Rapper 'bullied, stared at and spoken to like a child' because he uses a wheelchair

  • Watch Ben McGrail's report

A musician from Street in Somerset says he has had to face ignorant and offensive comments throughout his life because he uses a wheelchair.

Mark Humphries, a rap artist known as Kray-z-Legz, has linked up with the disability charity Leonard Cheshire to highlight the issue by creating a short rap.

The organisation says nearly three quarters (73%) of 14.1 million disabled people say more needs to be done for non-disabled people to understand their words cause offence.

Mark, who runs an accessible music studio at the Royal Bath & West Showground near Shepton Mallet, said: “Language is such a powerful thing and it can be very degrading. I have personally been bullied, stared at and spoken to like a child.

"I can't count the times somebody has used offensive words to describe me, even though they are being genuinely curious and friendly.

"I personally feel the topic is long overdue discussion. The simple answer is to get people talking, thinking and educated on the correct language to use and I hope the Language of Disability rap helps encourage that.”

Mark Humphries, also known as Kray-z-Legz, says people see his disability first before his talent Credit: ITV News West Country

Leonard Cheshire said nearly half (46%) of all disabled Brits feel regularly ‘ignored’ or ‘over-looked’ by non-disabled people due to widespread use of inappropriate or demeaning language.

More than one in ten (12%) disabled people reported having to correct the misuse of language around disabilities 4-6 days each week.

Ruth Owen, CEO of Leonard Cheshire, said: “Words matter. While these statistics are disappointing, they are a true reflection of what disabled people face on a daily basis.

"Sadly, sometimes language is explicitly used to cause offence. However, in many cases inappropriate words are used unintentionally by non-disabled people for sheer lack of knowledge.

"Everyone benefits from a more inclusive society where disabled people can thrive and their potential realised. No one should feel uncomfortable or excluded in a school or workplace because of the language used by others.”

Read more: