May 2021 summary: May the freedom be upon us

Another constructive and successful month perfectly executed. Plenty of work completed at Disability Horizons, attended an interesting virtual workshop on disability campaigning, got my second Covid vaccination and got to go out and enjoyed a bit of freedom and the ‘new normal’.

Disability Horizons

My workload at Disability Horizons has been very varied. As well as my usual news content, I’ve been working on updating the face mask exemption article, wrote a piece on accessible attractions in Europe, results to a survey on lockdown restrictions easing and more content for the Disability Horizons Shop.

Here are all the pieces that have been published this month (some that I mentioned above won’t be published until next month):

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.

Disability campaigning workshop 

Last weekend I attended a virtual workshop on launching and running a disability campaign.

It was hosted by two well-known disability campaigners and fellow bloggers – Kerry Thompson at My Life Kerry’s Way and Fi Anderson at Life of an Ambitious Turtle.

They’ve both worked on successful and high-profile campaigns including Changing Places Toilets and access to cervical screenings – both of which I’ve reported on at Disability Horizons.

I was keen on getting some tips and advice on how to improve my audio description campaign (see details below), which I’ve been running for about 18 months.

They gave some great advice on how to engage more on social media, getting more people and/or organisations involved and who to try contact to discuss your concerns and try make the changes happen.

Covid vaccine – second dose

Managed to get my second Covid-19 vaccine this month. Actually, as I write this, I had it seven hours ago. All quick and easy and so far no major side effects except for a minor headache.

Enjoying the ‘new normal’

Although I know the second jab won’t be affective for another few weeks, I was still keen to enjoy a bit of the ‘new normal’. As I had to go up to Basingstoke anyway for my jab, which is about 12 miles away, I decided to make the most of the new freedom and go out for a meal and the cinema afterwards.

I thought the safety measures were fairly good all round. I understand the reasons why we need face masks but my God they’re annoying. I get too hot in them and they keep sliding off my nose or pinging off my ears. That’s the one restriction I will be thankful of not having next month.

I was also surprised that the cinema didn’t consider maintaining social distancing in for wheelchair users. Another lady in a wheelchair and myself were sat next to each other and due to the poor control of my right arm, I think my hand was brushing her armrest/arm, which made me feel slightly anxious and awkward. I assume neither of us had Covid and had a vaccine, but I still think the cinemas could have found a way to distance disabled guests as that is the guidelines.

Film

The film I went to see in the cinema was Disney’s Cruella, a prequal story about the famous villain Cruella Deville, her childhood and life before 101 Dalmatians.  There were a lot of revelations about her and what led to her wicked acts. There was definitely a lot of humour, emotion and an awesome soundtrack too.

Books

I’ve almost finished the Septimus Heap series. I’ve still found some of it hard to follow but still eager to read its finale.

Also, I still continue to find a lot of similarities to Harry Potter – my favourite being a character called Bertie Bott (in Harry Potter, they have Bertie Botts Every Flavoured Beans). They also briefly commented on an evil character as “you know who”, which of course is Lord Voldemort in Harry Potter.

The Septimus Heap series is good but I’m still very suspicious of where the author Angie Sage got her ideas from.

From next month, I’m hoping to be joining a Disability Horizons book club. Our first book is Burnt Sugar by Avni Doshi. It is love story between a mother and daughter. I’m curious to know if it’ll be a good read.

TV

I’ve watched more binge-worthy box sets this month. I watched a Netflix Original called Ginny and Georgia, which is about 15-year-old daughter Ginny and her 30-year-old mother Georgia, who moves from Texas to Massachusetts in search for a better life. I initially thought it would just be a generic teen rom com but there is a dark side and Ginny soon discovers Georgia isn’t who she says she is. There is a lot of humour and drama and ended on a very tense cliff-hanger. I’m looking forward to series two.

Another Netflix Original I watched was After Life. I do have mixed views on much of Ricky Gervais’ work, but this show was surprisingly good. As a journalist myself, I particularly found their ridiculous news stories hilarious.

I was also pleasantly surprised to see that the second series of Special was available on Netflix too. It was another funny series with twists and turns in Ryan’s crazy life as a gay man with cerebral palsy.

I’ve just started watching Sex Education, a British teen comedy on Netflix, which is predominantly about – yes you guessed it – sex! It has many similarities to The Inbetweeners, in which teens at a sixth form school do anything to try have sex. It also highlights many other topics such as gender, race, sexual orientation and disability too.

I also can’t not finish here without mentioning Friends: The Reunion, which broadcast the other day. When I first heard about this reunion and that it would be an unscripted show with the actors chatting, I was disappointed and not very excited about it.

However, after seeing clips of it all over the news the day it was broadcast, I was pleasantly surprised how good it looked. As I don’t have access to Sky One, I purchased a pass on NOW to stream it online.

I was thoroughly impressed with it and loved finding out how the show was created, how the characters were cast and many other behind-the-scenes revelations. If you are a Friends fan, it is definitely worth watching.

Audio Description petition

My campaign for audio description has continued throughout

May 2021 and the petition has now gained an outstanding 130 more signatures, making the total 2928 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 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!

In addition, I have a 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:

  1. Album Review: Typhoons by Royal Blood
  2. Accessibility features on TV streaming services – has access improved in 2021?
  3. Music Interview: Leaving Eden

5 favourite blog posts

 Here are my 5 favourite blog posts I’ve read this month: 

  1. Show business to big business at Martyn Sibley
  2. Live “Off-the-Grid” at CreativelyAble
  3. 5 Super Simple But Underrated Stress Relief Tips at Invisibly Me
  4. Disability: A hero or a victim? at Chloe Tear
  5. What’s New? at Brains on Wheels
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Published by Rock For Disability

This blog follows my life as a disabled person, reports disability news, share music reviews, give advice pieces, shows multimedia content plus much more!

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