4 weeks ago, a plane I was on landed in the beautiful city of Medellín. I had no idea what…
I speak at professional events and conferences as well as visiting businesses, schools and universities.
More than a billion people across the world are disabled, and in the UK almost two million people are living with some kind of visual impairment. I am one of them.
Advocacy is essential if we are to ensure that people with disabilities can participate fully in society. Currently we face accessibility barriers that are both physical and digital. There are organisations who work with disabled people to try and remove some of these barriers, by creating accessible technology or promoting social change.
Disabled people must be part of this conversation, in fact, it is vital that we are at the front, leading initiatives that encourage our full participation in society.
I have spoken about the barriers disabled people face and the challenges we experience as advocates in 2017.
I have never picked up a book, flipped open the cover and let my eyes roam over the page. Yet I am an avid reader, consuming books of all genres. I learnt to read by touch, my hands, as they do with everything, seeking out the meaning within the pages. As a child, braille allowed me to travel to other universes, to fight battles and most importantly gave me an escape from reality. Like many children I fell in love with reading, and that love has never died.
Technology enables people with disabilities to access literature in a number of ways. These days I don't exclusively use braille, however it is still essential.
People with disabilities are often desexualised by the media, policy makers and even our own friends and families. I have been met with shocked silence or intrusive questioning when I mention that I am in a relationship.
The idea that disabled people are not sexual beings is not only harmful because it reduces us to child-like caricatures of ourselves, it also opens us up to higher rates of abuse and sexual violence.
You can hear me speaking about the impact of this desexualisation on my own life.
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Copyright © 2017 Holly Scott-Gardner