This post follows weeks of hard graft regarding my Epic European Disability Roadtrip (mentioned in July).
In the next few minutes I will outline my biggest (some say craziest) project ever and hope to motivate you to become a part of this very cool initiative.
To inspire, inform and change the world on disability issues
Who am I?
For those who are new to me; I’m Martyn, a disabled guy who loves life and also loves trying to change it for the better! I blog here, co-edit lifestyle magazine ‘Disability Horizons’, have my own social media company, I am a media spokesperson on disability issues, and I run elearning projects for disabled people; including the recently crowd funded ‘dconference’ which is launching soon.
Disability as a social problem
In 2012 there are still too many disabled people who cannot access public buildings, transport links, employment and leisure in everyday life. However with the right societal and government support; disabled people can and do fully participate in modern communities.
The online community I have built up the past 3 years would rightly say that there are many more improvements needed. The community is also living proof that with the right support, mindset and strategies; anything is possible. We know that by showing our potential with individual achievements; the world can and will make the necessary long term changes for full equality.
The Epic European Disability Roadtrip
My latest project is to go around Europe in an adapted motorhome and explore the changing landscapes and attitudes towards disability. In doing so I will explain:
• the personal and difficult factors taken into account on such a trip with my disability
• my observations on the different physical environments and attitudinal views on disabled people across the European continent (using articles, photos and videos)
• how other disabled people feel by giving them a voice to share their experiences to a bigger audience
• the bigger/overarching issues of disability using a powerful message within mainstream media
• how my project is an educational tool for social change and use it as a fundraising vehicle for the organisations featured on the trip – These guys are working tirelessly everyday for improved conditions in the disability field
How it all works
So, having had and lost a sponsored adapted caravan in July; I have been exploring many ways to make the dream become a reality. I found out last week that CoachBuiltGB will sponsor me the required adapted motorhome. After driving to Nuneaton in the West Midlands, I was able to confirm that this is suitable 🙂 It has an electric wheelchair lift, a hoist and accessible shower. I cannot drive it, but I will be accompanied by one of my Personal Care Assistants who will drive.
Therefore on the 22nd September I will set off on the route shown in the map below (taking in France, Germany, Poland, Lithuania, Austria, Italy and Spain). The journey will last 4 weeks.
The money part
Before I set off I require £3,500 for my Personal Assistants driving insurance, ferry crossing, fuel for the 4 weeks, our motorhome park fees and toll road costs.
This is where you guys come in.
I am working with pleasefund.us to crowd source the money required. With your help, I can put the final pieces of this large puzzle together and make a huge impact. Consider what you can afford and check out the pledge rewards too.
Make a pledge, make this project happen, and lets make a difference!
• have any cool ideas for the trip
• know any disabled people across Europe with a story to tell
• work in the media or marketing world
Then please contact me on email firstname.lastname@example.org or tweet me @martynsibley