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, May 28, 2009

Channel 4 'Born to be Different' - more story, less recap please!

I watched a couple of C4's 'Born to be Different' [BTBD] programmes last night, which I'd taped a few weeks ago. Given that there is so little about disability on TV I always keep my fingers crossed that what is on will do justice to the subject.

The trouble with BTBD is that each programme is basically a recap of each child's life with an added sentence or two to move their story on per programme. The series delights in graphic operations and if you missed them don't worry they are definitely part of the recap. How about more story, less recap.

It's such a missed opportunity as there are some great disabled children in the series and some amazing parents too, in particular Shelbie's mum Vicky - how she kept it all going on her own initially with 4 children, one of who was quite ill...

And whilst many parents might comply with the consultant suggestion that Vicky should basically agree to let Shelbie die at the next opportunity - he would have done it ages ago [well thank god you don't have a disabled child then] - Vicky looks at a very well cared for Shelbie and says she still has plenty of life in her yet.

The thing is that people who don't have disabled children just have no idea what it is like to have one; you don't just snuff them out because they are a bit of a practical or physical hassle or [hopefully not] because your consultant says he would have done it ages ago.

Having a disabled child is an emotional rollercoaster, you get lows but you also get highs. You get a sense of that in BTBD but I just wish you could get an even greater sense of the lives of disabled children and their families rather than wasting so much time on recaps and showing us graphic operations.

No comments: