I’m 34 years old and the founder and main writer for ATMac, Four Walls No Limits, No Pity City, and others. I’m bedridden with severe CFS/ME or perhaps a primary mitochondrial disorder – the doctors are not sure. When I’m not working on my websites I compose music, listen to audio books, design T-shirts, do other disability advocacy, watch TV with my flatmate, and enjoy my cat.

Here are some of my comments and thoughts about the philosophy and ethos that is behind the way that I design the gear available at No Pity City, and the website itself. I hope this page helps you to understand my thinking a little better …

Disability-Friendly Merchandise Is Essential

Can you make a regular T-shirt more or less disability-friendly? In my opinion and experience: Yes!

The shirts and other apparel available at No Pity City generally have the same slogans on the back and on the front. Yes, this means that some of the jokes that depend on the back/front of the T-Shirt for their merit are lost, but if you are using a wheelchair, a trolley, or a stretcher to get around, then these shirts are pretty useless anyway because one side of you is always covered up.

As a person who’s bedridden and forced to permanently lie on my back, I am tired of finding clothes where I love the slogan, but discovered that it was only available on the back of the shirt, where nobody could ever see it except when they were dressing me!

This lead to me thinking of other circumstances, most commonly a wheelchair user, where people’s backs are partially or fully obscured. Then I started to think of yet more situations where somebody’s front could be obscured, for example a trolley user who is lying on their stomach all day, or somebody using a standing frame.

No Cows Are Sacred

Some of these shirts are meant to be read in a rather ironic tone, eg "Keep staring … I might do a trick!" and the one about "Who defines normal?". Please laugh along with me, rather than being offended that another crip would design shirts like this! I believe that nothing is so sacred it can’t be joked about at an appropriate time and place (yes, I have a very black sense of humour at times!), and that all possible jokes should be written down somewhere … in this case, that often means I write it on a shirt.

No Pity City tries to feed people’s senses of humour by providing really funny disability shirts that break down the "us" and "them" stereotyping … We really believe that if you can laugh along with somebody – even if it’s just about a corny T-shirt slogan – then you can start to be their equal, and perhaps even their friend.

4 responses to “About”

  1. azurelunatic (azurelunatic)

    @rickybuchanan BTW, http://nopitycity.com/about has some em and strong tags missing their lt/gt wrappers

  2. Sally Brown

    I love this!!!!!!
    Would love to talk to you about selling EKM’s personalized canes and crutches here- Take a look at the site and email me- we can put ANYTHING on a cane or crutch- such a hoot-
    hope to hear from you soon!

  3. chris collins

    hi there Ricky…what a great site…no pity. i LOVE your tshirts and will send your website to many in my family who never know what to buy as a gift for my 33 year old brain injured son…he doesn’t walk or talk, but he does spell out to people. not easy, but better than nothin! he will ecstatically love your sayings. wondering if you need more? i am a writer, of sorts, and i thought i might send you some ideas…you can use them if you feel they are appropriate. david often tries to touch people with his feet, which usually looks like he is trying to trip them, but really he doesn’t use his hands, and so, it’s just a way to stop someone and try to talk. i had a button one time that said “i’m really not trying to hurt you, but if i have to, i will”…that might have onlybeen good for him…but what about “if i can laugh, so can you” or “can you spell out for me? i really need to talk!” or “i’m really GOD, but you can call me David” (i like that one)(as i’m writing these, i’m thinking they are really only for david…hmmmm) let’s see… Do NOT make me get out of this chair! Yes, you can feed me…what are my choices? Volatile? I’ll show you VOLATILE! Stay calm, spell out to me, and nobody will get hurt! I’m smarter than I look! Kinda like YOU! So, anyways, I’ll wait to hear from you…hope you can use some of these.

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