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.”

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”

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.

Health & morality in the time of corona (exercise is good, except when it isn’t…)

My mother, a devout Catholic, used to say health is the new morality. I am not religious but I think that’s true. We applaud and idolise health as though it is attainable for everyone, as though it is a moral triumph, as though it is something we control. Fresh air is good, eating fresh foodContinue reading “Health & morality in the time of corona (exercise is good, except when it isn’t…)”

Literally a chair with wheels: International Wheelchair Day

It’s literally a chair with wheels. ♿ Such an obvious, useful invention. I’m fascinated by how such a mundane tool: a chair with 4 wheels attached, can carry the level of emotion & stigma a wheelchair does. International Wheelchair Day wasn’t on my radar till posts started popping up here last week. I’m not bigContinue reading “Literally a chair with wheels: International Wheelchair Day”

A Familiar Question…

WHAT HAPPENED TO YOU? A question we hear A LOT, and the title of James’s children’s book, published by Faber this August. James has been answering this question since he first learned to speak. And this picturebook is about Joe, a young child uncannily similar to child-James 😉 who wants to play but finds himselfContinue reading “A Familiar Question…”

Isaac from Sex Education and the Good Old Disabled Baddie

Oh Sex Education, you were doing so well. And then you thought – we are nailing diversity! But what about disability? Let’s do that too! And somehow it seemed like a great idea to create a disabled character who is sexless, child-like and manipulative. And to make that character responsible for an end of seriesContinue reading “Isaac from Sex Education and the Good Old Disabled Baddie”