WHAT’S IN A WORD?

This article appeared on February 21, 2017 on Spectrum Women Magazine   by Maura Campbell Words are powerful.  They allow us to express our thoughts, feelings and opinions. Words can also hurt.  Whoever coined the old adage “sticks and stones may break my bones but words will never harm me” must have led a charmed life. I…

What I wish I hadn’t said to my colleague

This article appeared on August 29, 2017 on BBC News Website as part of BBC OUCH Tales of the Misunderstood. An event where seven people with a disability or mental health difficulty performed a story about awkward moments as part of BBC Ouch's storytelling event at the Edinburgh Fringe Festival. by Maura Campbell  and images by Charlotte Edey…

An open letter to comedians on why learning disability doesn’t have to be part of the punchline

Getty image by Carlos Photos

Getty image by Carlos Photos This article appeared on January 31, 2017 on The Mighty under the title 'How Comedians Can Stop Using Words That Insult People With Disabilities' by Maura Campbell  Editor’s note: This article contains language some readers may find offensive.   I have noticed an interesting phenomenon in comedy shows: the more a…

Is learning disability the last bastion of political incorrectness?

  This article appeared on September 28, 2017 on Pos'Ability Magazine   by Maura Campbell Since becoming the parent of a child with additional needs, I’ve looked at the world through different eyes. I noticed very quickly that casual conversation, internet debates and even Disney movies are peppered with pejorative language relating to learning disability. Words like…

About me

I am a features writer for Spectrum Women Magazine and have also written on autism and learning disability for a number of other publications. I live in the Northern Ireland countryside with my husband Stephen, son Darragh, Ash the assistance dog and Baz the cat (who is no help whatsoever). I was diagnosed with Asperger…

AUTISM IN THE WORKPLACE

This article appeared on September 8, 2016 on Spectrum Women Magazine   by Maura Campbell I was born with the social skills of a used teabag. Seriously, I thought maybe the other kids in school had been handed a manual on “peopling” one day when I was off sick or something.  But thankfully I’ve learned enough over…

“So What Exactly is Autism?”

This article appeared on April 1, 2017 on Spectrum Women Magazine   by Maura Campbell Around this time of year, I usually get asked to speak or write about autism.  I’m happy to do my bit. April is Autism Awareness Month and 2nd April is World Autism Awareness Day. It’s a good opportunity to engage with people outside…