March 2021 has been a productive and successful month with lots of work published, getting my Covid-19 vaccine and creating fitness with a difference.
It has been another jam-packed month at Disability Horizons HQ. I’ve published four interviews – blind comedian Chris McCausland, professional Strictly dancer Amy Dowden, deaf actress Gabriella Leon and actress and disability activist Shannon Murray.
I also published a couple of news stories and a featured article about disabled actors and characters in Netflix shows and films:
- £30 million invested to install Changing Places toilets in existing buildings across England
- Barack Obama in conversation with the stars of Crip Camp
- 8 Netflix Original shows and films with disabled actors and characters
In addition, I’ve been helping prepare content for Disability Horizons’ 10th anniversary, which is on 10th April 2021.
From 1st to 10th April, we are putting together a collection of exciting articles, videos, offers and social media posts, and we would love for you to be part of the celebrations. Here are a few ways you can get involved:
- Join us on social media using our dedicated hashtag #10yrsofDisabilityHorizons from 1st to 10th of April
- Tell us why you love Disability Horizons and what it means to be part of our community
- Tell us what you want for disabled people in the next 10 years – we’ll use these in an article on disability rights
- Send us a video or written birthday message
Send us photos of you from 10 years ago and now. To get involved, email firstname.lastname@example.org. We’ll be sharing the images and messages on social media and our website, so please include your social media handles.
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.
My featured content, product articles and sponsored posts for Disability Horizons can be viewed in my Journo Portfolio.
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 the Disability Horizons newsletter.
Back in January, I took part in AccessAble’s Survival Guide project, in which we share advice and tips on how to manage while shielding during the third lockdown.
My post was shared this week, which I mentioned how the internet has continued to give us access to work, education, entertainment and social lives and my hope for virtual access to events post-covid.
It can be hard when you’re hit with a dark mood to see what’s good and positive.. @P94Emma Reminds that we’re not alone when we have the internet and the connections it brings, #StaySafe
If you are finding it hard to cope and need help, don’t be afraid to reach out and ask 💗 pic.twitter.com/K09iWMZFEk
— AccessAble (@AccessAbleUK) March 22, 2021
I had my first Covid-19 vaccine! – although it is strange how I got it booked.
Basically, it had been almost a month since people with underlying health conditions were invited to have their vaccine, but I still haven’t received an invite.
I tried calling 119 on a few occasions but couldn’t get through. Then one Sunday I gave it another go and got through first time. I explained I have cerebral palsy and rely on carers and should be in the sixth priority group.
The operator then asked for my details such as my address and NHS number then checked the availability of appointments at my nearest vaccination centre. He booked me the first dose for 1st April and the second on 17th June – all done and dusted, or so it seemed!
The next day I received a text from my GP surgery, inviting me to have my vaccine – bloody typical! I opened the link on the text message to see if there were earlier appointments.
Luckily there was and I managed to book it online for that coming Friday. The downside was, I still had to drive 30 minutes up to Basingstoke, which is annoying when there is a perfectly good community hospital and sports centre round the corner from my house that could’ve been used as vaccination centres.
As for the vaccine itself, it was totally fine. I had the AstraZeneca vaccine and experienced no side effects. I have my second dose scheduled for Friday 28th May – yippee!
As I mentioned last month, I’ve been attempting dieting with a disability. A majority of the time I’ve been pretty good but had a few “chocolate slip ups” over the weekends – oh well we deserve treats over the weekend.
As well as the diet, I’ve been trying to find alternative ways to exercise while I’m still not able to attend physio. I like to call it fitness with a difference!
Firstly, I managed to get some resistance bands with handles and Velcro straps that I can attach to my wrists and ankles. I can attach them to my wheelchair and bed sides and get some exercise for about 20 minutes.
I do feel good stretches in my legs and arms and get a bit of a sweat on, which rarely happens to me.
In addition, thanks to a special wheelchair engineer (a.k.a daddy) I’ve now got electric leg raiser that I can control myself and able to elevate and stretch my legs anytime – look how relaxed I am.
I know it’s been a while since I mentioned live music. The sad news is The Killers show has been postponed again until May 2022.
There is still no update as to if and when the My Chemical Romance gig will take place. At the moment, it’s scheduled for 19th June 2021, two days before restrictions end – fingers crossed it still goes ahead!
Also this week, I purchased a ticket to see Jake Bugg in Southampton in April 2022. Although I successfully got the ticket, it irritated me that I couldn’t book over the phone and the online booking had limited time, which is difficult when trying to navigate the site with poor eye sight.
I would rather it gives you unlimited time to book the tickets because it takes many people time to read and type in details.
Instead I had to get my carer to type it for me but it meant sharing personal details with her.
I’m still working through the Septimus Heap series but finding book three a rather slow read to be honest. I’m hoping it will pick up more soon though.
My mission this month has been to complete the Buffy the Vampire Slayer series. I’ve binged watched series five and six in a couple of weeks and halfway through series seven, which are much more dramatic and darker.
I also watched a new film on Netflix called Yes Day, which is very similar to Yes Man with Jim Carrey but it’s the parents who have to say yes to everything their children ask, which you can expect caused some crazy incidents.
Audio Description petition
I encountered a strange incident recently regarding audio description. This time it is not about the availability of AD but the quality.
I ordered The Hunger Games film series on Apple TV+ because it included audio description. However, when I played the first film, the AD was far too loud and the dialogue was far too quiet.
I reported it to Apple and got a refund but it still disappointed me it couldn’t be fixed or resolved.
My campaign for audio description has continued throughout March 2021 and the petition has now got a total of 2573 signatures.
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 2021. 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: Vulgarithm
- 5 ways to succeed working from home
- Music Interview: Dean England
- RFD Question Time with Ami Ireland at Undercover Superhero
5 favourite blog posts
Here are my 5 favourite blog posts I’ve read this month:
- Firstly, what is strabismus? at The Life Quadriplegic
- Life in the Beautiful Countryside, Spoiled by Other People’s Rubbish at Despite Pain
- What Is Motherhood With A Disability? at Life of An Ambitious Turtle
- I’m Not Special – Language is Crucial at Wheelescapades
- Turning 30 at Hannah’s Hope
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