Unable to speak as a result of cerebral palsy, Dave Young is campaigning to make sure people with disabilities aren’t denied the right to communicate.
His story was broadcast on ITV News Meridian (W) on Thursday 2nd October.
The 19-year-old Fixer from Poole is concerned that too often people will overlook those who are disabled, and talk only to their parents and carers.
'I want to spread the message not to write people off just because they are disabled,’ Dave explains.
'I communicate using a sophisticated computer system that tracks my eye movement. It's given me a voice.
'People who don't know me don't speak to me. They talk about me as if I am a child and they don't make eye contact.
'This makes me feel sad.'
Dave enjoys writing poetry and with Fixers, has helped to compile a booklet of his work.
He hopes it’ll offer an insight into the everyday life of someone with a disability, and plans to distribute the resource to libraries and schools.
Read Dave's booklet 'The Shouting Mute' below.
Dr Caroline Hodges, a Senior Lecturer at Bournemouth University involved in the Seen but Seldom Heard project, appears in the broadcast piece in support of Dave’s campaign.
'I think there’s still an assumption that because somebody is physically disabled, they must be disabled in mind,’ she says.
'Part of the problem is the lack of direct experience that members of the public have with disability.'
Ramon Hansford, a friend of Dave's, also shares his experiences in the film.
'People will talk to my carer,’ Ramon comments.
‘Then I answer their question and I’ve actually made people physically jump.’
Dave adds: ‘I want my project to spread the message that we’re all the same, but in different ways.
‘Don’t write people off. Let their abilities shine through!’
Help Fix it – Share this Story!
'A lot of the time people look at me and think, "He can't do that."'
Daniel Traylor is challenging attitudes towards disability with his campaign.