Author: Michael McGrath, MHF’s CEO
Living with a disability in the UK can be challenging, with many obstacles to overcome. Despite legislative and societal advances, disabled people continue to face significant challenges that prevent them from fully participating in society. Here are some of the biggest challenges facing disabled people today:
One of the most significant challenges facing disabled people in the UK is accessibility. Many public and private buildings, transport systems, and public spaces are still not fully accessible to people with disabilities. This lack of accessibility limits the freedom and independence of disabled people and can prevent them from participating fully in society.
Despite legal protections against discrimination, disabled people in the UK still face discriminatory attitudes and behaviours. This can include discrimination in the workplace, education, and healthcare systems, as well as in public spaces and social interactions.
Disabled people in the UK face significant barriers to employment. Many employers are not equipped to accommodate disabilities, and disabled people are often excluded from job opportunities due to discrimination or lack of accessibility.
All of the above points can lead to social isolation and diminished mental wellness and by default, these factors can have serious financial implications on many already vulnerable individuals and families.
SO WHAT CAN BE DONE?
Sadly, there’s no one solution that exists, but we can all play a role in standing up for the rights of disabled people whenever and wherever we can. Indeed, if there are issues you think we as a charity should be talking about more, let us know.
Here at the Muscle Help Foundation (MHF), it is the charity’s mission to ensure that those living with Muscular Dystrophy (MD) have access to amazing and life-enriching experiences.
That’s why we work tirelessly to deliver our Muscle Dream interventions to children and young people living with MD because we know that these interactions have such a hugely positive impact on our beneficiaries’ mental and physical wellbeing.
Whether flying a plane, experiencing the thrill of power-boating, speeding around Silverstone in a Porsche 9-11 or meeting your favourite film star or sporting hero, nothing is off limits!
And in doing so, we know that we are empowering our Muscle Warrior tribe, a family within a family, in not only providing new skills and confidence but also helping to support a more purpose-led life.
Flying the flag for inclusion…
In my role as CEO, I have over the past twenty years or so endeavoured to fly the flag for inclusion and disability rights whenever I have been able to – I am often called upon to talk at conferences and events about topics such as resilience, change, leadership and unsurprisingly, overcoming adversity as part of my own personal ‘lived experience’ journey.
My disability has become a passport…
Over the years, I have shared experiences and insights of how my life has rolled because of my disability which has become a passport in influencing behavioural and attitudinal change. Of course, audiences also want to hear about how I successfully reached both the North and South Poles, two incredibly memorable experiences that have not only changed my life but more importantly have underpinned what is today the charity’s social currency, the idea that an experience or carefully crafted moment-in-time, if executed well, can be truly transformative in a young person’s life.
Enriching the lives of young people…
My mission will always be focused on not only enriching the lives of young people with muscular dystrophy and their families through powerful shared interventions, but also looking at how I can play my part in helping to elevate knowledge, understanding and awareness of the same disease that’s slowly robbing me of my independence.