A lot of people don’t know a disabled person or really understand their life. As a result, almost two thirds of us feel awkward, panic or avoid interaction with disabled people – and that goes for politicians as much as anyone else.
At Scope we want the public to get to know disabled people, so we understand each other better and feel less awkward.
One way we do this is by sharing stories. For the last couple of years we’ve been working to give disabled people and their families a platform to tell their story – on our blog and YouTube channel, on the pages of our website, in our campaigns, and even in our fundraising.
Nothing is more powerful when it comes to challenging attitudes.
John lived in a care home for years, but he was always determined to be more independent. Now he is a tenant in his own shared home, and is supported by his local Scope service to organise his life as he chooses.
Danielle was struggling to cope with her son Aaron’s challenging behaviour. No one realised that he had autism, and there was no one to offer her any support. She’s now a befriender with our Face 2 Face service, and when she shared her story on our blog, other parents got in touch to say they’d been there too.
One hundred voices
In the 100 days between now and the general election on May 7, we’re going to publish a new story every day from disabled people and their families.
Some of them have a dramatic experience to share. Some will talk about a particular cause that’s close to their heart. Some just want to tell the world what it’s like to be a disabled person living in the UK today.
There are as many different experiences of disability as there are individuals, and we want to reflect that in the stories we share.
The storytellers, with our support, will make sure their local politicians see or hear their story.
Politicians of all parties have made a big difference to the lives of disabled people. It is 20 years since the Disability Discrimination Act, which enshrined in law disabled people right to be treated equally.
And we have come a long way in the past two decades – the Paralympics, for example, was a break-through moment. But in some ways society is still playing catch-up.
We hope this project will contribute to politician’s understanding of disabled people and their families in 2015, and lay the foundations for policies that make this country a better place for disabled people.
If you’re a disabled person or have a disabled family member and would like your story to be part of this project, please email firstname.lastname@example.org.