Raquel Siganporia features in Disability Now’s The Download talking about self-definition, feminism and life after the Paralympics
Head of Spinal Injuries at Bolt Burdon Kemp, Raquel Siganporia, joined Disability Now’s Paul Cater; disability consultant Maria Zedda; and actor, writer and feminist Athena Stevens, for the October issue of their Disability Now podcast.
The guest speakers discussed:
What it means to define ourselves as disabled
- Thoughts on TfL’s suggestion of a disabled badge pin for those with hidden disabilities using public transport
Life beyond the Paralympic circus
- Did the Paralympics mask the reality of what it is like to be disabled in the UK?
- Are people with disabilities Superhumans?
- And whether, following the Paralympics we are proud to be disabled?
Feminism and disabled women
- Whether disability rights and women’s equality are linked
- Issues specific to women with a spinal cord injury and tetraplegia
Here are some of our highlights from this interesting and thought-provoking discussion:
Raquel Siganporia on defining yourself as disabled: “The one thing you tell people when they’re trying to rebuild their lives is that your disability is such a small part of who you will eventually be. Although it feels massive at the moment, you’ve got to remember what you were before your injury. Were you a teacher? Well then let’s go back to being a teacher. Let’s put you back in the position that you were in as best as we possibly can. Sometimes it’s more possible than others but if someone can achieve that, then that’s how they’re going to go off and make a mark.”
Raquel Siganporia on the label of being disabled and how to explain the impact your disability has in order to convey how you are affected: “For me personally what’s more important, is not what I call myself, whether I say I’ve got a spinal cord injury, whether I say I’m paralysed, whether I say I’m disabled, sometimes you just have to use the language that you think the other person you’re speaking to is going to best understand. But really the issue for me is explaining what my needs are, specific to me. The reality is that no two people with a disability are the same and trying to communicate that to another person so that you get what you need and so that other person feels comfortable to be able to enable it, is more important. The reality is that it’s society which disables us but it’s just words, at the end of the day it’s how we react to the situation that’s the most important thing.”
Raquel Siganporia is a Partner at Bolt Burdon Kemp and heads up the Spinal Injury team. Raquel has previously discussed the various aspects of spinal cord injury in the media to include Daybreak, ITV News, Sky News, the BBC and The Independent. If you or a loved one have suffered an injury as a result of someone else’s negligence or you are concerned about the treatment you have received, contact us free of charge and in confidence on 020 7288 4844 or at firstname.lastname@example.org for specialist legal advice. Alternatively, you can complete this form and one of the solicitors in the Spinal Injury team will contact you.