Disabled writers champion social media

Social media used to have a bad press. But it’s good news for many people living with a disability or chronic illness.

Information and advice service Independent Living gathered people’s views on the role social media plays for them. Their findings are positive.

POWERFUL PLATFORM

Lauren Matthewson of Access Your Life described social media as ‘an incredibly powerful platform’ for those living with a disability. ‘It allows us to connect with other people living with similar conditions,’ she said.

Lauren has learned to overlook the negativity that can be found on social media. But scrolling through comments online can be depressing – ‘particularly when I’m stuck in hospital and my feed is filled with pictures of everyone having fun!’ She has to remind herself that most people post life’s highlights, as opposed to their reality.

Carrie-Ann Lightley of AccessAble (pictured above) started out as a disabled travel writer online in 2010. She wanted to share her passion for travel with the rest of the world, and to show that accessible travel is possible.

BEST FEELING

‘The best feeling in the world is someone telling you they’ve had the confidence to book a trip, as a disabled person, because they’ve read your latest post,’ said Carrie-Ann.

Martyn Sibley of Disability Horizons (pictured below) believes social media gives everybody a voice. ‘For years, disabled people were not empowered to speak up,’ he said. But Martyn believes social media offers useful content, community support and debate forums. His vision is where governments, businesses and society fully value disabled people.

As a wheelchair user, Georgina Harvey of Chronillicles has found social media has been ‘life-changing’ – in a good way. ‘It makes me feel less alone in what I’m going through,’ she said. ‘It also shows me amazing ways I can customise my chair to make it feel more like my own!’ For the full story, visit here.