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

Being on the Cerebral Palsy Spectrum

(6) Comments | Posted 2 February 2016 | (10:27)

I think most readers will have heard of and understand the Autism Spectrum, an understand that this 'condition' can vary its severity from very mild to absolutely severe. Well I would like to propose that it is time we look at Cerebral Palsy (CP) in the same way, as a...

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Has Independent Living Failed to Deliver?

(1) Comments | Posted 27 January 2016 | (08:26)

Independent Living has been hailed has one of the greatest achievements of the Disabled People's movement, but has it failed to deliver for the majority of disabled people in 2016? While there is no doubt independent living policies have benefited those who had the determination to live independently, like myself,...

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A Fire Hazard in Budapest

(0) Comments | Posted 21 January 2016 | (09:38)

I have just come back from a nice if not cold break from Budapest, staying with a very close friend I had not seen for a few years. One night I asked if we could go out somewhere and she thought of the nightclub attached to the Full Moon hostel,...

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Do Carers Really Know Best?

(1) Comments | Posted 15 December 2015 | (10:11)

I dislike the term 'carer' for a number of reasons as well as the whole carer rhetoric, although I am quite aware that this is an sensitive subject for most people. Throughout my life, the term 'carer' has been used to undermine my intelligence as someone most people regard as...

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WCA May Have Failed But What Activists Want Is Worse

(0) Comments | Posted 1 December 2015 | (08:50)

The Work Capacity Assessment (WCA) for Employment and Support Allowance (ESA) has been controversial to many people, and there has been plenty of calls for it to be scrapped. I am therefore somewhat bemused by the mute response to the government's commitment to do just that in the spending review.

...
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Puting the 'Y' in Dysability

(0) Comments | Posted 18 November 2015 | (09:18)

The terms used to describe dysabled people have radically changed over the last 200 years as many terms are corrupted, with many terms ending up being now used as derogatory insults.

The term disability replaced handicapped as the main term in the early 1980s, and it has lasted well, where...

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The Forgotten History of the Disability Discrimination Act

(0) Comments | Posted 11 November 2015 | (08:39)

As people celebrate 20 years since the Disability Discrimination Act was enacted, it is worth briefly reminding ourselves that it was not the act anyone campaigned for or wanted. Instead, it was a compromised act proposed by the then Conservative government to divide the disability movement and to stop a...

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Ten Myths Told to Convince You Assisted Dying Should Be Legalised

(3) Comments | Posted 9 September 2015 | (11:00)

As the House of Commons vote on the First Reading of Rob Marris' Assisted Dying bill comes near, I feel it is time for another article on what is a very important topic for me. While the bill is aimed at those at the end of their lives, there is...

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Has Labour Lost Its Natural Friendship With Disabled People?

(2) Comments | Posted 31 August 2015 | (10:38)

On my wall I have the back of one of my business cards signed by Tony Blair (in Blue) and the late Tony Benn (in red). I got their autographs at a lobby for Roger Berry's Disability Rights Private Members Bill in 1994, which failed but it was the start...

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Why Is the Social Care Debate So Primitive?

(0) Comments | Posted 17 August 2015 | (09:26)

I read the Chief Inspector of Social Care's, Andrea Sutcliffe, recent article in the Guardian with disappointment and concern at her arguments, as well as the wider debates within social care. Social Care has been politically reduced into simply being about warehousing older people, as loved ones simply waiting to...

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Hooray! Dilnot's Care Cap Has Been Halted

(1) Comments | Posted 4 August 2015 | (10:03)

After two white papers from twp successive governments, the Care Act was hailed as a major victory as the next generation of social care for adults. The jewel in the crown of the act was the care cap, limiting the amount any one person would pay for social care within...

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Would Channel 4's 'Humans' Be Good for Disabled People?

(0) Comments | Posted 21 July 2015 | (01:00)

I have been watching Humans on Channel 4, and the potential impact the idea of consumer focused 'synthetics', with great interest. If we ignore the storyline, I am really interested on how they would improve, or perhaps harm, the lives of disabled people, especially those of us who employ personal...

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Disabled People Are Not the Property of the Government

(0) Comments | Posted 13 July 2015 | (09:25)

A question I am often asked is 'Who looks after you?', to which my reply is always and simply 'Me!'. There is this idea that just because I am 'disabled', that there is presumably someone in the government, locally or nationally, managing my every move to ensure I am kept...

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Why Do Disabled Activists Want the Transfer of the Independent Living Fund to Fail?

(7) Comments | Posted 5 July 2015 | (14:38)

Now the Independent Living Fund has closed, I would be foolish if I did not say I was not a little nervous about the future of my support, but I have and will always be nervous about any assessment, because they all have an element of uncertainty even when there...

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Political Battles Between Inclusion and Welfare

(3) Comments | Posted 28 June 2015 | (21:05)

I would like to suggest that when the coalition government came into power in May 2010, there was a major shift in the way many sick and disabled people have organised themselves to protest against 'welfare reforms'. Most people will not see any problem with this, regarding this as something...

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Does the Public Really Understand the 'Right to Die' Debate?

(2) Comments | Posted 22 June 2015 | (11:57)

With the prospect of Rob Marris MP's private members bill bringing the possibility of legislation to legalise 'Assisted Dying' back on the table, the question must be asked, does the general public really understand the implications of what this means for everyone involved?

This new law will for the first...

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Daring to be Different

(0) Comments | Posted 15 June 2015 | (13:59)

Anyone who knows me understands that I am very confident with appearing different, whether that involves wearing bibs, a helmet, nappies or a harness on my wheelchair. These are all devices that assist me and help me have a comfortable lifestyle. More importantly, these are items I have chosen to...

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Disabled People Do Not Need to Be Passive Users of Social Care

(0) Comments | Posted 8 June 2015 | (09:18)

As the closure of the Independent Living Fund fast approaches, I remain frustrated at how those who are still campaigning for it to stay open are portraying the situation. They like to paint the image of poor and defenseless users, who were protected by the fund, now being swallowed up...

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Is Having Fun a Positive Step Towards Getting a Job?

(1) Comments | Posted 1 June 2015 | (09:54)

When people talk about getting and supporting sick and disabled people into paid work, there is an image of simply kicking people into any old traditional full-time job, regardless of whether they are qualified or emotionally/physically capable of doing the work. I am often harshly criticised for 'believing everyone should...

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Just Having More Disabled People on TV Is Not Enough

(10) Comments | Posted 26 May 2015 | (01:00)

For as long as I can remember, one of the complaints from all corners I have heard is that there is not enough disabled people on television. While this can often feel the case, the reality is television has always included and portrayed people with a range of impairments, it...

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