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ability

Aug/Sept 2015

magazine

Nothing is Impossible...

ROAD TO RIO

ONES TO WATCH

Getting Online

Opening up a new world

ALEX BROOKER

Ending the Awkward through Comedy

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A week’s holiday at Bramwood Holiday Home Ltd. 31/07/2015 15:47


Renault MOTABILITY

Medium Crossover All-New Renault KADJAR Dynamique Nav TCe

Small Crossover Renault CAPTUR Dynamique S Nav dCi 90

5-Door Hatchback Renault CLIO Dynamique S Nav dCi 90

£145 Advance Payment

£Nil Advance Payment

£Nil Advance Payment

7” Integrated Touchscreen Navigation

Hands Free Keycard with Keyless Entry

Hands Free Keycard with Keyless Entry

Visit your local dealer today Contact your local dealer or call the Renault Motability Team on 0800 387 626.

The official fuel consumption figures in mpg (l/100km) for the cars shown are: Urban 40.4 (7.0) – 80.7 (3.5); Extra Urban 57.6 (4.9) – 91.1 (3.1); Combined 50.4 (5.6) – 85.6 (3.3). The official CO2 emissions are 130-85g/km. EU Directive and Regulation 692/2008 test environment figures. Fuel consumption and CO2 may vary according to driving styles, road conditions and other factors.

To qualify for the Motability Scheme you must be in receipt of the Higher Rate Mobility Component of the Disability Living Allowance, the Enhanced Rate of the Mobility Component of Personal Independence Payment, the War Pensioners’ Mobility Supplement or the Armed Forces Independence Payment. Advance Payment offers are only valid for Motability applications between 1 July and 30 September 2015, are correct at time of going to press and subject to acceptance of Motability application. The Motability Contract Hire Scheme is administered by Motability Operations Limited (Registered Company No. 1373876), City Gate House, 22 Southwark Bridge Road, London SE1 9HB. Full written details, including terms and conditions, of the Motability Scheme are available on request from Motability. Please note 60,000 miles over 3 years are allowed on the Motability Contract Hire Scheme.

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31/07/2015 20/07/2015 08:33 12:18


THE TEAM

WELCOME Aug/Sept 2015

It is with an air of sadness that I write this latest welcome letter as we are sadly losing Jen McLean, our treasured writer. Jen started with us nearly two years ago as acting editor to cover my maternity leave and she took to the magazine like the proverbial duck to water. In that time she has been behind many of the fantastic articles that have appeared on PosAbility’s pages and we are very sad to see her go but wish her all the best. If new beginnings are on your mind then turn to page 71 to find out how to break into the media industry. For a career onscreen or behind the scenes, we have advice from some seasoned media talent. We also take a look at the support available to help people get online and learn how to use computers. Using the internet can open up a whole new world of communication and can help keep people from becoming isolated, as well as making many things easier and more accessible for disabled people.

Last Leg, he was honest, funny and interesting to talk to. I would encourage you to read his interview on page 33 and to check out the latest End the Awkward campaign videos he has fronted for Scope. You will find details in the article.

Editor: Rosalind Tulloch Staff Writer: Jen McLean Staff Writer: Dionne Kennedy Designer: Abbie Bunton Sales: Allan Fleming Andy Singh Leah Leslie

CONTRIBUTORS Mik Scarlet Andy Wright Jane Hatton Janet Myers Emily Davison Peter Rimmer

A

Innovation not Imitation

PUBLISHING

Janet Myers has provided us with a wonderful article on her experience of Australia, we have a round up of results from the CP Football World Cup and the IPC Swimming World Championships. As well as a look at some of the newest sports added to the line up for Rio. And we have all the regular columns and articles, including Mik Scarlet, the latest products and our regular kids section this issue you can read about the wonderful work the Family Fund are doing in supporting families with funding for iPads.

We had the chance to speak to the current poster boy for comedy and disability, Alex Brooker. To speak to Alex was exactly the same as you see on the television show The

Disclaimer

PosAbility Magazine is published by 2A Publishing Limited. The views expressed in PosAbility Magazine are not necessarily the views of the editor or the publisher. Reproduction in part or in whole is strictly prohibited without the explicit written consent of the publisher. Copyright 2015 © 2A Publishing Limited. All Rights Reserved. ISSN 2049-2251

Contact Details: Caledonia House, Evanton Drive, Thornliebank Ind. Est., Glasgow, G46 8JT Tel: 0141 270 8085 Fax: 0141 270 8086 enquiries@2apublishing.co.uk www.posabilitymagazine.co.uk

Ros

Cover Image courtesy of Scope

ability

Aug/Sept 2015

Editor

magazine

Nothing is Impossible...

Like us on Facebook Search for ‘PosAbility Magazine’

Follow us on Twitter @ PosAbilityMag

ROAD TO RIO

ONES TO WATCH

SUBSCRIBE TODAY...

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0141 270 8085 today!

GETTING ONLINE

To find out more about subscribing to PosAbility Magazine turn to p82

OPENING UP A NEW WORLD

ALEX BROOKER

Ending the Awkward through Comedy

WIN

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A WEEK’S HOLIDAY AT BRAMWOOD HOLIDAY HOME LTD.

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AUG/SEPT 2015 | ISSUE 26

CONTENTS 23

66

WIN! A week’s holiday at Bramwood Holiday Home Bramwood Holiday Home is situated on the Gower Peninsula Wales, an area of outstanding natural beauty and close to the coast.

FEATURES 07 FYI…

News, stories and quirky columns

15 TRULY INDESTRUCTIBLE!

Mik Scarlet celebrates his 50th birthday and human resilience

16 BUT YOU DON’T LOOK BLIND

Guest columnist Emily Davison shares her most awkward moments

19 DEMENTIA & ALZHEIMER’S

We delve into assistive technology and maintaining independence with Alzheimer’s disease

23 ROAD TO RIO

Check out

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29 GETTING ONLINE

We spoke to AbilityNet about the benefits of gaining web skills

33 ALEX BROOKER

Comedian and journalist Alex Brooker talks The Last Leg and his experiences on TV

37 ESCAPE THE COLD

Andy Wright from Accessible Travel and Leisure looks at the best places to go for some winter sun

39 DISABILITY DOWN UNDER A look at accessibility in Australia and holidaying in the Great Barrier Reef

With a year to go until the Games we check out the sport stars to watch

45 MAISON DES LANDES

27 COMPETITION

47 HOT STUFF

Win a week's holiday at Bramwood Holiday Home

Jersey’s unique hotel for disabled people

Bringing you the most innovative products on the market

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29

19

71

33 39 53 CEREBRAL PALSY FOOTBALL CHAMPIONSHIPS

71 KICKSTARTING YOUR MEDIA CAREER

Highlights from this summer’s games

On the screen, on the net, on the air and behind the scenes - with these great tips it’s easy to start a career in the media

54 IPC SWIMMING WORLD CHAMPIONSHIPS The best bits from the Tollcross poolside

57 THE KIDS’ CORNER

From the Family Fund to fun products

66 MOTORING

We took to the city in the Smart ForFour

74 GET THAT DREAM JOB

Jane Hatton explores being cautious on social media

77 BRAIN TEASERS

61

Keep your mind sharp with our puzzles

69 WAVS

Looking at the compact Fiat Qubo from Sirus Automotive

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FYI...

FYI

News, stories and quirky columns.

FOR YOUR INFORMATION

wheelchair rugby players become BT Ambassadors BT recently announced that GB Wheelchair Rugby players Ayaz Bhuta and Jim Roberts have joined its roster of BT Ambassadors, further reinforcing its commitment to disability and Paralympic sport. With the BT GB national team currently ranked No1 in Europe and 5th in the world, Bhuta and Roberts are focusing on the team’s next two crucial competitions – the European Championships in Finland in September and the BT World Wheelchair Rugby Challenge at the Copper Box Arena in London from 12th to 16th October, where the BT GB team will face seven of the world’s top nations. Ayaz Bhuta said: “I switched from wheelchair basketball to wheelchair rugby because the physical elements of the sport suited me more. Over the years I have put in hundreds of hours of training and I’m proud to now be competing as part of the BT GB team. I’m thrilled to have been selected as a BT Ambassador. Having

their support is invaluable as it allows me to really focus on training and the team can go to international competitions knowing we’re as prepared as we possibly can be.” Jim Roberts said: “I have always been very active so I knew that sport was going to play a big part in my rehabilitation. Some of us are born with a disability, others like me acquire it later in life. For many people I know, having the opportunity to give a sport a go is a huge part of their recovery. That’s why I’m thrilled to have been picked as a BT Ambassador. Not only will BT’s support help me as an athlete, but hopefully I can inspire others to give sport a try. Without BT’s support and commitment, this simply wouldn’t happen.” Tickets are now on sale for the BT World Wheelchair Rugby Challenge, which takes place from 12th to 16th October at the Copper Box Arena, Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park, London. www.wwrc15.com.

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FYI

New Mountain Trike Experience Centre Opens Potential Mountain Trike customers wanting a demonstration in the East of England can now visit Open Trails who operate from the Norfolk Coastal Centre for Independent Life (NCCFIL) and have just become an approved Mountain Trike Experience Centre.

National Paralympic Day Some of Great Britain’s top Paralympic stars in the pool and on the track were victorious in competitions held as part of National Paralympic Day. Thousands braved the rain to turn out to Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park in London to the event which, as it also features the Mayor of London’s Liberty festival, is the UK’s largest annual celebration of Paralympic sport and disabled and Deaf arts, with other events taking place across the country. Nearly 2,000 people filled the London Aquatics Centre to cheer on British Paralympians – hot off the recent World Championships in Glasgow - as they competed in an international showdown against the best para-swimmers from around the world. Paralympic Champions Ellie Simmonds, Ollie Hynd and Jessica-Jane Applegate led an all-star line up of GB swimmers which included a number of newly crowned World Champions, including Tully Kearney and Hannah Russell, as well as eight reigning European Champions, including Andrew Mullen, Stephanie Millward and James Crisp, who all competed in front of a packed

crowd at the pool. Simmonds, who was racing in the London Aquatics Centre for the first time since London 2012, was excited to be back in the pool in which she won two gold medals three years ago. The Paralympic Champion and national heroine said: “I’ve had a fantastic day here, it’s been great fun to race in this pool again and I know there is so much going on out on the Park too, all as part of celebrations for National Paralympic Day.” Also taking place as part of the day was the Sainsbury’s Anniversary Games, which incorporated the IPC Athletics Grand Prix Final. The day’s action inside the former Olympic Stadium featured British Paralympians including Jonnie Peacock, Richard Whitehead, David Weir and Hannah Cockroft taking on the world’s best para-athletes, with Paralympic hopefuls Sophie Hahn and Georgie Hermitage both impressing as they set new world records in quick succession.

The Coastal Centre has designated demonstration areas laid out to provide a realistic setting to view equipment and accessories. The service is supported by local occupational therapists who assist the volunteers with training to demonstrate equipment effectively. Gavin Gardner, Service Manage at NCCFIL, says: “The Mountain Trike is a great piece of kit and we’re delighted to be working in partnership with Open Trails to provide an approved Mountain Trike Experience Centre. We have every confidence that users will see the benefit of the Mountain Trike to live a more independent lifestyle.” For more information about Mountain Trike demonstrations at the new Norfolk centre please contact Open Trails on 01493 663626, email team@opentrails. co.uk, visit www.opentrails.co.uk or follow links from the NCCFIL website www.nccfil.co.uk. For further information on Mountain Trike visit www.mountaintrike.com.

Chief Executive of the British Paralympic Association, Tim Hollingsworth, said: “There has been so much going on today in celebration of National Paralympic Day, it’s been absolutely fantastic. Our para-swimmers put on a world-class performance this morning, it was great to have the partnership with the Sainsbury’s Anniversary Games, and all day we have had so many people test out the disability sports we have had on offer. To have so much on offer, alongside the truly incredible performances of the Liberty Festival, has made National Paralympic Day 2015 the best yet.”

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FYI

ACCESSIBLE TRAVEL

New Group for Children with Sensory Impairments Launched

Workplace Pensions Applicable for PAs and Carers Employed Through Direct Payments – Paypacket can help The law on workplace pensions has changed and will impact every employer with at least one member of staff in relation to pension enrolment and contributions. This new system is called automatic enrolment and the changes mean service users who employ a PA/carer via direct payment funding will now be legally required to provide workplace pension schemes for them. The first service users were captured by the changes in June of this year and from January 2016 onwards the numbers of service users required to make the changes will escalate. Most importantly, service users need to know when they need to have a new pension scheme in place and the Pension Regulator is in the process of writing to everyone to advise them of this date, commonly known as the ‘staging date’. By this date, service users will have to:

This is where payroll service providers will have to provide support and expertise to their clients. Pensions and payroll sit very much together and the whole pension administration process should be carried out by payroll providers or departments. Paypacket are a provider of specialist payroll and pensions advice and support over 3500 clients who receive Direct Payments and employ their own PA/carers. MD John Robinson comments: “We understand that the auto-enrolment process may be daunting for the service users but we make the complex process as straight forward as possible for them. Communication is the key and we have ensured that all our clients are aware of the impending changes and more importantly, that we can take care of it for them.” www.paypacket.co.uk

A new group offering social activities for children and young people from the age of 6-25 has launched in Warwickshire. Run by national deafblind charity Sense, the ‘Get Out There’ (GOT) group offers one-toone support to youngsters with sensory impairments and additional disabilities to get out and about and try something new. Activities run on a weekly basis and range from trying out new sports like kayaking to visiting farms and baking. The programme of activities also gives a much-needed break to families who support young people with disabilities. Lucy Howard, social group coordinator at Sense, said: “We wanted to offer specialist support for young people and children with sensory impairments and additional disabilities to enjoy meaningful activities, have fun and make new friends.” If you would like to join the ‘Get Out There’ (GOT) Warwickshire group or volunteer please contact Lucy Howard on 07825 380931 or email lucy.howard@sense.org.uk.

• Have set up a workplace pension scheme • Write to all PA/carers to inform them of the new scheme and how it operates • Assess all PA/carers and based upon their earnings, enrol eligible workers into the workplace pension and inform them of this process • Manage requests from PA/carers to ‘opt in’ or ‘opt out’ of the pension scheme • Register the scheme with the Pension Regulator • Maintain statutory records

The Stelios Award 2015 Open For Entries

Sir Stelios Haji-Ioannou and Leonard Cheshire Disability are pleased to invite applications for the Stelios Award for Disabled Entrepreneurs 2015 worth £50,000.

Now in it’s ninth year, past winners have been drawn from the travel agency, homebuild and IT sectors as well as companies specialising in disability/ mobility aids.

The award, jointly run by the Stelios Philanthropic Foundation (www.stelios. com) and the charity Leonard Cheshire Disability, (www.leonardcheshire.org) recognises the achievements of disabled entrepreneurs who have overcome challenges to set up their own company and excel in their chosen business field.

Applications are now being accepted online at www.leonardcheshire.org. The deadline for all applications is Friday 18 September 2015. Sir Stelios said: “Creating opportunities for disabled people facing discrimination in business is essential. The Stelios Award

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Amazing new inventions shortlisted for £50,000 challenge prize Ten designers, developers and entrepreneurs have been named finalists in the Inclusive Technology Prize – a competition intended to help unearth new products, technologies and systems for the 12.2 million people living with a long-term illness or disability in the UK. Run by Nesta in partnership with Leonard Cheshire Disability and with support from the Department for Work and Pensions, Innovate UK, the Department for Business Innovation and Skills and Irwin Mitchell, the Inclusive Technology Prize is designed to champion the issue of assistive technology and encourage co-creation with disabled people. More than 200 ideas were entered for the Prize with the judging panel whittling this down to just 25 semi-finalists in March. They each received £2,000 in addition to support from Leonard Cheshire Disability’s Enterprise and Innovation Team to develop their ideas. The 10 finalists will now each receive £10,000 as well as tailored support to develop a prototype, conduct user testing and create viable business plans. A winner will be selected from the finalists in March 2016 and awarded £50,000 to help bring their product to market. While many people rely on assisted living technologies to support them in everyday life, the development of new ideas has not kept pace

for Disabled Entrepreneurs highlights their achievements and contribution to society. We want to hear from talented disabled entrepreneurs who are able to show they have got what it takes to run a successful business and meet a real need in the market.” Clare Pelham, Chief Executive of Leonard Cheshire Disability said: “We are delighted to work with Sir Stelios on an award that celebrates the remarkable achievements of disabled entrepreneurs.

Volunteers’ Inventions Win Awards

with that of new technologies, materials, design and manufacturing processes. The Prize is intended to counter this issue and encouraged applications from areas including, but not limited to, education, home, leisure, transport and work. Finalists for the prize include: • HandyClix from National Star: Wheelchair lap belts require two hands to connect them but many users are impaired in the use of their hands. HandyClix is a one handed lap belt designed to allow the user to attach and tighten it themselves. • How do I? from Swiss Cottage School, Development and Research Centre: Uses Near Field Communication (NFC) to teach independent living skills to those with learning difficulties. An application links instructional videos to NFC stickers attached to household objects. When you hold your tablet or smartphone over a sticker, the app will launch a video for that object, e.g. How do I make a cup of tea? on the kettle. • Affordable Hands by Open Bionics: 3D printing of bionic hands that will be sold to amputees for £1,000 directly and helping to promote independence, including, picking up forks, getting dressed, or going to the bathroom. All of the finalists and full judging panel are detailed at www.inclusivetechprize. org.

“I know there are many talented and successful disabled entrepreneurs out there. I urge them to take advantage of this unique opportunity for valuable recognition of their business and skills - in cash and publicity - and apply.” For full details on eligibility and an application form please visit www.leonardcheshire.org/stelios or call 020 7112 1489 (choose option 1). Alternative application formats are available on request.

Ingenious aids and inventions, all custom-made by volunteers for the charity Remap, won prizes at a recent awards ceremony. The annual awards are given in recognition of the commitment of the many volunteers who help disabled people in their local communities. This year’s winners range from simple yet ingenious devices like the ‘tissue ball’ invented by Allen Norris to help someone with motor neurone disease pick up a tissue, through to a wheelchair camera mount made by Austin Hughes that has transformed the life of a photographer in Yorkshire. Ena’s world was transformed by a prosthetic shoulder created by Remap volunteer Alan Hart, giving her the confidence to get out and about again, following drastic surgery. Children were helped too with Evie’s bed designed by Alan Catherine providing safety and security at night. And specially mounted archery bows by Derek Matthews got some children firing arrows at last. Giving the awards, Remap’s president Heinz Wolff commented: “At Remap we find creative ideas come to life in the form of practical aids to daily living, made by resourceful and skilled volunteers. These inventions totally transform the lives of thousands of people every year.” Remap is a charity that provides custom-made equipment for disabled people of all ages, free of charge. It both meets a need in the community and offers its volunteers something that is stimulating and challenging. It has a network of over 70 groups across England and Wales, so there is probably help near you. To find out more visit www.remap.org.uk or phone the national office on 01732 760209.

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FYI

London Titans Celebrate Their Path To Success

The London Titans, one of the country’s leading wheelchair basketball teams, will be able to help more players experience the sport, thanks to the support of charity, Path to Success. Path to Success has chosen the club as its annual cause and is raising money to buy special wheelchairs for the club, which plays in the National Super League and has been the home of several Paralympians, including Ade Adepitan MBE. The London Titans run six teams at three venues across the capital; The Olympic Park; Stanmore; and Ealing. The Titans feature a number of the sport’s leading names, including Tyler Saunders and Gaz Choudhry, as well as newer names in the GB squad, such as Jim Palmer and Christy Gregan. However, the club has no money to fund wheelchairs for aspiring players. Designed for maximum mobility, they are the lightest wheelchairs on the market and are specially made to fit a player’s posture.

They cost up to £4000 each and even the cheapest cost £1500. Chairman Jaspal Dhani said: “The 2012 Paralympics encouraged a lot more people to try wheelchair basketball, but you can’t play in a wheelchair that’s designed for everyday use. The support we’re getting from Path to Success will allow us to provide special wheelchairs to new players who want to have a go. We also have a lot of players on disability benefit, who can’t afford their own chairs, and this will mean they are not excluded from the sport.”

Mrs Choudhrie said: “We are delighted to be helping the London Titans. Over the last three years we have raised money to buy wheelchairs for a basketball team in India and have donated 83 wheelchairs to NHS hospitals, including motorised wheelchairs to help children with special needs, so this fundraising campaign is in the finest traditions of the charity.” To find out more about Path to Success: www.pathtosuccess.org.uk

Path to Success was founded 10 years ago by Anita Choudhrie and has raised hundreds of thousands of pounds for good causes in the UK and abroad. The London Titans is its nominated charity this year and fundraising events will include a Diwali casino party and a charity auction. A team of 12 will take on the Three Peaks Challenge in August, climbing the three highest peaks in England, Wales and Scotland in 24 hours.

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get in. stay out. With an Advance Payment of just £1,899, the Volvo XC60 will get you from A to B with style, safety and efficiency that no other model can match. Just don’t be surprised if, when you get there, you’re tempted to keep going. “FABULOUS TO DRIVE. I FEEL A MILLION DOLLARS IN THE DRIVING SEAT.” JOHN. XC60 D4 OWNER. 27/7/2014

Personal Contract Hire – Maintained* Volvo XC60 D4 SE Lux Nav Manual Contract length

36 months

Contracted mileage

60,000

Advance Payment

£1,899

Monthly rental

Government funded mobility allowance is exchanged

Excess mileage charges may apply. Metallic Paint and Winter Pack with Active Bending Lights included

real reviews from

DISCOVER THE VOLVO RANGE SEARCH VOLVO MOTABILITY

Official fuel consumption for the Volvo XC60 in MPG (l/100 km): Urban 42.2 (6.7) – 57.6 (4.9), Extra Urban 55.4 (5.1) – 65.7 (4.3), Combined 49.6 (5.7) – 62.8 (4.5). CO2 emissions 149 – 117g/km. MPG figures are obtained from laboratory testing intended for comparisons between vehicles and may not reflect real driving results. Offer available on Contract Hire to Motability customers for personal use only. To be eligible to join the Motability Scheme, you must be in receipt of the Higher Rate Mobility Component of the Disability Living Allowance, the Enhanced Rate Mobility Component of Personal Independence Payment, War Pensioners’ Mobility Supplement or the Armed Forces Independence Payment. Ownership of the vehicle remains with Motability Operations at all times including following the end of the agreement. *Advance Payment of £1,899 is for the Volvo XC60 D4 SE Lux Nav Manual. Metallic Paint and Winter Pack with Active Bending Lights included. Initial payment as displayed, followed by 35 monthly rentals. Vehicle returned at contract end must be within contracted mileage (60,000 miles / 3 years) to avoid further charges. Excess mileage charges 5p per mile. Offer available from 01/07/2015 to 30/09/2015 subject to availability at participating dealers. Finance available to 18s and over only. Offer not available with other promotions and may be varied or withdrawn at any time. Terms and conditions apply. For full terms and conditions visit volvocars.co.uk/motability. Motability Contract Hire is provided by Motability Operations, City Gate House, 22 Southwark Bridge Road, London SE1 9HB.

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Columnist Mik Scarlet

Truly Indestructible! On August the 18th I hit a milestone, one I truly never thought I’d see. On that day, fifty years ago, I was born. My parents were overjoyed, to have a son after three years of trying. However, within weeks it became clear things were not right with their new bundle of joy as I would not stop crying. All the nurses and doctors told my mother to stop worrying, it was just colic or some other normal baby thing. Then, after six weeks of constant screaming, I stopped. Not only did I stop crying but I also found it hard to breathe. Luckily one of my mum’s friends was a nurse and she made my mum take me to the local hospital. I was soon rushed to Great Ormond Street, where they discovered I had a huge tumour that was now pushing on my lungs. It transpired that I had a stage four Adrenal Neuroblastoma, which even today is a tough cancer to beat. Back then it was a death sentence. Again luck called and my surgeon, the amazing Mr L G Capra, had read in the Lancet about a new chemotherapy trial that was looking for children with exactly the type of cancer I had and after the home secretary at the time OK’d it, I was put on that trial. Along with drastic surgery to cut the tumour out I was given this new drug Vincristin Sulphate and heavy doses of radiotherapy to prevent the cancer coming back. Everyone kept their fingers crossed. After a while it became clear the cancer had been halted but my parents were told I would never sit up, never walk and would most likely not live beyond the age of five. So yes, I was raised, and spoilt, by parents who thought my every day might be my

last. I was also told every day how amazing I was to have survived. I grew up feeling I was like my childhood hero, Captain Scarlet. Hence the name. (You didn’t think I was born Mik Scarlet did you?) You see Captain Scarlet was indestructible, and came back to life no matter how gravely injured he was while fighting the baddies, or Mysterons if you are a Jerry Anderson nut like me. This ability to not die has carried on throughout my life. I have lost count of the number of times I’ve beaten a life-threatening illness and I have dumbfounded doctors on three more occasions when they were sure I was a goner. What was weird was while I always seemed to beat death, as I grew up I became sure I would die before the age of thirty five, as this is the age my father died following a heart attack. This absolute knowledge that I would pop my clogs young, like my dad, led me to seize life by the horns and ride it like a bucking bronco. I had a blast. I lost count of the number of work opportunities I said no to as they might have got in the way of a good time. Things got tricky when I fell in love, aged thirty. I was really worried I would leave the woman I loved, much as my mum had been left by my dad. It especially became an issue when at the age of thirty three I broke my back again in a car accident.

This ability to not die has carried on throughout my life. I have lost count of the number of times I’ve beaten a life-threatening illness

Yet, here I am about to hit the big 5-0! It’s a weird feeling, as I now feel I will live forever, or at least for a long while yet. Over the last decade this feeling of life reaching out before me has coloured everything I do. I now campaign for equality with a passion, have become radically political and have also focused on my career. I no longer turn down work as it clashes with a party or night out. OK, that’s a bit dull but my bank manager is happier. It’s strange as most people suddenly get a feeling of life shortening as they hit fifty, but the opposite is true for me. I also find that the same goes for many of my disabled friends, who are also now out living the prognosis they have been given. It proves to me that society should look at disabled people not as examples of how weak and easily damaged the human body is, but how amazingly tough we are as a species. With this in mind, I’ve had an idea. On August the 18th, let’s all have an “I’m Amazing” day. Join me and celebrate, celebrate whatever you fancy. Living, loving, things you love to do, whatever. Go out and tell the world how amazing you are. I know I will be, combined with some imbibement of booze and a lot of dancing I expect. It’s about time all of us, disabled or not, took a day each year to shout about all of the good things in our lives, and everything that is great about us. With only a small amount of ego, why not make it my birthday? If this sounds like a good idea, I would also love to hear what you are celebrating and how. Drop us a line here at PosAbility with your story. Anyway, got to go. Got a party to plan!

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Guest

Columnist Emily Davison

‘But You Don’t Look Blind!’

#EndTheAwkward In life there are many awkward Emily Davison is a 20 year old moments that arise, the uncomfortable beauty blogger. Her visual silent date, the talk with your parents, impairment has never hindered meeting the in-laws. But, surprisingly one her passion for fashion, with her thing that generates a lot of awkwardness is disability. trusty guide dog Unity, in tow. Emily’s blogs and videos aim to This summer Scope re-launches their make fashion easy and fun and #EndTheAwkward campaign with a bang accessible for all, not just those featuring the likes of Bad Education star with visual impairments. This Jack Binstead and actor Warwick Davis. I was also one of the lucky individuals who summer Emily has contributed was invited to take part in this year’s to Scope’s #EndTheAwkward comeback of the campaign and in the true campaign and here she shares spirit of it I thought I would share some of some of her most uncomfortable my top awkward moments. moments. I was born with a condition known as septo-optic dysplasia, which amongst other medical implications has left me with a severe sight impairment. Now at the age of 21 I am a university graduate and work with a guide dog. One of the most common awkward comments I hear a lot from the general public is ‘but you don’t look blind!’ To which my response is, not everyone who uses a guide dog is fully blind and regardless, what does fully blind have to ‘look’ like. When you are diagnosed with a disability like sight loss there is no guide to how to be blind, how to look blind or how to act. It is as if people assume that just because someone has limited vision they must not be conscious about the way they look or how they present themselves. Which is of course not true, take myself, even though I have limited vision I am a fashion and beauty blogger.

The next is that people constantly seem to be in awe of me just because I have a disability. I was out and about shopping in my local centre minding my own business and a lady approaches me and asks me if I needed any help, to which I responded no thank you. She then clapped a hand on my shoulder and said “you are amazing! Getting out of the house and living your life. I couldn’t do it!” This was of course very awkward for me because I was in the middle of a busy shopping centre and she had been rather extravagant with the volume of her voice! I responded with the rudimentary answer I give which is “no not at all, I’m just living my life like everybody else” and promptly walked away, my face turning scarlet. Another of my top awkward moments that I have encountered was when I was at my local pub with some friends from university. A man approached me noticing that I had a guide dog and asked “so you can’t see very well then?” to which I responded “no”. He then turned to his friend, nudged him sharply and said: “She’s blind! I’ve got a chance to pull her!” Suffice it to say, he did not. But, disability doesn’t need to be awkward. This campaign is all about sharing those uncomfortable moments that arise from people’s disabilities in life, to help culture people towards a better understanding of disability. So, if you have had an awkward moment why not share it under the #EndTheAwkward campaign and let’s end the awkwardness around disability.

16 www.posabilitymagazine.co.uk

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31/07/2015 14:37


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INTELLIGENCE • EMPATHY • CARE 31/07/2015 08:40


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THE NEW BMW 2 SERIES GRAN TOURER. NOW AVAILABLE ON THE MOTABILITY SCHEME.

• Seating up to seven, the practical and incredibly spacious new BMW 2 Series Gran Tourer is now available from £1,799 Advance Payment • Full range incorporates new BMW 1 Series Sports Hatch (3 or 5-door) and BMW 2 Series Active Tourer • Engine variant in all model ranges accessible to drivers under 25 yrs old • Manual or automatic transmission and high standard specification includes metallic paint, BMW Navigation* and BMW Emergency Call • A brand new BMW every three years, with tax, insurance, service and maintenance all covered

BMW RANGE FROM £599 ADVANCE PAYMENT** FOR THE NEW BMW 1 SERIES SPORTS HATCH. To help find the right BMW for you call 0800 325 600, visit www.bmw.co.uk/motability or contact the Motability Sales Specialist at your local BMW Centre.

Official fuel economy figures for the BMW range available on the Motability Car Scheme: Urban 36.2-72.4mpg (7.8-3.9 l/100km). Extra Urban 57.9-91.1mpg (4.9-3.1 l/100km). Combined 47.1-83.1mpg (6.0-3.4 l/100km). CO2 emissions 139-89g/km. Figures may vary depending on driving style and conditions.

*BMW Navigation standard on the new BMW 1 Series from September 2015. **The BMW range available on the Motability Contract Hire Car Scheme starts from £599 Advance Payment for the new BMW 116d SE 3 and 5-door Sports Hatch. Prices are correct at time of going to print for orders placed and accepted between 1 July and 30 September 2015. All models on the Motability Contract Hire Scheme include optional metallic paint at no extra cost. Models featured may include options at an additional cost. The facilities offered are for the hire (bailment) of goods. The Motability Contract Hire Scheme is administered by Motability Operations Limited (Registered Company No. 1373876), City Gate House, 22 Southwark Bridge Road, London SE1 9HB. To qualify you must be in receipt of either the Higher Rate Mobility Component of Disability Living Allowance, the Enhanced Rate of the Mobility Component of Personal Independence Payment (PIP), the War Pensioners’ Mobility Supplement (WPMS) or the Armed Forces Independence Payment (AFIP), which will be taken in lieu of the four weekly rental. Terms and conditions apply and are available on request.

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31/07/2015 12:24 08:40 03/07/2015


DEMENTIA

Dementia Dementia is an umbrella term for a range of illnesses and disease symptoms, which primarily affect the brain. The term describes a loss of mental ability associated with the gradual decline and eventual death of brain cells.

&

A

Alzheimer’s

lzheimer’s disease is the most common type of dementia with over 60% of those with dementia suffering from the disease, which affects almost half a million people in the UK. Alzheimer’s disease is caused by parts of the brain wasting away, a process known as atrophy. Whilst it is not known what triggers this initially, the brain cells in someone with the disease deteriorate through the build up of protein. This build-up reduces the effectiveness of your healthy neurons, which are the nerve cells that carry messages to and from the brain. Over time, this damage spreads to several areas of the brain, such as the grey matter (which is responsible for processing thoughts) and the hippocampus (which is in charge of your memory). The gradual breakdown of these cells means that the symptoms develop

gradually over a number of years. The first sign of Alzheimer’s disease is usually minor memory problems. As the condition develops, memory problems become more severe and further symptoms develop.

Symptoms and stages In the early stages, the main symptoms of Alzheimer’s disease are related to memory lapses. Someone with early symptoms may forget about recent conversations or events, repeat themselves regularly, show poor judgment or find it hard to make decisions. As this develops into the middle stage, noticeable mood changes may develop, such as increasing anxiety, periods of confusion etc. This middle stage also includes problems with speech or language, delusions, obsessive and impulsive behaviour and increasing confusion and disorientation. By this stage, someone with Alzheimer’s disease will usually need everyday support for things such as washing, dressing and using the toilet.  www.posabilitymagazine.co.uk 19

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DEMENTIA

Later stage Alzheimer’s disease can bring increasingly severe and distressing symptoms, not only for the person living with the condition but also for carers, friends and family. As the disease progresses hallucinations and delusions will often become worse and other symptoms may develop, for example, significant short and long-term memory loss, difficulty eating and swallowing and weight loss too. During the severe stage of the disease, people with the condition will need to have round-the-clock care as they will be able to do very little on their own.

Where possible, it is important that families, friends and carers support someone with Alzheimer’s to do as much as possible on their own, try not to ‘take over’ and maintain independence, which can increase the person’s wellbeing, maintain their dignity, confidence and self-esteem rather than making them feel helpless.

Maintaining independence

Telecare services offer personal alarms and sensors that can help keep you safe at home, or give a relative peace of mind. Canary is an innovative, discreet, easy to install monitoring system that provides round the clock reassurance to family. It respects privacy of those who need care and therefore uses no cameras.

Depending on the severity and stage of disease the type and level of care can vary. Most people with dementia live at home. There are many different types of care on offer, but the majority of their care and support is provided informally by family and friends. Community support means that people with dementia and Alzheimer’s disease are able to live at home as long as they want to. Home support, day services, community opportunities, assistive technology and carer support all mean that those with dementia can live their lives as normally as possible.

There is an abundance of assistive technology out there to help those with Alzheimer’s preserve their independent lifestyle and help family, friends and carers with support.

Telecare

Canary care offers something a bit more comprehensive than traditional telecare systems. It can allow you to see a routine forming and can send notifications via text message or email to ensure daily tasks have been completed; have they gone to bed at a reasonable

time? Have they moved recently? Did they enter the kitchen at meal times? The system can also monitor temperature levels and Canary’s ‘visitor card’ can help ensure visiting carers or meals services have been at their expected time. You can find out more about Canary on their website at www.canarycare.co.uk

Tap2Tag Tap2Tag is a device that can enable people to access a person’s vital medical information in an emergency or day-to-day with just a ‘tap’ of their mobile phone. This simple device can be in the form of a wristband, key fob or special card. Each device is embedded with a new technology known as ‘NFC’ (nearfield communication). Around 70% of smart phones in the UK have NFC capability. When the device is purchased the user can set up a list of their personal information. The device can be set up to send an alert to the person’s emergency contact by text or email and for phones that are not NFC enabled, a unique code can be input into the website to provide the same information.

20 www.posabilitymagazine.co.uk

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30/07/2015 21:19


DEMENTIA

Myth BustING #1. Alzheimer’s disease can only happen to older people. Most people with Alzheimer’s disease are 65 or older. But the disease can affect younger people too. About 5% of those with the disease get symptoms in their 30s, 40s and 50s. This is known as early-onset Alzheimer’s disease. Tap2Tag is not only handy in an emergency, but can prove useful if carers or health visitors change each visit. You can find out more at tap2tag.me

Memory Aids Wireless charging mats make use of similar technology and if placed on a familiar surface, or where someone regularly leaves their mobile phone, this can ensure they are always contactable, and remembering to charge the device or where the charger is stored are no longer issues. Talking photo albums can be a great reminiscence aid for individuals with dementia or Alzheimer’s and can help keep their lives enjoyable. Talking clocks and pill boxes can also make everyday living easier for those with Alzheimer’s disease by ensuring medication is taken at the correct times. Simple memory aids or prompts are often inexpensive but extremely effective. Technology can allow for those living with dementia or Alzheimer’s disease to live on their own. Assistive devices can help support health, reduce risks and provide enjoyable activities for people with dementia, and can also provide important peace of mind to family and friends. George McNamara, Head of Policy at Alzheimer’s Society said: “A person with dementia must be seen as an individual when it comes to choosing how they should be cared for. Their unique qualities, interests and needs are paramount so they can live with dignity and respect.”

“Assistive technology can be a helpful tool to promote independence and autonomy, but it’s not suitable for everyone. Technology should always enhance and enable independence and should not replace human contact, be restrictive or confusing.”

#2. Alzheimer’s disease can be prevented. There is no single treatment that can prevent Alzheimer’s disease. There is however growing evidence that healthy lifestyle choices that keep your mind and body fit may help reduce the risk.

Later Stage Alzheimer’s disease

#3. Drinking from aluminium cans can lead to Alzheimer’s disease. The suspicion of aluminium in relation to the disease is a theory that gained prominence in the 60’s but many studies have since disproven this idea. Whilst not conclusive, it is widely accepted that drinking from aluminium or using utensils is not dangerous or linked to the disease.

For those with later stages of the disease staying at home can often be difficult, even with an abundance of assistive technology on offer. Residential care homes often specialise in dementia care, Sussex Healthcare is one such facility and has a recognised reputation for being a leading care provider in this specialist area. Becky Davis spoke to us about the expertise a facility such as Sussex can offer. “For us, it’s of paramount importance that we focus very much on a person centred, holistic approach to care and that the health and well-being of our service users is of priority,” Becky said. “Sussex Healthcare services offer a wide range of activities for service users to choose.” Their activities include quizzes, knitting club, outside visits to coffee shops, having lunch in restaurants and gentle exercises, which in turn helps reduce loneliness and increase a person’s self esteem.

#4. Dementia is a normal part of the ageing process. Normal memory loss is associated with age. Misplacing your keys or needing more cues to recall information are signs of ‘normal’ memory loss. Experiencing disorientation in familiar surroundings, poor judgement and trouble remembering events are possible signs of early stages of dementia. If you are worried about yourself, a family member or friend you can contact Alzheimer’s Society on 0300 222 11 22 or visit their website at www.alzheimers.org.uk.

To find further information about each home or any other service Sussex Healthcare offer please call Corrine Wallace, Director of Operations on 01403 217338 or alternatively speak to Becky Davis on 01403 219828 or email becky.davis@sussexhealthcare.co.uk.

www.posabilitymagazine.co.uk 21 45

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31/07/2015 14:40


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31/07/2015 08:41


PARALYMPIC GAMES

Over the 12 day event there will be 528 medal events in 23 sports over 20 competition venues spread across four regions of the city, Barra, Copacabana, Deodoro and Maracanã.

The Sports Para-Canoeing

Para-Canoeing is brand new for the 2016 Games and is exactly like canoeing for able-bodied athletes, allowing those with

physical impairments at all levels to enjoy the sport. The three-tiered classification system is based on athletes functional ability when it comes to rowing and applying force to the foot board or seat to propel the boat. There are both men’s and women’s events, with 3 classes in each, which see’s competitors sprint over 200m in a Kayak in a race to make it to the finish line first. The competition will be held at Lagoa Stadium, at Lagoa Rodrigo de Freitas. Located in the heart of the city, the venue will provide a spectacular backdrop of mountains, Tijuca National Forest and Christ the Redeemer.

he beautiful city of Rio de Janeiro will celebrate its 450th birthday in 2015. But 2016 will see Rio play host to the 15th Paralympic Games, marking another milestone in the city’s colourful history. 4,350 athletes from 178 countries will descend upon the city for the first Games to be held in South America.

Para-Triathlon

The Para-Triathlon will also make its debut at the Games. The course includes a 750m swim, a 20km cycle and a 5km race, a distance known as the triathlon sprint. As in the Olympic version of the sport, time spent transitioning between races is included in the event time and the athlete who completes the course in the least time wins. People with various types of disabilities take part in the sport, including wheelchair users, amputees and visually impaired athletes. There are five classifications for the athletes according to their capabilities. Athletes may use a

handcycle, tandem bicycle or bicycle in the cycling portion and wheelchairs are permitted on the running portion of the course. There will be six medal events in total, evenly split amongst both men and women. It’s accessibility to a wide range of disabilities has made it one of the fastest rising para-sports with spectators also greatly enjoying the excitment of it.

ROAD TO RIO T

Sitting Volleyball

Sitting Volleyball is open to all athletes with physical impairments, but is commonly played by athletes who have disabilities related to their legs, amputations, cerebral palsy, spinal cord injuries, permanent injuries to knees, hips and ankles and people with other types of locomotor disability. The sport is one of the most dynamic in the Paralympic Games, sharing many similarities with Olympic Volleyball including basic rules and tactical scoring system, with sets of 25 points and 15 for tie-breaks. There are some adaptations however, in both men’s and women’s the net is lower than that in the Olympic Sport, the attack and defence zones on the court are also smaller. All athletes must play seated and contact with the ground must be maintained during all actions, except movement around the court.  www.posabilitymagazine.co.uk 23

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What I especially learned in London is that you have to channel the energy and spirit of these occasions into your own performance – it makes you better!

24 www.posabilitymagazine.co.uk

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30/07/2015 22:44


PARALYMPIC GAMES

Ones to watch Rob Richardson is Captain of the GB

George Peasgood is only 19 years old,

Men’s Sitting Volleyball team, after a successful home Games at London the squad are excited for potentially a whole new set of challenges in Rio.

he races in PT4 Para-Triathlon and is the British Champion. Since Triathlon is new to the Games this year George has high hopes of reaching Rio.

“What I especially learned in London is that you have to channel the energy and spirit of these occasions into your own performance – it makes you better! I would say that Rio feels very close some days and a long way away on others, it’s the nature of it, we just want to qualify and then get ourselves into medal contention.” Training for the competition is going well, with qualification tournaments throughout the year the squad are focused on qualifying before thinking about medals. “Training is going well, we have a long, tough road ahead to get our qualification spot – but we are up for the challenge, even if we have to wait until the last qualification tournament in China in March 2016 to get our spot. “ With Sitting Volleyball being one of the most well played para-sports, it’s survived throughout the long history of the Games. It is played by an average of 20,000 athletes across the globe each year. Rob said: “You don’t need expensive wheelchairs etc to play, you just need a net and a ball – so it’s great in that respect. It’s a sport that’s continuing to grow around the world and with huge volleyball nations like Brazil and Japan hosting the next two Paralympics that will only grow further I believe.”

“Of course everyone wants to go to Rio and win a medal, but to win one in the first ever Paralympic Games Triathlon would be incredible.” “I think it’s going to be amazing, totally unlike anything we will have ever experienced before. I really hope I am there in September 2016.” George suffered a traumatic injury to his left leg and ankle at a young age and after several reconstructive surgeries, he had a reduced range of movement. He first got into Triathlon in 2009 following his leg lengthening organisations. In 2011 he was classified as a Para-Triathlete and in 2013 won his first major medal at 17 years-old, a bronze at the ITU World Championships in London, making him the youngest Para-Triathlon medallist. “My classification is very competitive but things are going well for me.” “I’m younger than a lot of people who I am racing against and I’m improving a lot so I hope that I can do what I need to do to make it to Rio next year.” Triathlon is one of the biggest sports at the Olympic games, by bringing it to the Paralympics George thinks even more people will be attracted to the Paralympic Games. “It’s great to have a wide variety of sports at the Games. It means that young people can see that there are lots of sports they can do, despite whatever disabilities they might have. Triathlon combines three sports, and you also have to be smart about your equipment, transitions, pacing and strategy. It’s a great sport to take part in and to watch. I think it’s going to be really popular as a new Paralympic sport, and I hope that encourages more people to have a go.”

Rob Richardson

Ian Marsden started his sporting career as an able-bodied athlete representing Team GB at powerlifting, however after an accident Ian became a wheelchair user. A series of health issues soon followed and after extensive tests it was revealed that Ian suffered from a rare neuron condition known as PLS which would affect his legs, arms and brain. Despite never having been on a boat before, Ian’s impressive credentials and passion for sport meant he was chosen to be part of the first GB Para-Canoeing team to head to the Paralympics. With Canoeing new to the Paralympics there are no previous records but Ian feels that the standards have been set at the world championships and the European championships. When asked about heading to Rio as the first team Ian stressed the importance of respecting and supporting team mates. “It is a team event in the way that you need to support other team members, and get on with people, but it’s also quite individual in that if you don’t do your job, nobody is there to do it for you. When we go away to compete, the finals that I compete in are always on the Saturday – so at the end of the event, when all the other team members have already finished their competition earlier in the week. Whether they have won medals or not, we all need to be very respectful of each other in the hotel room – we can’t start celebrating early because some of us will still be training.” Trying out new sports hasn’t phased Ian, because he was injured at such a young age he has never built an emotional attachment to one particular sport, but he is looking forward to partaking in the first ParaCanoeing team. “Canoeing has become massive in Olympics, so it made sense that it came to the Paralympics! I always wanted to do canoeing but I wouldn’t have tried it out if it hadn’t become a Paralympic sport so I’m glad that it has.” “It’d certainly be nice to see other sports brought into the Paralympics, to open up the field to more people. There’s a sport for everyone so the more sports that come into the Paralympics, the better!”

George Peasgood

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31/07/2015 14:46


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05/06/2015 08:41 11:11 31/07/2015


COMPETITION

WIN! Bramwood Holiday Home Ltd is situated on the Gower Peninsula Wales, an area of outstanding natural beauty and close to the coast. They are open all year round and it is a comfortable base to explore Gower and further afield in the area. The bungalow is situated down a quiet treelined lane and is set within a quarter acre of garden. The bungalow took four years to prepare and opened last year. Here the owner’s share the story of its design: The house was originally designed to meet the needs of our son who is a wheelchair user. As a family we use our experiences of traveling with our son when it comes to our approach towards our guests. There is nothing like turning up at a hotel you booked six months ago to find out there is no suitable toilet/shower chair in the adapted room. The bungalow has five bedrooms, one of which is adapted. The adapted room is equipped with an ArjoHuntleigh Maxi Sky 2 ceiling hoist which covers both the bedroom and en-suite bathroom. There is level access throughout the bungalow and sliding doors lead out from the adapted

Q

which peninsula is the holiday home next to?

a) Lower b) Power c) Gower

If you would like to be in with a chance of winning this fantastic prize simply answer the question correctly and return your details to the following address, email 28 www.posabilitymagazine.co.uk

Competition_Bramwood_rt.indd 27

A week’s holiday at Bramwood Holiday Home Ltd.

room and lounge onto the patio and gardens. We have a pond which was formed because a natural spring, which comes from Rhossili Down, entered the garden. During 2014 we were one of 10 businesses that received grants from Swansea Tourism from the Rural Accommodation Scheme. In Swansea there is the Maritime museum and the Dylan Thomas Centre to visit amongst the many attractions. Visit Swansea Bay has embraced bringing more people with disabilities into the area, and now has six Changing Places in the city. Visit Swansea Bay has the accessibility information for accommodation, attractions, beaches and many other places in Swansea and surrounding areas. www.bramwoodgower.co.uk Terms & Conditions The prize consists of 7 night’s accommodation, Friday to Friday in a 5 bed bungalow to be taken before 17th December 2015, excluding bank holidays and school holidays and subject to availability. The prize is nontransferable, non-exchangeable and non-refundable, there is no cash alternative. We will ask for a refundable security deposit of £250 which is returned after the house is checked by the manager. Only one entry per person.

posabilitycompetitions@gmail.com or visit www.posabilitymagazine. co.uk to enter online. Bramwood Holiday Home Ltd Competition PosAbility Magazine Caledonia House Evanton Drive Thornliebank Ind. Est. Glasgow G46 8JT

Name: Address: Postcode: Tel: Email: ü

Bramwood Holiday Home would like to send you more information about their services. If you would prefer not to receive this, please tick the box.

www.posabilitymagazine.co.uk 47

31/07/2015 14:49


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Call us for a free home demonstration on 01704 512437 31/07/2015 08:42


Getting Online

ONLINE

For many of us, using the internet is a part of our daily lives. From keeping up with the latest news, catching up with friends on Facebook and even doing our weekly grocery shop, the internet is a resource that has changed the way we interact with others, get our information and generally go about our daily routines.

H

owever a report earlier this year from the Office of National Statistics reported that 3.3 million adults with disabilities have never used the internet, representing a staggering 27% of the adult population who live with disabilities. This compares with 11% of nondisabled adults. For a disabled person, the internet can potentially open up even more opportunities. The internet can help someone gain more independence through accessing products and services online from the comfort of their own home, flexible employment opportunities are opening up where people can work in their own time, and communication has never been easier thanks to the likes of Facebook, Twitter, Skype and of course email. Increasingly we are also seeing more and more important services, particularly those

from the Government, moving onto online channels, meaning gaining basic digital skills and being able to access the internet is more important than ever before. “It goes without saying really that digital services are hugely important and growing in importance every day. You really can’t underestimate how important it is or how vital it is that disabled people have the same opportunities as everyone else to access these services that everybody else has,” explained Robin Christopherson, head of digital inclusion at AbilityNet. “If you consider how important the internet is in the life of a non-disabled person, times that by ten for someone with a disability.”

AbilityNet AbilityNet is a charity that helps people to use digital technology at work, at home or in education. The charity’s network of ITCanHelp volunteers can visit disabled  www.posabilitymagazine.co.uk 29

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ONLINE

The charity provides a helpline and a variety of online tools that disabled people, their families or friends can access for free.

people in their homes to help them with their IT needs, whether it be setting up the appropriate equipment to help them access their PC, providing help to install their broadband connection, or any other technical problems they might be having. The charity provides a helpline and a variety of online tools that disabled people, their families or friends can access for free. AbilityNet also work with businesses, charities and public bodies to ensure their websites and mobile apps are inclusive. Although there are legal requirements in place stating the minimum levels of accessibility a website must have, according to Robin up to 95% of websites actually do not meet these requirements. A major part of his role as head of digital inclusion is to raise awareness of making websites and apps more inclusive in order to make their products and services easier for everyone to use.

keyboard. There are also software options you can utilise to make operating your computer easier, such as adjusting the click speed on the mouse. You can also change the speed at which the pointer moves or enable it to leave a trail so you can track its path more easily. Some devices such as iPads also have inbuilt accessibility features such as a screen reader, zoom function, font adjustments and a dictation software feature to help you type. This can be much easier and cheaper to adjust to your needs than buying additional equipment for your PC.

Going mobile Mobile phones are by far the most common way people access the internet today, with Robin stating that on a daily basis “over 50%” of traffic to any given website is through mobile phones. The touchscreen technology and numerous apps now available can make things much easier for people with a variety of

impairments to use than using a more traditional PC. Robin describes the example of a desktop screen reader on a PC compared to an iPhone or iPad: “If you’re blind or lose your vision later on in life you can still readily use a computer with a screen reader on the desktop of a PC but it has literally dozens of key strokes; there’s one to read the time, there’s one to read the title of the programme you are in, there’s one to run the spell checker, there’s one to do this, there’s one to do that, and that’s a huge learning curve. Whereas on an iPad you can just run your finger across the screen and it will read out what’s under it. There’s obviously a bit more to it than that but the whole proposition is much simpler – and you don’t have to worry about viruses or malware to boot.” With such a substantial amount of internet usage being done using mobile phones, many websites now automatically have a

“There’s two main aspects for a disabled person to getting online: one is that they’ve got the right technology so they can access their laptop, mobile phone, or whatever device it might be, effectively. The other key element is that what you are then accessing online or via mobile apps when using your particular set up is accessible as well inclusive to everyone regardless of their needs or what technologies they’re using,” Robin explained.

Getting online There are numerous ways you can access the internet, from PCs and laptops to tablets and mobile phones. There are a multitude of ways of making these more accessible, depending on your abilities, using a variety of different hardware and software. This can include the likes of wrist rests for the keyboard, an adjustable chair to help with postural needs, an alternative to a mouse such as a trackball, or an ergonomic or larger print

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ONLINE

Patsy starts new company after completing QEF IT course

version adapted specifically for use on mobile phones or a mobile app you can download and access whenever you like instead of the website. These mobile versions of desktop websites and mobile apps, to replace them altogether, are generally far more basic, cleaner and condensed than the traditional website (which is often bloated with ads or clamouring requests to share this page with your friends on social media) and can be much simpler to navigate and much easier to use. “Mobile platforms are inherently far simpler. The apps for example, if you compare something like the BBC News app to the BBC News website, it’s so much simpler and much more cut down. You have a very simple list of headlines, you go over it, explore them with your finger and with a tap it goes to the article and there’s no peripheral clutter or complexity.” You can follow Robin on Twitter at @USA2DAY. If you would like to improve your digital skills contact AbilityNet on 0800 269 545, email enquiries@abilitynet.org.uk or visit www.abilitynet.org.uk. They are also on Twitter at @AbilityNet.

Other useful websites UCanDoIt teaches people with disabilities how to use computers, with particular focus on internet and email skills. For more information call 020 8673 3300 or visit www.ucandoit.org.uk. Go ON UK is the UK’s leading digital skills charity, campaigning for everyone to have Basic Digital Skills. Find your nearest UK online centre to access Basic Digital Skills training by calling 0800 77 1234. For more information visit www.go-on.co.uk.

Patsy Carville, 60, from Northampton, has started her own IT support company after completing an IT Support and Maintenance course at Queen Elizabeth’s Foundation for Disabled People (QEF). Patsy was a carer for her mother and was having to claim Jobseekers Allowance while she searched for employment. But living with fibromyalgia and arthritis that causes pain and muscle spasms meant that full time work would have been difficult for her. So she decided to take matters into her own hands. Patsy has always had a knack with computers, so she wrote a letter to the DWP stating that her health issues made it unlikely that she would get a job, so she proposed that she take on a course in computer maintenance and repair. The DWP applied to QEF on Patsy’s behalf and she was soon enrolled on the charity’s IT Support and Maintenance course. Six months later Patsy had achieved her ECDL and Cisco IT Essentials qualifications and is now well on her way to launching her new business, ‘Glitch Fixers’. Patsy said: “I loved the course, I started with four others and we all got on really well and all seemed to be at the same level. QEF is a very supportive environment.” She added: “It had always been the plan to start my own business and QEF supported me in that.”

Unfortunately QEF’s IT Support and Maintenance course is no longer running due to a lack of funding. Through ‘Glitch Fixers’, Patsy hopes to help people having computer problems at home, particularly older people, as she understands the difficulties they can face in a world that’s increasingly digitally driven. Patsy has always had a knack with computers and friends would regularly ask her to sort out their IT issues. She said: “I think computers are the nearest thing to magic. I like to be able to make things work properly and to solve problems. And when you do fix a problem the person you’ve done it for is just delighted.” So far she has been helping family and friends with problems such as getting rid of viruses and getting slow computers to run at their optimum but she can offer a whole range of services, each for a fixed price rather than the hourly rate many similar companies will charge. She will be able to help people with hardware issues in her local area or people with software problems she can access remotely. For more information about Glitch Fixers visit www.glitchfixers.com.

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31/07/2015 22/01/2015 08:43 16:48


INTERVIEW

Alex Brooker Alex Brooker first burst onto our screens and into our hearts in 2012 as part of the team assembled to present the Paralympic Games coverage. Now a household name and a firm favourite as one third of The Last Leg line up, Alex reveals to PosAbility how his life has changed since his television debut and talks about the important work he has had the opportunity to be involved in to hopefully help change society’s attitude toward disability.

A

The Last Leg’s sixth series is currently being shown on Channel 4. (Left to right - Josh Widdicombe, Adam Hills and Alex Brooker. Photo by Ian Derry courtesy of Channel 4.)

Alex Brooker

s soon as Alex answers his phone I can tell that this interview is going to be enjoyable. He sounds exactly the same as he does on TV, relaxed, friendly and eager to talk. He starts off by telling me about his involvement with Why Not People?, a members club for people with disabilities that hosts fully accessible gigs. Alex is an ambassador for Why Not People? and urges anyone with a disability of any kind to join up as it is free and great fun. Visit www.whynotpeople.com for more information. Alex is also involved with Scope and fronted their End the Awkward campaign recently

that aimed to raise awareness of those uncomfortable moments that disabled people encounter in life and demonstrated how people should deal with them. He admits to initially being apprehensive when Scope approached him to be involved with the series of videos for the End the Awkward campaign: “It is very difficult to know if it’s going to be cringey or not and not cringey in a good way. At the start I was like ‘I am not sure of this’ and then they showed me the ideas and I was able to kind of put a little bit of my own input into that and when that happened I was really pleased with the videos, I thought they were really good. What I think is good about End The Awkward is that, I don’t blame people for being curious, I never blame people for that – curiosity is human nature – it’s not that initial double take, it’s  www.posabilitymagazine.co.uk 33

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INTERVIEW

about how you go about yourself afterwards and that was what I wanted to get across with End the Awkward.” He has since fronted another set of videos for the End the Awkward campaign for Scope which have very recently been released. He talks passionately about this work and about the other charities he is involved with including, Reach – a charity to help children who have upper limb differences, as well as Great Ormond Street Childrens Hospital as it is very close to his heart. However, Alex recognises that none of this would be possible if it wasn’t for his success presenting during the 2012

it’s almost like I have done some counselling for myself on live television every Friday. It’s been incredible for me personally

Channel 4, in partnership with Scope, has released a new Shorts entertainment series called What Not To Do to help tackle awareness of disability. See these at www.All4.co.uk/whatnottodo. Scope has also produced some more short films based on real life awkward moments that disabled people face, fronted by Alex Brooker. You can view these at www.scope.org.uk/awkward.

Paralympic Games and his refreshing approach on The Last Leg. But this could have been a very different story as Alex admits he nearly didn’t apply to be a presenter and only uploaded his application on the very last day thinking he ‘might have been in with a shot’. As a sports journalist by trade Alex had long dreamed of being a touch-line football reporter all his life so when he was successful in his application for the Paralympic Games, Channel 4 set him on a training programme with every intention of him doing just that. “They sent me to be a touch-line reporter

to learn from the guys at ITV – I went on a placement there for three months in the sport department. We had been set into roles and my role was that I was always going to be a reporter, I was never going to be one of the co-presenters or anything like that and The Last Leg came along as a bit of a fluke.” “The producer of the first two series of The Last Leg was a guy called Pete Thomas and I met him on my placement at ITV, he was a good guy and I got to know him a bit. When we were all called in for the final couple of months before the Paralympics started we went to Sunset+Vine which was the production company that made it for Channel 4. All of us trainees were in with them and I got talking to Pete and they trusted me because I was a sports journalist, so they knew I was safe and would always do my research. I hadn’t exactly shone in the stuff we had done before, I came close to leaving twice when I just thought the training was overly critical – even though I had no basis for that and they were trying to get us television ready and it’s not the easiest thing. Now I have worked in the industry I realise what a big thing it was that Channel 4 did and I never realised that until more recently.” “But yeah I was just called in and he said ‘you should be a reporter on this highlights show I am doing, you would be funny on there. You could do your serious stuff with the football but then on our show you could have a laugh because you are really good when you’re like that’ and I was like ‘I would love to do that’.” The Last Leg is hosted by Australian comedian Adam Hills and co-hosted by Alex Brooker and Josh Widdicombe. It started as a nightly alternative review show during the 2012 Paralympic Games, providing humorous round ups of the day’s events, celebrity guests and the controversial #isitok segment of the show which saw people tweeting in difficult, awkward and often amusing questions about disability, in the format ‘is it ok to ask…’. This particular segment of the show was a great success as it allowed people to tweet in genuine questions about disability and get answers that could help avoid awkward situations. It tackled some subjects around

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INTERVIEW

Why Not People? ambassadors

disability with humour and honesty and I think it helped the nation understand a little bit more about what it is like to live with a disability. The show was only supposed to run for the duration of the Paralympics but it proved to be so popular that another series was commissioned and they are now on their sixth series which is airing on Channel 4 at the moment. Alex explained that he never saw the show being as big a success as it is: “For us, where the show has gone now we never would have imagined that we would still be going. I remember thinking at the time ‘it would be great if they got us back together in four years to do it again’. The fact we have kept it going and we are so much better now than then, the relationship is much better between us. My mum has got every Last Leg recorded on her Sky box and I have seen some of the clips from those Paralympic shows and they were good, but I am really excited about what we can do. The show has come on so much and it could be even better next time so I am already getting excited about it – plus it’s a holiday for a few weeks isn’t it!”

Changing Attitudes On being asked about the impact the show

has had on society as a whole and if he believes it has helped to change attitudes towards disability, Alex explains: “I would like to think it has, I get a lot of messages from disabled people, they have tweeted us a lot which is nice. We don’t talk about it as directly as we did at the Paralympics obviously, but the fact that it’s now gone to a show where we are just there as presenters, especially me, if I am there as a presenter in my own right – yes I am disabled, but people aren’t necessarily just waiting to see what I am going to say on that.” “I would like to say we have helped change perceptions but the only person I can talk for is my own perception and I know I am far more confident having done that show. There was a time about five years ago when I never would have spoken about my disability, I had some real issues about that, so it’s almost like I have done some counselling for myself on live television every Friday. It’s been incredible for me personally, my attitude has completely changed, so for me personally it’s great.” Having more disabled talent on television is something that most people would agree is a vital way to tackle the stigma aound disability and Alex agrees saying:

“It’s a case of when you don’t understand something or when something is new you need to become desensitised to it so, for example, when they were showing athletes with a missing limb during the Paralympics – now somebody will see that and they may have never seen someone who is missing a foot and half the world will be curious about that, but you tell me how curious people were to see Jonnie Peacock’s stump when he was sprinting - I would suggest very few! And then it becomes about the sport and then it goes past that and it becomes everyday which is how it should be. So I think having more disabled people on our screens is a good thing but I’m going to be honest I don’t want to give up any of my work! But it would be amazing, I am all for equal opportunities and diversity but I think it has to be where it is appropriate.” Offering advice to young disabled people looking to get into the media industry he says: “Don’t get hung up on the fact that you are disabled, you have to still have that confidence. Believe in yourself, you need to realise that every person is unique and we all have something, so when you go for a job you bring something different to the table and it’s a case of realising what that is and focusing on that.”

www.posabilitymagazine.co.uk 35

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31/07/2015 08:44


TRAVEL

travel advice Andy Wright, managing director of Accessible Travel and Leisure, has a wealth of knowledge about travelling and knows firsthand about the problems many disabled people can face. Each issue Andy will provide us with advice on common problems of travel and will welcome questions from PosAbility readers.

Where can I go this winter to avoid freezing temperatures and dark days? You may be just planning to go on your summer vacation, or have possibly only just returned, so to be now thinking about taking a holiday next winter may seem premature. However, given that predictions are already being made that the UK is anticipating record-breaking freezing temperatures this winter, this is the time to start planning ahead!

includes close access from most hotels to the excellent clean beaches - many being wheelchair accessible - with a plethora of shops, bars, cafes, restaurants and nightlife all within easy walking distance. Many of the resorts on the south coast such as Las Americas, Los Cristianos and Adeje are joined by a wide miles-long and mostly flat boulevard.

Unfortunately due to recent civil unrest and the political situation in many North African countries and the Middle East, the number of suitable holiday destinations that are both warm and safe, as well as being a short flight from the UK, are diminishing.

As you might expect from such a popular tourist destination, Tenerife is brimming with special family attractions, including Loro Parque - a fantastic wildlife park - and daily excursions to view whales and dolphins playing in the coastal bays. The beautiful interior of the island and more rugged north coast are also a nature lover’s dream. Lanzarote’s unique volcanic geography has literally thrown up some stunningly dramatic landscapes, including the volcanic field of Timanfaya National Park. Like Tenerife, most of the holiday accommodation is set right on the coast with good access to lovely sandy beaches and a wide range of local attractions and facilities. The island is popular with watersports enthusiasts, but offers a haven of peace and gentle sea breezes for those seeking a more relaxing holiday. As well as Canary specialities, Lanzarote also offers a truly international eating experience, with café and restaurant owners taking great delight in introducing you to their cuisine.

However a firm favourite that is still very popular with the British tourist, and is also able to offer a wide array of accessible accommodation, is the Canary Islands. With average temperatures around 20°C in the winter months, both Lanzarote and Tenerife provide a very pleasant climate, at affordable prices! Tenerife’s most popular resorts lie along its south coast and have been built around the needs of the holidaymaker, with due consideration given to wheelchair users and the less mobile traveller. This

Both islands have a variety of accessible apartments and hotels, ranging from the purpose-built and wonderfully adapted Mar y Sol apart-hotel in Los Cristianos,

To view Andy’s Top Tips for air travel visit www.posabilitymagazine.co.uk.

Tenerife, renowned for its accessible swimming pool heated to 32°C, right up to opulent fivestar properties, such as the Vincci La Plantacion in Coste Adeje, Tenerife or Princess Yaiza in Playa Blanca, Lanzarote. Both islands provide wheelchair accessible transfers or excursions and medical and mobility equipment can also be rented. Flights to both Tenerife and Lanzarote are available from a variety of UK airports during the winter months. For more information or to enquire and book your winter holiday to the Canary Islands this winter, please visit www.accessibletravel.co.uk or call 01452 729739. If you quote PSM001 at the time of booking, you will receive a 5% readers discount. www.posabilitymagazine.co.uk 37

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31/07/2015 08:45


HOLIDAYS

WELCOME TO

AUSTRALIA

Have you decided yet? Is a trip to Australia a distinct possibility? If the answer is yes, then like me you will no doubt meet up with Wally on the Great Barrier Reef. Most people do! Add buzzing Sydney and the tropical rainforest and you have a trip of a lifetime.

Words and images by Janet Myers

SWIMMING WITH WALLY, THE MAORI WRASSE He was big, blue and ugly with giant pouting lips. He had a hump on his forehead and from his size he was a fully grown adult. With a flip of his tail he rose from the water and slivered across me to get the tit bit offered by the diver. My body quivered with the feel of his touch. It made my day but if anyone had told me that my encounter was going to be so up close and personal I doubt whether I would have been sitting with snorkel in hand on the edge of the floating platform, but I’m glad I did. Earlier that morning we had boarded the high speed catamaran in Cairns and travelled for an hour and a half to Marine World, a floating pontoon on the outer edge of the Great Barrier Reef. My son, who is a confident scuba diver, went off with the reef sharks. My husband was brave enough to don a suit to protect him from jellyfish stings and with the aid of an air filled helmet went down with Bob the marine biologist who picked up different pieces of coral and even a transparent Wally the Maori Wrasse jellyfish without tentacles for them to touch! I on the other hand was less adventurous. My main experiences, except for a limited snorkel, did not involve getting wet but they do serve to illustrate that you can still enjoy your time on the Great Barrier Reef whatever your disability. In the underwater observatory the parrot fish paraded endlessly

near the glass. They were bright and colourful and shimmered in the sunlight which penetrated the water from above. I watched them and others as they swam slowly past. Then up comes Wally. We have a good opportunity to see the intricate patterns on his face, which look as if they have been painted by some accomplished artist. For some time he lingered close to us before turning tail and swimming away. No doubt he was up to his tricks within minutes as he rejoined the swimmers in the water in the main diving area. On board the catamaran in the morning I watched the video presentation which explained the complexities of the reefs eco-system and gave an introduction to some of the marine corals and creatures we would see, so when I met Wally I already knew quite a lot about him. I knew for instance that he might well have started life as a female and had a sex change around nine for it is quite common amongst the Maori Wrasse. They live for up to thirty years so he was probably no teenager, although from his playful nature and agility he was a long way from old age. Some of those who swam with him and squeezed his lips gently, which he seemed to adore, were probably unaware that behind those big blue lips were teeth strong enough to feed on sea urchins, molluscs, crustaceans and the toxic crown of the thorns of starfish, boxfish and sea hares! ďƒŽ www.posabilitymagazine.co.uk 39

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HOLIDAYS

at the Cairns Night Zoo we got an introduction to these heavy weight crocs. In their dimly lit enclosure they jumped and snapped at chickens which were dangled in front of them Lunch made a welcome break and afterwards we took trips on both the submersible and glass bottom boat. This was our chance to see more of the coral and more of the marine creatures. We encountered many reef sharks and saw much more of the coral, but I never saw Wally again. All too soon it was time to return to shore. It seemed hard to think that we had been on the reef for five hours. Back in Cairns our boat was one of the last to return. As everyone gathered for dinner stories of the day’s activities on the reef were exchanged. Everyone spoke about Wally, it seemed that every expedition to the outer reef had encountered him! Some spoke of him being five feet in length. Others put him around three. With so many boats it seemed impossible that he could have been seen in so many places at once, I suspect there are many Maori Wrasse out there and given their friendly nature all have been named Wally! Oh well, my Wally gave me a memory I shall always remember.

CROCS, KOALAS AND THE DUCK BILLED PLATYPUS Along the coastal road between Cairns and Port Douglas the ocean took turns to lap around rocky outcrops or dash up sandy palm edged beaches. At Palm cove we stopped for a picnic and two Aboriginal women cast a string with a hook into the water. A few other folk lay soaking up the sun but no one was in the water. Our first thought was ‘sharks’ but a little further along we saw a notice which read ‘beware of salt water crocodiles.’ Later at the Cairns Night Zoo we got an introduction to these heavy weight crocs. In their dimly lit enclosure they jumped and snapped at chickens which were dangled in front of them. Meeting one in the water would certainly be a terrifying experience. As it was we encountered many surprising moments as illuminated by the light of our torches, eyes popped out of the darkness round every corner. As we sat on logs and drank tea from a billy can and got our first taste of Damper (the staple of the first settlers)

The lovely wombat

Cuddly koala

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Tall mast ship

the kangaroos hopped around us and nuzzled food from our hands. It was here at the zoo that I got my first chance to hold a koala bear. He was really heavy as he sat on my arm clinging to me if I was a branch of a tree. Everybody wanted a turn but they did not particularly like being passed around. When one got restless his ‘work’ for the day was done and another came ‘on duty’. As much as I loved the koala my favourite however was the Wombat. He was very hairy and very big and too heavy to hold for long so he sat on his keeper’s lap. He rested on the large cartilage plate on his rump which he used for protection against predators. We were told that he could run at 40kmh and his teeth grew continuously. His mate had a backwards facing pouch to prevent foreign objects from entering and, potentially, causing the death of her joey, by suffocation while digging. He loved having the fur on his stomach rubbed and nestled back in contentment with almost a smile on his face. Another day we took a trip up to the Atherton Tablelands. Besides the giant fig curtain which resembled a static waterfall with its roots cascading down from an outcrop high above us, we went in 

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search of the wild platypus. We were told to make a noise when we reached their habitat as they respond to sound! Standing in the wild singing nursery rhymes must have made an odd sight, but it worked! When we asked other disappointed visitors if they had tried singing, they replied no. I rest my case.

KARUNDA AND THE RAINFOREST CANOPY For an hour and a half the historic train snaked uphill from Cairns to Kuranda and Australia’s ancient rainforest. As we watched the changing tropical landscape of rugged mountains and cascading waterfalls, a continuous commentary told of its construction and the pioneers who built it. On arrival at our destination there were many options available; a butterfly sanctuary, colourful bird aviary, koala park and a thriving market community but for us the highlight was a trip aboard an amphibious World War II Army Duck (officially spelt DUKW). Our guide pointed out ferns, orchids, strangler figs and stinging trees, as well as birds such as the Azure Kingfisher and a host of other animals and reptiles. We transversed undulating terrain and splashed through swamps and out onto a body of water where we caught sight of the iconic electric blue Ulysses butterflies.

[Top] The Kuranda railway [Middle] Into the rainforest aboard a ‘duck’ [Bottom] Rainforest canopy from the gondola

We chose not to return to Cairns on the scenic railway but took the Skyrail. We glided just metres above the rainforest canopy in a gondola with a glass bottom floor. It is a unique experience but it is not for those who suffer from vertigo.

ABORIGINAL ‘DREAMTIME’ At the Tjapukai Aboriginal Cultural Park we

were met by our hosts who greeted us with dance as they twisted and stamped to the deep vibrations of a giant didgeridoo. Their ebony bodies glistening with the bright colours of their body art. Soon it was our turn to receive traditional face markings as their brushes plunged into the vibrant bright paint pots. It was then time to take the tiki lit pathway to the site where the fire ceremony would take place. With great dexterity a spark was kindled from a stick spun in an indentation in a stone and soon flames were leaping high into the air as the fire burst into life. After much dancing, chanting and music a marksman took a bow and shot a lighted arrow into the darkness and we entered ‘dreamtime’ to explore over 40,000 years of history.

Sharing an Aboriginal experience

The evening included a feast and a Tjapukai performance on stage in which the thrill of the hunt for kangaroo was performed to the ancient totems of the rainforest people. No visit to Queensland would have been complete without it.

GETTING A BUZZ IN SYDNEY The sparkling waters of Sydney Harbour are synonymous with the New South Wales capital and it takes centre stage for most visitors so it is not surprising that we spent much of our time there. We took the odd

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HOLIDAYS

MAKE IT HAPPEN 

When to visit:

Generally, the best months to visit Australia are September and October, when it’s often still warm enough to hit the beach in the southern states, it’s cool enough to tour Uluru, and the humidity and rains have not come to Cairns. We visited in November and were pleased with our choice as it was also a good time to visit Asia where we made long stop overs. 

ferry or two and on our first evening, we took a more leisurely trip on a tall ship as twilight fell. As we drank champagne we got our first view of the Sydney Opera House. On dry land we got to appreciate its architecture from another perspective. A tour inside gives an introduction to its history and showcases all the theatre spaces where over 1,600 performances take place every year. With countless steps to climb and a lot of walking, I would recommend opting for a disability tour for those with limited mobility. Our tour guide was married to a musician who came many years ago to perform on centre stage. He added little details and personal recollections which made it very personal. He related how Pavarotti had come to sing one year but when he discovered the theatre allocated to him was carpeted in purple he refused to perform. He was hooked on the superstition that purple meant death! Fortunately they were able to make a swap and his performance went ahead in the red carpeted theatre space. A major catastrophe averted! Sydney buzzes and vibrates with activity both by day and by night and we packed in as many activities as we could. From Circular Quay and the Customs house to the dugongs at Sea life and a trip to the Blue Mountains. We had a ball. The famous Sydney Opera House

Accessibility Information

Transport: • The Australian Public transport system offers easy access and concessionary fares. For Sydney visit www.transportnsw.info/accessibletravel. • All Sydney Ferries are wheelchair accessible, although the gangway and ramp slopes at some wharves are determined by the tide. • Car rental makes getting about easy. In Cairns some hire cars are suitable for those with disabilities to drive themselves. • Some taxis are wheelchair accessible. • Motorised scooters and wheelchairs can be hired from the Cairns Central Shopping Centre. 

VISITING ATTRACTIONS:

• Carer and disability concessions are only applicable for Australian citizens. Blue Badges can be used for parking. Sydney: • The Opera House -Download the Sydney Opera House Access Guide. The guide includes information covering vision, hearing and physical access needs and is available in large print and MP3 versions. The guide is also available in Braille and cd format on request. • For the Blue Mountains visit: www.bluemountainscitytourism.com.au/getting-here-around/accessibility. Cairns: • The Great Barrier Reef: Most boats to the outer reef can accommodate wheelchairs and boats stay alongside the platforms and provide an accessible disabled toilet. To enquire about the hydraulic wheelchair lift which allows guests to have an underwater experience visit www.quicksilvergroup.com.au/wheelchair.ht. • Aboriginal Experience and the Night Zoo are both wheelchair friendly.

Ozzie jet boat in Sydney harbour

The Rainforest: • The Kuranda scenic Railway has a well appointed easy access cabin and disabled toilet. • The trip by Duck into the Rainforest is accessed from a platform so no steps to negotiate. • The buses to the Skyrail are not wheelchair friendly but the Skyrail itself can accommodate most wheelchair configurations. Details can be found at www.skyrail.com. au/visitor-information/wheelchair-access.

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High quality organic adapted clothing, easy access and designed to accommodate feeding tubes, continence products and additional needs.

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Challenging Disability through Outdoor Adventure Whether you are looking for new experiences and to meet new people, or just holiday fun with friends and family, we have something amazing to offer you. In 2016 we celebrate 40 years of delivering outdoor adventure breaks for both adults and children with disabilities in the beautiful surroundings of the Lake District National Park. We’d love you to be part of it. To find out more, call us on 017687 72255.

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ACCESSIBLE TRAVEL

JERSEY’S UNIQUE HOTEL FOR DISABLED PEOPLE

MAISON DES LANDES Maison des Landes Hotel, an incorporated Jersey charity, caters exclusively for guests with disabilities and their carers in purpose-built accommodation specially designed to meet their needs. The hotel was established in 1964 and is operated by Trustees appointed by the Lions Club of Jersey, the owner of the hotel since the 1980s. The hotel was founded by Elizabeth Ashton Edwards whose home it was for seven years. Having previously had young disabled people stay with her and her disabled husband, Elizabeth knew of the problems faced by people with disabilities in accommodation not adapted or created specially to meet their needs. In 1964 the newly founded Lions Club of Jersey adopted the nascent hotel as an on-going major project and, over the years, that small cottage has grown into a fully equipped hotel capable of hosting guests and their carers in purpose-built accommodation able to meet the needs of most disabilities. Maison des Landes is situated on a spectacular gorse and heathercovered headland with panoramic views over Jersey’s sweeping west coast. Today it caters for up to 43 guests in single, double and family rooms variably suited to their needs. The Hotel also offers self-contained self-catering accommodation (available all year). The apartments are fully accessible to wheelchair users and each has a walk-in/wheel-in wet room where the showers have pull-down seats. Each apartment has two single beds that can be joined to form one king-sized bed. The two apartments may also be joined to create a family unit sleeping four. The Hotel is surrounded by beautiful gardens and guests also have

the amenities of a heated swimming pool with hoists and wheelchair ramps, a pétanque (bowls) court and a comfortable licensed lounge, perfect for relaxing and enjoying the company of other guests and regular entertainments. Specialised equipment available in the hotel includes Alpha XL low pressure and spenco mattresses, bed leavers/turners, bed cradles, bed pans, commodes, electric bed raisers, electric Porta stand and sling, electric wheelchairs and scooters can be hired for £6.00 per day, emergency page call system in all bedrooms, large grip cutlery, lipped plates, manual wheelchairs, men’s and ladies’ bottles, monkey pole or triangle, nebuliser and mask, night bag stands, overhead ceiling track hoists, Parker bathroom with overhead electric hoist, Porta stand, portable electric hoist and slings, profiling beds, raised toilet seats, Rollators (four wheeled walkers with seat), shower chairs, sliding boards and banana boards, sliding sheets, surround toilet frames, three wheeled walkers, turntables, twin handled mugs and Zimmer frames. The daily tariff includes transfers from airport/port to hotel and return, full board accommodation (breakfast, packed lunch and evening meal), day excursions by specially-equipped minibuses to places of interest, shopping and evening outings. The Hotel welcomes groups, families and individuals. The hotel is open for April to October and all enquiries regarding individual and group rates should be made to the General Manager, Maison des Landes Hotel, St Ouen, Jersey JE3 2AA. Call 01534 481683, email contact@maisondeslandes.co.uk or visit www.maisondeslandes.co.uk. www.posabilitymagazine.co.uk 45

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PRODUCTS

HOT STUFF We bring you a mix of the most innovative and helpful products on the market today…

Prices from £17.00

The Chillow The Chillow is a unique personal cooling pad that is only 2cm thick. It can be used to help ease you into a deep sleep, to soothe headaches, muscular aches and pains, or to cool hot flushes. The Chillow is activated by filling it with tap water. The water is fully absorbed into the patented foam core which creates memory foam like comfort that cools and soothes. It only needs to be activated once and will then keep working whenever you need it.

Buddy Cover Have you got a problem, bathing, showering, swimming or having water based rehabilitation treatments? buddy is the answer!

Personal Cooling Centre Ltd 01494 882 224 info@personalcooling.co.uk www.personalcooling.co.uk

Prices from £27.50

QOL Ltd produce ‘buddy’, an easy to use, re-usable watertight cover for compromised limbs keeping you and your dressings dry, and improving your quality of life. ‘buddy’ protects you from water and water from you! buddy 0800 2700072 joanna@buddycover.com www.buddycover.com  www.posabilitymagazine.co.uk 47

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PRODUCTS

Apex Spirit + The Apex Spirit + from Pride Mobility is a comfortable and practical scooter offering excellent suspension and a great drive. The new tiller design features weather proof controls. A highly visible light package with front and rear lighting and full front and rear suspension comes as standard, as well as a new spoked wheel design with pneumatic tyres and alloy wheel trims. The chair features a high seat back and the arms are also height, width and depth adjustable so you can find your most comfortable position. The Apex Spirit + can reach a top speed of 6.25 mph. It has a weight capacity of 25 stone (160kgs). Pride Mobility 01869 324 600 sales@pride-mobility.co.uk www.pride-mobility.co.uk

Prices available on request

Prices available on request

Anti-slip range The new anti-slip and grip range of products from Drive Medical includes a cup holder, providing a firm grip on cups of all shapes and sizes, a self-sealing cupcap that stretches over the top of cups, glasses and beakers allowing a straw to enter for drinking, and a three item kitchen grip set, including a jar opener and bottle opener which provide assistance in unscrewing tightly fitted bottle and jar lids. The anti-slip range also includes strips and circles for wet areas to provide grip for bare feet, as well as material reels, offering a do-it-yourself alternative to the manufactured products. The products are made entirely from silicone rubber, a material that is nontoxic and chemically inert, and does not contain phthalate plasticisers. It is also antimicrobial, providing continuous protection against a wide range of bacteria and is fully washable and autoclave safe up to 250°C. Drive Medical 0844 855 4402 www.drivemedical.co.uk

amplicomms BTH1400 and BTH1410 NL Both the BTH1400 and BTH1410 NL, will amplify sound from any Bluetooth enabled devices, with super clear inductive sound transmission designed to cut out background noise. The BTH 1410NL sits comfortably on your chest like a necklace and is designed for people who wear hearing aids or cochlear implant users with a ‘T’ setting (loop program). The BTH 1400 wireless stethoscope-style headset is for people with hearing loss who don’t wear hearing aids and will amplify sound up to 120dB direct into your ears. Both Bluetooth devices are lightweight and very easy to use with buttons to adjust volume and tone, answer/end calls, or use the built-in microphone for close proximity conversations. Connevans Limited 01737 247571 www.deafequipment.co.uk

Prices from £74.99 (BTH1400)

48 www.posabilitymagazine.co.uk

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Active Summer Fun Sport England, the English Federation of Disability Sport and National Disability Sports Organisations are working together to support disabled people to be more active. National Disability Sports Organisations

British Blind Sport

Cerebral Palsy Sport

British Blind Sport provides visually impaired (VI) people with the opportunity to participate in sport and physical activity. They run a national event programme and number of ‘have a go’ days in a range sports for VI children and adults. British Blind Sport prides itself on ‘making a visible difference in sport’.

Cerebral Palsy Sport is the country’s leading sports organisation supporting people who have cerebral palsy to reach their potential. They provide advice and guidance on getting active, along with opportunities for people of all abilities to take part in sport.

www.britishblindsport.org.uk

www.cpsport.org

Dwarf Sports Association UK

The Dwarf Sports Association UK aims to make regular sporting opportunities accessible and enjoyable to anyone of restricted growth. They promote and develop recreational and competitive sport and physical activity opportunities across the UK. www.dsauk.org

English Learning Disability Sport Alliance (ELDSA) ELDSA is a partnership between Special Olympics Great Britain and Mencap Sport, who work together to promote sport and physical activity opportunities for people with a learning disability. They believe that people with a learning disability should have the same

sporting opportunities of non-disabled people. Mencap website: www.mencap.org.uk/sport Special Olympics Great Britain website: www.specialolympicsgb.org.uk

UK Deaf Sport

WheelPower

LimbPower supports amputees and people with limb impairments reach their sporting potential. The Charity aims to put each amputee and limb impaired person in touch with the right sport and leisure activity for their needs and ability.

UK Deaf Sport encourages people who are deaf or hard of hearing to participate, enjoy and excel at sport. They provide information, advice and expertise to individuals and organisations to enable more deaf and hearing of hard people to reach their full potential in sport and physical activity.

WheelPower, the national charity for wheelchair sport, provides opportunities, facilities and equipment to enable disabled people to participate in sport and lead healthy active lives. They promote and deliver opportunities in recreational and competitive sport for people with a physical or locomotor impairment.

www.limbpower.com

www.ukdeafsport.org.uk

www.wheelpower.org.uk

LimbPower

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PRODUCTS

Après Body Dryer Prices available on request

Towel drying can cause all sorts of issues for people with limited mobility or sensitive skin. The Après Body Dryer provides an unrivalled drying experience, enclosing the user in waves of warm air that assist to relax sore joints and soothe skin. The Après Body Dryer is simple to use and is easily operated by a pressure switch which can be conveniently positioned on the floor or the wall. Using The Après Body Dryer daily reduces lime scale and mould in your shower area. The Après Body Dryer is environmentally friendly, hygienic, and more economical than using a towel. By using the Après Body Dryer every day, users will naturally reduce their laundry, in turn the environment will benefit from less contamination of harmful soap detergents to our oceans, as well as saving millions of litres of water, reducing pollution and saving energy. Regal Care Shower Trays Ltd 01704 841 266 www.rcstl.co.uk

Prices from £34.95

Radius Garden Tool Set These ergonomically designed garden tools are strong, lightweight and kind to the hands and wrists. The easy grip handles are designed to follow the curve of the palm to minimise stress on hands and wrists while creating more leverage. The gardening tools are suitable for any keen gardener and are ideal for those with arthritis or weak hands and wrists. The set of four tools consists of a hand cultivator, hand transplanter, hand weeder and hand trowel. Also available to purchase separately. designed2enable 0800 772 3771 designed2enable.co.uk

50 www.posabilitymagazine.co.uk

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Loopwheels Loopwheels are shock-absorbing wheels with integral suspension to give better performance and greater comfort for active wheelchair users. Loopwheels have been designed to help wheelchair users with going over uneven streets, rough tracks, cobbles, grass and gravel paths, with less effort and the carbon springs give extra power to get up or down kerbs. Loopwheels are more comfortable than standard wheels: they absorb tiring vibration, as well as bumps and shocks. They are extremely strong and durable. With quick release axles and available in 24” and 25” diameter, Loopwheels fit most active wheelchairs. Loopwheels are a patent pending British invention, engineered and made in Nottinghamshire by a small family-run business, Jelly Products Ltd. They were invented and developed by mechanical engineer and industrial designer Sam Pearce from Nottinghamshire. He worked with a small local company, KG Archery, manufacturers of archery bows, on the development of the springs for Loopwheels. Following a successful crowdfunding campaign earlier this year, Loopwheels for wheelchairs are now in production.

Prices from £695

MOTOmed Muvi Sam said: “The feedback we’ve had from the people who have been trialling Loopwheels for us on their chairs since last year in fantastic. I believed the idea was a good one, but I never imagined just how much of a huge difference Loopwheels could make to people every day. The wheels are more comfortable and help you get about more easily. I’m delighted with the reaction from wheelchair users to my wheels.” Loopwheels info@loopwheels.com www.loopwheels.com

The latest member of the MOTOmed family is the first machine of its kind to feature simultaneous arm and leg training, this means reduced therapy effort and more effective training results. A large touchscreen with simple, easy to use software features interactive therapy programmes, training analysis and music and video. For more information please contact Medimotion Ltd at the details below. Medimotion Ltd 01559 384 097 sales@medimotion.co.uk www.medimotion.co.uk

Gordon Ellis Panda Range The innovative new Panda Range is made from bamboo wood, which is attractive, strong and naturally resistant to water, without compromising on style. The Panda Step can be used by the bath, bed, or anywhere someone needs a step up. The Panda Cubes give traditional furniture raiser cubes a modern twist. The Panda Curved Transfer Board features four slip resistant pads for extra surface grip, with rounded edges for comfort and to make it easier to clean. Gordon Ellis & Co 01332 810 504 enquiries@gordonellis.co.uk www.gordonellis.co.uk

Prices available on request

Prices available on request

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quarter_page_posability_magazine_ad_1-0-2_outlines.pdf 1 30/07/2015 12:40:41

Bibbleplus+

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All images © Peter Rimmer

SPORT

Russia edge Ukraine to retain CP World Championships

R

Dimitri Pestretsov (Russia) rising above the English defence

By Peter Rimmer

ussia retained their world crown in the Cerebral Palsy Football World Championships 2015 after two weeks of intense competition, narrowly beating their closest rivals, Ukraine, by a single goal scored by Alexander Kuligin in front of a near capacity crowd at St George’s Park, Burton on Trent, the home of the English Football Association. Fifteen teams battled for the honours in four qualifying groups with a quarter-final spot guaranteeing a place at the Rio Paralympics in 2016. Northern Ireland and Scotland failed to emerge from their respective groups but England and the Republic of Ireland reached the quarter finals, with England securing fifth place their highest finish at a world championships - defeating the Republic of Ireland 2-0 with goals from Matthew Crossen and Jack Rutter, his eighth goal of the championships. David Garza (2), Seth Jahn and Adam Ballou guaranteed USA a place at the Paralympics in 2016 as they defeated Argentina 4-1 to ensure a seventh-place finish. Matias Fernandez scored for Argentina who had goalkeeper Gustavo Nahuelquin sent off in the first half for kicking out at Ballou. Garza scored from the resulting spot-kick past

substitute goalkeeper Claudio Figuera. While Brazil, The Netherlands and Australia demonstrated good technical skills, it was the Eastern European teams who came out on top with their impregnable defences, creative midfield play and clinical finishing. The organisation, technical ability and physical presence of both Russia and Ukraine were evident from the kick-off. A closely fought final saw both goalkeepers forced into early saves in the first quarter but Russia started to dominate the game and were rewarded in the 44th minute when Kuligin was on hand to tap home the rebound after Pestretsov’s shot was blocked. Ukraine pressed for an equaliser but Vladislav Raretckii in the Russian goal - beaten just once in six games at the tournament - made a series of fine saves to deny them, and the woodwork came to the rescue with only five minutes left when Oleh Len’s shot beat the keeper only to cannon off the upright and bounce to safety. Earlier in the day Brazil secured third-place with a resounding 6-0 victory against The Netherlands. A Wanderson hat-trick, two goals from Fernandes and a last minute goal from substitute Evandro wrapped up the win in a match in which both sides also missed penalties. �

The England team

Ryan Nolan goes close for the Republic of Ireland

Goalmouth action - Australia v Portugal

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IPC Swimming World Championships Day One

Day one of the games saw an impressive start as Dias set a new Championship record (35.34), narrowly beating home favourite Andrew Mullen (37.68) in their long anticipated face-off in the men’s 50m backstroke S5. A major shock came when Ellie Simmonds placed second in the women’s 400m freestyle S6, narrowly beaten by Ukraine’s Yelyzaveta Mereshko. Simmonds had won gold in the race at every major international event since 2008.

Russia came out top with 71 medals in total, with 32 gold, 19 silver and 20 bronze. Ukraine took second position with 63 medals and the US with 30 in total.

Above: Australia’s Tiffany Kane takes gold and GB’s Ellie Simmonds settles for bronze All images © Peter Rimmer

Great Britain came fifth in the medal table, just behind next year’s Paralympic hosts Brazil. Xavier Gonzalez, IPC CEO, said: “I would like to thank British Swimming and UK Sport for organising a fantastic IPC Swimming World Championships. “The feedback from athletes has been excellent and you only have to look at the number of world records to realise that they really enjoyed swimming in the Tollcross pool.”

Day Two

Thirteen year-old Australian Tiffany Kane made her sensational international debut with a world record at 1:34:95 in the women’s 100m breaststroke SB6, pushing Britain’s Charlotte Henshaw and Ellie Simmonds into silver and bronze. “It couldn’t have gone better today,” Kane said. “This morning I thought I could get close to it [the world record] from swimming a bit slower than I knew I could, and that I had a bit of a chance. “Rio is going to be good. Hopefully I get in. It’ll be really good and fun and hopefully a different journey for me.”

T

aking place at Glasgow’s Tollcross International Swimming Centre, the IPC Swimming World Championships saw a total of 38 world records set over the seven day event from 13th-19th July.

“It was such a tough race,” Simmonds said. “It was the best I could have done on the day to be honest. “

Day Three

Great Britain’s first gold came on day three courtesy of Paralympic champion Ollie Hynd, retaining his world title in the 200m individual medley SM8, setting a new European record in the process.

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Day Four

Ukraine saw great success throughout day four of the Championships, with a world record and six gold medals throughout the night’s finals, as well as three Championship records. USA’s Rebecca Meyers took her second world record and world title. After taking gold in the 200m individual medley on day two, the 20-year-old retained her 400m freestyle S13 title in an exciting face-off with previous world champion Ukranian silver medallist Anna Stetsenko, bringing down her mark from April by more than one second. Andy Mullen faced another intense race against rival Daniel Dias in the 50m butterfly S5, with Dias taking gold and Mullen settling for the bronze.

The success kept coming for Great Britain in the women’s 200m individual medley SM6. World and Paralympic gold medallist Ellie Simmonds took gold in the event for the third consecutive World Championships. “I just wanted to show everyone what I was made of tonight and hopefully that’s what I’ve done.” Completing the British haul was Sascha Kindred, who emerged Champion from a tense men’s 200m individual medley SM6.

Day Six

The penultimate day of the Championships saw another three world records. Ihar Boki took his fifth gold medal and second world best of the week in the 100m freestyle S13, continuing from his earlier success.

Delighting the home support, GB’s Tully Kearney took her second gold of the week in the women’s 400m freestyle S9 while team-mate Hannah Russell took gold in the 50m freestyle S12 after a close race. Dias kept his clean sheet intact in the men’s 100m breaststroke SB4, his sixth gold medal in as many days.

Belarus’ Ihar Boki set his second world record of the Championships and his third world title of the week in the men’s 100m backstroke S13.

Day Five

Day five saw a sensational comeback for the GB squad, confidently swimming their way to victory after the week’s poor start. 20-year-old Ollie Hynd took down his brother’s world record in the 400m freestyle S8.

Brazilian Dias maintained his streak, winning his third gold medal in the men’s 200m freestyle, with Glasgow’s own Andy Mullen placing silver.

Above (left): 18 year old Tully Kearney wins her third gold for Great Britain Above (right): Dias of Brazil celebrating one of his many victories

Day Seven

Completing a full-house of the world titles across all seven days of the competition, Daniel Dias came out of the Championships as the most decorated athlete. The 27-yearold Brazilian will be set to defend his titles at his home Paralympic Games at Rio 2016. Belarusian Ihar Boki made it an incredible five world records and six golds, making the 21-year-old a now 16-time world champion. The last day brought a famous ‘Tollcross roar’ with GB’s 18-year-old Tully Kearney winning her third gold of the Championships. Team GB took a fantastic finish to the Championships retaining their world title in the women’s 4x100m medley relay.

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

Calvert Trust Exmoor enables people of any ability to experience challenging and enjoyable activity holidays. At our fully accessible residential centre on the edge of Exmoor National Park all activities are specifically designed and equipped to cater for everyone. Stay with us for a few days, a week, or come just for the day; however long you are here you will discover it's what you CAN do that Counts!

Maison des Landes is a hotel catering exclusively for disabled guests and their families or carers in accommodation which has been specially designed to meet their needs. Set in glorious unspoiled countryside overlooking a major international heritage area. Heated indoor pool with ramps and hoists : En-suite facilities including walk-in showers : Gardens with magnificent views : Licensed lounge : Pétanque (a version of bowls ideal for players in wheelchairs!): Daily Island tours in specially adapted minibuses if you don’t want to drive. Open from the beginning of April to the end of October

RATES per person per day include full board accommodation, daily excursions and transfers to harbour and airport and return. CONTACT US NOW FOR A BROCHURE St Ouen, Jersey JE3 2AA Tel: 01534 481683 Fax 01534 485327 Email: contact@maisondeslandes.co.uk Website: www.maisondeslandes.co.uk

01598 763221  

exmoor@calvert-trust.org.uk 

0333 331 3764 Calls to 0333 numbers are usually chargeable at a local rate from both UK landlines and mobile phones. These calls are usually included within network providers' "free minutes" packages. Lines are open Monday to Friday 9am - 5.30pm. Calls may be recorded and monitored for your protection. Fish Insurance is a trading name of Fish Administration Ltd which is authorised and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority. FULL_SERVICE_ADVERT_020715

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31/07/2015 08:50


Ki Ki Ki ds ds ds Ki K K i ds d id s s Ki ds

In

the modern world, access to the internet, via computers, tablets or mobiles, is essential for tasks like shopping, searching for local services, booking appointments or finding work. Many of us take this ‘right to be online’ for granted. But for families raising disabled children, devices such as these can be even more vital – as they can be used to help children to learn, develop and communicate in ways that were not possible even 10 years ago. Limited finances mean many families on low incomes have to struggle on without such technology. However, the Family Fund, the UK’s largest provider of grants to low-income families raising disabled and seriously ill children, has been helping to give these families an equal chance when it comes to providing technology to help support the needs of their children. And with the help of Stone Group, a UK IT services provider, the Family Fund can supply thousands of these much-needed devices.

a month Fred was seen at Great Ormond Street hospital and diagnosed with Familial Exudative Vitreoretinopathy (FEVR), a genetic progressive eye disorder affecting the growth and development of blood vessels in the retina of the eye. “At the time we were living in London and we were lucky we received the diagnosis quickly,” says Karen. “Being severely sight impaired means Fred needs full time support to understand the world around him. He needs extra time and resources so he can learn at home.” Fred is thriving in mainstream school and has full time support by a Teaching Assistant who is also a Braillist. “We feel very fortunate. Fred has made great friends at school and is loving learning, though he does tire very quickly due to his visual impairment.”

KIDS

More Than Just an iPad Karen knew about the work of the Family Fund before Fred was born but it was the Early Years Services who reminded her of how the Family Fund could help. To help Fred’s emerging independence, Mum applied for a grant for a special low bed so that he can negotiate independent movements without injuring himself. An award was also made for a light box which has been very useful in offering a play environment that is adaptable and creative. Fred uses this for all sorts of play and learning, from ABC to dinosaurs. Since that first application, Family Fund has also helped with an Apple iPad and a playhouse, which will become a sensory den. The iPad in particular has helped Fred’s learning and development at home, reinforcing what he has learnt at school. Due to Fred’s visual impairment, technology is going to prove an invaluable tool in his life. It is very important that he is able to use what sight he has alongside technology to achieve his potential.

Fred’s story

”It is astonishing to see how quick he has picked it up and is using it in all kinds of useful ways. A lifelong skill.”

When Fred attended his six-week check-up, mum Karen expressed concerns about his eye focus. Within 24 hours Fred had been referred to the UCLH Eye Clinic. Then within

“The Family Fund have helped us in so many different ways over the last few years and really made a difference to not only  www.posabilitymagazine.co.uk 57

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KIDS

Ki Ki Ki Ki d Ki d ds ds ds s s Ki Ki K K d ds id id Ki s s s Ki ds ds Whenever you think of autism, you think of a child who just can’t exist in the world. He’s spinning, he’s bouncing, he’s running about, he can’t cope with everything Oscar’s first full spoken sentence wasn’t “I love you mummy” as mum had hoped, but rather “Where’s my iPad mummy?” Caroline still celebrated this breakthrough because “I love you mummy” followed quickly and he hasn’t stopped saying it since.

Fred’s life but all of us as a family. Without them we would probably have got into more debt to give Fred the things he needs to help him develop and thrive.”

“The iPad enables Oscar to be grounded, it allows him to be present where we are as a family, doing what we are doing at that time.”

Oscar’s story

“Oscar was completely non-verbal so we had been using a combination of Makaton sign language and PECS communication system. The iPad enabled us to introduce more fun ways to interact with Oscar to get him to communicate. We began to upload photos of everyday things that would provide visual clues to the day resulting in less frustration and meltdowns – a picture of granddad let him know it was time for a visit and a picture of the car showed that it was time to go out.”

Caroline is mum to six year old twins Oscar and Ava. Oscar was diagnosed with Autistic Spectrum Disorder in 2009 when he was two years old. Oscar’s diagnosis affected every aspect of family life, from Caroline giving up work to care for him – resulting in the loss of one wage, to the structure that is in place to make sure Oscar remains as calm and secure as possible. Caroline, who lives in Northern Ireland, was put in contact with the Family Fund in 2010 by her health visitor and immediately noted the positive impact that the work of the Family Fund has had on her family facing the extra strain of caring for a child with a disability. Oscar’s issues manifest themselves in many ways. “Whenever you think of autism, you think of a child who just can’t exist in the world. He’s spinning, he’s bouncing, he’s running about, he can’t cope with everything,” says Caroline. The Family Fund helped to ease those issues with the provision of an iPad.

Oscar soon mastered the use of apps and was soon forming sentences on the iPad such as “I want juice”. The value of this has been immeasurable and Oscar can be found reinforcing his schoolwork through a carefully selected app. “It’s improved every aspect of Oscar’s life, its improved family life, it’s helped every aspect of his learning, his socialising, his interaction - all those type of things. The things that people with autism would struggle with, it has helped with it all,” says Caroline.

Caroline has seen first hand how developments in technology can help remove barriers for Oscar and improve his communication and development. This growing awareness amongst families has seen a growth in requests for a grant for computers or tablets. Working with Stone Group to source the most suitable devices, the Family Fund in 2014/2015 provided over 13,000 families with these types of devices.

Making an application

To make an application, a form can be downloaded from the Family Fund website (www.familyfund.org.uk) and the parent or carer of the disabled child or young person can make applications for a grant. Young people aged 16 and 17 can also make an application in their own right. Then, if funding is available, and the income and eligibility criteria have been met, then the Family Fund will provide the device via the Stone Group to the family. For more information please visit www.familyfund.org.uk and www.stonegroup.co.uk

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The Limbless Association - a national charity that provides support to amputees and the limb loss community

Services include:

Protective watertight covers for injured legs and arms. Protecting you from water and water from you! The proof of the product is in the wearing – please see our videos to prove the point: http://youtu.be/2S3hvIqSvkA http://youtu.be/4niQ_JK7fJ0 http://youtu.be/6v7-AvyPlto http://youtu.be/ydzq0U3Rwwg

Our full product range is on our website www.buddycover.com Our arm product range is ideal for amputees, you can contact us on 0800 2700072 or you can email joanna@buddycover.com

 Volunteer Visitors – free peer to peer visits from an LA amputee member;  Help Bureau – free & impartial advice;  Limb Loss Legal Panel – free legal advice from a group of specialist law firms;  Step Forward magazine – a quarterly publication providing news, views and advice;  Local support – learn about local services, facilities and local User and Support Groups;  Website – containing useful information and links;  Sports+ - advice on keeping fit and sports activities;  Welfare Benefits – Updated information & Support;

Contact us for more information

 0800 644 0185

 www.limbless-association.org

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Wheelchair Accessible Vehicle Converters Association

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Are you raising a disabled child or young person? Our grants may be able to help

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Are you responsible for paying a carer? Would you like someone to manage this for you? Paypacket’s comprehensive payroll and pensions support service includes: ●

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31/07/2015 08:51


KidsTS’ PRODUC

KIDS

We bring you a selection of innovative products avaible to help children with disabilities lead more independent lives.

Thudguard

The Thudguard baby helmet is designed to help absorb and reduce the impact of injuries due to a fall or collision. The ½ inch thick impact tested protective foam hat has a comfortable circumference band allowing for growth and ventilation and an adjustable chinstrap. The ultra-lightweight materials avoid pressure on developing neck muscles. Thudguard 07778 986405 wwww.mail@theguard.com

Prices start

£12.00

Prices

£27.99

Ear Defenders

Ear defenders can be a great tool for children who may experience sensory overload or processing difficulties. Background noise can cause difficulty with these disorders and can be distracting or disturbing. The defenders can also be great for noisy concerts or planes. Weighing in at only 190 grams the Banz earmuffs come in two sizes, Mini (0-2) and Kidz (2-5) with a stretchy band meaning they ‘grow with you’. The ear defenders come in a variety of cool colours and prints. Baby Banz 01963 240 803 louise@babybanz.com www.europe.babybanz.com

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The Mustang

Like it’s namesake, the Mustang powerchair has a ‘super car’ look and feel. The compact 60x60cm wheelbase offers a full range of support with a very low centre of gravity offering superb stability. The large tilt range has a number of benefits designed to support a variety of needs. The Seat Riser also helps adapt to various work heights at home or school. The Mustang can also be adapted to use a wide range of controller systems such as joysticks, switches and even head switches. Activate 01722 340 600 www.activateforkids.co.uk Prices start

£7,999

Tiki Childrens Crutches

Fully adjustable, these colourful children’s crutches are designed to accommodate a growing child, adjusting from 55 to 78cm. Made from heavy duty, lightweight aluminium, these crutches are as fun as they are supportive. The colourful moulded plastic forearm adjusts in three positions with adjusting clips and cushion tips colour matched to the rest of the crutch. The crutches are available in Turquoise/Violet and Blue/Orange. Tiki Childrens Crutches 01273 719 889 contact@essentialaids.com www.essentialaids.com

Prices

£35.00 for a pair

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KIDS

Makies Dolls

Makies recently hit the headlines for their innovative design-your-own dolls. Not only is nearly every part of the doll customisable, but they are now available with a variety of #ToysLikeMe endorsed extras such as walking canes, hearing aids and cochlear implants. You can change a doll’s eyes, hair and skin colour as well as even requesting the doll without makeup, or with a removable wig. The dolls are made using 3D printing techniques from high quality non toxic nylon plastic before being assembled by hand in London. The company are also taking suggestions and are striving to make new additions to the extras they currently have on offer. Prices vary depending on customisations. Makies 020 3322 3323 www.mymakie.com

GoTo Seat

The GoTo seat is a lightweight portable seating solution for children needing additional postural support and stability. Available in two sizes and three colours, the lightweight (1.4kg) but highly supportive structure means it’s easy for your child to safely and comfortably take part in everyday family life. The flexible design allows GoTo to be fitted safely to any standard dining chair or supermarket trolley. The five point harness with easily adjustable front buckle gives maximum postural support across a child’s shoulders, lap and crotch. As a bonus the covers are machine washable. Price £145 with 7% going to charity Cerebra Firefly 028 9267 8879 enquiries@fireflyfriends.com www.fireflyfriends.com

Prices

£145.00

G-tube Accessible Denim Dixie Dress This sleeveless denim dress is adapted to make access to feeding tubes easy via a concealed slit on the left hand side of the bodice. This fully adapted dress is designed for extraspecial needs such as G-tube access, it can also accommodate a back brace. Made from a super soft, 100% organic cotton denim this dress is fully lined with organic gingham and finished with a cute wooden button. It has been designed to make dressing as easy as possible. The sides can be fully opened to enable the dress to go over the head whilst seated in a wheelchair or lying down and fastened using steel poppers. Pre-washed. Made in the UK. Machine washable at 30ºC. Available in ages: 3 to 11 Queenie, Godfrey and Company 01947 605466 info@queenieandcompany.co.uk www.queenieandcompany.co.uk

Prices from

£45.00

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31/07/2015 09:00


NEW EVENT

Independent Living Scotland Scotland’s most exciting homecare and independent living event opens its doors this October Do you have plans this October? One event you won’t want to miss is Independent Living Scotland, taking place at the SECC, Glasgow from the 7th – 8th October. Independent Living Scotland is the ideal destination if you have a disability or long-term condition, or even if you are more elderly and looking for solutions for independent living - you’ll find inspiration at every turn. Attend with a family member, carer or healthcare professional and discover lots on offer and a great day out too! With free entry, plenty of parking and an easily accessible venue, you’ll be able to discover the right products that work for you or for those you care for at Scotland’s leading disability and independent living event. Enjoy the chance to test what is available on the market and discuss the benefits of each with those really in the know. Make a date in your diary today! 1,000s of new products on display With a focus on inspiration, innovation and choice, Independent Living Scotland is committed to offering its visitors just that. From daily living aids to adapted cars, telecare to children’s equipment, ramps and hoists to charities and adaptation advice, it is all on display.

and Whizz-Kidz who offer independence to kids through the provision of mobility equipment and more! Find the perfect mobility solution If you are thinking of investing in an adapted vehicle or are keen to test the latest wheelchair, but want the very best choice then look no further. Mobility companies including Allied Mobility, PL Mobility, Albion Mobility, Lewis Reed, Mobility Scotland and Evans Halshaw Ford Glasgow will be on hand offering the chance to discover the most appropriate product for your needs. Unmissable advice all under one roof Get invaluable free advice from an occupational therapist at the new ‘Meet the Expert’ Zone. Here you can benefit from a dedicated one-to-one meeting with an OT – spaces are limited and can be booked onsite.

Blind, Spinal Injuries Scotland, Motability, Leonard Cheshire Disability Scotland, Deafblind Scotland, Glasgow Disability Alliance, Quarriers and Update are just some of the companies who will be on hand to aid and assist. Be first with all the latest show news Join the conversation on Twitter @ILScot or visit facebook.com/IndLivingScotland where you’ll shortly find competitions, free downloads and more. Head to Independent Living Scotland this October Independent Living Scotland is open to everyone, and offers free entry to all. Join friends, family and colleagues this 7th – 8th October at Independent Living Scotland – quote code EDPS2 when registering for your free entry tickets at www.independentlivingscotland.org. We look forward to seeing you there!

Independent Living Scotland is also home to leading Scottish charities and associations providing you with access to advice, support and information. Citizens Advice Scotland, Guide Dogs for the

Discover market-leading brands including: Rompa with their multi-sensory rooms, Invacare who will be showcasing the TDX@ centre wheel drive and Storm4 Xplore powerchairs, Touch Bionics a worldleading prosthetic technologies provider, SmitCare home of the DreamMaster Mattress Elevator and Medeci PillowLifter,

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| MOTORING | MOTORING | MOTORING | MOTORING | MOTORING | MOTORING | MOTORING | M MOTORING

Smart ForFour

W

hen you think of a Smart car, images of those super minis for two people spring to mind; buzzing around the narrow city streets or squeezed into the tightest of parking spaces with their front facing the kerb. However earlier this year Smart introduced their new ForFour, offering a more practical alternative to the ForTwo model but still with all the fun. The Smart ForFour is available in three trims (Passion, Proxy and Prime), all available on the Motability scheme with a 1.0 litre petrol engine. We took the middle of the range Prime model for a spin around Glasgow and tested it out on both the city streets and the motorway.

The drive Light steering and good suspension make

the Smart ForFour easy and enjoyable to drive. The front of the car is very narrow, thanks to the engine being positioned in the rear, making it a breeze to manoeuvre in the city streets, as well as making things easier when trying to park in tight spaces. The ForFour also copes well at speed however driving on the motorway can be slightly intimidating, as the car feels quite vulnerable due to its size, but this could be said of any similar-sized city car.

The look The exterior of the car is quite striking as it features not one but two colours. The model we drove was black and white but a variety of other colour combinations are available. The Prime model also gets you 15-inch alloy wheels which were painted in black with a high sheen finish.

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OTORING | MOTORING | MOTORING | MOTORING | MOTORING | MOTORING | MOTORING | MOTORING | MOTORING | MOTORING |

the driver a variety of information, however some of the other dials such as the rev counter do feel a bit cheap.

Practicality The 5-door ForFour may be small but it is very accessible for its size. The back doors can open out to an angle of 90 degrees, making it easy to get the kids into the child seats.

Also with the Prime model, the roof is in fact panoramic which enables you to let some extra light in, giving the illusion of a bigger cabin. The glass features a slight tint that keeps 60% of the sun’s energy and 100% UV radiation outside. There is also an adjustable fabric sunblind to use.

Interior Just like the exterior, the interior was also two-tone. The dashboard was in fact covered with black upholstery, as was the centre of the doors, alongside white plastic. The seats were part black leather with white top stitching and these are heated in the Prime model and above. If you are choosing a city car, you will already have decided that space is not a priority. The driver and passenger have plenty of legroom in order to get comfortable, again thanks to the engine being in the rear, however headroom is limited and passengers around the six feet mark are sure to feel a bit restricted. As with most other city cars, room in the back is also limited. There is space for two passengers and a panel with cup holders in between but legroom is restricted and passengers in the back will experience the same limits in headroom. Visibility for the driver is also quite restricted through the back due to the size and shape of the rear windscreen, which is further compounded if there are passengers in the back. The touchscreen infotainment system on the centre of the dashboard is about the size of an iPad Mini, which you can use to control the radio, music and use your mobile phone via Bluetooth. There are also controls on the steering wheels for volume and other functions. Behind the steering wheel is a 3.5 inch digital screen, showing

There are a number of areas for storage in the cabin, including a small glove box, door bins on all four doors and cup holders in the front centre console and in the back beside the foot wells. There is also a handy holder for your sunglasses. The boot is a reasonable size at 180 litres and you can also fold down the rear seats to be completely flat to offer additional space. There is also no boot lip to negotiate, which can make loading and unloading a lot easier. Climate control, central locking with radio remote control, electric front windows, and start/stop technology all come as standard with numerous other features available depending on the model you choose.

Safety The ForFour received four out of five stars for safety in the Euro NCAP crash tests. Five airbags, stability control, tyre pressure monitoring system, anti-lock brakes, alarm system with immobiliser, crosswind assist and hill hold control are standard on all models, as well as cruise control with speed limiter. ISOFIX fittings are also included on the back seats. If you opt for the Prime you will also get lane assist, which warns you if you are accidently venturing out of your designated lane. Other features such as rear parking sensors, forward collision warning and rear view camera are also available at an extra cost.

Smart ForFour Prime Fuel type: Petrol Average mpg: 67.3 Brake horsepower: 70 CO2 emissions (g/km): 97 Advanced payment from ÂŁ0

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Supporting children, young people and adults with disabilities for over 230 years. ACTIVITIES EMPLOYMENT TRAINING EDUCATION ACCOMMODATION RESPITE ASSESSMENT THERAPIES FUN

www.discoverhannahs.org | enquiries@discoverhannahs.org Dame Hannah Rogers Trust a registered charity no. 1148882

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MOTORING | MOTORING | MOTORING | MOTORING | MOTORING | MOTORING | MOTORING | MOTORING |

WAVS

Fiat Qubo Go from Sirus Automotive

T

he Fiat Qubo is the most compact wheelchair accessible vehicle on the market today. No longer than a standard family hatchback it’s able to be used in standard car parking spaces or multi storey car parks easily. The short lightweight ramp is very easy to use and with it being shorter than the tailgate it means that if you have room to open the boot, you can deploy the ramp, even in very tight spaces. Fitted with the now familiar inertia-reel front restraints, attaching the wheelchair tie downs is easy and straightforward and completed while the wheelchair or scooter is at the bottom of the ramp before loading in. This arrangement makes it far easier than having to lean through a side door to fasten the restraints on once the wheelchair is in position inside the car. With restraints in place simply press the switch and as you guide the wheelchair or scooter up the ramp into the car the slack is taken up for you. An advantage of this system is of course that should you lose your footing or unexpectedly let go of the wheelchair or

scooter, it won’t come rolling back down the ramp on its own. Once the wheelchair or scooter is in place, the rear Q’Straint reels simply slide and click onto their mounting points behind the chair. Turn them around to face the back of the wheelchair and pull out the hook, attach to the chair and they self tighten into place. Minimal fuss and extremely quick to use. If you’re using a wheelchair and travelling sat in it, at this point you use the three point seatbelt and you’re now ready to go. If you’re just transporting a scooter or empty wheelchair then you’re already done and the seatbelt isn’t necessary. There’s a rear seat included as standard in the car and unlike some models seen years before it’s a proper adult size seat with lateral support, a headrest and integral seatbelt. Inside the cabin the Qubo is a nice place to be. Far more like a car than some larger WAVs can be, it feels compact but not cramped. Switchgear is all within easy reach and standard equipment is good in the MyLife trim level the vehicle is based upon.

Air Conditioning, light power steering, CD player with MP3 connectivity and Bluetooth hands free are all included. The light and slick gearbox in the manual versions only goes to further the car like comparison of the Qubo. With large windows up front and small pillars visibility is excellent, underlining its city car credentials and making parking very easy. Headroom for passengers both in seats or sat in a wheelchair is very good and far more than you would usually expect from a vehicle this size. With the 1.4 petrol engine suiting those who do lower mileage or more in-town driving and the 1.3 Diesel Multijet with its excellent economy figures for those who travel further afield, the Qubo has a configuration to suit most requirements. Available now to purchase new for £13,495.00 or from just £245 per month the Qubo is a great choice for those people who prefer to buy or just don’t qualify for the Motability scheme. For more information call 0121 505 7777 or visit www. sirusautomotive.co.uk. www.posabilitymagazine.co.uk 69

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CAREERS

g n i t r a Kickst your media

career

F

rom journalist and comedian Alex Brooker to actress Francesca Martinez and everyone in between, disabled personalities have been gracing our screens and ears increasingly over the past few years and it shows no signs of slowing down. Thankfully, stigmatisation of disabled people is fading fast and increased representation in the media can only help. The Creative Diversity Network (CDN) was founded in 2011. It runs as a forum, paid for by its members, with the aim of bringing together organisations across the UK’s media industry, to promote, celebrate and share good practice around the idea of diversity, seeking to drive change and understand the case for wider representation. Amanda Ariss, Executive Director of CDN said: “TV can’t afford to miss out on the talent and skills of disabled people. Although we still have work to do to get more BME people into TV, I’m determined

that CDN will also be at the forefront of the drive to attract more disabled people into the industry. And the new Diamond diversity monitoring system will shine a clear light on the extent to which disabled people are portrayed on UK television.” Together, major broadcasters like BBC, Channel 4, ITV and Turner aim to take joint responsibility for action on diversity. So, with broadcasters striving to ensure greater inclusion and coverage both on air, on screen and behind the scenes, the only thing left for you to do is read all about it, and kick start your media career.

specialist knowledge of something and so this is a great way in. Whether it’s sport or history or science, TV likes an expert.” said Mik. Like many others in the industry, Mik recommends making your own opportunities in the world of the media. The internet can open up so many chances for young disabled people to get into wider work in the industry. “I had to retire from the media at the start of the 2000s, due to ill health, and I was  Mik Scarlet

On the screen Mik Scarlet has been working within many aspects of the media for the best part of 30 years. Mik was the first disabled TV presenter to work on mainstream national TV in the UK. From here, his media career rocketed, from presenting TV and radio, playing Prince Charming in panto to writing for newspapers, magazines and columns. “It’s a tough work to break into, so my advice is become an expert at something. TV is always hungry for people who have www.posabilitymagazine.co.uk 71

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only well enough to return this decade. I really thought that my media career was over, but using my blog and social media has allowed me to rebuild it in a way I never thought possible. To me it’s the greatest tool ever, and I only wish it existed back in the 1990s, when I was a TV presenter. I cannot sing the praises of blogging and social media enough.”

“My advice to someone trying to break into radio would be to start off with hospital radio, they are always looking for volunteers and it’s a great place to start. That’s where I started and worked my way up to community radio. A lot of radio stations now are looking for experience and a demo, so having that behind you is a big help.”

On the air If you’re a bit camera shy then maybe the big screen isn’t for you. If you have the gift of the gab and you’d like to get involved with radio there are a number of opportunities available for all types of abilities.

“There are still barriers in media, that’s why media has to play a key role in breaking down these barriers. When the Commonwealth Games and Paralympics aired this showed the ability not just of disabled athletes but also disabled presenters on radio and TV.”

Michael McEwan is a young disabled journalist. Having always been interested in a career in the media Michael didn’t let the lack of opportunities put him off. Instead he created his own and found a way into the industry he longed to be a part of.

Blogging and Vlogging are both becoming increasingly popular ways to get involved in the media. The internet is becoming one of the most effective ways of bridging the gaps in disability, raising awareness and

On the net

Blogger: Bunny Hopkins

There are still barriers in media, that’s why media has to play a key role in breaking down these barriers

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CAREERS

Behind the scenes If you prefer not to be in the limelight then production work may be for you. At the London 2012 London Paralympics, 50% of Channel 4’s on-screen team were disabled. As one of CDN’s broadcasters committed to addressing the under-representation of disabled people in the media, Channel 4 have planned another revolution for Rio 2016, this time behind the camera. This year, Channel 4 offered 24 places on their production staff for disabled applicants, with the aim to train them up as production staff to the level required to work on the Rio Paralympic Games in 2016, and beyond that to build a career in sport production. Ade Rawcliffe, Channel 4’s Creative Diversity Manager said. “The London 2012 Paralympics were a real turning point and there is now better representation in the industry, but we all know we still have work to do. We are striving really hard at Channel 4 to improve the casting of disabled people across all our mainstream output from Deal or No Deal to Hollyoaks. But our work won’t be complete until we see a disabled lead actor playing James Bond.”

[Above] The Channel 4 2012 Paralympic Games presenting team

increasing representation. Not only is the audience broad and the reach big, but technology is increasingly accessible, so it’s easy to get involved no matter what your ability. Bloggers like Bunny Hopkins are helping to cultivate a healthier idea of disability in society. Through her blog posts, Bunny is aiming to show that there are plenty opportunities out there for people with disabilities. “This online platform is the best possible one to be using as someone with unpredictable health issues. It gives me the flexibility to work at my own pace most of the time and take breaks if I need to.” Bunny tells. “The only real issues occurred when I began to do more collaborative and sponsored work with brands, and when deadlines started to be thrown at me. As not only a

person with a disability, but a chronically ill person, I sometimes find it hard to be able to commit to a project with a strict deadline as I worry that I may let people down if I happen to have a run of “bad days” and can’t get any work done due to pain, fatigue, or brain fog. I’ve actually had to turn down quite a lot of opportunities because of this. However, there are many things I’ve still been able to take part in, including recently working on a major video campaign with Schwarzkopf as a model and blogger!” “For blogging, my biggest tip is finding your ‘voice’. If you can write well, that’s great, but if you can write with an interesting and unique style then you’re ahead of the game! YouTube and blogging are fantastic stepping stones to make your way into more traditional media platforms, as well as being an important enough form of new media now to actually offer serious career opportunities for many people.”

Ade’s advice for those wishing to get involved in the media is perhaps one of the more enjoyable ways of preparing for a job interview. “The advice is the same for everyone, watch lots of TV and have an opinion about what you like, don’t like and would do differently, have clear ideas about the shows you want to make, be enthusiastic and make sure you can demonstrate just how passionate and opinionated you are about TV in interviews.” Whilst applications for this scheme have now closed the broadcaster is committed to equal opportunities and increased representation, so most of their work schemes and apprenticeships are open to those with disabilities, with dedicated schemes arising often. Keep an eye on the 4Talent website and Twitter for all their latest opportunities. There is now a horde of opportunities out there for disabled talent, but there are so many chances for you to make your own big break. Look out for some of these fantastic opportunities or make your own. The (media) world is your oyster. www.posabilitymagazine.co.uk 73

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CAREERS

Get that Dream Job Online Activity and Employment Chances By Jane Hatton

Technology has changed the world beyond belief and none more so than the internet. For disabled people particularly, it can be a lifeline and a way of engaging with the outside world. Platforms such as Facebook mean that we can communicate with friends and family that it may be difficult to go out and meet face to face. It also offers us many opportunities in terms of looking for work. We can search for jobs online, apply for jobs online, research employers online. We can have a presence on platforms like LinkedIn to showcase our knowledge and help recruiters find us (more on this in the next edition).

would they find if they carried out a search on your name? What comes up if you put your name into Google? Go and try now – I’ll wait! If you have a common name, add your home town to your search phrase. Back? What did you discover? Some people find their name doesn’t appear anywhere at all, or not on the first few pages. Others may well come up in the search. Often this will be LinkedIn profiles (which is fine, because it is likely to be professional). But often it may be a status or three from Facebook. Did you check Google images as well? It may be that photographs posted on Facebook appear there too.

However, amongst the amazing benefits that the internet has given us, we need to be aware of the downsides when it comes to our chances of being employed. Just as we may research potential employers online to find out more about them, increasingly recruiters may do the same with short-listed candidates. The competition for jobs is still high, and employers and recruiters want to limit the risk of appointing the wrong person.

What you are happy for your friends and family to know about you (getting very drunk and making a fool of yourself, calling in sick when you had a hangover, making or sharing inappropriate jokes, for example) may well not be the first impression you want a prospective employer to have about you! Also you may have been very open about your disability online – again, information you may not want your potential employer to find out from that source.

When they have received all of the applications and short-listed a number of people to invite for interview, increasingly recruiters now carry out an internet search on each of the short-listed candidates. What

If this is the case, there is a limit to what you can do (other than think carefully before you post!), but there are two main actions you can take to reduce the damage. The first is to manage your ‘privacy settings’ on

platforms like Facebook. You can choose who can see your posts – just people you’ve connected with as friends’, people who are ‘friends of friends’ or ‘public’. These are fairly self-explanatory, but there are still things you need to be aware of. If you have been ‘tagged’ in someone else’s status or photograph, for example, it will show on their timeline and anyone who can see their timeline. The best way of moving search results you would rather your potential employer didn’t see further down the list of results (in extreme cases you can ask for particular entries to be removed, but this is complex and takes time) is to ensure that other, much more positive results come further up the list. One way to do that is to make full use of LinkedIn and possibly Google Plus as both have good results on Google. See the next edition of PosAbility for how you can really use LinkedIn to good effect. The best advice is to be very cautious about what you share on the internet on public platforms, manage your privacy settings with great care and actively post content which will impress employers if it comes up on an internet search. For further tips and jobs from inclusive employers who are looking to attract more disabled candidates have a look on the Evenbreak website, www.evenbreak.co.uk.

74 www.posabilitymagazine.co.uk

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30/07/2015 21:40


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Brain Teasers Puzzles are a great way to pass the time and keep your mind sharp. Why not take a break, make a cup of tea and give these puzzles a go? If you correctly complete the crossword and post it to us with your details, you could be in with the chance of winning £25. Good luck!

2. Fishermen 7. Seed containers 8. Temperate 9. Pools 10. Demented 11. Flag 12. Yonder 14. Poisonous fluid 16. Aromatic fragrance 18. Flow back 21. Eraser 23. Island in Western Samoa 24. Having a specific number of sides (Suffix) 25. The power to reject 26. Metal 27. Convent for nuns

Down

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8 4 7 2 8 5 1 8 6 2 4 7 7 9

1 4 6

2. Trembling poplar 3. Well-bred people 4. Banner 5. Wreck 6. Open and close the eye 13. Globe 15. Polygon having eight sides 17. Member of a crew 18. U.S. inventor 19. Horse restraint 20. Creates 22. In an inadequate manner Solutions to June/July crossword.

1 6

5

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3

Puzzle by websudoku.com

5 3 1 7

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8

6

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5

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Hard

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Crossword

PUZZLES

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Solutions The solutions to these puzzles will be printed in the next issue of PosAbility Magazine. Sudoku Solutions from June/July issue 2015 3 5 4 7 1 8 9 6 2

6 1 9 4 2 3 8 5 7

2 7 8 6 5 9 1 4 3

Easy

8 2 3 5 7 4 6 1 9

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Puzzle by websudoku.com

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5 6 1 2 8 9 7 3 4

8 3 9 6 1 7 5 4 2

1 5 2 9 3 4 8 7 6

Medium

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Complete the crossword correctly and send to PosAbility Magazine, Caledonia House, Evanton Drive, Thornliebank Ind Est, Glasgow, G46 8JT to be in with a chance of winning £25. www.posabilitymagazine.co.uk 77 Closing date 30th September 2015. 31/07/2015 10:46


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Irton House is a working sheep farm set in 240 acres of pasture and woodland, in a quiet, restful setting, with some of the finest views found in the Northern Lakes. We offer self-catering, specially designed, accessible accommodation for 2,4 and 6 people, with ramped access and ample parking. All properties have ground floor bedrooms, wetroom showers, grab rails and support bars to the raised toilets. For entertainment we have a games room with table tennis, pool table and snooker table. As proud winners of 2012 ‘Happy Holiday’ Award from Disabled Motoring UK readers, we continue to welcome returning guests year after year, many of whom comment that they “don’t want to go home”! Irton House Farm, Isel, Cockermouth, Cumbria CA13 9ST

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CHILDREN WELCOME

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Jubilee Jubilee Sailing Sailing Trust Trust 12 Hazel 12 Hazel Road Road Woolston Woolston Southampton Southampton SO19 SO19 7GA7GA

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Every issue is packed with information designed to help you Travel Reviews live life to the full, from products Expert travel reviews to help you Competitions and sports to holiday ideas and make the best choice when booking DearDear Member, Member, Exclusive competitions that give employment advice, so make sure your holiday. you the chance to win dream you don’t miss out on any future We have We have teamed teamed up with up with brand brand newnew magazine, magazine, PosAbility, PosAbility, to send to send youyou a complimentary a complimentary copycopy of the of the firstfirst issue. issue. TheThe holidays, amazing products and issues and subscribe today! magazine magazine is filled is filled withwith useful useful articles, articles, enjoyable enjoyable stories stories andand lots lots of competitions, of competitions, including, including, the the chance chance to win to win a a

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PosAbility PosAbility is allisabout all about living living independently independently andand actively, actively, something something youyou will will readread a lotaabout lot about in PosAbility. in PosAbility. ThisThis Like us on Facebook support in everyday living. issue issue looks looks intointo theyou the Paralympic Paralympic hopefuls hopefuls for 2012 for 2012 andand gives gives some some tipstips to those to those whowho are keen are keen to take to take a sport a sport up on up on Search for ‘PosAbility Magazine’ a serious a serious level. level. There There is also is also an article an article on Extreme on Extreme Sports Sports for the for more more adventurous reader, a look a look at the at the Wheelchair Wheelchair Wethe look atadventurous sportsreader, and activities Challenge Challenge taking taking place place nextnext month month andand an overview an overview of the of the Mobility Mobility Roadshow. Roadshow. available for you to get involved in

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helpat you lead healthy Regular columns and features on We hope We hope youyou enjoy enjoy reading reading PosAbility, PosAbility, if you if you would would like like to subscribe toto subscribe only at only £10 £10 fora1for year 1 year or £18 orlifestyle. £18 for 2for years, 2 years, please please use use the the form form below below to post todream post backback with with your your payment payment or call or call 0141 0141 582582 1475 1475 andand quote quote ‘Jubilee’ ‘Jubilee’ . . getting your job. Providing

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