With the Rio 2016 Paralympics opening ceremony less than 100 days away, the Games will put disability in the spotlight. But do the Paralympics have the power to make a lasting change in attitudes to disabled people? Our research shows that the majority of disabled people in Britain are treated differently because they're disabled.
While there were a few glimmers of hope in the Chancellor's speech, they are not enough to allay the uncertainty and fears for many people with MS. Access to disability benefits, the right healthcare and social care support is crucial if people are to live fulfilling lives and the Government must ensure this is a reality for all with MS.
This month marks the 20th anniversary of the Disability Discrimination Act - a landmark piece of legislation that was the result of a hard-fought campaign by disabled people. For the first time, the Disability Discrimination Act made it unlawful to discriminate against disabled people as employees and as consumers.
I found the statistics really shocking, but mostly as they seem to be totally opposite to my own experience. I was born disabled, and became a wheelchair user at the age of fifteen, yet I can honestly say I have never had any trouble making friends, being invited to social situations or finding love.
It's not just the big chains and shopping centre that is easy. Through out the city centre there are arcades of boutique style shops and restaurants, and pretty much all of these are equally accessible. Most of these are historic in nature and yet there has been great effort taken to ensure as many of them are as accessible as possible.
Please before you pass judgement on anyone's quality of life, stop and think. Don't just claim "I couldn't cope", as I really think you could. Pain, like many other trials in life, can be beaten. It can be medically treated and psychologically mastered, with help, and so we need to have a sensible debate on quality of life before we go any further down a road that may be very hard to come back from.
The portrayal of disabled people is a complex affair as the many different interest groups try to portray us as a collective for their own agendas, when in reality we are just a collection of individuals labelled by society because of our difficulties, when the reality is we have very little else in common.
We know that disabled people have the potential, drive and desire to be our country's future leaders or entrepreneurs if they are given the chance. We also know that our best companies value talent and we're delighted to be able to connect the two. And we welcome support from anyone - NUS, Prime Minister or BBC - with the common sense to make common cause with us.
The real betrayal of Britain's poorest and most vulnerable people was Labour's support for this toxic policy. With 13 honourable exceptions who all deserve praise for actually doing what they were elected to do, Labour MPs acquiescently lined up behind the welfare cap. If an antelope feeds its calf to a lion, that's pretty shocking.
f I was paid what I was really worth, in relation to my peers as well as my expertise and experience, I would be on a six figure salary and living very comfortably indeed. But as an self-employed disability issues trouble shooter, prepared to tackle the issues no one else can, I have found it very difficult to be taken seriously, yet alone be paid.