Try treating disabled customers as customers, world? Just a thought.

There’s a presumption – a very widespread, deeply rooted one – that disabled people should be grateful for anything we get. Whether that’s tech or a new tap, representation in books, or a new wheelchair. When we’re used to seeing disabled people in the context of charity, is it surprising if that affects the wayContinue reading “Try treating disabled customers as customers, world? Just a thought.”

What Happened to You? A cover reveal

This is me. A few years ago admittedly! I’m an agent for kids’ books – I edit & sell my authors’ stories, & had no plans to write one myself. But I’m also disabled & keenly aware of how few good books there are about disabled children. So eventually, I bit the bullet & wroteContinue reading “What Happened to You? A cover reveal”

Disability in kids books – a list by two disabled people in publishing

Introducing our 6 favourite kids’ books featuring disability, picked by actual disabled people working in children’s publishing. (Ahem. Us.) We’ll be posting a full review of each of these books weekly here and on instagram – watch this space. Own voices books are marked * El Deafo * Mama Zooms This Beach Is Loud! *Continue reading “Disability in kids books – a list by two disabled people in publishing”

Just (Don’t) Ask!

Just Ask! But don’t. Please. Speaking as disabled people in children’s publishing – this book means well but is wrong. Luckily @readwithriver started #LibrarianFightClub on Instagram… The idea “it’s always best to ask” when it comes to disability is not new – its the norm. We hear it a lot. Even as an adult, it’sContinue reading “Just (Don’t) Ask!”

My disabled motherhood & Alison Lapper – Make Motherhood Diverse

Back in September 2019 I wrote this short piece about Alison Lapper for the Instagram account @makemotherhooddiverse. In terms of media representation, disabled mothers are thin on the ground. So Alison Lapper, naked, pregnant, very definitely disabled, and on the fourth plinth in Trafalgar Square was a beacon for me in the Noughties. I’ve justContinue reading “My disabled motherhood & Alison Lapper – Make Motherhood Diverse”

In a Lockdown, Getting Bored Now… Mainie sings! Quarantine song 8

We’re still going! Virtual playgroup is still live on Instagram every Thursday at 4pm. (I just got lazy about putting them here too.) This was week 8 and Mainie wanted to sing. It’s almost as though she’s actually bored… 😉

We All Live In An Endless Quarantine – quarantine song 5

In which it rains, James rhymes pangolin with quarantine, Viola learns to “sing”, and Mainie is creatively exhausted after her seminal performance of Dingle Dangle scarecrow at virtual playgroup, and wields an umbrella. 5 weeks of quarantine… (Virtual playgroup on instagram live, Thursdays at 4pm – @thecatchpoles)

Trapped – With and Without Covid-19

When I first became disabled aged 19 in 1998 it wasn’t too bad – as a disabled driver I could get to most of the city. Since then more and more of Oxford has been made off-limits to cars. And so, to me. Trying to explain to able-bodied people can be frustrating and upsetting. Honestly, I’ve stopped trying on the whole. There’s a reluctance to believe it’s true. They want details, make suggestions, refuse to believe there aren’t solutions.

The Sun Has Got His Hat On And We’re Staying In To Play

In which Viola takes our hat-wearing as a personal challenge to remove as many hats as possible in the shortest conceivable period of time. She is successful. By the time we got to this take Mainie had given up and was channelling American Gothic at the back. If you watch to the outtakes you’ll seeContinue reading “The Sun Has Got His Hat On And We’re Staying In To Play”