The political party conference season is getting in full swing. Housing, the NHS, social care as well as Brexit are among issues prominent on the agendas at these annual political melting pots. But there's another one which deserves a higher level of attention and that impacts on hundreds of thousands of lives every day in the UK.
Working so closely with deaf children means I know full well that loneliness is a big issue to tackle. It knocks deaf children's confidence before they even start school, affects attainment throughout their education, and causes untold pain that persists later on in life.
The Speaker of the House of Commons ruled last week that male MPs need not wear a tie. There has been much fuss made in various newspapers about this. Many correspondents to letters pages seem to regard it as a lowering of standards.
I was woken on the morning of the Grenfell Tower fire by text alerts. My friends who lived there had escaped from their fifth
More Disabled MPs Is Good News But All Politicians Have A Duty To Represent The Voices Of Disabled People
There are 13 million disabled people in the UK, and that means we should be aiming for 20% of the MPs sitting in the Commons identifying as disabled. However, it is a start and a small step in the right direction - our Parliament will be stronger for the diversity of voices elected today.
This election, let's come together to show the country that we refuse to be overlooked. To show those in power that our votes are precious and that they must work hard to win them, and in the long run, keep them. Our voices and our votes are more important than you think.
I believe that identifying with the term 'disabled' is a personal choice. But it is important to recognise that there is no right way to be disabled. The disabled community is diverse, as are the lives of those within it.
I want that for everyone and that's why I campaign so hard for fully accessible toilets. A lot of other teams have followed Arsenal; Liverpool, Manchester United, Man City, Southampton, Leicester and West Ham all have Changing Places now. But 13 clubs in the Premier League still don't have a Changing Places and I don't think that's right.
The government has recognised that care is in crisis. The Budget has provided some more 'sticking plaster' emergency funding for care via local authorities. How that £2 billion will be distributed and used over the next three years remains to be seen.
By all means have a debate on whether we should raise more taxation from income or wealth, but let's do it as part of a debate about government finances. Enough of the dead cats and red herrings! It's time for a new vision for better care and support.