1980 was the ‘International Year of the Disabled’ and also the year I became disabled. There was little equality then, which influenced one of the images in the banner. My older brother took me to the cinema only to find that I was not allowed in, due to being deemed a fire hazard because I was in a wheelchair. I have tried to illustrate how my life has changed as a result of the Disability Discrimination Act 1995 by showing all the things I am now able to do with my family. I am also able to work as a professional artist, as I have a personal assistant funded by Access to Work, which is truly liberating.
The banner reflects my particular view of the world, utilising humour and popular culture icons, such as Frida Kahlo, along with snapshots of my life. The banner is inspired by my experiences before and after the 1995 Act. Things are still not perfect; we still have much to do, but I can at least go to the cinema with my family. Most buildings are accessible, but attitudes still need to change.
The 1995 DDA Banner was commissioned by the House of Commons and is kindly on loan from Shape Arts to The Art House, Wakefield.