03 December 2020
Today is #PurpleLightUp and the International Day of Persons with Disabilities, a UN recognised day celebrated internationally on 3 December.
This year’s theme is Not all disabilities are visible. Did you know that 22% of the UK population has a disability, and that 70% of those are not visible? Non-visible conditions and impairments don't always have physical signs and include learning difficulties, mental health conditions as well as mobility, speech, visual or hearing impairments. They can also include asthma, COPD, and other lung conditions; as well as chronic illnesses such as renal failure, diabetes, and sleep disorders when those conditions significantly impact day-to-day life.
Living with these conditions can make daily life more demanding for many people. They affect each person in different ways and can be painful, exhausting, and isolating. Without visible evidence of the condition or impairment, it is frequently difficult for others to acknowledge the challenges faced and as a consequence, empathy and understanding can often be in short supply.
Here at Virgin Media, our disability network, Ultraviolet have planned a jam-packed day of events for our employees and customers to celebrate, inform and spark some honest conversations. This includes sharing the real life experiences of our colleagues in different areas across Virgin Media. We are also encouraging our employees to dress in their favourite purple outfits to help us celebrate #PurpleLightUp while most of us are still working from home.
We are also delighted to welcome Kelly Cat Wells to come and share with us her story. Keely is an entrepreneur and disability activist, and is the founder/CEO of C Talent, Zetta Studios, and Zetta Finance. Keely sits on the D/deaf & Disabled committee at Equity UK and the British Film Institutes Disability Advisory Council. Additionally Keely lives with various non-visible Disabilities, including a permanent Ileostomy, Autoimmune, and PTSD. Keely fell sick when she was training to be a dancer, she was mis-diagnosed and unable to eat anything for two years, after having eight major operations she finally had the surgery that saved her life and changed it completely. Keely founded her first company during her time in hospital which transcended into C Talent. C Talent represents d/Deaf and Disabled artists globally. They build and manage an artist’s full-time career either in-front or behind the camera.
Finally you may notice that Virgin Media has gone Purple for the day – check out our other channels!
Most importantly, get involved, listen, learn and share. Let’s start the conversation!