2021: it’s time for a few changes

Yes, it’s true: for a little while, it’s time to take a break and stop posting on my website. But don’t despair! In 2021, it’s time for a few changes, and they’re all for a good reason. The Disability Issue doesn’t get enough visitors, so it’s just time to do a little research before the guarantee of posting regularly returns once again.

The new plan I now have will keep disabled people on board but specifically turn their attention towards one topic: disability arts and culture. Over the next couple of months, I hope to chat with plenty of inspiring individuals. Disability Arts and culture organisations offer artists the opportunity to express their abilities. I want to tell others about what arts currently involve and are available for disabled people in the UK.

The Disability Issue may have a new URL set up that I prefer in a couple of months. I’m a fussy bastard, and right now, I wouldn’t say I like having that hyphen between words. Therefore, I’ll let people know when the disabilityissue.net URL will lead to the website instead.

One easy decision

I’ve chosen this topic for a valid reason. I do have a fair bit of experience now. I play the guitar, I write songs, and have gathered the confidence to start singing. Last year, poetry was written too, and in 2012 I graduated from university with a degree in BA Popular Musicology. With a plan to edit and release a young adult novel well within my mind, I finished the first draft in August. I see it being published when 2021 comes to a close.

A lot of that is admittedly related to music, but I have a lot of interest in other arts. My mum is a former art teacher and continues to paint when making trips to her studio in Stockport. I enjoy attending art galleries and would never turn down the opportunity to experience film, theatre, dance or any other arts available. Plus, I’m proud to say I was born and bred in Manchester! It is considered by many to be the UK’s second city because of its amazing culture. I’ve seen plenty of it before, and I want to see more of it too.

Joe Stevenson singing and playing the guitar live
I performed my first live song in Manchester at the GMCDP’s annual general meeting.

The pandemic has caused problems for so many artists across our nation. The government’s advice was terrible too! I can’t help but advise people to not participate in clown college. Getting yourself another job you don’t love doesn’t make sense. Everybody is looking for arts and culture to be saved and spread around our country. It seems like it’s time to show disabled people can do that too.

Get in touch with me: I’m not messing around

I’m going to be collaborating with all sorts of groups. However, if you’re an artist and want to spread words about disability arts and culture, then prove it to me. Joestevensonuk@gmail.com is the email I’ll be checking, so contact me there if you’re interested.

I want to boost the lives of disabled people, and dedicating my time towards disability arts and culture is one way to do it. I’ll be talking to many disabled arts organisations. If you’re already interested in it, then many websites will already provide further information. So many organisations are available! Gain online access to Disability Arts Online, Shape Arts, Deafinitely Theatre, Drake Music Project or others. Still, if you’d prefer to personally tell me about your work, feel free to get in touch.

I’m also working hard to build a Facebook page that works like a well-oiled machine. As mentioned, in 2021, it’s time for a few changes, and I’ve previously focused too much on Twitter. Regarding social media, Facebook is probably still the biggest cheese. However, I’m aware Instagram is also immensely popular. Both of these need to be better structured, and that’s a plan ahead.

Let’s make this work

Recently, I overcame 13 years of social anxiety that held me back in life. However, I’ve always been ambitious, and it feels like I’ve finally been released from prison. I might be epileptic, but a more positive life needs to begin. We might be in lockdown, but that won’t stop me. I know what I love and I’m ready to move forward!

Guitar and Literature

I feel disability arts and culture needs to be kept alive and well. Plus, I want to see outstanding results! The UK is a country bulging full of arts and culture, and I want to see more disabled people involved. Relax your minds and check out what’s happening in the UK. Use the Internet to unwind – find out what’s artistically exciting and take a glance when you can.

As well as that, share it with others! If something connects with you, then share it with people that you know. When I say in 2021, it’s time for a few changes, I believe all people should make them. The base of the cultural model of disability is critical thought. Explain your bond with it to them, as it has the potential to bond with them as well. As well as that, we are underfunded. We need to dig deeper and spread the word of our great efforts. Every person can help do that.

Do not undermine yourself

Artist abilities can thrive if you are a disabled person. I recommend you express them because it sends a clear message to those who see or hear what’s on show. It meant I didn’t even realise I could sing quite well until I was about 30-years-old! A lot of people still don’t know it too. I was too anxious to do it for such a long time. and regret my actions now. If you want to try something out, you should give it a go.

Still, If you feel you’re dealing with any depression or anxiety in life, there are ways around it. I want to help disabled people gain the confidence they deserve. Therefore, I’ll add links towards the right places to do that in the future too.

Telling every interested person about the latest and greatest disability arts is a must-do task. Working on my arts and taking part in others is something to think about. I’ll get involved in other organisations if people are interested in me. And, if more and more people check out The Disability Issue, it’ll only get bigger and better. As mentioned, I’m ambitious! If I can set something popular up here for disabled people, can I do more? I reckon it’s something to think about.

So, as mentioned, in 2021, it’s time for a few changes around here. I’ve got work to do elsewhere, so farewell for now– but certainly not forever!

Ian Curtis by Steve Ioya