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:

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

A philosophical disability question...

Yesterday my now 6 year old son Archie [who has the same disability as me] asked me if I was disabled when I was a baby? The question had me slightly stumped because of course I was born with my disability but as a baby was I strictly speaking a 'disabled baby'?

OK some of my milestones might have been later than 'normal' but whether that really affected my then quality of life or justified being stamped with the label 'DISABLED' at that point I wasn't quite sure?

When does disability per se kick in? Is it when you start slipping away a bit too far from the norm [medical model of disability]? Or is it as you are increasingly subjected to a world that isn't accessible to you [social model of disability]?

NB The Medical Model of Disability is where the person's disability is blamed for what they can't do and the solutions are mainly medical eg surgery, physiotherapy and the like. However many Disabled people prefer the Social Model of Disability which refers to the way that they are more 'disabled' by society - by a lack of access, poor attitudes and bureaucratic systems.

Take Archie - he is now significantly shorter than his peers but of course this only becomes an issue in an inaccessible enviroment.... His most obvious difference now as a 6 year old boy is that he is significantly less mobile than his peers which means he's increasingly likely to be left out of riotous playground games and perhaps this is the sort of thing that will make him feel disabled?

I think it's probably fair to say that his experience of being a disabled child is starting to kick in more now and the interesting bit of how to deal with that [positively] is yet to come, tips on a postcard please...