DRM - Disability Review Magazine - Spring 2023

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TRAVEL, ARTS & LEISURE: Clarke Reynolds and his dynamic new Braille Art


PADI: helping the ocean reach the lives of all

portrayalspositive of ADHD are changingtelevisionthe landscape London Fashion Week
VisibilityDisabilityat the accessible treehouse youheadshould to Wonham Oak:
Delicious new alcoholfree cocktail recipes SPRING 2023
The Husbandand-Wife neurodiversity duo PERFECTLY AUTISTIC
The Naidex Issue
Scrounge: The play thechangingnarrative around benefits
22-23 March 2023 NEC Birmingham

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08 News Beat

UK streets stop disabled people making essential journeys, declares new report


10 Perfectly Autistic

How a Husband-and-Wife duo are changing opinions about neurodiversity in the work-forces


How to Offer Better Benefits for Disabled Employee

Amy Spurling, co-founder and CEO of Comp explores how jobs can be better for their disabled employees INDEPENDENT LIVING

18 Disability and Late Diagnosis

I found out I had ADHD at 39 but learnt I had been secretly diagnosed earlier

22 ADHD and TV

How positive portrayals of ADHD are changing the television landscape

26 Get Active Together

How can film encourage us to move our bodies?

30 Scrounge

The playwright changing the narrative around disability and benefits

34 Disability Visibility at London Fashion Week

Priya dives into the exciting world of London Fashion Week for DRM to see how accessible it really is

38 How to: Adapt a bathroom for a disabled person

EA Mobility give their top tips on how to figure out what’s best for you

10 04 DRM MAGAZINE | Spring 2023 disabilityreviewmagazine.co.uk CONTENTS 18
Spring 2023

Executive Editor: Lee Gatland

Art Director: Richard Hejsak

Managing Editor: Chloe Johnson chloe@sevenstarmedia.co.uk

Sales Team: 01959 543 650 sales@sevenstarmedia.co.uk

Published by SEVEN STAR MEDIA LTD 184 Main Road, Biggin Hill, Westerham, Kent Tel: 01959 543659 disabilityreviewmagazine.co.uk

COVER CREDITS: Kelly and Hester

Disclaimer: Disability Review Magazine (DRM) is published bi-annually (twice per annum) by Seven Star Media Ltd. No part of DRM may be reproduced, stored in a retrieval system or transmitted to any form without permission. Views expressed in the magazine are not necessarily those of Seven Star Media Ltd, and are included to provide advice only. No content is a substitute for professional medical advice. During printing, images may be subject to a 15% variation. © Copyright of content belongs to individual contributors with the magazine copyright belonging to Seven Star Media. All rights reserved. Please either keep this magazine for future reference, pass it on for somebody else to read, or recycle it.

56 Jump Into Inclusivity Trampoline Park Group Leads the Way in Inclusive Sessions and Education Initiatives HEALTHY EATING
Sbaglia-no Alcohol free cocktail recipes for those nights you want a tasty alternative CONTENTS 05 Spring 2023 | DRM MAGAZINE disabilityreviewmagazine.co.uk 52 34
40 NTS TRAVEL, ARTS & LEISURE 40 Wonham Oak The cosy Devon tree-house you should head to this spring for a mental-health boosting break 44 ThePowerofTouch Clarke Reynolds and his dynamic new Braille Art 48 Find your inner ‘piece’ with puzzles How puzzles can help boost your mental health DISABILITY SPORT 52 Meet PADI The diving community helping the ocean reach the lives of all
We’re home to more than 1,800 lawyers from all backgrounds, working across 27 international offices. So you’ll find diversity, individuality and inclusivity are in our nature. Share these values with us and explore a bigger world. Get the full story at www.mayerbrownfutures.com Americas | Asia | Europe | Middle East
Life is equality

From the EDITOR

businesses, to exploring the new range of accessible treehouses (yes, it’s as cool as it sounds, and perfect for those needing to take extra precautions from Covid) from Canopy and Stars. From the giant leaps that disabled-owned fashion brands were taking at an absolutely rocking London Fashion Week to an up and coming artist working with neon coloured Braille; I hope there’s something for everyone to read and think: wow, we’re really doing this.

Spring has sprung and with it has come, hopefully, a lifting of spirits, and maybe even a spring in your step. Alternatively, you might be struggling with a new year funk, unable to shake the pressure that a new year comes with – to be happier, to do more, to find a better balance. With these difficult times that just seem to keep compounding, there is an inevitable surge of artistic creativity, but also a deep-rooted tiredness that I think a lot of my friends in the disabled community can relate to. We’re used to being the misfits, the underdogs, and the anti-heroes, who flourish despite vitriol thrown our way, but sometimes that can feel like a huge burden to bear. So, this issue is for those of you who feel this way; if you’re struggling, to tell you that you don’t have to have it all figured out, we’ll be here when you’re ready.

This issue is all about taking that next step, whether big or small, from interview Perfectly Autistic on their next steps as neurodivergent consultants for

It can be easy to get caught up in the overwhelming negativity surrounding disability, because it is there and it is real – this isn’t to say that we need to inspire all the time – but creating this issue has me really seeing that even though there is so much left we need to do to foster a more inclusive society, there’s also so much we’ve already done. So, if you have a few moments spare, dive in and see the amazing work the disabled community has for you in 2023. As always, thank you to everyone who helped us create this issue.

We’re used to being the misfits, the underdogs, and the antiheroes, who flourish despite vitriol thrown our way, but sometimes that can feel like a huge burden to bear.
disabilityreviewmagazine.co.uk Spring 2023 | DRM MAGAZINE




New research highlighted by the charity Sustrans in their Disability Inquiry report reveals that inadequate infrastructure discriminates against disabled people, leading to inaccessible journeys and exclusion from their local community and society at large. The report was conducted in partnership with transport charity Transport for All, funded by the charity Motability, and launched at a Disabled Citizen’s Inquiry Summit at Portcullis House on the 8th February in front of Ministers including the Parliamentary Under Secretary of State for Transport, MPs,

external stakeholders and workshop participants.

Disability Review Magazine spoke to workshop participants about the grim reality painted in the report on the lack of dialogue with disabled people.

“Before I had a powerchair, I didn’t realise how little I was meeting people,” comments Dennis, from Manchester, to Disability Review Magazine, about their experiences with inaccessibility in everyday life.

“In Manchester, everyone says hello to you – that’s just what’s expected –but when I first used my powerchair, people who I’ve been living near for years thought I was new, that’s how

little I could interact. I couldn’t use the paths, I couldn’t use the bus, the train…all of it was impossible. Even with it [the powerchair], I have to teach my children to walk sideways whilst I go on the road, because it just doesn’t work for me.”

Dennis’ experience is just one of many, with 41% of disabled people saying in the report that they often experienced problems reaching their destination on a typical walking or wheeling journey due to accessibility barriers (for example pavement clutter, crossing roads, etc). The report further divulges the isolating reality that a lack of dialogue with disabled people when creating infrastructure has led to, and this is one of the main areas where Sustrans is calling on the government to act.

“Although getting on buses, trams and trains in Manchester has become easier, one significant problem is how you get to them from your house and pavement parking is a massive issue.” Dennis continues, explaining how a lack of knowledge about why certain

disabilityreviewmagazine.co.uk DRM MAGAZINE | Spring 2023

rules are for accessibility leads to barriers for disabled people.

“In some cases, vehicles can take up the majority of the pavement. Some drivers don’t understand they’re not entitled to park there, others don’t care.”

“We need honesty and dialogue to understand that it’s not just about the accessibility of buildings and buses, it’s about how we get to them in the first place.”

Sustrans is also calling on the Government to ban pavement parking, with 73% of disabled people surveyed saying this would help them to walk or wheel more.

Coordinating the findings, the report suggests recommendations that aim to make communities and neighbourhoods safer, accessible, and more inclusive for disabled people.

These include:

Prohibiting pavement parking to make communities more accessible

Creation of a long-term dedicated pavement fund to improve and maintain pavements

Ensuring disabled people can be within walking or wheeling distance of services and amenities by creating communities with accessible services close to where people live through better planning

“We can’t expect an immediate miracle,” Suggests Dennis, about the report’s suggestions. “Even just one of these changes would be perfect for tens of thousands of disabled people. Just to see some of

the recommendations implemented would be amazing. That would mean I wouldn’t be late for work, I wouldn’t have to wheel on the road… but I think the biggest part of this is learning that we need to work with disabled people, not add them on as an afterthought.”

The report is the culmination of a six-month long Disabled Citizens Inquiry, coordinated by the charity in partnership with Transport for All, a disabled persons organisation. An accompanying Ipsos survey of over 1,100 disabled people across the UK paints a stark picture of how inaccessible and dangerous our neighbourhoods and communities have become.

Xavier Brice, CEO of Sustrans, commented: “Our report clearly demonstrates that understanding the barriers disabled people experience getting around their neighbourhoods is imperative in creating an equitable society.

“Putting disabled people at the centre of discussions about how we plan and create spaces where we can all move around easily and safely is vital. The UK government must listen and take action to create places planned around people, not cars.”

Although getting on buses, trams and trains in Manchester has become easier, one significant problem is how you get to them.
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In Manchester, everyone says hello to you – that’s just what’s expected – but when I first used my powerchair, people who I’ve been living near for years thought I was new, that’s how little I could interact.



Husband and wife duo Kelly and Hester talk to DRM about how they change mindsets on neurodivergence in the workplace, and their personal journey with diagnosis.

Kelly and Hester are sitting in front of a vibrant floral background in their home as they tell me about what started their company, Perfectly Autistic: their son, Hudson, now 11.

“When Hudson was very young, he had a very restrictive diet and we went to various GP’s and specialists, thinking – maybe he’s autistic?” Hester comments. “But they kept telling us that he can’t be autistic because he makes good eye contact, he’s great with hugs…and so on! This went on for a few years, with more sensory issues cropping up. We started to read more about autism ourselves instead, and we decided to try and get him diagnosed. But then, during that

process, we realised that everything that didn’t apply to Hudson… it applied to India. In contrast to Hudson, India was different, but it slowly started to down on us that they were both autistic, even if it presented in different ways.”

“I was in Amsterdam at the time,” Kelly recalls. “And when Hester sent me the assessments, I really wasn’t sure whether it was about [Hudson and India] or myself. It [the idea of an autistic diagnosis] gave me a reason why I had had so many challengeswhen I’d just thought that everyone had these sorts of problems and was better at hiding it than I was. So I went to get a diagnosis, thinking that if it wasn’t what I thought it was, at least that’s one avenue closed.

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It all came to a head when I did get the diagnosis. What should I do next? Who should I tell? I thought I would be open about it, for myself, but also to demonstrate to my children that they shouldn’t hide it. I told my boss, and I explained that we’d been on this process, and I had received a formal diagnosis…he laughed out loud and said, ‘you don’t look autistic’. It had taken quite a bit of faith to talk to him about it, and that reaction was not okay. I explained why I thought I was: sometimes I can be a bit blunt, overly truthful…maybe I don’t respond in social situations the way that others do, and he just said he thought I had a stick up my ass! It was that conversation that really cemented my job and that company wasn’t for me.”

Kelly and Hester would go on to make Perfectly Autistic, a neurodivergent consulting company that has worked with brands such as The Guardian and Mind on education around ADHD, autism

and the stigma both can have in the workplace, as well as invisible disabilities more generally. What have they noticed about businesses when taking part in neurodiversity training?

It’s always the businesses that approach them:

“Every business has come to us, actually, which has been super positive; they want to learn and engage,” Hester tells us. “We haven’t had to go out yet saying ‘Hi, you need to understand this’; we’re partners with Mind, which are an organisation who have done so much to help with mental health especially during lockdown, as well as talking about the spike in ADHD diagnosis recently. But what we always aim to do is interrogate the businesses that work with us a little. The thing about neurodiversity is that it’s a pandora’s box, both for us and them, if Kelly or I go and talk to them about our personal experience, it’s a lot for both us and the people who have resonated with it to then not put support in place afterwards. It can’t be just a tick box exercise. So we’re always saying: we’d love to come and talk to you, but what’s your plan for after the session? What adjustments are you thinking about? The worst thing you can do is open up this information about neurodiversity and then stop talking about it.”

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It all came to a head when I did get the diagnosis. What should I do next? Who should I tell?.

Kelly goes on to say: “I’ve always felt a bit of a “so what?” part of working in the corporate world for 23 years, but this new angle both uses the knowledge I’ve gained and the challenges I’ve faced and helps me to help others. Originally, we started out as just a Facebook group, discussing the challenges we face, But it just made sense to expand that.”

So, what’s next for their business? Where are they going with this?

“It’s all about talking to as many businesses as possible.” Kelly confirms. “But…it not just being a talk, but partnerships. We’re working with a big brand this year where it’s an ongoing part of their roadmap, it’s all about, for us, those longer relationships. Doing 1-1 sessions really resonates with us, but we also want to be part of longer-term strategies, helping with things like reasonable adjustment, recruiting…it all starts from trying to get people onboarded in the right, accessible way.”

“For me, it’s about the crossovers between neurodivergent conditions,” Hester explains. “I’ve realised more the comorbidity and the overlap, it’s quite hard to unpick sometimes. And although our name is Perfectly Autistic, there is a lot of overlap with my own ADHD symptoms.”

Kelly explains that, for him, acceptance is key: “Whenever I talk to companies, the amount of questions I get from so many people about their own work, life, or family member or their child - it may not be them directly but everybody knows somebody… they want to know more or help more people, or they know they’re neurodivergent but don’t know what to do, or they don’t know if they are yet but they do know they have challenges. There’s so many angles and ways of realising and giving that permission to talk about it [neurodivergence], might help people to understand themselves better.”

If you’re a business hoping to be more accessible towards your neurodivergent employees, what should you do?

“Most cases look at diversity as a negative – ‘oh somebody with ADHD can’t do this, or that’ or that reasonable adjustments are expensive, or time consuming. But it’s just treating employees as an individual – businesses can realise that a lot of the time it’s free and relatively easy to make reasonable adjustments.” Kelly answers. Together, Hester and Kelly gave some tips for reasonable adjustments you can implement to get you started:


Changing the lighting around the office, or adding desk and floor lamps, can make lighting much more bearable. Dimmer switches can also be added, and motion sensor lighting can save money and energy on areas that aren’t used as much.

A quiet space

Having a quiet space or office for a person to decompress (autistic or not), is the ideal place for someone to take stock of the day and recharge their batteries.


Strong smells can cause genuine anxiety and stress to an autistic person. Making sure your staff have a place to eat lunch away from their desk will really help. No-one wants to smell someone’s microwaved tuna pasta, especially if you are neurodivergent.

Get help

You don’t need to do it alone, hiring an actually neurodivergent consultant (who understands the challenges) to help provide reasonable adjustments, is crucial to making your employees and workplace thrive.

iPerfectly Autistic are in the midst of launching their new ADHD coaching service which you can check out here: perfectlyautistic.co.uk, and Hester will be speaking at Disability Expo in July.

WEBSITE: perfectlyautistic.co.uk

Kelly and Hester are always trying to learn more about neurodiversity, and share with me what they’ve learnt recently:
di sabilityreviewmagazine.co.uk
Most cases look at diversity as a negative – ‘oh somebody with ADHD can’t do this, or that’ or that reasonable adjustments are expensive, or time consuming.
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Creating a diverse workplace is top of mind for many organisations – as it should be. Inclusive teams are 80% more productive and more profitable, bringing in 2.3 times the amount of cash flow per employee. Despite being important, very few companies take the necessary steps to make “inclusivity” more than just a corporate culture buzzword.

The vast majority of job seekers (80%) want to see measurable efforts. This means going beyond creating a work environment in which people feel respected and safe regardless of their age or skin colour, but also their visible and invisible disabilities or illnesses.

The transition to remote work as a result of the pandemic was a huge win for disabled employees, opening many more doors in a tight labour market. But as many companies are trying to close the door on remote working, work once again becomes inaccessible.

Of course, there are resources available that companies legally must provide, but to be truly inclusive, more employers need to “go beyond traditional medical assistance,” as Natu.Care People and Culture

Why It’s Important to Offer Inclusive Benefits

Building a diverse company and creating an inclusive workplace isn’t beneficial to company growth alone; it also directly impacts employee satisfaction. Inclusivity is proven to result in happier employees who feel respected, safe, and like they can be their true selves without fear of judgment, harassment, or punishment. That, in turn, boosts productivity.

This goes for the entire employee population. “Everything that helps out disabled people will help out people at large,” said Shirley Borg, Head of HR at Energy Casino.

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Specialist Karolina Guzek comments, rather than giving the bare minimum.

And, by being inclusive, companies see measurable benefits like reduced churn and better retention rates.

Ways to Offer Inclusive Benefits

Assistive TechnologyCompanies should consider accommodating employees with disabilities by including things such as screen readers, closed captioning on videos, and adjustable desks and chairs. Ensuring the company website and training materials are accessible to all employees is equally important.

HIGH5 Chief Research Officer Emma Williams also recommends sensory accommodations like

soundproofing noisesensitive areas. “Providing on-site medical amenities such as showers and quiet areas to help employees with disabilities to cope more effectively shouldn’t be overlooked,” she said.

Flexibility - One of the great benefits that comes with remote work is flexible work arrangements. Rigid scheduling has proven ineffective for most employees; think of how many would trade in the traditional 9-5 to work during times they feel most productive.

“Being able to adjust start and end times and offering telecommuting can make it easier for employees with disabilities to manage their work responsibilities,” Guzek said. Sometimes that means job restructuring in terms of tasks, added Berry Moise, Founder at BerryMo.com. The combination of taking marginal things off someone’s plate, allowing them to work comfortably from home, and offering a flexible work schedule can set them up for success.

disabilityreviewmagazine.co.uk Spring 2023 | DRM MAGAZINE
Building a diverse company and creating an inclusive workplace isn’t beneficial to company growth alone; it also directly impacts employee satisfaction.

More Sick Days - Borg says more sick days and mandating time off doesn’t only help with giving people time for preventative visits and regular check-ups, but it also helps with overall productivity.

“Sick employees do not perform at their best and there’s a risk of them being a danger to other employees, especially ones who are immunocompromised,” she explained.

Jonathan Tian, Founder of CreditYelp, says at his company, employees can take “nearly a month off from the office with valid reasons without any pay loss.” He explains it’s applicable for reasons like medical emergencies for their family members, stress breaks, and “as a vacation to overcome work depression.”

He says the time off has been significant for the overall mental and physical wellbeing of his team.

Company-wide training programs - Involving every employee in continuous disability awareness training helps make the workplace more inclusive for all. Instead of being a one-time discussion during onboarding, companies should hold regular trainings so employees “respect and

understand the needs of disabled coworkers,” Moise explained.

Tyler Seeger, Managing Director at Retirement Being, takes this a step further and recognizes the value in communication training.

“Take ASL, for example,” he said. “Teaching employees sign language not only teaches new skills but it simultaneously strengthens ties between hearing and hard-of-hearing personnel. You can provide classes on- and off-site with local and national sign language groups and instructors.”

It’s also a way to make a company more accessible and attractive to deaf or heard-of-hearing job seekers.

In conclusion, disabled people face adversity every day; removing hurdles from the workplace isn’t a heavy lift and it benefits the entire team. A combination of the above creates a well-rounded approach to building a more inclusive workplace.

EMPLOYMENT AND EDUCATION 16 disabilityreviewmagazine.co.uk DRM MAGAZINE | Spring 2023
AUTHOR: Amy Spurling, co-founder and CEO of Compt TWITTER: @amyspurling
Involving every employee in continuous disability awareness training helps make the workplace more inclusive for all.
18 INDEPENDENT LIVING disabilityreviewmagazine.co.uk DRM MAGAZINE | Spring 2023


Acouple of months before my 40th birthday, I was hanging out with a friend who had been recently diagnosed with Attention Deficit and Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD). I was fascinated by her symptoms, as she described her frustrating attempts at remembering where she put her keys or if she had locked the front door.

I shared how often I have driven all the way back home to check that the garage door was closed because it was a task my brain blanked out on quite frequently. In an effort to relate to my friend and let her know she wasn’t alone, I recounted how my office is usually covered in sticky notes and notebooks, overflowing with reminders, to-do lists, and books I must read one day.

My friend laughed and said, “Ummm, it sounds like you also have ADHD.” I scoffed and thought she was ridiculous. I had been seeing therapists since I was six years old, surely this would have been discovered by now?

I realized that I didn’t really know much about ADHD and had always attributed it to rambunctious boys with too much time on their

hands. When I arrived home, I dove headfirst into researching every single thing I could find. I took several online tests which all concluded I had it so I immediately got a referral to speak to a specialist and get assessed.

Iman Gatti, a transformational speaker and author, explores her discovering an ADHD diagnosis later life
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They said: you were tested as a kid, but no one wanted you to have the stigma, so they never told you.

In the meantime, I was speaking with a family member and telling them about my newfound curiosity, and was absolutely stunned when they said, “Oh yes, you have ADHD. You were tested as a kid, but no one wanted you to have the stigma, so they never told you.”

I was instantly consumed with grief. I was orphaned at six, tossed around and abused in foster care for a decade and struggled every single step of the way. To learn that the many pain points to do with brain function, such as organization, attentiveness in school, anxiety, and rejection sensitivity dysphoria, could have been alleviated if only I was considered, was devastating.

This felt like such a slap in the face, and one more confirmation of how little I was acknowledged, protected, and put first as a child. I was officially diagnosed with combination type ADHD at my appointment, and even though I wish I knew sooner, I was so relieved to hear the words.

While some people may worry that a diagnosis will be a negative label psychologist Sue Peacock says nothing could be further from the truth.

She told me: “The most important benefit of taking an assessment and getting a diagnosis for ADHD is to gain greater

understanding of yourself. Many people learn that certain problems that they thought they would always have to live with are, in fact, treatable.”

Ever since my diagnosis, my life has become so much more fulfilling. I have been unravelling all the ways I was trying to force myself to be “typical” and now I am creating a life that suits me and the way my brain works.

I know I am far from alone in finding out I have ADHD later in life and a delayed diagnosis is particularly common for women. Sex therapist and relationship counsellor Lyndsey Murray was first diagnosed with ADHD at 31 after noticing that she struggled to pay attention to other people for long periods.

She commented: “I cried when I got the diagnosis because I realized how hard it was for me to be successful in my goals up to this point. Throughout my life, I became hyper organized to over-compensate that my most relaxed self is forgetful, always late, and can’t pay attention.”

Lyndsey now works with many clients with ADHD and has learnt a lot about the condition, adding: “It looks differently for each person that has it and the diagnosis is a great place to start in order to get treatment and be as productive and confident as you can be.”

Jamie Sea, a wealth expansion coach and influencer, first suspected she might have ADHD when her mother was diagnosed. This prompted her to be assessed herself and she received her diagnosis a year ago at the age of 34.

She commented: “When I was diagnosed with ADHD, it was honestly validating. My behaviours finally made sense. There are still moments when I feel embarrassed when it affects my work or relationships but I’m working through that with honouring my process and how my brain functions.

I’ve also been very open and communicative with employees and loved ones on how this shows up and how I am aware and working on it.”

WEBSITE: imangatti.com

INSTAGRAM: @imangatti

disabilityreviewmagazine.co.uk INDEPENDENT LIVING
20 DRM MAGAZINE | Spring 2023
While some people may worry that a diagnosis will be a negative label psychologist Sue Peacock says nothing could be further from the truth.

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PhD researcher and writer Sarah discusses the impact of ADHD being seen positively through our screens

It may be an absolute cliché to say that a fictional character changed your life, but when Jesper Fahey, portrayed by the wonderful Kit Young, sauntered onto our screens in Shadow and Bone in March 2021, that is precisely what happened. With Season 2 fast approaching, I wanted to say why.

In a story that followed a girl finding her way out of the darkness, it was main protagonist Alina Starkov (Jessie Mei Li) that provided muchneeded representation for many; but, for me, it was Jesper who I saw on screen and went ah, yes, it’s me. Whilst growing up, the very few portrayals of characters on TV with ADHD (or ADHD coded characters) portrayed the disability in a far from positive light. Bart Simpson, for example, was an ADHD coded character who was well liked but disruptive, achieving abysmal grades, and was frequently pitted against his younger sister Lisa for being unable to meet the same high standards.

Now, it must be said, neurodivergent representation has come a long way since the Bart Simpsons of TV. One of Rick Riordan’s core motivations behind writing

his Percy Jackson and the Olympians series was to create positive neurodivergent representation for his son Haley; the characters having ADHD and dyslexia is an indicator of their godly heritage, and their neurodivergence is frequently shown as a strength, not a weakness. When the Disney+ adaptation of Percy Jackson and the Olympians hits our screens in 2024, that neurodivergent representation will be explicit and a comfort for many neurodivergent individuals who have ADHD and/or dyslexia.

More recently, Netflix’s huge hit Wednesday featured the protagonist Wednesday Adams, who was heavily neurodivergent coded. With her blunt comment at one point in the show - “It’s not my fault I can’t interpret your emotional morse code” - autistic viewers have said her presentation is “almost exactly what many autistic people feel daily around non-autistic peers”. Throughout Wednesday, we are meant to enjoy and celebrate the traits which could be perceived as being autistic traits; like in Percy Jackson and the Olympians, we are presented with a character with neurodivergent traits that are appreciated and enjoyed.

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Above all, his ADHD traits which were not only portrayed in a positive light, but were shown to be fundamentally important.
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When I first read Six of Crows (by Leigh Bardugo, one of the Grishaverse novels which the Netflix hit Shadow and Bone is based on), I had only recently discovered that I had ADHD.

For me, the character who will always hold this special place in my heart is Jesper Fahey.

When I first read Six of Crows (by Leigh Bardugo, one of the Grishaverse novels which the Netflix hit Shadow and Bone is based on), I had only recently discovered that I had ADHD. I was overwhelmed by what this meant for me; as a university student with dreams of working in academia, I felt both relief at having an explanation for the way my brain worked, but also a feeling of panic for what this meant for my academic career. After all, at this point Bart Simpson was my largest reference point when it came to ADHD character.

Enter Jesper Fahey, with his winning smile, his confidence, his comedic timing, his sharp-shooter skills; and, above all, his ADHD traits which were not only portrayed in a positive light but were shown to be fundamentally important to his place within the group of characters in Six of Crows. Jesper’s habit of getting incredibly distracted by random

things was something I related to heavily; but what I loved was how this was paired with him being very flexible and deviating from the plan. After all, if you get easily distracted, then what does it really mean if a plan goes sideways? You can think on your feet quickly and find a way out of it (or, in Jesper’s case, steal a tank and promptly bash your way through a prison wall).

When Shadow and Bone aired, I was overcome with emotion to see this wonderful character brought to life with such attentiveness by Kit Young. Jesper’s ADHD traits were portrayed throughout; his distraction, yes, but also his hyperfocus – an ADHD trait I cannot say I have seen anywhere except for with Jesper Fahey. In Episode 3, the train which Jesper and two other characters Kaz Brekker (Freddy Carter) and Inej Ghafa (Amita Suman) are travelling on gets attacked. Death seems imminent. Yet it is Jesper in that moment who can stand up (with an emotional support goat stowed under his arm) and see the way out of the situation. Guns

blazing, he shoots at the monsters attacking with intense accuracy, focusing on absolutely nothing but the issue at hand, ignoring everybody else panicking around him. This feeling of sudden hyperfocus is something I relate to heavily as an individual with ADHD, and it was a beautiful moment seeing it portrayed in the show.

In Season 2, we will have the introduction of Wylan (Jack Wolfe), who the less I say about him the better, so as not to give spoilers. But Wylan’s introduction links to another point about Jesper, which is how deeply his capacity to love is shown in the story. Jesper and Inej’s friendship is portrayed as rock solid and trusting; far too often, neurodivergent individuals are portrayed as being unable to form interpersonal relationships to the same level as non-neurodivergent people. Yet Jesper’s friendship with Inej, and future dynamic with Wylan that we will see in this upcoming season, show the complete opposite. They portray those of us with ADHD, and other neurodivergent traits, as having completely fulfilling, wonderful relationships – a simple, perhaps obvious, take but one that we have been starved of for years.

Discovering Jesper Fahey as a character gave hope to me all those years ago and seeing him come to life on screen made me feel perceived in a way I had never felt seen before. This un-flinching representation of a character who is clearly ADHD coded paves the way for more characters like him. After all, how can you not love a character who values his friends, is a core part of a group of schemers, and still manages to fulfil all the tasks required of him… whilst being distracted by a goat?

TWITTER: @scakenchington

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If you get easily distracted, then what does it really mean if a plan goes sideways? You can think on your feet quickly and find a way out of it (or, in Jesper’s case, steal a tank and promptly bash your way through a prison wall).
Credit: Netflix Credit: Netflix

together: GET ACTIVE


Along with noted filmmakers Rainbow Collective, the social care providers Trafford Choices and Community Integrated care, and the organisation Skills for Care, Disability Rights UK have launched a new, publicly accessible video series that shows how Disabled people get active in care environments. Michael Erhardt, a spokesperson for the project, explores…

Only 47% of Disabled people are active compared to 67% of non-Disabled people. Shockingly just four in 10 (40%) Disabled people feel they are allowed to be as active as they would like.

Multiple studies have shown various health and wellbeing benefits of physical activity for Disabled people. These include improved energy, better decisionmaking, lower levels of stress, as well as creating a sense of community. Why are we still missing out?

Throughout our work at Get Yourself Active, it has become clear that we need to target carers and support workers because they are essential and trusted messengers to those they care for. Ultimately the more they know about the importance of physical activity and what is on offer, the better placed they are to support a Disabled person to lead a more active life.

Why Active Together?

From speaking to other Disabled people, the message has rung clear. There are some of us who are inactive that wish to become active, and some who are active that wish to be even more active. Everyone

disabilityreviewmagazine.co.uk DRM MAGAZINE | Spring 2023

I have spoken to has cited the multiple barriers getting in the way of their plans.

I don’t believe that being physically active has to be complicated – it simply means moving our bodies more in any way we can, which brings us happiness.

Being active doesn’t have to be all about running marathons or lifting weights every day at the gym. It is about enjoining any activity we want as Disabled people, and those who care or support us need to put us in positions to do so.

Many in the care sector or social work have reported that they want to understand more about the importance of physical activity and what is on offer so that they can be better placed to help Disabled people lead a more active life.

How our project helps

We want to solve these issues with our partners and friends across the Disability activity movement. We have worked alongside noted filmmakers Rainbow Collective (rainbowcollective. co.uk), the social care providers Trafford Choices and Community Integrated care, and the organisation Skills for Care to launch a new film (bit.ly/3Zldmt4) that shows how Disabled people get active in care environments.

This film should motivate journalists, organisations, and Disabled people to understand better the reality of getting active. We all want these videos to be used as teaching resources in the social care and work sector, to break down barriers and support Disabled people to be active in the ways they want.

It should become a valuable resource by tackling the barriers head-on, providing social workers, care staff and family members with the knowledge and tools to become agents of change. The film should help them understand how to support Disabled people to enact their right to get active in the ways they want.

The film is freely available on the Get Yourself Active Youtube channel (bit.ly/3Zldmt4), and it shows the reality of Disabled people’s participation in physical activity, what activities we take part in, and how that activity makes us feel.

Furthermore, we ensured that the Disabled people as well as support and care workers included in the film show examples of how they stay active together and how it benefits them all together. We wanted to show Disabled people talking about why physical activity is important to them and how they have been supported to do so.

The stories of Andrea, Harvey and Thomas show how important getting active is to us. We want this project to be the start; we know how important it is to challenge misconceptions about disability and physical activity.

iThe stories of Andrea, Harvey and Thomas show how important getting active is to us. We want this project to be the start; we know how important it is to challenge misconceptions about disability and physical activity.

TWITTER: @disrightsuk

Multiple studies have shown various health and well-being benefits of physical activity for Disabled people.
disabilityreviewmagazine.co.uk Spring 2023 | DRM MAGAZINE
Being active doesn’t have to be all about running marathons or lifting weights every day at the gym. It is about enjoining any activity we want as Disabled people, and those who care or support us need to put us in positions to do so.
“Streets Ahead has given me the training and confidence to pursue my dreams with food“

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The Streets Ahead programme gives you access to the KERB classroom where you can build skills and experience to enter the foodservice and hospitality industry, as well as the opportunity to pitch for up to £10,000 IN VESTMENT towards your street food business.

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Yogi – A Streets Ahe ad Par ticipant



Scrounge is a powerful piece of modern theatre, aimed at exposing the truth behind assessments for Personal Independence Payment. DRM talks to playwright Amie M Marie about her writing process, and what inspired Scrounge.

disabilityreviewmagazine.co.uk DRM MAGAZINE | Spring 2023
Credit: Beth Mosley

What encouraged you to write about disability and people’s experience with PIP?

Because of my chronic illnesses from early childhood, I adore stories and storytelling. It’s how I passed the time and could access a world beyond my limits.

As someone so deeply impacted by stories, I feel both obligated and privileged to create more!

I also know that stories are how people develop empathy and compassion for those outside their own social circle, how people learn to move beyond cliche or stereotypes. It’s this powerful call for allyship that I’m dedicated to encouraging in audiences of my work.

Disabled people have both higher living costs and less access to income. Be it discrimination in the workplace or intentionally low welfare ceilings, the plight that I and others are in has a horrendous mental and physical toll. Especially if the welfare assessment is designed to “catch you out” or functions on the assumption that everyone is a ‘scrounger’ faking their conditions. PIP assessments, in particular, have taken lives.

The entire process of applying for welfare, from form filling to even taking a rejected claim to court, isolates and terrorizes disabled people. It makes us live in fear. Knowing that the whole thing will restart again in as soon as a year is its own horror.

It is so incredibly hard to explain this to people who haven’t lived through it. But a story is a way people can understand and care. How did you go about writing Scrounge?

This story is necessary: it needs to be told and views on disabled people need to change.

I had just come from a face-to-face PIP assessment and was so full of fear and rage and heartbreak; I needed it out of me.

I wanted to show what the face-to-face PIP assessment is like to people who think our government is kinder than it is. But when I went to write this scene, the sheer weight of fear and importance on speaking correctly just wasn’t coming across. (Being judged not-disabled has huge financial consequences, especially if welfare is your only income). I had to start earlier in the process. I needed to show how anyone’s mundane peace is shattered by the PIP envelope arriving. By the whole horror starting. It was frustrating at times to write, because I needed to keep a non-disabled audience in mind. These were the people I was aiming to convert as allies. So even the simplest facts of disabled life couldn’t be assumed to be known by an audience.

I was also careful to avoid any ableist tropes that would only serve the status-quo that treats disabled people as inferior. The whole play drums constantly that what is happening is unfair, is cruel, and we deserve better than this. I needed people to see the humanity of disabled people and the inhumanity of the system.

disabilityreviewmagazine.co.uk Spring 2023 | DRM MAGAZINE
I had just come from a face-to-face PIP assessment and was so full of fear and rage and heartbreak; I needed it out of me.
Credit: Norfolk Arts Awards

community and the amazing things we can achieve when we come together.

Top playwriting influences:

I also wanted to avoid the criticism which I, Daniel Blake received - that it was a tale of one man who fell through the system - rather than emblematic of a system designed this way. So, I developed a story structure to show a cross-section of society - a collection of applicants in the system - greatly inspired by Bertch’s Fear and Misery in the Third Reich.

But where Bertch didn’t name his characters so it felt like anyone could be in his scenes, I named characters to force audiences to sit with the fact this is happening to real people. It’s not just a story. It’s politically immediate, urgent, and about very real, ongoing harm.

What do you hope people take away from your work?

You’re not the only one enduring this and you deserve better.

For people who have never had to rely on welfare, I want them to be inspired to argue for greater funding and kinder processes. The idea that some people might be undeserving cannot justify the harm that’s actually happening.

It is a call to action, to improve the welfare system. It is a declaration to exist while disabled. It is a hope that things will get better.

But it is also a record that people have suffered, people have died, and it was avoidable and unnecessary. It is right to be angry about this.

What are you currently working on?

I’m working on a onewoman political play about extreme transphobia, specifically the online radicalisation of lonely women who feel unsupported and have discovered joy in suicide-baiting transgender people. Think Fleabag’s original stage production by Phoebe Waller-Bridge stylistically, but at its heart this is about women who chooses the promises of fascism over their own families and friends.

As a cisgender woman with trans and non-binary friends, I have an obligation as an ally to speak against transphobia and to create art that helps trans acceptance.

But, as a non-trans person, my role isn’t to write a trans narrative: it’s to write about how my fellow cisgender women are falling into hate and offer a cautionary tale which simultaneously undermines transphobic movements and their recruitment.

What do you hope people learn about theatre and adaptation for disabled people, from your own work?

It feels incredibly human to witness stories through performance. The theatre is an art form that feels uniquely alive – because so many people have to take part all at once for it to happen. It’s intrinsically about

These people should be allies. Getting our stories into their spaces is one way to achieve this. But not every theatre is accessible – and not everyone can leave their homes to get to an accessible theatre. Scrounge is steadily being adapted into different mediums so that the story is accessible to Deaf, blind, illiterate, and homebound people. I hope to have an audio edition and filmed edition available through my website in future. As a disabled artist, I endeavour to adapt, publish, or record my work for wider access.

I hope more people write disabled characters and stories without giving validity to hateful ideas. It’s not valid to portray that we’re less than other people, or undeserving, or fakers. Artists have a responsibility to avoid shorthand phrases or tropes that dehumanise – because our storytelling does impact the world, we live in.

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Antonin Artaud’s Theatre of Cruelty Augustus Boal’s Theatre of Oppression Credit: Norfolk Arts Awards Credit: Beth Mosley

Disability Visibility AT LONDON FASHION WEEK

With the fashion industry and its participants scrambling to combat decades of non-inclusivity, why are we still not seeing disabled models on the runway? Disability Review Magazine sends writer Priya Raj to investigate fashion’s biggest event.

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Credits: Chris Yate Media

Non-inclusivity in the fashion industry is a tale as old as time. The runway was once reserved for models over a certain height and under a certain weight, but as audiences’ perceptions have changed, brands and casting agents have adapted their models and faces to reflect this new wave. This was enough until the pandemic highlighted the thriving exclusionary nature of the fashion industry, shedding light on the experiences of people of colour and other marginalised communities, including those with disabilities. The MBS group reported that around 15% of the global population have

a disability [around one billion people]; however, this group is, more often than not, invisible at fashion week. While brands like Burberry and Tommy Hilfiger have made clear, conscious efforts to include disabled models in their campaigns, it still just isn’t enough.

Last season [September 2022] saw New York Fashion Week collaborating with design fellows at Open Style Lab (OSL) to present the Double Take show. London Fashion Week, being the first ‘business-as-usual’ fashion week since the pandemic, despite the recent death of Britain’s longest serving monarch, brought potentially the most diverse casting we’ve yet seen. Nonadaptive brands were making a conscious effort to cast and include disabled bodies and usual “inclusivity” markers like colour and body-proportion diversity. Brands with disabled models included Sinead O’Dwyer, Sarah Regensburger and Ray Chu.

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While brands like Burberry and Tommy Hilfiger have made clear, conscious efforts to include disabled models in their campaigns, it still just isn’t enough.
Credits: Courtney Southern FIFEB Credits: Courtney Southern FIFEB

The latter is a Taiwanese brand, focused on gender fluidity in garments. Ray, when questioned about the decision to cast disabled models in his SS ‘23 presentation said “Everyone can wear RAY CHU, and my brand does as much as possible to show inclusivity. [I don’t know why we don’t see disabled bodies in the majority of fashion week shows] however, it’s something we [should] all work on ‘’.

For those unfamiliar with the inner workings of castings at fashion weeks, [usually] each show has a casting manager who auditions or selects models from modelling agencies. The problem arises when traditional modelling agencies are not actively signing disabled models. Laura Wilson, the co-founder at Zebedee Talent, a talent agency for models with disabilities, explained that although they are busier yearon-year with more high-street brands casting disabled models, they are still “featured in only around 1% of advertising - disability is the last thing to get considered when people are thinking about inclusion”. Zebedee was launched in 2017 after sisters-in-law Zoe and Laura found that disabled models were looking for representation, and traditional agencies would not entertain working with someone with a disability. Laura explained that brands are “afraid of being called out as tokenistic”, and

so rather than taking that risk - many avoid the conversation of disability inclusion altogether.

As expected, adaptive brands lead the way when it comes to having runway line-ups representative of a large portion of the population. Unhidden, headed by founder Victoria Jenkins, will be the first to

ever show on the official London Fashion Week schedule. Her designs are made for people with mobility difficulties and disabilities, adapted to make the garments easier and more comfortable to wear. Victoria’s showcase is truly one of a kind, with the majority of her models having a visible disability. Her [Kurt Geiger sponsored] show this season took meticulous planning, with many special considerations needed to accommodate disabled models and attendees. Victoria explained that she “does not approve venues where wheelchair users must use a separate or back entrance. There is a quiet room for the models, private changing areas, and a BSL interpreter will be alongside the musicians performing. It’s common knowledge that disabled models are rarely booked for fashion week, non-disabled designers are not doing enough, and [I fear] are unlikely to unless they are forced”. Rebecca Farrar-Hockley, Kurt Geiger CCO, said “people with disabilities are too often excluded from the fashion sphere, and it’s essential that we all join forces to help change this”.

WEB: muckrack.com/priya

36 DRM MAGAZINE | INDEPENDENT LIVING disabilityreviewmagazine.co.uk
Everyone can wear RAY CHU, and my brand does as much as possible to show inclusivity. [I don’t know why we don’t see disabled bodies in the majority of fashion week shows].
Credits: Chris Yate Media



To determine the best products for your needs, consider the daily challenges you face. For instance, is it difficult using the toilet, getting in and out of the bath, or using the shower? Do you worry about slipping or falling, or struggle with drying after a bath or shower? A bath-room adaptation specialist can provide recommendations, but here is a guide to some of the available options and their benefits.

When adapting a bathroom it can be a difficult challenge to know where to start, EA Mobility give their top tips on how to figure out what’s best for you.
dapting a bathroom can enhance quality of life, independence, health, and wellbeing for people with age or health-related limitations. Research in 2020 showed that almost one in four disabled people did not have a home that met their access needs. Bathrooms proved especially challenging, with disabled people 22 times more likely than non-disabled people to be unable to use all parts of the room without assistance during lockdowns. Separate research shows that falls in the bathroom are almost two and a half times more likely to result in injury than in the living room.ADAPT A BATHROOM FOR A DISABLED PERSON disabilityreviewmagazine.co.uk DRM MAGAZINE | Spring 2023

luxurious and seamless look that’s often seen in hotels. However, they’re also a costeffective solution for practical, accessible bathrooms.

Hands-free smart toilets

Conventional toilets can be challenging for those with limited mobility or weak hand grip. Bending, twisting, and cleaning oneself can be difficult. A smart toilet eliminates these difficulties and improves personal hygiene. With accessible controls, a warm water stream and warm air provide thorough cleaning and drying. A smart toilet can also be adjusted to a more comfortable height, reducing knee and joint pressure, and making it easier to sit and stand. For added support, consider installing a grab rail near the toilet or a drop-down rail if a wall is not available.

Bathing in comfort

Many people prefer not to give up the luxury of a warm bath, and for good reason - it offers physical benefits such as reducing joint swelling and stiffness, as well as psychological benefits such as calming the mind and preparing for sleep or a busy day. A bath lift, such as the Hydrolift from EA Mobility, is an easy addition to

an existing bath. It is powered by a rechargeable battery, requires no electrical connection, and retracts discreetly. It can be operated by a button on the unit or a handheld control and features a safety seat and non-slip lifting belt for easy transfer. After use, it can be removed, restoring the bathroom to its original state. A bath lift is perfect for those with reduced body strength or stiff joints, and is an economical option for those who want to retain their original bathroom.

Stylish yet safe showers

For those with limited mobility, even a conventional shower can present difficulties. Standard shower trays are raised several inches off the bathroom floor and have a deep lip to contain the water, making it challenging to access.

A level access shower, on the other hand, is nearly level with the bathroom floor and has a lip of 10mm or less, making it wheelchair accessible without help. Although some structural modifications may be required for drainage, level access showers can have the same or even smaller footprint compared to traditional showers or baths, allowing for a smooth transition without altering the rest of the bathroom. Additionally, level access showers can come equipped with a carer-height shower screen that folds over the lower part of the shower entry for easy assistance and to prevent water from splashing out of the shower tray.

Wet rooms for the win

Wet rooms offer a luxurious and seamless look that’s often seen in hotels. However, they’re also a cost-effective solution for practical, accessible bathrooms. To install a wet room, the floor is sloped to direct water towards a built-in drain and is sealed with a waterproofing lay-er and non-slip waterproof flooring. With no shower tray or door, access is easy for those with mobility limitations.

In addition to accessibility, wet rooms offer:

Easy maintenance without the risk of leaks

Hygienic with no grout lines for bacteria growth or dampness build-up

Versatile as it can be customised to fit your bathroom’s shape and size, no matter how big or small the space is

A smart investment as a wide variety of products allows for a unique, highimpact bathroom design, which increases the value of your home Non-slip flooring even when wet reduces the risk of injuries

Get specialist help bespoke to your unique needs

As a leading provider of bathroom adaptations, EA Mobility team bring to the table years of expertise and a wide selection of solutions tailored to meet your unique requirements. Our goal is to create a functional yet aesthetically pleasing mobility bathroom where you can start and end each day with ease and comfort. To learn more or to request a free brochure please visit eamobility.com or call us on 0800 468 1023.


FACEBOOK: easternadaptations

WEB: eamobility.com

disabilityreviewmagazine.co.uk Spring 2023 | DRM MAGAZINE
Wet rooms offer a

Wonham OAK


Canopy and Stars are known for their staycations, and invited DRM to take a look at their new accessible treehouse in the Devon countryside, Wonham Oak

disabilityreviewmagazine.co.uk DRM MAGAZINE | Spring 2023

The humble staycation has got a lot of attention these past few years. Saving on airport hassle, often associated with travelling in a better way for the environment, and exploring locations closer to home, it has stayed a staple long after international travel was allowed again. For disabled individuals, especially those still having to take strong precautions against Covid-19, it makes sense to try something a bit closer to home.

If you’re looking for a detox in your staycation, Wonham Oak - as listed on the treasure trove of unique and inspiring places to stay that is Canopy & Stars - is the place to go.

Devoid of mobile signal (but with wifi, don’t panic), this accessible treehouse is in the quiet countryside, perfect for anyone who needs a calm getaway, or for avid walkers. Whilst the location isn’t completely tucked away, with a small village nearby, if you’re an anxious person, or somebody who struggles with directions, – or both — it’s definitely worth using the What Three Words, provided by the owners, to make sure that you’re going to the right place. Thankfully, we’d arrived just before dark, and the treehouse was easy to get to; we’d be provided with ample instructions on how to access everything we needed. If you never wanted to communicate with the owners at all, maybe you’re just sick of people, you easily could — although they were quickly on hand to answer any queries we had on Whatsapp.

The first thing you’ll notice is that the treehouse almost blends into the surrounding area. The little cabin isn’t too far from where you park your car, although it may be a bit of a struggle for those with limited mobility, or manual wheelchair users, as it’s up a slight incline. This didn’t pose many issues for us, as it was just a case of taking it slowly, and wheelbarrows were provided which was really useful for carrying stuff into the cabin, but it may be useful to ask for videos of the incline before you book just to see if it’s possible for you. It should work well for an electric wheelchair user, however, and was absolutely not a far trek — just not possible in certain cases. Once our stuff was in the treehouse, which was really easy to manoeuvre around and to get in, with lowered sills on entry points, we were ready to explore.

Spring 2023 | DRM MAGAZINE
If you’re looking for a detox in your staycation, Wonham Oak - as listed on the treasure trove of unique and inspiring places to stay that is Canopy & Stars - is the place to go.

When you get into the cabin, you’ll see the balcony which, if I’m honest, was what I was looking forward to the most. It’s hard to miss the huge glass windows which look out onto treetops, making you feel like you’re up in the trees yourself. The rest of the space is catered to enhance the view, with the gorgeous bright orange sofa right next to a cosy log-wood fire for when you want to stay in. The bi-fold doors were a great feature, although admittedly might be a little tricky for those with chronic pain or without much muscle strength, but the instructions left were extremely de-

tailed. Once the doors are open, you really do get a sense of how relaxing the space feels, with complete silence other than birds and the occasional rustle of a tree from a friendly squirrel. Star-gazing is excellent here, and the heating is quick and easy to use, so if you get a bit too cold hanging out on the balcony enjoying the Exmoor Sky Reserves…you’ll be able to warm up quickly.

Whilst there’s a fair amount to do if you’re looking for daytrips to the small village of Bampton, we found ourselves quite content with the surrounding area. There’s plenty of ground to cover if you want to explore the local quarry, and with fresh eggs, bread, milk, and butter, you’re really set to not need to leave the treehouse often if you came with some food to get you by. If you do want to go outside, there are plenty or lovely walks through the woods and fields. The owners ask that you leave the gates shut behind you in case of wandering sheep, and, though we didn’t see any, there was plenty of other wildlife to spot, as well

as an overgrown limestone quarry. The balcony really was the best part of the whole experience, however, with electric blinds that you could open from the bed to get a really great view in the mornings. This, and the comfy bed itself, means it’s perfectly set for a relaxing weekend away with nothing but a good book and the occasional board game.

The jacuzzi bath is worth a whole afternoon by itself. I was a little worried it wouldn’t match the scolding hot temperature needed to counteract the freezing February weather and very windy days, but it was perfectly warm, and would be very romantic under the stars. The lack of hoist might come in issue here for some people, but the rainfall shower is just as decadent, with handles and a chair available.

Overall, the Wonham was a perfect outlet to recharge — you felt well catered for and looked after, but with enough space to enjoy the space without bother. If you’re staying for longer than a few days, definitely get out and explore the local area, but you won’t feel cheated if you just stay tucked away in your cosy, little cabin, away from all the hustle of everyday life. Although it won’t work for everyone accessibility wise, as it depends on what your needs are, the Wonham definitely goes out of its way to make sure that it’s providing as many access requirements as possible and is perfect for those who want a treehouse experience without stairs.

WEBSITE: canopyandstars.co.uk

INSTAGRAM: instagram.com/ canopyandstars

TRAVEL, ARTS & LEISURE 42 disabilityreviewmagazine.co.uk DRM MAGAZINE | Spring 2023
The jacuzzi bath is worth a whole afternoon by itself. I was a little worried it wouldn’t match the scolding hot temperature needed to counteract the freezing February weather and very windy days, but it was perfectly warm, and would be very romantic under the stars.

We are Derwen! A specialist college for young adults with special educational needs and disabilities (SEND), including:

• Learning and physical disabilities

• Autism

• Behaviours of concern


Our vibrant community works together to create a relaxed and positive environment that helps our young adults prepare for real life.

• Exceptional pastoral care and student support

• Excellent learner outcomes

• Wraparound independence development programme

• Unrivalled sports, leisure and wellbeing activities

By creating a space for our students to develop handson, practical experience we’re giving them the freedom to imagine what’s possible and empowering them to achieve it.

Come and have a look!

Holidays can be a great opportunity to relax with friends, meet new people and explore local attractions.

We have highly trained staff to cater for individual needs. We will help ensure you undertake activities around your preferences and wishes so you will want to come back again and again.

In 2022, we were honoured with the Queen’s Award for Enterprise, endorsed by Her Majesty the Queen. The award recognises the education and vocational training we provide for young people from across the UK. Students learn work skills in our garden centre and shop, café, restaurant, charity shop and training hotel.

Tel: 01691 661234 admissions@derwen.ac.uk www.derwen.ac.uk

Short Breaks and Respite Care at Derwen offers adults with learning disabilities and associated needs the opportunity to take a break and enjoy themselves.

For adults with learning


We build your programme of activities around what you enjoy doing. It may include:

• cooking

• swimming

• trips to local attractions

• games console

01691 779243 | shortbreaks@derwen.ac.uk | www.shortbreaksatderwen.ac.uk Gobowen Nr Oswestry Shropshire SY11 3JA An initiative of Derwen College Charity RCN: 1153280
A place


DRM took an exclusive look at the new which uses braille in an unexpected exciting new way. Here’s how it went…

Acclaimed British artist Clarke Reynolds hosted The Power of Touch, his first ever London exhibition at Quantus Gallery this January. Born partially sighted in his right eye, Clarke became an artist when the deteriorating eyesight in his other eye forced him to give up his

career. Today, he has only 5% of his sight left. Clarke isn’t the first artist to channel their sight loss into their work, following on the heels of impressionist Claude Monet, for example, whose iconic Water Lillies was rumoured to be created because of cataracts, but he is definitely bringing work in-spired by visual impairments to the forefront of modern art today.

As soon as you step into the gallery, if you’re a member of the sighted audience, you’re reminded of pop art, and you can find yourself transfixed all evening by finding hidden meanings, either by touch or sight...

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The Power of Touch exhibition showcased idiosyncratic, colourful braille art, and was a splash of vibrancy on an otherwise cold London evening, consisting of 26 works decoding Braille pieces, letter by letter, which explored Clarke’s own story, including neoncoloured dots that incorporated UV light work. As soon as you step into the gallery, if you’re a member of the sighted audience, you’re reminded of pop art, and you can find yourself transfixed all evening by finding hidden meanings, either by touch or sight.

Somewhere between a puzzle and a transcript, Clarke’s art is made up of wooden dots, coated in striking paint. These works may look abstract to the average sight user but is full of phrases translated by Clarke into Braille. Some are more intentionally approached visually, with 26 colours that Clarke has assigned to the alphabet, and the pieces work for both a sighted and non-sighted, or visually impaired, audience. Up for sale on the night, anyone who went home with one will have an interesting pre-made answer to the age-old modern art query: “What does it even


What was so particularly striking about The Power of Touch was the atmosphere the work created. Visitors were like curious children, touching and engaging with the tactile journey of Clarke’s life, being inspired by his passion and staunch defiance of being defined by anything but himself. Children and adults alike were encouraged to interact with them, with special glasses donated by charity The Vision Foundation, and the room was full of fellow disabled people celebrating their life experience. Art has the power to resonate on so many levels, and though Clarke focused on touch, there was an interesting balance of visuals, text, touch, and discussion

around the pieces itself that it was obvious Clarke’s work made people really think, not just with highbrow analysis, but also humour, as well as being highly accessible. His work had such a distinguished quality of real life to them, that it really felt like you were witnessing something unique; it will be interesting to see where Clarke goes next artistically.

“I hope this exhibition can help to change people’s attitudes of the possibilities of what blind people can achieve. I want to shake up the stereotypical attitude out there towards sight loss and use my work to improve the knowledge about blindness and hopefully how blind people are treated. We are strong, capable, creative and want the sighted to open their eyes to our see this” comments Clarke about his work.

WEBSITE: seeingwithoutseeing.com

INSTAGRAM: instagram.com/ blind.braille.artist

disabilityreviewmagazine.co.uk DRM MAGAZINE | Spring 2023
Clarke’s work made people really think, not just with highbrow analysis, but also humour.

inner ‘piece’

withpuzzles FIND YOUR

Resident puzzler Shannon takes DRM through why you should swap out Netflix for puzzles for your health, or, at least, have Netflix on whilst you do them…

There are many ways you can refresh and reinvigorate your mental health during spring — from getting fresh air and exercise to eating healthy, taking up relaxation practices, or speaking with friends. There’s also another way to improve not only your mental health but your memory as well, and it just might be something you really enjoyed doing as a kid — jigsaw puzzles. Stop and smell the... puzzle pieces? Did you know people buy about 8 billion flowers per year? That’s about 20 million cut flowers per day! Instead of buying flowers this Spring, why not celebrate with something just as beautiful but longer-lasting - like puzzles that have flowers in them…

Jigsaw puzzles are a great meditation tool and stress reliever with a myriad of health benefits, some of which may surprise you. They improve analytic skills and attention to detail, decrease stress levels, and even help with your focus and concentration (which, as we’re all living on a 1% focus level these days with almost too much information at once, you’ll be thankful for).

disabilityreviewmagazine.co.uk DRM MAGAZINE | Spring 2023
Jigsaw puzzles are a great meditation tool and stress reliever with a myriad of health benefits, some of which may surprise you.

The rich and famous who love the humble jigsaw puzzle

Do you ever wonder what the rich and famous do to unwind after a long day? You’ll be pleased to hear that several celebrities turn to the humble jigsaw puzzle to relax, keep their mind active or even just create something beautiful. We have put together a list of celebrities who enjoy the mindful way to kill time…

Hugh Jackman

It turns out even Wolverine has a softer side... or does he? I’m not sure tearing up a jigsaw puzzle that took four months to complete on his Instagram Live can be considered soft.

Marilyn Monroe

Iconic actress Laura Dern once gifted Marilyn Monroe’s jigsaw puzzle box to film critic Roger Ebert after his Sundance Tribute. Dern added the gift note: “It was Marilyn Monroe’s, who collected puzzles, and it had been given to her by Alfred Hitchcock. That night at Sundance you inspired me about film and contribution, and I wanted to pass along film and connection in some way. Thank you again.”

TRAVEL, ARTS & LEISURE 49 disabilityreviewmagazine.co.uk Spring 2023 | DRM MAGAZINE
Stop and smell the... puzzle pieces? Did you know people buy about 8 billion flowers per year? That’s about 20 million cut flowers per day! Instead of buying flowers this Spring, why not celebrate with something just as beautiful but longer-lasting - like puzzles that have flowers in them.


Jamie Dornan

’Besties’ Jamie Dornan and Stanley Tucci revealed their fun stay at-home activity was puzzling as they celebrated the New Year.


Kate Hudson

Glass Onion star and Fabletics founder Kate Hudson is a self-proclaimed puzzle lover who spent Christmas this year puzzling in Aspen.

Iconic actress Laura Dern once gifted Marilyn Monroe’s jigsaw puzzle box to film critic Roger Ebert after his Sundance Tribute.


6 Michelle Keegan


Street star Michelle Keegan posted a throwback photo from the Essex backyard of “Wrightyhome” she shares with husband Mark Wright. Much like most people during lockdown, Michelle was trying her hand at a giant jigsaw puzzle.

Kylie Jenner

This reality-TV-star-turnedbillion-dollar-empire-owner recently announced that she took up puzzling when pregnant with her firstborn, Stormi.


Sir Patrick Stewart

Sir Patrick Stewart once called the world of jigsaw puzzles a “secret society.” The Star Trek: Picard star shared his puzzling hobby in an appearance on The Graham Norton Show. “This is one of my finished puzzles as you can see. It’s actually framed because I frame them all,” he said. Stewart then showed off another example of his work and said, “Right here is one I just finished, and I’ve got to be so careful because it’s loose. This is a [Rest In Pieces] Frank Stella painting done as a jigsaw puzzle. This took weeks.”


5 David Beckham Victoria Beckham revealed in a recent podcast she bought husband David a jigsaw puzzle for Christmas. “He loves those things, you know, he loves Lego, so I think a jigsaw puzzle is the next thing for him.”

Gwyneth Paltrow

In a blog post on her Goop website the Avengers star revealed how she has been maintaining her and her family’s wellness during the coronavirus pan-demic. Amongst the items listed include food, drink, clothing, health products, Trivial Pursuit and a 450-piece puzzle featuring nothing but boobs adding that she brought it “just for fun.”

iRest In Pieces is a unique puzzle company which creates fine art puzzles for you to bust the boredom without staring at a screen.

AUTHOR: Shannon Oakley, director of Rest In Pieces

WEB: restinpieces.co.uk

TWITTER: @restinpiecesuk

TRAVEL, ARTS & LEISURE 50 disabilityreviewmagazine.co.uk DRM MAGAZINE | Spring 2023



52 DRM MAG AZINE | Spring 2023 disabilityreviewmagazine.co.uk

Regardless of your age or life experiences, the ocean can both change and benefit us physically, emotionally and even spiritually. This is why PADI is on a mission to make those benefits accessible to all, launching their Adaptive Techniques Diving Course in the hopes that all of humanity can experience the full transformational power the ocean offers us. While many are more familiar with traditional therapies, whether it be diving, mermaiding or freediving, people around the world have been forever changed by connecting with the waterconquering mental or physical perceived limitations – and PADI are committed to helping disabled people experience the joys of diving.

PADI Members Helping those with Disabilities

The PADI Adaptive Techniques Specialty is unique in that it’s a

pro-level specialty designed to educate and empower PADI Professionals who wish to make scuba and freediver training more accessible. Through classroom, confined water and open water workshops, dive professionals further cultivate their ability to be student-centered and prescriptive in approach when adapting techniques to meet diver needs. This hands-on training increases awareness of disabilities and explores adaptive teaching techniques to apply when training divers with different needs. PADI Pros learn to adapt course content to accommodate as many student divers as possible.

PADI is a diving community reminding the world of the healing aspects that the ocean (or any body of water) can provide us all. Here, they explain why the water can be so important to many, and how they’re aiming to be more inclusive of disabled people in 2023.
There is a sort of alchemy to diving. It takes those who pursue it, regardless of physical or cognitive ability, a blend of adventure, practice, and patience.
53 Spring 2023 | DRM MAGAZINE disabilityreviewmagazine.co.uk

Here are just a few shining examples of members from the global community of PADI’s 6,600 Dive Centres & Resorts and 128,000 Professionals who are championing teaching those with disabilities how to dive.

1 Patriots Scuba | Virginia, USA

Patriot Scuba offers a robust adaptive diving training programme that is specifically focused on helping injured veterans. The Virginia-based programme has been operating as a non-profit called Patriots for Disabled Divers since 2013, having successfully trained hundreds of adaptive divers who have suffered traumatic brain injuries or amputations. These veterans benefit from both the psychological healing aspects diving provides as well as an activity that allows them to feel both a sense of adventure and purpose.

2 Scuba Diving for All | Ripon, United Kingdom

Scuba Diving for All has been a registered charity in Ripon for the past 17 years and provides tuition for scuba diving to those with learning disabilities. The founders, Yvonne and Archie Covell, wanted to make diving more accessible in their area and gift their students with the freedom of movement and feeling weightless. The programme has been honored with the Queen’s Award for Voluntary Service with many students going on to complete their PADI Open Water Diver certification.

3 Eco Dive | Grenada, Caribbean

Eco Dive conducted an adaptive Freediver static apnea training session for Natasha and Rachel Lambert—known as the Sailing Sisters. Natasha is a disabled

sailor who is showing that people of all abilities can explore and protect the ocean. Eco Dive wrapped up the training session with the sisters by doing a beach clean-up, showing that anyone can create ocean change and both explore and protect our blue planet.

4 Syed Abd Rahman and Ernest Teo | Malaysia

PADI IDC Staff Instructor Syed Abd Rahman and PADI Master Scuba Diver Trainer Ernest Teo have been committed to teaching diving to youth with disabilities for nearly three decades. They run Diveheart, a charity that is designed to give confidence to those with disabilities through adaptive diving and therapy–training medical professionals and rehabilitation physiotherapists how to help their patients heal in the water.

5 Carsten Schultz | Aalborg Dykkerskole, Norway

Carsten Schultz is making it his mission to help those who have lost their vision to heighten the sensations of their other senses and restore confidence by teaching them how to dive. As part of his disability programme with Diving

360, he has officially certified those with visual impairments, amputations and multiple sclerosis as PADI Open Water Divers.

People Who Have Healed from Diving

For disabled people—whether they use a wheelchair, have a sight impairment or a neurological condition like cerebral palsy—scuba diving can be a fun activity that offers freedom and mobility in the weightlessness of the water.

Here are a few examples of PADI Divers who have been able to find healing because their dive buddy learned what they can do to empower them underwater.

1 Luke Menasco | Diving with Cerebral Palsy

Luke learned to live with Cerebral Palsy (CP) since birth. He maintains a very active lifestyle, in addition to scuba diving, you can also find him adaptive surfing.

“Getting PADI certified has been one of my biggest physical accomplishments I’ve tackled

54 disabilityreviewmagazine.co.uk DRM MAGAZINE | Spring 2023 DISABILITY SPORT

with CP – and something I’m very proud of. I’d love for someone else with CP to read this and use it as motivation to help them realise that diving could be possible for them as well”

2Bryan Andeson | Diving as a Triple Amputee

Bryan became a PADI Open Water Diver with his dive buddy and former Battalion Commander Robert Tardash when they both served in Iraq as members of the United States Army in 2005.

Nearly two decades later the two re-united after Anderson’s injury on the way to seek adventure and discover healing beneath the surface.

“You’re in the water just like everybody else — all the fish and animals — even though I’m a triple amputee. Being in the water made me feel like I was a part of it, and not different in any way.” - Bryan Anderson

“There is a sort of alchemy to diving. It takes those who pursue it, regardless of physical or cognitive ability, and, through a blend of adventure, practice, and patience, it transforms

them into something stronger, more courageous. It rekindles the child-like awe in our hearts. Bryan had many of those qualities in spades but sitting on the back of that boat basking in the glow of his triumph, I saw even the incredible Bryan Anderson grow just a little more indomitable. I saw him become a diver.” Robert Currer, PADI Course Director who supported Robert and Bryan’s adaptive diving journey.

Cody Unser: Diving with Transverse Myelitis (TM)

Cody Unser, PADI Advanced Open Water Diver and the founder of The First Step Foundation, is working to help certify individuals with spinal cord injuries as PADI Open Water Divers. Passionate about getting more dive centres to incorporate PADI’s Adaptive Diving techniques into their training, she has experienced first-hand how scuba diving can help individuals overcome

any challenge – whether that be mentally or physically.

“People with disabilities should not have to wait until non-profits like ours have the funds to get certified. PADI Dive Centres have the power to literally change people’s lives by simply training their teams on adaptive diving techniques and incorporating this into their courses offerings.” Cody Unser

Mike Coots: Diving as an Amputee

When Mike Coots was 18, he was attacked by a tiger shark while bodyboarding off the coast of Kauai. He lost most of his right leg, and nearly lost his life. Now a PADI Diver, underwater photographer and shark advocate, Mike is committed to changing people’s perception about sharks and lobbying for their protection.

“By diving with the same species that attacked me, I could draw attention to sharks and why they’re important to our ocean. Tiger Beach also offers the visual beauty and clear water of the Bahamas. When you go underwater, the weight of the world disappears. You’re in this incredible 3D world, it’s like floating in space mixed with a Disney movie, and PADI is the key to entering that world.” Mike Coots.


WEB: padi.com


disabilityreviewmagazine.co.uk Spring 2023 | DRM MAGAZINE DISABILITY SPORT
People with disabilities should not have to wait until non-profits like ours have the funds to get certified.


Jump In focus not just on jumping, but helping give back to the local community, and making their parks an accessible place for all to enjoy.

DISABILITY SPORT 56 disabilityreviewmagazine.co.uk DRM MAGAZINE | Spring 2023

Jump In opened in 2018 and is the UK’s fastest-growing Trampoline Park operator - specifically known for their championing of education and accessible options. The idea was conceived when co-founders Vernon and Linsey visited a local trampoline park with their kids. Vernon loved it so much that he wanted to turn his passion into a career. With a lot of research and a great deal of focus, Vernon found that the whole business proposition had legs. Along with business partner Gavin, and Linsey, they set out on the journey to acquire their first site. And Jump In Trampoline Parks was born.

Jump In Group are proud of not only their parks, but commitment to help build up the local community, with their New School Reading

Scheme that offers local school children 50% off a jump session after completing 10 minutes of reading over 10 days. The reading can be completed at school or as part of home learning. It’s available to 20 schools in each local area and Jump In hopes it will encourage both those that are already book worms and those that find reading a little harder for whatever reason. The Jump In group is also the first trampoline and activity park in the UK to be awarded the LOTC (Learning Outside the Classroom) accreditation for running sessions for local schools. With this new accreditation they’ll offer sessions with learning-based outcomes.

The Learning Outside the Classroom badge award means that Jump In venues have been inspected by BAPA (British Activity Providers Association) and are both fully compliant with the PAS 5000 (leading industry standard) and accredited with the IATP (International Association of Trampoline Parks). Jump In have also demonstrated that they’ve met all participant welfare, activity management and educational quality standards.

disabilityreviewmagazine.co.uk DRM MAGAZINE
With a lot of research and a great deal of focus, Vernon found that the whole business proposition had legs.

Jump In spokesperson Miranda Ray said: “We are all about creating happiness for everyone who visits Jump In Adventure & Trampoline Parks, small kids and big kids included. We design and build a safe interactive environment that’s full of life and energy – it’s so much more than ‘just’ trampolining. We are literally in the business of getting people jumping, sliding & climbing for joy.

Over the last few years we have developed our activity offering to include unique Jump & Play areas with some of the very best soft play frames & the popular Clip & Climb. Add to that some extreme slides & giant inflatables and you have an adventure park like no other, right on your doorstep in Enfield. We’re also super proud of our recent LOTC (Learning Outside the Classroom) accreditation – we’re the first trampoline and activity park in the UK to be awarded this for running sessions for local schools.”

Jump in are also focused on improving their access, especially for neurodivergent children. They offer relaxed sessions for adults and

children who want to go out and have fun but without the noise and stimulation that the parks see during regular sessions.

“Relaxed sessions ensure we offer a safe and fun trampolining and activity session to everyone. Relaxed sessions have been designed with local SEN charities to provide a session tailored for children and adults with access needs and were offered when we opened our first park back in 2016. These are one of our most important and special sessions every week and our team love working during them. Families have also told us that their SEN children especially love the sensation of jumping up and down and through Rebound Therapy they have seen

some amazing results.”

“We have been working closely with many schools local to all of our sites for years now and this allows us to know what works best for them. Working in partnerships with local schools is really important to us and the learning outside of the classroom is just an extension of that. We knew that children missed out on school trips and extracurricular activities during Covid and we wanted to ease their pathway back and to make booking easy for teachers. The LOTC covers all health and safety aspects as we have to pass stringent audits & inspections to achieve the converted badge. We were proud to be the first trampoline park group in the UK to achieve this.”

Jump in are also focused on improving their access, especially for neurodivergent children. They offer relaxed sessions for adults and children who want to go out and have fun but without the noise and stimulation that the parks see during regular sessions.
disabilityreviewmagazine.co.uk DRM MAGAZINE | Spring 2023
PiPA is the only tool to independently assess inclusive provision in outdoor play areas. Inclusive Play design, develop and manufacture play equipment for mainstream play areas, SEN schools & sensory gardens. Inclusive Play. It’s all we do. Unit 9, Edgefield Trade Park, Edgefield Road Industrial Estate, Loanhead, EH20 9TH, UK e: info@inclusiveplay.com w: www.inclusiveplay.com t: +44 (0) 131 214 1180 • Support • Guidance • Expert knowledge For new and existing play area design. Plan to go Plan to play Plan to engage Plan to rest & recharge Plan to access The PiPA Checklist - Five Point System www.pipa-play.org info@pipa-play.org New 2023 Catalogue

Purpose The Supreme

As a disabled person, what’s your relationship with God? Do you even believe in a supreme being?

Many of us look towards a higher power when we need guidance or if things are just simply going wrong. As a disabled person, I’ve had an interesting relationship with my ‘puppet master’. Earlier in life, I blamed him for my impairment and that was that. Matter closed. It was his fault that I couldn’t do the things others found so easy. In fact, here’s a little extract from my book based on my life so far where I did just that.

The protagonist, AJ, is being pushed in a wheelchair by a jolly hospital porter from the ward to a physiotherapy session.

‘AJ didn’t feel the need to share the porter’s joy. Instead, he fell into deep thought. His line of vision was restricted to one shared by his many friends and colleagues who used a wheelchair.

Was this his new world view now? He looked up at the ceiling of the corridor, which seemed to be whizzing by at speed, having an inward dialogue with the Almighty to express his displeasure at life.

You’re unbelievable. Un-f*****g believable! You gave me nothing but challenge after challenge and I had no choice but to accept and make the best of it. I’ve taken each disappointment on the chin. Haven’t blamed you once. But now, what am I supposed to do now? What else have you

got in your arsenal? I have a sense you’re not quite finished with me yet?’

Today, I actually thank him! I have realised that my mission in life is clearly to support my fellow disabled people. My impairment, topped with all the negative experiences propelled at me by society are now, an asset. I have a personal insight into just a fraction of the difficulties faced by others. This collective experience and frustration help me no end when I need just the right amount of fire in my belly for the cause.

I now go so far as to say that if I was to be blessed with a life after this one, I would like to come back as a disabled person…. take a breath! That’s right…as a disabled person. A certain ex-England football manager can chew on that one for a while.

Anyway, back to the subject in hand.

I’ve come across many disabled people who have turned to God, not necessarily for a ‘cure’ but for guidance on how to live with their impairment or face whatever situation causes sleepless nights. I also know many who look to ‘Google’ for a similar outcome. The latter may give an instant response but if you’re like me, you will want a dialogue – even if it is one-sided, you’ll want to share your thoughts, feelings and opinions with a hope that at some stage the cosmic and divine forces at play will give you that much anticipated sign. And if we truly need an actual dialogue or verbal response, try the next best thing.

Our resident columnist Dr Amo Raju shares his journey to finding a higher purpose
Throughout my life, on at least three occasions, I’ve taken valuable advice about my circumstance from three people who have devoted their lives to a higher power.
disabilityrev iewmagazine.co.uk DRM MAGAZINE | Spring 2023

Throughout my life, on at least three occasions, I’ve taken valuable advice about my circumstance from three people who have devoted their lives to a higher power. Without sounding like the beginning of a politically incorrect joke, it was a hospital Chaplain (Christian), an Imam (Muslim) and a Giani (Sikh). None of the three wanted to baptise or convert me, they just wanted a chat. Each reminded me of my purpose in life, not to focus on my woes but to look at the bigger picture, my contribution to the wider disabled community.

And here my friends, is where I offer you my advice.

Whether you believe God put you on this planet or that Daddy and Mummy were just cuddling a little more than usual one cold night - as a disabled person, you too have a purpose. There’s something you may be doing without realising it that’s having a profound impact on others. Your experiences in life will be so valuable to others. Just as valuable, if not more than any person of the cloth.

I can almost hear one or two of you asking…

Me? - My experiences are valuable to others?

Yes. You! - You were put on this Earth to continually give your nondisabled peers examples of strength, determination, resilience, and success. Let’s face it, we were at the front of the queue when God sat in a wheelchair handing out such skills.

iAmo Raju is the CEO of Disability Direct, MD of Amo Raju & Associates and Author of ‘Walk Like A Man’ –available on Amazon.

AUTHOR: Dr. Amo Raju

TWITTER: @AmoSinghRaju

INSTAGRAM: @amorajuofficial

TIKTOK: @amorajuofficial

disabilityrev iewmagazine.co. uk Spring 2023 | DRM MAGAZINE
the online store championing alcohol-free drinks,
disabilityreviewmagazine.co.uk DRM MAGAZINE | Spring 2023 SBAGLIA-NO:
showcase their favourite cocktails.

There are many reasons why people might want to go alcohol-free, from mental health to religion, pregnancy or just the after effects. This was what encouraged founder of Zero.Zilch. Zip., Tim Pethnik, to create his own low and no alcohol wonderland, along with his “zerologists” James and Chrissie. Zero.Zilch.Zip. are an alcohol-free drinks online store. They’re relatively new, having kicked off in early 2022, and they have continued to gain momentum in the alcohol-free space ever since. They are all about helping the world to drink differently, and only stock the best of the best drinks available on the market. Every drink they stock is tried and tested by their “Zerologists” who are renowned alcohol-free artisans.

“Alcohol can be bad for anyone, and it might be especially bad for some types of disabilities. For example, motor function is impaired by the effects of alcohol so it makes sense that it might be harder to deal with alcohol consumption. Alcohol, since it is absorbed directly through the stomach lining, can affect the GI issues too, causing inflammation. There is also evidence that excess alcohol consumption is associated with an increased risk of type 2 diabetes.

On top of this, there is a close link between alcohol and mental health issues – people who drink alcohol are more likely to develop mental health issues.

But all that serious stuff aside, it is generally just the case that ‘alcohol free’ is a more acceptable ‘thing’ now, and it is great that there are so many fabulous alcohol-free products that make it easy to make a positive choice for health and wellbeing. With such great alcohol-free products available, and the proven health and wellbeing benefits of avoiding alcohol, now is a great time to dive in.” Pethnik comments.

“We always want to be the world’s most carefully curated collection of alcohol-free drinks. That’ll never change. But we love the idea of handing the control to customers… empowering them to decide when a product deserves to be listed, or when a recipe perhaps hasn’t evolved and no longer deserves its place.

That’s what really excites me because it won’t be a shop anymore. It’ll become a movement. I really can’t wait for that to happen.”

Alcohol-Free Negroni Sbagliato

In Italian, Sbagliato roughly translates to ‘mistake’ and according to legend, it arose due to a bar-tender mistakenly pouring sparkling wine in a traditional Negroni instead of gin, resulting in the drink that has taken over Tik Tok in the last few months.

Due to the sudden popularity of the drink, we know a lot of people are wondering how to make a Negroni Sbagliato and for our no-low friends, we’re sure you’re asking how to make an alcohol-free Sbagliato. Well, never fear, we have you covered.


30ml Wilfred’s Bittersweet Orange and Rosemary 0%

30ml New London Light, First Light


30ml Princess Alternativa 0.0

Bollicine Bianco Dry

An orange slice (or another citrus garnish)


1 Place your ice in a glass of your choice (can either be cocktail, champagne or tumbler glass).

2 Pour in you Wilfred’s Bittersweet and New London Light, give it a quick mix

3 Slowly top with your Princess Alternativa and allow the bubbles to breathe

4 Mix and top with your garnish of choice

The combination of these alcoholfree beverages allow this drink to have a bitter-sweet taste with the addition of a slight fizz to keep you on your toes. Just like the original, but without the alcohol. We like to call it a Sbaglia-no.

1 disabilityreviewmagazine.co.uk Spring 2023 | DRM MAGAZINE

Ruby Spritz

Sophisticated non-alc take on a classic spritz.


75ml Nine Elms No.18

75ml Light Tonic

Fresh sprig of rosemary

A twist of orange


1 Measure the Nime Elms No.18 into an ice filled goblet or rocks glass.

2 Top with tonic and give it a gentle stir.

3 Finish with the orange twist.

Fennel Punch

A grown up semi-sweet punch with aromas of berry fruits, balsamic & fresh herbs.


25ml Nine Elms No.18

20ml Fennel Syrup

25ml Bax Verbena

70ml Noughty Alcohol Free Sparkling Chardonnay


1 Add Nine Elms, Bax and syrup to an ice filled highball or julep glass. Stir to combine, Top with the sparkling wine. Garnish with sprigs of fennel and a large lemon twist.

2 Steep 1 fennel tea bag (or 5 grams of fennel seeds) with 100ml hot

water and 100g caster sugar in a saucepan over a low heat for 5 minutes, making sure sugar is completely dissolved. Allow to cool then discard the tea bag. Store in the fridge for up to a week.

64 HEALTHY EATING disabilityreviewmagazine.co.uk DRM MAGAZINE | Spring 2023
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Through Shared Ownership, a governmentbacked scheme, you can become a part of a new community while living in a stylish, modern adapted home.

VODION, Hackney Wick

Our latest Shared Ownership development, VODION, is in East London’s beating heart: Hackney Wick. VODION offers a range of spacious one, two and three-bedroom apartments with flexible layouts to ensure wheelchair accessibility. The development includes:

Level access shower/wet rooms

Wider-than-standard doorways

Ramp entries and exits

Adapted kitchens with lowered working surfaces

Allocated accessible car parking bays

VODION apartments have firstclass finishing touches and have been designed without limits. The development sits been the luscious open spaces of Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park and Victoria Park, so you can retreat into nature and unwind from the hustle and bustle of

the capital when needed. Hackney Wick is bursting with culture; you’ll always have something to keep you entertained. Discover artist hubs, markets, independent coffee shops, chic cafes and craft breweries, all just a stone’s throw away from VODION.

Looking to explore beyond your doorstep? Ideally located, VODION boasts excellent transport links, keeping you easily connected to Central London from Bow Road and Stratford stations. Hackney Wick station is just 0.5* 1 miles away, so whether it’s for work or play, you’re perfectly placed to explore and enjoy the best that London has to offer.

VODION is in a fantastic location for families: it is in the catchment area of several ‘Outstanding’ Ofsted-rated primary and secondary schools.

Apartments at VODION are available to reserve. Prices start from £108,750 for a 25% share2. You can book a viewing on our website (shosales.co.uk/vodion) to visit one our stunning show homes and get a taste of life in a Southern Housing home.

Corner Place, Bethnal Green

Corner Place, a contemporary development, comprises of one, two and three-bedroom Shared Ownership apartments in the iconic Bethnal Green. Eagerly awaited,

Corner Place is launching in early 2023.

There will be five adapted, wheelchair accessible apartments available at Corner Place; each apartment will be spread across five floors of the building. Corner Place apartments have been designed with modern living in mind and an openplan, flexible layout has been utilised to accommodate wheelchair users.

Each kitchen includes a sleek design, handless cupboard doors and integrated appliances. Soft oak laminate flooring has been laid throughout the living areas and the rest is a blank canvas so you can put your own stamp on your home.

You couldn’t be better placed to enjoy life in Bethnal Green. With a plethora of upscale bars, restaurants, nightlife and other amenities, you have everything you need at your fingertips.

If you’re commuting or exploring more of the capital, Corner Place is ideally located. Bethnal Green station is just 0.2 miles** from Corner Place, meaning you can be at Oxford Circus in just 12 minutes .

To receive exclusive updates about this development, including launch dates and prices, open day details and more, register your interest on our website now: shosales.co.uk/cornerplace .

New Kent Road, Southwark

This exciting new development will launch in early 2024. New Kent Road will bring a range of one, two and three-bedroom wheelchair accessible apartments, all available through Shared Ownership.

iFor more information, you can visit our website at Shosales. co.uk. Alternatively, you call us on 0300 555 2171 where you’ll be able to speak to our friendly sales team who are available to answer any questions you may have.

1 * / ** - Distances taken from google.co.uk/maps

2 Shared Ownership – Terms and conditions apply. All applicants are subject to qualifying criteria and status. Minimum and maximum share values apply and rent is payable on the unsold share typically set at 2.75%. Please speak to a member of our Sales Team for more details.

Southern Home Ownership (now Southern Housing) is committed to providing enablement opportunities for all, so whether you’re a firsttime buyer or a downsizer, we’re passionate about providing homes to suit a range of lifestyles.
disabilityreviewmagazine.co.uk DRM MAGAZINE | Spring 2023
Through Shared Ownership, a government-backed scheme, you can become a part of a new community while living in a stylish, modern adapted home.


should be. She just looked so so happy, which in turn made us happy. She was always nervous coming down, but now she is so confident in doing it.”

At Remap, we believe in making things possible for anybody with a disability. Our volunteers design and create custom-made support aids, to help people like Bethany gain more independence. We want to help you do what you want to do in life; if you or someone you know could benefit from custom-made equipment in your day to day life, get our help: remap.org.uk/ referral-form/

About Remap

Bethany has been left with a weakness down her left side known as left side hemiplegia – a form of Cerebral Palsy Bethany’s Mum, Alice describes this time:

“It was like our whole world turned upside down and is something no parent should ever have to go through. Bethany does not have full use of her left hand. She undertakes physio and OT and attends all her medical appointments with the courage she has shown throughout all this. She is such a happy little girl, an utter delight, and we would not have her any other way.”

Occupational Therapist at their local council, Remap volunteers Derek and David from Kent visited Bethany to see if they could devise a solution. Derek and David soon came back to Bethany with a set of bespoke steps which would make it easier and safer for her to get up and down them herself.

Mum – Alice, explains the difference getting Remap’s help has made:

“She is now up and down the stairs like a yo-yo!! They have helped her immensely, and she can get in and out of her bed without us helping her.”

“We bought her this new cabin bed as she was outgrowing her old one, so it is great to see her using it as she

Remap is a unique national charity founded in 1964, which brings together two sets of people: volunteers who are skilled at making things, and people with a disability that could be eased by a piece of specialist equipment. The result is that each year, thousands of pieces of custom-made equipment is made to help transform the lives of those with disabilities.

Remap’s army of ingenious inventors; design and make equipment and gadgets for young or old alike and these are then provided free of charge. The aim is always to help people achieve independence and quality of life, filling the gap where no suitable equipment is available commercially. New projects and volunteers are welcomed by Remap which is expanding its service.

Fast forward a few years and at 5 years old, Bethany is quickly becoming a confident young girl wanting more of her own independence. Bethany’s parents had bought her a new cabin bed as she was outgrowing her previous one, but they soon discovered that she was struggling to come down the steps safely on her own. The steps were too steep for her and, as a result, Bethany’s nights were disrupted and mum and dad were anxious about her injuring herself if she tried getting down on her own.

After hearing about Remap from an

iFor further information contact: Jodie Bawden, Communications Manager –Remap. T: 07368171449 ,

E: j.bawden@remap.org.uk ,

W: remap.org.uk

We bought her this new cabin bed as she was outgrowing her old one, so it is great to see her using it as she should be. She just looked so so happy, which in turn made us happy.
In August 2017, At only 13 months old, Bethany suffered a stroke. This developed into a brain aneurysm and she had to undergo brain surgery to stem the bleed.
disabilityreviewmagazine.co.uk DRM MAGAZINE | Spring 2023


During the 13 years period (2004 to 2017) I was privileged to be invited to serve in an advisory capacity on numerous central and regional government forums, all of which focused on health and social care related topics. Many of the forums also involved highly qualified individuals from the medical, social care and academic sectors.

One ‘common denominator’ which often arose during discussions related to addressing the social ‘model’ of health and wellbeing. Regrettably it still seems that many societies are not ‘designed’ to cater for the wide ranging and diverse needs of disabled people resulting in creating greater levels of social exclusion and inequality.

Disability (including mental and long-term health conditions) affects approximately 20% of the United Kingdom’s population (similar percentages apply to the populations of the USA and Western Europe).

needs, poorly designed or inadequate housing (preventing disabled people the opportunity to live independently), inaccessibility to public places and amenities (including leisure activities) to name but a few. Such restrictions within societies also have indirect but consequential affects on their carers and families.

Restricted lifestyles often exacerbate the quality of health and wellbeing experienced resulting in causing increased pressures on primary and acute healthcare sector providers.

Time to think!

I consider it a privilege to have been given the opportunity to write this article for the current issue of Disability Review Magazine. However (and with much regret) since Founding Mobility and Support Information Service (MASIS) in 2012 and continuing to emphasise the benefits that can come from effective collaboration (a view strongly endorsed by my associates at an Oxford University based collaborating centre of which I was appointed a partner in 2018), it is still very evident that manufacturing as well as service providing companies who together can do so much to help reduce existing levels of exclusion and inequality experienced by disabled people and their families still choose not to collaborate with MASIS.

iIf this article has proved of interest to you, please do not hesitate to contact MASIS by e-mailing contact@masis.org.uk , W: masis.org.uk

Restrictions within societies encountered by disabled people are numerous but not always clearly apparent. These can relate to such subjects as personal transportation

Restricted lifestyles often exacerbate the quality of health and wellbeing experienced resulting in causing increased pressures on primary and acute healthcare sector providers.
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22-23 March 2023 NEC Birmingham

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Travel back in time across the stunning Sussex High Weald, area of outstanding natural beauty on one of Britain’s oldest heritage railway lines.

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What’s on at Bluebell in 2022

21 - 23 April - Branch Line Weekend

20 & 21 May - Road Meets Rail

1 & 2 July - Model Railway Weekend


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• 22 - 24 Sept. - Bluebell Beer Festival • Licensed bar & restaurant ‘Bessemer Arms’
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Could custom-made equipment help you to live more independently? Remap helps disabled people of all ages live more independent lives by designing and making customised equipment free of charge. Our volunteers can make equipment to support mobility, home activities, managing personal care or enjoying sports and hobbies. Get our help: remap.org.uk Making things possible! Tel: 01732 760209 | Email: data@remap org uk Charity no: 1137666 | Scotland: SC050584 Empowering Your Achievement Up to 70 live Webinars per year Over 200 past webinars Online awareness courses Accredited training courses www.sendgroup.co.uk SEND Group Membership Why not become a member and enjoy unlimited access to our past webinars as well as upcoming live webinars. From only £12.50 a month or £99 annually. 78 disabilityreviewmagazine.co.uk DRM MAGAZINE | Spring 2023 DRM MAGAZINE

Cornish Accessible Holiday Cottages

Cornish Accessible Holiday Cottages, now has 3 purpose built wheelchair friendly cottages, Hazel, Willow & Elm.

All Cottages offer the ideal self-catering location; close by one of the most beautiful coastal areas in Cornwall. The cottages have been specifically designed to accommodate families, friends and the less mobile. Guests can now hire a full profile bed for their stay in both Hazel and Willow cottages. Also Hazel cottage now has a riser recliner chair to aid guests independence & comfort.


All enquiries please contact Phil & April Cooke. Cornish Accessible Holiday Cottages, Tregony, Truro, Cornwall. TR2 5SH Telephone: 01872 530520

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79 disabilityreviewmagazine.co.uk Spring 2023 | DRM MAGAZINE DRM MAGAZINE Find out more 20-21 March 2024 | NEC, Birmingham 150+ Exhibitors 100+ Seminars Mobility Test Track Village Green Performance Space Naidex Marketplace Adaptive Climbing Wall www.naidex.co.uk National Accessibility, Inclusion & Disability Expo An unmissable day out!

Our training has been designed to help professionals, care givers, medical staff and families that support children and adults with a visual impairment. By combining cutting edge technology with professionally qualified trainers we aim to help organisations:

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