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

It Is Important to Know How to Employ Personal Assistants

(0) Comments | Posted 3 May 2016 | (08:26)

Employing personal assistants to meet social care needs can feel like a complex process and so I am delighted to be able to launch my latest publication, Understand Assistance.

Understand Assistance is an e-book guide for People who use Personal Assistants. It is a comprehensive guide exploring every aspect of...

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Saying 'You Can Not Harm the Disabled' Is Harmful

(0) Comments | Posted 8 March 2016 | (08:53)

I used to equate independent living for people with impairments as the end of Black slavery in terms of liberation politics, but the sad reality is it was merely a small colony of slaves who broke free, which I myself followed as a young man, leaving everyone else behind still...

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Wearing a Swimming Hat Can Make a Big Difference

(0) Comments | Posted 1 March 2016 | (06:49)

While I vaguely remember having to wear a swimming hat at Primary School, I did not start wearing a swimming hat until I was 18 when I started swimming competitively. After trying the cheap thin and terribly uncomfortable latex ones, I quickly moved to more expensive, thicker and more comfortable...

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It is Time to Embrace Stress as a Mental Wellbeing Issue

(0) Comments | Posted 23 February 2016 | (07:42)

Stress can kill, in terms of causing suicides and the onset of other conditions, and it would be foolish to say otherwise. Stress has and will always exist, and we need to look at how we manage stress in the 21st Century. The first thing you can not do is...

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Changing the Conversation on Health and Social Care

(0) Comments | Posted 16 February 2016 | (10:32)

We currently live in an environment of label based entitlements. By this I mean many people with impairments feel their labels mean they deserve specific benefits and support regardless of what they may actually need, and with little regard to what having the support would achieve. The fight to obtain...

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Surely We All Want Best Value for Public Monies?

(0) Comments | Posted 9 February 2016 | (07:16)

I read with dismay and frustration the Charity Sector's response to the government's proposal that monies given to Charities by government organisations for services should not be used for lobbying. The Charity sector claim this is a vow of silence as they represent 'the vulnerable' against the Big Bad Government.

...
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Being on the Cerebral Palsy Spectrum

(6) Comments | Posted 2 February 2016 | (09:27)

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 | (07:26)

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 | (08:38)

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 | (09:11)

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 | (07:50)

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 | (08:18)

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 | (07:39)

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 | (10:00)

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 | (09:38)

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 | (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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