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Why the Channel 4 Paralympics Advertising is Angering Disabled People

I’ve always had mixed feelings about the Paralympics. On the one hand it does give elite disabled sportspeople a platform and raises awareness, but on the other the coverage is often surrounded by a lot of inspiration and trauma porn.

That for me can put a dampener on the whole proceedings, so when I heard that Channel 4 had set out its most ambitious ever Paralympic plans I was excited. With an over 70% disabled presenting team, live subtitles, audio describing and sign language it sounded like a real effort was being made to break the mould.

However the advertising campaign has let it down.

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Surprise, I’m a Disabled Person

Today on Twitter, someone informed me I was a person. This may sound weird but if you’re a disabled person who tweets about the injustices we live with it’s actually a regular occurrence.

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I’m Struggling Through my Latest Lupus Relapse – and That’s Okay to Admit

Today is World Lupus Day, on this day I usually spread awareness and my own story but this year it feels different. After mostly being in remission and only getting the occasional flare for the past six years, my Lupus is relapsing and I’m feeling the affects much worse than I had.

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Introducing The Unwritten Disability and Abuse Survey

It’s been a tough few weeks for women, femmes and all those of marginalised genders who have experienced abuse at the hands of men.

Out of all of the hurt and pain however has come a new battle cry, a demand that we will not be treated like this again. But, unfortunately it’s something that disabled people have been largely left out of.

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Actor James Moore on Why Adults with Cerebral Palsy are “Second Class Citizens”

It must be a big shock to suddenly lose all support and healthcare when you turn 18, but this is the reality for adults with Cerebral Palsy.

As March is Cerebral Palsy Month, Adult Cerebral Palsy Hub, has unveiled a set of mock ‘Second Class Stamps’ featuring famous famous with the condition, to highlight the lack of support given to adults with CP across the UK which means they are treated as, the charity says ‘Second Class Citizens’.

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Include Disabled People in Your Feminism This IWD and Beyond

TW: Stats about domestic violence, abuse and austerity.

Today is International Womens Day, a day when we celebrate how far women have come and how much we have left to achieve.

Unfortunately one group often left out of that is disabled women. Although we’re one of the biggest minorities, disabled women are often left out of – or not even able to access – discussions about equality.

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Please Stop Killing Us

It’s been an awful past 12 months, I don’t need to tell anyone that. For disabled people it’s not just been the threat of the pandemic that’s been weighing on our minds. Ever since lockdown was announced last year, disabled people were the first to be thrown under the bus and it hasn’t stopped.

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Free School Meals Private Contractor Refuses to Cater for Children With Dietary Requirements

By now you’ve probably seen what the government thinks constitutes for a week of meals adding up to £30, but just in case you don’t inhabit Twitter let me whet your appetite.

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How You Can Support Us

While this is a space for disabled people’s stories, our priority is paying our writers for their energy and words. As an already marginalised group we could never and would never in good conscience ask disabled people to write for free.

However, as brand new and completely independent publication ran by a working class freelancer, we’re not there yet. So we’d love any support that you can give us.

All of your money will go towards paying writers and creatives to make this the best space for disabled stories. When we launch we will be paying each writer £75 per article, with the aim of raising it when we can.

You can support us on Patreon for as little as £3.50 a month, there are five different packages with lots of great perks.

If you’d prefer to give a one off donation you can contribute to our Paypal Writers Pot.

We understand if you can’t contribute, and we’d really appreciate any shares, RTs or follows on Twitter as well.

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We Want Your Stories

The Unwritten would be nothing without you, so we’d love to hear all about your amazing stories. We’re looking for stories on health, love, loss, success, struggles, diagnosis, misdiagnosis, no diagnosis, and everything in between. All stories are welcome, we won’t define or gate-keep what qualifies as a disability and we recognise self-diagnosis.

The basics

  • Word count: 700- 800 words
  • Pay: £75/ $100 (we’re hoping to increase this as the site grows)
  • Pitches accepted on an ongoing rolling basis, but this may mean your article isn’t published for a few months after pitching
  • We accept pitches from all over the world but be aware we only pay in GBP and USD.

How to pitch

Send an email to and include:

  • The word PITCH in the email subject
  • If your story is time sensitive or news related please mark as TIMELY but be aware that we have a limited budget.
  • A couple of paragraphs about you, your pitch and why you want to write about it.
  • Any clips, examples of your work, blog links or even social links. Don’t worry if you don’t have any published work.
  • If your pitch contains sensitive subjects can you please trigger warning it at the top of the email. A simple “TW: Domestic abuse” or “TW: eating disorders” is fine. If you’re unsure if you should trigger warn, do so anyway just to be safe. This allows our editors to practice self care.

What we want

  • Personal essays and opinion pieces about chronic illness, disability and health.
  • How your illness intersects with other aspects of your life sexuality, gender, race, religion, class, education, family and relationships – priority may be given to pitches where the author is part of another minority group.
  • Funny stories, perspectives and issues we might not have considered before.
  • Your opinion on political, social and topical issues that affect you as a disabled person
  • Stories of diagnosis or how you’ve struggled to gain a diagnosis.
  • We allow stories to be published under a pseudonym, no questions asked.

What we don’t publish

  • Inspirational stories of people “overcoming” illness
  • Stories written by non-disabled people about their disabled partners or relatives. Those are not your stories to tell.

Notes on tone

We aim to have a conversational writing style, like you’re chatting with your pals. With that in mind, swearing is allowed, but don’t go overboard. They should be used sparingly and only when absolutely necessary. Preferably if it’s in a quote, and starred out.

In the interest of inclusivity we use gender neutral language, so it’s always “people who have periods” or “people who menstruate”. We also always respect pronouns.

Our response

Please note that we are a two person team, both of whom have chronic illnesses and working other jobs, so it may take up to two weeks to reply to your pitch. We appreciate your patience.

We can’t wait to hear from you!

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