Sarah Ismail runs a blog on disabled issues, entitled 'Same Difference'
What made you decide to start blogging?
Sunny Hundal. I discovered Pickled Politics and deciderd I wanted a blog of my own. After a while, I realised I did have something interesting to blog about (disability) and started my blog, Same Difference, in June 2007. It used to be called Remembering The Ability In Disability until July 2008, and that is still what I try to do in my posts.
What is your best blogging experience?
Having people read my posts and comment on them. Being cross-posted or linked. I think my best blogging experience was the first time I was cross-posted to Liberal Conspiracy. The post was about Tomato Lichy and Paula Garfield, the deaf couple who wanted to have a deaf child genetically. It was called Are They Deaf? Or just DisAbled? and at the time, was my best and longest post. Also, the editor of one disability related blog has said about me "If you choose to follow one blog on disability issues in the UK, make it this one." Of course I was very flattered by that.
And your worst?
Not having a recent post, called American Dream, English Nightmare, cross-posted to Liberal Conspiracy, because I was up all night writing it and love it.
What do you regard as your best blog entry?
There are a few now! I'll give you my top three. One post I wrote in response to a guy called Ian Hamilton, called Blind To The Benefits Of An Inclusive Education, about why disabled children need mainstream education. Then there was a post I wrote about a 16 year old boy having special education in a mainstream school in the UK, called The Inclusion Room, which was really about the difference between Inclusion and Integration. Finally, there's Whose World Is It Anyway? about what would happen if an able-bodied person went to a place where most people were DisAbled. My favourite blog post, though, would have to be the one I wrote about the launch of the Nihal Armstrong Trust, the charity I'm a part of, because I was asked to write it as publicity for the Trust, and because it brought my blog to the attention of people who matter to me.
Liberal Conspiracy and Pickled Politics.
What inspired you to go into politics?
I didn't realise I was in politics until I realised that Disability Rights is political! My inspiration for writing what I write, thinking what I think and saying what I say about disability would have to be those who can't, because by knowing them, I know how much they have to say and to give. I want to say what I think they would say if they could, so that, just maybe, the mainstream will realise that disabled people have minds and brains, too.
Do you think there is still widespread prejudice against dyslexia, and if so, how can we combat that?
I don't know enough about dyslexia to comment on that. I don't think there's much prejudice left against it in the UK though. But then, for Graham Stringer, or anyone else. to say it's not a disability, there must still be quite a bit of prejudice around against it. We will never completely combat prejudice against anything. We can only try hard to reduce it.
On a personal level I am dyspraxic, and it bothers me that few people seem to know about it or simply think it is "Clumsy syndrome"! Do you think this is a widespread view?
Again, I don't know enough to comment. I certainly don't think it's just clumsiness, though. I know it's a neurological disability... but that's all I really know about it.
Is there anywhere abroad which you haven't been to, that you would like to visit?
Australia. They make great soap operas!
Is there anywhere abroad you have visited, that you would love to revisit?
Ireland. I'd like to see more of it.
Who, excluding the present leader and Prime Minister, do you regard as the best British Prime Minister, and if different, the best Labour leader?
Tony Blair... but only because I'm too young to really remember what anyone else did! I was 12 when he won his first election and along with everyone else, was happy to see him win.
Which political figure has been your greatest inspiration?
Christy Brown, the writer of My Left Foot. If my blog's political, then so's his book!
Favourite Bond movie?
Casino Royale... it's the first one I've seen and will be the last.
Favorite Doctor Who?
I've never seen Doctor Who in my life and I never plan to.
Chocolate, vanilla, or mint?
Which Band, past or present, would you most like to see in concert?
In terms of visiting for the weekend, Oxford, Cambridge, or Barsby, Leics..?
Favourite national newspaper?
What would you say your hobbies were?
Reading, writing, blogging, reading good blogs, and watching soaps.
And what would you say were your three favourite songs and three favourite books (Bar the Bible and The Complete Works of Shakespeare)?
Songs: Because You Loved Me by Celine Dion, Babe by Take That and You Have Been Loved by George Michael.
Books: Provoked and Enslaved by Rahila Gupta, and My Left Foot by Christy Brown.