About Camden Disabled People's Voices
The Camden Disabled People’s Voices project collects and shows Disabled people’s reports on the issues that matter to them.
Our reports, or stories, are a public record of Disabled people’s views on all the good things and bad things we experience in this borough.
Importantly, the stories are also a tool we use to start conversations with service providers, celebrate successes and push for positive changes.
About this project – audio version (part one):
Why is Camden Disability Action running this project?
Camden Disability Action believes society disables people with impairments by putting up barriers, failing to make appropriate adjustments, leaving us out of decision-making processes and marginalising our voices. These micro-aggressions amount to oppression.
Liberation from oppression is always in part about telling stories and breaking silences. A free and empowered person tells their own story.
Camden Disability Action’s mission to make Camden a better place for Disabled people therefore begins with us supporting Disabled people to tell our stories.
If our voices are essential aspects of our humanity, to be left voiceless is to be dehumanised or excluded from society. And the history of silence is central to Disabled people’s stories.
This project helps Disabled people to tell our stories without having to rely on professionals like engagement workers or journalists. Yes! That’s right. We’re cutting out the middleperson. No longer will people have to wait for a visit from an engagement worker or some forum to tell their stories.
With this project, both our trained community journalists and Disabled members of the public will be able to use their phones to send through reports in audio, video and written formats to our hotline numbers.
The stories can be formal journalistic pieces drawing on interviews or simply people’s thoughts and feelings on things that matter to them.
All of the stories will be checked, read over and recorded by Camden Disability Action staff and some of them will be posted as videos, audio-recordings and blogs on this webpage.
Camden Disability Action’s engagement groups will then use the stories to push for changes that will remove barriers and improve Disabled people’s lives in this borough.
At the beginning of this project, we asked our trained community journalists to tell stories about how the Covid-19 streetscape changes are affecting Disabled people. As the project goes on, other topics will be reported on as decided by the people involved in the work.
About this project – audio version (part two):
How does the project work?
Our training and mentoring programme teaches a network of Disabled people in Camden the fundamental principles of journalism – including interviewing – and supports them to use their mobile phones to document their own stories as well as those of other Disabled people.
We will also be encouraging Disabled members of the public to send in reports via their phones. Unlike the trained community journalists, members of the public will be unlikely to carry out interviews, but we hope to capture their reflections, observations and experiences.
In this way, we hope to gather a rich bank of stories from Camden’s diverse population of Disabled people. We want Disabled people to tell stories about the good things and bad things they experience in this borough. They might be about transport, roads, pavements, benefits, social care or whatever.
This microsite will be the home of all their stories – raw and real reports that highlight the challenges and barriers faced by Disabled people as well as the solutions they want to see.
The story reporting lines
Camden Disability Action has set up two reporting phone lines that people can use to tell stories.
- The number 07578 665 957 can receive text messages and voicemails only. This number is especially useful if you don’t have a smart phone.
- The other number 07858 368 033 can receive WhatsApp messages, videos and photos.
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IMPORTANT: Please don’t use these lines to report emergencies, crimes or abuse. Please contact the emergency services or Camden Council’s safeguarding team if you need to report these things.
They are also not complaints lines and we won’t be able to help you solve any individual problems or disputes you may have.
If you do want to speak to an advice worker please contact Camden Disability Action’s advice line on: 07543 572793.
We check the lines once per day from Monday to Friday and from 9.30am to 5pm. We will try to get back to you as soon as we can. We will ask for your consent to hold your information and if we want to post your story on our website we will check that you are ok with that. Sometimes we may have to work with you quite a bit before putting your story up.
A statement on language and access
Camden Disability Action uses the social model of disability. This means we believe people are Disabled not because of their impairment or difference but because society fails to make the adjustments people require. So, for us, Disabled means ‘Disabled by society.’ Now you see why we use a capital D!
We understand that not everyone thinks of the social model when they hear or see the word ‘Disabled’ and that the word may therefore have a negative meaning for some people.
While we accept that different people and groups can use the language they are happy with to refer to themselves, Camden Disability Action is determined to change society and therefore we will continue to use the term ‘Disabled’ with its social model meaning. We believe in a world where nobody should be Disabled by their community.
To make our site as accessible as possible we have translated our ‘About the project’ page into easy read and BSL and are working to put as many of the reports as possible into audio formats as well has written formats. Unfortunately, it is not possible for us to put all the reports into easy read and BSL formats.