Over 70 organisations gathered for the annual Do What You Want Live (DWYW) event, organised by Disability Direct, at the Roundhouse in Derby today. It was an exhibition, and a celebration, of the many people and groups who operate in the City to help disabled people “do what they want”. Whether it be advice, services, care, equipment, entertainment, sport – they range from inspiration, aspiration to perspiration.
Modern day attitudes to disability is not about barriers, it’s about recognising that the way that society is organised is the problem, and when this attitude is addressed then those who have conventionally been referred to as “disabled” then have the best opportunity to be independent.
The DWYW event is a showcase of positivity and a fine example of how seemingly unconnected charities and groups can coalesce in an informal way to be of great value. There is no over-arching governmental or Council control over this cohort – many, if not all, evolved from compelling gaps in care and support, some over 100 years old, well before anyone decided that there was a need for governmental champions.
One of the values of the event is about networking, connecting with old faces, and unlocking new opportunities. The DWYW directory is a useful resource of local links to help with personal independence.
Just over a year ago I wrote about the Nimbus Disability Access Card which is a major, but simple, innovation that helps disabled people with the “barrier” of booking concert tickets…amongst other things. The hard work of the MD, Martin Austin, is paying off. His computers were in meltdown today as disabled people booking tickets for the ‘Take That’ concerts realised that having an Access Card would be a major advantage to them…..hopefully this is a breakthrough in their revolution?
“So next time you plan your social calendar don’t let society dictate what you can and can’t do, With a helping hand from us, surprise them all and surprise yourself too…”