup
In case you missed any of my blog posts this month, here is a roundup of them:
- DH News: BBC marks 25 years of the Disability Discrimination Act
- RFD Question Time with Kerry Thompson at My Life, Kerry’s Way
- My thoughts on coronavirus – 231 days onwards
- Music Interview Marathon 2020
- DH News: Paralympian Hollie Arnold MBE set to take part in I’m a Celebrity 2020
- Allen Parton: the Royal Navy veteran whose life was saved by his assistance dog Endal
- 10 accessible Christmas gifts that are stylish, fun and practical for disabled people
- RFD Question Time with Andy Dovey at Brain Attack Music
- RFD Question Time with Lucy Currier at Inclusive Living Concepts
- 8 useful or unique PPE items on the Disability Horizons Shop
- Music Interview: Fatal Switch
5 favourite blog posts
Here are my 5 favourite blog posts I’ve read this month:
- Why lockdown is necessary: it’s not about YOU by Alex Squire at The Life Quadriplegic
- The Fear of Not Knowing Where I’ll Be Next Year: OT Week 2020 by Georgia Vine at Not So Terrible Palsy
- Therapy and Me by Martyn Sibley
- Exclusive: Guy Whittingham on being Pompey manager ‘I enjoyed every minute of it until I was sacked’ by Freddie Webb at Pompey News Now
- Fun Wheelchair Facts and Stories at The Wheelchair Teen
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