Ability Needs Spring Q2 2024

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The essential journal on disability The essential journal on disability

Motoring and Mobility Adapting Your Home Exhibitions
Grey-Thompson DBE Team BRIT
Q2 2024 £2.00 £2.00
Why a home lift could be the right choice for you

Installing a home lift not only gives you the freedom to move around your home independently, transforming your quality of life both now and for years to come, but it’s a great long-term investment, too.

With an ever-increasing elderly population, and the increased number of disabilities among senior adults, the UK home lift market is growing rapidly. While the go-to solution is often a stair lift, a substantial proportion of customers look at alternatives due to not being suitable for a stair lift, having stairs that are unsuitable for a stair lift, or wanting a more stylish, discrete solution.

Choosing a home lift isn’t a decision that should be rushed. Each is designed for a specific purpose and with so many options, deciding upon the right one, and the right company to install it, can be daunting. Especially with cost, reliability, safety, and quality of service all of utmost importance.

With over 50 years of expertise designing and manufacturing our fully customisable lifts here in Britain, Terry Lifts is a leading home lift solution provider. We design and manufacture all our lifts at our factory in Cheshire, in full compliance with British Standards, and are proudly TrustMark registered. This means we’re perfectly placed to provide the most reliable products and best service possible and is our promise to you that we’ll provide skilled, trained, and competent tradespeople you can rely on.

We take the time to understand exactly what our customers need so that we can offer the perfect solution: designed, manufactured, and reliably installed by experts you can trust, to fit your home and your lifestyle. And not just for the purchase and installation, but throughout the lifetime of your lift, with warranties and maintenance you can depend upon for years to come. As members of the LEIA (Lift and Escalator Industry Association), you can rest assured Terry Lifts operates under a particular code of conduct that requires us to have all relevant technical and quality certifications and guarantee the supply of spare parts.

How does the process work? It couldn’t be simpler. First browse our wide range of home lifts, all fully compliant in line with British directives, and choose the one that’s right for you. With over 50 years of involvement in the private and local authority domestic marketplace, drawing on knowledge and experience with feasibility studies in all types and sizes of properties,

we’ve continually developed and expanded our product range, decreasing lift size, and increasing weight capacity in line with market trends, so you can be sure there’s something to meet your needs.

If space is an issue, why not check out our bestselling Lifestyle home lift? With the ability to fit neatly into a corner, it offers a discrete solution. Or look out for our innovative new product coming soon. It’s similar in style to the Lifestyle but with a more compact footprint to fit even the narrowest of spaces, providing a stylish and functional alternative to a stair lift.

Next, we’ll survey your home and provide a written quotation. Then, once we get permission, we’ll do all the necessary preparation work before the home installation. And don’t worry about inconvenience. Due to the expertise of our individually trained engineers, we know that Terry people will deliver reliably, and dependably every time, often in less than two days.

Better equipped and qualified, more compliant, and safer than our competitors, installing a Terry Lift will protect you today and tomorrow.

Fully customised to fit your home, and your lifestyle. Proudly designed and manufactured in Britain. Built to the highest quality and safety standards, and installed by experts we train ourselves. Everything you’d expect and nothing less from your trusted lift provider. The One TO TRUST FOR MORE, VISIT TERRYLIFTS.CO.UK When it comes to finding a lift, you can be sure the one you’re looking for will be the one you find at Terry Lifts.
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The One

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Pre-activated, ready-to-use intermittent catheter systems

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- Baroness Grey-Thompson DBE – With a General Election looming in the coming months, Tanni looks at how complicated the benefits system is for disabled people and how public transport needs more work to enable disabled people to travel 26

- Take care out there! – Eddie looks at the benefits of mobility scooters but, due to the increasing number of accidents, urges caution about where you purchase one from and recommends the best way to go about doing so

30 Industry Insight

- Safeguards today often aren’t there tomorrow – Angus discusses assisted dying and a renewed campaign for the law to be changed to allow this but points out that strong safeguards may become diluted over time, which has happened in other countries

40 Team BRIT

- Team BRIT driver set for epic 2024 season – Noah Cosby is preparing to take on the 2024 racing season thanks to a major new partnership with the Motability Scheme

47 Tea Break

- Take a break and put your knowledge to the test

The Liquick X-treme catheter system is a ready-to-use catheter for intermittent catheterisation that is designed to be intuitive and simple to apply virtually anywhere you need – for X-treme independence and comfort. The Liquick X-treme Plus catheter system has a preconnected urine bag making it convenient to use whenever you need to catheterise yourself. Scan to order free samples

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2 Ability Needs Magazine
Montgomerie Terrace, Ayr, KA7 1JL Tel 01292 287574 Fax 01292 266656 email: abilityneeds@btinternet.com web: www.abilityneeds.co.uk All Rights Reserved No part of this publication may be reproduced or used in any way without written permission of the publisher. The views expressed in this magazine are not necessarily those of the publisher and although every effort has been made to ensure that the information is accurate, the publishers take no responsibility for errors and omissions. No responsibility can be accepted by the publishers for any claims made by the advertisers in this publication. Contents
Motoring and ty AdaptingHomeYou Exhi Barone Grey-Thompson DBE Team BRIT ABILITY NEEDS NEEDS The essential journal on disability The SPRING Q2 2024 £2.00 £2.00 Quarterly Front cover photograph courtesy of TBC Conversions Purchase a digital copy of Ability Needs at www.magzter.com Follow us on
Motoring and Mobility
available in the
Tanni’s View
- Featuring the latest vehicles
Eddie Peacock
Teleflex Medical Europe Ltd., IDA Business and Technology Park, Dublin Road, Athlone, Co Westmeath, Ireland Phone +44 (0)1494 53 27 61 · Fax +44 (0)1494 52 46 50 ∙ orders.uk@teleflex.com ∙ www.teleflexurology.uk
Liquick X-treme and Liquick X-treme Plus
Teleflex is a registered trademark of Teleflex Incorporated or its a liates. © 2024 Teleflex Incorporated. All rights reserved. MCI-2024-0231-EN · REV 0 · 03 24 PDF These catheters are indicated for the routine drainage of urine from the bladder. Please see the Instructions for Use for a complete listing of the indications, contraindications, warnings and precautions
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Get out there with Triride

TRIRIDE ARE A market leader in the production of Power Add-on devices. Whether you want full electrical assistance, or a Hybrid assisted handcycle we have you covered. Simply attach to your manual wheelchair in seconds and discover a new Freedom.

The Triride Special Compact HT with all road tyre is a great all-rounder providing full electronic assistance. Small, compact, packed with plenty of

power to tackle those steeper inclines and handle some off-road use, but small enough and light enough to transport in the boot of your car.

Triride technology compliments the drive performance with Intelligent Cruise Control and

Intelligent Braking System makes driving with family and friends a breeze. Paired with Triride’s patented attachment method, fitting to most manual wheelchair is possible and customisable to each individual user requirements.

Wanting to go off the beaten track further? Combine any one of our Triride or Tribike models with the ground breaking MTW Trekking system. The Trekking Power system is an easily attachable rear axle system that provides you with three wheel drive power and ultimate traction to tackle almost any terrain, truly know no limits with Triride and the Trekking Power system. With it’s multi use you know have 3 systems in one, indoor with joystick, Triride only for the city and MTW power for your trekking desires.


Ability Needs Magazine 3
Find out more information on www.triride.uk

CCJ Conversions

- vehicle conversion specialists -

J CONVERSIONS are Lincolnshire's largest leading vehicle conversion specialists. With over 30 years experience, John founded the company back in 2003 and today leads a team of specialists in vehicle adaptations and conversions. Our technicians adhere to strict safety standards and all our installations and modifications are carried out in a manner consistent with the highest guidelines available in the industry. We fit a wide range of products which can help with many different situations.


The push/pull hand controls are usually operated with the fingertips while the thumb is on the wheel, allowing users to turn the vehicle and operate their acceleration and braking at the same time. Pulling operates the acceleration and Pushing operates the brake. There are options of an indicator switch on the top of hand controls, and we could also fit a Pedal Guard to ensure any pedals aren’t accidentally pressed.


Left Foot Accelerators can be fitted to most vehicles however we will need to check their availability first. The

most common system we fit is a Twin Flip Folding Left Foot Accelerator which allows you to flip a new accelerator on the left hand down, in turn flipping the old right foot accelerator back up. This allows for use of the vehicle with and without the adaptation. These are most commonly fitted for drivers who prefer to drive with their left foot, or who have little or no mobility in their right leg.


Swivel Seats are used for getting in and out of the vehicle by those who struggle with it. They are only available for specific vehicles, so we would need to check the specs of your vehicle for you. We would recommend 3door cars if you are looking to have a Swivel Seat fitted, purely because the door openings are so much larger than 5-door cars!

The swivel seats are available manually (operated by a lever at the side of the seat) or Electronically (operated by remote). We also have the option of a Turny Evo which is programmed to move/swivel out of the vehicle at the optimum angles to allow for the most room. This seat actually comes out over the vehicle sill and can lower down – making it a great option for vans and 4×4’s! For

2 Deacon Road, Lincoln LN2 4JB.
576600 Email: info@cjconversions.co.uk
information please
Conversions Ltd,
Tel: 01522
4 Ability Needs Magazine
Are heavy fire
Keeps fire
Wireless units with fast installation Radio activated - no false activations Can be used in high risk zones (e.g. corridors) Discuss Freedor Pro with one of our experts Call 01273 320650 Visit www.fireco.uk From the makers of Dorgard - The safe and legal way to hold your fire doors open. Scan to request a callback fireco.online/AbilityNeeds-March2024
doors causing access problems in your building? Freedor Pro is the wireless free-swing closer for heavy fire doors. Its free-swing feature reduces door weight for easier use. It responds to alarms, closing fire doors to control the spread of smoke and fire.
doors open at a convenient angle


Scooter Store Limited is an established company with over twentyhas become very popular especially with the elderly and disabled community nationwide.

The concept is a small, secure store designed specifically for mobility vehicles, to be operated with minimal effort. This provides the user with more independence and effective storage for their scooter at home.

The Scooter Store was designed in response to a demand from the public as many mobility scooter users have struggled to store their scooters in living rooms, communal hallways etc, causing fire hazards and limiting their space. The Scooter Store is a fireproof, theft proof, compact alternative that will enable the user to securely store their scooter.

Our product has been extremely popular with the elderly and disabled community for over twenty-five years. worked with a multitude of local Housing Trusts/Associations, charitable organisations, County, City and Borough Councils to install Scooter Stores across the UK.

All Scooter Stores are manufactured from 2mm steel with a powder coated finish, push button controlled, fully lockable and include a socket for charging the scooter is provided inside the store.

Standard, Double and Bespoke sizes are available. The stores are delivered flat packed to allow installation to awkward sites. Stores can be relocated if required.

We also offer free site surveys to give advice on store locations, hard standing areas etc, if required.

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Our Contact Details: Scooter Store Limited, Unit 11 Riverside Business Park, Cambridge Road, Harlow, CM20 2HE Tel: 01279 453565 www.scooterstoreltd.com info@scooterstoreltd.co.uk • Recommend by Healthcare Professionals • Fits to all Hi/Lo Care beds • Lightweight – take anywhere • Machine washable • Fits to 200x90cm single bed • Fits to 190x90cm single bed • Fits to 180x90cm single bed Tel: 01905 347538 info@spacesaverbeds.co.uk www.spacesaverbeds.co.uk AWARD WINNING
Batt Boost BATTERY Say goodbye to Range Anxiety, for good! F or use with 24V Mobility Scooters, Powerchairs and Electric Wheelchairs Compatible with Lead Acid, AGM, Gel or Lithium Batteries Additional Power for your Mobility Vehicle Signific antly Increase Travel Range and Useage Time Maintain the Optimised Charge of your Battery Premium Quality Exceptional Value NAIDEX AS SEEN AT 2024 Bristol 0117 955 0535 bristol@bblbatteries.co.uk Exeter 01392 254 418 exeter@bblbatteries.co.uk Plymouth 01752 338 501 plymouth@bblbatteries.co.uk Swindon 01793 616 646 swindon@bblbatteries.co.uk Truro 01872 270 011 truro@bblbatteries.co.uk WWW.BBLBATTERIES.CO.UK SALES@BBLBATTERIES.CO.UK
Unpaid carers in employment forced to reduce their working hours for the fifth consecutive year as Carer Poverty Coaliti on publishes its demand s of gov ernmen t

UNPAIDcarers who have part-time jobs alongside their caring role will have to decrease their working hours for the fifth consecutive year as the earnings threshold for receiving Carer’s Allowance fails to keep pace with the National Living Wage.

In April, the earnings threshold for claiming Carer’s Allowance will increase by 8.6% to £151 per week. However, the National Living Wage is once again due to rise at a higher rate, by 9.8% to £11.44 per hour.

Over the last five years, the number of hours carers have been able to work earning the National Living Wage, while also receiving Carer’s Allowance, has shrunk from just under 15 hours a week in 2019 to just over 13 hours and 12 minutes from April.

The Carer Poverty Coalition, a group of 130 national and local organisations campaigning to end

poverty amongst unpaid carers, has published a manifesto calling on all political parties to commit to a full review of Carer’s Allowance and other means tested benefits available to carers. This review should include the level of financial support offered to unpaid carers and an increase of the earnings limit to 21 hours per week, pegged at National Living Wage. This will help to ensure unpaid carers are more financially resilient and help those able to work part-time to do so.

The Carer Poverty Coalition is also urging political parties to announce policies to prevent unpaid carers from falling into poverty in the first place, to provide specific support to stay in and return to work as well as targeted policies to support younger and older carers.

A recent survey by Carers UK found that over a third of carers (34%) had cut back on essentials like food or heating, whilst 45% of those receiving Carer’s Allowance were struggling to make ends meet.

Emily Holzhausen OBE, Chair of the Carer Poverty Coalition and Director of Policy and Public Affairs at Carers UK, said: “The Government could be doing much more to support unpaid carers to work as much as they are able to, alongside their caring role. We must see a review of Carer’s Allowance, which includes an increase in the earnings limit to 21 hours per week, pegged to the National Living Wage.

“Unpaid carers provide £162 billion a year of care – the cost of a second NHS. Supporting unpaid carers to remain in work benefits families, the economy and society.”

The Carer Poverty Coalition manifesto calls on all political parties to prioritise and support unpaid carers at all stages of their caring journey by announcing policies to remove barriers to work, increasing social security benefits and changing eligibility criteria for Carer’s Allowance.

For practical advice and information about caring, go to www.carersuk.org or email advice@carersuk.org or call our helpline 0808 808 7777

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“BAS are 5-star rated, award winning vehicle adaptation specialists with over 40 years’ experience in the industry; whatever your adaptation needs, BAS have you covered!”
TServo Assisted Gear Change

hey have over 30 vehicle adaptation products available nationwide on the Motability scheme, including a full range of hand controls, hand accelerators, person hoists, transfer plates, electric hatch openers and many more. Most recently they have launched a complete range of adaptations for disabled riders of motorbikes in collaboration with their international partners, Handytech. These adaptations are truly groundbreaking and some of which have never been seen on the UK market before.

The range of products known as ‘Freetime’, includes adaptations such as a thumb operated brake, servo-assisted original clutch, left-side accelerator & front left brake and a servo-assisted gearbox (see photo) for motorbikes. ‘Freetime’ also features a range of adaptations for UTVs, quad bikes and three wheelers. This is truly giving people living with disabilities the opportunity to live a ‘life without boundaries’, which is the BAS motto and focus of everything they do!

BAS pride themselves on putting the needs of their customers first and on their website you will find not only the full range of products and services they offer, but also a wide array of information and advice to help people living with disabilities. This includes information on grants and funding, recommended mobility shops, charitable organisations and even how to measure a scooter/wheelchair for a hoist. You can find all of this information under the ‘Vehicle Adaptations’ section on their website. They also provide free demonstrations for their customers, helping to ensure that both the wants and needs of their customers are met.

To find out more about BAS go to www.basnw.co.uk or visit them adjacent to the entertainment square at the Disability Awareness Day in Warrington on the 14th July https://www.disabilityawarenessday.org.uk/

BAS are thrilled to be showcasing the ‘Freetime’ motorbike adaptation range at the Disability Awareness Day (DAD) in July, an event that they are extremely passionate about and have been sponsors of for many years. The event is held at Walton Hall Gardens, Warrington in July and is the world’s largest ‘not-for-profit’ voluntary-led disability exhibition. Visitors to DAD can expect to find over 200 exhibitors including equipment suppliers, transport, holidays, leisure, employment, support groups, services and more. You can find BAS in the main entertainment square, where they will have multiple demonstration vehicles showcasing their full range of car and motorbike adaptations.

Ability Needs Magazine 9


Motability Scheme’s

Big Event is back with an electrifying line-up for 2024

THE BIG EVENT programme returns for 2024, with a new focus on electric motoring. This year visitors can look forward to the biggest ever programme of accessible motoring events, as for the first time all events will be two days, giving visitors more opportunity to experience what the Motability Scheme has to offer.

The Big Event Birmingham

The programme kicks off with the flagship show, The Big Event Birmingham, which returns to the NEC on Friday 17 and Saturday 18 May. There will be a variety of vehicles to explore all available on the Motability Scheme, including an increased range of EVs and the UK’s biggest display of Wheelchair Accessible Vehicles (WAVs).

The Big Event streamed live

For anyone who can’t attend in person, The Big Event, Birmingham, will also be streamed live across the two days, which will include speaker sessions from celebrity guests, Scheme customers and automotive experts talking at the event. The full line-up can be found on the website.

Test drives

Visitors can book a test drive on the day, where there will be standard vehicles including an increased range of EVs and some vehicles fitted with popular driving adaptations. Visitors will need to bring along a full UK driving licence.

The full Big Event series includes:

• The Big Event Birmingham, the NEC – 17 and 18 May 2024

• The Big Event Exeter, Westpoint - 28 and 29 June 2024

• The Big Event Harrogate, Yorkshire Event Centre –9 and 10 August 2024

• The Big Event Edinburgh, Royal Highland Centre –13 and 14 September 2024

The Big Events across the UK are all family-friendly and free to attend. There is an activity area, where people can enjoy a variety of activities. Each event also has a quiet room, providing a quiet space for those who need it, along with ear defenders. Visitors can also use the onsite café facilities with plenty of seating, and there are accessible toilet facilities at all venues.

Visit motabilitythebigevent.co.uk to find out more.

10 Ability Needs Magazine *To test drive the cars you must bring your full UK driving licence and sign our test drive declaration on the day. Full Terms and Conditions can be found at motabilitythebigevent.co.uk. The Big Event is organised and hosted by Motability Operations Limited, which is authorised and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority.
the UK’s
of vehicles available on the Motability
in a fully-accessible venue, with free entry and free parking. For more information, scan this QR code or visit motabilitythebigevent.co.uk
+ 70 + 90 + On display at the event: Birmingham The NEC - Ourflagshipevent 17 and 18 May 2024 9am - 4pm Take a test drive
largest display
Cars available to test drive including cars fitted with adaptations and
cars from many different manufacturers scooters and powered wheelchairs adapted cars and Wheelchair Accessible Vehicles (WAV)

Burak, age 43, was diagnosed with Glaucoma aged two years old. He has lived with deteriorating vision since, resulting in challenges finding employment and him feeling aimless. Burak volunteers for rNIB’s Technology for Life team and is a member of the Volunteer advisory Council. He credits volunteering with giving him a purpose and a sense of pride at the end of each day.

“My vision became particularly poor around age 32. I didn’t know about the services that RNIB offered, and it didn’t cross my mind to call them and ask for help. So, it was a big challenge to overcome on my own and it impacted my employment opportunities. Coming from a broken home I also experienced a lot of personal problems as a teenager, which meant I acted out and didn’t put in as much effort at school as I could have. Thankfully, one of my teachers foresaw the future when I couldn’t and pushed me to learn to touch type when I still had most of my sight. This meant that I now know where all the keys are even if I can’t see them and was able to use JAWS when my sight began to deteriorate. I had been a music technician in college, so by this time, I had more knowledge of technology than the average person, and it became my niche. Although technology changes rapidly and it can be difficult to keep up with, particularly as a blind person, I persevered. Then I decided it was time to use my skill to help others in a similar position.

“I have two kids, and a turning point for me was one morning when my son turned and said to me, ‘I’m going to school, what are you doing?’. I started looking into employment, but there weren’t many roles available with my level of certification, so I looked at the voluntary route. When I learned that I could help people as well as open up my own career path, it was really appealing, so I applied for a volunteer role with Living Well With Sight Loss (LWWSL).”

“Volunteering with LWWSL meant I received a lot of

training, which was good, but I realised that I wasn’t a particularly confident motivator. And then a volunteer role opened up with the Technology for Life team, which was more my field, and an area that I felt confident in. I’ve been in this role now for almost three years and love it. I think what I enjoy most is empowering people through tech. Secondary to that, connecting with people, and reassuring them over their worries, makes the work really worthwhile. Our team is open to everyone for as long and often as they need us, and we’re ready for whatever is thrown at us. We do our best to empower and aid blind and partially sighted people with whatever tech they have. I think if I had received the kind of help earlier on, I would have excelled more easily at a quicker pace.

“I’m also involved in the Volunteer Advisory Council, where we meet to discuss how to improve how we work with customers and volunteers. I wanted to give my own point of view, as initially we had some issues with feeling isolated, which is changing now as we now meet more regularly.”

“Since volunteering, I feel more confident. It makes me happy knowing that I can make a difference to someone’s life. Before volunteering I felt like I was just this person walking around aimlessly, not knowing what to do. Now I’m part of a directive, I have responsibilities, and I’m professional in my work and in how I perceive things. Volunteering has done wonders for me. If I were to say anything to someone considering volunteering, I’d tell them just to do it. Because it benefits you and others. It might even benefit them in the long run, facilitating them to go on to get a paid job. It gives you the opportunity to empower people, and when you put your head down at night, you actually smile and think to yourself, ‘today was a good day’. I want to thank RNIB for giving me the opportunity to become a volunteer, and for making a huge impact in my life.”

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For more information on volunteering visit www.rnib.org.uk/get-involved/volunteer/ " V o l u n t e e r i n g h a s d o n e w o n d e r s f o r m e " B u r a k t e l l s u s a b o u t h i s v o l u n t e e r i n g e x p e r i e n c e s Ability Needs Magazine T h e Te c h n o l o g y f o r L i f e t e a m h e l ps b l i n d a n d p a r t i a l l y s i g h t e d pe o p l e w i t h a s s i s t i v e t e c h n o l o g y
Over half a billion pounds a year is spent locking up people with a learning disability and / or autistic people in mental health hospitals in England

Ajoint investigation by Mencap and ITV News has uncovered the shocking cost of the human rights scandal, keeping people with a learning disability and autistic people locked away in mental health hospitalsmany of whom shouldn’t be there in the first place.

Figures released after a freedom of information request to NHS England and Integrated Care Boards (ICBs) show that, over the course of a year, around £534 million is being spent on inpatient beds for just over 2000 people with a learning disability and/or autistic people in Englandi.

Learning disability charity Mencap say that this inappropriate detention of people with a learning disability and/or autistic people is a gross misuse of public funds being wasted on the wrong kind of care. Instead, we need urgent investment in community support, including social care and suitable housing.

The new analysis estimates the average cost of detaining someone with a learning disability and/or autistic people in a mental health unit is £237,000 per year. With the average length of stay for current inpatients amounting to nearly 5 years, this cost rises to £1.2 M per person.

The government first pledged to reduce the number of people with a learning disability and/or autistic people in mental health hospitals and provide the right community support over a decade ago. Since then, repeated targets to reduce inpatient numbers have been missed. With the deadline for the latest commitment to reduce the number of inpatients with a learning disability and/or autistic people by 50%, by March 2024 just weeks away, analysis by Mencap predicts that based on the current rate of change the government won’t reach their target until 2030 - 6 years later than promised.

Many people with a learning disability and/or autism end up in mental health units not because they need inpatient treatment, but because of a failure to invest in the right community support with a focus on early intervention and preventing crisis. In these types of units people are at increased risk of abuse and neglect and subjected to over-medication, inappropriate restraint, and seclusion, often resulting in lasting trauma.

Isabelle Garnett’s son, Matthew, 23, has a learning disability and has witnessed first- hand the devastating impact the wrong type of care can have, and the vast amounts of public money misspent on his care. We were told our son needed assessment and treatment for 12 weeks. This turned into 18 months of incarceration in a mental health unit, 190 miles from home and 6 hour round trip to see him

“Under this provider's so-called care, our son was overmedicated, restrained and secluded. This did not help him get better. It resulted in a catastrophic deterioration in his mental health caused by their neglect and abuse.

“It reportedly cost £13,500 per week to detain my son in this unit. The cost of his care now, living in the community, is significantly less than this. £13,500 a week for neglect, abuse and traumatisation is not a good use of money.

“This money could have made a positive difference had it been used earlier to build the right support for him to live in the community near his family...Instead, my son - and us his family - will have to live with the trauma of what happened to him for the rest of our lives.”

Mencap and the Challenging Behaviour Foundation, along with people with lived experience and other organisations, have launched a petition calling on the government to stop the waste of lives and waste of money being spent on institutionalising people with a learning disability and autistic people and bring this human rights scandal to an end. To add your name to the petition go to www.secure.mencap.org.uk/WasteOfLives

14 Ability Needs Magazine

Rotating Bed proves to be the future-proofed transfer solution for Sarah with MS

Despite increasing mobility needs, successful business owner Sarah continues to fulfil her busy work and family life thanks to a Double Combination Rotating Bed.

• Revolutionary rotating bed that can be perfectly tailored to your size, weight and assistive needs

• Typically saving over £27,000 a year in care costs

• Free of charge home assessments

• Offering independence, safety and peace of mind

• From a tr usted, ethical specialist

Freephone: 0800 834654

Dr Sarah Burton Taylor, from Chittoe in Wiltshire, is a successful entrepreneur who owns two businesses. Her busy career and family life dictates a need for effective and reliable mobility equipment to reduce the challenges of living with Multiple Sclerosis.

When her MS first started to cause significant problems back in 2008, one of Sarah’s main concerns was being able to get in and out of bed independently. With the help of Theraposture, also based in Wiltshire, her worries were resolved with the supply of a Rotating Bed.

This bed is a specialist powerassisted solution which moves and rotates Sarah from an upright seated position with her feet on the floor, to a lying position in the middle of the bed. Specifically designed to help people with degenerative neurological conditions such as MS and Parkinson’s, this bed is the patented and original awardwinning rotating design.

Sarah explains: “My rotating bed has made transfers in at night, and out in the morning, so much easier. It really reduces the stress involved with transfers when compared to using a standard static bed. It helps me avoid becoming exhausted from just getting out of bed, so have more energy for the rest of the day. The bed has been perfect for my changing needs – it has successfully supported me from mild to severe disability.”

‘‘ We really value the fact that my husband and I can stay together in the same bed, side-by-side xxxx

Freephone: 0800 834654

info@theraposture.co.uk www.theraposture.co.uk

safer way to get in and out of bed... New Orbit 235TM YOUR INDEPENDENCE, OUR COMMITMENT In partnership with
info@theraposture.co.uk www.theraposture.co.uk
Theraposture Limited, Kingdom Avenue, Northacre Industrial Park, Westbury, Wiltshire. BA13 4WE
Watch Sarah talking about her rotating bed
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The Changing Face of Specialised Home Care

Hello everyone, Samantha here from Happiest at Home. Today, I’d like to talk about something that is very close to our hearts –the changing landscape of specialised home care and the crucial role of dedicated carers.

In recent years, we’ve seen a significant shift in the home care industry. More and more, people are recognising the necessity of personalised, specialised care for their loved ones. At Happiest at Home, we believe that this is a step in the right direction. After all, every individual is unique, with their own set of needs, preferences, and life experiences. It only makes sense that their care should be just as unique.

One aspect of this personalised approach that we feel strongly about is the importance of having a dedicated carer for each client.

Why is this so important, you ask?

Firstly, consistency is key in any form of care. By having a dedicated carer, our clients can build meaningful relationships based on trust and mutual respect. This relationship becomes a source of comfort and familiarity, which can significantly enhance the quality of care.

Secondly, a dedicated carer is able to gain an indepth understanding of their client’s needs, preferences, and routines. This intimate knowledge allows them to provide a level of care that is truly tailored to the client. They can anticipate needs, respond effectively to changes, and provide the kind of care that feels less like a service and more like assistance from a trusted friend.

Lastly, having a dedicated carer ensures continuity of care. With multiple carers, there’s a risk of miscommunication or inconsistent care practices. A single carer, on the other hand, provides a consistent care experience, ensuring that nothing falls through the cracks.

At Happiest at Home, we don’t rotate our carers. We strive to match each client with a carer who not only has the right skills and experience but also shares similar interests.

We call them CarePals and believe that they create a more enjoyable and enriching care experience for both parties.

I n c o n c l u s i o n , t h e f a c e o f s pe c i a l i s e d h o m e c a r e i s c h a n g i n g f o r t h e be t t e r. A t H a p p i e s t a t H o m e , w e ’r e p r o u d t o b e p a r t o f t h i s c h a n g e , c h a m p i o n i n g

d e d i c a t e d c a r e r s a n d p e r s o n a l i s e d c a r e p r a c t i c e s

B e c a u s e w e b e l i e v e t h a t e v e r y o n e d e s e r v e s t o b e

H a pp i e s t a t H o m e

Worrying Things You Should Know Before Buying Home Care

Navigate the complex world of home care with our insider guide – and get the right result for you and your loved one. Our guide gives insight into what is available, where to look for funding, and how to get a great care outcome, amongst other snippets of useful information.

Download the free guide at wearehappiestathome.co.uk/freeguide/ or call our client team on 0345 030 3845

Ability Needs Magazine 17

Keswick Mountain Festival to champion accessible adventure in 2024

The organisers of Keswick Mountain Festival (KMF) have announced details of features designed to promote accessible adventure at the event. Supported by the Lake District National Park Authority, this year’s festival will have an extensive programme of outdoor activities suitable for visitors with disabilities, along with an accessible zone in the Festival Village and a dedicated section on the KMF website. The 2024 Keswick Mountain Festival will run from 17-19 May and tickets are available now.

Founded in 2007, Keswick Mountain Festival (KMF) is one of the UK’s best-loved outdoor festivals, attracting thousands of visitors to Cumbria for its unique offer. The last KMF saw a significant expansion of content for visitors with disabilities and that will be taken to another level for 2024.

The festival’s main hub is the Festival Village on the undulating terrain of Crow Park, and the Accessible Adventure Zone (AAZ) will be located next to the main entrance, which is easy to reach and flat. The AAZ will feature numerous exhibitors, who will share information that showcases the organisations and technology that can make accessing the outdoors that bit easier. Exhibitors in the zone will include the Calvert Trust, Bendrigg Tust, National Trust, Experience Community, Adapt-E, Disability Snowsports UK, Lake District National Park Authority, and AnyoneCan, which will be offering opportunities to try climbing and canoeing during the festival (see ‘Note to editors’ below). There will be a Mobiloo toilet and changing room on site throughout the weekend, along with parking for drivers with disabilities next to the Festival Village and in the KMF car park at Keswick Rugby Club.

For 2024, KMF has added more accessible events to its programme of outdoor and sporting activities. Each day, the National Trust and Experience Community will host a guided, inclusive ramble, ranging in distance from one to six miles, which can be booked in advance on the festival website. In addition, organisers are putting facilities in place to make the cycle sportives as accessible as possible. If anyone with a disability would like to take part in other festival events, such as the Aquasphere open water swims, they are being encouraged to get in touch with the KMF team, so that they can discuss how to best facilitate that. The festival has set up a system to offer free carer and support rider tickets for participants with disabilities.

Among the speakers who will be appearing at this year’s Keswick Mountain Festival is paratriathlete Mel Nicholls, who has her sights set on bringing home a medal from the Paris Paralympic Games later this year. Mel has attended KMF before, when she rode the Back o’ Skiddaw cycling sportive. She will be in conversation with Chrissie Wellington in a session hosted by Louise Minchin, in the Theatre by the Lake at 5:30pm on Saturday 18 May.

KMF is actively promoting its accessible adventure programme on the festival website, with a dedicated section at www.keswickmountainfestival.co.uk/accessibility-zone, and on specific activity pages. Access to the Festival Village is not ticketed, but tickets have to be purchased for some of the speaker sessions, and to take part in the 'have a go' activities, all of which have capacity limits and are accessed on a first come first served basis.

Festival director Nicola Meadley comments: “Like the outdoors, we want Keswick Mountain Festival to welcome everyone, and we are committed to ensuring that this is the case. Over the years, we have introduced a range of initiatives that facilitate accessible adventure at the festival and we’re taking that even further this year. We’re delighted to be supported in this by the Lake District National Park Authority and other partners, and believe that this year’s Keswick Mountain Festival will be the most accessible and inclusive that we have ever held.”

All visitors with disabilities are entitled to a free carer ticket and should email info@keswickmountainfestival.co.uk with a ticket booking number and proof of disability to secure a free ticket of the same type that they have bought.

18 Ability Needs Magazine T i c k e t s f o r t h e 2 024 K e s w i c k M o u n t a i n Fe s t i va l a r e a va i l a bl e a t w w w k e s w i c k m o u n t a i n f e s t i va l c o u k , a n d t h e w e bs i t e i n c l u d e s m o r e de t a i l s o f t h e f u l l s c h e du l e F i n d t h e e v e n t o n F a c e b o o k o r f o l l o w @ k e s w i c k f e s t i v a l o n X a n d I n s t a g r a m f o r t h e l a t e s t n e w s a n d i n f o r m a t i o n .
Canoeing with Anyone Can
Paratriathlete Mel Nicholls is returning to speak at Keswick Mountain Festival
10 Ability Needs Magazine

While the corridors of Westminster are debating when the next General Election is going to be (that is way above my pay grade), by the time you get to the end of my column it just might all be happening. As a Peer we are not able to vote in the General Election. We always know we are going back so it is not deemed to be right that we help choose who the MP’s are. It is quite nice actually, because rather than talking about who I might vote for, I just keep my head down and get on with what I am doing.

In the middle of March, a number of disability activists travelled to Geneva presenting to the UN Disability Committee about the experiences of

Tanni’s View

Baroness Grey-Thompson DBE writes for Ability Needs

disabled people in the UK. It is not cheerful reading, but then again, the last report of the UN Rapporteur said that disabled people have a tough time in the UK. As reported in the Big Issue online on 18 March 2024, ‘Disabled people in the UK are “demonised” by the government and face a “traumatising” benefits system’.

They go on to talk about the ‘onerous and complicated’ benefit system. It is certainly that. I worked extensively on the Welfare Reform Bill back in 2012 and you need a PhD to understand it. Lots of talk at the time was about making it more simple and I don’t think it has done that. The move to Universal Credit was meant to bring in that simplicity and the intention was to help the most ‘vulnerable’ in society. My argument and that of others was that if you remove support from some that need it they will move into a more vulnerable

20 Ability Needs Magazine

category and won’t save money in the long term.

At the time I tried to talk about a system that supports disabled people to do the things that they can do, not to keeping asking or having to prove what you cannot do. To my mind this is the wrong way to look at it. Any ideas I had back in 2012 didn’t end up receiving much support, mostly because it doesn’t fit into a nice simple appraisal system.

There is no doubt that the assessment, mandatory reconsiderations and appeals are costing far more than they need to. Back in 2012 there were a number of assessment centres that were not even wheelchair accessible, so people were being penalised for appointments they were missing because they couldn’t get into the building. I know that this has been debated numerous times before, but I wonder if it is time to think about a more serious discussion on universal income. I was never particularly keen on it, but it might actually mean there is more money in the system to do the things that we need to do.

And as ever, public transport needs more work. The can has been continually kicked down the road and I believe that it is time for Government to take this more seriously. There is meant to be a Great British Railway and there is legislation that has been

tabled but whether we have time to get to it, or more importantly get through it, is anyone’s guess.

After the nonsense last year with the consultation on ticket offices closures, which when challenged became how tickets are sold, I am expecting another attempt to change the landscape. I don’t mind looking at new ways to do things, but removing staff is going to make it harder for disabled people. Whenever anyone talks about reasonable adjustments, when you are talking about railways this comes back to staff. Without level boarding then all these adjustments are provided by people putting down the ramps. I was very excited recently when I was back in Wales, and I could travel from Cardiff to Caerphilly with level boarding. I got to the platform about two minutes before my train left and I automatically started looking at the next one before I remembered that I could just get on. It was amazing, and I called at least three friends (and posted on social media) that this is what it must be like to be non-disabled.

Whoever is in power at the end of the year just has to think about disabled people a bit more. If you see anyone canvassing (it is all starting now) just ask them what they are really going to do to ensure that the next UN report is better than this one.

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Ability Needs Magazine 21
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The Motability Scheme launches its first official brand ambassadors

The Motability Scheme has unveiled its new brand ambassador programme, featuring a lineup of inspiring and accomplished customers who will build awareness and increase understanding of the life-changing Scheme.

The ambassadors, who are all part of the Motability Scheme, were selected from their 750,000 customers to represent a diverse range of disabilities, backgrounds, interests, careers and most importantly, lived experiences of the Scheme. This includes incredible Paralympians, influencers, authors, entrepreneurs and disability advocates, who will all share their unique perspectives and life experiences.

audiences while providing followers with insightful information about its benefits including insurance for three named drivers, RAC breakdown assistance, replacement tyres, and much more.

With Lucy’s husband Ollie at the driver’s seat, the couple provide a different perspective on how they use their

Motability Scheme vehicle to access everyday freedom.

Completing the current lineup of ambassadors are:

• Campaigners and fundraisers Paula Hudgell OBE and her son and youngest Scheme ambassador Tony Hudgell BEM.

• Broadcaster and author, Dr Shani Dhanda; recently voted ‘Most Influential Disabled Person in the UK’.

Through their social media channels, events, and activities where they can liaise directly with customers, the ambassadors will not only help build understanding of the Scheme and its many benefits: they will also aim to reach the hundreds of thousands of eligible people who are unaware of the Scheme and the independent mobility it provides. The ambassadors will also support the transition to EVs, as customers follow their journeys into electric.

The announcement comes after a year-long pilot with triple amputee and Royal Marine veteran Mark Ormrod MBE, who has been a Motability Scheme customer since 2008 following an injury in Afghanistan while on active duty. Over the last year, Mark has been proactively sharing his story and his experiences including a viral post in January which was reshared thousands of times to over 3 million people.

Mark posted about his Scheme car being broken into which resulted in his gym gear and prosthetic legs being stolen. He also noted that due to the Motability Scheme’s worry-free breakdown and car maintenance package, he was able to get his window fixed within 45 minutes plus a courtesy car to minimise disruption to his day. His story helped thousands of customers understand just how seamless the experience on the Motability Scheme can be, especially in a world which can be otherwise challenging.

Author and blind influencer Lucy Edwards will join Mark as a new ambassador. With over 2 million followers across her social media channels, Lucy’s platform will help the Motability Scheme reach new

• World and Paralympic Table Tennis champion, and Strictly Come Dancing competitor Will Bayley MBE.

• England’s most capped blind footballer, Paralympian and motivational speaker Darren Harris.

• GB Wheelchair Basketball players, Paralympians and LGBT+ advocates Laurie Williams and Robyn Love

• Fellow GB Wheelchair Basketball player, Paralympian and model Amy Conroy.

• Rookie racing driver Noah Cosby who is part of Team BRIT, an inclusive motorsport organisation and a Motability Scheme partner.

Lisa Thomas, Chief Marketing Officer at Motability Operations, the company which delivers the Scheme, said: “Our brand ambassadors perfectly demonstrate what the Motability Scheme is all about. We have chosen to work with a range of customers who will help us tell our story about inclusivity and how we champion everyday freedom through the Scheme.

“By our ambassadors sharing their first-hand experiences, we hope we’ll be able to build a wider understanding, while helping to challenge often outdated perceptions of how disabled people live their lives.”

The Motability Scheme Ambassadors will aim to increase awareness of the Motability Scheme and understanding of how it works, and who it can help, amongst disabled people, and their families and friends, across the UK.

To learn more about the Motability Scheme brand ambassadors and their unique perspectives, visit www.motability.co.uk/Ambassadors

22 Ability Needs Magazine

Mini Wonders Children’s Physiotherapy

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We believe in giving each and every child and young person the opportunities and chances that they deserve. We have a wealth of experience and have been helping families in Scotland and the East of England for over 10 years.

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Take care out there!

Hello again,

IWASstartled the other day when reading the news on my tablet. You will, I hope, be impressed by my grasp of technology and the fact that I can take in the news on an electronic device these days. In truth I still prefer a newspaper and, if I may bare my soul, I usually prefer the Beano and the Dandy, which I occasionally buy for my grandsons. Distressingly, even the exploits of Dennis the Menace could not compete with an article I read on my tablet!

Last year over 8 people were killed in accidents involving mobility scooters in the UK. The Department of Transport estimates that there were 300 accidents resulting in slight injuries and 86 with serious injuries. There have been numerous further accidents when mobility scooter drivers have injured or even killed pedestrians.

There are no precise government figures for accidents involving mobility scooters. In fact, no one even knows precisely how many of these vehicles there are in the UK. This is not as surprising as it may at first seem. Whilst most scooters are purchased “brand new” from shops or “on-line”, consider just how many are sold second hand when they are no longer required by the original owner.

There are no licensing regulations whatsoever. RICA the Research Institute for Consumer Affairs, estimate that there are now between 300,000 and 350,000 in use currently. The UK is leading the rest of Europe in the popularity of these vehicles. The conflict between regulation and an open, competitive market can lead to unforeseen dangers for some unfortunate buyers.

I am, personally, a great fan of these scooters. They can be seen everywhere, providing pleasure and, often, a lifeline to the local community. They offer mobility, freedom and immense emotional benefits to thousands who would otherwise be isolated at home. Anyone who struggles to walk more than a few steps can, with the aid of a mobility scooter, perform all sorts of tasks with relative ease. Shopping, visiting the doctor or just spending an hour or two in the fresh air are, once more, simple activities.

The benefits are manifold, but what can be done to prevent this increasing volume of accidents?

Initial issues arise from just the nature of the marketplace. The ease with which they can be purchased, and the relatively low cost of some vehicles can lead to disappointment or even danger. Sadly, human misjudgments both when purchasing and then when driving contribute to the problem. This subject has often been aired in Ability Needs Magazine and I have a personal view which has developed from years of experience.

My first and most important recommendation for any prospective buyer would be to find a reliable local retail outlet. It is not difficult to find one and conversations with any passerby driving a scooter or wheelchair happily through your High Street will usually be happy to share information, both good and bad! If you are considering buying a mobility scooter and are struggling to find someone, please just contact us.

Eddie Peacock has worked in the mobility industry for “rather a long time”. He enjoyed a challenging career having started by selling wheelchairs, scooters and stairlifts for Sunrise Medical, eventually working his way to the position of UK sales manager. After a period as a self-employed consultant he was invited to manage movingpeople.net, then Handicare Ltd, in

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Here at Ability Needs, we have a comprehensive knowledge of the mobility market, and we can recommend diligent, trustworthy retailers in every corner of the country.

Here are a few tips which should help. After finding a good retailer, spend time making your decision. Before you start this process, make sure that you identify all the activities and places that you would like to visit. If you have a relation or good friend, take them with you when you when you shop.

Mobility scooters have their own unique method of driving. Make sure that the retailer explains in detail how to start and stop (stopping can be pretty important!). Ask for a test drive in the locality. Better still, ask them to come to your home with the product that you fancy and take a drive, under supervision, to one or two of the places that you will regularly visit. With respect, driving a few feet in a showroom is not the best way to find the ideal scooter.

After all of this, establish whether this person will be able to offer you support and advice AFTER you have given him your hard-earned money. This aspect is crucial. It is not unusual for a new user to struggle with one or two aspects of their new toy.

Having good support and assistance after the sale can ensure that you get the most from your new scooter.

Here I must share a personal word of caution regarding the purchasing of goods through the internet. It is without doubt an amazing addition to our lives, but we should be aware of some important caveats.

The internet is impressive when buying all manner

the UK. In recent years he held the post of Marketing Manager for Mobility which also involved supporting and working with the BHTA.

He has now retired and is looking forward to finding the time to perform useful tasks in the industry, playing drums in a blues band, travelling and most important, being silly with his grandchildren.

of products. At home here, we recently ordered a domestic gadget casually on a Sunday afternoon at around 3 or 4 o`clock and were mesmerized when it was delivered the following morning. I suggest that this is fine for items which do not carry any technical or medical implications. It is questionable, at best, when dealing with mobility products, especially mobility scooters or powered wheelchairs. By concept, companies selling on the internet focus hard on price. They mostly have no resource to look after you once the product is delivered. Mobility scooters can develop faults and you will certainly appreciate your local supplier if you need help.

A final word on this subject. If you find your local person is more expensive than an internet supplier, take these issues into consideration. Tell them of your research on the internet and the price that you have found. You may find it acceptable (or necessary) to use his expertise and then buy elsewhere, but just remember - price and value are two separate considerations. Oscar Wilde was credited with saying “a cynic knows the price of everything and the value of nothing”.

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If you would like more information about mobility scooters, the rules, the regulations or even just simple advice, you can ask us. As mentioned earlier, we are perfectly happy to offer any advice on types of mobility-scooters, for example: the best place to find insurance; the intricacies of charging; driving on the road or the pavement; health issues. Wherever you live in the UK, we can help.

Our advice comes completely free of charge. I am personally happy to help, even if you think your question is silly. I am often silly, but never where mobility, freedom and safety are concerned.

Goodbye for now, I have the latest edition of The Dandy to read, we get it online these days!

To contact Eddie send an email to abilityneeds@btinternet.com. or write to him at Ability Needs, 7 Montgomerie Terrace, Ayr, KA7 1JL

Ability Needs Magazine 27
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Disability Awareness Day (DAD) 2024

WARRINGTON Disability Partnership, the organisers of the UK’s and possibly, the worlds, largest voluntary led pan disability exhibition are finalising the plans for their 33rd annual event. DAD 2024 will be held on Sunday 14 July in a tented village built within the grounds within the scenic grounds of Walton Hall and Gardens, Warrington, Cheshire.

Event founder and co-ordinator Dave Thompson MBE DL said; “We are very pleased to announce that disability education specialists Expanse Learning Group and the North West’s water supplier United Utilities, are leading our list of sponsors for DAD 2024”.

The aim of this year’s event is to promote mobility and independent living through the theme “It’s what disabled people can do that matters”. DAD 2024 exhibitors will highlight solutions supporting independent living and mobility, with equipment, products, transport, employment, education, training, health and social care and leisure activities, alongside over 100 charities/support groups.

New for DAD 2024 will be the mobility area sponsored by Driving Mobility. The interactive display will involve staff from three North West Driving Centres.

Most of this year’s exhibitors will be housed in a huge, tented village of marquees that will be supported by; an extended Sports Zone, a Centre

Arena, a huge Performing Arts Marquee, two further Arts Marquees for art and crafts, a Silent Disco, a children’s fun fair and play areas. Entertainment will also be available adjacent to the entrance bridge and Heritage Yard.

On the day, visitors can gain an insight into the help and support that is available locally, regionally and nationally from statutory organisations, businesses and voluntary sector groups.

They can “have a go” at sports activities including Tennis, American Football, Snooker, Rugby League, Martial Arts, Tai Chi, PowerChair Football, CrossFit and Scuba Diving in the on-site pool. In addition, Warrington Youth Zone’s giant sports inflatables.

For those looking for a more relaxed day we will have a fantastic line-up of talent in the Arts Marquee with some of the UK’s leading disabled artists including Ella Together, Creating Adventures, BSL Choir, Stars Drama, Wolf Print Dance and Groovy Movers. Supported by Signature Brass and Wired for Sound. BSL interpreters will support all acts.

Alternatively, sit alongside the Main Arena watching Guide Dog display team, Reach Sled Dogs Display Team, Batida Rio Samba Band, Royal Marines Corps of Drums and sports demonstrations.

Children can visit the funfair rides or accessible onsite zoo, crazy golf, high ropes and pitch and putt.

DAD 2024 will be the finale of a week of complimentary events that includes Creating Adventures “One Time Only” variety show, Merseycare NHS Trust “Ignite Your Life”, Ella Together

“Summertime Special”, Warrington Carers Hub “Wellbeing Festival”, “Party in the Park” for disabled young people and young carers. The finale of the week will see the UK’s top tribute band “Bjorn to be Abba”.

28 Ability Needs Magazine
F o r m o r e d e t a i l s o f t h e s e e v e n t s , pl e a s e c o n t a c t t h e D A D A dm i n t e a m o n 01 92 5 24 00 64 o r v i s i t w w w d i s a b i l i t y a w a r e n e s s d a y o r g u k

Support services at DAD 2024 will include a free accessible Park and Ride service, free accessible buses from Warrington Town Centre, a free scooter and wheelchair loan service with trained enablers, British Sign Language interpreters, additional unisex wheelchair accessible toilets and over 100 trained stewards and helper’s eager to make it a day to remember for everyone.

DAD continues to capture the imaginations of organisations around the UK and worldwide with events planned in Cameroon, India, Uganda, Zambia, Abu Dhabi and more. It is no wonder that DAD continues to be recognised as the world’s largest voluntary led pan disability independent living exhibition and family fun day covering physical, sensory and learning disabilities and mental health, and all ages.

Dave recalls the day it all started from a brief conversation with the rangers at Walton Gardens back in 1992; he said “Nobody would have expected the event to still be running nearly 33 years later, and that it would have grown to be recognised not just locally, but now internationally. It is testament to all of the team involved who are aptly named DAD’s Army”.

Ability Needs Magazine 29
For any enquiries, please contact Warrington Disability Partnership on 01925 240064 Update on Disability Awareness Day 2020 Due to Government restrictions on holding large gatherings of people, as part of the COVID-19 social distancing rules, Warrington Disability Partnership were faced with the decision to reschedule Disability Awareness Day (DAD 2020) from 12 July until 27 September. Sadly, as he restrictions are still in place, they have been forced to take the hard decision to cancel this year’s live event that usually attracts over 240 exhibitors, including around 130 disability focused charities. Throughout the COVID-19 Pandemic, WDP have continued to receive queries from thousands of disabled people, carers and their families desperate for information, advice and guidance on mobility and independent living products and support services. In response they have decided to develop an online virtual event, one that will be fully interactive and based on the DAD event attended by over 22,000 people each year. Dave Thompson MBE DL, Event Co-ordinator and CEO at WDP said, DAD-Virtual will go ahead on Sunday 25 October via a dedicated website www.dadvirtual.org.uk that is currently in development. This year’s event will launch a week of complimentary events including a range of online workshops and seminars that will be held via Zoom, from Monday 26th till Friday 30th Dave and his team filmed a video at Walton Gardens that will be used to introduce people to the virtual event. You can watch the video via this link https://vimeo.com/444816483 Dave was keen to stress that the online DAD will be as authentic as possible, incorporating the sights, sounds and experience of DAD live. It will provide a high quality, fully interactive, alternative way for exhibitors to provide the diverse range of information, advice and guidance about their products and support services that our regular visitors have come to expect. It will also allow us to reach out to more people for whom DAD will be a new experience. Visitors will be able to explore the event site, and each exhibition stand will include a short video introducing the organisation, as well as other promotional videos of their products and or services. Each exhibition stand will carry branded virtual pop up banners with links to their website and social media platforms. Visitors will be able to download promotional materials, leaflets and flyers, via PDF files. noteadpUs m rnevoGot yaDssenerawAtyiliba ohnos noictristretnem 0202y ergalgnidlg nriehtagso ehtfortaps a,elpoepfo DVIOCe-19 ncinastidlaciso saiDeludeschre s noictristreeht s r’aey e eitriachdsecuof ehttuohgurohT oepdelbsaidfo independ and ymobilit s,elrugnD notgnrri ilibs ay aDss enreaAwyt ,cealpnillistreathey have ect rattayllasuutaht Ce OD VI-c,imednPa91 dnars reca,elp oa fr ieht independliving ent c udrop pirshenrtPaytilibsaiD Ju21mrof) 0202AD(D been k atotdrceof rs,otibihxe042r evos ct deunitncoevahP s eilimar ofetraespedf nas c tce irvsertoppsud ehthtiwdceafreew r.ebmetpSe72litnuylJu eotnosiciedrdaheht clnirs, 31dnuroagnidu evicereots erieuqm gdnaceivda,noitarmof sc eI se nosprentheya h otnosicied ,yldSar .s a s ihtlcenca sid03ability s dnsauohtm nocenadiug dedciedeva online an elop d ev to evoybdednetta sopmohTevaD on 5 2yadnSu T ets ihdnaevaD on ne e no,tnevelaurtiv ychaeelpoep000,22r e BMns ooCtneEv,LDE o reboctO5ca idedaaiv Tuallliwtneves r’aeys wtahtrs animsednas p Wtaoedivademlifmae eblliwtahtect raetniylluf r.aey otanir dDWtaEOCdn etsibewdetc ad ad.www milpmcofok eewachnu ,mooZaivdleheblliro f lliwtahts nerdaGnotl ehtnodseabdnaevict ,disaPDAD D -laurtV w ku.rgo.laurtivdcu s itaht e mgniduclnis tneveryatn 62yadnoMmro adriFllit epceudrotniotdseueb AD Devent daeh ao glli niyltnrrecu gfoegnraa 03ya ehtotelpoe .tnevelaurtivYo Dnekes aweva s dnusos,thgsi tarnetlaivy awe about r iehtd ots uwollasola lliwrs otsiV ia htchtawncauY oo edive ss restotnthe that Dfoceneriepxedna r yrs otibihxed ivropot dnasdr opps urv se reomottuochareoo neveehtreolpxeotelba k nils ihtai ve miv//s:ptth ADD e htuas aeb ADI ive. will t e divrop foegnrarseevidehted ivr alugrer uotahts blliwADDmohwr ofelp tibihxechaedna,etsitn p 384618444/mco.oe ,elbssiops itn erp coni hgihaey lluf,ytilauq naceivda,noitarmofnif xeotemcoevahrs otsii epxewenaeb. ceneri educlnilliwdnastnoita p traor pinge h ,evictraetni cenadiugdn lliwtI.ctepx oedivrtosh intcudroe htgni cEas.ceirvs eh sodnaetsibew eylfdnas telfael p llews a,noitsainargoe calliwdnastnoitibihxe s.rmoftalpaidemlaciso s.elifFPDaivrs,e lanoitomropr ehtos a rryc ai vdednrabp laurt rs otsiV ito able be will udropr iehtfos oediv rs ennabpupopn ilhtiw to down a noitomropdaol r odnas r iehtotks n s,larietamla

NE W c a l l s f o r a ch a ng e i n t he l a w r e l at i n g t o a s s i s t e d dy i ng h a ve r is en a g a i n T h i s t i m e b y D a m e E s t h e r R a n t z e n, w h o h a s s t ag e f o u r l u ng ca n ce r She w a n t s M Ps t o b e g i ve n a n o t h e r f r e e vo t e o n a s s i s t e d dy i ng . Sh e w a nt s p eo pl e t o h av e a c h o i c e a b o ut h o w t he y w a nt t o g o a n d w h e n t h ey w a nt t o g o . L a bo u r l e a de r Si r K e i r St ar m e r ha s b ac k e d h er s t a nc e a l o n g w i t h m a n y p eo pl e w h o ’ve o f t e n e xp e r i e nc e d, e nd ur e d o r w i t n e s s e d a pa i nf ul o r a g o n is in g l y s l o w d em i s e o f a l o ve d o ne , f e e li n g i t o nl y r i g h t t he i r s uf f e r i n g be e nd e d pe a c ef ul l y a n d w i t h di g ni t y MP’s have voted on this before. In 2015 a private members bill on assisted dying was put before parliament by Lord Faulkner. MP’s had a free vote and they overwhelmingly rejected it. There were many reasons which caused those who rejected it. One of the main reasons was a fear that any relaxation on the current law that exists to protect the sick, elderly, depressed, or disabled from exploitation and coercion to end their lives acts as a powerful deterrent to would-be abusers.

Safeguards today often aren’t there tomorrow

Esther, and are now publicly supporting a renewed campaign.

Even though Lord Faulkner’s bill was defeated at the time, many thought it likely a revised version will eventually be presented with enhanced medical safeguards to placate any opponents. Indeed, supporters, particularly from the clinical and legal professions, seeking to appease those who still have strong concerns claim there will be strong safeguards to protect the vulnerable from exploitation and coercion.

However, many opponents are not convinced that any safeguards, no matter how strong, will last. They fear that over time they will be watered down, bitby-bit, until what was first proposed would no longer be practiced. Sadly, this happens with many things over time as emotional and compelling cases lead to small changes and a weakening of the original position. Two good examples are Abortion and Capital Punishment.

Given the sheer nature of the subject, it’s not too surprising that many people back Dame

First - Abortion. Legalised abortion was only passed by parliament on the strict understanding that it was purely for instances where a continued pregnancy was a serious threat to the health of the mother. The 1967 Abortion Act was one of the most fiercely debated and fought over laws to be

Angus Long
30 Ability Needs Magazine

passed at the time. It was passed because those who were uneasy about it were reassured by the promise of strict safeguards. Today, some 57 years on, in the name of choice, the UK aborts around 186,000 babies a year; sometimes for nothing more than the mother has changed her mind or there may be a risk of the baby having a disability or even if not, the mother is often pressured to terminate anyway. Pro or anti, the abortion act was not created for that. In 2017 the BMA voted to remove the restrictions which prohibit abortion after 24 weeks. So, even the medical profession sought to make it even easier to terminate an unborn baby at a point it could be perfectly capable of living if born. So much for those original safeguards.

Second – Capital punishment. The Death Penalty was abolished in 1965. Those who were uneasy, were assured that murderers would face a ‘whole life sentence’ instead. However, like abortion, over the years the safeguards have been watered down. Today many convicted of murder are out after as little as 10 years with some even going on to kill again. So, once again, so much for the original safeguards.

Back to assisted dying. While there are some well-known celebrities, like Dame Esther, supporting it; there are some like Ian Birrell, an award winning journalist and broadcaster, who have grave concerns. Birrell wrote an article recently in the Daily Mail where he looked at what assisted dying is like in some countries that allow it. In particular the Netherlands and Belgium. The

article made disturbing reading. It revealed that both countries have seen the number of assisted deaths soar as eligibility rules were extended to the point that they embraced even children with incurable conditions, teenagers with mental health problems and young adults with anorexia.

The reasoning being that if assisted dying is permitted for physical pain, why not for mental agonies? So, in Holland, where mercy killings now account for one in twenty deaths, a woman's life was ended 12 months after her husband's death due to 'prolonged grief disorder'.

In 2002 the Dutch were the first to legislate for assisted dying for patients with 'continuous, unbearable and incurable suffering'. Twelve years later the law in Holland permitted a 47-year-old woman with bad tinnitus to extinguish her life. Data also revealed that 288 people with dementia were helped to die last year and 29 couples chose to end their lives together. This is despite the original proviso that patients must be 'of sound mind'. There are those in Holland who now warn nations considering reform on assisted dying to look at the Netherlands because what happens there is highly likely to happen elsewhere.

So what of our future? What will lie in store for us in 20 years while we quake in our care-home beds? If the changing attitude to assisted death in the Netherlands is anything to go by, there’ll be no telegrams from the King and it’ll be a bus pass to the morgue on our 65th birthday. Never! There will be strict safeguards. Yup, I’m sure there will be.

Angus Long is owner of Writers4U Ltd

Ability Needs Magazine 31

Leading charities that help people with visual impairments have come together

Sight loss charities that support young people with visual impairments have come together to ‘bridge the gap’ for young adults who are in between education and employment ViCtA and RNC are hosting get Workplace Ready, a pilot three-month short course for young adults aged between 19 and 29 with a visual impairment.

Funded by Thomas Pocklington Trust and delivered by Train2Train, the course is designed to help participants discover their career goals, tackle fear of failure, increase self-confidence and improve their wellbeing, to take their first positive steps towards the labour market

RNC and VICTA hosted the initial six-day residential at the College’s Hereford-based campus which consisted of more than 10 classroom-led and four activity-based, friendly and interactive sessions in combination with targeted one to one support.

Attendees learned how to become aware and take control of their inner dialogue and rediscover their personal strengths They also explored basic selfcoaching skills and will receive employability coaching for a further three months to support sustainable outcomes.

Participants have also been encouraged to think about themselves as peer mentors to each other thereby building a support network that will exist beyond the duration of the programme and further support positive outcomes.

So far, the course has been very warmly received by attendees Students were invited to take part in a range of activities including a bowling session, a VI sport activities, archery and axe-throwing to promote communication and team building throughout the week

Students will now be supported throughout the next three months to complete the modules. This pilot course is just the start on an annual programme which aims to support VI young adults to take the next step into employment, training or apprenticeships

The next course is due to start in October 2024, more details can be found at rnc ac uk/form/15

Wh a t t h e s t u den ts di d n ext

The attendees have made great progress since their initial meeting during the residential part of the course which focuses on developing resilience, problem solving and confidence.

Nick Schofield, CEO of VICTA said: 'Get Workplace Ready has been shaped to create a unique learning opportunity for participants to acquire such skills as working with others, understanding self, communicating, making decisions and leadership, all framed within the context of a move into the labour market Achieving the qualification has the potential to boost confidence and self-esteem of all participants '

The course was devised in a direct response to statistics released in 2022 by VICTAR, which showed that only one in four visually impaired people are in long-term employment Links that have been established between unemployment and poor mental health have also been identified as a key driver for the course

In addition, recent reports from RNIB show that visually impaired graduates have the same opportunities and pay level as those leaving school at 16 without qualifications

One attendee, James, 21, has secured a place at the university of his choice He is also now working part time and due to spend the summer working abroad with young people Rachel, 20, another participant on the course, has started a new college course and has been volunteering at VICTA She also regularly takes trains into London, something that has been a barrier for her in the past. She aspires to work as a counsellor and work with young people.

Other students who attended the course are busy volunteering to build their confidence and employability skills with support from course leaders. Another attendee is aiming to apply for a Masters in the next few months while another is planning to work in the NHS

Course leaders are delighted to hear of the students’ progression Kim Webb said: 'Whatever training they have had before they have not been able to put that into practice Self-belief and confidence improve over time so being able to do something like the Get Workplace Ready course shows their mindset is ready for the next stage in life '

32 Ability Needs Magazine
T h r e e v i s ua l l y i m p a i r e d yo u n g p e o pl e w i t h t w o g u i d e do g s s t a n d c h a t t i n g a n d s m i l i n g i n f r o n t o f R NC 's L e a r ni n g H u b


Providing independence & comfort through standing

Designed and developed in the Midlands over the past 15 years the Genie V2 is one of the most advanced wheelchairs available. Combining advanced engineering and practical design, the Genie provides independence and comfort for all levels of dependency.

At Genie Wheelchairs we pride ourselves on developing practical and affordable solutions  that make your day to day life that little bit easier! Appropriate for all levels of dependency  from our basic model through to a complete care system tailored to each individual.

The Genie V2 has been designed with your everyday needs in mind, providing upper and lower body support to allow washing, air circulation and relief from pressure pain. The ability to stand opens up many possibilities such as access to previously inaccessible places or even getting back into the workplace as many of our Genie users have, whilst providing everyday health benefits such as aiding circulation and digestion. Standing is an important part of maintaining good health. The Genie can aid in the prevention of bladder problems and assist with bone development and pressure management.

The Genie V2 is incredibly easy to manoeuvre, light and compact when stored. It is easily folded away  into a cube which is ideal for transportation on  planes or in non converted vehicles, enabling you to  do more and go further in comfort. Providing  independence for yourself and your carer is our  main aim.

With its range of control options from the attendant  control system, which allows a carer or family  member to drive, stand and manage comfort to our  unique head control system allowing you to use all  functions of the Genie just by head movement  alone. The Genie V2 comes complete with hygienic,  easytouse toilet facilities that can revolutionise your  quality of life. All features are removable depending  on your needs. When you can sit, recline, stand up  and be mobile in safety without leaving the chair the  possibilities are endless.

Everyone’s needs can change.

All the Genie’s facilities and functions can  be added or removed easily at any time to  suit your requirements as an individual.   Our base unit is easily adapted to  accommodate a wide range of additional features, from vehicle docking systems to our unique head control system. And when  it comes to one off customization at Genie  wheelchairs nothing is impossible, from ventilator shelving to customised seating if  you have any special requirements let us  know. Nothing is too much when it comes  to your comfort and independence.

Removes boundaries •

Easy transfers from bed to sitting or standing

Custom built to suit all needs

Comfortable & maneuverable

Enhances quality of life

Provides dignity, independence & mobility

Provides many health benefits

To arrange a free in home demonstration of all the Genie V2 has to offer, call Easyrise on 01952 610300 or visit www.geniestandingwheelchair.co.uk

• • • • • •

#RightsOnFlights an empowering global hashtag for accessible flying

SINCE CHRISTMAS the #RightsOnFlights campaign has been motoring, there has been much support from the campaign in the US. Our figurehead Sophie Morgan was invited to the White House for an incredible announcement from the US Department of Transportation (DoT), this is a game changer!

• The Biden administration is proposing to make it easier for the government to fine airlines for damaging or misplacing wheelchairs by making it an automatic violation of a federal law on accessible air travel

• The U.S. Transportation Department is also calling for airlines to provide annual training for employees who handle wheelchairs or lift passengers with disabilities

These are the two main takeaways from the announcement However, these proposals now must go through the US version of the UK’s consultation period This is called a NPRM (Notice of Proposed Rulemaking), this continues 60 days, then evidence is examined, and a decision is made. #R i g h ts O n F l i g h t s a r e a bo u t to l au n c h a c a m pai g n f o r a g l o ba l ca l l f o r e ve r y o n e t o c o m m e n t o n th e N PR M , pu t y o u r pe r s o n a l i n di v i du a l f l y i n g e xp er i e n c e o n t h e c o m m e n t bo a r d – D O T-O ST-2022-0144.

Meanwhile here in the UK, it is very much a long haul - with the pun fully intended As much as we have lobbied, the current Department for Transport (DfT) they are way behind the curve of the US As has been well documented lately, the voice of the disabled community is largely ignored by our current government. However, #RightsOnFlights had a recent meeting with L a bo u r s s h a do w di s a bi l i t y m i n i s t e r V i c k y Fo x cr o f t , a n d t h e s h a do w t r an s po r t m i n i s t e r L o u i s e Ha i g h , not only did they come prepared, but the questions were also a two way street which is always a good sign of full engagement We left sensing they were keen to engage with our team on accessible flying

As we start the final downhill run to summer, things are looking bright We still need as much support to get this across the line, without you we are nothing – THANK YOU

For further information visit: www.flyingdisabled.org.uk and www.air4all.net

34 Ability Needs Magazine
C h r i s t o p h e r Wo o d M B E
Left to Right: Louise Haigh MP, Christopher Wood MBE, Martyn Sibley, Roberto Castiglioni MBE, Josh Wintersgill, Vicky Foxcroft MP, Sophie Morgan

Visiting Copenhagen – a guide to Denmark’s vibrant capital

ARRIVINGat Central Station in Copenhagen something strikes you – you have just travelled all the way from the airport on public transport and barely had to think about it. The public transport system is so well designed that it offers great accessibility to disabled travellers, with largely step-free access and plenty of space to manoeuvre on public transport.

This, to me, sums up what travel should be like for everyone, disabled or otherwise. We travel for the joy of seeing new places and experiencing different cultures, as well as just to get a break from the norm. It should be a given that this will be achievable for everyone but all too often it is not. However, Copenhagen does it pretty well.

A fantastic city to visit, whether for a long weekend or something more, the centre is relatively compact, meaning that it is easy to get around under your own steam. If wanting to go further afield, the metro system is designed to be wheelchair accessible. It is largely flat, with wide pavements. There are some cobbles but nothing insurmountable. And there is so much to see and do.

A great starting point is the Amalienborg Palace – at midday every day there is a changing of the guard service outside the palace, the official residence of the Danish Royal Family. Get there about half an hour earlier – the crowds aren’t large, but it gives you time to wander round and see the guards, stationed in numerous spots around the large square. Look closely, you may even see one crack a smile!

Five minutes away is the beautiful canal side area of Nyhavn. Colourful buildings line the waterside which houses lots of old wooden boats. Now Copenhagen’s poster girl, the area dates from the 17th century and was once notorious for sailors looking for beer and female company. Now trendy, the north side is peppered with outside bars and restaurants to enjoy the view. Unfortunately, due to the buildings being so old, many of the indoor restaurants are tricky as they have a few steps down, but the outside ones all come equipped with heaters and copious amounts of blankets on tap.

At the far end of Nyhavn a pedestrian bridge takes you over the water to Christianshavn, a great place to wander and see a different architectural style, with large modern and industrialised buildings developed into trendy housing.

This variety of architecture is one of the delights of Copenhagen which was awarded European City of Architecture in 2023. As such, a visit to the Danish Architecture Centre is a must – it’s a fascinating place to visit even if you don’t have a particular interest in architecture. It is also completely accessible.

Shopping? There is Strøget – officially the longest shopping street in Europe, there is everything from big brands to something more unique. Some shops are tricky to access due to steps, but most are manageable.

Perhaps round off your day at the Home of Carlsberg, the recently renovated original home of Denmark’s signature brew. The attraction offers a fascinating dive into the history of the beer, including the family behind it. It’s great for everyone, with interactive displays and the chance to sample some of the product! The team have worked hard to make it accessible and offer assistance to disabled users, who can visit around 90% of the site.

Copenhagen is wonderful. Denmark’s capital merges the vibrancy of the big city with a laid-back approach. People are friendly and cheery, food is good and while not perfect, it is a relatively easy city to navigate for those with disabilities.

Cheryl Everitt is the founder of A Wheel and Away, an accessible travel consultancy designed to help people with disabilities plan exciting and independent adventures. She is also mum to two young people who are wheelchair users and, as a family, they share a love of exploring new destinations.

For more information about A Wheel and Away go to www.awheelandaway.com

Ability Needs Magazine 35
The beautiful inside of Copenhagen Central Station Guards at the Amalienborg Palace Inside the Danish Architecture Centre Inside the Home of Carlsberg Along the waterfront at Nyhavn


EEHASteamed up with a host of footballing stars from the four Home Nations, including Declan Rice, Rachel Corsie, Bukayo Saka, Ella Toone, Harry Kane, Lisa Evans, Dion Charles and Mary Earps, to upskill the nation in British Sign Language (BSL) and help everyone feel a part of the football conversation.

While an estimated 1.2 million adults in the UK have hearing loss severe enough to impede most conversational speech, there are approximately only 150,000 BSL users (87,000 of whom are deaf). “Support. It’s in Your Hands” endeavors to change this by celebrating BSL, using sport as a catalyst to encourage the use of sign language in both deaf and non-deaf communities.

Created by EE with support from the Royal Association for Deaf people (RAD) and the Home Nations Football Associations, the campaign encapsulates the shared vision of creating an inclusive world that works for all.

BSL was officially recognised as a language of England, Wales and Scotland in 2002, and it was recently announced that it will be offered as a GCSE subject from 2025. However, with the number of people with hearing loss projected to increase in coming years (an estimated 14.2 million people in the UK will experience hearing loss by 2035), EE aims to ensure no one feels isolated by leveraging its lead partnership of the four Home Nations Football Associations to encourage the nation to learn some BSL and sign their support.

International footballers from the four Home Nations will teach BSL phrases in the form of easily digestible bitesize content, which will be available on EE LearnSmart (www.eelearnsmart.co.uk). The EE LearnSmart hub will provide resources to support

the learning of football themed BSL, including “goal”, “shoot”, “great defending” or “great tackle” so everyone can actively participate in the conversation surrounding the game.

The campaign launched with a film that shows all the ways, knowingly and unknowingly, BSL is incorporated in football, from the grassroots game to the international stage. The film has been created using a combination of archive footage, fan usergenerated content and original content, capturing players and fans across different levels of the game.

To further amplify the campaign, EE will activate across a range of touchpoints including:

•The film was played at England’s sold out friendly against Brazil at Wembley Stadium connected by EE and allocated two of its mascot spaces to deaf children who signed the National Anthem with guidance from RAD’s accredited British Sign Language performer.

•Harnessing FA partner channels to distribute content to promote the use of and learning of BSL. The highlight of these being the ‘EE BSL challenge’ which sees three male England players take on three Lionesses in an obstacle course that requires them to complete sign-based challenges with the help of four England Deaf squad players.

•Assembling a squad of five content creators to spread the message of inclusivity far and wide: the squad will consist of Shiona McClafferty, Jazzy Whipps, India Morse, Leon Walker Dobson and Ray Bradshaw, who will produce engaging content that helps teach the basics of BSL through the football lens.

•Facilitating training for its colleagues in Deaf Awareness courses which include some BSL basics. By encouraging greater Deaf Awareness internally, EE will also contribute to further Deaf Awareness and British Sign Language learning across BT Group, alongside an accessibility audit for consumer facing webpages.

The "Support. It's In Your Hands" campaign is part of EE’s ongoing and longstanding commitment to supporting the para & disability community in football and beyond. Last season this came to life through “New Signing” a campaign which saw the world’s first BSL pundits on televised sport. This is just the start for EE with many more activations planned for the coming year that reinforce EE’s commitment in supporting the Deaf community and people with hearing loss.

EE has worked closely with Royal Association for Deaf people (RAD) as a Charity Partner throughout the campaign to ensure that all accessibility requirements are met.

For more information on how to learn BSL and sign your support, visit eelearnsmart.co.uk and to watch the film scan the QR code.

36 Ability Needs Magazine

Teleflex Supports Monoski Event for People with Spinal Cord Injury

AS PART of the “Teleflex for Active Living” initiative, Teleflex support users of intermittent selfcatheterisation of all age groups in leading an active lifestyle that includes sports and recreation.

In January of this year, Teleflex partnered with Bullen Healthcare to sponsor the latest UK Freerider ski event. The aim of the Freerider Team is to challenge expectations and continue developing teaching techniques that improve and simplify the skiing experience for people with disabilities.

The Teleflex team travelled to Folgaria, Italy to help support the running of the event and assist the 10 people who participated. Whilst there they got to know some of the inspirational stories shared by the individuals in the group and the journeys that they had been on post spinal cord injury (SCI) to continue to live an independent and active life.

It was a brilliant experience for those who attended the trip, helping to raise awareness and challenge perceptions of SCI. Thanks to the amazing team of coaches there was no barrier for anyone, and this helped the group in accomplishing their own personal goals.

Improving the health and quality of people’s lives is Teleflex’ purpose, that is why their range of bladder catheters support mobility and independence by making intermittent catheterisation more convenient and more comfortable.

In Their Own Words: our new report on the state of UK audiology services


million adults in the UK are deaf, have hearing loss or tinnitus. This is 1 in 5 of us. By 2035, we estimate there’ll be around 14.2 million adults with hearing loss across the UK.

Even so, the experiences of people with hearing loss suggests the need for urgent improvement within current audiology services and investment to meet future demand. Our new In Their Own Words report explores more.

Audiology services play a crucial role in providing support and treatments to improve people’s hearing health. In recent years, audiology services have had reduced capacity due to staff shortages and inadequate funding, which has been exacerbated by the impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Given the growing number of people with hearing loss, and the high level of unmet need with an estimated 5 million people that could benefit from hearing aids but do not have them, urgent action is needed to address both the current and future demand for adult hearing services.

Our ambition is to improve hearing outcomes for people experiencing hearing loss. We want as many people as possible to have access to high quality hearing loss assessments, treatments, and support.

To help shape the conversation around adult hearing services, we surveyed 1,204 people across the UK to understand their experiences so that improvements can be built on user needs. Our new In Their Own Words report

summarises the latest insights on people’s experiences and their ideas for service improvement, including:


w a x r e m o va l, a n d l o c a l c om m u n i t y s u pp or t

3 E n c o u r a gi n g n e w t e c h n ol o gy a n d pa t i e n t

e m po w e r m e n t – s u c h a s p e o p le t r yi n g h e a r i n g d e v i c e s

i n a m or e n a t u r a l e n vi r o n m e

To read the report scan the QR code and for more information visit www.rnid.org.uk

Ability Needs Magazine 37
Ne w s e r vi c e m o d e l s – su c h a s r e m o t e o n l in e s u p po r t o pt io n s a n d fl e xib l e dr o p- i n c l i n i c s
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2 Be t t
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driver set for epic 2024 season thanks to sponsorship support from the Motability Scheme, the UK leader in disability motoring

Team BRIT driver Noah Cosby is preparing to take on the 2024 racing season thanks to a major new partnership with the Motability Scheme.

The Motability Scheme has announced its support of Team BRIT – the world’s only competitive team of all-disabled racing drivers. The scheme will be supporting Team BRIT’s mission to provide a level playing field for disabled drivers, whilst also directly supporting 19-year-old driver Noah from Towcester in Northampton.

Having joined the team in 2023 for his rookie year, Noah is now being supported through the new partnership which will enable him to complete a full season in the Britcar Trophy – moving him up the ladder of motorsport and onward in his racing dream. Around half of Team BRIT’s drivers are customers of the Motability Scheme which helps disabled people to get mobile by leasing a car, scooter or powered wheelchair with a worry-free

package of insurance, servicing and breakdown cover included.

Three years ago, Noah was on his way towards a career as a motocross freestyler when he misjudged a jump, breaking his back in the fall. He spent seven weeks in John Radcliffe Hospital in Oxford, following an operation in which 2 metal bars and 9 screws were attached to his spine to hold it into place. The impact of the fall had broken his spine at T6 and caused his spinal cord to stretch. Noah is now paralysed from the waist down.

In 2023, he signed for the team, and last year, Noah obtained his race licence and competed in the Citroen C1 Series, learning more about the sport and honing his skills.

Now, thanks to the partnership with the Motability Scheme, Noah will move up to the Britcar Trophy Championship, driving a BMW M240i with his teammate Asha Silva, also from Northampton. The Motability Scheme is also supporting the wider team, which this year will see two new rookies compete in a BMW 1 Series, and more experienced

40 Ability Needs Magazine

racers driving a McLaren 570S GT4 in the British Endurance Championship.

Noah said: “It’s hard to put into words how grateful I am for the belief and support of the team at the Motability Scheme. Their backing is enabling me to take the next step on my motorsport journey, which started so brilliantly with Team BRIT last year. It’s the perfect partnership – I have an adapted vehicle which I lease through the Scheme myself using my mobility allowance, as do many of my teammates, and the Motability Scheme is all about getting disabled people out, independent and active – an ethos at the heart of our team.

“I learned so much driving the C1, but I’m really excited to be taking on a new championship in a much more powerful car this year. Our races will also be on the same weekend as our teammates in the British Endurance Championship, so being part of the whole weekend of racing will be fantastic.

“Asha and I worked really well together in the C1 Series and she has such potential as a driver so I’m actually quite confident about the performances we’ll be putting in this year.”

Lisa Witherington, Managing Director of

Customer Services at Motability Operations, the company that deliver the Scheme, said:

“We are immensely proud to partner with Team BRIT and to support their youngest driver and Motability Scheme customer, Noah Cosby. We believe in Team BRIT’s mission to level the playing field for disabled people both in motorsport and beyond and our support will help them to achieve their aims.

"The Motability Scheme helps over 700,000 disabled people and their families access independent mobility which means they can live their life on their own terms and fulfil their dreams. We're all looking forward to watching Noah’s career with Team BRIT develop and supporting him to achieve his ambitions in motorsport.”

Information about Motability Scheme can be found at w w w m o t a b i l i t y c o u k

Information about Motability Operations, the company that delivers the Motability Scheme, can be found at w w w . m o t a bi l i t y o p e r a t i o n s .c o . u k

Ability Needs Magazine 41
on can be
found at

Can I claim PIP and work at the same time?

If you claim Personal Independence Payment (PIP), you may wonder if you can work at the same time.

What are the rules and regulations for people receiving PIP and working at the same time?

When applying for PIP, you may have first looked at the eligibility criteria on the UK Government Website It says who is eligible, including details about working The government states, “you can get PIP if you’re working or have savings”.

This is because PIP is not a means-tested benefit like Universal Credit is Means-tested is when your income and savings affect how much money you receive

Is there a maximum number of hours I can work?

Many people wonder about how many hours you can work on PIP You can work as many hours as you like whilst receiving PIP since it is not means-tested.

However, if you receive allowances such as Universal Credit or Employment Support Allowance (ESA), you may have a certain number of permitted work hours If you receive any other allowances, you should check what work you are allowed to do.

Also, be mindful that if you work many hours, you may be asked in your PIP assessment how you manage the work Tell your assessor about any work adaptations and recovery time you need afterwards. If working increases your symptoms, share that during your assessment too

Am I restricted on the activities I can do at work?

You can work any type of job for any number of hours while receiving PIP However, the type of work you do can be considered when you apply for PIP For example, if you have a physical disability and do a job with physical labour, you will likely be asked questions about this in your assessment

The points you receive after your PIP assessment relate to your ability to do certain daily living and mobility activities. If you can do something at work, such as carrying heavy objects, this will be considered PIP is broken down into twelve categories

• Preparing food

• Taking nutrition

• Managing therapy or monitoring a health condition

• Washing and bathing

• Managing toilet needs or incontinence

• Dressing and undressing

• Communicating verbally

• Reading and understanding signs, symbols and words

• Engaging with other people face to face

• Making budgeting decisions

• Planning and following jour neys

• Moving around

Does working affect my payments?

You must report any changes in circumstances to the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) that could affect your payments A change in circumstances can include your condition improving or declining, including when you are working If nothing changes, working will not affect your eligibility to receive PIP payments The amount you get is not impacted by your income

If you suddenly find yourself unable to work, additional support, such as Universal Credit, is available You can claim PIP alongside allowances such as Universal Credit and ESA

How do I inform the DWP if I decide to work?

If PIP is the only allowance you receive, you don’t need to tell the DWP if you start work You only need to tell them if your condition or symptoms change.

Interested in joining the Scheme?

About the Scheme

The Motability Scheme offers an all-inclusive package. If you are in receipt of a qualifying mobility allowance you can use it to lease a car, scooter, powered wheelchair, or Wheelchair Accessible Vehicle The Scheme provides flexible and hassle-free access to a brand-new, reliable vehicle of your choice As well as a great choice of cars, we also provide a wide range of Wheelchair Accessible Vehicles, scooters, and powered wheelchairs.


To join the Scheme, you must be in receipt of one of the following mobility allowances:

• Enhanced Rate of the Mobility Component of Personal Independence Payment (PIP)

• Higher Rate Mobility Component of Disability Living Allowance (DLA)

• Higher Rate Mobility Component of Child Disability Payment – Scotland

• War Pensioners’ Mobility Supplement (WPMS)

• Armed Forces Independence Payment (AFIP)

You can easily check whether you’re eligible to join the Motability Scheme by using our eligibility checker tool at www.motability.co.uk/how-it-works?

42 Ability Needs Magazine
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THOUSANDS of blind and partially sighted people are being denied their right to vital rehabilitation services – the first step in rebuilding life after sight loss – a Freedom of Information (FOI) request to local authorities in England has revealed. A new report by RNIB unearths the hidden scandal of people at all stages of sight loss being let down by a forgotten, under-resourced social care service, operating without scrutiny and with a veritable patchwork provision of care.

Some 86 per cent of local authorities are missing the 28-day recommended deadline by the Local Government and Social Care Ombudsman to explore a person’s needs after sight loss – which can happen over time or suddenly and without warning.

RNIB’s stark FOI report, entitled ‘Out of Sight: The Hidden Scandal of Vision Rehabilitation Services Across England’, highlights that 26 per cent of local authorities leave blind and partially sighted people waiting more than a year for a vision rehabilitation assessment and subsequent support – sometimes at a traumatic time. These delays to the support people with sight loss are legally entitled to also leaves them at increased risk of physical accidents and injuries, as well as mental health crises.

assessed adult social care services not to be monitored by the care regulators, such as the CQC, allowing delays to pass unnoticed.

Vivienne Francis, RNIB’s Chief Social Change Officer said: “Life changes after sight loss, sometimes overnight, often in dramatic ways. By law, support must be provided through specialist vision rehabilitation services run by local councils or contracted out to third parties, but our FOI report shows the service is completely unregulated with a patchwork provision of care leaving people with sight loss falling through the cracks.”

Done well, vision rehabilitation equips people with new ways to stay independent: to get out and about, adapt their work, do the weekly shop and enjoy the hobbies they love – with the lack of support leading some to tell RNIB they fear they will become isolated.

To add to the inequity, vision rehabilitation services, and preventative services in general, are the only specially

RNIB’s full policy recommendations:

RNIB’s FOI report also highlighted how under-resourced vision rehabilitation services are, with a quarter (26 per cent) of local authorities using non-specialists to undertake vital assessments and some areas having no vision rehabilitation specialists at all. The report also showed that nearly a quarter (22 per cent) of local authorities have ongoing vacancies for specialist staff.

Vivienne Francis, RNIB’s Chief Social Change Officer, continues: “We know that local authorities in England are struggling to cope with the rise in demand for vision rehabilitation services, and to resource the service effectively. However, threadbare services mean that thousands of blind and partially sighted people wait often more than twelve months without the support they’re entitled to so they can live their lives to the full. This hidden social care injustice needs to be fixed – we’re calling on all UK political parties to commit to ensuring people with sight loss get the emotional and practical support they need, when they need it.”

1.RNIB is calling for vision rehabilitation services to be subjected to the same regulation and monitoring as other adult social care services. This could be done within the current legislative framework and by extending the remit of the Care Quality Commission.

2.Commissioning of the National Institute for Health and Care Excellence to develop guidelines and quality standards, with local authorities having to report on these to government and publish annually.

3.Recognise the skill and expertise of Vision Rehabilitation Specialists (and Qualified Habilitation Specialists) by making Vision Rehabilitation Specialists a regulated profession.

4.Encourage better integration of services through strengthened links between secondary and social care settings, with a guaranteed route in to vision rehabilitation for everyone who needs it, while ensuring blind and partially sighted people are made aware of their rights and the services they can expect to receive.

For more information call the RNIB Helpline on 0303 123 9999 or visit www.rnib.org.uk.

26 Ability Needs Magazine
R N I B ’ s n e w F O I r e p o r t r e v e a l s a h i d d e n s o c i a l c a r e s c a n d a l

Participants needed for UK-wide clinical research trial comparing hearing aids and cochlear implants

The Nottingham Clinical Trials Unit at the University of Nottingham are running a clinical trial to learn whether cochlear implants or hearing aids are better for individuals whose hearing falls just outside present NHS standards for receiving a cochlear implant. Help shape the future provision of cochlear implants in the UK by joining the trial, which is running in several city hospitals across the UK.

W h a t t h e t r i a l i s f o r

The trial will assess whether a cochlear implant or hearing aids are better at improving speech understanding for adults with severe hearing loss.

The research team running the trial (COACH) do not know which treatment option is better, or if they are similar, for this group of people, which the trial will help them to understand. The results of the trial could help set standards for the future provision of cochlear implants in the UK.

W h o c a n t a k e p a r t ?

The research team are seeking 130 adults with severe hearing loss who do not meet the NHS standards

for a cochlear implant but are close.

Participants will need to be able to reach one of the nine NHS hospitals hosting the trial, including: Guys and St Thomas’s, UCL and St. George’s in London, or at NHS hospitals in Birmingham, Manchester, Bradford, Cardiff, South Tees, and Nottingham.

Wh a t t o e x pe c t

Participants will receive cutting-edge hearing technology. Half of the participants will receive the best available hearing aids, while the other half will undergo cochlear implant surgery.

Every participant will receive comprehensive support throughout, including regular clinical appointments.

The research activities you’ll be asked to take part in include:

•completing questionnaires about your hearing •attending face-to-face research appointments for hearing and speech tests.

At the end of the trial, you’ll get to keep your trial hearing aid or cochlear implant. Travel expenses, food, or overnight hotel stays incurred will be funded.

Sight Village Central

Eastside Rooms, Birmingham

Monday 8th July: 10am - 4pm & Tuesday 9th July: 9.30am - 3.30pm

Sight Village North East

East Royal Armouries, Leeds

Wednesday 25th September: 9.30am - 3.30pm

Sight Village South East

Kensington Town Hall, London

Tuesday 5th November: 10.30am - 5.30pm

H O W T O A P P LY To l e a r n m o r e a n d j o i n t h i s g r o u n d b r e a k i n g i n i t i a t i v e , e m a i l t h e r e s e a r c h t r i a l t e a m a t C O A C H @n o t t i n g h a m .a c .u k , o r vi s i t w w w.c o a c h t r i a l .a c .u k
Ability Needs Magazine 45 www.qacsightvillage.org.uk
803 5313
An unmissable FREE event, for people of all ages living with varying degrees Sight Village is described as ‘the UK’s leading exhibition for blind and partially sighted people and for those experiencing sight problems.’ Each year thousands of people visit our events to find out at first hand the latest technology, products and support services. oCardnaxelAneeuQ nevE4202 egello stn ROMTUODNIFOT SCAQ TISIVER agroerasnoitibihxeegalliVthgiS giscaq.www hCardnaxelAneeuQybdesina ku.gro.egallivthg mahgnimriBytira LLACR 1353081210

Tea Break

Remember When...

All these events occurred in the same year but in which year was it?

• The Campaign for Nuclear Disarmament (CND) held its first public meeting

• Sputnik 1 disintegrated as it entered the Earth’s atmosphere

• Harold Pinter’s “The Birthday Party” was premiered

• 21 year old Garfield Sobers scored a record 365 Test runs

“…If we can learn to think about other people in a more positive and realistic way, it will be far easier to resolve conflicts and develop rewarding personal and professional relationshipsr others, you will find it in yourself.”…”
David D. Burns

Wordplay: GOURD

The word may seem familiar but do you know what it means?

A – Ailment of the throat

B – A fruit of the cucumber family

C – Wooden fencing

Who Am I?

• A singer, I was born in New York in 1939.

• I composed the song - Is This The Way To Amarillo.

• My Top Ten hits of the 1960’s included: Oh! Carol, Breaking Up Is Hard To Do and Happy Birthday Sweet Sixteen. Who am I?



1. Sprat or Sparrow? (4)

3. Bun spice (8)

9. One fails to keep up (7)

10. One’s not in a mainstream religion (5)

11. Sheriff’s men (5)

12. Common expression (6)

14. Highly unusual (13)

17. Colourless fluid part of blood (6)

19. Y is sometimes considered one (5)

22. Deceitful (5)

23. Temporary (7)

24. Ponder (8)

25. Spiteful (4)


1. Old bangers (8)

2. Irritating substance used to temporarily incapacitate (2,3)

4. Diarist insult (anag) – tycoon (13)

5. Cold (5)

6. One of the base shades used in four-colour printing (7)

7. Office worker’s traditional start time (4)

8. Recording device (6)

13. Perennial flowering plant which grows from a tuber (8)

15. Revealing (7)

16. Give it to a guest (6)

18. (A) lot (5)

20. Not so well (5)

21. Group (of countries) sharing common goals (4)


1. Which controversial English bassist was named after an aggressive pet hamster?

2. Demerara sugar. Demerara is a region in which South American country?

3. Which 1965 film; based on a 1949 autobiography, was the biggest box office hit of the 1960s?

4. Tisane is another word for which popular kind of beverage?

5. Which M.R. was a Spider from Mars?

6. The Admiral Benbow Inn is an important setting in which popular novel?

7. A well-known southern US city and the most populated city in the world in 2,000 BC.

8. Mayday is an emergency call used in maritime and aeronautical radio communications to signal imminent danger. Which two words, repeated three times, is used to signal a state of urgency?

9. Who is the only person to have won the so called 'Golden Slam' in tennis? (All four Grand Slam singles and Olympic Gold in a calendar year)

10. What is the only country in the world with five red crosses on its national flag?

Crossword Quiz Who Said That? Thought of the Day Wordplay Knowledge boosting...Trivia! Tea Break Quick Crossword Quiz Who Said That? Thought of the Day Wordplay Knowledge boosting...Trivia! Tea Break Quick Crossword Quiz Who Said That? Thought of the Day Wo rdplay Knowledge boosting...Trivia! Tea Break Quick Crossword Quiz Who Said That? Thought of the Day Wordplay Knowledge

Tea Break Quick Crossword
Ability Needs Magazine 47
Answers can be found on page 48
ABILITY NEEDS Tea Break is sponsored by Getting you noticed Tel: 07968 421428
Thought for the day


48 Ability Needs Magazine The Journal for Special Needs Groups, Carers and People with Disabilities Reader Subscription Form Name Job Title Address Postcode Tel No Signature Date To obtain the next four issues of Ability Needs Magazine, please tick box and attach a cheque for £10 made payable to Ability Needs at: Special Needs Group Nursing Home/Care Home Based at Home Social Work Department Local Authority NHS Trust Private Hospital Social Service Director TERMS OF SUBSCRIPTION 7 Montgomerie Terrace, Ayr, KA7 1JL Cheque attached Receipt
Jack; 3 Cinnamon; 9 Laggard; 10 Pagan; 11 Posse; 12 Saying; 14 Extraordinary; 17. Plasma; 19. Vowel; 22. Lying; 23. Interim; 24. Cogitate; 25. Mean DOWN 1. Jalopies; 2.
Quick Crossword ACROSS 1
CS gas;
Magenta; 7. Nine; 8. Camera; 13. Cyclamen; 15. Telling; 16. Invite; 18. Sight; 20. Worse; 21. Bloc
1. Sid Vicious; 2. Guyana; 3. The Sound of Music; 4. Herbal tea; 5. Mick Ronson; 6. Treasure Island; 7. Memphis; 8. Pan-pan; 9. Stefi Graf (1988); 10. Georgia Remember When . . . 1958 Word play B – A fruit of the cucumber family Who Am I? Neil Sedaka

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