We need radical discussion

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I feel disability is in a mess because of the way the sick movement have hogged the attention and reinforced notions of dependency. I believe the move the agenda past these terrible and crazy times, we need radical discussions of the future of the inclusion agenda where real disabled people have an opportunity to have a real voice in the issues that affects them, where no stone is left untouched. Everything should be up for grabs as we re-establish our priorities and plan of attack against the sick movement.

 

We are reaching a divining moment in the history of disability which can not be ignored.

 

If you like what I say, have a look at my site at www.simonstevens.com or follow me on twitter, @simonstevens74, or even leave me feedback on +44 (0)121 364 1974 or email simon@simonstevens.com  


Why are disabled people assumed to be poor?

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The most frustrating myth arising from the welfare reforms is that all disabled people are always poor because if they are victims, what else would they be. While there is a traditional link between disability and poverty, I must wonder as the physical and attitudinal barriers from others reduce, we must assume that a new generation of disabled people will fully employed and access many new opportunities, and therefore will not be ‘poor’, whatever that means.

 

While charities and activists complain about the stereotyping of disabled people, they are the ones will reply upon these stereotypes to reinforce the victimhood ideologically. If people believe motability cars were made available to the rich, as well as the poor, it would weaken their arguments. By labelling disabled people poor, by the logic of self fulfilling prophecies, they are keeping disabled people poor!

 

Disabled people are as diverse as any other section of the population and therefore may be poor and may indeed not be poor!

 

If you like what I say, have a look at my site at www.simonstevens.com or follow me on twitter, @simonstevens74, or even leave me feedback on +44 (0)121 364 1974 or email simon@simonstevens.com  


Equality in Nigeria and Prague

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I often get the impression that despite my many articles and the fact I am in total control of my life, people often do not grasp the fact I lead a normal like. They have been many adventures in my life with demonstrates how inclusive and normally unusual my life have been.

 

The first was a students style summer project I did in Nigeria in 1994 with forty or so students from the UK teaching English and other subjects to local children in Lagos. To cut a very long story short, it was a nightmare of an adventure where I walked away quite unwell physically and maybe emotionally, but with many wonderful and powerful memories. The personal achievement for was I was the only disabled person on the project and while I had my fair share of difficulties, I did not allow this to prevent me from making my contribution.

 

In 1996, I did another similar project in Prague, where I ended up playing one of three Romeos and Julliets in a very special version of the play there are is, which I also helped write. Again I was the only disabled participant and an equal member of the group. For me, I believe the only way to change society is to get stuck in and demonstrate what disabled people can achieve, not sit on the sidelines complaining how I am not included!

 

If you like what I say, have a look at my site at www.simonstevens.com or follow me on twitter, @simonstevens74, or even leave me feedback on +44 (0)121 364 1974 or email simon@simonstevens.com  

 

My antidisestablishmentarianism

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Antidisestablishmentarianism is one of the longest words in the England language and means a movement that is against the dismantling of an establishment, namely the Church of England. But I wish to use it to show I am against the dismantling of government in the widest sense but in a manner than recognises the complex issues involved. I also just like the word and someone thats looks more posh and complex than it is actually is.

 

I would like the term to portray while I am controversial but actually more mainstream than people give me credit for!

 

If you like what I say, have a look at my site at www.simonstevens.com or follow me on twitter, @simonstevens74, or even leave me feedback on +44 (0)121 364 1974 or email simon@simonstevens.com  


Being Unpopular

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I have always preferred to be right according to my values and beliefs rather than be popular and since writing for the Huffington Post, I have certainly become infamous and unpopular for telling things as I see them. While some of the veil comments I have received have been hurtful, they have not really bothered me as there is no such thing as bad publicity and the fierce reaction I have received as just increased by influence as the majority of people will take my comments on board but will clearly be too scared to say what they really think because of veil comments I may receive themselves.

 

Being truthful to myself is far more important to trying to conform and win the popularity of people who do not care about me and will never care about me as they remain trapped in their own angry and bitterness. I am a real activist because I will make a difference whatsoever I need to do according to them.

 

If you like what I say, have a look at my site at www.simonstevens.com or follow me on twitter, @simonstevens74, or even leave me feedback on +44 (0)121 364 1974 or email simon@simonstevens.com  


Why do some people seen resentful of cerebral palsy?

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The politics of impairment is really complex and while many disabled activists that disabled people are an united group with common goals, this is far from the truth and there have always been tensions between differing impairment groups as one person fails the under the needs of other. In this context and after recent events, I would like to suggest that some people appear to recent people with cerebral palsy for reasons I find interested.

 

I feel as someone with cerebral palsy, I am often told I am lucky and I have it easy, because my impairment is visible. I also feel people are jealous of the level of support I receive without any willingness to accept the additional difficulties I may face. Cerebral Palsy is a traditional impairment which has long been out of fashion but its stability of identity is attractive to those who feel hard done by.

 

We need to value every impairment and recognition the specific and individual difficulties each one brings which can not be compared.

 

If you like what I say, have a look at my site at www.simonstevens.com or follow me on twitter, @simonstevens74, or even leave me feedback on +44 (0)121 364 1974 or email simon@simonstevens.com  


If you do not like this wonderful country, leave!

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It seems to me that since 2010 and the change in the government, it has become very fashionable to criticise what is a wonderful country, Great Britain and make extreme claims of how people human rights are being violated because they are not getting what they want when they want it. My reply to this is if this country is so bad, leave and find another country to moan about!

 

I challenge these persistent whingers to show me a better country for disabled people in terms physical access, social care, attitudes, financial support and public transport as a whole because I do not know any other country which comes close to the quality of life disabled people have in the UK. It is time many disabled people took a minute away from their self indulgence misery and actually appreciated the opportunities provided to them they feel fit to waste.

 

This is a wonderful country that deserves wonderful people, not those who always criticise it!

 

If you like what I say, have a look at my site at www.simonstevens.com or follow me on twitter, @simonstevens74, or even leave me feedback on +44 (0)121 364 1974 or email simon@simonstevens.com  


Needs vs entitlements

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I believe there is a big difference between needs and entitlements in terms of both welfare benefits and social care. I see entitlement has someone people get between of specific labels given to them from various tick box assessments. The entitlements are often fixed amounts opt benefits or services which go somewhere to compensate people for the difficulties they are having and its an estimate and does not really fit neatly to the real needs people have.

 

Needs have to be considered to be individual and I believe are formed by understanding someone’s goals and therefore outcomes, along with their abilities and difficulties. If we had a combined welfare and social care system that really met individual’s specific needs, where they were no winners or losers, then I think it would change the conversation and remove people from the dependency culture that currently exists.

 

I think the meeting of needs as a matter of course rather than fixed entitlements has to be the way forward and it will happen.

 

If you like what I say, have a look at my site at www.simonstevens.com or follow me on twitter, @simonstevens74, or even leave me feedback on +44 (0)121 364 1974 or email simon@simonstevens.com  


Who is being spat in the street?

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As I tried to discuss is my now infamous Huffington Post blog here, what do people mean when they say they are spat in the street because they are disabled? They seem to be suggesting that they are victims of unprovoked attacks in very public places by complete strangers who seemly showing a dislike for them because they are disabled. 

 

I unfortunately can not believe it is that simply and the venomous hostility I have received in the past week by so-called disabled people and other over the fact I have said I am doing some work with ATOS, leads me to conclude that a part of problem is the large chip on their shoulders as they go around their neighbourhood demanding respect from others because they are disabled with no willingness to give respect, because again, they are disabled. They often feel they have a right to be rude to others, which they have been to myself, but that no one can be rude to them because that’s hate crime!

 

The reason why the truth about hate crime is not being discussed because too many user led charities are benefiting from the fantasy they have created,

 

If you like what I say, have a look at my site at www.simonstevens.com or follow me on twitter, @simonstevens74, or even leave me feedback on +44 (0)121 364 1974 or email simon@simonstevens.com  

 

Are most disability activists female?

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I have met many disability activists in my time and I have reached a personal conclusion that a majority of them appear to be women, which I find interesting and certainly not a bad thing. I have always been interest of the physiology and sociology of identity in terms of impairment and identity, and the additional of gender to the mix adds an extra layer. I believe because the sick role, how society accepts sickness, was originally designed for the working man, many men find it easy to assume the passive role of being cared for.

 

Women have previously been denied the right to have time off to be sick, expected to continue managing a home and a family while quietly suffering while men could have time in bed when they were sick. The transfers into to impairment and I feel there is an unconscious feminist rebellion going on to reclaim their previously hidden identity as disabled and/so sick women. I find myself discussing more on twitter to female activists than male ones. I think also because I am gay and I have feminine thought processes, I can relate to them on some level. 

 

If you like what I say, have a look at my site at www.simonstevens.com or follow me on twitter, @simonstevens74, or even leave me feedback on +44 (0)121 364 1974 or email simon@simonstevens.com