Contact details

As well as being a freelance writer I am also a qualified counsellor and I work for a low cost counselling service in Exeter and for the NHS Gender Clinic also in Exeter.

Simultaneously, I work as a Disability Member of the First Tier Tribunal, Social Entitlement Chamber sitting on disability benefit tribunals on an ad hoc basis.

As a writer I specialise in writing about disability and health.

My articles have been published in the Guardian, Times, OUCH! [BBC disability website], Disability Now, Broadcast, Lifestyle [Motability magazine], The Practising Midwife, 'Junior, Pregnancy & Baby', Writers' News, Able, Getting There [Transport for London magazine], Junior, Community Care, DPPi [Disability, Pregnancy & Parenthood International]. I have also had articles commissioned by Daily Mail.

For more information about me and for examples of my writing please see below.

If you would like me to write an article for your publication, about any aspect of disability, please do get in touch:

Thursday, September 18, 2008

Society's fascination with short people

I read about the publicity stunt to publicise the release of the "Guiness Book of Records 2009", due out today. They brought together the 'shortest man who can walk' - He Pingping who is precisely 2ft 5.37 inches, with 'the woman with the longest legs' - Svetlana Pankratova whose legs are more than 4 ft long.

It's the usual voyeurism draw but people are constantly fascinated by short people [and very tall ones too]. But when being short is just the norm, as it is for me, it's hard to understand the fascination?

I have to say I wouldn't mind meeting He Pingping because I'd actually be meeting an adult who's shorter than me, which I've only done about twice in my life so far!

Friday, September 12, 2008

The Paralympics!

There's no denying that the BBC coverage of the Paralympics is better than ever before.

Nightly programmes which have roughly the same format as the Olympic coverage, together with well known commentators and presenters [not to mention the added bonus of Tanni Grey-Thompson], makes the coverage slick and impressive.

Apart from the fact that someone couldn't be bothered to build a couple of ramps for the podiums, the only downer I find is the classification system for disabled competitors - is it just me or is it overly complicated?

This means my partner and I end up playing a "guess/spot the disability" game whilst watching.... It's a fine balance I'm sure, no one is expecting the commentator to come out with "look at that blindie", "wow he's only got half an arm" but a little bit of a clue would sometimes be quite useful, interesting. Perhaps the commentators don't want to make PC gaffs but they do get it right, it's just that for me they don't seem to say often enough what's "up" with people!