Postcards from the Edges, our creative project launched to celebrate our 40th anniversary, aims to explore life and disability one year after the Paralympics.

2012 was the year that disabled athletes such as Ellie Simmonds, Hannah Cockcroft MBE and Jonnie Peacock became household names as part of Team GB, undertaking incredible sporting achievements that highlighted the broad scope of disability.


However, as BBC Ouch noted this week, while much was made at the time of the “greater understanding of disability” that the Games had fostered, many disabled people now feel “they are as invisible as ever”.


The feeling of tolerance and inclusion has failed to last it seems, with comic Francesca Martinez, who has cerebral palsy, telling the BBC that attitudes towards disabled people have become polarized.


Nikki’s postcard “The Second Class Citizen” depicts a similar feeling of invisibility and seeks to challenge negative attitudes towards people with disabilities.


The poem says: “I am a second class citizen, people think they can treat me how they like”, while also emphasising the positive contribution to society that Nikki makes through fundraising and charity work.


Commenting on the meaning of her postcard, Nikki explains: “After moving house and job, I had a bad bipolar episode and was shocked how much discrimination I faced and how people treated me like my basic human rights no longer counted. I want to tell the world when I have an episode I am still human.”


Such prejudice must be challenged and Postcards from the Edges has received over 700 postcards commenting on a huge variety of issues, from ambitions and work to mental health and sexuality, while focusing on the everyday nature of disability.


Our exhibitions, which reach Liverpool next week after a tour of the country, hope to encourage a greater understanding of disabled people and the positive contributions they make to society.

As Nikki’s poem concludes: “For 2013 let’s stop the stigma. What a much better world this would be.”

Check out our infographic about the impact of the Paralympics, one year on:

Looking at the impacts of the London 2012 paralympics - infographic

Gemma Taylor, media assistant.