An update on the future of Disability Now

32 years ago Disability Now was founded to provide a strong platform for debate and discussion of disability issues – a platform where disabled people had their voices heard.

Scope has funded Disability Now for 20 years, and we are proud that in that time the publication has showcased the huge diversity of voices and talent from across the disability community and provided a space for dialogue and debate.

We have featured articles and lively discussions about subjects as wide ranging as assisted dying, cybernetics, access to transport, disabled people’s experience of voting and the impact of welfare reform on disabled people’s lives. Our Head to Head podcasts featured interviews a range of high profile disabled people – from Paralympians to journalists, comedians to actors and even members of the House of Lords. And these are just some of the highlights.

The world has changed a lot in the last three decades. Today, disabled people’s voices are heard through more specialist and mainstream platforms, blogs and podcasts than ever before.

While the need to produce news for disabled people by disabled people is as important as ever, we need to keep up with changing times.

That’s why the decision has been taken to stop producing Disability Now in its current format. We remain firmly committed to producing content that puts disabled people and their families at its heart. However, we think that there are new ways and new platforms that can provide greater reach and greater impact.

Starting in the New Year Scope will showcase new Disability Now branded content that will continue to be produced and led by disabled people. The content will live on Scope’s blog and will continue to cover the important issues – both serious and light-hearted – that matter. Further details of this content will be available early in the New Year.

We’d like to extend our warmest thanks to Ian Macrae, the outgoing Editor of Disability Now and all those who have worked on and contributed to Disability Now over the last 32 years.

If you’d like to keep up to date with Disability Now content in the future please sign up to our mailing list

A message from Ian Macrae, Outgoing Editor of Disability Now

Final words from a collective voice – Outgoing Editor of Disability Now Ian Macrae marks the closure of the website:

The time has come for me to say a fond and sad farewell. As is usually the case on such valedictory occasions there are people to be thanked.

But before acknowledging those I’d like to briefly reflect on Disability Now’s achievements under my editorship. To be clear, these are not my achievements: I’ve provided what I hope has been coherent and creative guidance. They are things which we have achieved together as the community which coalesced around the website since its launch in 2012.

That Disability Now community has given voice to those who are all too often silenced, featured issues that are all too often ignored and challenged those who do not believe disabled people’s voices should be heard.

In our written content and podcasts we have also trumpeted and celebrated the pride which we and many disabled people feel in being who and what we are. Alongside the achievements of Paralympic sports stars we have also marked the battles and campaigns fought by groups and individuals to maintain our rights to independent living, equality and choice as full members of society.

In doing these things we have sought both to deliver content of and to the highest standards. We’ve also remained conscious of the need for Disability Now to be entertaining as well as informative and championing.

While the achievements may be collective and celebrated collectively, the thanks must be largely personal from me.

Throughout my tenure as Editor, Scope has funded Disability Now. Thanks are due to those trustees and members of the charity’s management teams over the years who have supported Disability Now often in trying circumstances.

As Disability Now’s last Editor I’ve had the opportunity to work with some talented and capable journalists who have contributed quality content in a variety of formats and over a wide range of topics and subject areas. Thanks to you all.

It has always seemed to me to be an important part of Disability Now’s role to provide professional opportunities for disabled journalists and writers who otherwise struggle to get their voices heard in mainstream media. They too have produced varied content which has been by turns insightful, funny, engaging, intelligent, challenging and entertaining so thanks go to them.

For the past few years we have diversified into audio podcasts which I’ve been able to produce to my own high professional standards due to the efforts of presenters, technical operators and a whole galaxy of contributors who not only came on our shows and shone but did so for no reward other than the joy of being part of our conversation. Thanks to all of you too.

But these people are all part, as am I of that larger community of site visitors, Facebook and Twitter followers who have been with us all the way and so my thanks also go to those who have consumed the content, told us what we were doing right and when necessary when we were getting it wrong.

Many of you will know that I’ve been a reporter, presenter, producer and Editor associated with disability media for thirty five years. I can say in all truthfulness that I have not been prouder of anything I’ve done or been involved with over that time than I have at what we achieved at Disability Now.

Finally, good bye to you Disability Now. I do not think we will see your like again.

Product review: Verbalise talking watches – talking the talk, looking the look

Ian Macrae has been looking at and listening to a couple of new additions to the range of talking watches which aim to bring a certain style. Continue reading “Product review: Verbalise talking watches – talking the talk, looking the look”

Benefits cap calls Green’s ‘compassion’ into question

Work and pensions secretary, Damien Green claims to be bringing a more benevolent approach to reforming welfare. But Ruth Patrick argues that the decrease in the benefits cap shows he hasn’t entirely abandoned the old agenda and rhetoric.

Continue reading “Benefits cap calls Green’s ‘compassion’ into question”

The Download: Chasing disabled customers and bad news from the workplace

Presenter Paul Carter is joined by business coach Robin Hindle-Fisher and disability consultant Phil Friend. They discuss unexpected positive consequences from an examination of the extra costs disabled people face which was carried out by Scope, the charity which funds Disability Now. Also on the agenda some research from Nottingham University’s business school which suggests that people in the workplace are not necessarily thrilled at the prospect of having disabled people as colleagues.

Producer: Ian Macrae

The Download Head to Head: Baroness Jane Campbell

In the latest conversation in our Head-To-Head podcast series, Ian Macrae meets Baroness Campbell of Surbiton. She talks about her suburban childhood and poor early schooling, the death of her first husband and its impact on her disability politics, her hopes for Teresa May’s government and how members of the House of Lords react to her as a disabled person.

Check out this episode!