Disability Today - Connecting the Unconnected

A Social Enterprise To Enhance the Lives Of the Disabled Community

We did it!

On 7th Aug 2017 we successfully raised £10,925 of £10,000 target with 131 supporters in 42 days

Mission: To Enable Ordinary Disabled Lives To Be Extraordinary

Disability Today is about providing opportunities, news and information to a community often left behind. A community that can be difficult to reach, and in many cases don’t know about the support that is available to them.  Our goal is to bring together this community and provide the facilities to read and communicate with the world around them. Enjoy new experiences and learn about what is available to them.  

  

A platform to provide access to products, services and organisations. Letting the individual make more informed choices and giving them the knowledge and ability to live more connected lives.  By providing the latest technology available, we can offer text to audio, voice recognition, subtitled video and much more, and allow our readers access to information not easily available to them before.   

 

We will give opportunities for the disabled to go out and report on events happening around them, creating their own news stories and inspiring others.  Giving a voice to a community that often isn’t or can’t be heard, and enabling an ordinary disabled life to be extraordinary.

The opportunity to grow is huge; Disability Today can be a place where people come to have new experiences, learn about research, discover new products and help them build confidence to get more from their lives.  An environment where we become the provider and source. It’s not about cornering a market; it’s about shouting from the rooftops about what everyone is doing to help this community.

  

The funding  Disability Today requires is for three main areas of development.

Firstly software, we can bring accessibility tools to our website and be the first to provide this access to worldwide news all in one place. We want disabled journalists to blog, charities to post and organisations to be able to get their message out to a wider audience

Secondly we will provide support for individuals to become reporters and attend events happening in their local areas.   Helping individuals to go out and explore a world they thought was unavailable to them.   This will also help to bring consumers and organisations together and help the community to grow further.

  

Thirdly is the enterprise, where we can create revenue and assist the disabled community at the same time. By providing this platform for organisations, they can promote their activities, services and products in our online directory, helping them to reach further and benefit a larger group of people.  Statistics show that sales of disability equipment in the UK have increased by 92% over the last 10 years.

Internet users are set to double over the next 5 to 10 years from 2.7 billion to five billion, and more than 10% of that figure could be the disabled community. We have the technology and the ability to make this happen, giving opportunities to develop skills and confidence to go out and make better lives for themselves. Through my own personal experience I have heard too many times “I wish I’d known about that” And this is what I want to help change. 

About This Project

Disability Today started in 2015 when I realised the need for a place to inform and provide opportunities for the disabled, and a platform for organisations to spread their message to a wider and targeted audience. A source of news and information, both locally and internationally.

One of the significant challenges is access to the Internet, many in the disabled community simply cannot type on a keyboard, and technological solutions are now available but are currently not used by most mainstream outlets. We can provide this on Disability Today’s website.

Current Events

Disability as a whole now receives much more positive coverage from the main stream media, and with the success of events such as the Paralympics, and having disabled journalists and presenters getting increased exposure, the time has never been better to continue raising this awareness and providing more opportunities for the individual to excel.  We can bridge the gap between what is available and that information reaching that target audience. 

This will be the first website of its kind. It is about empowering a community to get more from their lives and create opportunities to deliver change.      

    

Phase 1: Raise £10,000

  • Using the existing platform, we will add accessibility software available on the market to instantly provide access to a wider disabled audience.
  • Have a stable office infrastructure so that the news is reliably edited and uploaded on a daily basis.
  • Start to cover the costs of administration to allow me to go out and promote Disability Today.
  • Reach out to all the organisations and announce our new initiative.
  • Create the directory and guide to start bringing revenue in.
  • Recruiting disabled talent to start reporting on their world.
  • Social Media campaigns and usage of the 20,000 contacts already in our databse.
  • Find a main sponsor and/or partner to help drive Disability Today forward

Phase 2: Raise £20,000

  • Rebuild the website with the technology embedded in to the platform and provide all the new tools available for accessibility.
  • Set up an office with a suitable environment for disabled journalists and bloggers to be able to come and work.
  • Build a nationwide hub of disabled talent that we can source for content and employ to cover events.
  • Create opportunities for disabled columnists and provide a platform capable of using Video broadcasts to build a Disability Today online TV station
  • Phone apps delivering targeted info to the user - By Disability/ Interests/ Location/ Profession and more 
  • A presence at national exhibitions, conferences and events. To spread the word of Disability Today and the positive influence it can have.

Phase 3: Our long term goals

  • An online broadcast station providing 24-hour disability news delivered by disabled journalists and broadcasters.
  • Have a presence in every doctors surgery, hospital, care home, charitable organisation and anywhere there is a person with a disability.
  • New Disability Today websites created in non-English speaking territories to help those communities.
  • Have every disabled person in the world be aware of DT and not miss out again on opportunities and support available to them.

The Internet and social media now give us the tools to live better-connected lives. I want to make sure the disabled community are included in that.

I never want to hear these words again “I wish I’d known about that”

   

Words of Encouragement

I know your site – and visit often to check out what’s new with disability! Lee Perry

I love the concept you have started and look forward to contributing soon. Matt Feeny

Disability Today is an impressive endeavor! Jeanne Allen

Love your website! Bridget Churchill

I think the website is a great idea and I was very impressed with your inspiring personal story Christian Dunnage

Thanks for connecting with me and sharing your story. I have looked at the web site and think it is terrific in what you are doing. David Best

First of all, just to say that I wish you the very best of luck with your new venture; it's a great idea and will be a real inspiration to many people, I'm sure.. NIK demetriades

Yours is such a wonderful platform for disability awareness and lifestyle. Jamie Bedford

Had a look at the website and personal stories section and it looks great. Excellent stories, easy to view and straight to the point. Kurt Reed

I’ve read a few of the personal stories on your website & bravo! It’s an excellent idea! Charlotte Morse

Your website looks really good and the section 'Personal Stories' is very interesting to read. Sonja de Groot

I had a visit to your website - pretty jam packed with goodies - well done, keep up the great work! Maribel

I was forwarded your email from our Head Trainer Matt Pateman about Personal Stories, and I must say we would love to get involved. Angus Tookey

Firstly, can I say that the personal stories on your website are truly inspiring. Cherron Inko-Tariah

You've blown me away with this website – James - Why Not people

  

Disability Today's USP

  • All the news on all disabilities provided with the technology to let the disabled access it. From local, national and international sources, together in one place. News stories and events covered by individuals and delivered in their own personal way, and to provide a guide on everything available to the disabled individual.  Knowledge and information delivered in a new and exciting way for the disabled community.

  

SWOT ANALYSIS

Strengths

  • Disability Today is unique in the way we deliver information.
  • No other news website in the disabled sector is offering to provide news from every source available, and delivered in one place.
  • Existing websites will not be threatened by our existence as we are widening the net of their readership.
  • By providing accessibility software we will be helping readers easily access news not currently available to them.
  • By connecting with all the disability associations our growth will help many more people.
  • People and organisations are already actively sending us stories and articles that they want us to publish and help reach that wider audience.
  • There is a massive feel good factor about what we are trying to achieve.
  • This can benefit a huge amount of people.

Weaknesses

  • Lack of Funding – to move the planned features forward.
  • Website is currently live but not all planned features are active.
  • The current layout and structure needs work.
  • Search facilities are not in-depth enough.
  • No team in place to edit the website.
  • Don’t have the resources to create our own stories and find stories that are not fed by RSS feeds.

 Opportunities

  • To provide tools to a community to access the internet.
  • To help individuals create and share information to enhance peoples lives
  • To invite disabled journalists and bloggers to contribute to the site and grow the community.
  • To provide a platform for organisations to reach their audience.
  • To help a community and create a sustainable business employing the disabled and teaching new skills
  • To reach an audience that in some cases has little or no idea about the opportunities available to them.
  • Create a worldwide platform that will become the central place for the disabled on the internet.
  • To take the website global and reach millions more disabled readers and consumers.
  • To set the website up in different languages and territories to help more of the non-English speaking disabled community.

 Threats

  • Entry of a directly competing site.   Therefore a priority to get the platform and structure in place immediately
  • Without immediate funding the website will be over taken by a rival using our idea.
  • Possible slower growth in new readers than planned.
  • Potential partner organisation not coming on board quickly enough.
  • Organisations feeling threatened by our existence by not understanding our primary goal, which is to widen the readership of all disability news.

  

Disability Today - The Future

With the basic website up and running and already creating over 500,000 hits per month it is now time to move to the next phase. With all the technological software now available we need to connect the individual with what’s going on in their world.

In the future Disability Today can have a presence in every doctors surgery, hospital, care home and charitable organisation, anywhere there is a person with a disability. District nurses going in to people’s homes will inform their clients/ patients about DT and what it can do for them. I would like to never again hear the words “I wish I’d known about that!!” There are far too many people living their lives behind closed doors because they are not aware of the information and help available.

  

We will have a presence at national exhibitions, conferences and events to spread the word and make Disability Today the centre for the communities knowledge.

Helping mainstream organisations that have facilities open to the community such as pubs with disabled toilets, sports centres running disabled activities, the potential reach is huge and will only be enhancing and helping organisations already doing great work in this area. Currently the website’s latest headlines are made up of articles I have sourced from around the world. I see a future where we are creating our own headlines delivered by the disabled.

  

I recently returned from a trip to Cambodia, which inspired me to push harder and further in my own expectations. I want to inspire others to reach new goals and do more with their lives. Individuals becoming reporters for DT covering stories and events, helping to bring more people out to enjoy their lives and get more fulfillment, confidence and life experience.

All of this is possible and within reach with the right technology and support. Help me make this a reality.

Why?   Because it’s a great opportunity to help a community change their lives for the better.

The scope is huge, 10% of the UK population consider themselves disabled in some way, that’s around six million, so there are people out there that could benefit from knowing more about what’s going on.

Social media now gives us the tools to live more connected lives. I’d like to make sure the disabled community are included in that.

  

 WITH YOUR HELP WE REALLY CAN MAKE A DIFFERENCE TO PEOPLE'S LIVES!!! 

PLEASE DONATE IF YOU CAN.


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