As MPs go back to work this week, we want them to think about disabled people who are unable to take up and progress in employment because of a consistent failure to remove barriers. Scope's analysis of the latest ONS data reveals that for every 100 disabled people moving into work, 114 are leaving. If the UK wants to be a modern, inclusive society, it needs to act urgently - not just pay lip service to an ideal world in which opportunities are equal.
Whilst this might seem a strange title for a blog on disability, I count myself incredibly lucky to have had a hidden disability all of my adult life. If I had to choose between invisible and visible, I would choose invisible every time. Why, you ask? It stops the questions. It stops the pity. It stops people thinking you are 'less' of a person because you are in some way deficient.
I believe characters in stories should be as diverse as the people who read them, but only a very small handful of children's books feature a deaf character. There are more than 45,000 deaf children in the UK. Most are born to hearing parents and go to mainstream schools where they may be the only deaf child, so they can feel quite isolated.
While not criticising achievements of ParalympicsGB, might the 11 million people living with disabilities in the UK have been better served by the money invested in the Paralympic GB squad, and what kind of post-Olympic legacy are we to expect from this investment?
So if we accept that emojis are now part of our everyday language and are here to stay, then the need for more diverse emojis is the natural progression of a language that is continuously evolving.
You wouldn't tell someone they cant get up the stairs as you have no lift but direct them to another store that does have one! But this is what our high street household names are effectively doing by expecting someone else to provide a facility they could easily provide for customers that are asking for better facilities. It's time to stop passing the buck and take responsibility.
Here in Uganda, the general attitude towards people living with a disability is negative. They are called "'Kateyemba'", meaning 'The Unable One', suggesting they can't help themselves. It's a nickname that instils a sense of hopelessness in a person. In the African culture, if you bear a child with disability it seems like a curse. Parents ask, "What did I do to deserve such a child?"
Disabled people don't need praise for accomplishing something that a non-disabled person would, too. They, just like everyone else, should be praised for doing something they enjoy; anyone should be given praise for doing something they enjoy and not letting their own personal difficulties stop them.