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

The Little Things That Help Disabled People

(1) Comments | Posted 28 October 2014 | (12:27)

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 | (10:55)

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 | (13:57)

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 | (11:30)

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 | (13:02)

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 | (11:26)

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 | (11:41)

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 | (12:55)

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 | (11:12)

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 | (12:12)

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 | (10:24)

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 | (09:45)

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 | (11:22)

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

Give Me the Right to Live, Not Die

(0) Comments | Posted 15 July 2014 | (11:28)

On Friday the Lords will debate the 'Assisted dying bill' and I am one if many disabled people that has been vocal in their opposition to this dangerous legislation, that is likely to be the starting point to the normalisation of 'mercy killings' and a societal pressure upon sick and...

Read Post

The 'Patronising' Gene

(0) Comments | Posted 9 July 2014 | (00:00)

One of the biggest things disabled people have to endure is patronising people. Whether it's a pat on the head or their assumptions we are stupid and/or harmless, disabled people are often the most susceptible targets for the patronising, who sadly often have no idea of their infliction and therefore...

Read Post

Please Don't Save the Independent Living Fund

(0) Comments | Posted 1 July 2014 | (11:23)

The Independent Living Fund (ILF) has supported people with high support needs since 1998, currently 17000 users, with the original aim of keeping people out of residential care in a very different environment to the one we have now. In 2007 an independent report was prepared that raised serious concerns...

Read Post

Do Professionals Have Too Much Power Over Social Care Users?

(0) Comments | Posted 24 June 2014 | (11:50)

While many disabled people are fairly independent of social care services, some of us require high support packages, and this means we need to interact with professionals, who basically assess and decide how much assistance and support we receive. I am very independent in the decisions I make and this...

Read Post

Do We Need New Disablism Laws?

(1) Comments | Posted 17 June 2014 | (13:10)

The coalition government has certainly put disability top on the political agenda, both in terms of welfare reforms and social care. This has provided fresh motivation for existing disability activists to campaign for something better, as well as politicalising a new generation of disabled people who have a range of...

Read Post

Supporting Outcomes Together

(1) Comments | Posted 10 June 2014 | (12:31)

I have been a user of the welfare state and social care most of my life as well as being involved in its development in one way or another from many perspectives, and this has provided me an broad insight to its strengths and weaknesses, and how it could be...

Read Post

Having a Speech Impairment

(0) Comments | Posted 3 June 2014 | (11:03)

I think one of the most challenging parts of my cerebral palsy is having a speech impairment, because it challenges the people I meet everyday. I think for a number of reasons, its still remains a less socially acceptable difficulty, in comparison to using a wheelchair for example, because the...

Read Post