As mentioned last month, I’ve got plans for the future. It seems people like what I’m interested in starting too. Every family member and friend has told me that it sounds like a good idea.
There is info that I’ll be revealing to many people in the future. But the people who read this blog are obviously the ones that have put effort into reading what I write. I appreciate your support! Plus, I also feel like I should give you more knowledge about what’s going to be happening regarding my new project shortly.
Although the main website isn’t quite ready yet, what’s written below is going to give you the gist of what the new project’s all about. The name of it is Disability Central, and there are some main aims to tell you about too.
Introduction to Disability Central
In the UK, people with disabilities are often neglected in society. They’re often undervalued, misunderstood, and avoided by employers, media and the public.
Is this fair? No, it’s not.
Whether they’re among those born with their disabilities or have gathered them later in life, these people have already obtained personal issues from their health problems. But, in spite of this, their life so often gets more difficult from a social perspective as well.
If anything, access to work, public friendships, and distributed information should be made easier for a person with one or more disabilities to find and exploit. But it’s not.
What’s Currently Available
So, why does this negative treatment of people with disabilities exist? Aren’t there any charities to help people with disabilities live a healthy lifestyle?
Well, charity organisations do work to help people with disabilities. And they do help them to a certain extent.
But it can’t be denied that they’ve not always provided disabled people with everything that they need. So, what is it that they need most? For me, the answer is simple enough. Disabled people need a voice. A voice they can use to shout out loud and get the respect they deserve.
I’ve come across various other charities and projects that have tried to help give disabled people a voice in the UK. For this, we can only appreciate their attempts to help others. But, to truly shout out and get a lot of attention from many, many people, we need to set the volume much louder to make things more efficient.
When they’ve tried to raise the voices of people with disabilities, other charities and projects have often dived in at the deep end. They’ve started their website, set up their social media, and have immediately tried to get the nation’s attention.
The truth is that they have gathered more and more attention over time. But, after looking at the number of followers these charities host on social media, I don’t believe they host enough. Before I searched on Google for “disability charities and projects”, I hadn’t ever heard of a lot of them before.
The Aims of Disability Central
As a man who was born in and is still living so close to Manchester, I’ve always been proud to be a Mancunian. I believe I’m in the right area to start this new charity organisation at the moment.
Manchester is the second city: the second city of development; the second city of culture; the second city of passion. When this city has needed to speak, it’s shouted out loud and gathered a lot of attention. Yes, London can shout too – but only because it’s 15 times as populated as we are.
Therefore the first aim of the charity is to spread the word about it in Greater Manchester.
Greater Manchester is the UK’s second largest urban area with a population of 2.8 million people. Approximately 10 million people in Britain have a disability, and that means that 420,000 of them live in Greater Manchester.
Simply spreading the news about Disability Central’s aims isn’t one that is going to benefit people with disabilities straight away. But by giving people an overview of my plans and telling them that Greater Manchester is the starting region to fix up current issues regarding disabilities, I should be able to turn a few heads in the charity’s direction.
The second aim of the charity is to set up more and more meeting groups in Greater Manchester.
This website and social media will be an important source to spread the word about Disability Central. But meeting groups are something to set-up and advertise in community areas too. I wish to dedicate my time to this charity and prove to others that I certainly want to make it work.
At school and university, I felt so nervous when speaking in classroom presentations. Side effects can be a pain to manage, and unfortunately I take medication that leads to a hand tremor. But still, I’m sure I’ll find a way to talk to groups in public meetings in the not so distant future.
As time continues, meeting groups will become more and more important. The voices of people with disabilities are our main focus point. And, because of this, we want to hear about the problems you’ve experienced and the things you want to speak out about as much as possible.
By telling us if you want to speak out yourself, or have our group speak out on your behalf, you’ll be able to explain the problems you’re dealing with to more and more people in society. And it’s only natural to chat to others about what you’ve been doing too.
We want people to start new friendships in meetings. I’m sure they’ll spread the word about these issues to other people they know elsewhere as well.
People with disabilities will feel more accepted, secure and willing to move forward by meeting people who have experienced similar problems. It’s a positive reminder that socially, you’re not alone. You’re every bit as human as anyone else.
The third aim of the charity is to set up meeting groups in other UK regions too.
I want to make Disability Central a national charity; not just a regional one. Greater Manchester is the starting point, but if we unite more people than ever before around here, then the topic of disability will grow in popularity. People will start to talk about it in general, and Manchester’s newspapers will publish many more stories about it.
When other regions hear the voice of Manchester shouting out loud, I’m sure they’ll want to give it a go too. And I promise you, we care about every disabled person in the UK. When more areas and individuals come along, we’ll be working just as hard to help them speak up as well.
The fourth aim of the charity is to create an extremely informative and useful website.
This website certainly isn’t complete. There’s plenty of information and social media to be built and maintained. But it will be, and when it is, it’ll be available for everybody to browse as much as they need to.
Here’s what I’ve been thinking about including on the website:
- A sign-up point for weekly emails about Disability Central.
- Frequent news stories gathered about issues relating to all disabilities.
- An updated database with detailed information about all disabilities. Along with an overview of each disability, it’ll give links to existing charity websites that independently support that disability (e.g. Epilepsy Action, National Autism Society).
- A detailed section about potential UK benefits for people with disabilities.
- A detailed section to help people stay social. It’ll tell people how they can get more involved with the charity, where they can attend social meetings in their local area, and give them tips on how they can live a more social life with a disability.
- One way to get people more comfortable and social with disabled people is to give them lessons about disabilities from a much earlier age. We’ll hopefully be able to give carers of young people with disabilities the opportunity to arrange talks with pupils when requested.
- A section should be dedicated to students with a disability. I was a student when my disability was at its worst, and my life at university was filled with mild/moderate depression because of it. I made few new friends, and I wish to investigate how I could have improved my life during that time.
- A detailed section to help people get inspired – I wish to include both written and video interviews with people who have managed to overcome their disability.
- A section that I hope to make more and more detailed about finding employment. Getting employed is much more difficult for people with disabilities. I’m hoping by becoming more vocal we can change more regional laws in the UK and make employers more obliged to employ disabled people.
- A ‘Disability of the Week’ – disabilities are not to be celebrated, but by labelled one a week we can give people using the website an opportunity to learn more about other health problems. By understanding the problems of others, people very often feel much more comfortable around people with disabilities.
- Access to blogs written by myself and other people with passionate values.
- A place where people can submit or sign petitions – I’ve signed quite a few of these for people with disabilities this year, but making them more noticeable could be pretty useful.
- A separate forum for people to further discuss their problems with each other.
To build and then maintain this website I believe I’ll need to build a passionate and skilful team of employees, so the website may take quite some time to build and maintain. Once it’s underway, I’m hoping it’ll be working similarly to www.moneysavingexpert.com – created by Manchester born Martin Lewis in 2003.
The fifth aim is to get many other charities involved.
So, how can we help all disabilities? Well, if there’s one thing I’ve learnt in life, it’s that teamwork makes a difference. Working with others gets more attention and gathers more interest from people within society. So why shouldn’t charities – that work to provide support for people with disabilities or one disability alone – work together a little bit more?
I’m not suggesting that these charities scrap their name and the disability they support. But if there was a headquarters to report to – to keep updated on their major events – wouldn’t that headquarters start to gather them a lot more attention from society?
If Disability Central gains attention, then other charities that it associates with will as well. Individual charities will have their main headliners, that we will tell others about, and these will link back to their more detailed website. Plus, as mentioned earlier, when researching an individual disability in the Disability Central database, I’ll also provide links to any charity organisations supporting it.
My personal/topical blog The Epileptic Man has mainly provided people with information and advice about epilepsy. I consider myself to be somewhat of a writer, but because of my memory-loss problems (which, if you didn’t know, is a common issue that people with epilepsy have to deal with), I decided the right topic for me to start writing about was epilepsy.
But since starting my blog over 12 months ago, I’ve gathered interest in other disabilities too. I’ve since written articles in my blog about autism and multiple sclerosis, and how both of them are linked to epilepsy.
Each time that I contact a charity that supports an individual disability, I’ll make sure I try to gather a decent knowledge about it. I can honestly say that there’s plenty more for me to learn, and I look forward to gathering more knowledge and socialising with people from these charities in the future.
The sixth aim is to come up with more plans and ideas.
I want to spread information about disability more and more around the UK. Scope is currently the UK’s largest charity that are supporting people with disability, and they provide a good website with various support and information.
They provide services that I haven’t mentioned yet, but what they provide may well become available through Disability Central as time continues.
However, by getting more charities supporting disability, we’ll only get more attention given to the topic as a whole in the UK.
I Want to Keep Going Until the End
There’s a lot of work to do for disability. Only when people with disabilities are more accepted by employers, the public, and the media will this charity make its truest impact. We need to make it clear that we deserve more respect from others.
As time continues, people with disability in the UK will truly have a voice – and they’ll be shouting louder than ever before.
The website’s address will eventually be at disabilitycentral.org.uk – but don’t hold your breath! I’ll let people know when there’s more to take a look at.
Thanks for reading.