Today (3rd December) is International Day of Persons with Disabilities - and the theme for this year is inclusion, access and empowerment. We've asked four bloggers to share one thing they would like to change. Here, Whizz-Kidz staff member Ruth talks about access to work for disabled people.
One thing I would change: There should be better representation of disabled people in the media
I was born with Spina Bifida and Scoliosis, therefore I have grown up needing to use a wheelchair. Although having a disability is not always easy, I have alway viewed my disability as something positive.
The things in life I find most disabling are people's attitudes and the stigma that's attached to being 'disabled'. This is the one thing I would love to change. For me and for many other disabled people, having a disability does not make you unhealthy, unhappy or incapable.
Because of my disability I have had many remarkable opportunities including starring in the lead role of BBC3's factual drama Don't Take My Baby earlier this year. The drama was based on the story of a young couple, one wheelchair user and her boyfriend who had a progressive visual impairment, and their struggle to prove they are capable enough to look after their newborn daughter. The piece was incredibly powerful and highlighted some important issues with disability at the forefront, but I would never have secured this, my first lead, if I wasn't a wheelchair user.
Like many other young people, I am very proud of my disability and my dream would be to see this highlighted more in our communities and to see more barriers be broken down. By challenging people’s perceptions of disability, especially through the media, the stigma can change.