Introducing: Seminar in your Slippers

bunny slippersEnabled by Design is always looking out for exciting online projects that are finding ways to support people to live as independently as possible, whether it’s through campaigning like the great work of the Broken of Britain, providing peer-to-peer support or information sharing and advice. So when we came across the work of Martyn Sibley and his plans for ‘Seminar in your Slippers’, we thought you might like to hear about it too…

If you do decide to get involved and take part, we’d love to hear your thoughts!

Team EbD x


Hello to the readers of Enabled by Design. My name is Martyn Sibley, I have been running my personal blog for around 18 months and I am an electric (pimp my ride) wheelchair user. Having been on an interesting path with my disability, having the desire to inform/inspire other disabled people and now trying to be a catalyst for change along with many other cool peeps, I have launched my baby – Sunnier Days.

Sunnier Days is the very personal name I have given to the ‘vehicle’ enabling me to make some of my ideas around disability a reality. Those close to me refer to my positive attitude, my love of sunny holidays and because my projects (the blog, work with Hackney council and DisabilityLib) are about improving things – Sunnier Days felt right and was born!

Last Friday I launched my first solely online venture ‘seminar in your slippers’. Dominic kindly asked me to write a guest blog on here to inform you guys. It really started last May when I decided to find a venue, inspirational speakers and market an event for disabled people. My friends, family and blog readers gave positive feedback, however the guys in the BBC ouch chat rooms were more skeptical. I managed to get a great venue in Shoreditch – London, the BBC’s disabled TV presenter Natasha Wood and disabled model Sophie Morgan, and 20 people attended! It was the first time I have ever done something like this. It was challenging, scary, great fun, uplifting and a big learning experience.

The feedback showed that there is an appetite for dissemination of inspiring and informative information to disabled people, their friends/family and professionals. The down side was the costs associated with hiring a venue, putting on catering and transportation to the event. I continued with my blogging, looked at social networking sites and pondered many other ways of providing a platform for debate, sharing and positive change around disability.

The Jennifer Trust for Spinal Muscular Atrophy logoHaving a disability called Spinal Muscular Atrophy I have been a member of the charity for my impairment since birth, The Jennifer Trust for Spinal Muscular Atrophy (JTSMA) (I was also on the board of trustees for 2 years). We have partnered up to launch this idea for their members and my blog followers.
Essentially it is a 45 minute presentation on a variety of disability topics, beginning with Personalisation – how to effectively manage your care. This is followed by 15 minutes of Q&A and it’s all delivered to you at home, comfortably relaxing with your slippers on. You can watch my cheesy promo video below:

JTSMA online seminar from Martyn Sibley on Vimeo.

or download the flyer with full details here.

The first two ‘seminar in your slippers’ are on the subject of Personalisation – managing your care effectively. Part one is on Wednesday 23rd February at 19.30 for one hour. It will cover what Personalisation is, what to expect from your assessment, how to deal with potential issues and the first steps towards recruiting Personal Assistants. Part 2 is the following Wednesday (2nd March) at 19.30 for one hour. Here we will cover employment law, contracts, paying your tax, organising the rota and progressing towards new outcomes. We plan to roll out further topics after the insights into Personalisation have been shared. Each seminar costs £15, but if you sign up for both you receive a £5 discount. 50% of the proceeds go to the JTSMA and their great work. The last day for sign up is Friday 18th February. Email [email protected] for further details.
Feel free to retweet this, email friends and phone anyone who might find this useful. I hope, even with a couple of tweaks from these 2 seminars, that ‘seminar in your slippers’ can become a great innovative way of delivering informative and inspirational details to the living rooms of the disabled community. Please do sign up, join us on the scheduled dates and provide feedback so we can achieve this!

Kindly written by Martyn Sibley