Simon Stevens
GET UPDATES FROM Simon Stevens
 
I am a leading independent disability issues consultant, controversial inclusion activist and trainer, and social change agent, with vast experience and expertise in a wide range of fields including disability equality, independent living, social care, lifestyle advocacy and secondlife.

My website is www.simonstevens.com
My email is simon@simonstevens.com

I have worked with many organisations of all types over the last 15 years locally, nationally and internationally including Scope, Warwick University, Channel 4, Department of Health, Council of Europe, National Housing Federation and eBay. I have also been a trustee of Skills for Care as someone who uses services I am the founder and owns of, Wheelies, the world's first disability themed virtual nightclub, and star of Channel 4's disability prank show, I'm Spazticus. I am also a regularly blogger from the Huffington Blog.

Born in 1974, I have cerebral palsy which affects my speech, balance, hand control and continence in a significant manner, as well as providing mw with a very good sense of humour in a positive way. I also have asthma, acute neuropathy which means I am in constant nerve and muscle pain, and a mild form of bipolar, making my life interesting to say the least. Despite my difficulties and the level of everyday discrimination I have faced that has assisted me to help others by my willingness and openness to discuss my experiences.

I have had a vast range of life opportunities and experiences. I have travelled widely around Europe and the world for work as well as for fun, and taken part in many sports and especially water sports. My mission in life is to make an active contribution to supporting disabled people and others to maximise their life opportunities and experiences through all my activities.

Entries by Simon Stevens

Do Not Slur My Mental Health If You Disagree With Me!

(1) Comments | Posted 15 December 2014 | (10:58)

I think anyone who knows me is aware I like a good discussion on most topics, especially those related to disability, and there are many days in the week where I am putting the world to rights with my PA. I think my biggest strength, which is also my biggest...

Read Post

Have Charities Become Too Political?

(0) Comments | Posted 8 December 2014 | (10:47)

Charities used to represent the pinnacle of philanthropic endeavours but over the last decade or so, their role has appeared to have changed, and I would argue that not for the better. Charities sole aim used to be to help those in need with provision not provided by the state,...

Read Post

We Need More Inclusive Technology

(1) Comments | Posted 2 December 2014 | (13:25)

While the political focus on what helps disabled people has remained focused on money, in terms of welfare benefits, and social care, namely the provision of human support, the biggest thing I feel that enables and empowers disabled people is technology and especially inclusive technology.

Inclusive technology is any technology...

Read Post

The Welfare Debate Impacts the Assisting Dying Debate

(1) Comments | Posted 24 November 2014 | (11:33)

During my birth I was starved of oxygen and spent the first few weeks of my life in an incubator. The doctors did not think I would survived and so I was quickly baptised as a matter of course so I went to the right place. When I clearly survived,...

Read Post

Why Do Services Treat People With Learning Difficulties as a Cultural Minority?

(0) Comments | Posted 18 November 2014 | (08:02)

While a majority of disabled people appear to enjoy a level of self-autonomy, if not independent living, I worry that a group that has been woefully left behind is people defined has having a learning difficulty. This is a broad label that covers a wide range of impairments that are...

Read Post

Please Stop Framing Disability as Just a Welfare Issue

(12) Comments | Posted 13 November 2014 | (00:00)

Regular readers will know that what has frustrated me the most over the last few years is how disability has been framed on a political level as solely a welfare issue as opposed to an independent living or civil/human rights issue. My concern has nothing to do with the amount...

Read Post

30 years of Independent Living

(2) Comments | Posted 4 November 2014 | (11:57)

On Thursday, Spectrum CIL (previously Southampton Centre for Independent Living) will celebrate its 30th anniversary, and I am delighted to be one of the guest speakers. This has given me an opportunity to ponder the achievements within independent living over the last 30 years.

30 years ago I was just...

Read Post

The Little Things That Help Disabled People

(1) Comments | Posted 28 October 2014 | (13:27)

The first and probably greatest skill disabled people have to quickly learn is problem solving. Since disabled people often live in a world that is unprepared for their specific needs, on a day to day basis they encounter barriers that require them to be creative and bend the rules on...

Read Post

What Does Saving Independent Living Fund Really Mean?

(1) Comments | Posted 21 October 2014 | (11:55)

This week sees yet another high court case against the government's decision to close the Independent Living Fund (ILF) and transfer the money to local authorities. I have previously written about the problems with the fund and why the fund should close, and so now I wish to discuss what...

Read Post

What Can Disabled People Do When the Computer Says No?

(0) Comments | Posted 16 October 2014 | (14:57)

Like many disabled people, I often find it hard to answer yes or no questions because my life is just not that simple. As a complex individual, I require the systems around me that I rely upon, from social care to Sky Television, to be willing to listen to my...

Read Post

The System Teaches Disabled People to be Passive

(7) Comments | Posted 8 October 2014 | (12:30)

I believe that someone's attitude to life can determine their future, more than anything else, and that a positive attitude can reap enormous benefits. This means also that a passive attitude will result in a poor quality of life, regardless of the amount of money they may have. I would...

Read Post

Disablism Amongst Disabled People

(2) Comments | Posted 22 September 2014 | (14:02)

Disablism is a relevantly new term that describes a number of deliberate or unconscious actions by individuals or organisations towards disabled people including outright discrimination, less favourable treatment, 'hateful' actions like verbal or physical abuse, and the one I experience the most, the undermining of someone's intelligence or ability to...

Read Post

Why Do 'They' Email Difficult News on Friday Afternoons?

(1) Comments | Posted 16 September 2014 | (12:26)

Throughout my adulthood I have needed to deal with many organisations, governmental or otherwise, on various issues and because of my impairment and my risk taking enterprising nature, my life has been complex to say the least since I do not fit into any of their neat square boxes. Having...

Read Post

Labour Is Not Going to Deliver on Disability

(2) Comments | Posted 9 September 2014 | (12:41)

It is absolutely obvious that most disabled activists are unhappy with this coalition government, and many dislike and even hate Iain Duncan Smith (IDS) with a passion. This government, particularly in terms of welfare reforms, has made many major and undisputable mistakes however you wish to look at it or...

Read Post

There Is Always a Hidden Side to Impairment

(5) Comments | Posted 2 September 2014 | (13:55)

Over the last decade or so, there has been a growing tension within the 'disability community' between those who define themselves as having hidden impairments, and those with visible impairments. People with hidden impairments are often frustrated at the lack of awareness people around them have for how they are...

Read Post

Being Disabled Won't Stop Me Having Fun in a Wetsuit

(0) Comments | Posted 19 August 2014 | (12:12)

I have written a blog for the Huffington Post without fail since coming back from my last holiday in January, but next week I am having a week off, because I will be windsurfing in Belgium. The holiday or 'Surfweek' is organised by Recreas, their national disability sports body, and...

Read Post

Should Charities Be Lobbying Government?

(0) Comments | Posted 12 August 2014 | (13:12)

Over the last decade or two, it has been interestingly the fashion for many charities to consider themselves political 'think tanks' who believe they have the ability and indeed the responsibility to lobby governments on behalf of the people they claim to represent, particularly in the field of disability. I...

Read Post

Have Anti-Cuts Protests Damaged the Portrayal of Disabled People?

(0) Comments | Posted 5 August 2014 | (11:24)

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...

Read Post

Having a Wheelie Good Time

(0) Comments | Posted 29 July 2014 | (10:45)

On 1st September, my virtual disability themed nightclub, Wheelies, celebrates its 8th birthday. The club exists in Secondlife, a virtual world that has millions of residents from around the real world, and it is a place where anything is possible. The first thing to understand about Secondlife is that it...

Read Post

An Important Read For Parents of Disabled Children (And Everyone Else)

(0) Comments | Posted 22 July 2014 | (12:22)

When I wrote an article about parents of disabled children a few months ago, I was pleased to receive some positive feedback on twitter from a parent, Yvonne Newbold. Since then we have had a wonderful email conversation where email by email we realised how much we have in common...

Read Post