David Boyes, who has cerebral palsy and a mild learning difficulty, has been supported by United Response for 20 years in an independent living service in north-east Leeds.

David has written a book, published by United Response, about his life, loves and fight for freedom.

David's autobiography, Uphill Struggle, charts the course of David’s life: how he developed from his early years of spending time in a large and unwelcoming institution through to the full and active life he now leads.

David wrote the book to help highlight what people with a disability can achieve and how valuable they are to society. In David’s own words: “I want you to see me as a person, not to feel sorry or upset for me.”

Download a copy of Uphill Struggle

A book that is just as relevant today

Even though the book was written 14 years ago, David and his support worker are keen to make people aware of the book, as it is just as relevant today as when it was originally written. David wrote on all kinds of topics that resonate today, such as politics and rights for people with disabilities.

“Disability has never been top of the government agenda, and in order for it to be there it needs the voting public to participate in fighting for change," he wrote – this is something you can help achieve. With the 2014 government changes giving every individual person the right to vote, there has never been a better time to get people engaged. More details of how to vote can be found on our Every Vote Counts website.

Lindsey Simmonds, project manager.