Well, where to start? Firstly I’m sorry that I’ve not been visibly active on the site for a while. I’ve had to deal with some personal issues; my dog died, I spilt some really hot coffee on myself and I was abducted by aliens who did some pretty distressing things to me. I don’t really want to go into more detail, suffice to say that I’ve been busy sorting my life out. Obviously this is a massive, almost insurmountable task, which I hope goes some way to explaining my absence from.. uh.. frontline service. Not that I really need to explain why I’ve been away or that you particularly care, well, that you care enough to send the secret charitable activities police round to my house in the dark hours of the night to demand, nay – extract excuses. What? Err.
Well, what’s been happening in the mad world of the TB’s? No, not tuberculosis (although that too is a significant concern for the world – a third of the world’s population has been infected with M. tuberculosis and new infections occur at the rate of one per second1)
Obviously I’m talking about Trailblazers, you know, this incredible… what are/is we/it? This incredible, er, beast.
Born, gosh, nearly a year and a half ago now.
In the beginning, Trailblazers were polled about what issues they would like to see the network tackle as a priority. The network said “let there be light” and lo and behold, three topics were illuminated for scrutiny.
Transport. Access to Education. Access to Leisure Facilities.
Maybe the biblical analogy is a bit much. Though that isn’t to say we don’t do amazing things. Also, I realise that the things which we want to change with this network don’t necessarily fall so easily into one of those three categories but that’s another blog for another day.
We’ve already launched two massive public campaigns, one into Transport and one into Education. The third, Leisure, has just been launched.
I encourage everyone with an opinion on this subject to take the online petition found here or to send us some surveys, which are available on that same page. We need all the feedback we can get. Every piece of data which we can use to strengthen the validity and urgency of our argument is of importance. So please, take a few minutes to tell us what you have to say.
A few small things of general interest now.
This is a pretty interesting article on the disabilitynow website about disabled characters in children’s fiction and it discusses something which I think is key to changing society’s attitude to disability, namely; education about and exposure to disability from an early age.
There is also another interesting article here about stereotyping appearances and something everyone suffers from at some point, being overly body-conscious.
Last but by no means least, this is a brilliant disabled band from Norway who start singing in swedish, move on to a slightly homophobic cover of A-Ha’s ‘Take on me’ before doing a storming rendition of the song “Heaven” about a minute and a half in. Worth a look.