Leading up to today’s General Election, we wanted to get politicians thinking differently about disability.
So for the last 100 days we’ve shared 100 compelling, moving and at times, shocking stories from disabled people and their families.
We’ve worked with our story-tellers to share their stories with their local candidates – reminding politicians of the big and varied issues disabled people are facing.
No ‘typical disability story’
Parents, sport and young people
Parents have shared their stories about communicating with their disabled children, juggling their jobs with looking after their kids, what it’s like spending a lot of time in hospital and the importance of peer support.
And young people like Holly, Felix, Chloe and Nathan have shared their stories about their lives, aspirations and the challenges they’re facing. And young disabled campaigner Charlie told us what he would do if he was Prime Minister.
An overwhelming response
In the last 100 days we’ve had about 140,000 views of our story blogs and films, a huge increase from our usual blog and film viewings.
Our most popular story of the whole campaign was Carol’s, about life with an invisible impairment, followed closely by Alexandra’s story about being offered a termination while pregnant, and Jean’s story about getting a job with the bus company she made a complaint to.
We’ve had an overwhelming response to the stories on social media – nearly 60,000 people have liked, clicked, commented or shared the stories on Facebook and the hash tag #100days100stories has been tweeted more than 1,000 times just in the last month.
One Facebook supporter wrote: “This series is just brilliant. I have used several of the blogs as part of my MA research project. Keep sharing stories everyone. People need to hear them.”
In an article about charities’ pre-election campaigns, The Guardian wrote “we’ve especially liked how Scope has put its service users at the front of the campaign and enabled them to tell their story in their own words”.
The campaign has allowed our story-tellers to connect with politicians in a very direct and personal way.
There have been some great responses to people who have taken part in the campaign from existing MPs and prospective parliamentary candidates. Hearing directly from constituents always resonates far more with both of these groups.
Today’s the day to have your voice heard
Scope challenges politicians of all parties to improve the lives of disabled people – just as we have always done.
We’re calling on the next Government to raise disabled people’s living standards by supporting more disabled people into work; addressing the extra costs of disability and improving the support disabled people get to live independently.
It’s really important that politicians hear from disabled people – as Rosemary explains in her story. So today’s the day – go out, vote and have your voice heard!