Weekly Disability News- Sesame Access

30th August- 5th September

Gosforth Elephant Man model dissection show slammed for 'trivialising disability for entertainment'

An event in which a model of the 'Elephant Man' Joseph Merrick will be dissected in front of an audience is "trivialising disability for entertainment and profit", a top city councillor has claimed.

The Gosforth 'Dinner and Dissection' show - due to be held in October - has sparked anger from campaigners, who claim it is exploiting people with disabilities.

Mr Merrick, who was exhibited at freak shows in the 1800s, is thought to have suffered from a rare condition called Proteus syndrome, which causes abnormal tissue growth.

Four shows scheduled at Gosforth Rugby Club at the end of next month promise audiences an "incredible educational experience" as a replica of his body is dissected live inside a big top tent, with the event's website featuring circus imagery and the words "roll up, roll up".

Full article here https://www.itv.com/news/tyne-...

Disability doesn’t mean that I have to be grateful for a relationship

‘He’s such a saint,’ said a family friend while patting my boyfriend’s shoulder at a party.

I sat in my wheelchair trying to keep my cool. It wasn’t the first time I’d heard this, and I knew it wouldn’t be the last. Even when I used crutches, previous boyfriends had been called ‘diamonds’, and ‘angels’ by everyone — from family members to strangers in doctors’ surgeries.

It’s always made me feel like a burden. People seem to think my boyfriend is missing out on a life with a non-disabled partner. To outsiders, it seems like all I have to offer is my disability — when the reality is that I have a personality, too.

I met Ian, my boyfriend, almost nine years ago online. As soon as we started talking, I told him that I was disabled, suffered from chronic pain and often had to use mobility aids. At the time I didn’t use a wheelchair.

Full article here https://metro.co.uk/2021/09/04...

Half of disabled music workers don’t disclose conditions

More than half of disabled music industry workers avoid disclosing their condition out of fear of discrimination, new research indicates.

70% of respondents to a recent consultation said they compromised their health and wellbeing in the workplace by withholding details of a non-visible disability.

Previous negative experiences and concerns about stalling their career were cited by two out of three workers.

Full article here https://www.artsprofessional.c...

Day 10: Alfie Hewett facing end of Paralympic career - due to being deemed not disabled enough

Atearful Alfie Hewett admitted his Paralympic future is “out of his hands” as a review into whether his disability qualifies him to play threatens to end his wheelchair tennis career aged just 23.

Hewett's dreams of ever winning a Paralympic gold medal could well have ended on Friday, when he and doubles partner Gordon Reid were forced to settle for silver in a marathon final against France's Stephane Houdet and Nicolas Peifer.

Though Hewett faces Reid in the singles bronze medal match on Saturday, and will go on to compete at the US Open next week, these events could be the last he ever plays in the sport. Hewett has been on borrowed time since 2019, when the International Tennis Federation changed the rules, deeming his disability not severe enough to qualify. Hewett, who has Perthes disease, which affects his hips and pelvis, challenged the ruling and is awaiting the result, which is expected by the end of the season - delayed by a year because of the pandemic.

"I've always tried to put it to the back of my mind and just focus on the tennis," he said after he and Reid's 6-4 0-6 7-6(3) loss. "The thought of that right now gets me upset so I'm trying not to talk about it to be honest.

Full article here https://www.telegraph.co.uk/pa...

Paralympic disability categories under fire over fairness

They're supposed to be about making parasports fair, but the category system central to disabled sports and the Paralympics, which classifies athletes according to their impairment, is increasingly under fire.

French swimmer Theo Curin, whose lower legs and hands were amputated after a bout of meningitis as a child, is sitting out the Tokyo Games over his unhappiness with the system and how athletes are assessed.

"Overnight, two people who swim with both their hands appeared in my S5 category. You don't have to be very smart to understand that having two hands in swimming helps a lot," the 21-year-old said.

"There are a lot of flagrant inequalities that annoy me and are really ridiculous," he said.

Ten types of impairment are accepted at the Paralympics, broadly covering physical, visual, and intellectual disabilities.

Full article here https://www.france24.com/en/li...

Sophie Morgan: Paralympics presenter on why we need to stop viewing disabled people as ‘pitiful or superhuman’

Paralysed at 18, Paralympics host Sophie Morgan says becoming disabled ‘opened her eyes’ and the games need to be a platform for change for outdated views about people with disabilities

Paralympics presenter Sophie Morgan was just 18 when she was paralysed in a car crash which she admits “opened my eyes to disabilities” and “took me into a whole new world.”

The 36-year-old, who is in a wheelchair after a spinal cord injury, told i that although she has spent the last 18 years adjusting to that world, she feels it’s “a privilege to be here among such extraordinary people.”

Disabled people have a different way of living and a different way of seeing the world.” she said. “ I think there’s so much creativity and resilience and abundance of imagination because we have to live in a different way and in a different body to most people.

Full article here https://inews.co.uk/news/sophi...

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