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Do You Think Attitudes to Epilepsy Have Changed? Well, Maybe.

Trigger Warnings: Discriminatory attitudes to disability, discussion of asylum treatment methods, discussion of mental health, historic offensive language describing seizures

Author’s note: Some of the language used is now considered to be offensive, similarly they mention historical treatments which are also considered offensive and awful now. The language used is quoting what is used in the video – and it is important to use these quotes fully. 

It was ‘Epilepsy Awareness Day’ or ‘Purple Day’ on 26th March, where people wear purple to raise awareness about the realities of epilepsy. During the promotional build-up, UK-based charity ‘Epilepsy Action’ tweeted a video from 1957 highlighting historic attitudes to epilepsy. They asked, “Do you think attitudes have changed?” As I watched the video with horror and sadness at the stigma people lived with, my initial reaction was a resounding, YES.

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Line of Duty’s Tommy Jessop is Leading the way for Actors With Down Syndrome

Line Of Duty is one of, if not the biggest fictional crime drama in the UK. It follows AC-12, an anti-corruption unit investigating unlawful activities within the police force and stars the likes of Vicky McClure and Martin Compston however those familiar with the television series will also know long-serving cast member Tommy Jessop.

Tommy plays civilian character Terry Boyle who throughout the six series has been a victim of cuckooing, a term used to describe when drug dealers invade the homes of vulnerable individuals for criminal activity. 

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NICE’s Worrying New Chronic Pain Guidelines

It’s the summer of 2012. I am still at university, using the very last of the term-length pool membership I’d bought. I swim 2 miles. That’s 128 lengths of a 25m pool. The walk back up to the main campus is hard, steep and my bag is heavy with my wet costume. I collapse onto my bed. My hands hurt, but four or five doctors can’t tell me why that is. My knees hurt, but after three doctors, I saw one specialist who said it should clear up by the time I’m 20, which I turned last month. I swallow a dihydrocodeine and sleep for 8 hours.

The NICE guidelines released on 7th April recommend analgesics not be used for primary chronic pain. What they do recommend is exercise, antidepressants, acupuncture, and psychological therapies. Paracetamol and ibuprofen, possibly some of the most widely taken drugs outside of penicillin, that usually cost about 20p for a box of 16, they also can’t recommend. 

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I’m not Responsible for the Misconception That all Disabled People are Asexual

There wasn’t much time between when I realised I was asexual and when I was diagnosed as autistic – only around a year. Ironically, the first person I ever came out to was a therapist I only saw once, when I originally began to fall into the mental health crisis causing the realisation that I was autistic. It’s been six years since then, and I’m still asked – or alternatively told – whether the two are one and the same.

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As an Autistic Person, I’m Tired of Autism Awareness Day

Every year, as April approaches, I always find myself feeling a bit off-colour. My mood dips, my anxiety spikes and I have a much shorter fuse than I usually do. For a long time, I never really understood why the month bothered me so much. Then, as March drew to a close, it hit me. Autism Awareness Day was coming. And I couldn’t be less enthusiastic for it if I tried.

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As a Deaf Person I Feel More Excluded Than Ever Before in the Pandemic

In the time before Covid, being deaf in a hearing world was tricky, but manageable. Those of us living with hearing loss found ways to handle our interactions with hearing society, be that technology or interpreters. For the most part we vaulted our hurdles as naturally as walking. It meant adaptations and hard work but, in the main, we got along with the status quo.

But then the world changed with the arrival of Covid-19 and entirely new hurdles presented themselves; tall, mighty and unmovable. Our strategies had to adapt, and we were going to need help. 

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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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Disabled Women Are The Sexual Assault Epidemic No One Talks About

TW: Murder of Sarah Everard, sexual assault/harassment concerns, victim blaming. There are links to places to find support at the bottom of this article.

We are told that “statistics are human beings with the tears dried off.” Hearing about mass suffering can generate surprise and concern. But it can also desensitise. When the problem seems too big to contemplate, it can make the most personal crises feel impersonal.

In the three years ending March 2018, disabled women were almost twice as likely to have experienced any form of sexual assault in the last year (5.7%) than non-disabled women (3.0%). There is a degree of apathy that comes with numbers; they feel so far removed; we don’t see the families consumed by grief; men in the last year murdered 118 women.  

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RuPaul’s Drag Race and its Complex Relationship with Disability

If you are unaware, RuPaul’s Drag Race is a behemoth of a franchise. It had humble beginnings on Logo TV, but over its 12 year lifespan it has grown into a multi Emmy winning, international power house of a show that is more mainstream now than anyone could have predicted in its early days. On the show, drag queens battle it out via challenges and lip syncs to earn the coveted crown.

The show is now an international hit, with versions popping up in The Netherlands, Thailand and Canada. Ru Paul’s Drag Race has become synonymous with drag. However, the show has repeatedly let down it’s disabled contestants and disabled audience with bad representation and ableism.

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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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