Topic Remote Campaigning, Working and Living: The Impact on Our Ability to Influence Social Change – Simone Aspis
Date Thursday 24 February 2022
Time 16:00 – 17:30 GMT
Location Online (please arrive in the online platform 5 minutes prior)
Tickets Book a place
For the past two years we have been living our lives virtually, where for many of us, our work, socialising, leisure, learning and accessing services has been done through a range of social media platforms, Twitter, Facebook, Zoom and MS Teams. Throughout the Covid-19 pandemic, most of us have been living at home or with family / partners. Now we are moving out of the Covid-19 pandemic, with many of us still finding ourselves working from home with no real prospect of any in-person events, conferences, lobbies and the like, I am asking what is happening to our community and what is the impact on our ability to effect social change in the future.
At the start of the pandemic I completely understood our retreat into the virtual world and the comfort of our own homes, with this deadly Covid-19 infection that no one really understood other than that hundreds and hundreds of disabled people were dying on a daily basis. Now, with the vaccination roll out, a greater understanding of who is affected, Covid-19 variants being less serious and moving out of the winter months, I very much hoped we would be aiming for more staff gatherings, in-person campaign meetings and events focusing on social change. Or should I say a move towards more hybrid ways of working, campaigning and engagement, recognising that still for some disabled people they will find leaving their homes a big physical, social and emotional challenge. So actually, hybrid ways of operating should be a win-win for everyone, but there is still a lot of resistance to doing this. Maintaining the status quo is impacting upon us working together, being seen and remaining hungry for social change.
What has changed for us over the past year that prevents us from wanting to get out there again?
What needs to change so that we return to us getting out there again?
Simone Aspis I have over 25 years of disability rights campaign work, working with a range of organisations such as People 1st, United Kingdom Disabled People’s Council, Alliance for Inclusive Education, and Reclaiming Our Futures Alliance, on a range of disability rights campaigns including securing disabled people’s civil rights laws and UN Convention Rights of Persons with Disabilities being adopted by UK Government.
I do Free Our People Advocacy work – working with people with learning difficulties and autistic people who are locked up in psychiatric hospitals and want to move into the community. Currently, I am gearing up for a big Government review of the Special Education Needs and Disability framework, the legal framework that sets out disabled children and young people’s rights and entitlements to education. Please visit my lovely website: www.simoneaspis.co.uk.
I have been working on Heidi Crowter’s court case, she is challenging the Abortion Act on disability and human rights grounds. For more information see www.rofa.org.uk.
During the Covid-19 pandemic locked down, I have been involved in various remote campaigns involved challenging the Government’s Coronavirus legislation and stay at home regulations, which all have had a big impact upon disabled people’s lives. I have been involved in the Support and Action Group lead by people with learning difficulties, who have been active in various campaigns including legal challenges around people with learning difficulties that include published deaths data, Covid-19 vaccination priority, psychiatric hospital community leave and visits. Since then I have written various blogs about the impact that remote working has had upon our community – some home truths!
Who might be most interested
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The Resilience Forum
The Resilience Forum is a monthly space, held jointly by the Centre of Resilience for Social Justice and Boingboing. We welcome and encourage discussion, disagreement and debate about resilience research and practice. Presenters at the Resilience Forum have included parents, young people, academics and practitioners. ANYBODY (with a pulse!) involved with or interested in resilience research is welcome and attendance at the Resilience Forum is free. We only ask that you have tried to get your head around our resilience approach or at least something specific on resilience before you come so we all have a basic shared understanding. You might also like to read this jargon busting sheet.