Simon Stevens
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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

Why Is It Acceptable to Trash Disabled People?

(1) Comments | Posted 23 March 2015 | (11:51)

When I was a teenager attending a mainstream school, something unheard of at that time, I felt like I was the only disabled person for miles. I of course knew this what not the case but being disabled was a very big thing then, and it was rarely talked about...

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We Must Stop Calling Sick and Disabled People Unfit

(0) Comments | Posted 17 March 2015 | (11:57)

The Work Capacity Assessment (WCA) has been a central battleground between the government and welfare activists. The assessment is simply designed to determine if a sick or disabled person is currently fit or unfit for work. While activists seem unhappy that too many people are found 'unfairly' fit for work,...

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Assisted Dying is Just Wrong

(1) Comments | Posted 10 March 2015 | (11:25)

You can call it assisted dying, assisted suicide, mercy killings, helping people along or anything else you want, but whatever you call it, I would say it is just wrong. The debates and pressure to legalise assisting dying has focused on the right to choose how we die, but this...

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Inaccessible Buildings Is Not Necessarily Discrimination

(0) Comments | Posted 3 March 2015 | (09:02)

In the ideal world, every building in the UK would be accessible to wheelchair users and people with a wide range of impairments, but things are not that simple. Rebuilding inaccessible infrastructure that has existed for hundreds of years in some cases takes time and money. I believe the moral...

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Do Family Carers Really Save the Government Money?

(12) Comments | Posted 24 February 2015 | (10:58)

Over the last few years, the carer's movement has focused their key message on the fact that carers save the government money with Carers UK 'estimating' that 6.5 million carers save the government £87bn a year! While it can be argue family members do provide support that could be provided...

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Is the Opposition to Sanctions Used to Justify Bigotry?

(3) Comments | Posted 17 February 2015 | (08:01)

The current opposition to the welfare reforms appears to be focused upon Benefit Sanctions. I think it is firstly important to note that I do not know enough about benefit sanctions to understand if they are working or not, and I would suggest if people were honest, most people are...

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Society Must Empower Disabled People to Take Risks

(10) Comments | Posted 10 February 2015 | (11:12)

I believe there is one important but unwritten human right that is often overlooked in relation to disabled people, and that is the right to take risks. For me, taking risks is simply about making choices and taking the consequences that go with these choices. It is only by making...

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I Do Not Want a Special Service Just Because I Am 'Disabled'

(1) Comments | Posted 3 February 2015 | (09:21)

I think the first thing I should explain is what I mean by a special service. I am absolutely not talking about the specific and unique services people may need to manage their impairment or other needs, like physiotherapy or counselling, since these services are designed for a specific need...

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We Have Independent Living If You Want It

(0) Comments | Posted 27 January 2015 | (09:10)

Independent Living has been an important component in the liberation of disabled people for the last 40 years but I have a feeling that many disabled people and others are confused about what independent living is. Currently, activists as a whole seem to be fighting for independent living in terms...

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Most Disabled People Just Get on With Their Lives

(9) Comments | Posted 21 January 2015 | (10:24)

I think an important route to changing social behaviours and therefore attitudes is how people and issues are portrayed in the media, and this is why I am somewhat fixated by how disabled people are being portrayed by the media. Just last night I caught a piece on local ITV...

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Warning - May Not Include Disabled People

(1) Comments | Posted 6 January 2015 | (10:37)

Over the Christmas period I realised that I was not really that interested in politics. My real interest professionally and personally is disability, especially how to practically implement social and other policies on the ground to improve the lives of disabled people. I want to be a well respected, if...

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A Caring Christmas?

(1) Comments | Posted 22 December 2014 | (10:56)

Christmas is a time for families, and a difficult time for those involved in social care. It does not matter whether it is care workers in residential care, agency carers or personal assistants directly working with individuals, the problem is the same, which is that Christmas Day is the one...

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

(1) Comments | Posted 15 December 2014 | (09:58)

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...

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Have Charities Become Too Political?

(0) Comments | Posted 8 December 2014 | (09:47)

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,...

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We Need More Inclusive Technology

(1) Comments | Posted 2 December 2014 | (12:25)

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...

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The Welfare Debate Impacts the Assisting Dying Debate

(1) Comments | Posted 24 November 2014 | (10:33)

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,...

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

(0) Comments | Posted 18 November 2014 | (07:02)

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...

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Please Stop Framing Disability as Just a Welfare Issue

(12) Comments | Posted 12 November 2014 | (23:00)

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...

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30 years of Independent Living

(2) Comments | Posted 4 November 2014 | (10:57)

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...

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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...

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