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Simone Biles is Not a Wimp. She’s a Woman Prioritising Her Mental Health, and I Respect That

TW: this article mentions of sexual abuse, in particular the abuses carried out by Larry Nassar against gymnasts.  


Simone Biles deserves a gold medal in courage. 

When she stepped away from the Olympics all-around event and decided not to compete, that took a huge amount of guts. But it’s no surprise she’s become a pro at being brave in the face of overwhelming stress. She’s had to, given her past. As the last gymnast abused by Larry Nassar (the prior doctor for the United States women’s national gymnastics) team still performing, she has been forced to deal with her ongoing personal trauma in front of the media.

 When the word came that “medical issues” were the reasons for her withdrawal, most people assumed them to be physical—an injury to her body, perhaps. That it takes society a beat or two to realize that mental health concerns are equally important, and also a potential medical issue, says something about how far we still have to go when it comes to awareness and compassion. 

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Making Space For Disabled Freelancers Is More Important Than Ever Before

In this sponsored post, co-founder of The Disability Collab Lydia Wilkins discusses how disabled freelancers are often left out of journalism and how they plan to change that.


“Just communicate better.” “You should be more sociable.” “You’re not disabled – you can talk to me!” “You’re, like, so inspiring for all that you do!” “Can you grow your arms back?” “Disability isn’t part of our diversity strategy, not this year at least.” *Ghosts your job interview on mentioning of a disability* 

If you’re a disabled person who’s tried to work a conventional office job, you’ve probably experienced comments like this – comments which can wear you down over time, on a very surface level. 

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The National Disability Strategy Ignores Those With Energy Limiting Chronic Illnesses

Like many other disabled and chronically ill people, reading the new National Disability Strategy released by the government yesterday left me feeling a little underwhelmed. 

I live with Hypermobility Spectrum Disorder, a connective tissue disorder that is also classified as an Energy Limiting Chronic Illness (ELCI). The Chronic Illness Inclusion Project says that an illness is considered an ELCI if it “[has] energy impairment as a key feature”. 

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Pain Chronicles: The Additional Cost of Being Disabled

Pain Chronicles is a monthly(-ish) column from Caroline McDonagh-Delves about coming to terms with living with a chronic illness. It will include funny stories and brutal honesty, with some thrown in chats with her mum Shaz, and other friends too, along the way. 


Caroline’s note: I’ve written this month’s column along with my mum, Shaz. You can find my bits in regular type, and hers in bold (because she always is). Hope you enjoy.

I’ll always remember the doctors’ note I got at university so that I could type in exams rather than handwrite. The doctor mentioned I’d been doing the same in ‘A’ Levels. Inverted commas and all. I can’t quite remember how much it was, I think around the £30 mark. £30 so I could access the same education as my classmates. And disabled students’ allowance may have covered that, but the forms were arduous and I really didn’t have it in me to do it.

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“Freedom Day” is Anything But for the Disabled and Vulnerable

So, it’s now “Freedom Day”. After watching people attack disability activists for supporting the delay this last month, here it is. I watched last week’s Downing Street briefing from behind my fingers. The Prime Minister stood there ignoring all of the figures. Chris Witty and Patrick Valance flanking him, giving his b*llocks an air of respectability. Both of them appearing to be trying their very hardest not to outright say “I don’t agree with this decision.”

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Tech Companies: Focus on fixing the Infrastructure, not Disability

It’s like an ableist version of Groundhog Day. Except instead of Bill Murray as a disgruntled weatherman, it’s a young spectacled 20-something in a chequered shirt telling you how the seventh pair of sign language gloves “really is the one this time, folks!”

And if it’s not sign language gloves, then it’s wheelchairs which can make its user stand up or, more recently, vibrating shoes for the blind and visually impaired. Every day tech companies leave us spoilt for choice when it comes to accessible technology we actually don’t need – or want.

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Pain Chronicles: Right Now, I Need the Sunflower

Pain Chronicles is a monthly(-ish) column from Caroline McDonagh-Delves about coming to terms with living with a chronic illness. It will include funny stories and brutal honesty, with some thrown in chats with her mum Shaz, and other friends too, along the way.


When mask wearing became mandatory in July last year, I was mostly still not leaving the house. We’re a high risk family, and I felt the government were too hasty in unlocking everything.

When I did have to pop to the shops, I’d don a reusable mask (trying to combat waste) and more often than not I’d only just finish my shopping before having to run outside to fresh air to stave off a panic attack. Face shields were slightly better, although they did elicit some funny looks, and there was still an issue with allodynia where the sponge rested on my forehead.

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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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#FreeBritney has Shown Just how Damaging Conservatorships are to Disabled People

Last week when Britney Spears bravely gave evidence in her own conservatorship case, the world was rightly horrified to hear how her abusive father and team have controlled her life for the past 13 years. However, the case has drawn light to how similar practices are used to overpower disabled across the globe, as H.J discusses. 

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all disabled and sexual opinion

Disabled and Sexual: Disabled LGBTQ+ People Deserve to Feel Welcome in Queer spaces

Disabled and Sexual is a monthly(-ish) column by Hannah Shewan Stevens which will explore all the challenges, comedy, and fun that disabled people experience as sexual beings, even while we are desexualised by a predominantly non-disabled society.


If you took one look at a Pride parade or any of the capitalist Pride advertising during June, you’d be forgiven for assuming that disabled people are almost non-existent in the LGBTQ+ community. 

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