Disabled Britain: Doing It For Ourselves - Daily Mirror Series
On day one, we began our Voice of the Mirror editorial with these words: “There are 14 million disabled people in Britain. They are our friends, our relatives, our workmates and our neighbours.” The series was guest edited by Rachel Charlton-Dailey and the articles were conceived by disabled people, written by disabled people, with photographs - where possible - taken by disabled people. We joined with the Deaths by Welfare project to reveal the Government has failed to act on warnings its disability benefits systems has been linked to hundreds of suicides and other deaths of disabled people. Grace Quantock wrote of her frustration of the lack of disabled people in public life, Dr Amy Kavanagh explained her #JustAskDontGrab campaign, Disability UK’s Anna Morell detailed how access of all kinds is an all day every day problem for disabled people, while Dr Hannah Barnham-Brown attempted what should have been a simple wheelchair trip across London, but was very much not. Campaigner Penny Pepper related how all her life she’s found disabled girls weren’t expected to have sex, let alone enjoy it. And despite being one of Britain’s most high profile disabled people, Coronation Street actor Cherylee Houston wrote movingly on how the worst thing about being disabled is society’s attitude. Comment and firsthand experience pieces also came from Lord Blunkett, Marsha de Cordova MP, paralympian Stef Reid, and percussionist Dame Evelyn Glennie among others. All the articles were collated on our website: mirror.co.uk/all-about/disabled-britain-doing-it-for-ourselves, all with audio versions for access purposes. Here you will also find one of the legacies from the series - Anna Morrell’s ongoing weekly column Dis Life. And bespoke content for the series ran on our social medial channels, including Instagram, such as this: https://www.instagram.com/p/Cfq0EBOo3Cz/ Rachel Charlton-Dailey also helped us update our reporting guidelines on disability. And both Rachel and Anna joined Corrie’s Cherylee and shadow minister for disabled people Vicki Foxcroft at a very successful fringe event at the Labour party conference in Liverpool, last month. The message which came from every disabled person involved was they are not objects of inspiration, while they also demand to be consulted by the Government on anything which affects their lives. As our guest editor Rachel said: “If you take anything away from this week, I hope it will be that disabled people don't need pity or awe. We don't want sympathy, we want empathy.” We hope these articles and the Mirror’s ongoing disability coverage change minds, change how non disabled people view disabled people for the good of us all.