CEO Martyn Sibley: Get Included

Our CEO Martyn Sibley explains why it’s not all doom and gloom, and how you can help us to stay awesome.

I’ve been fighting hard to keep positive lately. I know it’s only my view, but the world has seemed more fearful. More divisive. More hateful. In the social justice world there’s been horrifying accounts. In the disability world there’s been government cuts and hate crime. People are losing care funding, Motability cars and their independence.

Luckily I also noticed the positive things in life. This basically happened when I stopped watching the news. It’s full of extreme negativity (as in skewed to never have positivity). Since I started looking around me. Hanging with family and friends without the dreaded fear in my head. Observing people in my town. Engaging with amazing people and projects online. I’m feeling more optimistic.

I’ve been involved in a local time banking initiative. Where people give time for credits. Credits than can get hours of support from other members. Or credits that can be swapped for vouchers. For example I could teach someone about social media. In return someone else could help me with the gardening. Or I could go to the cinema after giving so many hours.

Online there’s so many great communities. I’m involved in groups about inclusion, writing, social justice, podcasting, health, football and more. Everyday I can read, listen, watch, contribute, and create on all types of things. All positive things too!

It turns out there’s loads of positivity still. You just have to tune in for it…

In my work, I realised I’m all about inclusion. The word disability is a very negative word. Like ‘no-ability’. In my work I also realised we can fight the negativity going down. In my work I believe if you take small actions, others will join, and it explodes into social change. In my work, I know we can improve the world.

Cheesy, but true.

I’ve been reflecting on my projects recently. Looking at the successes and failures. It reminded me of why I work tirelessly for inclusion. I remembered growing up with Spinal Muscular Atrophy. The difficulties. The feeling of not always fitting in.

“I realised my projects are the manifestation of what I wished for as that scared disabled kid.”

Despite the huge successes and impact we’ve created, we want to do more. We’re taking my blog, Disability Horizons and Disability United to the stars. We’re going to fight for rights, and celebrate inclusion. In a passionate community comes real change. You are invited to the party.

Are you on board?

Please take a look at our new campaign ‘I for Inclusion’ here. My video and writing will explain it all. Any support you can give will make all the difference to disabled people and their families. Fact.

See you on the other side! 🙂

By Martyn Sibley
CEO Disability United and Disability Horizons

Editor’s note: “I think the majority of us in the Disability United team and a number of our readers know the feeling of being the one who doesn’t fit in. That difference in perspective is our strength, and we can’t wait to see what you’ll help us to do next.”

Be included on Facebook, tweet us @duniteduk, or email our Editor on editor@disabilityunited.co.uk

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