Same Difference is where blogger Sarah Ismail shares sides of health often ignored, including the progression of rights for people with disabilities and portrayals in the media. As a DisAbled writer herself, Sarah seeks to prove and highlight the ability of those with disabilities – read on for what keeps her passionate about blogging and how the coronavirus pandemic has changed how she approaches her work.
What initially drew you to blogging and what keeps your interest?
I discovered a political blog run by a journalist I highly respect and I wanted a blog of my own. I was born with Cerebral Palsy and have spent my life trying to prove my intelligence and my ability, with the right support, to do positive things. I know that all disabled people have the same ability and wanted to highlight this through Same Difference. That’s what keeps me going, too.
How have you had to change your approach to blogging, or your content, during the COVID-19 crisis?
I have launched a coronavirus category which contains stories of how COVID-19 has affected disabled people worldwide as well as tips on how to explain the pandemic to people with learning disabilities.
Have you noticed an increased focus on mental and physical wellbeing from the public during lockdown?
Yes, particularly exercise and mental wellbeing.
Is enough being done to break down stigmas around mental health issues?
More is being done in this area in recent years but there’s a long way to go.
What’s a topic you’ve always wanted to cover in more detail on your blog?
Rare conditions from the point of view of people living with them. Sadly, such people are very hard to find.
What advice would you give to someone who wants to start blogging about health-related topics?
Know your topic well. Try to learn as much as you can about the topic you’re covering and be open to learning new things about it.
How do you collaborate with brands and which kind of brands do you really like working with?
I publicise information and events for charities and disability organisations. Being a disability issues site, some link to disability, however small, is a requirement for everything I publicise.
For PRs looking to work with you and your blog/website, how would you prefer they approach you and with what kind of content?
By email, with press releases linked to disability in some way.