Department Of Ability

A new gang of superheroes


Disabled children deserve to be represented in books and on TV in a positive way. Without sad music in the background accompanying their story.

Children with disabilities are funny, exciting, happy, sad, mischievious, rude, caring. Just like any other child.

I have created the Department Of Ability and am in the process of writing a comic, to be released soon. I also hope to get it onto TV, so that ALL children, (not just ones with special needs) can watch enjoy, relate to, and realise that the child who lives down the street, is just the same as them. Just with a difference.

Lets start with some Rock Music...Yeah


Turn up your speakers, and press play. Here is the amazing Department Of Ability theme tune

This theme tune was kindly written and Performed by Sarah Renehan/Calling Utopia


D.O.A On It's Way

I am working extremely hard to make sure that the Department Of Ability is published.

So far I have been so busy drawing and promoting the Department Of Ability. I now have on my team Val Morrey a brilliant colourist and Leah Moore a wonderful renowned comic writer, who is putting my ideas into words. Then of course my extremely hard working agent Jess Buckman.

This project has taken far longer than expected, because the idea has grown bigger and bigger. What started off as a 4 page comic, has now turned into a two book graphic novel, with a possible animation.

Scope and Irwin Mitchell Solicitors have actively been supporting me in promoting the Department Of Ability.

I have appeared on numerous TV and radio shows in order to promote this idea. This whole project has taken off far beyond my wildest dreams. I have enjoyed every minute and am extremely humbled by the support this has been given.

This is why the comic is taking longer than expected.

I want to get it right!

A quote from Scope


"Many parents tell us it’s important for their disabled children to see characters they can identify with because it builds their confidence, self-esteem and the feeling of being included in society. That’s why we love Department of Ability and support their aim to get more disabled heroes into the mainstream! "

Jennifer Urwin Senior Digital Community & Social Media Officer Scope               

Let me introduce the gang


Pawsy the cheetah. The star attraction at London Zoo, known for his speed and his self obsession! However an accident robbed him of his leg and his place at the zoo seemed over..Until the last hero approached him, offering him more fame and faster speed!

Pawsy was fitted with a hyper-speed solar powered running limb which can take him up to 300mph, no one can catch him..Sadly it has only increased his vanity!




Billy was a stray who lived on the streets searching for his mysterious master…

However whilst running across the road on a stormy night, he was struck by a hit and run driver..Left alone  he was picked up and cared for by the last hero who noticed his fierce loyalty….

Now equipped with carbon wheels, an emergency backpack and a tail that acts as a radar and transmitter, Billy is an essential part of the D.O.A.



Jacob Claypole was the chief scientist at Hero H.Q. before the final superhero war. Sadly vaporised by his own experiment. Claypole was re-called from the afterlife by the last hero, However the experiment robbed him of his sight, but he uses all his other heightened senses and his white canes for wielding a slice of justice!

Now virtually unbeatable, Claypole uses his canes to whip his enemies into shape and his hyper intelligence comes in handy when faced with alien threats.




Azzi hails from the planet Peacealorr on the outer edge of the milky way. Caught in the pull of a black hole he crashed to earth injuring his arm, discovered by the last hero, he was bought into the D.O.A

Azzi is 10,000 yrs old (middle age on Peacealorr) He is highly intelligent . The last hero equipped Azzi with a state of the art super strength bionic arm to aid in combat!


And of course..............


Emily was born with spina bifida, despite her limited leg use, Emily excelled at basketball, climbing, crawling, wheelchair boxing and guitar.

Because of her attitude, and incredible upper body strength, Emily was recruited into the D.O.A as the first of a new breed of superhero.

Equipped with multi-functional airborne wheelchair; she stands for truth and justice.

Catchphrase: "Eat My Wheels!"

My Inspiration

An idea was born

‘The Department of Ability’ was born into my crazy world a few years after my daughter Emily was born. She stormed into the world with Spina Bifida and an insatiable appetite for life!! However looking around for relevant heroes for her and our new circle of friends….FOUND NONE! I also noticed a lack of positive media coverage of disability and the strong, independent kids involved…OK THEN! GET CREATING BIG FELLA! I said, and thus the heroes arrived! Each using their disability as their superpower! They are not here to lecture you. They are here because they are the last heroes left..Brought together to save the world!!! …Born to be different. Born to save the world!!

The Family

My wife Aimee, has been learning out to set up websites by watching YouTube. Emily has been writing blogs. It's been a real family event. We are all enjoying every minute of it.

I want someone with vision who can take this project and make it bigger. More accessible. For all children, with or without a disability.

We are so overwhelmed by the amount of support that we have received from everyone. Thank you, you are all amazing!!


Here are all of our supporters

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66 comments for “Department Of Ability

  1. Allan Reid
    August 29, 2015 at 7:38 am

    This is fantastic – so pleased for you all on how this is picking up momentum…Good luck to you for the future!

    • Dan
      August 31, 2015 at 7:04 pm

      Thank you Allan for your lovely comment and support.

  2. August 29, 2015 at 9:06 am

    Please could you let me know how we can subscribe to your magazine? As a company that works with children’s charities supporting families with children of differing abilities across the UK we would like to display your magazine & have them in our crèches. We could also promote it to parents & charities. I got jelly in my belly with excitement when I found you:-) what a phenomenal idea !!! I’d love to chat when you can xx please email me .

  3. kay
    August 29, 2015 at 10:27 am

    Available when? Stan Lee watch out.

    • Dan
      August 31, 2015 at 7:14 pm

      As soon as I can do it. I have now given up my job to concerntrate on this full time. I just hope I can get the funding to make this dream a reality. Thanks for your support.

  4. Mary
    August 30, 2015 at 3:43 pm

    I, too, was born with Spina Bifida. I am now 63 yo and love your ideas. Growing up in the 1950s here in USA was hard. I was raised in a foster home because parents couldn’t (wouldn’t) take care of me with 3 other children who were normal.
    Here’s a superhero you forgot. Sapphire was born deaf. Although she can use sign language, she has a tough time relating. The DoA found her and gave her hearing aids that are super sensitive. A scientist discovered a way for Sapphire to communicate with others through her signing. When she uses her sign language, the words form in the air as a puff of smoke (or whatever you think appropriate) so people can read them. She can sign super fast too.
    Please feel free to use this if you like it.
    Good luck with this and I will be looking for you on FB. Have you tried contacting Stan Lee – Marvel’s main man? Can’t hurt.

    • Dan
      August 31, 2015 at 7:08 pm

      Thanks Mary for your support. I love Sapphire! She is similar to an idea I have later in the comic. Maybe I can combine the too. watch this space.

    • Dan
      August 31, 2015 at 7:13 pm

      I have already tried Stan Lee 🙂 🙂 🙂 thanks

  5. Clay Thomas
    August 30, 2015 at 8:13 pm

    Hi guys,

    My son Reuben also has Spina Bifida and hydrocephalus. Like Emily he never lets it get the better of him and is amazing.

    You should be very proud of the work you are doing. We will be sure to but the books as soon as possible.

    Hopefully one day you will be able to publish a book where we can give you our children’s names for their own story. This is a great start.

    All the very best.

    Clay Thomas

    • Dan
      August 31, 2015 at 7:11 pm

      Hi Clay. Thanks for your support. It’s a lovely comment. One day, if all goes well. I will be calling on you for your children’s names. Emily says hi to Reuben.

  6. Lorraine Blatchford
    September 5, 2015 at 9:42 am

    Thank you from the bottom of my heart for this! My beautiful granddaughter (3) has spina bifida and is most definately my super hero (as is her mummy)! I admire what you are doing and would like to help in any way I can. The only suggestion I can make is to try getting support for your tv show from Scottish makers. The attitudes to disability are totally different up here (lived all my life in England until 2 years ago and was amazed at how much more compassionate, understanding, and accepting the Scots are) and you may well find that there are people up here who can, and will, help.
    Please let me know when, and how, to purchase your comic and be assured of my continued support.

    • Dan
      September 5, 2015 at 3:01 pm

      Thank you Lorraine for your lovely message. I didn’t know that scotland had a different attitude to disability.That to is an avenue I can try, and suggestions are greatly appreciated. The comic will be out next year, and I will have to find away making it available to everyone. I hope you little super hero enjoys them.

  7. October 4, 2015 at 12:51 am

    Hello from America! A friend sent me the link to the article about you in the Huffington Post. and I must say I love the idea of a comic about heroes who emphasize their ABILITIES while overcoming their disabilities. I have a disability and I love superhero comics, so I love the idea of the two things coming together in a positive way. If you are successful in publishing the book in England, will you look into masking it available in America? I’m sure that there are many folks with disabilities and comic book fans in this country who would love to see this just as much as I would! Best of luck to you! Cheers!

  8. Cheryl White
    February 1, 2016 at 8:39 pm

    Can’t wait to read the comic.

    • Dan
      February 3, 2016 at 10:28 am

      Thanks Cheryl.

  9. Mary Kowalski
    February 5, 2016 at 2:25 am

    the last hero – should be “The Last Hero” Why? Because people are going to want to know WHO IS this Last Hero? Do you have a concept for him/her? You speak about “it” as a person/animal/?, but I have no idea who this “it” is. If you already have The Last Hero, please let me know some background on “it”. If not, maybe I can help?

    Ty Mary Kowalski

    • Dan
      February 10, 2016 at 4:54 pm

      Hello! thanks for your comments! the last hero is just that! before D.O.A were formed he along with others protected the earth…but after the final war between heroes and villans, he was alone…he formed the D.O.A and issues orders and stays in the background like a wise old master! I really appreciate your brilliant words Mary, I love correspondence like this, please stay in touch! always open to ideas!

  10. Dominique
    February 13, 2016 at 12:07 am

    I have Spina Bifida, I’m 25 this year. I wish this was around when I was a kid. Are they available in hard copy?

  11. liz cowan
    February 18, 2016 at 10:36 pm

    Hi, is any of the merchandise available to buy?
    Have you heard if Disability Awareness Day, Warrington? May be somewhere to get noticed

    • Dan
      February 22, 2016 at 7:20 pm

      Hi Liz
      Thanks for that information. I will have a look at attending this. The merchandise will be available from tonight.

  12. Dr Wendy Meddelton
    March 14, 2016 at 9:18 pm

    Love love your passion and vision for our wonderful children 🙂 keep at it x

    • Dan
      March 16, 2016 at 7:08 pm

      Wendy, you have been a real support for us. Thank you.x

  13. Heather
    March 17, 2016 at 7:27 pm

    This is great! My daughter uses a walker and I use to try and find kids books with disabled characters doing cool stuff and never was able to find any. Keep up the cool work!

    • Dan
      March 17, 2016 at 9:29 pm

      Thanks for your lovely comment Heather. Hopefully there will be a lot more books like this in the very near future.

  14. Gillian
    March 17, 2016 at 9:08 pm

    Dear Dan,

    A friend of mine sent me a link to your work after she found out that I am in the process of trying to write an illustrate a children’s book for my best friend and her nephew who both have muscular dystrophy. I really want to challenge the fact that hardly any children’s books are written with characters who have disabilities. It is my dream to publish this book so that all children with MD or similar can have a hero they can relate to as they grow up.

    I think this idea of a comic is wonderful and will let my friends know about it.

    Would be wonderful to chat more as I feel very passionately about what you are striving to achieve.

    • Dan
      March 17, 2016 at 9:28 pm

      Wonderful Gillian! it is great to link up with like minded people, brilliant. Yes please , would love to chat, I am
      on or 07767 154323

  15. Jill Lovatt
    April 1, 2016 at 9:36 pm

    Thank you so much for taking on this worthwhile and meaningful project! I notice the comments are many months old. I hope this does not mean that the comic has been delayed or cancelled? This might be a long shot but I live in Canada and would be thrilled to subscribe to your comic! Is that possible? My niece also has Spina Bifida and she would be over the moon to read such cool stories.

    • Dan
      April 1, 2016 at 11:03 pm

      Hi Jill, thanks for the really lovely email. The comic is still going really very well, the project has got bigger due to the demand for it. I have now got an agent, and we are looking at distributing this comic worldwide. For this reason the comic has been delayed, however this is really exciting times for the Department Of Ability. I will be adding more updates to the posts over the next coming week, also please keep an eye out for us on Twitter and Facebook. Hopefully your niece will be able to get the comic in Canada before too long. Thanks for your support.

  16. Courtney Madenford
    April 13, 2016 at 1:26 am

    I have spina bifida too I’m 33 from the US n just became friends w/Sarah on Twitter

    • Dan
      April 15, 2016 at 6:03 pm

      It’s lovely to meet you Courtney.

  17. April 22, 2016 at 12:47 pm

    This is incredible. I attend a Superman Celebration in Metropolis Illinois every June. I would LOVE to see this there along with all the other Superheros!!! I’m the founder exec director of a non profit organization that provides Events and Pageants for individuals who are Differently-abled. I would LOVE to pass these out there too. We have 4 States so far and adding more each year. I would be so happy to partner with you. Oh and I cosplay in my husbands group Gateway Guardians for hospitals parades and events. Please let me help bring this to the US too!

    • Dan
      April 27, 2016 at 12:18 pm

      Wow! this is incredible! it would be beyond my wildest dreams to bring this to you in the states! the potential of the D.O.A is unlimited, its for all to enjoy! The states have been so accepting of this idea, feeling a bit blessed! we attend Feel the Force Day here in the uk which is a disability minded scifi-comic con. The future for the D.O.A is looking great! how could we help bring this to you? sadly until a publisher here decides to go with us, our funds for travel are at zero! But with media biting at our heels all the time we are now known virtually everywhere! we have been invited to sycaruse Uni in NY next year to hold a conference on the comic and inclusion, the usa is soo exciting! lets chat more! please, inclusion MUST happen, this community rightly deserves their bite of the media apple! pls contact me via the email on the website. Dan

  18. Abby Kessler
    May 5, 2016 at 11:06 am

    Hello! I live in Sryracuse, I’m a 12 year old girl and was wondering if I could talk to your daughter Emily about cosplay! I also have disabilities as well but not as serious as Emilies.

    • Dan
      May 6, 2016 at 4:03 pm

      Hi Abby, it’s lovely of you to comment. It’s great that you have heard of us all the way over in Sryracuse! wow!
      Sadly Emily isn’t much of a chatter, especially with new people.
      Emily and I are glad to hear that you enjoy cosplay, as dressing up is so cool.
      Take care

  19. June 19, 2016 at 10:51 am

    Such an amazing and beautiful idea! I’d love to see a character with autism there too, someone with super-brain (math and science genius?), who has problems with speech or social issues.
    I truly believe disabled people can live a normal life, if they were given such chance. I wish Emily all the best, and lots of courage to conquer the world.

    • Dan
      June 20, 2016 at 9:39 am

      Thank you Anna for your lovely message. This comic is just the start. I love the idea of your character. Maybe in future comics. Who knows?

  20. marcy boag
    June 20, 2016 at 4:00 pm

    Hi Dan, Wish I could donate more, but wish you every success with your amazing heroic..!.. project.

    I was a teacher for many years of children of 5-12 years and taught many children with physical and other challenges. I would have loved a resource like this and would have used it to help build self-esteem and understanding in my classes.

    I look forward to hearing more about the adventures of Emily and her superhero friends. marcy b

  21. Maria
    June 20, 2016 at 6:30 pm

    Just wanted to say THANK YOU!! My son Tom is 6 and has quad Cerebral Palsy. He is really into superheros and is totally chuffed to see that you’ve created DOA! He loves the theme song and wants to be in the comic. I reckon his superpower would be his strong right hook and his mesmerising deep blue eyes which would disarm even the most vicious criminals! He’s so enthused I’ve just had to go grab his super-Tom cape out and he’s sitting here wearing it! Our kids are so in need of representation in books, tv and film AND they need strong role models in the stuff they watch and read. I cant wait to get a copy of DOA when it becomes available. Blooming brilliant – well done you xxx

    • Dan
      June 20, 2016 at 8:49 pm

      Hi Maria,
      Thanks for your really lovely comment. It’s so wonderful that Tom is thinking about his super hero character and the super powers that he has. It’s really lovely to hear these wonderful comments, as I become more energised to finish the book. Maybe that could be my super power.
      Tell Tom to keep imaging and inventing.


      • Dan
        June 20, 2016 at 8:51 pm

        Thank you so much Marcy for your donation and kinds words. It’s great to see how this comic would work in schools, as this is something I am currently looking into doing.

  22. June 21, 2016 at 1:28 am

    Hi Dan! I saw the news on my Facebook feed about your ongoing negotiations with none other than Stan Lee himself for his endorsement of the DOA comic. This is HUGE! AWESOME! EPIC! I REALLY hope this works out for you.

    Also, I think I’ve asked you this before, but will the DOA comic be available in the US after it’s released in Britain? I would LOVE to have a copy, and I’m sure many other American fans and friends would too.

    Finally, may I suggest a tweak for your website? IT looks great, but for some reason, (at least on my monitor) the text appears as a very, very light grey. Against a white background, it’s VERY hard to read, even for someone with 20/20 vision. For someone with a visual impairment, I imagine it would be illegible. That won’t do for a website devoted to inclusion of people with disabilities.

    Otherwise, the site looks great and I love your work. As a person with a disability and a lover of comic book superheroes myself, I can’t wait to see the DOA comic in print. Keep up the good work!


    • Dan
      June 21, 2016 at 8:15 am

      Hi Neil. Thanks again for getting in touch. This project has become bigger and bigger. My whole aim for this comic now is to be available around the world. We have had a lot on interest from the US. With this much support, it has to!
      Thanks also for the website feedback. Aimee has been learning how to do this website as she goes along. She will work out how to change the font colours as you suggested it. It’s so important that the site is accessible to everyone, so we really appreciate a few pointers.
      Take Care
      Dan and Aimee

  23. Akshat
    June 23, 2016 at 2:46 pm

    Hey man I’m a 16 year old from India with arthrogryposis multiplex congenita and multiple scoliosis and what your doing here is both inspirational and very needed as it gives hope to us where we most need it knowing that I can be understood and seen for who I am and not just a poor soul is amazing

    • Dan
      June 27, 2016 at 2:17 pm

      Hi Akshat. I couldn’t have said it better myself. I feel that the moment is right to push the positives in disability. There are a lot of people I discovered online who to are disillusioned with how sad everything seems in society, and are all striving for different things. Hopefully this is just the start of a change. Have you seen “Toy Like Me”? I have a link to it on my website. This lady is also doing amazing things.

  24. Emma
    June 23, 2016 at 3:27 pm

    Hi Dan & Emily, I saw you on itv news today. Well done in your project. I am also a wheelchair user & graduated in Illustration last year. Seeing your & Emily’s story has inspired me to promote my work better, (I made a book on my view from my wheelchair) so thank you both for doing that. Good luck & best wishes! Emma

    • Dan
      June 27, 2016 at 2:13 pm

      Thank you Emma, for your lovely message. I’m so please that you are inspired to promote your work better. It’s only been in the past year that I felt frustrated and determined enough to push this comic. I have had the idea for many years. So what I have just recently learnt is keep at it, and keep (politely) pestering people. It works!!

  25. Stacy
    June 23, 2016 at 7:50 pm

    Hi my name is Stacy I am a disabled people I am writing an autobiographical book and five education books do you do freelance work some of your work would be perfect would you be interested in having a chat?

    • Dan
      June 27, 2016 at 2:09 pm

      Hi Stacy, thanks for your message. At the moment I am extremely busy finishing this comic, which leaves very little time to do anything else. Thank you for the offer. I wish you well on the books.

  26. Kain
    June 24, 2016 at 8:44 am

    Hey there as a person who loves comics and also rock music I can say I would love for this comic to come out and I would so read it! The theme song is brilliant by the way 🙂 really had me nodding my head and had me humming along.

    • Dan
      June 27, 2016 at 2:07 pm

      Wow Kain. I’m glad you love the music. Calling Utopia have made an amazing song, it fits so well with the comic. I will pass on your comments.

  27. Tom White
    June 25, 2016 at 10:32 am

    Hiya,,,,, caught you on the TV show this morning…!!! Great comic, ( bought some today…!!! ) and all the best to you and yours….Can’t wait for the film…!!!!..:-) Tom and Ruth. :-).

    • Dan
      June 27, 2016 at 2:05 pm

      Thanks so much for this lovely comment Tom. At the moment this is the colouring book that is on sale. This is to help make the wait easier, when waiting for the comic book to be launched. AS this project gets bigger and bigger, so does the comic. As soon as the release date of the comic is confirmed, I will let you know. Thanks Dan

  28. June 25, 2016 at 10:35 am

    Great comic… !!!! 🙂 this is my fourth attempt to post this. Why do you ask for a website? I do not own one.

  29. July 1, 2016 at 12:33 pm



  30. Dr Wendy Meddelton
    July 2, 2016 at 3:14 pm

    Love the theme tune so does Louis my son with hydro and Dandy walker syndrome and Theo my 17 year old.

  31. Sam P
    July 17, 2016 at 10:32 pm

    Fabulous stuff. Would be awesome if you also featured a superhero with Diwn syndrome or other intellectual disability in a powerful and useful role.
    I’m so sick of seeing our children portrayed as objects of pity or useless. My son has many superpowers!

    • Dan
      August 21, 2016 at 10:13 am

      Thanks Sam for your message. The superhero characters in the D.O.A are just a start. If this comic takes off as much as I hope it does, there is plenty of scope for more characters to be added with both obvious and hidden disabilities. This is just the start!

  32. Jane roche
    August 20, 2016 at 6:22 pm

    Well done !! Knew you could do it x

    • Dan
      August 21, 2016 at 10:14 am

      Thanks Jane, you are such a wonderful support.

  33. Karen
    August 22, 2016 at 10:40 am

    Hi Dan
    Just wanted to say how brilliant I think the Department of Ability is and I am so thrilled to hear that you have caught the attention of Stan Lee – it would be wonderful if a movie could be made that features your characters. There are numerous superheroes out there with impairments or disabilities that link to their powers – the next logical step would be to create a group of superheroes who are all disabled in some way and I am really excited for your project.
    I am admin for an academic department in special needs research and education, and I am following your page and Tweeting updates to our followers. I’ve also shared a link on my Facebook page.
    Wishing you and the D.O.A. project great success!

    • Dan
      September 23, 2016 at 12:55 pm

      Thank you Karen. It’s wonderful to have your support!

      • Marja Vallinkoski
        December 4, 2016 at 6:20 am

        Hello Dan and Emily, I hope your comic is doing great and we get to buy it soon. Please let us know when it has been released!
        Wishing you and your family a Merry and Happy Christmas,

        Marja Vallinkoski

  34. Kate Chase
    October 26, 2016 at 6:12 pm

    Do you have anything that could be rolled out to school in an assembly or awareness campaign? Also, kids with learning disabilities would love to be also included as they use superpowers just to get thru their school day.

  35. Nathalie Baudouin
    November 16, 2016 at 1:13 pm

    Hello Dan
    I am an English teacher in France and, with my pupils, we are studying an article explaining your fantastic idea. We are all impressed and we hope we can soon buy your comic in France! Such a great idea!

  36. Marja Vallinkoski
    December 1, 2016 at 8:29 pm

    Dear Emilie and Dan! I can hardly wait for your comic to come out and read it together with my first-graders. I am a teacher in a combined primary-secondary school in Finland. There are quite a few groups of pupils with special needs in our school and last year I had a marvellous opportunity to work next to my colleague who teaches one of these groups. We are planning to pay a visit to Iinas class and get to know her wonderful pupils with extraordinary talents and characteristics. And looking forward to the adventures of the Abled, of course.
    With best regards,.Marja and class 1B from Vantaa, Finland

  37. Claire Hollis
    December 8, 2016 at 10:42 am

    Hello Dan
    What you are doing is so inspirational. My 9 year old son has physical and learning disabilities and I would love this to be on TV – he is not interested in any TV programmes but I think this would really get his attention! Do you have a release date for the comic yet?
    Hope to see a lot more of the DOA very soon. Keep up the good work and thank you from a very hopeful mum!

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