Today is the International Day of Persons with Disabilities (IDPD). The theme this year is “Transformation towards a sustainable and resilient society for all” and the UN agenda pledges to “leave no one behind”. But far too often, disabled people are left behind and it doesn’t feel like our society really is working for all.
Scope’s new strategy is focused on everyday equality but we can’t do it alone – it requires a collective effort of everyone working together. On IDPD, we’re highlighting some of the amazing campaigners and storytellers we’ve been working with this year.
Shani is tackling extra costs
From expensive equipment to higher energy bills, disabled people and their families pay more for everyday essentials. Support to meet these costs, such as Personal Independent Payments, often falls short. When you face so many extra costs, it can stop you from being able to go out and do things like everyone else.
That’s why Shani launched the Diversability Card – a discount card for disabled people. As well as helping to alleviate some of the financial pressure, it also aims to be a catalyst for change by raising awareness of the value of disabled consumers. Find out more about extra costs and the Diversability Card on the website.
Will is campaigning to make public places accessible
Last year, Will made a short film to highlight the poor disabled access found up and down our high streets. As a wheelchair user, he wanted to demonstrate how frustrating this is from his everyday perspective. He also wanted to draw attention to the fact that businesses are losing multiple paying customers.
The film went viral and thousands of people signed his petition. Alongside his job as a games developer, Will has continued campaign on accessibility – attending events in Parliament and speaking on TV. Read more about Will’s campaigning in this blog.
Christie is raising awareness to change negative attitudes
Christie’s daughter Elise is a happy, smiley two year old girl who has cerebral palsy. Elise has a bright future ahead of her because Christie is determined to overcome any barriers they face. Barriers like negative attitudes, expensive equipment and inaccessible playgrounds.
Christie is a Scope storyteller and local campaigner and she also shares their journey through her page ‘Elise Smashed It’. She hopes that by raising awareness she will educate people, create change and help other parents and children with cerebral palsy. Find out more about Christie and Elise’s achievements on their Facebook page.
Dan and Emily are tackling the lack of disabled characters
When Dan’s daughter Emily asked why there weren’t any wheelchair users on TV, he knew that something had to change. A wheelchair user herself, Emily always wanted to find characters and people that she could relate to, but they were so hard to find.
Together, they created The Department of Ability comic book, featuring a cast of superheroes whose impairments are their greatest superpower – and Emily has a staring role! Read more about Dan and Emily’s adventures in their blog.
Carly is making sure autistic women and girls are safe and supported
Carly is an Autism advocate and speaker. She wasn’t diagnosed with autism until she was 32, after years without support, feeling “like a second class normal person” and being told that “autism only happens to boys”. When two of her daughters were diagnosed, she noticed a huge lack of understanding when it came to autism and girls, and she’s been working to change that ever since.
From her own experiences, Carly knows that there are serious consequences to not being diagnosed and she has dedicated her life to making sure women and girls are protected and supported.
As well as speaking and networking, Carly has been to the UN to ensure the rights of autistic women and girls are protected and she created a free online safeguarding course. She’s also passionate about changing attitudes towards autism and runs events for autistic children, where they can invite anyone they like. Find out more about Carly’s story on her website. You can also buy Carly’s book about autism and girls.