A Focus on the Transitional Years

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A Focus on the Transitional Years Thursday 21st March 2019 9.30am – 4.30pm Ericsson Exhibition Hall Ricoh Arena Coventry CV6 6AQ

Are you aged 16-25 years? Take a look... Part of

Charity number: 224742

Celebrating 10 Fantastic Years of Kidz to Adultz Middle

Disabled Living (organisers of the Kidz to Adultz events) is extremely proud to be celebrating 10 years of Kidz to Adultz Middle at the very prestigious Ricoh Arena. This event was established and added to our events portfolio in 2009, following on from feedback from our visitors to make our events more accessible to those who would benefit from attending right across the Midlands area. Over the last 10 years we have welcomed 22,476 visitors through the doors who have been able to access the most up to date information and advice on equipment, products and services for children and young adults with disabilities and additional needs. To accommodate demand for growth, the exhibition has grown from the original 2,000sqm to 4,000sqm plus additional seminar rooms. This is a remarkable achievement and one we are extremely proud of. What about the next 10 years, what does the future hold for our Kidz to Adultz events? We do listen, value and take on board our visitors’ feedback on what they would like to see more of at our events. We are constantly looking at ways to develop and meet our growing visitors needs and bridge those information gaps, particularly as a large number of our children are now entering their teenage and young adult years and moving on to adult services.

We are currently working on expanding our remit further to include more information on transition in terms of services, education (colleges, university process and support) training, career information, holidays, travel including driving with a disability 16+, financial matters and much more. Are you an individual going through the transitional period? What would you like to see at the Kidz to Adultz events? Do you have a child, who is going through the transition to adult services? We would love to hear about your experience whether positive or negative and if you encountered any barriers along the way? Are you a company or organisation who supports the transitional age group and want to be a part of the Kidz to Adultz experience? Please do get in touch. We do look forward to supporting our visitors over many years to come. Carmel Hourigan Senior Manager, Kidz to Adultz

Be in with the chance of winning a one night stay, double or twin room with breakfast at DoubleTree by Hilton Hotel at the Ricoh Arena – Coventry As part of our 10 year celebrations all visitors who attend the event will be entered into our prize draw with a chance to win this fabulous prize:A table of four at the Saracens match in our Premier Hospitality Lounge at the Ricoh Arena including the following – • Three Course, Choice Menu • Champagne reception on Arrival • Complimentary Selected Wines, Beers and Soft Drinks until the Final Whistle • Pre-Match Commentary from a Wasp first team player • A Complimentary official match day programme • Complimentary Tea & Coffee • Direct access to the corporate balcony • On-site match day parking • Includes hotel accommodation – 1 night (twin or double room with breakfast) Value £900

In association with

Click here to register for your visitors FREE entry tickets for Kidz to Adultz Middle

Click here to view the exhibitor list

Transition to Adult Care: Ready Steady Go

In healthcare, we use the word transition to describe the process of preparing, planning and moving from children’s to adult services. We understand that moving away from a team of doctors and nurses that you have been with for many years can be scary but hopefully, by getting involved in the transition process, you will feel more confident and happier about the move. To support you through transition, we've developed the Ready Steady Go training programme.

Who is it for? You, if you or your child, is over 11 years old with a long-term condition.

How? Ask your team about the Ready Steady Go programme.

What is it? A programme to help you gain the knowledge and skills to manage your condition.

For more information please see our moving into adult care patient information leaflet. Please see our useful links page for support and advice with various topics.

Why? Improves long-term outcomes. Helps you gain the confidence and skills to move to adult services.

University Hospital Southampton www.uhs.nhs.uk

School's Out... What’s Next for Teens & Young Adults with Disabilities and Additional Needs?

Are you looking to stay in education? Attend College or University? Apply for a job? With the correct planning, guidance and support there are a number of opportunities available for you to make the transitional journey into adulthood.

Independent Specialist Colleges Independent Specialist Colleges provide day and residential further education for young people with disabilities and/or learning difficulties. Natspec (The Association of National Specialist Colleges) is the membership association for organisations which offer this specialist provision. The Natspec College Directory lists all the UK colleges, information about their courses, specialist support areas and college facilities. These Independent Specialist Colleges provide students with rich learning environments, various vocational study programmes including supported internship opportunities, personal care programmes and help with building employability and independent living skills.

The Colleges also provide facilities such as in-house Physiotherapists, Occupational Therapists, Speech & Language Therapists and other therapeutic provisions such a multi-sensory rooms, counselling, horticulture provision and sporting activities. The Children’s and Families Act 2014, which established the Education, Health and Care Plans (EHC Plans), allows for Independent Specialist Colleges to be on an approved list and that parents/young people have the right to request the college if they feel that a Local Authority college does not meet the needs of their child/young person. An EHC is a legal document that can be issued to a child or young person between the ages of 0-25 years. It outlines their special education, health and social care needs and explains the extra help that will be given to meet these needs.

EHC Plans are for those people who require more help than would be provided in mainstream education (nursery, schools & colleges) and are drawn up by the Local Authority after an EHC Needs Assessment. Mainstream Colleges Mainstream colleges must support students with Special Educational Needs in a similar way that mainstream schools do. Learning Support is given to a young person with special education needs or a disability who requires support but who does not have an EHC Plan. This includes doing everything they can to identify the needs of students with SEN and putting in place the help they need therefore removing barriers to learning. This can include specialists screening, 1:1 support, individual support plans, classroom support, access arrangements and assistive technology provision such as text reading software. For students with complex or multiple disabilities many Colleges offer specialist provision and support on Entry Level courses. Employment The Equality Act 2010 states that employers have to remove barriers in the workplace for disabled people and financial support is available to help them to make reasonable adjustments. If, however, you feel that reasonable adjustments are not sufficient you may be eligible to receive an Access to Work grant from the Department of Works & Pension (DWP). The Access to Work Grant can pay for specialist equipment, adaptations, support worker and transport costs. The government now runs the Disability Confidence Scheme which has replaced the two ticks scheme.

An employer can sign up to this scheme which is designed to help employers increase opportunities to recruit, retain and develop disabled people in the workplace. There are a number of job sites aimed at disabled people such as Disability Jobsite, EmployAbility, Evenbreak and Incluzy and there are also a number of National & Local agencies that offer support and help to people to move towards and into employment such as Remploy and Pluss.

Higher Education Universities offer a wide range of services for students to ensure inclusive learning including practical help, guidance and support with your studies and University life. Student Services can help with applying for a Disabled Students’ Allowance (DSA’s), which is funding to pay towards additional support costs such as equipment, specialist software, helper allowance and travel costs. They will also arrange for any recommendations or reasonable adjustments arising from a needs assessment to be carried out to ensure that you can fully access teaching, learning, assessments and exams. Disabled Living is a Registered Charity and as part of our work we organise the Kidz to Adultz events.

These events were established in 2001 and are now collectively the largest UK exhibitions totally dedicated to children and young adults up to 25 years with disabilities and additional needs. With over 100+ exhibitors at each event, the exhibition is a one stop shop for the most up to date advice and information on mobility, funding, seating, beds, communication, continence, sensory, transition, education, housing, employment, accessible vehicles, transport, style, sports, leisure and much, much more.

Running alongside each exhibition are free Accredited CPD seminars on a wide range of issues and interests. Inline with changes to the Care Act 2014 and following on from feedback from our visitors, we are constantly looking at ways to develop our events to meet our growing visitor’s needs and bridge those information gaps, particularly as a large number of our children are now entering their teenage and young adult years and moving on to adult services. More recently we expanded our remit to include more information on transition, especially education provision and employment. At our next event, Kidz to Adultz Middle, there are a number of Independent Specialist Colleges exhibiting. For further information and to view those attending visit our website. References: DWP, Scope, Natspec Joanne Mulligan - Team Leader Kidz to Adultz

And on to College...

Carefully planned transition arrangements for young people with Special Educational Needs and Disability (SEND) is an essential part of their preparation for adulthood. The SEND Code of Practice (2015) recommends that local authorities should be ambitious for young people with SEND by promoting what they can achieve and raising their aspirations. The transition to adulthood can be challenging and fraught with uncertainty for any young person. For young people with SEND, the additional stresses caused by the uncertainty of change requires effective communication, planning and support to ensure the process of transition is a positive experience. At Condover College Limited (CCL), we plan and manage the transition from school to adulthood through a comprehensive assessment of the young person’s current placement. Alongside conducting our own specialist multi-disciplinary assessments, we work closely with the young person’s current school or provider, with their parents/carers and any specialist that may have been supporting them in recent years. Families provide a valuable insight into the young person’s strengths, needs, likes and

dislikes, assisting CCL in planning a carefully tailored and ambitious individual learning programme and comprehensive care and support plan. Young people attending our education provision follow an individual learning programme that is specifically designed around their individual needs and drawn from our rich and diverse curriculum. Each individual learning programme is developed at the end of an indepth 6 week baseline assessment during the first half term. This allows us to build a clear picture of the young person, identify their strengths and the skills they need to develop further and enable us to establish a very clear starting point for their learning. Transition planning and management continues throughout their education at CCL with a particular emphasis on students engaging in a range of transition experiences and options in the final year. This underpins the careers information advice and guidance that they receive to help them make informed choices about their next steps into adult life. Visit Condover College on stand V31. www.condovercollege.co.uk

...And Then to Work

BASE is a national charity that promotes the principles and delivery of high quality Supported Employment services. Our brief is to represent, inform and encourage best practice. We support our members through collective representation on policy and funding issues; advice and information; and the exchange of best practice through training, regional networks and events. Our Knowledge Base brings together a range of resources for Supported Employment practitioners. BASE aims to: • Assist people with disabilities by encouraging the provision of support into employment. • Endorse & promote quality standards in the delivery of Supported Employment. • Nurture & encourage the setting up of new supported employment services. • Promote the training of supported employment personnel throughout the UK. • Provide regular, detailed information including an advisory & development service to association members. • Liaise & negotiate with national and international government & non-government organisations to promote the aims of the Association.

Training and Consultancy We want to support improved practice across the sector. Find out more about our range of training courses and consultancy support. Explore our training courses https://www.base-uk.org/training-andconsultancy Events BASE holds regular regional member forums and an annual conference that brings together Supported Employment practitioners. We also advertise selected external events. View event listings - https://www.base-uk.org/upcomingevents www.base-uk.org

From Placement to Paid Employment... Charlie, a former Queen Alexandra College (QAC) student, has successfully entered paid employment with The Albion Foundation – the charity of West Bromwich Albion Football Club. During his time at QAC Charlie achieved a BTEC Level 2 in Sport. The College provided the structure that Charlie needed and offered him the opportunity to complete an external work placement as part of his programme with The Albion Foundation during his first year.

Initially the placement was over a four week period, but it went so well it became ongoing during his time at College with staff supporting. Charlie commented: “With the help of QAC I was able to fulfil my long-term goal of securing paid employment. I love my job, the responsibility and various tasks that I have to complete. I have also recently passed my driving test; I can now drive into work independently using my own car!”

QAC is a national specialist residential college for people with disabilities based in Birmingham. The College provides education, training and routes to independent living and employment. At QAC learning is planned around individual needs, interests and ambitions with a team of specialists on site who are able to support students. For more information about QAC please visit www.qac.ac.uk or call 0121 428 5050. QAC will be exhibiting on stand V2.

...And Then Your Own Home Jess, a former residential student at Queen Alexandra College (QAC), has gained the skills and confidence to live semi-independently in her own supported living flat. In addition to developing her independent living skills in one of the residential houses on campus, Jess successfully gained a Level 3 IT qualification during her time at college. Jess commented: “QAC has assisted me to get where I am today. I love having my own flat because I have my own space and more freedom to do what I want. Since living on my own I have continued to grow in confidence and feel I am able to live independently without relying on my family. I still have access to support and the staff are brilliant!”

Jess enjoys accessing the local community and is looking forward to starting a work placement volunteering for a local charity. Visit QAC on stand V2.

The World Is Yours to Explore

We all have various interests, from the more physically challenging activities like sports and enjoying nature, to cultural events related with music and arts, or even sharing different hobbies. Joining some of these events and activities is a particular challenge when you are a young person with a disability or additional needs. We’ve put together information about some accessible activities, interests and sports that can give you an idea of some of the organisations that can support you to explore new interests and open up to new experiences. Interested in sport? It is important to have spaces that can provide fun, social and sporting activities which engage young people with exercise and keeping fit, as well as connecting them with new friends and encouraging them to participate in local events and activities. We all agree that sport has value in everyone's life, it is even more important in the life of a young person with a disability.

Below are 5 reasons why you should try a sport: Sports will help you to develop your social skills. Taking part in sport is a great way to socialise and make new friends with similar interests. Gaining more independence. Improving physical stamina and well-being. Some of the positive results are fewer secondary medical conditions i.e. diabetes, hypertension. A boost to your mental ability, motivation and combating stress. Helps you to grow in confidence.

This year’s Kidz to Adultz Middle has some fantastic exhibitors offering a wide range of sport and leisure activities. Have a look at Cerebral Palsy (CP) Sport (stand V13) and WheelPower (stand V6). They help young people access a sport of their choice, have active lives and improve the quality of life through the provision of appropriate sport and recreational activities. We’d also recommend you to have a look at The English Federation of Disability Sport. They can also provide you with programmes and sports in your local area www.efds.co.uk/ Festival lover? Experiencing every aspect of what the best festivals have to offer can be more difficult for people with limited mobility and other disabilities. Nevertheless, most of the major festivals in the UK are making efforts to improve their accessibility and inclusion. Festival Spirit (stand V23) is a charity providing the full festival experience to young people who would not normally be able to attend and enjoy such an event due to lifelimiting illness or disability. They provide 'buddies' to assist guests and their carers to get around the festival site and to make the most of the weekend event, see bands and attend all the other exciting workshops and activities on offer. We recommend you to contact the Festival you’re interested in attending and enquire about accessible options. Sometimes this information is not easy to find online but you’d be surprised to find out that some of these events have: accessible shuttle buses, accessible campsites, hearing loop systems, BSL support, accessible shower and toilet facilities, volunteer stewards, together with wheelchair recharging and hire services.

Our colleague Chris Cammis reviewed the Bluedot Festival on this blog: How This Year’s Bluedot Festival Inspired and Entertained. www.disabledliving.co.uk/blog/bluedotfestival/ Taste of the countryside If you don’t like busy, crowded areas, but prefer to venture outside the city or going to places like parks with open space then check out our Disabled Living blog “Exploring the British Countryside from a Wheelchair’s Seat” for some good tips! www.disabledliving.co.uk/blog/exploringthe-british-countryside-from-a-wheelchairsseat/ Another good website for countryside fans is: www.accessiblecountryside.org.uk We’d also recommend you to check out your Local Offer website. You can find out about all of the learning, health and care services there are for young people up to the age of 25 with special educational needs locally on the SEND Local Offer web pages. Family breaks Family breaks provide an opportunity for young people to have fun, gain independence, learn and develop through leisure and recreation activities. At the same time, families get to take a much needed break from their 24-hour caring. Below are two of our Kidz to Adultz exhibitors that provide related grants and services: Family Fund (Stand V34) - UK's largest provider of grants to families who are raising a disabled or seriously ill child or young person. Their grants bring practical and essential help that is often a lifeline to a family such as washing machines, fridges, bedding, specialist toys and much needed family breaks.

3H Fund (Helping Hands for Holidays) (Stand V27) - is a registered charity that organises group holidays for physically disabled children and adults with the help of volunteer carers, thereby allowing regular carers to have a period of respite. The charity also runs a grant programme, carers' days and day trips for teenagers and younger carers. It is worth noting, in most cases local authorities provide some level of provision for short breaks, each with their specific requirements and specifications. Here is an example from Coventry City Council for “Community Short Breaks” www.coventry.gov.uk/info/156/special_educ ational_needs_and_disabilities/1812/short_ breaks Holidays abroad Living with a disability should not stop a young person from leading an active and enjoyable life and from being supported to get out and travel. Independent travel is a key skill for all young people to have fun, travel safely and confidently. Here are links to some travel blog posts on Disabled Living's website: A Guide to Travelling on Aeroplanes with Your Disability: www.disabledliving.co.uk/blog/guidetravelling-aeroplanes-disability/ Why Barcelona Is One of the Best Accessible Travel Destinations: www.disabledliving.co.uk/blog/visitingbarcelona-in-a-wheelchair/ Finding accessible accommodation for disabled people can be a challenge. Booking and planning it all can put some people off entirely. However, in more recent years there has been

a growth in specialised travel agencies providing information, specialised services that are tailor-made for your needs. Affinity Design EU (stand F3) is developing accessible holiday villas for disabled people, in particular those with high dependency needs. They are designed and developed by a disabled person conscious of the need for quality holiday accommodation with a high level of equipment provision, including electrical ceiling and mobile hoists and a private swimming pool also with a hoist. Would you like to venture across the pond? Grainge Villa Florida (stand A3) has two villas located in Florida near to Disney World. They are fully accessible and have an electric pool hoist, single electric profiling bed, electric portable hoist tilt and space shower commode chair among other equipment. You can also find Seable Holidays on our Suppliers Directory via https://supplierdirectory.disabledliving.co. uk/seable-holidays/. Their clients range from first time travellers to experienced holidaymakers of any age and sight impairment. If you are a young person with disabilities you’ll find that with the right support you’ll be able to test your limits, open your horizons and travel. Reach out to those that can share their travelling experiences, from travelling agencies, disability websites and young people’s life style blogs. This will allow you to gain new knowledge on different cultures and different styles of living. The world is yours to explore! You can find the exhibitor’s list for Kidz to Adultz Middle 2019 on our website. Nina Rios Business Development & Marketing Coordinator Kidz to Adultz

It Can't Be All Work and No Play - Accessible Gaming

A lot has been said about video games over the years. They have been called addictive and harmful to children and adults, but this is not necessarily true for everyone. They have steadily become more mainstream. In fact, many people can benefit greatly from picking up a video game controller and playing to their heart’s desire. Esports are massive at the moment, and while you may not have heard about it, roughly 2 billion people spend many hours a week absorbed in the online gaming world. Being in a wheelchair may prevent you from some social activities but when you play a video game, you can play with your friends without the worry that you may not be able to join in or without the pressure of ‘will it be accessible?’ Games not only offer a virtual reality that allows you to experience the world in new ways, but gaming enables you to join social communities and connect with new people. For someone who may be unable to participate in social activities outside their home, video games are way to combat the feeling of isolation.

Whether you are disabled or not disabled, the reasons we game are pretty much the same, to have fun, for the challenge, to relax and to engage with friends. It’s quite possible that many disabled people are excluded entirely from gaming because they do not have the necessary assistive technology or a way to access it. There are organisations such as SpecialEffect, AbleGamers Charity and Everyone Can, who offer support and the use of new technologies. Everyone can exhibit at Disabled Livings Kidz to Adultz Exhibitions; they have their own Gaming Centre in Manchester where they use the most up to date equipment and the use of alternative control methods.

They also offer assessments to find practical solutions that can improve your level of independence. They also offer Workshops and Individual Training where they demonstrate how technology can help disabled people become more independent. One of their workshops is called ‘Transition’, to ensure young people are prepared for when they leave education. Many games and consoles allow remapping of controls to allow for different play styles. Again, this benefits everyone and allows the player to change the gaming experience to meet their requirements. Microsoft has done some great things recently. They launched their Xbox Adaptive Controller in September 2018, they have even taken a unique approach to the packaging, making it easier to open without any annoying twist ties or difficult to remove plastics.

Accessibility in gaming has come a long way. The gaming industry makes more money than the music and film industry combined. A great deal of revenue can be gained or lost through accessibility. Another important reason is of course the difference it makes to people’s lives. Games offer access to recreation, culture, socialising. These are things that many people take for granted, but if for any reason your access to any of those is restricted in day to day life, being able to access them through games instead can make it a really powerful contributor to your quality of life. The Belgrade Theatre and Lincoln University are inviting participants at the Kidz to Adultz Middle event to test out computer games that have been designed to be accessible to manual wheelchair users by post graduate students. Come along to stand C2. Kerry Hyde - Business Administrator Kidz to Adultz

Come along to Kidz to Adultz Middle and have a look at the WAV's!

Disabled Motoring UK

For those who are relatively new to driving it can be a daunting task and this is particularly true for disabled motorists. Fortunately Disabled Motoring UK (DMUK) is dedicated to improving the motoring experience for disabled people and in this article you will find out more about our campaigning work and how DMUK can help you.

Blue Badge Enforcement DMUK is the charity that campaigns on behalf of disabled motorists, passengers and Blue Badge holders. If you are new to driving with a disability you may not know how regularly disabled bays are used by people who do not have a Blue Badge, but unfortunately it is a very common problem that can cause a lot of inconvenience for disabled people. This is why we run a number of initiatives to try to make sure that the integrity of the Blue Badge Scheme is upheld and disabled bays are available to those who are entitled to use them. Our Disabled Parking Accreditation (DPA), for example, is a certified accreditation awarded to car park operators who run accessible car parks and enforce their disabled bays effectively.

This means that when you enter a DPA accredited car park you can be sure that it is fully accessible. Visit www.dpaccreditation.org.uk to find an accredited car park near you. When tackling disabled bay abuse we also think it is crucial to educate the general public about the importance of respecting the Blue Badge scheme. Our Baywatch campaign helps us to achieve this goal. Throughout the campaign we ask members of the public to complete a survey relating to the amount of Blue Badge abuse that occurs at their local supermarket. We then contact the supermarkets to bring the problem to their attention and try to improve their enforcement practices. If you would like to take part in Baywatch this June please visit our website.

The more members we have the stronger our campaigning voice can be. Joining Disabled Motoring UK as an online member is free. Simply go to our website www.disabledmotoring.org and sign up using our online form. Once registered as an online member you will receive an electronic newsletter once a month keeping you up-to-date on our current campaigns and will be able to access our members’ only area of the website. Most importantly you’ll be lending your voice to our vital campaigns.

Refuelling For many disabled people who are getting ready to start driving the most pressing task is finding out what adaptations they will need to have fitted to their vehicle to enable them to drive. Therefore you would be forgiven for not giving much thought to how you are going to refuel your vehicle. Disabled people who need assistance at petrol stations often have to sound their horn and wave their Blue Badge in the air and this can cause a lot of distress. DMUK is working with two companies who have developed promising solutions to this problem, one is Fuelmii and the other is MyHailo. Joining DMUK Disabled Motoring UK will only be successful at campaigning as long as it has a strong membership.

If you want to be kept more informed you can sign up as a full member of DMUK. As well as receiving the benefits which online members have you’ll also get a monthly magazine and gain access to our fantastic discounts package. Full membership is £24 per year. Come and visit us on stand D2.

To find out more information about Disabled Motoring UK please visit www.disabledmotoring.org. Disabled Motoring UK

Is Driving for You?

Driving Mobility assessment centres enable safety and independence for young drivers with disabilities If you are a driver seeking to gain or retain the ability to drive following a diagnosis involving impairment or disability, then visiting a driving assessment centre accredited by the charity Driving Mobility will help. Supported by the Department for Transport, Driving Mobility oversees twenty independent organisations across the UK, many with satellite centres, each offering specialist driving and mobility assessments. Teenagers and young adults wishing to apply can do so as a self-referral, via the DVLA, Motability or a healthcare professional such as a GP. Many of these services are available for young people along with their parents and carers – all focused on maximising independence from an early age through to adulthood. Assessments and recommendations focus on appropriate provision of assisted driving controls, adapted vehicles, wheelchairs, paediatric car seats, equipment loading and passenger transfers.

Each centre provides a qualified team of professionals such as Occupational Therapists (OT) and Advanced Driving Instructors (ADI) so a comprehensive and clinically-led service is delivered. Driving Mobility driving assessments aim to evaluate a person’s ability to drive a vehicle safely. Individuals, from the age of 16, can complete a full driving assessment if they hold a provisional or full driving licence. Following a medical evaluation with an OT they have the opportunity to trial the best-suited vehicle adaptations in a dual-controlled car safely accompanied by an ADI. Some centres with off-road facilities can even provide an in-car driving assessment prior to a provisional driving licence being received.

ensure a suitable seating position is achieved along with vehicle compatibility. Additionally, a selection of centres can arrange wider assistive equipment assessments with paediatric OTs to include solutions for bathing, sleeping, standing and walking. Throughout the year, several Driving Mobility centres host Open Days and specific events aimed at young disabled people.

As well as providing detailed reports, centres provide impartial advice regarding specialist driving lessons and financial options for tuition or vehicle adaptations. A free information service covers a range of subjects including DVLA legislation, Motability leasing through to vehicle convertors and insurance. The core focus for the centres is enabling driving independence however ancillary services continue to grow. These provide information and advice regarding all forms of public transport through to vehicle seating, securement and air travel. Car seat clinics for example are particularly beneficial to carers and parents transporting children with restricted mobility or challenging behaviour. The postural needs of children and moving and handling issues are analysed by specialist staff to

In 2018, Driving Mobility hosted two Get Going Live! events with unique opportunities for people, age 16 and above, to compare and contrast various adaptive vehicles, driving aids and assistive controls. Many exhibitions include displays from specialist equipment suppliers and vehicle adaptation companies, plus extensive information regarding all aspects of independent mobility. All services offered by accredited centres are listed on the Driving Mobility website, along with an easy-to-use Find a Centre page providing locations and facilities. Email: info@drivingmobility.org.uk www.drivingmobility.org.uk/ Driving Mobility

Driving Not for You? Think Again It Transformed My Life

Alan Norton, a Trustee of Disabled Living, reflects on his experience of making the decision to drive in his teens, and the independence and freedom it has given him over the years. My first experience of using wheels was when I was 15, when I received my first manual wheelchair. My parents had been completely against this as they wanted me to ‘walk’. However after being fitted with calipers, spinal jackets, elbow crutches and only being able to take 6� strides often falling over I decided it was time to go into the wheelchair. As I came through my teens and obviously wanted to drive I was assessed for an invalid car that the doctor said I would never drive anything that did more than 10 miles per hour. After 6 months with the electric vehicle I managed to pass my test to be supplied with a petrol version. I did however visit the doctor who had written me off and showed him my sports car and asked him to consider that people have got dreams and determinations and should be given every opportunity to become independent. My first driving lesson with the petrol machine I was told to have a run round the

block, I drove to Caernarfon in Wales, when I arrived home my hands were bleeding because of the stiffness of the controls. I became really proficient with my driving and won several road safety rallies. On one of these rallies in Alexander Palace in London a mini was being demonstrated with very simple pull / push hand controls, I had a go and absolutely loved it! I came home and convinced my father to sell his singer vogue saloon and get a mini which he did!

This was my dream car. You had to be really careful with it in the wet! On several occasions when moving off enthusiastically the back end came round, so I decided that I would spend some time on a skid pan as I got my grade 1 Rospa driving award and also a teaching diploma.

The driving test fee was going from £1.00 to £1.10 shillings even though my mini hadn’t arrived, so I booked my test in advance but only had the car 1 week to learn to drive it! I had no lessons and passed my test first time. I kept the mini for 14 years and did over 120,000 miles in it. I had several mini clubman’s and estates but then I went to a ford escort and then into Capris. I had 3 Capris restricted to 2 litres because I wanted automatic transmission. I travelled abroad to France and Belgium and they were very reliable never letting me down. Then I decided I would like something a little more powerful and with power steering, so I purchased a second hand Toyota supra 2.8 litres a wonderful machine! Expensive to run though! I was married and needed a bigger property so finances were stretched so I sold it and got my first Motability car a ford fiesta. I kept that for 3 years but longed for my Toyota Supra again so I purchased another 2.8 which eventually I sold to my brother in law and purchased a 3 litre Supra Turbo.

My whole life has been around driving and obviously I needed to be able to be mobile it enabled me to have an independent life, work, get married, and buy my own home and a fairly complete life. My wife Avril used a wheelchair so we decided to buy one vehicle between us a people carrier with a lift; eventually we had 2 a Mercedes Viano and a Volkswagen Caravelle. This was an ideal solution. I drove with this set up push/pull system for many years as it was simple and very effective. Like all motoring enthusiasts I watched for all the new models and then found Mercedes were introducing a 3 litre 6 cylinder version of the Viano. I managed to obtain this even though it was a large deposit through Motability and now kept it on, on an extended lease as my disability now means I need extensive hand controls mainly space drive which consists of handlebar steering and accelerator and brake as per a motorbike. This system is fantastic it enables me to get the most out of my driving and it’s thoroughly enjoyable. My advice is get out there, get assessed, the controls now are so easy to operate that people with minimum amount of movement can drive. Alan Norton Trustee, Disabled Living

Get in Touch with Us Disabled Living & the Kidz Team Head Office - Disabled Living, Burrows House, 10 Priestley Road, Wardley Industrial Estate, Worsley, Manchester M28 2LY

Telephone 0161 607 8200

Email info@disabledliving.co.uk

Website www.disabledliving.co.uk

For training rooms and sensory rooms contact Redbank House Tel: 0161 214 5959 Email: info@redbankhouse.com Website: www.redbankhouse.com