Columnists

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Paul Carter

Paul Carter

Paul Carter is a journalist, producer, director and presenter who first started writing for Disability Now back in the long forgotten mists of time (ok, 2007). He now presents Disability Now’s monthly podcast The Download. Paul is the founder/director of production company Little Man Media, making documentary, corporate and charity films among many other things. He worked as a producer on Channel 4’s BAFTA-winning coverage of the 2012 Paralympic Games.

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Helen Dolphin

Helen Dolphin

Helen Dolphin MBE has campaigned for improvements in transport for disabled people for many years. Most notably she has played an integral part in reforming the Blue Badge scheme and improving parking in car parks across the UK. Helen works as an independent consultant, sits on DPTAC and finishes her law degree in 2017.

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Penny Gotch

Penny Gotch

Penny Gotch is an autistic Essex girl with a Creative and Professional Writing degree. She dabbles in everything. Fiction, non-fiction, poetry, script: you name it, she does it. In her spare time, she likes music, baking and going to British professional wrestling shows.

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Mike Oliver

Mike Oliver

Mike Oliver was the first professor of disability studies in the UK and author of many books and other publications on disability.

He was also a disability activist and served on the governing council of several disability organisations including the British Council of Disabled People and the Spinal Injuries Association.

Mike is a lifelong supporter of Arsenal Football Club and a long time admirer of the work of Bob Dylan and Leonard Cohen. He is married with two grown-up children and two teenage granddaughters.

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Ruth Patrick

Ruth Patrick is a postgraduate researcher in Social Politics

Ruth Patrick is a postgraduate researcher in Social Policy at the University of Leeds. Her current research explores the lived experiences of welfare reform and focusses on the experiences and attitudes of those affected by the changes to the benefits system.

She has experienced mental health issues and has worked on the frontline as a support and advice worker in prison and the community. She also spent two years working for the Fabian Society in the early days of New Labour.

Ruth currently lives near Leeds with her partner, young daughter, and cat Tigger.

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Andy Rickell

 Andy Rickell

Andy was until recently the Chief Executive Officer of Action on Disability and Work UK, a national disabled people’s organisation which promotes the working lives of disabled people. It provides a national work advice line for disabled people and employers, supports locally-delivered direct services that enhance disabled people’s work opportunities, delivers consultancy and training on disability issues nationally, and seeks to lobby and influence on work-related issues.

With CP and a hearing impairment, he was a member of Equality 2025, the government-appointed panel of disabled people that advised the government on national disability policy. He is Chair of the South West Disability Equality Network, and a co-opted member of the National Council of UKDPC.

Andy used to be an Executive Director of Scope and Chief Executive of the British Council of Disabled People which is now UKDPC, the national voice of the disabled people’s movement.

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Mik Scarlet

 Mik Scarlet

Mik studied fashion before going on to pursue a career in music, broadcasting and journalism. Best known as a presenter on the Channel 4 shows Beat That and Sex Talk, he was also a reporter with the BBC 2 disability magazine show From The Edge.

He performed at the Paralympic opening ceremony and presented at the Paralympic Wheelchair Rugby.

Born with cancer, Mik has been disabled all his life. He became a wheelie at the age of 15 after his spine collapsed. He broke his back for a second time in 1999 thanks to a car accident. So he was meant to be disabled for sure!

Mik is happily married to the lovely Diane and lives in London.

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Peter White

Peter White

Peter White first presented In Touch, Radio 4’s programme for visually impaired listeners in 1974. Since 1995 Peter has been the BBC’s Disability Affairs Correspondent. He was the first totally blind person to produce reports for television news.

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