May 16, 2018
In one of the first episodes of the Martyn Sibley show I interviewed Phil Friend. Along with his friend and business partner Simon Minty, they paved the way for inclusion of disabled consumers and employees.
We have a lot to thank them for!
So it was really nice to sit down and talk with the other member of the dynamic duo. Since revolutionising a whole set of industries, Simon has also branched out into other pursuits.
You will probably have heard him on the BBC Ouch podcast. He and Phil have their own podcast too. Plus Simon loves a bit of comedy. It was a really interesting and enjoyable interview to make.
May 15, 2018
They say a picture paints a thousand words. Whilst on a public transport journey and unable to communicate the situation to fellow travellers. Hannah Ensor was struggling for energy and strength. If only she had a card that could explain what was going on, everything would have been easier.
So Hannah went home and drew one of the first stickman crips. Using that exact same notion of how a picture tells a thousand words. The Stickmen were the perfect tool to educate people should a similar circumstance arrive again.
Over time Hannah saw the need for other cards in her daily life. Then other disabled people explained the kind of messages they always have to explain to people. So Hannah drew stickmen for others too.
Now you can go on the website and buy a whole range of cards. It may not yet cover every single disability or societal barrier. But it certainly is getting close.
May 14, 2018
A big reason for my more balanced view on this topic, came from meeting Samanta Bullock. Through a very difficult event that put her in a wheelchair, Sam never gave up on her dreams. Both as a tennis champion and a fashion model.
It would have been understandable for her to give up on both of these dreams. Furthermore they clearly don't lend themselves to wheelchair users to thrive in. Forget the accessibility barriers, particularly the fashion world is known for ignoring disability.
Sam is one of those people that lights up a room with her smile. She's proud of her wheelchair tennis accomplishments, and is now banging the drum for inclusive fashion. To follow her on social media makes you wonder where she finds the time for everything.
Most of all, her photos and general message are what the world needs. That disabled or not, beauty is everywhere. Even more strongly than that slightly cliche comment, is that beauty comes from diversity...
May 14, 2018
Someone who found their creative self much earlier, and has enjoyed a great career from it, is Blaine Harrison. As lead singer of the Mystery Jets he's created many albums and toured all over the world.
It's always too easy to home in on my guests disability and how they overcame their particular barriers. Naturally having spina bifida Blaine has had to navigate specific challenges through his touring adventures. But I'm starting to see that by only focusing on people's impairments, we can shy away from the many other interesting parts of their story.
Not only have I seen this interview from a newer perspective, I have to admit it's the first time I really fought against being starstruck. You see, when I was at university I listened to the Mystery Jets many times. They saw me through my home sick days, and my getting ready to go and party nights.
They stand for real nostalgic sentiment in my life. So to interview the lead singer was a very cool moment for me!
I hope you enjoy hearing this interview. Beyond his creativity, Blaine has been doing lots for inclusive music and accessible concert venues. His work with Attitude is Everything, who you will remember Suzanne from a previous episode, is very progressive.
April 18, 2018
Of course my achievement was not unique. There are many people who have pushed their limits in pursuit of some adrenaline and societal change messaging. Many of whom have a disability. Nonetheless, it's always great to meet people who have interesting stories to tell. Particularly those who really really went the extra mile!
Geoff Holt is certainly one of those people. As you will hear in our interview, this guy has really exceeded his own expectations from his individual sailing and life challenges.
In this episode of the Martyn Sibley show he shares his background, his career, and how he went on to achieve some of the most amazing sailing achievements ever known to man.
April 18, 2018
After seeing the great research and work that Scope did on this topic, I reached out to them for someone to interview. The obvious person was Robin Hindle Fisher. Not only is he from an economic background, and trustee of the charity, he was heavily involved in the project.
This project being the extra costs commission. In this episode of the Martyn Sibley show Robin and I get to the bottom of these extra costs. You will hear from Robin what Scope found in their research. And what you can do to support this difficult situation.
Hint: there is plenty we can all do to help.
April 18, 2018
Its not unusual to find other people who like travelling. In my line of work I also know many disabled people. However it is not so usual to meet a real kindred spirit for accessible tourism. Luckily a few years ago I met Carrie-Anne from Tourism for All. Not only does she love travelling, but she's also a blogger. It's honestly hard to get a word in edgeways between the two of us when we get together
Carrie-Anne runs the information service for the UKs accessible tourism charity. This involves supporting disabled people and their families with the right information for their travels. It also involves supporting businesses on how to be open and accessible for disabled travellers.
In her spare time she is with her husband Darren and her beautiful dog traversing the sights of Cumbria. Somehow she still finds time to go abroad for blogging trips. Just like the one we recently both attended in Madrid, Spain.
Carrie-Ann really enjoys documenting both her experiences and the general information that helps others. Plus she throws in some really cool photos and videos to enhance her blogging content.
February 2, 2018
I met Dan virtually a couple of years ago on a Disability Horizons podcast. He'd had a couple of interviews for his new inclusive comic series. Including one on mainstream tv.
The comic was inspired by his daughter Emily who is disabled. She stars in the 'Department of Ability' stories. With her powerful wheelchair ways. Sounds familiar right?
I've watched Dan grow in his self belief, embracing the media challenges, and really pushing his message. One that resonates with me so much. A message that says 'why the bloody hell are disabled kids not in kids stories'?
The comic has since had global attention. Their theme tune was performed live with Dan and Emily on stage - in America! So rock and roll.
In this podcast episode Dan and I catch up about his journey, the challenges and dreams he has for the project. It's great to be reminded that we all should have dreams to strive for.
Share and engage
If you like this episode please share it and rate the show too. I'd also love to hear your feedback on the questions and the guests. Feel free to recommend someone you admire.
Also check out Dan, Emily, myself and the other Parallel London ambassadors here
See you next time!
October 15, 2017
Since meeting the expert for all things travel and disability related, Cory and I have spoken a couple of times. It was cool to hear about each others travels, blogs, communities, and so forth.
However we hadn't discussed what life was like growing up with the same condition (Spinal Muscular Atrophy) in different continents. Would schools be the same? Would friendships be the same? Would transport and leisure be the same?
So when Cory agreed to be on my podcast, I was excited to explore this topic. I know you're going to enjoy listening to us discuss this.
Plus we covered Corys blog, his pass travels, and future plans. He even gives a great tip on transferring to an aeroplane seat with special pants (trousers to us Brits!).
In particular I really liked hearing about why Cory loved Israel so much. Furthermore he's got some great plans in the pipeline!
September 20, 2017
After a break over the summer, I'm back with a new podcast episode. This time with a fantastic disabled artist.
Jason became disabled from chicken pox. Something I'd never heard of before. Through a journey of ups and downs, he's doing his dream job.
The thing that really fascinated me about Jasons work was his use of technology. He started out creating his art on his ipad. Now he's onto digital augmentation and sculptures.
As awesome are his creations, and intriguing are his tools, he's also challenging social issues. Through his own self expression, Jason is breaking down barriers that disable people.
One of the stories you'll love in this episode is how he got an accessible loo installed in the United Arab Emirates. That's absolute change and improvement in the world!