As you may have seen from my socials media channels, and a recent The Bookseller disability issue, I’ve been announced as an author with Tiny Tree Children’s Books and will be releasing a series of picture books, Better Places, to help children think about how places can be better, or more accessible, for disabled people.

I’m absolutely over the moon to be able to share this news. I’ve been sat on it waiting to share for some time, so it feels good to finally be able to get it out there — particularly as it’s the start of me getting something that I’m so passionate about in access and inclusion for disabled people out there to a much wider, and very different audience to my usual.

For the last 12-years, since age 17, I’ve been operating in the ‘adult space’, working with a variety of individuals, teams, and organisations supporting them towards a more inclusive offer for disabled people.

One of the most common things said to me when working with adults and showing them how often simple changes can have better enable disabled people’s is “I’d just never thought of that.” It’s always felt a shame that something so unintentional as being unaware of something could have such a negative impact on people’s lives.

And that’s what I hope Better Places will solve, providing a fun, interactive and quirky insight into barriers people face, the impact they have, with the opportunity to put them right. My hopes are this early exposure for children will mean access and inclusion for disabled people is just part of the norm for the next generation — it’s what they do and how they work because they always been aware and practiced it.

So, big intentions and ambitions for the books but before we get to mass societal change, we have a bit of waiting to do with Better Places not due to be release until 2022. Until then I’m going to be keeping you updated on all thing’s book related including my story from idea to publication, my learning and experience of the children’s books space and publishing industry, particularly in relation to writing about content to do with disabled people as with most industries there are certain expectations around narratives used and how stuff should be put across which is very interesting and of course I’ll be keeping you updated on all developments with the books themselves.

Finally, I’d just like to say thank you to everyone that has supported me so far. There are too many names to mention but you know who you are – and I’m sure I’ll work through thanking you all personally, or perhaps by a future blog post – and a huge thank you to Tiny Tree for believing in me, Better Places and helping me bring my idea to life.

I shall leave you all on that for now. Thanks for reading, stay tuned and until next time, take care.

Witten by Ben Andrews on