Colin's journey to #ActuallyICan

Colin McCooey

Colin's disability has never got in the way of his love of music. He told us how he uses the skills he's learnt from our Go Digital programme to inspire other disabled people.

Colin in his wheelchair in front of a desk of three computers

I love music – when I DJ, I feel excited. I upload all my sets for everyone to enjoy. DJing and music are therapy for me when I’m stressed – it makes me calm down.

Technology has made me more determined to keep entertaining people with my music; it’s made me more driven to keep producing music. Most importantly, I use it as a tool to promote disability awareness – and I also love getting roped into events. Technology and music were always well within my background.

I use music to inspire other disabled people

My volunteer, John McPhee, gave me my first laptop, which I’ve been using ever since. I have always called my parents through video conferencing, which has been even more convenient since we’ve been in lockdown.

I started writing songs four years ago. Music has been my main love for a lifetime. I’m 35 now – you wouldn’t believe my age!

It’s not just a hobby for me; it’s to show people that even though you’re disabled that no matter what you do or what a person says a disabled person can do things. I hope my videos and live shows can inspire other disabled people to do the same.

This was the main reason why I started making YouTube videos. It wasn’t always to try and get a job; it was so I could even inspire one person, maybe my message would spread all over the world.

Technology has enabled me to stay in touch during the pandemic

Because of Leonard Cheshire and their Go Digital programme, I can keep up to date with all the technology and training I need. It has allowed me to create and use social media accounts, stay in touch with my pen pal and become more independent.

Cheshire House has benefited from this skills programme too – with access to a huge sensory room that includes loads of interactive equipment, such as an infinity mirror and a magic carpet. We’ve also got an easy access, gigantic iPad – it’s the size of a TV! All the training I have had means I can teach other people at Cheshire House how to use the equipment.

Go Digital has allowed me to be a better person and shows that #ActuallyICan. I encourage anyone to participate in the programme. Give it a go. It could really help you.

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