Cherylee Houston on “preconceived ideas” about disability
Coronation Street’s first full-time cast member who’s disabled, Cherylee Houston, has blasted the “preconceived ideas” that people have about disability.
Speaking to the Daily Mirror, Cherylee – who plays Izzy Armstrong – explained that ignorance about disabled people often stems from fear of saying “the wrong thing.”
She said, “I have a rule of three. Either people will get over the wheelchair after meeting me three times, or they never will.
“It’s the same with taxis – the third cab will stop…
“Normally they’ll look the other way or say their ramp is broken or they’re not insured.
“There are so many preconceived ideas about disabled people, but it’s a case of realising that we are just people.”
35-year-old Cherylee has a rare tissue disorder called Ehlers Danlos syndrome which was diagnosed when she was 23. Ever since, Cherylee has been fighting to prove disabled doesn’t mean “useless.”
She added, “Attitudes [to disabled people] are only just changing, and TV is one of the last domains.
“There are nearly 10 percent of us in society, but hardly any of us on TV.
“I’m really proud to be joining Coronation Street and really excited too.
“But for me, more than anything, it is about being good at my job.”