Mainstreaming Disability LSE Talk

Posted by Jay in Travel on January 20th, 2018

Mainstreaming Disability: The Invitation


Mainstreaming Disability was an LSE talk that I was invited to be a part of earlier in the week, organised by the LSE Student UnionThey sought to ask the important question of how we as a society could make change and actually make positive steps in mainstreaming disability. I had been invited to be one of the speakers at this talk late last year. This was an exciting opportunity for me, as I have wanted to be invited to more talks such as this one. While I am known and brand myself as the disabled black woman who travels around the world solo, I wanted more.

It is important for me to be seen as an expert voice in my field, as this is a lived experience for me. Here at home in London, and whenever I am abroad. Even though I may not always talk about it, I do notice the differences in treatment, expectations of those with and without disabilities. Obviously not having all the answers, I felt that I had something important to say in regards to the mainstreaming disability topic. I was thankful for the invitation to give my views.

Mainstreaming Disability: The Panel


I was part of a panel for the talk, and joined by three disabled men. Daniel Holt (far left) is an equality and human rights activist and aspiring to be human rights lawyer. He spoke about the topic focusing on the subjects of disability, relationships and sex. I felt that his talk was very powerful and an important one to have with the audience. The desexualisation of those with disabilities, and the added layer of vulnerability disabled people face is not discussed enough. 

Ashley Otu (second left) is a current LSE student doing his Masters at the university. His talk was the most interactive, as he illustrated growing up with autism through superhero films. He incorporated a scene from the Superman film, and one from the Captain America film. Listening to him gave me (and I’m sure the audience) a bit more of an understanding about this invisible disability.

Josh Hepple (next to me) is a law graduate, a commentator, activist and disability equality trainer. I learned so much from Josh, with all the facts and figures he included in his talk. He discussed the social model of disability. Tackling the issue that it is actually the society around the disabled person that makes people disabled. He considered the language used when referring to disability vs. impairment.  

Mainstreaming Disability: How Do We Make Change?


The focus of my talk was less to do with numbers and statistics, as I took a more personal approach. I talked about the experiences that I had growing up with an obvious physical disability. And how I dealt with that through the years. I discussed my travels, and where I felt more accepted as a disabled person. I believe that in order to make a lasting change and actually mainstreaming disability, we must always look at the person first. Connecting with one another on the human level will only show that we aren’t all that different.

There was a Facebook Live video of the talk, which you can watch and listen to here

Apart from the usual technical difficulties, I had a great time at the panel. I was greatly supported by four of my friends being able to attend, and take the obligatory photos! I want to be involved in more panels, so please reach out to me via my contact page

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about Jayon UPDATE: As of 25/09/2015 Nigeria has been removed from the WHO's Polio Endemic List! Having been born in Nigeria, I hail from one of three countries where polio is still unfortunately endemic, the other two being Pakistan and Afghanistan. I had contracted the poliovirus before my ...Read More

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