The ‘Disability Power 100‘ list covers successful disabled people in politics, media, sport and entertainment. Produced by Powerful Media and sponsored by The Shaw Trust, it’s creating important discussions about being disabled in 2016. This year Tanni Grey Thompson chaired the judging panel.
I’m still not sure who entered me, but a couple of months ago I was asked to list my recent achievements. Very touched that someone had thought of me, I replied and cracked on with my projects.
Fast forward to a couple of weeks ago and I was contacted to say I’d made the top 100. I was so pleased to be chosen in a list full of amazing people. Getting 99th place would have been awesome. Then during our working trip to Mallorca last week, I was asked for a quote as I’d made the top 10. A day later I was informed confidentially I’d made 3rd place!
I was just behind Britains most decorated female Paralympian Sarah Storey in first, and Channel 4 presenter Alex Brooker in second. BBC presenter Andrew Marr who became disabled from a stroke was number 8.
I’m writing this article after a couple of days of congratulations and digestion. My chin is almost back off of my lap now. But what does this all really mean to me?
Inspiring Younger Disabled People
Some people in the disability world hate the word ‘inspire’ or ‘inspirational’. This is because when a disabled person goes to work or to a nightclub it’s often seen as inspiring to members of the public. When in fact it should be a normal everyday activity. Unfortunately access, attitudes and regulations make it more difficult. However us disabled people are not here to inspire other people because of our difficulties. We really just want equality and to live a fulfilled life. Like all humans do.
For me inspiration does have its place though. When I was growing up I’d wonder how I’d live without my mum and dad doing my care. If I’d work. If I’d drive. If I’d travel. If I’d have sex. You get my point. There were lots of worries and doubts.