May 2010

Inspire Invest Involve

Jim Elder-Woodward

"Inspire Invest Involve", that's the strap-line of the Independent Living in Scotland (ILiS) project.

Hi, I'm Jim and this is my blog. I've never written one before, so I'm new to the game. I normally write in pages, but I've only been given space for 400 words - now I've used up 62 of them, already, so I'd better get on with it.

I'm the Convenor of the ILiS project, which you can read about elsewhere on this website. But for this blog I'd like to talk about its strap-line, for that's what we're in business to do.

There is much talk in the media these days about political apathy which seems to be epidemic within the community at large. People couldn't care less about politics, because there is a general belief that politicians couldn't care less about them.

Now, ILiS isn't a party political organisation. I'm just referring to the general malaise within society of not wanting to "get involved" with anything; just keep your head down and let these "big wigs" get on with it: what will be will be.
And this is so true for many disabled people. It's hard enough just to make ends meet and get through the day. How can we possibly get involved with anything else?

It's said people aren't oppressed until they feel oppressed. Well, maybe when services and benefits start to be cut, as a result of the recession, then more disabled people will begin to feel hard done by and might want to fight back.

But I'm more inclined to agree with Steve Robertson, from People First (an organisation run by people with learning difficulties) when he said; 'The more people understand the more they can get involved. The more people get involved, the more they can do. The more they can do, the more other people listen. They more people listen, the more attitudes change.'

That's so true; so what the ILiS project will try to do will be to make disabled people understand that life can be better for them; that they can get that job, move to that house, get that support to do the things they want to do.

And ILiS will do this by Investing in them; helping them to understand, to get together, to organise and to get others to listen to their campaigns for things disabled people need to take their rightful role in society as full and equal citizens

Now, I've used up more than my allocated word allowance, but later, in my other blogs, I'll be discussing all of this and more with you, because the idea of a blog is to let you join in the discussion with me about how to Inspire, Invest, and Involve disabled people in the Independent Living Movement.