The Fearless Snowflake Award.

As a blogger I’ve been lucky enough to be the recipient of multiple awards, & I think it’s high time that I gave something back to the community. More than anything else I wanted to create something slightly different, something that recognised the content & quality of a blog, but that also recognised someone’s dedication to their chosen topic.

There are certain topics that, on the international stage of the internet, will attract scathing criticism as well as support & praise. Particularly, political matters & social justice can leave creators open to insults such as “Social Justice Warrior”, or “Snowflake”. Now I, for one, have never had a problem with being called either. Who on Earth thought being described as a warrior for justice would be an insult must be a very…special…individual. Similarly, snowflakes are uniquely beautiful on their own, but together can transform the world (&, as someone pointed out to me on Twitter, can bring an entire city to a halt). Why either term has become an insult is beyond me, but here we are nevertheless.

There is a small trend of certain words, traditionally used as insults, being taken up by victims as a way of fighting back against oppression. Punk was once used an insult instead of being one of the greatest musical genres on the planet. The LGBTQIA+ community is more than happy to use the word “queer”, & some disabled people have described themselves as “cripples”. Perhaps most famously, people of colour are using the N-word. It makes a mockery of those dealing out the insults, & leaves them scrabbling to find more.

I think it’s time to take back snowflake, & instead of it being used as a derogatory term to describe someone with a conscience & empathy, it should be used to celebrate individuals who advocate for equality both on their blog, & in real life. “The Snowflake Award” sounded rather sarcastic, more akin to a Golden Raspberry rather than an Oscar, so this is what I came up with:

A teal circle on a white background, with a white snowflake in the centre. The Fearless Snowflake Award is written in deep blue text accross it.

If nominated, to accept the award there will be a few rules:

  1. Thank whoever nominated you, & link back to their blog.
  2. Link back to this blog post, & name Diary of a Disabled Person as the creator.
  3. Display the logo.
  4. Nominate 1 – 3 individuals, & make sure to let them know!
  5. Write a couple of paragraphs describing why each of your nominees deserves The Fearless Snowflake Award.
  6. Get in touch with me so that can pass on my personal congratulations.

To get the ball rolling, I’m going to nominate 3 people for The Fearless Snowflake Award.

The first is Crutches & Spice author, Imani Barbarin. Imani runs an excellent website full of interesting content, & is also extremely active on social media. A quick explore of CrutchesandSpice.com will make it obvious why she is eligible for this award; she doesn’t just write about equality for disabled people, but takes action too. She is constantly giving talks & presentations, & has absolutely no qualms about being a loud & clear advocate for social equality. Her efforts are admirable & deserve recognition.

Next up is Gem Turner, author of Gemturner.com. Gem has a sense of humour on a parallel with most comedians, & again is active on Twitter. She writes well about her passion for social equality, & again has experience as a public speaker to back her up. She will also speak up for herself in the moment, speaks the truth without hiding behind fancy language, & demonstrates that disabled people have more to them than their conditions.

Finally, we come to someone I consider to be a friend, & who I had in mind for this award from the very beginning. Her name is Dr Amy Kavanaugh & she is the author of Cane Adventures, the creator of #JustAskDontGrab, & has appeared on television on multiple occasions advocating for the rights of visually impaired & queer women.  She frequently shares her experience of day-to-day life in London, often using public transport (including the tube) at peak times & recording her experience to demonstrate her message. She shares both the good & the bad, & works incredibly hard to spread her message.

To all three of these women I pass my congratulations, & I look forward to seeing what you think of this award.

Make Your Voice Heard!

If ever you needed proof that I care about all disabilities and not just wheelchairs, then here it is:

The company I work for helps to develop and implement digital health technology in the NHS, making healthcare easier to reach and more accessible for everyone. One of our current projects is concerned with the accessibility of GP’s surgeries to those who are hard of hearing, or partially sighted/blind. As part of this project, we will be running a workshop on Monday 14th May in Huddersfield, West Yorkshire (more details below), and I am one of the members of staff who will be present on the day. I can personally assure you that the the entire team is going to great lengths to ensure that everyone’s needs are met.

Our project is 1 of 20 across the country being sponsored by NHS Digital, and is jointly run with the Good Things Foundation. As well as supporting the hard of hearing and partially sighted/blind to have a better GP experience, we also aim to work with GP staff and anyone else who wishes to be a ‘Digital Champion’, sharing our combined knowledge to improve pathways through health services wherever we can.

At the workshop you can explore accessibility technology and have an opportunity to tell us what needs to change to make it easier for you to visit your GP, as well as getting to see the strange, wheelchair-shaped person behind Diary of a Disabled Person in action.

And if that’s not enough to interest you, then this should do the trick: FREE FOOD.

14.05 Workshop Details.