From a young age, I have always had an interest to work within the media. Whether that’s in front of the camera or behind the scenes, I’m passionate about producing positive content. In 2017 I created a blog called “A Life on Wheels” – a platform for me to document my journey through adulthood as a young man with a physical disability. In doing so, I have shared many aspects of my life online over the years, as well as reviewing accessible events, activities and products. Since then I have also used my platform to highlight key issues, such as the poor representation of disabilities within the media.
As you may have guessed from the title of this post, I am a full-time wheelchair user. I have a condition called Spinal Muscular Atrophy (SMA Type 2) which is a rare neuromuscular condition, causing progressive muscle weakness. Other symptoms include handsome good looks and a cheeky charm, but we’ll get onto that later! Diagnosed at age two-and-a-half, the future wasn’t looking so bright. However all these years later – now aged 27 – I’m still here going strong! Often described as a “social butterfly”, I’m always on the lookout for new ways to challenge myself. With support from my family and a small team of carers, I live independently alongside my furry friend Ralph. I also drive a wheelchair accessible vehicle using hand controls, thanks to an ongoing partnership with the Motability Scheme.
My Media Experiences
Whilst my blog is my biggest passion, I’m determined to create a successful media career for myself. Never one to shy away from a challenge, I have had various TV experiences over the years. I once flew all the way from Cornwall to Glasgow to be a contestant on BBC gameshow Letterbox (only to be voted out in the first round!). My friends and I also auditioned to be on Channel 4’s Gogglebox which was an absolute dream – fingers crossed for that gig one day! As a proud Cornishman, one of my favourite experiences so far has definitely been working with the legendary Dawn French – as a background artiste in the ITV drama: ‘The Trouble with Maggie Cole’. Most recently I have also featured in various BBC News articles raising awareness for young adults who have continued to shield throughout the Coronavirus pandemic.
Despite everything that’s going on in the world right now, I’m excited for what the future holds. The message behind this post couldn’t be more simple: never give up on your dreams. Despite life’s difficulties, I’m proud of how far I have come and will continue to fight for more positive representations of disabilities within the mainstream media.
Should you wish to stay up to date with my adventures, you can subscribe to my blog for free at www.alifeonwheels.co.uk or follow me on Facebook, Instagram or Twitter (@rosslannon).