Bristol, BS1 5TX United Kingdom
In austerity Britain, disabled people have become the favourite target. From social care to the benefits system, politicians and the media alike have made the case that Britain’s 12 million disabled people are a drain on the public purse. In this event, Frances Ryan exposes the disturbing reality, telling the story of those most affected by this devastating regime. She talks about a paralysed man forced to crawl down the stairs because the council wouldn’t provide accessible housing; a malnourished woman sleeping in her wheelchair; and a young girl with bipolar forced to turn to sex work to survive.
Through these personal stories, Ryan charts how in recent years the public attitude towards disabled people has transformed from compassion to contempt: from society’s ‘most vulnerable’ to benefit cheats. She gives a damning indictment of a safety net gone wrong, and demands for an end to austerity measures hitting those most in need.
Please note that Frances Ryan is unable to travel at this time so will be appearing via a live link.
Dr Frances Ryan is a journalist, broadcaster and campaigner. Named one of the UK’s most influential disabled people by the Shaw Trust in 2018, her work has taken her to lecture halls, the Women of the World Festival, BBC Radio 4’s Woman’s Hour and The World Tonight, BBC Sunday Politics and more. Her weekly Guardian column, Hardworking Britain, has been at the forefront of coverage of austerity. She has a doctorate in politics from the University of Nottingham. Ryan was shortlisted for Specialist Journalist of the Year at the 2019 National Press Awards for her work on disability. Crippled is her first book.