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I sometimes wonder what my economics degree gave me in day to day life. But then I realise it gave me various tools and frameworks by which to view the world. This is definitely the case when looking at disabled people as consumers and employees.

As a consumer I need physical spaces to be accessible, digital places to work with assistive software, and customer service that can understand my needs. Otherwise quite simply I cannot spend my money with that business. Nor will I bring my friends and family with me.

As an employee I have a whole load of value that a business can benefit from. Moreover they have other customers with similar backgrounds to me. Meaning employing a diverse work pool serves a diverse customer base. However if the business is inaccessible or discriminating, I cannot work for them.

Basically it pays to be inclusive. Remember the purple pound!? The spending power of disabled households is around £250bn.

Meet Simon Minty

In one of the first episodes of the Martyn Sibley show I interviewed Phil Friend. Along with his friend and business partner Simon Minty, they paved the way for inclusion of disabled consumers and employees.

We have a lot to thank them for!

So it was really nice to sit down and talk with the other member of the dynamic duo. Since revolutionising a whole set of industries, Simon has also branched out into other pursuits.

You will probably have heard him on the BBC Ouch podcast. He and Phil have their own podcast too. Plus Simon loves a bit of comedy. It was a really interesting and enjoyable interview to make.

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I hope you enjoy hearing all about Simon. Please do leave me a rating on the PodBean or iTunes platforms. Most importantly please share this episode and indeed the whole show with your friends and family. It’s the only way we can reach more people with these great guests.

Here’s the iTunes version (PodBean is embedded at the top of this page).

Keep the love coming 🙂

Martyn ‘economist’ Sibley

– World Changer @ martynsibley.com
– Captain of Inclusion @ disabilityhorizons.com
– Author @ ‘Everything is Possible
– Motivational Speaker @ pro-motivate.com/speaker/martyn-sibley
– Adviser @ Governments/Businesses/Charities

Also @ Twitter | Facebook | Linked In | Google+

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Do you get a buzz from buying new clothes? Or indeed feel great about yourself after having a haircut? I think it’s safe to say we all do. In the past I’d love a little clothes shopping spree.

Through a combination of watching the pennies and reading more about spirituality. I went from living for that buzz to being a little wary of it. Finally I’ve been swinging back to the middle more recently.

Seeing the merits of looking and feeling good about ourselves. It is just as important as not spending crazy money on material things, or relying on those items to determine ourselves.

My conclusion is we have to strike a healthy balance between these two extremes. And that to love ourselves (in the humble, not egotistical way) is the key to everything.

Meet Samanta Bullock

A big reason for my more balanced view on this topic, came from meeting Samanta Bullock. Through a very difficult event that put her in a wheelchair, Sam never gave up on her dreams. Both as a tennis champion and a fashion model.

It would have been understandable for her to give up on both of these dreams. Furthermore they clearly don’t lend themselves to wheelchair users to thrive in. Forget the accessibility barriers, particularly the fashion world is known for ignoring disability.

Sam is one of those people that lights up a room with her smile. She’s proud of her wheelchair tennis accomplishments, and is now banging the drum for inclusive fashion. To follow her on social media makes you wonder where she finds the time for everything.

Most of all, her photos and general message are what the world needs. That disabled or not, beauty is everywhere. Even more strongly than that slightly cliche comment, is that beauty comes from diversity…

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I hope you enjoy hearing Sams story. Please do leave us a rating on the PodBean or iTunes platforms. Most importantly please share this episode and indeed the whole show with your friends and family. It’s the only way we can reach more people with these great guests.

Here’s the iTunes version (PodBean is embedded at the top of this page).

See you next time.

Martyn ‘buzzing’ Sibley

– World Changer @ martynsibley.com
– Captain of Inclusion @ disabilityhorizons.com
– Author @ ‘Everything is Possible
– Motivational Speaker @ pro-motivate.com/speaker/martyn-sibley
– Adviser @ Governments/Businesses/Charities

Also @ Twitter | Facebook | Linked In | Google+

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I think when we are children, we are all very creative. Ideally this continues into adulthood. But all too often we get dragged into bills and work and other unnecessary worries. All to the detriment of our creative pursuits.

As a child I used to write lyrics and make songs with my friends. Nothing that talented or groundbreaking. But it was fun and we had great times doing it. We even created dance routines for some of the songs too!

Since I went out into the world of self-employment, I definitely found my creative flow once again. After many years not tapping into that part of myself. To write and make videos. To know that they touch people. To know they help people in some way. That’s really awesome.

Meet Blaine Harrison

Someone who found their creative self much earlier, and has enjoyed a great career from it, is Blaine Harrison. As lead singer of the Mystery Jets he’s created many albums and toured all over the world.

It’s always too easy to home in on my guests disability and how they overcame their particular barriers. Naturally having spina bifida Blaine has had to navigate specific challenges through his touring adventures. But I’m starting to see that by only focusing on people’s impairments, we can shy away from the many other interesting parts of their story.

Not only have I seen this interview from a newer perspective, I have to admit it’s the first time I really fought against being starstruck. You see, when I was at university I listened to the Mystery Jets many times. They saw me through my home sick days, and my getting ready to go and party nights.

They stand for real nostalgic sentiment in my life. So to interview the lead singer was a very cool moment for me!

I hope you enjoy hearing this interview. Beyond his creativity, Blaine has been doing lots for inclusive music and accessible concert venues. His work with Attitude is Everything, who you will remember Suzanne from a previous episode, is very progressive.

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As always I would love to hear your thoughts on the show. Please do leave me a rating on the PodBean or iTunes platforms. Most importantly please share this episode and indeed the whole show with your friends and family. It’s the only way we can reach more people with these great guests.

Here’s the iTunes version (PodBean is embedded at the top of this page).

Thank you for listening! See you next time.

Martyn ‘creative’ Sibley

– World Changer @ martynsibley.com
– Captain of Inclusion @ disabilityhorizons.com
– Author @ ‘Everything is Possible
– Motivational Speaker @ pro-motivate.com/speaker/martyn-sibley
– Adviser @ Governments/Businesses/Charities

Also @ Twitter | Facebook | Linked In | Google+

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Those of you who have read my blog for some time, or who have read my book, will know that I’ve done a fair few adrenaline pumping adventures. It’s very hard to pick a favourite. The skiing down the Catalan mountains was very special. As was the hot air ballooning above Barcelona. I was pretty scared doing the scuba diving in Tenerife, but nowhere near as cold as the Husky dog sledging in – 32° Helsinki.

The longest adventure was the 1000 mile trip from John O’Groats in Scotland to Land’s End in Cornwall, England. In my wheelchair. It took a lot of planning, fundraising, and persistence. With health and safety in mind we also had to be flexible and acknowledge mother nature and general common sense along the way.

Regardless of those ups and downs, it is certainly etched in my memory forever as a fantastic personal achievement. Moreover as a great message to send out about disability. We named it what disability?

Meet Geoff Holt

Of course my achievement was not unique. There are many people who have pushed their limits in pursuit of some adrenaline and societal change messaging. Many of whom have a disability. Nonetheless, it’s always great to meet people who have interesting stories to tell. Particularly those who really really went the extra mile!

Geoff Holt is certainly one of those people. As you will hear in our interview, this guy has really exceeded his own expectations from his individual sailing and life challenges.

In this episode of the Martyn Sibley show he shares his background, his career, and how he went on to achieve some of the most amazing sailing achievements ever known to man.

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As always I would love to hear your thoughts on the show. Please do leave me a rating on the podbean or iTunes platforms. Most importantly please share this episode and indeed the whole show with your friends and family. It’s the only way we can reach more people with this great content.

Here’s the iTunes version.

Thank you for listening guys!

See you next time.

Martyn ‘adrenaline junky’ Sibley

– World Changer @ martynsibley.com
– Captain of Inclusion @ disabilityhorizons.com
– Author @ ‘Everything is Possible
– Motivational Speaker @ pro-motivate.com/speaker/martyn-sibley
– Adviser @ Governments/Businesses/Charities

Also @ Twitter | Facebook | Linked In | Google+

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Having a disability comes with having extra costs of living. When people know that I receive the Personal Independence Payment (PIP – formerly known as Disability Living Allowance) sometimes they almost seem jealous that I get ‘free money’.

Little do they know that wheelchairs can cost as much as a car. To get into the bath I need a hoist which costs a few thousand. Not to forget that only one third of the London tube stations are accessible, resulting in extra reliance on the more expensive taxis. As just 3 examples of extra costs.

Meet Robin Hindle Fisher

After seeing the great research and work that Scope did on this topic, I reached out to them for someone to interview. The obvious person was Robin Hindle Fisher. Not only is he from an economic background, and trustee of the charity, he was heavily involved in the project.

This project being the extra costs commission. In this episode of the Martyn Sibley show Robin and I get to the bottom of these extra costs. You will hear from Robin what Scope found in their research. And what you can do to support this difficult situation.

Hint: there is plenty we can all do to help.

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As always, please do give your feedback to the episode and the show. It’s always great to hear from our listeners. Most importantly please do share this episode and the show in general with your networks. We’re on a push to reach more people than ever!

Here’s the iTunes version.

See you next time.

Martyn ‘Cost cutter’ Sibley

– World Changer @ martynsibley.com
– Captain of Inclusion @ disabilityhorizons.com
– Author @ ‘Everything is Possible
– Motivational Speaker @ pro-motivate.com/speaker/martyn-sibley
– Adviser @ Governments/Businesses/Charities

Also @ Twitter | Facebook | Linked In | Google+

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Ever since I can remember, I’ve loved travel. Well, the flying with a wheelchair bit not so much. Plus some of the expenses take a lot of saving up for. But I digress. The thrill of the adventure. The education from a new culture. The reflections on our own life from that new perspective.

Travel. Is. Great!

Even when things go wrong its good. We learn more about the world, ourselves and whats possible. When things go well, its paradise. From hot beaches to fresh mountains. Scenic cities to rural beauty. Relaxation to sight seeing.

Its all wunderlust to me.

Meet Carrie-Ann

Its not unusual to find other people who like travelling. In my line of work I also know many disabled people. However it is not so usual to meet a real kindred spirit for accessible tourism. Luckily a few years ago I met Carrie-Anne from Tourism for All. Not only does she love travelling, but she’s also a blogger. It’s honestly hard to get a word in edgeways between the two of us when we get together 🙂

Carrie-Anne runs the information service for the UKs accessible tourism charity. This involves supporting disabled people and their families with the right information for their travels. It also involves supporting businesses on how to be open and accessible for disabled travellers.

In her spare time she is with her husband Darren and her beautiful dog traversing the sights of Cumbria. Somehow she still finds time to go abroad for blogging trips. Just like the one we recently both attended in Madrid, Spain.

Carrie-Ann really enjoys documenting both her experiences and the general information that helps others. Plus she throws in some really cool photos and videos to enhance her blogging content.

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In this episode of the Martyn Sibley show Carrie-Ann and I have a great chance to talk about our favourite topic. You’ll hear about her favourite travels, some of the difficulties she found along the way, and lots of advice for budding travellers.

We hope you enjoy listening to this episode. Please do give the podcast a rating as all feedback is welcome. Most of all please share this with your networks. We are trying to reach more people who can benefit from this great content.

Here’s the iTunes version.

Thank you for listening guys!

See you next time.

Martyn ‘Loves to Travel’ Sibley

– World Changer @ martynsibley.com
– Captain of Inclusion @ disabilityhorizons.com
– Author @ ‘Everything is Possible
– Motivational Speaker @ pro-motivate.com/speaker/martyn-sibley
– Adviser @ Governments/Businesses/Charities

Also @ Twitter | Facebook | Linked In | Google+

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What a few weeks. Indeed what a few months. Its been a really tough winter for me unfortunately. Whilst we’re still not seeing steady warm sun just yet, things have slowly picked up the past fortnight.

Most of all it was good to feel normal after 4 weeks of fighting and recovering from the flu. It was a really nasty bout. Made worse by being in Mallorca and away from home when it struck. Luckily Kasia knew what food and supplements to give me. So I didn’t need to see the doctor or take antibiotics. Plus I enjoyed lots of Netflix binge watching. Turned out I missed nada in Alcudia with it raining the whole week.

I’m sure my work has seemed quieter just because I was ill. I did have to cancel or reschedule a few things. Either way things are really hotting up professionally now. Both in my plans and in immediate work load.

I’m planning to blog a bit more again here. Covering my news, podcasts, personal development videos and anything else on my journey. Its always enjoyable to share it with you and I know you get a lot from my posts. On social media I’ll share more short and snappy videos too. Kind of a behind the scenes as things happen vibe.

I’m still freelancing for Open Inclusion and SMA Support UK/SMA trust. On Open Inclusion we’re supporting great businesses to be more inclusive, so they can reap many types of benefits. At SMA Support UK I’m running the Adult Insight Group, facilitating peer to peer support, and we support the charities work. This weekend is the big conference in Stratford upon Avon. Which I’m very excited about.

Three pieces of exciting one-off client work happened. I spoke at the Bank of England on behalf of their disability network, raising diversity awareness to all staff there. I MCd an event on pan disability partnership working on behalf of the Cambridgeshire Alliance for Independent Living. Sadly it was their last event before closing due to lack of funds. A scary sign of the times. Lastly I’m presenting 3 mini documentaries for the Toyota mobility foundations #mobilityunlimited challenge.

More to come on the filming and the challenge for an innovative wheelchair soon.

On Disability Horizons we have launched our personal development project. Simply sign up for the ‘Ultimate Disability Survival Guide’ below or on www.disabilityhorizons.com. You’ll get a series of welcome emails. Plus an exclusive invitation to our DHorizons Tribe. In there you’ll join 650 current members. All for support and to view our infamous master classes.

Never one to stay still, we’re working with some members on how to create impactful societal change. Watch out for new projects on health & social care, access to employment/goods/services, more positive news stories, and useful technology innovation.

Things are heating up! 🙂

Anyway. I hope you’re well. Please get in touch with any ideas or support for our work. Our community is the power for us to all make change!

See you soon…

Martyn ‘back and on form’ Sibley

– World Changer @ martynsibley.com
– Captain of Inclusion @ disabilityhorizons.com
– Author @ ‘Everything is Possible
– Motivational Speaker @ pro-motivate.com/speaker/martyn-sibley
– Adviser @ Governments/Businesses/Charities

Also @ Twitter | Facebook | Linked In | Google+

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When I was a kid I dreamt of growing up to be various things. Age 5 I wanted to play up front for Tottenham and England. Oh the goals I’d score!

When I was 7 I wanted to be a super hero. Intelligently, I worked in inspector gadget type technology on my wheelchair. To enhance my capabilities. I’d be able to fly off with the most beautiful girl hitching a ride.

When I was 10 I would be the England football manager. Clearly some realism had kicked in here. You know the thing about my lack of ability to walk, let alone score goals at Wembley. Yes, manager played to my strengths and my childlike dreams.

When I was 14 I decided I’d be better in politics. Evidently the social model barriers were already pi**ing me off. Plus world poverty, hunger, disease and conflict needed my keen eye for solutions.

It’s nice to remember those dreams. Just like it’s nice to chat to my nieces about their dreams now. Kids have fascinating imaginations. The world is there for the taking. We are the heroes to save the world!

Then you head out to achieve those lofty goals. And BOOM! Obstacles. We’ve all faced this scenario. We don’t get into the college we wanted. We don’t get the first or 20th job we apply for. We don’t win the heart of ‘the one’.

I could go on about ways to overcome this. But that’s for my life coaching articles. Here I want to point to the difficulties many disabled children face in dreaming big. With negative media portrayal, no real disabled superheroes, and low coverage of disabled achievers and role models – the bar has been set too low, for too long.

Meet Dan White (and the Department of Ability)

I met Dan virtually a couple of years ago on a Disability Horizons podcast. He’d had a couple of interviews for his new inclusive comic series. Including one on mainstream tv.

The comic was inspired by his daughter Emily who is disabled. She stars in the ‘Department of Ability’ stories. With her powerful wheelchair ways. Sounds familiar right?

I’ve watched Dan grow in his self belief, embracing the media challenges, and really pushing his message. One that resonates with me so much. A message that says ‘why the bloody hell are disabled kids not in kids stories’?

The comic has since had global attention. Their theme tune was performed live with Dan and Emily on stage – in America! So rock and roll.

In this podcast episode Dan and I catch up about his journey, the challenges and dreams he has for the project. It’s great to be reminded that we all should have dreams to strive for.

Share and engage

If you like this episode please share it and rate the show too. I’d also love to hear your feedback on the questions and the guests. Feel free to recommend someone you admire.

Please support Dan, Emily and the guys at Department of Ability here.

Also check out Dan, Emily, myself and the other Parallel London ambassadors here.

Here’s the iTunes version.

Thank you for listening guys!

See you next time!

Martyn Sibley

– World Changer @ martynsibley.com
– Captain of Inclusion @ disabilityhorizons.com
– Author @ ‘Everything is Possible
– Motivational Speaker @ pro-motivate.com/speaker/martyn-sibley
– Adviser @ Governments/Businesses/Charities

Also @ Twitter | Facebook | Linked In | Google+