Other Work

Basically any other work that doesn't fit into any of the other pages. So there could be anything in this part!

This show was first perormed for British Airways on a day (5th November) which demonstrated how discrimination can be defeated when people work together to brin about positive change. And amazingly, the president elect of america used such inclusive language reffering to disabled and non disabled people. So Equality Street continues the journey through music & word.

Equality Street Blues, John Kelly

You give me looks and stares and stairs & steps and everything in my way

Went down equality street oh I tell ya what I see x 2
You give me looks and stares and stairs & steps and everything in my way

Oh yes there’s a pain, from our darkest history x2
You give me looks and stairs and stairs & steps and everything in my way

You say I have the right, then you take ‘em all away x2
You give me looks and stares and stairs & steps and everything in my way

You control/choose the way I live, just want my liberty/dignity x2
You give me looks and stares and stairs & steps and everything in my way

I just wanna live, live & breathe the way I choose x2
You give me looks and stares and stairs & steps and everything in my way

We ain’t gonna take no more, my peoples gonna make a stand x2
You give me looks and stares and stairs & steps and everything in my way

We’re goin down Equality street, I’ll tell ya what we’ll see x2
There’ll be no looks and stairs and stairs & steps or anything in our way

We’re gonna be free, free to do the things that we choose X2
Free of looks and stairs and stairs & steps and anything in our way

Roller Coaster Ride, Rory Dyer

Girls, sex, careers
It comes out your ears
Food, finance, exams
Head spins, door slames

Nature thinks “that’s not enough”
And here comes all the hormone stuff
Zits in my skin, hairs on my chin

It’s ok for those in middle age
They’re well past that stage
Married, life’s nice and secure
But for me it’s a total bore

Mum and dad criticise and advise
It’s the real world open your eyes
I can look cool and wear my shades
Because old hasn’t been young for decades

When I’m old, an incompetent fool
I’ll still feel young, fresh and very cool

Albert & the Aeroplane, Chris Hogg

Young Albert likes to travel, he’s even been to Spain
But it’s too far by car so he has to go by plane
Last time he went he was left in a fix,
he arrived in Spain to find his wheelchair in bits

He said “eh by gum” what am I to do
Its all broke down, I’ll call the BA Team
The people in union jack red, white and blue
They’ll fix it for me

So Albert called them up and asked if they could help in anyway
“Yes sure” the whole Olympic team said “no need to even suppose”
Just sleep over in the airport and tomorrow look for the plane with the golden nose.

Then the next morning Albert waited with some tension
on the tarmac to see his wheelchairs Olympic procession
First came the golden torch flaming, held so proud
Then came twenty seven countries
Marching their way through the crowd.

Then at the back as the people began to stare just in front of Rebecca Adlington came Albert’s repaired wheelchair
When the chair reached Albert he said “Aye that looks good”
You fixed it just like I knew you could

So now Albert is a wheelchair racing king
And with any luck with Albert’s help
We might win a medal in London twenty twelve

Battle of Whitehall, John Kelly

Chain yourself to the buses, show them what the fuss is,
Get us on the political map.
They can try and talk us down, but we’ll head right into town,
Cause we won’t take any more of that crap.

There’s a battle in Whitehall, anger in our sights
There’s a battle in Whitehall, fighting for our civil rights.

Civil disobedience, the public are our audience,
We ain’t no freak show any more.
We’re vocal and we’re loud, disabled and we’re proud,
No sympathy, but empathy give to the cause.


Have you ever thought apartheid is wrong,
Have you ever thought homophobia is wrong,
Have you ever thought that sexism, racism, fascism was ever so wrong…… so is this.


Lady Olga Maitland proves she’s not on this land,
Perhaps segregation ain’t so bad after all.
Well John Smith he has gone, maybe this could be his song,
As the battle cry for Civil Rights will never die


Are you alright love, Chris Hogg

Let me make one thing quite clear
Nothing aggravates me more than
“Are you all right dear?”

I know people are always
Just trying to be nice
But in the next few lines
Just let me give you some advice

I know I might be crazy
Even acting odd
But there’s no need to pat us on the head
As if we’re the family dog

We are let out more than once a week
Contray to popular belief
We are human beings
We don’t bite and we are the same underneath

You use legs
I use wheels
I use boots you use high heels
Don’t pat us on the head and kiss us goodnight

And in case you weren’t listening don’t say “Are you all right?”

Inclusion, Rory Dyer

What is inclusion?,
Meant to be without illusion,
Designed to avoid delusion,
and bring people together.

Nice to meet and talk to you,
Lets talk about me and you,
and what brings you hear today?

What’s your opinion on this?,
What’s your opinion on that?
Here’s the garden fence,
On which side are you sat?

Always nice to receive an invite,
to a new event,
It was because we networked,
and the letter that you sent.

What’s your opinion on this?,
What’s your opinion on that?,
Here’s the garden fence,
On which side are you sat?

What is inclusion?,
Meant to be without illusion?,
Designed to avoid delusion?
and bring people together.

It may sound sound complex,
but it’s not so detailed,
if we can talk together,
we’ve done all but failed.

What’s your opinion on this?
What’s your opinion on that?,
Here’s the garden fence,
On which side are you sat?

Choices and Rights, Johny Crescendo

I want choices and rights, Choices and rights
Choices and rights in my life.

I don’t want your charity or you to be paid to care for me
I want choices and rights in my life

And I don’t want to be in your care or to be put some place out there
I want choices and rights in my life

Choices and rights that’s where we’ve got a fight
Choices and rights in my life

I don’t want no benefit, but dignity from where we sit
I want choices and rights in our lives

I don’t want you to speak for me, just listen and then you’ll see
We want choices and rights in our lives

Choices and rights that’s where we’ve got a fight
Choices and rights in our life

I don’t want your sorrow, I don’t need your fear
I want choices and rights in our lives

I don’t need your guilt trip, I don’t want your tears
I want choices and rights in our lives

We don’t need your special schools, we gotta get out and teach the fools
We got choices and rights in our lives

I’m not gonna stick out my hand, because we’re gonna make a stand
For choices and rights in our lives
Choices and rights that’s where we’ve got a fight for
Choices and rights in our life

We don’t want your charity, or holidays by the sea
We want choices and rights

And white coats are burnt on fire, as our strength grows higher
Choices and rights in our lives

One flew east, one flew west, one flew over the cuckoos nest for
Choices and rights in our lives

Choices and rights that’s where we’ve got a fight
Choices and rights in our life x2

Stages of Life, John Kelly & Company

Your looking at me
Your thoughts go right through me
Contemplate what is on your mind
Lets unpack all the things that we find
You’ll never know, unless you let go inside

These are the stages of my life
I’m gonna do it for myself
These are the stages of my life
Complete with passion and energy
These are the stages of my life
We’re gonna do it for ourselves

Being on this side
There's nowhere I can hide
The show to my life must begin
Perform let the audience in
Will they reject or will they accept who I am

So, here I am, I am getting on with my life
Learning to be more than just a performer on stage
I’m learning to be me
with strength, with confidence and with pride

Interested in booking the Equality Street cabaret for your company or organisation? For something a little bit different email here:

Independent Living

Independent Living

"means that disabled people have access
to the same life opportunities and the same choices in every day life
that their non-disabled brothers and sisters, neighbors and friends take for granted.“

Baronnes Cambell, Chair of The Independent Living Review, cited in ODI Review 2007


Theres such a lot in the news at the moment about 'social care' and I've just added to it. As well as the work I do all over the country, over the past 10 months or so, I've been involved with more local issues. Independent living is definately on the agenda and in particular a push to increase the amount of people using direct payments. So to promote Direct Payments, which has freed my life up big time, I took up the invitation to write a piece for the local paper.

I'm pleased with it on the whole as they're has been a lot of devisive, negative stuff (most justified) in the papers over the last couple of months and this didn't mention any of it, it just focused on a choice that can be made to take more control your own life. It is a choice, you don't have to have direct payments but you can if you choose it. So you can read the article in three different ways:

PDF version

Local Guardian Website
Click on: E-edition >Wimbledon > 31/01/08.
You'll find it on P.29

Guardian Page Suite
The paper online
(Not ure how long this link will last though).

I've also become involved in the development of a local User-led organisation and discussions about a Centre for Independent Living. I've been invited to facilitate a workshop to find out local disabled peoples views on what they want and I think it will also be the continuation of how we can have greater control over our own issues locally. You can find out more about the workshop here. If you live in Merton please do come, we need to work together and make sure our voice becomes louder...Hey ho!

I'm currently researching CIL's for our local area. Click here to see the work in progress on research from the variety of information from CIL's around the country and also national policy documents. This is a collection of other works and sources and not my own words, follow the source link to view the original source and compltet texts. The purpose of the above link is to provide a quick background to Independent Living.

My words......

Taking the step to manage your own independence can be a daunting step, and it doesn't’t need to be. Empirical evidence (research gaps/current research) suggests that the unique and individual experiences that are being created by independent living. Individuals, like a small business do not have the same infrastructure/support levels to deal with the challenges. Problems of getting and keeping good PA's or maintaining a good working and friendly relationship are just two examples of the challenges facing disabled people who want to take control over their own life.

However the advantages of taking control and experiencing independent living far out way anything else. I believe it's a fundamental human right to have autonomy over your own life (a fundamental human right means that it has universialty and can be shared by all & I know that this is sadly not the current reality).

The traditional care model is often inappropriate and outdated in terms of the aspirations of disabled & particularly young disabled people. All the challenges created in independence are the responsibility of someone else in traditional care provisions, and they have infrastructure and support to manage staff. Yet individuals who want to be independent are supported in a very a-hoc way, depending on where you live and what is available.

The most creative and appropriate form of support is through Disabled Peoples Organisations, which posses the experience and knowledge and the way to support, but they are strapped for cash & struggle with infrastructure as a result of project rather than core funding. Disabled People are not on an equal footing with traditional provisions.

I know there is some really good stuff out there both internationally, nationally and locally, but it doesn't always get to the individual dealing on a day to day basis with their PA's. I'm really interested in hearing your thoughts. I've developed a number of ideas which could possibly help in developing independence, but they are just ideas at the moment, they might not work! If the ideas already exist then brilliant we just need to tell people that need to know. Maybe this web site could play a very small part. Just sign posting one person to the right place will make this site worth while.

It has been said that Direct Payments are about becoming more in control, seeing yourself as an employer &/or even like a small business. This notion is nothing new for those with experience and confidence to take control. It can be daunting for most and a distant or long way away from the reality for some.

So below are some of the areas I'm interested in:
• Recruitment of good PA’s can be difficult – can we learn from business about recruitment?
• There are sometimes relationship difficulties between the pa and user: friend/professional balance; one or both not understanding role or expectation – can we learn from good induction and supervision practice.
• On-going day to day management can be complex; time sheets, changes to need on a daily responsive level, weekly/monthly monitoring of staff/quality assurance, hours and not to mention financial management and taxes – What can be drawn/learnt from small business and management.
• Official relationships with local authorities, ilf and other funders can be difficult when you do not feel equal within the relationship. LA’s and ILF have expertise, systems, monitoring & reviewing procedure etc. All this contributes to a feeling of them and us/ better organised and infrastructure – What can be learned about infrastructure & professionalism that will empower disabled people to directly have & feel a sense of equality with these bodies

I know that in the UK organisations like NCIL & BCODP (now UK..?/?, can't remember the other bit as I write this) have some good stuff, I know that there are some really good local CIL's, but I am interested in individual experiences, thoughts & solutions. This is purely on a personal interest level at the moment, but if we can share, then cool.

So your thoughts please. You can email me here or put something on the guest book if your happy to share it more publicly.

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