Embracing The Undateables

12 disabled singletons, four of which are living with autism, have gone on a journey in front of television cameras to try and achieve one common goal that would make their lives much sweeter than it is as they live alone.

They are looking for love, and they have decided to let a viewing nation in on their search for it as they become The Undateables.

Following on from Truly Madly Deeply, a documentary which was shown in 2006 by Channel 4, a British television broadcaster, an opportunity to help each Undateable to find what they are looking for is a journey that viewers have been taken on over the last two years."The"The"The"The Continue reading

DisABILITY in 2012 – A Paralympic homecoming

On Wednesday 29th August 2012, the 14th edition of the Summer Paralympic Games got underway with an opening ceremony at the Olympic Stadium in London, Great Britain and by doing so, came back to their spiritual home for the first time.

Not since the time of Sir Ludwig Guttmann, a German-born neurologist that gave hope to those with spinal injuries of a good life at Stoke Mandeville Hospital in Stoke Mandeville, Great Britain, has the flagship event of the International Paralympic Committee (IPC) returned to its founding nation, but it finally did in 2012.

He opened up opportunities to injured servicemen and women of a healthy and happy lifestyle as he opened up a National Spinal Injuries Centre at the hospital in February 1944 and from this, the Summer Paralympic Games were first held in Rome, Italy in 1960. Continue reading

DisABILITY in 2012 – The British Paraorchestra

A group of British musicians have found a way of expressing themselves and in some cases, having a voice to share with others for the first time in their lives.

Thanks to Charles Hazlewood, a conductor who has led orchestras around the world for more than 20 years, the British Paraorchestra is welcoming people with a disability to make music and find a chance to shine which has often eluded them in the past.

In the words of Hazlewood himself, “The Paralympics have shifted attitudes, so we want to do the same with music and the performers have a great chance to showcase their skills” and where he admits that it can be tough for musicians to achieve mainstream popularity if they are disabled, his vision is offering an opportunity to challenge and change perceptions. Continue reading

The Graduate

On the morning of Thursday 22nd November 2012, I achieved something which has been the biggest goal that I have tried to achieve in my lifetime to date.

I’ve graduated from a BA (Hons) degree course in Sports Journalism at Southampton Solent University and by doing so, escaped from a four-year hold of mental distress and ill feeling that made me look at my life in a completely different way to how I seen things before I began studying.

Sure, the classification of the qualification which I ended my time at university with is something that I still feel odd about, but I can now appreciate that I have gone a long way along my own personal journey by living independently and studying. Continue reading

Being part of the 79%

I am autistic, I am looking for full-time employment and I am not alone in discovering that it is almost impossible to find any.

However, there is a reason why the chance of a change in the near future is nothing to get excited about.

The National Autistic Society, a charity that is based in Great Britain which aims to improve the lives of not only those that live with a disability that can be found on the autistic spectrum but also families and friends that are affected too, have commissioned a report which explains how tough it is for those with autism to find full-time employment. Continue reading

Meet Desmond

I WAS AWARDED A FIRST!

Yes, a first. The highest honour that you can bestow on anybody in life for an achievement that they have worked towards, but it wasn’t for my endless nights of studying in the library at university that I eventually reaped this reward. It was for a daily challenge match that I won on Stick Tennis, an application on my smartphone which takes no skill or real knowledge to master.

However, I’ve also met Desmond. A new friend that isn’t the best at much in life, and perhaps he will not be a person who becomes the CEO at a major global company as he reaches the top of their hierarchy, but he works hard and is very keen to make the most of what he has. Continue reading

A chat with Lawrie McMenemy MBE

In the modern day, it is rare to pick up a newspaper or visit a sport-related website without seeing a footballer making the headlines for all of the wrong reasons.

Whether it is Joey Barton and another fight which could land him with a visit from a police officer or Ryan Giggs and his affair with Imogen Thomas, the behaviour of footballers away from the field of play has taken precedence instead of what they do on a weekly basis for their employers during the football season. The game has been changed because of these stories and the good guys have been forgotten.

The beautiful game has not always been played by those who tarnish the image of the sport, though. Continue reading

Channel 4 are changing the British Paralympic brand

As the 2012 Summer Paralympic Games are set to arrive in London, Great Britain on Wednesday 29th August 2012, something will be a little bit different for fans of the competition in Britain who would rather get their sporting fix from sitting in an armchair than sitting in a stadium.

There will be a lot of coverage on terrestrial television and when I say there will be a lot, I mean that you will be able to follow the Paralympics from the beginning of the day to the moment that your brain cannot take any more.

This is something which has only been the case for the Summer Olympic Games in the past. The BBC have provided blanket coverage of the Olympics but then very little of an event that gives disabled athletes an opportunity to excel, in exactly the same way that their able-bodied counterparts compete. Continue reading

The penny drops for 50 Cent

On Wednesday 4th July 2012, 50 Cent saddened and alienated many of his followers on Twitter and members of the general public that are either affected by or know others that are affected by autism.

Having received a tweet from one of his many followers that seemed to cause offence, a response which branded the sender as disabled by saying “Yeah just saw your picture fool you look autistic” has caused mass outrage.

Such a way of making feelings known is merely childlike. Names and insults are usually shouted out on the school playground between little children who are looking to cause trouble or retaliate. Continue reading

Looking autistic

When a message is posted on Twitter or any other social networking website, it is revealed to the world and is released into the public domain.

When you are popular and have many fans and admirers, your thoughts are made even more important as there are people who look up to you. The words that are shared are used as a mantra of sorts, and beliefs that are shared in a tweet can often be then felt by those who want to be like the tweeter who has originally come up with them. No matter how damaging they may be to a select group of people that see them.

Take note of this, 50 Cent. Or may I call you Curtis? Continue reading