Hey guys, another great Monday morning for me! Hope you all had a good weekend and are feeling ok on this sunny Monday.
This is a rather different catch up blog. I can tell you last week really took it out of me, but the first disability webinar was a definite success. I had a great time at my friend Gemma’s wedding Saturday and then with my dad at the cricket yesterday.
However, I have been asked to write about myself and my work a few times. So, if the below is of interest to you or indeed your networks please do tweak as necessary and share around.
Whilst I am working on disability webinars and my e-books, I am available to run workshops, deliver talks and undertake consultancy projects around new media and disability (both together and separately). Basically just have a read, enjoy my wander down memory lane, and gain a deeper understanding in what I am trying to achieve, as I understand and work it all out myself 😉
“Starting way back, my first memory relating to being disabled was getting my first electric wheelchair. I was 3 years old, could not drive it safely and caused carnage in my parents’ home. I attended the small, local village school where I was the only disabled person and really enjoyed a very integrated childhood. Aged 11 I had to travel further because the local secondary school wasn’t accessible, but I kept my old friends, made new friends and after an unhappy first year I began to settle in and excel. I then went onto university, gaining a degree in economics and a masters in marketing, as well as PhD in drinking…
Attending university was a big step for me. It was the first time my parents didn’t do my personal care. This meant 4 strangers on day 1 helping me undress, hoist and shower. Slightly strange. However, it was worth it because beyond the drinking and the degrees I learnt about life. I met great people, learnt to drive a car with hand controls, flew to Australia one summer , had a few relationships with beautiful girls and broadened my horizons.
Post university was very difficult. Finding a job, an accessible house, employing and running a care team and wanting to do this in London (not as near to my family) was all extremely hard. After a couple of years fighting through the challenges, life calmed down. I was then able to turn my attention to my career, my social life, more travelling (I have since been to California, Vegas, Mexico and the Canary islands to swim with dolphins and SCUBA dive, as well as flying a plane in the UK). Essentially I had built the foundations and was ready to really grab life.
My career took me to a disability charity called Scope http://www.scope.org.uk/ where I was a fundraiser. Having learnt more about disability as a social problem my creative juices began to flow. The next thing I knew I was harnessing my personal and professional life through my blog http://martynsibley.com/. With my twitter handle @martynsibley I have grown my online community to over 10,000 people worldwide. Alongside this my good friend Srinivas Madipalli and I launched our own online magazine http://disabilityhorizons.com/ which we have big plans for too.
Right now I am self employed running my own new media and social business for disabled people. I plan to change the world for disabled people. This is achieved by showing disabled people everything is possible, the sky is the limit and show them how. Meanwhile with an online tribe of disabled people aspiring and achieving, society will have to adapt. Buildings will need to be even more accessible, people’s attitudes will change positively and employers will see the value of disabled people in the workplace and so on. I am currently concentrating my efforts through ‘disability webinars’ (seminars run through the internet). For more information click here http://martynsibley.com/
I also plan to travel the world whilst I run my social enterprise. I get such a buzz from meeting new people in new places. I think in the end everything will tie together. In the UK winters, my health is bad, so warmer climates suit me well. Then whilst I am travelling I can imagine working with International Development projects to support disabled people in developing countries too.
Who knows what the future holds, but I know I am personally and professionally very content at the moment. Having struggled, worked hard, had personal doubts and ignored most people’s sentiments, I am proud of myself at this precise moment. I hope in 40 years or so I will look back and see the part I played in disabled peoples’ lives, worldwide, being improved for the better.
If you have any questions, feedback or thoughts you can contact me here http://martynsibley.com/give-me-a-shout“