Tag Archives: youtube

YouTube gave me back the things I lost

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This story is part of 30 Under 30.

 

Shelly is a YouTube vlogger. She was diagnosed with a range of complex medical conditions at an early age and spent most of her childhood at home, in bed. She has recently been diagnosed with Ehlers-Danlos syndrome (EDS).

For 30 Under 30, Shelly talks about how the internet, vlogging and YouTube have allowed her to regain a social life.

I’m a show off. Ever since I was five, I wanted to be an actress. I wanted to be on the stage. Not on TV or anything but on the stage! I saw musicals and stuff when I was a kid and I was like “I want to be up there! I want to do that!”

To have to give that up was difficult.

I got sick when I was seven years old with a stomach problem. I just thought it was stomach flu but I never really got over it. Then at 13, I had to drop out of school when I was diagnosed with Myalgic Encephalopathy (ME) which slowly, steadily got worse.
It just drained the hell out of me and gave me multiple problems at the same time.

Then, at 15, I was diagnosed with Multiple Chemical Sensitivity (MCS) which meant that I couldn’t take medication.

Video editing software showing an edit of one of Shelly's videos

Losing the life I was meant to have

I was not happy at all. I didn’t go out, didn’t go clubbing, didn’t meet boyfriends and girlfriends, I didn’t meet friends, I didn’t have all the kind of firsts you’re meant to have.

I didn’t have any friends because the only friends you have at that age are school friends aren’t they? I couldn’t even hang out with them on the weekend because I couldn’t get out of bed.

I became a loner really fast.

I got the internet in the end and met friends. Then I found a group of young people with ME and the internet opened me back up to having a social life. It wasn’t a physical social life as I still couldn’t get out of the house, but at least I was talking to people again!

I’d become really shy because I didn’t know how to talk to people. Being socially isolated, I hadn’t learnt how to talk as an adult and was still stuck as a 13 year old in a 21 year old body.

Shelly lies in bed typing on her laptop.

Becoming a vlogger

One day, I came across YouTube. I was hooked and came across English vlogger Carrie Hope Fletcher. I was looking at her videos, the way she edits and makes videos made sense to me. So I just started making videos randomly! I then found out about BookTube via a fellow ME Booktuber and friend, Daisy (AtThousandLivesofDaisy). That’s when my two interests came together – books and vlogging!

Benefits of vlogging

YouTube is a great platform and vlogging is a great way of opening up to the world without having to fit to parameters. You can do it at five o’clock in the morning, you can do it on your phone, you can do it without all the tech wizardry. I edit on Windows Movie Maker, I’ve never bought a piece of editing software in my life, I’ve never bought anything in my life to do YouTube. You literally just do it and start talking.

It’s a great way to spread awareness. You could vlog your day and show how your illness affects you. Being disabled, being bed bound, being chronically ill, you are limited and kind of stuck in your world sometimes. Vlogging just opens the world.

It’s a great way to take your mind off of life. I haven’t been doing very well so this has been my outlet. I can’t go out and do the things I want to do so this is my version of going out, talking to people, going to book groups and things like that.

This is what illness looks like

I think it’s great when disabled vloggers talk about their impairments on YouTube. You are showing real life and what it takes to get up out of bed and get ready and have as much of a “normal” day as possible like everybody else does. The only way people are going to notice is if you show or tell people. Otherwise you’d just be in the corner, in the dark, where nobody can see.

I don’t talk about the bad times, I don’t want to. I’m British with a stiff upper lip. Keep Calm and Carry On! I try to put a positive spin on things. I don’t want to sound like I’m a grumpy person moaning all the time but I’m sick. I suppose it’s just being honest and showing people that this is what illness looks like, don’t ignore it.

Shelly is holding a book and has a finger to her lips to signify that she wants someone to be quiet.

Shelly is sharing her story as part of our 30 Under 30 campaign. This is where we are releasing one story a day throughout June from disabled people under 30 who are doing extraordinary things. Read other stories from 30 Under 30.

Visit Shelly’s YouTube page or follow her on Twitter.

Grace Mandeville reveals how to become a star on YouTube

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This story is part of 30 Under 30.

 

Grace Mandeville is a popular YouTube vlogger, as well as an actor, model and blogger. However, Grace says she just spends her whole life on Twitter!

As part of 30 Under 30 she talks to us about making videos, attitudes and her top tips for getting started on YouTube. 

How I started doing YouTube videos

I was going for an audition and I was talking to some of the other people in there and they were like ‘Oh I have a show reel on YouTube’. Suddenly I thought, with acting you have to wait for someone to say ‘yes you can have this role’ and tell you what to do, but with  YouTube you can just do it yourself, there’s no waiting.

I was born with what’s called a foreshortened limb. I just say I’ve got one hand – my arm ends just below the elbow. I found it really easy breaking into YouTube as a disabled person. I didn’t talk about my arm for quite a long time, just because I didn’t think it was an important thing to mention. It doesn’t define me. But then I did a collab with another YouTuber and there was loads of horrible comments about my arm on their video. That’s what upset me more – I didn’t think it was fair to them.

So I did a video and started talking about it. My audience has been really accepting and if that means that 75,000 people in the world have changed their attitudes towards it, then I’m happy with that!

Full length photo of Grace, standing in the middle of a road in the countryside.

Attitudes

I’ve had a few negative comments online. I did a video called ‘I have one hand’ and started it by making a joke saying my sister flushed it down the toilet, then I end up telling them the truth. I got a few people commenting saying ‘it’s all good, in a few years’ time you’ll be able to hide that and make your arm look normal again with the prosthetics that are being built these days.’ And I was like ‘no, did you not watch the video? I just said ‘I’m happy the way I am and I don’t want to change it.’ So they’re not exactly trolls but those are the comments that get to me. They obviously still don’t get what I’m trying to say.

There can be  negative attitudes in the TV world too. Not necessarily from actors but more like casting directors. There are a lot of auditions that I go for, where I turn up and they’re just looking for disabled people which is cool because I think it’s a step in the right direction and they need to include more diversity, but I want to go for parts because of my acting not because I have one hand. And that’s a big thing that I want to change so badly. For people to focus on the skills. Basically – just give me a good acting job!

Role models

There are very few disabled people on YouTube so I encourage it as much as possible. Even though I’m one of the few people doing it, I don’t see myself as a role model at all. What a lovely thing though. I do get nice messages from young disabled people. Especially on YouTube because I think it’s such an accessible way to connect people and on Twitter as well.

Head shot of Grace looking off to the side, next to a neon sign of Coca Cola

My top tips for breaking into YouTube

Talk about something you’re interested in

Don’t just talk about make-up because you think that’s a cool think to talk about. I couldn’t talk about make-up but I love watching the videos. Which is why we do comedy.

Don’t make them too long

Make your videos short and be concise. They can always watch more of your videos if they want more of you, but you don’t want them to lose interest.

Be topical

If you want your channel to grow, be topical. We did a sketch on Valentine’s Day that was about Valentine’s Day. So you can tweet it out on Valentine’s Day and everyone that’s interested in Valentine’s Day will watch your video. You don’t always have to be topical but it is good.

Get people involved

Make videos with people you want to make videos. I make them with my sister. Even if they annoy you, they might be better on camera than you!

Go for it

The great thing about it is you don’t need anyone’s permission – apart from your parents if you’re young. So you should just do it. I really wish that I did it like three years before I actually started it!

Grace joins us for a Facebook Live session at 4pm on Friday 17 June.

She is sharing her story as part of 30 Under 30. We are releasing one story a day throughout June from disabled people under 30 who are doing extraordinary things. Keep up to date with all of our new stories on our 30 under 30 page.

To see more from Grace, follow her on Twitter.

“YouTube is really great for talking about disability” Landie, vlogger and entrepreneur

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This story is part of 30 Under 30.

 

Joe Land AKA Landie is a 19 year-old video blogger (vlogger) who also owns a business called Social Land. Joe has hypotonia which affects his muscles.

As part of our 30 Under 30 campaign, Joe talks about his passion for making and editing YouTube videos, starting a business, attitudes online and gives some tips for anyone who wants to start vlogging.

My interests and hobbies involve spending a lot of time making and editing YouTube videos. I especially enjoy the editing side of it. When you edit a video and it looks good and you’re proud of it, it’s a nice feeling.

Attitudes to disability on YouTube

When I first started making YouTube videos, people didn’t know I was a wheelchair-user at that point. The reason I didn’t say anything was because it didn’t really matter. But then, when I started to vlog, you could quite blatantly see that I use a wheelchair.

My followers’ attitudes didn’t really change. If they do bring it up, that’s fine, they’re just curious. If someone asks what’s wrong with me or asks questions – I see that as a good thing. The worst thing is when I’m out or something and there are just some people you can just tell are a little bit awkward. They obviously want to ask a question but they don’t. I just hate that. That’s the one thing that really annoys me because I don’t want people to feel awkward.

Landie, a young disabled man in a wheelchair, sits in front of two computer screens and is editing a movie in advanced software

The reactions to the videos I’ve made about disability have actually been the best I’ve got. The videos have around 200 views but 40 comments which is a lot in comparison. People respond to it really well and it makes people ask questions.

I think the videos are quite good at making people be honest with you and interact with you because I’m making the video about it and I’m clearly not trying to hide anything. People quite like personal videos and that’s about as personal as it gets isn’t it really?

My tips for vlogging

The advice I would give to someone who is thinking about vlogging is don’t make it false. There’s nothing worse than when you watch peoples’ videos and you can quite clearly tell that that’s not who they actually are and that they’re trying to copy someone. Getting inspiration from someone is good but when people try to flat out copy, it’s just really cringey.

I use a Canon DSLR which is perfect for filming vlogs where I’m sitting still. But to be honest, you can definitely just vlog using your smartphone. If you are out and about, vlogging on your phone camera is ideal, especially with something like an iPhone 6 onwards.

People really worry about being awkward in front of a camera but, as long as you just act normal, it’s not going to seem awkward for the people watching it. If you worry too much about how you’re coming across, you can give the wrong impression. Don’t do it if you just want to get the subscribers because it doesn’t work like that. You’ve got to enjoy it to get the subscribers!

Landie, a young disabled man in a wheelchair, films himself using a digital camera

Joe is sharing his story as part of our 30 Under 30 campaign. We are releasing one story a day throughout June from disabled people under 30 who are doing extraordinary things. Catch up on all the stories so far on our 30 under 30 page.

To see and hear more from Joe visit his YouTube channel.

My little sister, who happens to have Down’s syndrome

Agi Kolaczynska (11) has been making films about her little sister, who has Down’s syndrome, since she was eight. Here she talks about film-making, changing attitudes about Down’s syndrome and what sparked off her ‘My Little Sister’ project.

I have been an enthusiastic filmmaker since I got my first camera on my sixth birthday, and have taken it everywhere with me ever since, filming and taking photographs of everything – and I mean everything.

When I was eight, my mum found a great new website called Netbuddy (which is now part of Scope) who were running a short film competition. She suggested I make a film about what it’s like being Magdalena’s sister. The deadline was that night, so I engrossed myself in editing a year’s-worth of footage I’d taken of me and Magdalena. I called it My Little Sister (who happens to have Down’s syndrome) and uploaded it to Netbuddy.

My film won the competition, and I started getting lovely messages and feedback from all over the world. People were asking me “when is the next one coming out?” and I thought wouldn’t it be be fun to make this into a lifelong project. So, I made a website and started blogging about our lives together. The film – which now has 23K views on YouTube – became the first episode of “My Little Sister (who happens to have Down’s syndrome)”. It now has ten episodes in total, with more to come.

Changing perceptions of Down’s syndrome

From the feedback I was getting, I could see my films were changing what people thought about Down’s syndrome. They were encouraging other families to feel good about the future. As I got older I experienced some of the stereotyped ideas people have about Down’s syndrome, and how hurtful these could be to Magdalena and the people who loved her. This made me want to make more films to show the world all the magical moments we shared, and the parts of Magdalena’s character they would see if they looked beyond the Down’s syndrome.

As I heard other people’s stories and experiences of how hard it had been for people with Down’s syndrome in the past, I felt even more strongly about the need to stand up for my sister and other people with Down’s syndrome. I started getting messages from people who knew nothing about Down’s syndrome or had had a completely different view before they had watched my films. Others started asking questions about Down’s syndrome. People were writing to me from all around the world and featuring my films on their blogs in Spain, America, Morocco and loads of other places.

The National Youth Film Festival Awards

Last Autumn I submitted my films to the National Youth Film Festival Awards and was amazed when, a few weeks later, I received a phone call saying I’d been shortlisted for the ‘Ones To Watch award.’ This award was to honour young people with “exceptional talent and ambition in film.” It felt amazing to be recognised for doing something I loved.

An invitation followed to attend the Gala Award Ceremony at the Vue Cinema in Leicester Square. So we trooped down to London, not really knowing what to expect. It was very glitzy, like the Oscars, with actors and producers and golden envelopes with the winners names in. As the winners walked on stage to be presented with their award, their images were blown up huge on the cinema screen.

To be honest, I felt overwhelmed as I had never experienced anything like it before. I didn’t expect to be called on stage, as I didn’t expect to win, but suddenly I heard my name called up, and I had won! Jim Carter from Downton Abbey presented me with my award and I really enjoyed meeting the other young filmmakers, hearing about their projects and asking people what films they liked watching.

Winning the award has made me determined to learn more, and this year I am going to think about how to get access to better equipment, training and a better website. Most of all, I will carry on enjoying spending time with my sister and making movies.

Check out Agi’s blog and website  See Agi on YouTube and follow her on Facebook

Our top Twitter and Facebook moments of 2013

As we get ready to bring in the New Year we’ve been looking back at what we achieved with your support in 2013. Here are some of the top Twitter and Facebook moments from 2013 that got you liking, commenting and retweeting.

Celebrating achievements

Jack Caroll - text reads: Good luck Jack!

Two of our most popular Facebook posts were about the achievements of two young people with Cerebral Palsy. 14-year-old Jack Carroll hit the headlines in May when he came second in the final of Britain’s Got Talent with his comedy. Our good luck message on Facebook got over 2,000 likes.

In November we shared the news that seven-year-old Holly had been chosen to model in a new campaign for Boden clothing. Holly and her great achievement received over 1,200 likes.

Campaigning and influencing the Government

When MPs started debating the Children and Families Bill in February we wanted to make sure disabled children were not forgotten by Michael Gove, the Secretary for Education. Almost 200 people joined our Thunderclap and thousands of you used the hashtag on Twitter #GoveUsABreak which helped get the message to over 4 million Twitter accounts!

More recently, many of you shared stories of how your child had been excluded from activities in your local area on Facebook. Read the latest news on the Bill from the Council For Disabled Children.

Woman with post-it on mouth which reads: I care

We’ve also been campaigning about social care this year. Our Britain Cares campaign asked people to send in a photo to show that they care about social care for disabled people. Thousands of you have sent in photos, shared the campaign on Facebook and Twitter, and our YouTube video has now had over 180,000 views.

In October, with the Care Bill going through Parliament, we joined with other charities in the Care and Support Alliance to ask “What do you do with yours?” and raise awareness for the importance of social care.

Challenging attitudes towards disabled people

The #HeardWhilstDisabled hashtag is used to share some of the things said to, or overheard by, disabled people. BBC Ouch wrote an excellent story about the hashtag with some of the worst examples such as “Isn’t it lovely to see them out and about?”.

This tweet was sent following the Panorama expose on the Work Programme. Panorama reported that disabled people were referred to as LTBs – lying, thieving bastards. We spoke out about how completely unacceptable this was. Read our full response to Panorama.

In February we were outraged when Councillor Collin Brewer said that “disabled children cost the council too much money and should be put down.” Hundreds of you shared the news, commented on the story and were pleased when we shared the news of his resignation shortly afterwards.

Raising awareness

We’ve also been using Facebook and Twitter to increase awareness for impairments and conditions such as Down Syndrome, Autism and Cerebral Palsy.

For World Down Syndrome Day in March our post sharing Sarah and Phillip’s story on Facebook reached nearly 35,500 people.

For World Autism Awareness day in April we shared a post from Ambitious about Autism asking people to share what ‘Autism is’ to them. Thanks to the support of Keith Duffy, we potentially reached almost 300,000 people on Twitter. 

And for World Cerebral Palsy Day in October we asked you what you thought everyone should know about Cerebral Palsy and summarised your responses in a blog which has been read over 7,000 times.

Thank you for all your support in 2013. If you don’t already you can follow us on Twitter, subscribe to us on YouTube and like us on Facebook.

Top 5 videos challenging attitudes to disability in 2013

As the year draws to a close, we’ve been looking back at the videos which got people talking about disability in 2013. Here are our top 5.

What have we missed? Let us know in the comments below.

#BornRisky Alternative Voices

Channel 4 recruited five people with communication difficulties to join their continuity team in December.  “An estimated 2.5 million people in the UK have some kind of communication impairment. We want to give them a platform and normalise the presence of disabled people on TV by adding fresh, representative voices to the rich diversity of our existing pool of announcers.” Find out more about the campaign and read our guest post from one of the announcers.

Five-year-old signs for parents

Claire Koch from America got the internet smiling when she was filmed enthusiastically signing for her deaf parents during her school Christmas carol performance so that they could fully enjoy it. The film has now been viewed by over 6.3 million people.

Britain’s Got Talent

Jack Carroll, a 14 year old with cerebral palsy, made it all the way to the Britain’s Got Talent final with his unique stand-up comedy style. Unfortunately he didn’t win, but with over 7.1 million views, we’re sure he has a great future in comedy ahead of him.

Guinness advert

A recent Guinness advert has received over 7.8 million views. It’s shows a group playing wheelchair basketball with a great twist at the end. See it for yourself.

People with disabilities react to mannequins

Pro Infirmis, a Swiss disability advocacy organisation created this video showing disabled mannequins as part of their campaign for International Day for People with Disabilities. This beautiful video has received over 8.4 million views.

Here at Scope we’ve been busy creating some fantastic videos too. Our videos about a young disabled girl’s experiences of bullying and of a mother sharing her experiences of caring for two autistic sons shocked many and prompted others to share their own similar stories. We met some inspiration people like Jamie who attended our school in Wales and Brett who ran the Brighton Marathon whilst pushing his son in a wheelchair! We’ve been supported by a number of celebrities; Arabella Weir and Rory Kinnear helped us talk about fostering disabled children; our Britain Cares video was voiced by Stephen Fry; and Paralympian Sophie Christiansen spoke to us about the Paralympics legacy