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 the Social Care Debate So Primitive?

(0) Comments | Posted 17 August 2015 | (08:26)

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 | (09:03)

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 | (00:00)

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 | (08:25)

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 | (13:38)

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 | (20:05)

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 | (10:57)

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 | (12:59)

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 | (08:18)

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 | (08:54)

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 | (00:00)

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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Being Normal Has Never Appealed to Me

(1) Comments | Posted 18 May 2015 | (08:48)

Normality has been a concept I have wrestled with most of my life, and it was the topic and title of a play I wrote in 1991 about my experiences of being a disabled pupil at an all-boys mainstream school within a very different era. I believe Normality can be...

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Disability in 2020

(5) Comments | Posted 12 May 2015 | (11:17)

The surprising general election result has left many disability campaigners and activists in shock, with immediate welfare based allegations of all round doom and gloom in what they see as an unfair result. But the nation voted and in England at least, their welfare based desire to exclude disabled people...

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Which Political Party Is Good for Disabled People?

(1) Comments | Posted 5 May 2015 | (11:45)

This election has been a confusing yet dull election. What was 5 years ago a traditional two and a half horse race has now exploded into a rainbow of parties, although they all seem to be fighting in their own ways for the middle ground, promising to be safe rather...

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What Does Independent Living Really Mean for Disabled People?

(1) Comments | Posted 20 April 2015 | (11:29)

Labour's election manifesto talks about disabled people living independently, but only relates it in terms of those who appear capable of working with support, framing the issue in terms of welfare. All the political parties, and indeed the majority of welfare activists, appear to divide disabled people into two main...

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Does Peer Support Always Help Disabled People?

(1) Comments | Posted 16 April 2015 | (08:42)

When we have a problem, any problem, it is good to talk with people who are having or have had the same problem so we can share experiences and learn from each other. This is often referred to as 'peer support' and for a long time in many situations, it...

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Inclusion Comes From Within

(0) Comments | Posted 7 April 2015 | (11:37)

I first came across the 'Disability Movement' when I went to university in 1992. As someone who had gone to a mainstream school and was at an age where I was trying to understand who I was as a disabled person, I looked to the movement for guidance and support....

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Do People Really Have a Right Not to Experience Stress?

(1) Comments | Posted 31 March 2015 | (12:57)

I believe we live in a time, within the UK especially, where we enjoy a quantity and quality of life opportunities and experiences that are greater as a whole than in any time in history when we take into account a whole range of factors. Technology alone has continuously changed...

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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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