DH’s co-editor, Martyn Sibley, writes about his book launch and the inspiration behind the Disability Diamond Theory.
In taking the step from being a disability charity fundraiser into the untitled world of self-employment, I hadn’t quite understood the magnitude of how high the metaphorical bar would rise. You see, the one pressure I knew that would potentially weigh heavy was money: in becoming self-
employed it is up to me and only me to earn and pay the mortgage. I backed my business acumen to be sufficient on this front. However, the unforeseen pressure was not the lack of time, energy or resources; it was my self determination, ambition and search for perfection that have made this move more complex. This article will explain that whilst one’s ‘job’, one’s ‘income level’ and one’s ‘social status’ can matter, when it comes to social justice, social change and people’s lives it is only about making a difference.
Having secured the sponsorship for my www.martynsibley.com webinar series and the partnership contracts with Hackney Council and Scope, I breathed a little sigh of relief regarding the bank balance. However, it soon became apparent to me that despite having blogged for 2 years, co-launched www.97c.026.myftpupload.com and become known for being a cheeky chap, I really was just starting out. With so many other great people working on improving life for disabled people, I realised I needed to be more than someone just sharing his personal experience of disability. Having spent long hours considering my experiences, things I have heard people say, things I have read and things I have seen: I had a eureka moment! My mantra of inspire, inform and change said it all… Whilst the campaigns on government and society must continue to protect disability rights, the area I can make a difference in is encouraging disabled people to raise the bar individually. As I have interacted with more disabled people worldwide on Facebook, Twitter and Skype I can feel this fire burning in my belly to help them overcome their personal everyday obstacles.
I fear that the biggest barrier can be a lack of confidence and belief in what is possible, as well as a perceived sense that those who are disabled should dampen down the depth of their ambitions. Naturally life is harder with a disability, society doesn’t always understand the issues and the government do not make things easier or less stressful. Compared to 20 or 30 years ago, however, disabled people can and do live fulfilled lives. I believe with more of a ‘can-do’ approach, some assistance in the detail, that anything and everything is possible. I now know how I want to make that difference!
I began looking inside myself for what it is that has helped me achieve many things (dare I say) despite my disability. I looked back at my 28 years and charted specific periods that were tough and jotted them down. I began to really acknowledge the many people who had supported me (both friends, family and professionals). Over time I could see a visual interpretation of general life goals, the barriers in the way due to disability, the resources and ultimately the philosophy I have used to progress to where I am in life. I realised that if I could articulate and communicate this interpretation, as a theory, to the disability community it would underpin and demonstrate the value of my current projects and ambitions.
I now proudly present to you, after weeks of thinking, writing and amending – The Disability Diamond Theory! It is free to download, by my own admission it derives from personal experiences and is not an academic thesis. My experiences have, however, been influenced by many other disabled people and all of my professional work has been in the disability sector. A pretty solid foundation to write such a book I hope.
My vision is that the Disability Diamond Theory will encourage disabled people (especially the next generation) to use the resources available (that were not around 20+ years ago) and excel in life. Where the ebook explains the theory, every article, video, webinar and e-course I run will support those who want to make a change in their lives – pick your goals, identify your barriers, find your solutions and grab life!
Please read this ebook and feedback your views – good, bad or indifferent to www.martynsibley.com/give-me-a-shout
By Martyn Sibley