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Evening everyone. I hope you have all been to, shown support for, or at least been aware of the hardest hit marches today? If you are on twitter checkout the #hardesthit hashtag and get up to speed on the days events here

I had an unfortunate turn of events after returning from my great trip to Edinburgh that resulted in my not being able to attend the London March today. Of all ironies, my carer who flies from Poland had her flight cancelled. My PAs change over at 2pm Friday and from yesterday afternoon I was faced with a difficult prospect of a weekend ahead. I rely on my PAs for so much and staying alone for even 2 hours is not an option. On top of this my mum, who always comes to the rescue, is in Tenerife. I am very fortunate to have a 22 year old sister who is happy to help with my personal care, turn me over at night and who is basically lovely. My dad also lives near mums house in Cambridgeshire, so between my sister and dad I have been ok.

Having taken the survival instinct decision to drive back to my hometown for these reasons, it meant I had to cancel my plans in London. I was due to meet friends from Scope at Jamie Olivers restaurant followed by a different crew of Scope mates at the pub. I was then hosting Mr.Mathew Sutton tonight, a tweet up with him (@smegfirk) and @hellycopeland tomorrow lunchtime., finishing off with a concert tomorrow night. Most importantly moving onto the point of this post, I couldn’t attend a march to protect disabled people’s rights.

This occurrence, although very frustrating, illustrates a very important point! If something as unfortunate, isolated and rare as my PA not being able to work can cause such disruption, stress, worry and impact: IMAGINE IF THE GOVERNMENT CUTS RESULTED IN THIS EVERY SINGLE DAY OF THE WEEK!!!

You guys know me, know my situation, know my attitude to life, know how hard I work, know my likes, dreams and aspirations. This could all fall down with the cuts. By investing in disabled people just like me; yes there are costs, but compared to the physical and emotional deterioration I would have, I can promise you the ‘costs’ would be more as a result. Furthermore, the value disabled people put back in to the economy as employers, workers and consumers; there is a economic benefit too.

I’ll finish my Saturday night post by saying the cuts are necessary, but think about who, what, where, why, when and how. It is socially, economically and legally wrong to under invest in disabled people, even if it is seemingly ok politically.

Please feedback your thoughts on this and share this post anywhere you see fit… Mart

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Greetings blog readers! For those viewing this soon after I had written this post, it is Monday 17th October, and for my lovely subscribers receiving this via email it is Tuesday 18th October. However you came to read this I hope you are all well.

As you will have no doubt seen or heard, its been quite a few weeks. The ‘3 wheelies and 1 New York’ video shows the amazing time I had in New York and I am writing a post soon on the details of what we did in the Big Apple. I then worked 2 days for the beeb as a presenter for the BBC London show ‘Inside Out’ and learning how to do ‘pieces to camera’ with no prior training: it was a steep but fun learning curve. This was soon followed by my first ever keynote speech at a conference (also shown on my recent video footage). Last week was less travelled and crazy, but I did have lots of work to catch up on and I completed my webinar series on the blog. You can see the video here Along the way, I also was interviewed by comedian Richard Herring for his radio 4 show. I then proceeded to attend the live recording at BBC broadcasting house and hear our chat played back. Funny as! This will air in November sometime, as will my presenting debut.

So, the purpose of this post relies on a test of your memory and engagement 🙂 You may remember or even have voted on where to send me? Well, as the results show Edinburgh won out with 49%, closely followed by Manchester. I have since done the usual disability traveller routine of prepping and planning, especially around my recently crazy schedule. On Tuesday 18th 2011 at 9.00am I am leaving Kings Cross for the 4 hour trip north of the border!

I am hoping to link up with some organisations in the city to talk about my work. I am also delivering my webinar for Scope at 7.30pm from my hotel room. How cool is that? You can register here Whilst on my trip, as you saw on my article the wish to see more beautiful parts of the UK, I am seeing a friend from my Coventry university days. Claire lives near Edinburgh and I am visiting her home town of Kinghorn. It will be great to see her after 7 years and I am sure she will be looking even more beautiful than I remember. She has promised to show me Edinburgh too.

Of course I will make a video showing the trip, the travel, the new places, the people and the unknown happenings. So, thanks for voting and choosing to send me somewhere as great as Edinburgh. Who knows where it might be next time 🙂

Take care, M

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You may have seen on Twitter and Facebook that I delivered a keynote speech last Friday? AJ and Melissa put me forward to their friend Phil McKenzie as a speaker for his amazing project in NYC, LDN and Berlin.

The 40 minute speech outlines my story, how I dealt with being disabled, the way I have translated this into a new theory, how I hope others can benefit and my vision of new media empowering the next generation of disabled people to thrive!

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Fresh from running my baby and creation #disabilitywebinars last night – I realised many people are still a little confused what a webinar is. Having run a few, I am now feeling comfortable with the complex technology alongside the challenges of presenting and fielding questions. So, I thought it was time to tell you the amazing benefits of my webinars and get more of you on board! Here is a quick guide:

1) Its easy to register. Just click here and choose the webinars for you. Once on the relevant sign up pages, fill out the 5 simple boxes (first name, last name, email address, if you are disabled and how you heard about the webinars)

2) You will then receive an email explaining exactly how to log in to the session. Generally you will download a simple piece of software to enable attendance. Then just click the link prior to the scheduled time of your session and enjoy

3) The webinar itself consists of a variety of topics: for disabled parents, the teenage years, Independent Living (accessible housing, work, benefits, social care, transport etc) and accessing leisure/travel/adventure

4) You will see the view on my computer such as powerpoint slides, word documents and websites. Meanwhile you will hear my voice explaining them. For anyone with specific access requirements please do get in touch, I am sure we can make the right adjustments for you.

5) Having heard my theories, personal experiences and seen the embarassing pictures; you have 15/20 minutes to ask me questions. This has proved the most valuable time for individuals to really draw out of my experiences on things that can help their life.

6) A webinar lasts 1 hour but on special occasions (such as last night) I offer a free one hour skype session. This morning I chatted with a lovely girl in Northern Ireland having care package problems at university. Get in touch if this is of benefit to you too 🙂

Here’s a little video to show a webinar in action:

So, I hope I have explained the concept better, that you understand the value in my presentations, you are no longer put off by the technology and you will join the next session? – Independent Living Part 1 – Sign up now

The webinar holds up to 1000 people, but without losing the personal touch. I am happy to share emails, twitter handles and so forth on the follow-up email (allowing the audience to network). Please share this blog, share the ‘online-learning’ link and the sign-up url’s! The more the merrier 🙂 See you on Wednesday 14th September…

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I have almost finished my e-book! It is going through proofing and then I can get it out to you. If you don’t remember it is on a theory I have conceived about being disabled, having life goals and then the resources to reach them. It is called the Diamond Theory…

Also Srin, our volunteer recruit Liz, and I launched the new look magazine on Monday. I am so proud of co-editing this publication and love the new slick look. What do you think? Thanks to for their help, hard work and awesomeness.

My first major public speaking event went great at Net2Cam and the video of my talk will be posted soon. I also launched my twitpoll for you to vote and send me to Bristol, Manchester, Sheffield or Edinburgh to explore whilst remote working. Have you voted?

Lastly on this Friday afternoon (believe me I need the weekend now) is a little snippet into the next disability webinar – ‘The teenage years’ and an excerpt from my book.

A difficult time for any person. Hormones running wild, battling with yourself, parents and teachers, alongside the additional complexities of being disabled – a real minefield. I would say this stage falls into two parts. Whilst we have the 3 sections – social inclusion, education and work experience – the two parts are for a disabled person and their parents.

If you are a disabled teenager, I understand how difficult things feel. However, if you can do well in school, continue to look after your body (with physio etc), maintain friendships in and out of the classroom, then you give yourself a great chance for your future. By getting good qualifications, having great mates, relationship experiences and some work experience; by the age of 20, you are able to go on and do so much cool stuff. For the record, a little bit of rebellious fun is also good for you 😉

Parents, its time to back of slightly. Your child isn’t now incapable of making decisions, they will think they know best and later on you will have to let go. However, especially at 13, your actions and attitudes will play as big a part as before. Subtlety is the key. My mum could tell you so many stories of my being fretful, moody, frustrated and sometimes rude. She knew I needed to go through these years slamming the odd door, having rebellious moments (some great stories in my projects on this) and asking big questions. My parents drove me in our clunky accessible excuse for a car and ferried me to the odd nightclub. It wasn’t as often as I would have liked, but it was a lot for them. We compromised and I am so grateful they did those things enabling me to do ‘normal’ teenage activities.

The key is that the teenage years are the same, disabled or not. To embrace the added complexities of being disabled, accept somethings are too much, others will take longer and ultimately know that everyone can and will come out the other end smiling is a good goal.

To join the webinar on the teenage years taking place next Wednesday at 19.30 UK time, register here – It’s totally free and very simple!!!