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Kaliya Franklin

Kaliya Franklin

Kaliya is an experienced disability rights campaigner, writer and speaker. She blogs at the 2012 Orwell Prize shortlisted blog Benefit Scrounging Scum, was voted one of the top 10 most influential users of twitter in 2011, founded the lobbying group The Broken of Britain and was an author of the Spartacus Report.

Kaliya currently works as co-development lead of People First England - a self advocacy organisation set up to use new online media to complement traditional ways of campaigning, helping people with learning disabilities develop their own independent media presence and voice.

Kaliya is a member of Labour's Taskforce on Disability and Poverty since 2007, recently acting as lead on sickness and disability issues. She is also an Ambassador for Brandon Trust, advocating for the people with learning disabilities supported by the charity. Part of this role involves speaking at the annual 100 Voices conference, which is the only conference where all the delegates have learning disabilities and set out the priority they want to see Brandon Trust concentrate on for the following year. 

Kaliya was the co-creator of Easy News with the charity United Response, the first newspaper for people with learning disabilities written in easy read format. This project was developed after Kaliya asked why there wasn't a reliable source of impartial news for people with learning disabilities. After successfully bidding for Big Lottery funding the first Easy News was launched at the House of Commons in 2013, attended by both the Minister for Disability and the shadow minister – demonstrating what wide, non-partisan support there is for such a project. Easy News is now being launched in Scotland and many other organisations have expressed their desire to develop their own Easy News service.

Follow Kaliya on twitter here.