Since I was 3, I knew I wanted to work for myself and at that time, I told everyone who would listen to me that I would write books. I have never had fixed ideas about what I wanted to do as I never had that kind of job.
I have been running a business in one way or another since I was 16 in one way or another, as well as employing my own personal assistants since 1992.
The range of work I can do covers 20 activities including advocacy, acting, article writing, campaigning, coaching, comedy, consultancy, providing information, lecturing, mentoring, modelling, policy development, presentations, product testing, research, being a role model, site audits, teaching, training, and youth work.
I have experience and expertise in over 25 topics including AAC, assistive technology, campaigning techniques, cerebral palsy, communication skills, customer service, disability equality, disability politics, hospital discharge, identity development, impairment literacy, impairment management, inclusive education, independent living, lifestyle development, online retailing, personal assistants, personal development, public transport, sexuality, social care, social policy, technology and virtual worlds.
While most people have a story that is steady and often not fulfilled to its full potential, my story has often been to dip into other people’s stories, make a specific difference and popping out again. This metaphor is really how I work as organisations ask me to work with them in various ways that is very often ad-hoc and unique in supporting disability and other issues.
I have been working with local, national and international governments in a number of ways for many years, primarily in the field of disability issues and social care.
I regard campaigning as a form of activism in that I see a problem and I fix it. it is not a matter of trying but succeeding by determination and giving up, always exploring new ways to achieve my goal.
My techniques include write papers and articles, emailing the individuals responsible for a specific matter, meeting with them, and generally being persistent.
My independence from any group and established way of thinking, along with my willingness to be straight talking, makes me a ideal catalyst for change.
I do however recognise that telling the truth is often a once in a blue moon opportunity and therefore my interventions are often short but profound.
With over 190 organisations and even more individuals supported in this way, it is a formula which is successful and I look forward to dipping into your story to support you to improve the life opportunities and experiences of everyone, specifically people with significant impairments.
I previously ran an online shop using eBay called Lifestyle Select selling a wide range of equipment for people with additional or changing needs including swimming nappies and bibs.
I am very active on social media with many followers on a range of social networks. In 2015, I was named officially the 43th most influencial twitter user in the West Midlands in terms of the impact on the whole of the UK by the Birmingham Post, as well as one of ten people listed as the most influential in the West Midlands from the world of social media.
What I do varies from day to day as I literally do not know what is coming up from next. There can be weeks or months when I have no paid work and I am spending my day emailing up to 50 organisations each day looking for work. When I get paid work, I literally have no idea what it may be or who my customer may be.
The way I work means I have an unstable income but the work itself is very rewarding.