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How a year of yes got Vanessa Wallace to the Paralympics

SHAW TRUST takes the lead on disability representation

EVENBREAK: launches the Career Hive

Hear how Paralympic Medalist John Stubbs prepares for the Paralympic Games

REAL STORIES: How Marvel can make you a superhero

TRANSFORMING CARE with Reside Housing

Limitless Travel bringing adventure back DIVERSITY AND CONSIDER THIS! Ever INCLUSION thought about trying IN Roller THE WORKPLACE Derby?

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E D I TO R ’ S L E T T E R D R M

Editor’s Letter What a year we have had and what a year to come…

Hello again,

As we head into an easing of lockdown and more and more of us are having our Covid vac-cine, it seems that we can relax a little back into normality. Or what constitutes a new nor-mality. I have been reflecting, the early part of this year, about the impact of the pandemic, not just on our every day lives, but on our ability be healthy, both mentally and physically. I have to admit, I struggled in winter with both my physical and mental health. And I recognise how important it is for all of us to consider what we can do to stay healthy. I am someone who loves to be out in nature and who loves to travel. These are both a big part of my life that has changed because of the pandemic. So I have learnt to adapt and look closer to home for outside adventure, even if it is only so far as my backyard. One interview I am really excited about in this issue is with Sarah Fisher. Sarah has upper limb difference and is planning an adventure that will see her cycle around the globe. The entire world is be-coming Sarah’s backyard. Sarah’s story is meant to inspire and also hopefully get you think-ing— what can you do to create your own adventure this year? It has also been a tough 12 months for our Paralympians. Having had the Tokyo Games postponed once already, the hope

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is that the Games will go ahead in the next few months. DRM spoke to two Paralympians who are gearing up for the Games. Vanessa Wallace and John Stubbs gave us insight into their training and also how the lockdowns impacted their ability to prepare. As a former Paralympic swimmer myself, I couldn’t even fathom how stressful this whole situation must have been for the athletes. When you prepare for some-thing that happens with such regularity as the Paralympics, to even have it postponed once must take a great mental and physical toll. This issue I am also introducing our new regular columnist, Dan White. Dan is a parent carer who also identifies as disabled. Dan is a disability activist, writer, columnist, and broadcaster and creator of the Department of Ability, a comic book that centres positive disability representation. His insight into the caring world, I know, will be important for some of our readers and hopefully insightful for the rest. With this bumper issue to keep you entertained over summer, I hope that you find knowledge, inspiration and motivation to try something new. From Roller Derby to cycling, wheelchair rugby to horseriding, or even planning your next grand travel adventure, there will be something in this issue that will give you hope and excitement for what the future can bring.

Liz El i za b et h Wr i g ht Tw i t te r - @ es i ou l I n s ta g ra m - @ e l i z a b et h lwr i g h t

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JEEP RANGE AVAILABLE ON THE MOTABILITY SCHEME FROM £195 ADVANCE PAYMENT* For more information or to book a test drive visit or visit your nearest Jeep Retailer.

Fuel economy and CO2 results for the Jeep® range mpg (l/100km) combined: 25.7 (11.0) - 48.7 (5.8). CO2 emissions: 259 - 148 g/km. Figures shown are for comparability purposes; only compare fuel consumption and CO2 figures with other cars tested to the same technical procedures. These figures may not reflect real life driving results, which will depend upon a number of factors including the accessories fitted (post-registration), variations in weather, driving styles and vehicle load. *Jeep Compass and Renegade available on the Motability scheme. Models shown: Jeep Compass 1.4 MultiAir II 140hp Night Eagle (with additional bi-colour paint @£400). Available on the Motability Scheme from £1,295 advanced payment. Jeep Renegade 1.0 GSE T3 120hp MT 4x2 Limited (with additional bi-colour paint @£400). Available on the Motability Scheme from £195 advance payment. Vehicles only available through Motability accredited participating Jeep retailers and are not available in conjunction with any other offer. These offers are valid for orders placed from 1st April and 30th June 2021.Terms & Conditions apply. Offer may be varied or withdrawn at any time.





Motoring and Motability: 15 Dealer Test Drive Tips

Motability explains how you can purchase your new car safely during Covid times.

Employment & Education: 18 Accessible and Relevant Careers Support Inclusive recruitment is key to gaining employment

20 Where do disabled people fit in the Government’s new sport and movement strategy? Angela Matthews reflects on the chasm between movement and sport

22 From Feeling Like a “Useless Idiot” to Becoming an AwardWinning Accessibility Advocate and Entrepreneur.


Our Cover Star... Vanessa Wallace is a team GB Paralympian and a record holder in Shot Put, Discus and Javelin. She is passionate about tackling inequalities relating to disability, sport, diversity and inclusion.

A mother and son with a digital inclusion mission

24 My Plus

6 Tips to boost your employability

26 Inclusion and Diversity at Kerry Foods

One company’s strategy for an inclusive workplace

Independent Living: 28 Changing Places, Changing Access

Accessible toilets changing lives UKwide

32 Why Reside is committed to helping people with the Transforming Care Plan

Values and commitment providing housing solutions


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36 Need Extra Help To Stay In Touch With Loved Ones?

Vanessa Wallace Photographer: Photo courtesy of ParalympicsGB

Check out how BT can help…

38 Get Active at Home

Executive Editor:

Disability Rights UK’s plan to get disabled people moving

Lee Gatland

Art Director:

39 DRM Carers Corner with Dan White

Richard Hejsak

Gain insight into the life of a carer

Managing Editor: Elizabeth Wright

41 Independent Living with Disability Direct

A user-led organisation leading on support

43 Meet Voiceitt, The App Providing Independence Through Voice

Sometimes the simplest solution is the best option for independence

44 The power of the Disability Power 100 Find out how the Shaw Trust are amplifying disabled voices

Disability Sport: 50 The Wheelchair Rugby league World Cup is Coming… Get set to cheer on Team England this November

52 Setting a Target for the Tokyo Paralympics Archer, John Stubbs, shares his sport and mental health journey

55 For The Love of Golf

Sales Team:

55 59 How One Paralympian is Making Superheroes of Us All

Sophia Warner encourages us all to try disability sport

60 Single Handedly Taking on the World. Sarah Fisher tells us about her big cycling adventure

63 Consider This!

Bev Gormley tells us about Roller Derby

Travel and Leisure: 66 Is 2021 The Year of Meaningful Travel for Disabled People? Now is the time to start planning your next adventure

Discover why golfers love their sport

Healthy Eating:

56 Red Lippy, Shot Put and the Tokyo Paralympics

67 Get Summertime Ready With This Delicious Summer Salad

Find how how lipstick and a Year of Yes led Vanessa Wallace to Paralympic glory disabili t


01959 543 650

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

This delicious recipe is perfect for a picnic in the park.

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Special Olympics GB Announces New Health and Welling Champion US lifestyle expert Jessie Pavelka has joined Special Olympics GB as a Health and Wellbeing Champion. Jessie, who is currently based in Los Angeles, is a well-respected health and wellbeing expert who has built a business and lifestyle based around his Four Elements of Health – Eat, Sweat, Think and Connect. As Special Olympics GB’s Health & Wellbeing Champion, Jessie is working with our Athlete Leadership Team (ALT) including Global Health Messenger and Special Olympics GB double triple gold medalist Kiera Byland to develop a version of his Four Elements specifically adapted for people with intellectual disabilities to help our athletes maintain healthy lives.

Paralympian Prepares for a Comeback with CBD Gel Will Smith, a Paralympian living with spina bifida who sidelined his wheelchair athletics to study law at university, is planning a comeback to competitive sport. While working to get his fitness levels back to competitive standards, Will has become reacquainted with the challenge of injuries and niggles that come with the territory of wheelchair racing. Finding these injuries and strains had a negative effect on both his training and his concentration in his day job, Will started using a pain-relieving CBD topical gel. The formula works to both prevent injury and to reduce the stress of aches and pains. Will said “I use a high-concentration CBD gel by Biosportart, which I apply to my wrists and on the back of my neck and upper shoulder area. Through the increased intensity of my training, I have been able to complete longer sessions and focus on them completely, without the little niggles or feelings of discomfort.”


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Body Beautiful Exhibition Coming to Barnsley Body Beautiful: Diversity on the Catwalk is a National Museums Scotland touring exhibition coming to The Civic, Barnsley from 14 August until 17 December. The exhibition examines how today’s fashion industry is challenging perceptions and championing alternative ideals of beauty on the catwalk, in advertising, editorial and behind the camera. Body Beautiful looks at how fashion creatives are embracing inclusivity and body positivity by exploring five key themes: size; gender; age; race and disability. The Barnsley Civic team, who have brought the exhibition to Barnsley, said “We are eager and excited to be able to bring this wonderful exhibition to the people of Barnsley and beyond. We hope that this exploration of how fashion creatives are advocating inclusivity and body positivity, whilst also addressing what more needs to be done, will inspire thought, conversation and let us all reflect on what beauty really means.”

Young Founder of Innovative Disability Clothing Range Receives Prestigious Reward A mother whose daughter inspired her to design a collection of handmade disability clothing has received a Young Innovators’ Award. The awards, which are supported by Innovate UK and The Prince’s Trust, recognise young people with creative ideas and the potential to become entrepreneurs and business leaders. Michelle Best, founder of Blossom & Best, is 28 years old, and mother to 2 young children, one of whom has been under diagnosis for high functioning autism for the past 5 years. She discovered that there were very few effective and affordable alternatives to ‘pull-up’ pants available. So she designed and handmade her first pair of ‘Magic Pants’. The pants improved her daughter’s mental health significantly, and Michelle soon realised that if they were helping her own family, they could also help others, and the business was born.





Neurodiverse People Share Experiences of Childhood Sexual Abuse The Truth Project offers victims and survivors of child sexual abuse the chance to share their experiences and be heard with respect. This year they reached out to the neurodiverse community to establish the extent and impact of child sexual abuse on neurodiverse people. Based on over 5,100 accounts, they found that abuse happens across a range of institutions and that for 1 in 10, this was the first time that they had disclosed what happened to them. This includes Vaughan, who is autistic, and experiences bullying and sexual abuse at his school. With no pastoral care he had no one to turn to. Survivors also spoke about the ongoing impact on their mental health and wellbeing. You can find out more here

The Business Disability Forum Providing Welcome Back Disabled Colleagues Resources? Business Disability Forum has launched a series of free resources, offering advice and legal guidance on supporting disabled colleagues to safely return to the workplace. The new ‘Welcoming disabled employees back to the office’ resource covers topics including, traveling to the workplace, creating a safe environment, carrying out roles safely, accessing facilities and mixing disabili t

with colleagues. The new resources form part of Business Disability Forum’s Covid-19 toolkit. They can be accessed on the Covid-19 toolkit page uk/knowledge-hub/toolkits/covid-19-toolkit/

Gritty Talent Connecting Disabled People and the Media

Gritty Talent, a media company passionate about diversity, have launched an app to help introduce a diverse range of potential on-screen talent, including disabled talent, to TV production companies. They are looking for a mix of people, from academics to budding reporters and expert presenters, for interviews, documentaries and other media opportunities. You can find out more information at gritty

ViacomCBS Ring-Fence Roles for Evenbreak Candidates As part of their commitment to being an inclusive employer of choice, ViacomCBS Networks International has partnered with Evenbreak, the UK’s most accessible job board, run by and for disabled people. This move will see ViacomCBS, one of the leading global multimedia creators, promote their UK opportunities across the Evenbreak platform, attracting the very best diverse talent from people with disabilities across the UK. Furthermore, all of ViacomCBS’ internally advertised jobs now include signposting to Evenbreak’s specialist disability career coaching service provided free-to-use for all disabled candidates. This builds on their continued commitment to create an environment of inclusion and belonging, and content that reflects, celebrates and elevates the diversity of their audiences. Disabled candidates wishing to work with ViacomCBS can find suitable roles here: DR M | S U M M E R - 2 0 21


Like more?

Get more. With the fully electric MG ZS EV Satellite navigation 8" colour touchscreen Panoramic sky roof* Apple CarPlay™/Android Auto™

Zero road tax 163 miles of electric range** MG Pilot Driver Assistance System


Advance payment^


Type 2 charging cable†

Fuel economy and CO2 results for MG ZS EV. Mpg (l/100km): Not applicable. CO2 emissions: 0 g/km Electric range: 163 to 231 miles.   

Figures shown are for comparability purposes. Only compare fuel consumption, CO2 and electric range figures with other cars tested to the same technical procedures. These figures may not reflect real life driving results, which will depend upon a number of factors including the starting charge of the battery, accessories fitted (post-registration), variations in weather, driving styles and vehicle load. Model shown: All New MG ZS EV Excite with Pimlico Blue Metallic Paint £26,095 On The Road (OTR) after PiCG. *Available on Exclusive models only. **From a single charge on the WLTP combined cycle: Combined Range: 163 miles (263 km); City Range: 231 miles (372 km); Combined Driving Efficiency: 18.6 kWh/100km. ^Available on MG ZS EV Excite models only. Motability Scheme vehicles are leased to customers by Motability Operations Limited (Registered Company No 1373876). To qualify you must be in receipt of the Higher Rate Mobility Component of Disability Living Allowance (DLA), the Enhanced Rate Mobility Component of Personal Independent Payment (PIP), the War Pensioners’ Mobility Supplement (WPMS) or the Armed Forces Independence Payment (AFIP) and applications must be made with participating dealers between 01.07.21 until 30.09.21. †Free Type 2 charging cable offer applies to Motability user registrations that have been supplied utilising approved support terms. Prices are correct at time of print, are subject to availability and may change.




Tommy Hilfiger Launches It’s 2021 Adaptive Collection TOMMY Hilfiger has announced the launch of the Spring/ Summer 2021 Tommy Hilfiger Adaptive collection. This innovative line of clothing has been designed to make dressing easier for disabled adults and children. The Tommy Hilfiger Adaptive collection features the same “classic American cool with a twist” designs for men, women and kids. This season redefines the preppy aesthetic through a modern mix of court sports and coastal prep styles, combining Tommy Hilfiger’s classic red, white and blue colour palette with spring pastels. The versatile pieces in this collection effortlessly function as everyday essentials, stylish workfrom-home staples and refined comfort wear, incorporating modifications that promote ease of movement with easy closures, seated-wear solutions and fits for prosthetics. Tommy Hilfiger, Principal Designer, Tommy Hilfiger Global says, “Tommy Hilfiger Adaptive is about creating fashion that is accessible to everyone, regardless of ability. Getting dressed should be a joy – an experience that empowers you to look good and feel good in what you are wearing. Our adaptive collections have revolutionized everyday dressing for people with disabilities, giving them the independence and confidence to express their individuality through style.” Tommy Hilfiger doesn’t stop at just designing adaptive clothing, but also ensures that their campaigns are representative of disability and diversity. This campaign stars Olympic cyclist Kristina Vogel, Paralympian Rheed McCracken, Paralympic swimmer and track runner Haven Shepherd, former football player Isaiah Pead, paddle

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boarder Jonas Letieri, model Ashley Young, model Teddy B., and models and sisters Mila and Elora. More than one billion people globally live with a disability, and yet are rarely represented by the fashion industry. Determined to address this gap in the market and to make a positive difference, TOMMY HILFIGER became the first global lifestyle brand to modify its mainstream apparel to fit the needs of people with disabilities.

Tommy Hilfiger Adaptive launched in the United States in Fall 2017, and the line is now available in Europe, Japan, and Australia on and through select retail partners.

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Winners of the 2021 Drake Music Emergent Commissions for Early Career Disabled Artists THE winners of the 2021 Drake Music Emergent commissions, in partnership with Saffron, for early-career Disabled artists have been announced. Singer and musical self expressionist Elle Chante, musician and performance artist R.Dyer and neo-soul guitarist Alebdo are the three artists who will be creating new music, responding to the theme of ‘Risk.’ Each will bring the concept into their tracks in a different way, from a ‘reverse-psychology’ take by Elle Chante to a board-game interpretation by R.Dyer. The Emergent Commissions are part of Drake Music’s Artistic Development programme, supporting disabled musicians to progress their creative work and break into the music industry. Partnered with nart Chantel Reg Saffron, a music tech initiative addressing intersectional gender imbalance in the music industry, the 2021 commissions are supported by the PRS Foundation and Help Alebdo Daniel Bennett Musicians UK. Carien Meijer, Chief Executive of Drake Music, said, “It’s really exciting to meet new artists and be there at interested in the margins between song/sound, folk the start of their career, or to support them to make a stories/improvisation and sublimity/hysteria. With the change of direction. We had an incredibly high standard aid of a loop pedal, she uses everything from saxophone, of applications for this year’s commissions which we think found sounds, musical saw, nose-flute, marshmallows, shows just how much musical talent and passion is out games of bingo, visual art and more to create pop songs, there in the Disabled community.” soundscapes and surreal stories that teeter on the brink of failure, inviting chaos and audience response to shape Meet the Artists performances. Elle Chante is a singer and musical self-expressionist Alebdo is a neo-soul musician who has been playing based in the Midlands. Using her vocals, lyrics and for around 6-7 years. A talented guitarist who also plays instrumentation she strives to encompass, and share with bass, piano and ‘dabbles’ in a few other instruments, he the audience, the world that she lives in. She is particularly writes and produces his own tracks, demonstrating a interested in making work that explores issues of trauma, natural ear for melody and hooks. For Alebdo, music is mental illness and disability, with the intention of his love and offers a calm place, no matter the place or connecting with people who share her experiences, and time or whatever else is going on in his life. communicating with people who don’t. R.Dyer is an autistic musician and performance artist

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DEALER TEST DRIVE TIPS CHECK OUT MOTABILITY’S POST LOCK-DOWN TEST DRIVING TIPS. Dealer’s car test drive tips during social distancing

Dealership showrooms are now open - which is great news if you’re looking for a new car. Following the COVID-19 pandemic you may find things are a bit different than you’ve been used to. We spoke to some Motability Scheme dealers to get their tips on booking and undertaking test drives with the current social distancing measure in place.

The importance of test drives

Before deciding on a car it’s very important that you test drive it, even in the current climate. A test drive is the best way to find out whether a car is right for you and your dealer will be more than happy to arrange this. Even if you are not going to be driving yourself, you need to make sure the car is comfortable and suits your needs. Dealerships are still offering test drives with new measures in place.


All dealerships have introduced strict rules on cleaning and disinfecting vehicles; this includes wiping down key parts of the car, such as the driver’s door handle, steering wheel and gear stick to ensure minimal risk of infection. Some dealership groups even leave the car for a window of 24 hours after it’s been sanitised as extra protection.

people drive it. Currently, the customer goes out in the vehicle alone, on a pre-set drive route. They are placed on our insurance. That’s how we’re doing it here, but you should contact your local dealership to find out how they’re doing it.”

Pentagon Group

The Motability Scheme specialist for the Pentagon Group will join the customer on the test drive. They will sit in the back of the vehicle and wearing a mask to adhere to social distancing rules. The vehicle will be ventilated and thoroughly cleaned down before and after the test drive.

Glyn Hopkin

Glyn Hopkin have a pre-test drive route at each of their dealerships. Customers are welcome to undertake the test drive unaccompanied. Alternatively, if the customer wanted the dealer to go with them on the test drive, the dealer will sit in the rear of the car, with the window open and face mask on.

About the Motability Scheme The Motability Scheme enables you to exchange all or part of your higher rate mobility allowance to lease a car, Wheelchair Accessible Vehicle, mobility scooter or powered wheelchair. Every lease is all-inclusive, so insurance for up to three named drivers (this doesn’t have to be you), servicing, maintenance, breakdown cover and tyre and windscreen repair and replacement is included. All you need to do is add fuel and go. If you think the Scheme could be right for you, and would like to find out more, you can visit the Motability Scheme website at www. or you can call one of their friendly advisors on 0800 093 1000. There are around 4,500 Motability Scheme dealerships across the UK, each with specialists on hand to give you expert help and advice. If you already have an idea of the vehicles you’re interested in, you can find your local dealership by visiting findadealer

We b s i te: m ota b i l i t y.o r g.u k


Tw i t te r: @ M ota b i l i t yO p s L i n ke d I n: @ M ota b i l i t y

Dealer test drive tips

Examples of test drives vary from dealership to dealership. When you contact a dealer to make an appointment you can ask them about the specific measures they have put in place.

Toomey Vauxhall

Gary Rumsby, from Toomey in Essex, explains the specific measures at his dealership: “The test drives are pre-booked. The reason for this is to ensure that we can clean the vehicle thoroughly before

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Smash and grab theft of Blue Badges is RISING






From £24.95







IS BLUE BADGE THEFT A PROBLEM IN YOUR AREA? AS parking charges, congestion charges and

disabled parking spaces become more limited, thefts of Blue Badges have soared. As Covid-19 emerged, The Department for Transport published figures showing that Blue Badge theft in England had risen by 45% in the previous year. But is Blue Badge theft a problem in your area? It is considered that by using a Blue Badge in London you can save over £6000 per year on parking, which may go some way to explain the demand for Blue Badges on the Black Market which sell for in the region of £500. However, it’s not a London specific problem - in March 2021, 15 Disability Blue Badges were stolen in a series of ‘smash and grab’ thefts from vehicles in Waltham Cross, Hertfordshire. Sadly, the issue of Blue Badge theft is nationwide. 4,246 Blue Badges were reported stolen in England alone in 2017/18 compared with 2,921 in the previous year (Dept for Transport) all of which were issued by Councils who describe the increase as ‘alarming’. That’s a whopping sixfold increase since 2013. Councils throughout the country have been making

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some effort to tackle this extensive concern but many councils are still doing nothing or too little. Phil Talbot of disability charity Scope said: “This steep rise in thefts is shocking. The police and councils need to

ensure they are serving their disabled residents by cracking down on this abuse.” However, figures from the Department for Transport showed 38% of Councils failed to make any prosecutions for misuse of Blue Badges in 2020. Whilst you can usually get your Blue Badge replaced for free from your local Council within 8 weeks, Blue Badge theft can be distressing. Thieves will usually opt for ‘smash and grab’ tactics. They are opportunistic thieves looking for quick and convenient steals. Smashed windscreens, Police reporting, expensive vehicle repairs and increased insurance premiums all make Blue Badge theft very stressful, and if you are a victim of Blue Badge theft you should report it immediately to the Police and seek support from your local Council’s Blue Badge team. So what can you do to use your Blue Badge safely? How can you help prevent the theft of your Blue Badge and damage to your vehicle? Firstly, you must ensure you only leave your Blue Badge in your vehicle when it is in use and when it is not that the Blue Badge is hidden from view or preferably removed from your vehicle altogether. Lockable Blue Badge wallets are also available as a visible deterrent to would be thieves. Blue Badge Protector offer a range of in-car security devices that attach to your steering wheel and secure your Blue Badge from theft, all of which are approved by the Metropolitan Police for your peace of mind. Available online in Halfords or for more information visit

Au t h o r: C a r o l i n e Ove r to n, Operations Manager Website: Fa ce b oo k: fa c e book .co m/ b l u e b a d g e p r otecto r I n s ta g ra m: i n s ta g r a m .co m/ b l u e b a d g e p r otecto r

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Jane Hatto

n, CEO, Even


Accessible and Relevant Careers Support Inclusive recruitment is a key aspect of gaining employment as a disabled person. Here, Evenbreak’s CEO Jane Hatton, tells us about Evenbreak’s new Career Hive, and how it can help break down recruitment barriers…

WE know that disabled people face additional barriers when looking for work— inaccessible recruitment processes, recruiters and employers who somehow think that disabled candidates aren’t as good as non-disabled candidates, or will be expensive, risky or problematic and not knowing which of the employers who say they are inclusive really are, when it comes to disability. There are many places that offer careers support. But at Evenbreak (www., a specialist job board run by and for disabled people, our candidates were telling us that often the general careers support available wasn’t suitable or accessible for them. Either it wasn’t relevant to disabled candidates, and was perhaps delivered by careers coaches with little understanding of the disabling barriers we face. Or the provision had restrictive eligibility criteria— dependent on which post code you live in, which benefit you’re on, how old you are. Or you’d be ‘too disabled’ or ‘not disabled enough’ or have the ‘wrong’ impairment. We really wanted to fill this huge gap in existing provision, and at the end of last year, we received a grant from Nesta to enable us to do just that. We


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developed the Career Hive (https://hive. which offers relevant and accessible careers support specifically for disabled people looking for new or better work. Developed and delivered by disabled careers professionals with lived experience of the barriers we face. There is signposting to other organisations which may be able to offer specific support, and a whole load of online resources, including videos, checklists, guides and so on. There are regular online events and workshops, including ‘Meet the Employer’ events, where inclusive employers tell you about the kinds of roles they offer, what the recruitment process looks like, how to ask for adjustments and what they are looking for in candidates. And you can ask them questions. There is, of course, access to the Evenbreak job board, where employers who are specifically looking to attract more disabled candidates advertise their vacancies. Employers like Channel 4, John Lewis, Unilever, Tesco, Facebook and many more. Most importantly, there is access to a team of qualified careers professionals with lived experience of disability, who

offer individual and group support, whether help with a CV or preparation for an interview, or confidencebuilding or identifying transferable skills. This may be a one-off coaching session on a specific issue, or a series of sessions looking at a range of issues. Designed to meet your needs in ways accessible to you. This new service was co-produced by the Evenbreak team (all of whom are disabled) and a focus group of Evenbreak candidates, as we wanted to ensure that the service met the real needs of disabled candidates. The service will be continuously improved through responding to feedback from people using the service. Other services planned for the future include offering peer support from successful candidates who can mentor and support other candidates. If you feel you would benefit from careers support offered by and for disabled people, come and have a look around. To find jobs from inclusive employers who are looking to attract more disabled candidates, have a look on the Evenbreak job board ( To find relevant and accessible careers support for disabled candidates, have a look on the Evenbreak Career Hive.

Author: Jane Hatton, CEO, Evenbreak Website:


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Where do disabled people fit in the Government’s new sport and movement strategy? Business Disability Forum’s Head of Policy Angela Matthews reflects on the possible chasm between movement and sport. By Angela Matthews, Head of Policy, Business Disability Forum On Facebook, Instagram and Twitter: @DisabilitySmart. Search for Business Disability Forum on LinkedIn. Sport England recently published its ten-year strategy, titled “Uniting the Movement”. The strategy states: “We need to collectively reimagine how we keep movement, sport, and activity central to the lives of everyone.” I considered how ‘movement’ and ‘sport’ are so far apart for many people. I used to work in a movement clinic in the NHS where I would see people as part of their rehabilitation after an injury or illness. Their circumstances were diverse and could include being recently injured from having a life changing accident, having a heart attack or stroke, a ‘relapse’ with Multiple Sclerosis (MS), or the onset of Parkinson’s Disease. ‘Movement’ for many people who came into my clinic was often about learning how to use their body again, becoming aware of the movements they can do or re-learn to do, and learning to ‘trust’ the movements their body makes.

A successful movement ‘session’ often consisted of walking three to five metres aided by support bars, holding a large physio ball with both hands for five seconds, or sitting in a chair while raising arms up and down slowly. ‘Sport’, on the other hand, was so very far off at the point people entered my clinic and, for many, it would be that way for the rest of their lives. We find ourselves in a fitness-hungry world of competitive apps, being encouraged to exercise outside, and fitness technology that congratulates us when we meet a certain amount of steps in a day. But many people with disabilities and managing long-term conditions are living lives far from this level of activity. COVID has brought this into sharper focus. For disabled people lucky enough to find inclusive exercise classes, when lockdown came, many of those classes continued online. However, for many other people with disabilities or conditions, exercising alone is dangerous, particularly if living alone. Part of an inclusive exercise class for many is for a trained professional to be there if you fall or if you get into a position you cannot get out of.

The Sport England strategy team has committed to ensuring that “we all have everything we need to be active”, and they are

listening to what those things are. 20

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Remote and online activities are therefore not a safe option for many. It is those types of nuances about many disabled people’s activities that the strategy must uncover and address. Phrases used in the strategy such as “if movement were a medicine, we’d call it a miracle cure” or “regular exercise reduces the risk of illness” are so dependent on our individual bodies and the conditions we have. In addition, I worry that the emphasis of the strategy seems to be about sport and activity ‘outside’ of the house. Aside from this being out of reach for many disabled people who will be continuing to shield for a while yet, the strategy references sport and exercise environments being “pitches, courts, pools and leisure centres”. If we are going to focus an inclusive strategy on these environments, the businesses who provide these built environments must ensure they are accessible. This aside, many local authority leisure centres remain based in legacy buildings with inaccessible doors, layouts and changing areas. And then pools, pitches, courts. Ever tried to get in or out of a swimming pool with one weak side after having a stroke, holding a tennis racket with poor manual dexterity, or tried kicking a football with challenging core balance and an essential tremor? The activities that take place in pitches, courts, pools, and leisure centres are far from reality for many. In addition, the reference to increased exercise equating to reducing risk of illness only goes so far. The statement which overlooks the danger of unassisted activity and movement for many; for example, people with complex conditions reliant on mobility or breathing apparatus as well as conditions such as haemophilia and brittle bone where injuries that may seem ‘minor’ to many can be incredibly serious. disabili t

The strategy also references a reduction in illness helping the NHS; yet a key element missing from many rehabilitation programmes and services in the NHS is teaching people recovering from injury or illness the best and safest ways to keep active and moving to suit them the other side of recovery. The focus is instead often getting people to the point of being ‘well enough’ to be discharged from hospital or from a rehab service and does not go as far as equipping people with appropriate advice on keeping moving and active beyond ‘recovery’. The NHS is a huge enabler and ideally placed to equip people with long-term conditions to keep active and moving in a tailored way to suit them. Many people managing a disability or longterm condition increasingly see ‘sport’ as something of a luxury and for ‘other people’. This strategy seeks to undo that myth. The Sport England strategy team has committed to ensuring that “we all have everything we need to be active”, and they are listening to what those things are. If you would like to share your thoughts, I will relay them to the “Uniting the Movement” team. You can email me at

Angela Matthews is Head of Policy at Business Disability Forum, a not-for-profit membership organisation that exists to create a disability smart world by linking businesses, disabled people, and government. To find out more about Business Disability Forum, go to

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From Feeling Like a “Useless Idiot”

TO BECOMING AN AWARD-WINNING ACCESSIBILITY ADVOCATE AND ENTREPRENEUR Autistic entrepreneur Callum Gamble and his mother and business partner Caren Launus-Gamble tell DRM readers how a bad experience took them on a passionate mission for digital inclusion. HAVING been diagnosed with Asperger’s Syndrome when he was eight and slower at processing information than his peers, attending mainstream school wasn’t easy for Callum. Still, his determination and resilience got him excellent results in his GCSEs and A-levels. In 2019, he graduated with a first-class honours degree in Creative Media Technology from Leeds Beckett University and got a job


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at one of the big digital agencies in Leeds as a front-end Web Developer. “That is where the reality of neurodivergent employment set in,” Caren says. “After only three weeks, Callum had to leave his job, having been humiliated in front of his colleagues and put on a performance warning by his line manager. Despite disclosure, the company refused to make any reasonable adjustments for his autism.”



”I felt like a useless idiot,” Callum remembers. “I was given one week of training on a system I had never used before and was put on time-tracked client work in my second week without any further support. I froze with anxiety and couldn’t complete even the simple tasks properly. On trying to explain to my line manager how my autism affected me, he just said, ‘We all have problems, Callum. You’re giving me anxiety now!”

“DESPITE DISCLOSURE, THE COMPANY REFUSED TO MAKE ANY REASONABLE ADJUSTMENTS FOR HIS AUTISM.” “Our first reaction could have been to take legal action,” Caren explains, “but this would’ve created a negative connotation for a condition most people don’t know much about or perceive as a hindrance in business already.” Callum and Caren saw a positive opportunity. They didn’t feel bitter towards Callum’s line manager. He hadn’t set out to destroy Callum’s confidence; he was ignorant and under pressure to deliver his department’s work in the shortest time possible. They decided to lead by example instead and set up the neurodiverse web development business KreativeInc Agency. The focus was initially on highlighting the talents of neurodivergent people like Callum. They wanted to demonstrate how, with the right adjustments, people with autism and other neurodivergent conditions such as ADHD, dyslexia, dyspraxia etc., could be allowed to use their skills and talents to benefit their employers. “Neurodivergent people are different thinkers,” Callum explains. “Different thinkers can come up with out-of-thebox concepts that are fresh and new. To benefit from this, employers should ask the employee what they could do to accommodate their different workplace

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needs.” Having navigated the first six months with success, KreativeInc Agency was hit by the Coronavirus pandemic in March 2020 as clients cancelled planned projects. On discovering the dismal state of web accessibility in the UK, Callum and Caren took the opportunity to use the ensuing quiet months to adapt their business model to the new situation. With people now working from and being isolated at home, digital platform accessibility had become essential. “In the UK, 70% of websites are not accessible to people with access needs, such as blind and visuallyimpaired people, motor-impaired and other disabled and impaired people,” Callum explains. “Over the next three months, we started to research web accessibility, completed training courses and implemented best practices in our business.”

“DIFFERENT THINKERS CAN COME UP WITH OUT-OF-THE-BOX CONCEPTS THAT ARE FRESH AND NEW.” Most UK digital platforms have been designed and developed without giving any thought to people with access difficulties. Blind and physically impaired people, for example, use assistive technology to navigate the web. If a platform is incompatible with this technology, it is useless to its disabled site visitors. This is not a deliberate failure. Most business owners and even web developers haven’t heard of web accessibility. They also don’t know that UK businesses lost £17.1bn in 2019 when frustrated site users clicked away from a sale because they could not get to grips with a site. A BBC study in 2017 has estimated that the ‘Purple Pound’ is worth £249bn a year to the economy. With nearly 14 million disabled people in the UK, businesses ignore one in five potential customers

by having inaccessible websites. The commercial impact of this is enormous. Under the Equalities Act 2010, companies with inaccessible digital platforms are also unlawfully discriminating against disabled people. Again, most businesses aren’t aware of this, as there are currently no lawsuits forcing the issue in the UK. Callum says, “We want to make people aware of the impact on the users and on businesses, educate them and encourage them to take action. We do this by making accessibility tangible with personal website user reviews and with our own experience on the web. We show the issue from the users perspective. So far, the term ‘web accessibility’ has been floating around but quickly brushed aside because people don’t understand what it means. We want to change this; make it personal.” KreativeInc Agency now creates accessible websites and trains other web agencies, developers and companies with in-house digital departments to do the same. “Our mission is to make the UK digitally inclusive by 2025, and we cannot do this on our own,” Caren reveals. “Web accessibility is not a tick-box exercise but a continuing process,” Callum adds. “It means anticipating any access needs, implementing them in the design and development of digital platforms and reacting positively to user feedback. You cannot get it right for everybody every time, but you can listen and find solutions. Web accessibility starts with the willingness to make access equal for everyone.”

Caren Launus-Gamble & Callum Gamble, Co-Founders at KreativeInc Agency, Website: LinkedIn: Facebook: KreativeIncAgency Twitter: instagram: kreativeincagency

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6 top tips to boost your employability Finding a job is challenging for everyone however add in a disability or long-term health condition and it can become even more challenging. 24

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The following top tips will help make your job hunting easier: TIP 1 Identify your ‘plus’

If you are going to ‘sell’ yourself to an employer, you need to know what you are selling; i.e. you need to know what your strengths are. When you have a disability it can be all too easy to think about what you can’t do, can no longer do or find difficult to do as opposed to think about the skills, strengths and abilities that you have developed as a result of managing your disability in a world that isn’t always geared up to it. Skills such as resilience, adaptability, determination and problem solving – all skills that employers are constantly looking for.

TIP 2 Write your ‘openness statement’

For most of us, our disability or health condition isn’t going to go away. We therefore need to work out how we are going to disclose our disability to a potential employer and ask for the support we need to demonstrate our ability during the recruitment process. Writing an ‘openness statement’ that you are happy to share, makes this process so much easier. There are 3 key elements to an ‘openness statement’: 1. This is my disability / condition 2. This is the impact it has 3. This is the support / adjustment I will require during the recruitment process Examples of openness statements: I have an anxiety disorder. I become very nervous and anxious particularly in new situations It would be useful for me to have an orientation visit prior to my interview, a schedule of the day’s events and for people to be aware that I may be more anxious than others I have dyslexia and dyspraxia I have weak short-term memory and I am unable to write comprehensive notes while I am listening It would help me to have handouts in advance and be able to record conversations, I will also require additional time

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For more information about how, when, and what information to disclose about a disability, download our eBook for free at my p l u s s t u d e n t s c l u m/ r es ou r c es/

TIP 3 Position your ‘differences’ positively

Having, or acquiring, a disability or health condition may result in you having ‘differences’ on your CV such as gaps in your education, lower grades or a lack of work experience. These are referred to as ‘mitigating circumstances’ and will be taken into consideration by an employer. What is important, however, is to position these positively. For example, rather than just saying you had to take time out from your studies due to your disability state what skills you developed during this time or if you have a lack of work experience, state the strengths you have developed as a result of managing your disability/ health condition. Examples of openness statements: During my second term at university I lost 50% of my vision in a short period of time. Obviously, this was a very stressful time and I decided to take some time out. During the two years that I took out, as well as intense medical treatment, I also worked part-time in a small law firm. My confidence returned during this time and I felt ready to return to university and start a new course. In addition to developing my confidence, I have also developed resilience and adaptability in dealing with this difficult situation. For several years, I have experienced anxiety and panic attacks when under severe stress. I experienced anxiety attacks during the exams resulting in a lower mark for these modules. Since I did not fail, I was ineligible to re-sit these exams. I trust that this will be taken into consideration when reviewing my application

making adjustments for candidates including, but not limited to additional time, documents in larger font, an interpreter or a change to the format of the interview. Whilst it is difficult to know exactly what support you may require until you know what the process is, it is worth giving some thought to this so that you can advise the employer of your needs when the time comes.

TIP 5 Discover disability confident employers

It is fair to say that some employers are more disability confident than others and it is worth finding out as much as you can about a potential employer ahead of applying not least that ultimately you don’t want to work with an employer who is not going to support you. Use their website to find information on their approach to diversity in general, and disability in particular including information about how they support both their employees and job applicants.

TIP 6 Don’t give up

Rejection is part of the job-hunting process. Everyone will face rejection – and it has nothing to do with having a disability. Allow yourself a couple of hours to feel disappointed and then pick yourself up and keep on going. And, most importantly, learn from your experiences; there is no point in continuing to use the same CV or application form if it leads to rejection. Instead, you need to critically review it and identify why it may be leading to you being rejected and how you can improve it.

Fo r f u r t h e r f re e ca re e r s a d v i ce a n d t i p s , v i s i t myplus student

TIP 4 Identify your recruitment support needs

To ace the recruitment process you may need support or changes to be made; these are often referred to as ‘reasonable adjustments’. Employers are used to

T h i s we b s i te p rov i d e s s t u d e nt s w i t h d i s a b i l i t i e s w i t h t h e a d v i ce a n d s u p p o r t t h ey n e e d to n a v i g a te t h e re c r u i t m e nt p ro ce s s a n d a c h i eve t h e i r ca re e r p ote nt i a l.

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Inclusion and Diversity at Kerry Foods With Inclusion and Diversity coming to the forefront of a lot of businesses minds, DRM spoke to Kerry Foods to find out about their strategy… AT Kerry Foods, Inclusion and Diversity has been forefront of the agenda in recent months. With the appointment of their Inclusion and Diversity Lead, Natasha Mosscrop, in September 2020, their ambitions and commitments in this space are gathering momentum. Natasha states, “starting the inclusion and diversity journey for a large organisation like Kerry Foods is no easy undertaking, but the progress that has been made already, is testament to how committed our employees are at embracing change and pushing to be ‘better together’.” Since September, the Kerry Foods Inclusion Champions network has grown from 15 employees to over 50, with 8 sub-groups formed. One of those sub-groups, The Power of (Dis)Ability, has a very simple objective— to raise awareness of the challenges that disabled people face within the Kerry workplace, and the many dimensions that disability encompasses. The Power of (Dis)Ability sub-group also aims to support employees of Kerry Foods on how they can be an ally for colleagues with any type of disability. The group are currently working on both the recruitment of more employees with intellectual disabilities and on raising understanding and awareness of nonvisible disabilities like autism and ADHD. Lizzie Hardy, who leads The Power of Dis(Ability) subgroup, has a personal


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passion for raising awareness of disabilities that aren’t perhaps as visible, well known or talked about as others. In particular, neurodiversity. Lizzie says, “neurodiversity is a relatively new word being used within the topic of Inclusion and Diversity.” There is great diversity in how peoples brains are wired and work, and these neurological differences should be valued in the same way we value neurotypical individuals. There are many ways to describe someone who may be neurodivergent. The terms more typically

used include Autistic, ADHD, Dyslexic or Dyscalculia. It’s what makes everyone of us human and unique. But sometimes just because you are seen as ‘different’ this can be viewed as a disability. Lizzie Continues: “My passion comes in helping to raise awareness and challenge those points of view, so that no matter what Dis(Ability) you have you should feel valued and very much included no matter where you work. This is what makes me so proud to work in a progressive business such as Kerry Foods who are making great steps in influencing change”. Kerry Foods has also made its pledge to driving disability inclusion by becoming part of the Valuable 500 community. This has opened up a plethora of networks and access to best practice ideas for them. They also recently extended their partnership with the Special Olympics where their key focus areas in recent months have been employee engagement, creating more inclusive communities and athlete leadership and wellbeing.

Author: Natasha Mosscrop, Inclusion and Diversity Lead


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Changing Places, Changing Access: how one organisation is creating positive change for accessible toilets Changing Places is an organisation that tackles the inequality of toileting for the over a 1/4 of million people who cannot access standard toilets. This includes people with learning disabili-ties, motor neurone disease, cerebral palsy, and multiple sclerosis. The work they do is so im-portant, to ensure that all disabled people can travel and access toilets when needed. DRM decided to catch up with Karen Hoe, Changing Places Development Officer, to find out more… Changing Places is an amazing organisation, can you describe to us what Changing Places is and what you do? The Changing PLACES Consortium is made up of a collaboration of organisations. Co-chairs are ourselves, Muscular Dystrophy UK and Pamis - Promoting a More Inclusive Society (our partners in Scotland), CAE- Centre for Accessible Environments, the Scottish Government, and Martin Jackaman, one of the original founders of the Campaign. Established in 2005, the Consortium campaigns for Changing Places to be installed in all big public spaces so people can access their community and be able to go out and lead a normal life being able to access a toilet when needed. Our campaigners are very dedicated and have influenced government over the years to stress the importance of having access to more Changing Places Toilets in the community. Their hard work and dedication finally resulted in the Government allocating £30m last year to install more changing Places toilets across the country. We, alongside our


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co–chairs, manage the campaign, administer the registrations, liaise with Architects, support the venues, campaigners and suppliers.

With over 1/4 million disabled people needing Changing Places toilets to enable them to get out and about, what has the impact been on disabled people’s lives? The impact on disabled people’s lives, not being able to access these vital facilities, can be both life threatening and isolating. Many people have to restrict their fluid intake if they are going out and there are no Changing Places toilets available; this results in bladder and urine infections, dehydration, as well as the embarrassing scenario of accidents or having to sit in dirty and wet soiled pads for hours. Some of our users have resorted to surgery to manage issues caused by this to avoid further health issues or not being able to find a suitable toilet. Many people often have to stay at home, becoming isolated as




there aren’t any suitable toilets near them, or on route on a day out or at the destination they are going to.

Where are some of the places disabled people can access a Changing Places toilet? There are currently 1567 Changing places toilets across the whole country. To put that in perspective, Wembley stadium has 1000 normal toilets alone. You can find our facilities across a range of venues, including, leisure centres, motorway services station, hospitals, country parks, libraries, museums, stadiums, tourist attractions, supermarkets, and educational establishments.


What are the differences between a Changing Places Toilet, an accessible toilet, and a standard toilet? A Changing places Toilet has specific required equipment within it to enable and assist the users. They are ideally 12sqm in size and include:

An adult size changing bed Ceiling hoist and tracking Height adjustable sink Peninsular toilet Shower Grab rails to assist Privacy screen Non slip floor Tear off paper roll to cover the changing bench Large bin for disposable pads Colostomy shelf

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Author: Karen Hoe - Changing Places Development O f - f icer Webs ite: changing - Twit ter: @ CP_Consor tium Facebook: @ ChangingPlacesUK

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Why Reside is committed to helping people with the Transforming Care Plan As a not-for-profit housing association, Reside is values-led and committed to providing housing solutions for tenants with complex support needs… THE majority of Reside’s tenants have complex needs and it works closely with local Clinical Commissioning Groups (CCGs) and National Health Service England (NHSE) as part of the Government’s national Transforming Care Plan to enable independent living. Set up in 2012 following the Winterbourne View scandal, Transforming Care is a programme that aims to help people with complex needs move out of inpatient care and into supported living. “In the past it was difficult to find appropriate housing for people with complex needs due to a lack of options, so hospital and institutional care tended to be the only solution. One of the things Transforming Care helps do is address this by providing capital funding to buy housing,” explains Reside’s Business Development Director, Steve Harris. For Reside, the process of acquiring property, making adaptations and securing the grant funding for a potential tenant takes around six months. In the first instance, either a Support Provider, NHSE or a CCG will contact Reside to discuss viability. Reside will work with the prospective tenant and family or advocate, and professional partners to draw up a Project Initiation Document (PID) to apply for the grant. Following approval, a property will be bought and a project manager appointed who will be the operational lead in making sure that adaptations and works to the identified property are specified and delivered. “Families and potential tenants are


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of course crucial in this process to ensure we’re going to deliver what they need. We’ll also involve support providers in this process, as they need to know about the property and advise us on the design and adaptations that may be needed to improve the support offered,” explains Steve Harris.


young man with autism and a learning disability,” says Steve Harris. Fred Grand, NHSE Regional Housing Lead (North East & North Cumbria) commissioned Reside to deliver this project. He says: “In my opinion, this project has been one of the best examples of how transforming care works. This young man, who has only just turned 18, has gone from three years’ seclusion in a hospital setting to a supported living arrangement in an adapted property. With specialist support from the support provider, Orbis, he has reconnected with his family, and started to connect with his community with supported trips to the beach and playing five-a-side football. It’s a dramatic transformation and shows how a combination of the right accommodation and the right support provider has been a success.”

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Vodion: Contemporary Shared Ownership Homes in Hackney Wick SITUATED in one of London’s most soughtafter areas, Vodion is an exciting new development of one to three bedroom specialised Shared Ownership homes in Fish Island, Hackney Wick, by Southern Home Ownership. Vodion is ideal for first-time buyers looking to get onto the property ladder in the east London hotspot, offering the very best of urban living in this well-connected Zone 2 location. The government-backed Shared Ownership initiative allows first-time buyers to get onto the property ladder by part-renting, part-owning their home, making it a more accessible option than buying on the open market. Homes at Vodion have been thoughtfully designed with accessibility in mind, ensuring residents can enjoy the best Hackney Wick has to offer. Designed as spaces without limits, the generous rooms are spacious and light, with great layouts to accommodate wheelchair users. Each apartment features contemporary interiors which include adapted kitchens with lowered worktops, level-access shower/wet rooms, spacious lift access to higher floors, with disability parking available. The spectacular specification continues throughout, with chrome fixtures in all bathrooms, bedrooms fitted with sliding mirrored wardrobes and LED lighting all included in the price. An Occupational Therapist will be on hand to provide advice for the future home owners, ensuring Vodion’s new homes will enable a comfortable and easy living tailored to you and your needs, up to the requirements of M3(4). The vibrant neighbourhood of Hackney Wick is well known for its thriving cultural and artistic scene, and offers a wide range of cafes, restaurants and

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activities for both residents and visitors to enjoy. For those seeking cultural weekend pursuits or the ultimate shopping destinations, the area has a range of local amenities including the London Antiques Centre, a huge number of converted warehouse art galleries to discover, while Stratford Westfield houses all the high street favourites. A food lover’s haven, the local food scene offers a vast array of fashionable eateries - from Michelin starred restaurants to charming cafes and independent bars. Following the nearby River Lea leads to popular local haunts situated along the waterfront, including the trendy floating Barge East Restaurant, serving both locally and globally inspired cuisine. For a fine dining experience, venture to Michelin starred chef Tom Brown’s restaurant Cornerstone to enjoy adventurous, award-winning food just a stone’s throw from the station. Offering ease of access along with fantastic views around the area, a series of wide, accessible towpaths run alongside the canals throughout Fish Island, with homes at Vodion also ideally located close to an inviting array of green spaces - including the iconic Queen Elizabeth Olympic and Victoria Parks. Benefitting from easy transport links into Central London from Hackney Wick, Bow Road and Stratford stations, all of which are wheelchair friendly with step-free access, Vodion is conveniently located for commuters and for those who want quick and simple routes to reach the rest of the city. For more information call the Southern Home Ownership sales team on 0300 555 2171.

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Check out how BT can help you stay in touch during the pandemic, and how they are supporters of disability football… AS a national champion, BT seeks to do everything possible to support all its customers. The pandemic has highlighted the importance of the need to provide extra help for those who need it most, particularly those who rely on connectivity to access vital services and stay in touch with loved ones. BT is asking customers to get in touch if they, or someone they know, needs extra help, so tailored support can be offered. This includes disability, illness, financial difficulties or a life event such as divorce or bereavement. Below are some of the products and services that BT offers that are designed specifically with customers’ needs in mind, where they may need a little extra support.

Extended eligibility for access to BT’s low income tariff This summer BT is improving its landline and broadband tariff for people on low income. This includes eligibility being extended to cover everyone on Universal Credit – that’s an extra 3 million people. From the end of June, customers can enjoy faster broadband speeds and more generous call allowances on the new service, called BT Home Essentials.


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It also offers a landline-only option for those who don’t want broadband. This is a big step up from BT Basic, BT’s original low income tariff, and will help significantly more people in the UK.

Listen, Care, and Show Empathy – Principles at the Heart of Customer Service BT strives to help those who who may be worried about paying their bills. If BT is made aware of the issues it’ll help the customer with support that works for them. The challenge has been that not everyone is forthcoming with what they need help with as Customer Service Quality Director for BT Consumer, Ketan Hindocha, explains; “The support we provide is underpinned by our customer service culture. The key is identifying when someone might need extra help. So we encourage our staff to actively listen, to care and show empathy. When we train our advisors we always say, ‘How would you deal with that if they were your mum or gran?’ Ketan adds: “It’s important that customers come to us if they need extra support. If circumstances change, we need our customers to please tell us.” As part of BT’s focus on disability and inclusion, and in order to help more customers, this summer it’s improving its training programme for front line staff. This will help teams better identify customers’ needs and improve their knowledge on the appropriate support to offer. Addressing customers’ needs in a sensitive way is at its absolute core.

Expert tech set up in the comfort of your home For those not comfortable going to shops, BT has Home Tech Experts and EE offers fast expert delivery with Enjoy, giving the option of visits to customers’ homes and workplaces to help set up tech for them. The experts are trained to help customers with their installations as well as how to use the technology. This includes accessibility awareness to better understand the individual needs of disabled customers.

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Finding the right service to meet your needs BT’s dedicated webpage for customers with disabilities and health conditions features useful products and information. It also suggests the best phones and features including the BT Big Button 200 and Doro mobile phone with large screen and adjustable text size. We’re all relying on technology more and BT Skills for Tomorrow offers a range of free courses and advice to help make the most of life in the digital world. With a large array of useful learning resources, from navigating online GP Services to finding a job online, it helps people with varying levels of tech confidence. Accessibility is key and for those who need documents in alternative formats, BT provides bills and other printed information in a range of alternative formats, including large print, Braille and audio (CD) versions. BT also offers an Ofcom approved text relay service for deaf, hard of hearing and speech impaired customers. Simply type what you’d like to say, and the assistant will relay the conversation in real-time. BT’s Free Priority Fault Repair scheme gives priority to customers with chronic long-term illness or disability. This means that any technical faults will be dealt with as soon as possible, every day of the year, including Christmas Day. Customers simply need to contact BT to apply.


3 – Commitments to make a meaningful difference and lasting legacy  

The commitment BT made to para and disability football was to inspire the next generation of players to get involved in the game and help make their dreams a reality. On International Day of People with Disabilities 2020, BT launched the groundbreaking #DiscoverDisabilityFootball campaign, shining a light on the incredible work that takes place and the inspirational stories that exist. Pushing boundaries, challenging perceptions and giving the game the exposure, it deserves. This is just the start, If the FA Disability Cup goes ahead this summer BT Sport will broadcast it live. Plus, coming up this summer, presenter Alex Brooker and singer/songwriter Chelcee Grimes, will embark on an epic journey across the UK as part of an exclusive series, Para Football Adventures. This fun and inspiring series will showcase the different formats of the game, with Alex and Chelcee meeting the current and upcoming stars in each nation and being put through the paces themselves. You can catch this on BT Sport and Channel 4 over the summer, so make sure you tune in and get involved in the conversation using #DiscoverDisabilityFootball.

DISCOVER DISABILITY FOOTBALL In 2019, BT became the lead partner of the four Home Nations FAs - The Football Association, Scottish Football Association, Irish Football Association and Football Association of Wales. Working closely with the FAs, BT identified the key areas of the game that needed the most support and developed the transformational 4-3-3 football strategy: 4 – Home Nation FA’s  3 – Communities most in need of support (Grassroots, Women’s, Para & Disability) 

Website: | Twitter: @bt_uk Instagram: @bt_uk | Facebook: @BTUK

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Get Active at Home

Disability Rights UK tells us about their project to encourage disable people to get more active. BEING physically active is important for everyone, with many positive benefits. It can help to improve your mental health, help to connect with others in your community, and help to relieve the symptoms of some health conditions. Disabled people often face more barriers than non-disabled people when it comes to getting physically active, and the pandemic has only exacerbated these barriers. The ‘Sport England Active Lives Coronavirus Report’ (Oct 2020), for example, shows that disabled people experienced a larger increase in inactivity levels, 56% of disabled people with 3 or more impairments are now inactive, rising by 11.2% from 2019. The Get Yourself Active (GYA) team at Disability Rights UK wanted to find out more about the experiences of disabled people during this time and find ways to support them. GYA is a programme funded by Sport England and led by Disability Rights UK which works alongside disabled people and disabled people’s user led organisations to lead change in the social care, health and sport sectors. The aim is to improve health and wellbeing outcomes for


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disabled people. We embarked on a research project with Sense and Durham University to find out more details about disabled peoples getting active experiences. We not only wanted to find out how people had been getting active, but also what resources had helped them and what they would like from future resources. Our survey was completed by over 450 disabled adults from across the UK, and we interviewed 40 people about their experiences. We used these findings to codesign accessible and inclusive pre-recorded videos. Our videos cover a range of activities and all have captions and a British Sign Language interpreter to make them as accessible as possible. We didn’t stop there! We knew there were a range of other organisations creating online get active resources, so we wanted to find a way to collectively make them available to disabled people at home. To showcase these resources, we created a new section of the Get Yourself Active website so that disabled people and people with long term health conditions can easily find resources to support their physical activity. We collected videos which individuals can find according to which activity they are interested in, such as dance, yoga and

strength workouts. We also have pages dedicated to other resources, such as worksheets and downloads. What started as a small research project during the first lockdown has grown into a larger, ongoing piece of work where we have a dedicated area on our website where people can access our own resources, and resources from other providers to support them during this time. Despite lockdown measures now easing and the country slowly returning to normal, we know through our work on the GYA programme that it will take longer for some people to return to gyms and group fitness classes. There are many reasons for this – fear, uncertainty, as well as many people discovering that being active at home might be easier or more enjoyable for them. Although we hope many disabled people can return to their communities to get active, we also realise that online resources will still be used for some time to come and hope that the Active @ Home resources and website continue to prove useful for disabled people who wish to exercise at home.

Website: Twitter: @DisRightsUK Facebook: @disabilityrightsuk YouTube: DisabilityRightsUK1




DAN WHITE Meet Dan White, a carer, who will share with us his personal insights into being a carer with an invisible disability… MY name is Dan, I am a carer with a hidden disability and this is the first of (hopefully) many insights into who we are as carers, what we do, and how our lives run parallel and overlap the wonderful disabled community. But how do we kick things off? I can think of no better way than to be unguarded and have a coffee break to give insights that may be familiar, or maybe strangely enlightening! The chocolate cake looked sumptuous in the rays of the afternoon sun. I slid the knife through the dark seductive surface and the liquid chocolate began to pool around the base of the brown treat. I took a slice, engaged my mouth and we all sat in the coffee shop eagerly picking up again the conversation of the Bristol Stools Chart. These are the unusual, frank conversations between parent carers. Like mothers groups, we meet anywhere to talk frankly and so we should, to be honest and personal is cathartic, a release, and a testament to

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our community strength. When your child is born nappies are a constant, but for parents of disabled children, the issue of toileting may not stop after a few years. In fact, for some, it becomes so constant that we roll our eyes when some parents endlessly complain about potty training. Not all disabled children require a lifetime of catheterisation or suppositories, but for many of us, it becomes a day-to-day part of life. For parents of disabled children, nothing too toxic or unnatural is off the menu. In fact, most of the topics look like items on the coffee shop menu. Children with complex needs or disabilities are obviously more prone to bladder and bowel conditions, so we all often culminate in a get-together in a local eatery over lunch where anything goes and rightly so.

Why do we talk about it openly and together? Well, as ever watching guardians we need to be able to spot or smell infections that take place as it could be pivotal in discovering a contagion. We are a resource for each other, we share experiences. We smell pull-ups, change bags, even note colour changes whilst happily devouring a biccie with one hand and juggling a cuppa in the other. There is no reason why we shouldn’t openly discuss this in the high street. Staying home perpetuates isolation, mental health, and more. As a community we are often marginalised, we feed off contact and information; it could save a life. We need and deserve to be part of the wider world, we all need a break however much we love the stardust and atoms of our children.

“WE ARE PARENTS JUST LIKE YOU, BUT OUR LIVES ARE WIRED A LITTLE DIFFERENTLY.” The conversations are not restricted to us either. Our children, regardless of any communication issue, often join in the chat. Before Covid, we visited friends and over lunch compared stories of urine infections and constipation. My daughter and her friend both sat at a separate table discussing operational procedures like seasoned surgeons. They discussed the sometimes uselessness of catheters and liquid antibiotics that taste like “witches pee-pee.” To those outside the care and disabled communities, while you eavesdrop, enjoy your muffin and your mocha and educate yourselves on how complex, rewarding, stressful, unique and sometimes comical our world is. We are parents just like you, but our lives are wired a little differently. Poop talk is very much part of British humour so why not join in? Come join “Bowel Weekly” and tell us your s**t stories.

Au t h o r: Da n Wh i te We b s i te: Tw i t te r: @ Da nwh i te1972

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City Council to create and trial a similar service for their own residents.

Disability Direct has a real focus on disability rights, inclusion and access, why are these values so important to Disability Direct?


Independent Living with Disability Direct Disability Direct is a user-led disability organisation that supports disabled people and carers in Derby and beyond. We spoke to the CEO, Amo Raju, to find out more… Hi Amo, can you tell us a little about what Disability Direct is and also your journey to becoming its CEO? Disability Direct (DD) is a no nonsense user-led charitable, but very entrepreneurial organization supporting disabled people and their carers in accessing all services, rights and opportunities in the Derby & surrounding areas. It has the support of two trading companies – The Disability Syndicate Ltd and Nimbus Disability with both commercial arms generating surpluses which enables the group to be 95% selfsufficient in terms of finances. Like many, I’m a disabled person with a mission. I want to do everything I can to ensure disabled people in my locality are maximising their ability to live independently

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and successfully. DD was the perfect vehicle for me to support others. I worked my way up and became the CEO in 1997.

Disability Direct is one of the biggest user-led organisations in the East Midlands, how has Disability Direct impacted the lives of disabled people? We take great pride in stating that we have taken in excess of 130,000 enquiries since day one. This is quite an important figure considering there were far too many critics in those early days who predicted that DD was not really needed in the city. In fact, we were so successful in service delivery in Derby, back in 2008 we were approached by Nottingham

Unfortunately, we continue to live in a society where disabled people are not treated fairly. In most cases, they have to fight for rights in every aspect of life, be it social care, employment, housing, welfare rights… the list is endless! This is why we deliver projects which address such injustices. Every single one of our projects (currently 22) has stemmed from direct need at the request of disabled people locally. On a personal note, the older I get, the more I’m determined to not only meet local need but to shout about the injustices faced by a cohort of people who are too often at the forefront of the social and economical failure of what is in essence, poor policy.

Since the pandemic there has been a shift in how we provide access for disabled people. In light of these shifts, what is your vision for the future of Disability Direct? Like many service providers and employers, we are considering ways to be more flexible in how people engage with us once the rat race begins again. However, we have already made a few permanent changes, for example – staff of our fantastic DD Payroll Services will have more flexibility in working from home. What the pandemic really brought light to was the extreme vulnerability of many disabled people, including awareness of the digital divide, loneliness, poverty levels etc. Future projects will also address these issues, although our biggest concern is the affect of mental health of disabled people. I fear we have yet to see and hear of tragic examples of how lockdown affected an already stressed group of people.

We b s i te: D i s a b i l i t y D i re ct M a i n En q u i r i e s 01332 29 94 49 | Tw i t te r - @ D D_ De r by

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Losing a limb is traumatic But Blesma believes there is life after limb loss

Blesma is the leading charity for limbless veterans We help all serving and ex-Service men and women who have lost limbs, the use of limbs or their sight, to rebuild their lives by providing emotional, financial and practical support. For life. To find out more call 020 8548 7089 or visit Registered Charity Numbers 1084189, Scotland SC010315


Discover Voiceitt, The App Providing Independence Through Voice Sometimes it is the simplest solution that can provide amazing independence for disabled people. VOICEITT is an AIpowered speech recognition app for individuals with speech impairments, which translates atypical speech to allow users to communicate in their own voice with loved ones, caretakers and others. Voiceitt is integrated with Amazon Alexa Services, meaning that users can control Alexa-connected smart home devices seamlessly with the Voiceitt app. This allows users to send a command to the smart assistant, e.g., Amazon Alexa, through an integrated API, enabling users to control channels on their TV or turning on a light – offering them a new degree of independence they never had before. When setting up Voiceitt, users are prompted to train the application on specific phrases so that the app can learn each person’s unique way of pronouncing that phrase. Voiceitt comes with suggested phrases for various environments and uses like schools or smart homes, as well as an option for a customised dictionary created by the user. Voiceitt has two modes; Smart Home which allows control of home devices and Talk. Voiceitt Talk translates atypical speech and plays the desired output using a unique automatic speech recognition (ASR) engine . Voiceitt Talk helps in everyday situations like allowing the

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user to order food in a restaurant or communicate with others. Voiceitt helps anyone with nonstandard speech – even those with severe speech impairments can benefit from Voiceitt’s app, including people with Cerebral Palsy, Down’s Syndrome, etc. The app also serves older adults with deteriorating speech resulting from strokes, Alzheimer’s Disease etc. Voiceitt offers its solution to consumers, non-profit organizations, healthcare professionals, hospitals, care centers and more. Voiceitt isn’t just an app, it’s a way of communicating, promoting inclusion and independence through the power of voice Voiceitt’s mission is to help those with non standard speech by allowing them to use their own voice to communicate and be understood, along with controlling their smart home independently. Being reliant on someone else has an impact on one’s sense of self and independence. Using the Voiceitt app, individuals who once had to call someone to turn off a light can now turn it off themselves, change the TV channel, or play their favorite music, creating a sense of self-reliance that is empowering and freeing. Currently, there are a number of assistive technologies that help people with speech disabilities communicate – however, these technologies are either movement- or touch-based. Voiceitt is the first technology that allows individuals with speech impairments to communicate using their own voice. With Voiceitt, these individuals – who make up approximately 1.5% of the world’s population – can finally reap the benefits of AI-powered innovation in voice recognition.

Meet Danny Weissberg, the founder of Voiceitt. Danny Weissberg, the CEO and Co-founder of Voiceitt, grew up very close to his beloved grandmother, when suddenly, as a result of a stroke, her speech became impaired. After a number of visits to his grandmother, Danny realized that the nurse who cared for her was able to understand her speech. It was then that Danny had an epiphany: if a nurse can learn to comprehend difficult-to-understand speech, why can’t technology? That began Danny’s mission to create Voiceitt, an app that makes speech recognition technology accessible to everyone, giving a voice to all.

Author: Danny Weissberg, CEO & Cofounder of Voiceitt | website: Facebook: LinkedIn:

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Over the last six years the list has seen the likes of:

Alex Brooker. Lee Ridley (Lost Voice Guy). Baroness Jane Campbell. Sam Renke. Nikki Fox. Warwick Davis.

The Power 100 has the power to influence people from all walks of life and means something different to everyone on the list. Nikki Fox, BBC Disability Correspondent was announced as the 2020’s most influential disabled person in Britain. Nikki, who is known to millions for her work on Watchdog, How to Look Good Naked, and Supermarket Secrets, was the unanimous choice of the independent judging panel for her outstanding work keeping disability on the news agenda throughout the pandemic.

The power of the Disability Power 100 What does Alex Brooker, Sam Renke, and Nikki Fox all have in common? The Disability Power 100… WHAT is the Disability Power 100? The Disability Power 100 is an annual celebration of the 100 most influential disabled people in the UK, working to break the stigma around disability, creating a more accessible and inclusive world for all. Why is Shaw Trust involved in the Disability Power 100? A fifth of the UK’s population has a disability or impairment, however, there is very little recognition of successful and influential disabled people. At Shaw Trust we want change the public perception of disability, we want to recognise strong, successful, influential people who are leaders in their field. This is why, for the sixth year, we are running


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the Disability Power 100. To bring together the most influential disabled people in Britain and shine a light on their successes. Encouraging the talented leaders of tomorrow to connect with role models and see that aspiration and ambition can be fulfilled regardless of disability or impairment.

“THE POWER 100 HAS THE POWER TO INFLUENCE PEOPLE FROM ALL WALKS OF LIFE.” Speaking about her achievement, Nikki commented: “I am just overwhelmed to have topped the Shaw Trust Power. Just to be nominated is an honour in itself but to come first is something I am still trying to get my head around, especially as last year’s winner is one of my absolute heroes, Baroness Jane Campbell.” At Shaw Trust we want to grow and develop the Disability Power 100 even further so that it truly represents diversity in terms of disability/impairment types but also the variety of sectors and industries that people work in who are making changes for the benefit of others. We can only do this with the support of the public, nominating people that are often behind the scenes driving and influencing change for today and for future generations!

Yo u ca n f i n d o u t m o re by v i s i t i n g d i s a b i l i t y powe r10 m


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STOP RECEIVING UNWANTED ASKS FOR CHARITY DONATIONS Use the service on behalf of someone else

Over 12,000 people have used FPS to stop unwanted charity marketing and 1 in 3 use it on behalf of someone else. You can even use the service even if you, or someone you care for, have previously given consent to the charity to stay in touch. If it sounds like the FPS will be of help to you or a friend or family member, visit the website for more information about how the service works.

Are you, or is someone you care for, feeling overwhelmed by receiving unwanted asks for donations from charities? CHARITIES generate support for their work in many ways through fundraising campaigns, and they usually make contact by letter, email, text or telephone. You might have been contacted by charities asking for support for their cause – and you might have donated in response. But even if you have given money or other items to a charity in the past, you might not want to hear from them again.

Some people can feel overwhelmed

We know that some people can feel overwhelmed by receiving unwanted charity marketing. If that is the case for you or someone you know, there is a free service that can help you put a stop to this – the Fundraising Preference Service.

UK official service is free and easy to use

is the UK’s only service that allows you to manage the contact you receive from all registered charities in England, Wales and Northern Ireland. You can access the FPS online or by phone and it is completely free to use. It is run safely and securely by the Fundraising Regulator, the independent regulator of charitable fundraising.

End contact with multiple charities

Although you could get in touch with each charity you receive contact from directly to ask them to stop sending you fundraising communications, using the FPS means you don’t need to. You can use the service to end contact with multiple charities – all you need to know is the charity names or registered charity numbers.

For more information

Visit or call the Fundraising Preference Service on 0300 3033 517.

Use the Fundraising Preference Service in 3 easy steps 1. Search for a charity name or

registered charity number 2. Select the channels of communication you wish to stop - you can choose addressed letters, emails, text messages or telephone calls 3. Enter your contact details and we’ll take care of the rest

Subodh Patel is the Manager of the Fundraising Preference Service, a free service which is operated by the Fundraising Regulator

The Fundraising Preference Service (FPS)


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Merging the durability of a mobility vehicle and the cool appeal of an urban transporter, eFOLDi is the best travel companion representing freedom, fashion and fun!

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Helen Dolphin, MBE writes about her recent experiences of train travel with her eFOLDi Power Chair WHILST there have been significant

improvements in the accessibility of Britain’s rail network, a 2019 report by the Dept for Transport acknowledged much more still needed to be done. The report highlighted, two-thirds of passengers with disabilities experienced barriers to travel. Recognising these challenges, its Inclusive Transport Strategy committed to delivering several key initiatives with the aim of creating a fully inclusive transport network by 20301. Having recently acquired an eFOLDi Power Chair, I was keen to try it out on my first train journey since restrictions were lifted due to Covid-19. I’d never actually travelled on a train with a powered wheelchair before, mainly because I had not previously been able to get my other powered wheelchairs into my car. One of the main benefits of the eFOLDi power chair is that it’s superlightweight and folds down to cabin-luggage size, so it easily fits into my car boot. As well as my powered chair experiencing its maiden voyage, I decided it might be nice to take my son, who is four, on his first train journey. For that reason, we’d decided to catch the train from Attleborough, which is my nearest station, to Great Yarmouth. As Attleborough is an unmanned station, I pre-booked my assistance with the train company before I got there. I did have to renew my Disabled Person’s Railcard, but that also saves you and a companion, a third off the

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standard ticket price. The booking system has improved significantly, and you can complete everything online. When I arrived at Attleborough station I noticed that there was only a temporary car park, due to building work. This meant lots of gravel to contend with, and large puddles as it was pouring with rain. Fortunately, my eFOLDi Power Chair managed the terrain with no problem. The station was step-free, and I drove up the slope to access the platform, where I then waited for my train. When the train arrived, the conductor put the ramp down, and I drove straight up and onto the train. The eFOLDi powered wheelchair is quite a small chair so was nice and manoeuvrable. To get to Great Yarmouth I had to change in Norwich. As the train arrived into Norwich station, I was pleased to see someone waiting with a ramp. For my train to Yarmouth, the train had level-boarding so there was no need for a ramp which makes things so easy. On the train I also tested out the loo. Train toilets can be notoriously small, but my chair fitted perfectly, and there was enough space to move about. Despite the heavy rain, when we arrived in Yarmouth, the trip itself had been relatively smooth, and hassle free. All the assistance worked brilliantly along the way, and my eFOLDi Power Chair made travelling by train, so easy. All in all, I was pleasantly surprised and with foreign travel restrictions expected to ease further later in the year, I’m now looking forward to travelling by air with

my new power chair. For more details about the eFOLDi Power Chair, please visit: or call 0800 138 2878.

Hints & Tips Get the best ticket price by buying in advance. Investigate if you qualify for a Railcard which can save you 1/3 off rail travel Book assistance to ensure you have all the help you need, via the National Freephone Passenger Assist Number 0800 022 3720, online with the train company directly or by visiting their website Make sure your wheelchair will fit on the train. Most trains can accommodate wheelchairs that are 700mm wide by 1200mm long. However, there are a small number of older trains that can only carry wheelchairs that have a maximum width of 550mm. If you use a mobility scooter, find out your train company’s policy before you travel.

1) Dept for Transport (2019) Experiences of disabled rail passengers -

Au t h o r: H e l e n Do l p h i n, M B E Tw i t te r: t 01 L i n ke d I n dolphin - mbe

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The Wheelchair Rugby league World Cup is Coming… Get ready to cheer on James Simpson and Team England on Armistice Day. IT has been a tumultuous 12 months for sport, with the COVID-19 pandemic placing doubt around a number of high profile events, including the Olympic and Paralympic Games. In 2021, however, the Rugby League World Cup looks set to be going ahead here in the UK. The Rugby League World Cup (RLWC2021) is the pinnacle event of rugby league, globally contested every four years. RLWC2021 will be a breakthrough moment in the tournament’s history with the men’s, women’s and wheelchair competitions being staged together for the first time. The three tournaments will take place across 21 venues throughout England, with the wheelchair competitions contested by two groups of four teams. The teams in the wheelchair competition are England, Australia, Spain, Norway, France, Wales, Scotland, and the USA. Wheelchair Rugby League inclusion in the world cup means that the wheelchair players will be part of the same brand and profile as the non-disabled teams, and have the same level of support. Rugby League is signalling to the world that disabled sport is just as important as non-disabled sport.

Offside, knock-on and in-touch apply just like in

the full-version game.

Customer Director for the RLWC2021, Terri Lynam, states, “Wheelchair Rugby League is not only highspeed but also extremely skillful and there can be few better arenas to showcase these incredible players than the Copper Box – the ‘Box that Rocked’ at London 2012 Olympic Games – and the Sheffield English Institute of Sport all leading to a thrilling final at Liverpool’s M&S Bank Arena. We want everyone to come and experience this amazing game for themselves.” The RLWC2021 team hope that the wheelchair tournament will provide a boost for the sport and encourage more players to take part, not just in England, but globally.


So what is Wheelchair Rugby League? Wheelchair Rugby League is considered one of the most inclusive sports around. Not solely for disabled athletes, non-disabled people can compete as well, and both men and women can play in the same team. The rules for wheelchair rugby league are quite similar to rugby league, with only a few minor changes to allow for the use of wheelchairs. Rules of the game include: 5 players a side. Conversions are scored by punching the ball over the

mini-posts from a tee. Tackles are made the same way as Tag Rugby by

pulling the attached tag off the opposing player. 5 tackles are followed by the handing over of



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What does Armistice Day have to do with Wheelchair Rugby League? James Simpson, RLWC2021 Ambassador, England Player and ex-soldier will have his “James’ Squad” on hand for the opening fixture on the 11th November, 2021. As a touching commemoration on Armistice Day, “James’ Squad,” 21 volunteers from the armed-forces, will play a special role when hosts England take on Australia at the world famous Copper Box Arena at the Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park, London. James states, “Armistice Day is a such a significant day in the calendar of the military, and the fact is falls on the first day of the wheelchair tournament adds extra significance for me personally. Having 21 members of the military in the arena, alongside me, will be an emotional and proud moment.” RLWC2021 will be the most visible rugby league event in history with all 61 games in the men’s, women’s and wheelchair competitions being broadcast live on the BBC. The mission of the Rugby League World Cup 2021 is to deliver the biggest and best ever Rugby League World Cup in history that has a long-lasting legacy for generations to come. Be sure to watch the competition from the 11th of November, on BBC.

Meet James Simpson: James, tell us your story…

A lifelong Rugby League fan, I joined the Yorkshire Regiment 1st Battalion in 2001 and undertook several overseas missions from Central America to Iraq. In 2009, whilst in deployment in Afghanistan, I stepped on an explosive device, which caused life-changing injuries. I lost both of my legs, three fingers and the muscle from my right forearm. I discovered the sport of Wheelchair Rugby League whilst watching Leeds Rhinos at Headingley, in 2013. I started training sessions with the Leeds Rhinos Wheelchair team and I was hooked. I have represented England at the World Cup in France in 2017, and am looking forward to representing England in the 2021 World Cup.

The wheelchair rugby league world cup is the only world cup being played in the UK this year, how is this unfolding against the backdrop of a pandemic?

I worry for the England team, but we’ll be ready to go as soon as we get the green light. We are training for the 11th, no matter what, and hopefully we get there. At the moment everything is going ahead, and the support team have been invaluable in ensuring we can just focus on the job we have to do.

How will it feel to be on pitch on the 11th of November?


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When you roll out there, you have your England shirt on and you are listening to the national anthem, and it is that massive moment of “we are here.” There is an anxiousness and excitement, but as soon as the whistle goes all of this vanishes, you focus, and it is just you and the game.

We b s i te: -tournament/wheelchair Tw i t te r: @ R LWC2 0 21 I n s ta g ra m: @ r lwc2 0 21 J a m e s S i m p s o n s Tw i t te r: @ S i mWh e e l ch a i r R L

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Credit: ParalympicsGB


SETTING A TARGET FOR THE TOKYO PARALYMPICS With the Tokyo Paralympics looking to go ahead this year, we caught up with veteran archer and Paralympic Medalist John Stubbs.

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John, you’ve had an interesting sports career, having tried a variety of sports, what is it about archery that grabbed your interest?

I was playing cricket beforehand, but I was talking about sport more than I was participating. I needed to find something that took my interest. In those days you needed to go to a disabled sports club and there was nothing there that really grabbed me. I was leaving the facility thinking I would just persevere with cricket, and as I went to leave, low and behold archery was taking place outside. As an able bodied person archery never appealed to me. As a wheelchair user I was a bit reluctant, but the guy running the archery session encouraged me to give it a go, and he gave me a bow, took me through the basics and it really captured me. It was a challenge, it was something new; I had good hand eye coordination, so I knew I could use my abilities. I took to it like a duck takes to water.


of health or motivation, ability as an athlete. I am never going to underestimate the ability of the athletes that I am up against in my category. They are the top 32 archers in the world, so to be going and to be competitive, anyone of the 32 can win. You are actually challenging for one medal, and you’ve not got to underestimate silver and gold. So to come back with a medal of any description will be all my dreams coming true.

“THAT IS ALL I WANT TO BE REMEMBERED FOR, FOR BEING A GOOD ARCHER.” How has the pandemic impacted your training and focus?

It’s impacted more on my home life than my sport life. When we first went into lockdown it became about the set-up at home. Whether it is 5 metres, 10 metres, 80 metres, it is about getting a target out there and using the same bow; it then becomes about keeping muscle memory. I was able to keep my training up. With home, however, we started to struggle, same as many of us did. Getting special dispensation to go back to training last summer though, really helped with my home life. Being back at squad saved me as an athlete. In training we have to

social distance, wear a mask, etc, and when we are not training or eating meals we are in room lockdown, so it’s not all fun and games, but we are all very thankful for this opportunity.

You acquired your disability through an accident, which impacted not just your physical health, but also your mental health. How has sport helped support your mental health?

I acquired my disability back in 1989. I was 24, in the prime of my life, newly married with a family, and I couldn’t see the light at the end of the tunnel. I suffered depression, started drinking alcohol and taking drugs, and contemplated suicide. All of this was a big cry for help, and it was then that I got the support I needed. It was going into a young disabled person’s unit, back in those days, that gave me a realisation to how lucky I was, because at least I could make a decision about what my future was going to bring.

We b s i te: pa r a l y m p i c s .o r g.u k Tw i t te r: @ Pa r a l y m p i c s G B I n s ta g ra m: pa r a l y m p i c s g b_o f f i c i a l Fa ce b oo k: @ Pa r a l y m p i c s G B

I went home, bought a basic archery set-up, set up a space at home and shot virtually every day. I became quite good at it. I moved to archery club to test my abilities. I enjoyed it, but it was tough. I persevered and look where I am now. Archery has given me my life back. I have given more to my sport than to any other aspect of my life. I’ve struggled with being disabled, but archery has made me feel I have done something with my life.

You are a Paralympic gold medallist already in, what are your aims and goals for the 2021 Paralympics in Tokyo?

Just to be on the plane and flying into Tokyo will be an achievement. I’m going to be 56 when I go to Tokyo, so every year that passes me by, especially with the games being delayed, is precious. There is always a worry that you might not make the team, whether it be because

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a small part of the sky. It was an emotion that made me cry. I am totally in love with the sport,” says Lucas. Respect for others is something that he recognises in golf, “It



Why on earth do people get so enthused about using a stick to hit an object towards a target either in, on, or above the ground? Find out more from EDGA… WE spoke with some disabled golfers and asked them to share their stories. We learned about what golf means to them, how the game is inclusive through its unique handicap system, and what they enjoy most about playing the game as someone with a disability. Tom was just five years of age when he first experienced golf in England’s West disabili t

Midlands. Tom has lots of metalwork in his feet due to the numerous operations he has endured to minimise the effect of bilateral talipes (clubfoot). “My father was the first person to get me into golf. He made these golf clubs for me that were super small and got me going. I wasn’t really playing that many holes, but it was more just to get me into the environment, get me part of a club when I couldn’t be part of a football or rugby club. Golf is probably the biggest influence on my life. I think if I didn’t have golf, I wouldn’t be who I am today. I’ve made relationships that I’ll always have.” Lucas Oliveira lives in the busy metropolis of São Paulo, Brazil. One night Lucas was shot down in an unprovoked attack by two men. With bullets lodged in his back, the attackers made off with the equivalent of €400, his watch and tennis shoes. Lucas was merely doing his job as a pizza delivery boy and was just 20 years of age when overnight his life changed forever as he became a paraplegic. Lucas knew nothing about golf before the attack. “When I made the first visit to a golf course, I came across nature and felt like

is more than getting a club to hit a ball. The benefits of golf are not limited to my physical health, but also my psychological and emotional well-being, the practice of golf helps increase my self-esteem and the quality of my life.” Two car accidents and a diagnosis of Hypermobile Ehlers-Danlos Syndrome were the catalysts for Australian Kirsty Wilkinson to give up hockey and try golf. “I actually picked it up with a hockey friend of mine. It was something that I was always curious about because both my brother and dad had played golf. Playing with a friend just makes it a lot more fun. Golf has really saved my life, because I had become very depressed and I became very anxious as well from my car accidents. It’s really hard when you’ve played sport all your life, and then all of a sudden the rug is pulled from underneath you.” With an impish sense of fun and a finely tuned competitive spirit, Adem Wahbi from Belgium is one of the sport’s finest young talents, playing in big international tournaments. Ask Adem what golf means to him and it is hard not to be impressed by the straightforward honesty which capitalises his words. “When I am on the course, I don’t feel disabled, I simply see in front of me and don’t look back.”

Au t h o r: To ny B e n n et t (H ea d o f Disability and Inclusion the I n te r n a t i o n a l G o l f Fed e r a t i o n) We b s i te: ed g a g o l m Tw i t te r: @ ed g a g o l f I n s ta g ra m: @ ed g a _ g o l f

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Credit: ParalympicsGB

Meet Vanessa Wallace and discover how a year of yes and some lipstick took her to the Paralympic Games…


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Vanessa can you tell us more about your sports journey and what led you from wheelchair racing to shot-put? My journey to the Paralympics really came about because of some red lipstick, a tweet and a year of saying yes. In 2010 I was in a physio rehab in-patient programme where I tried wheelchair basketball and realised it wasn’t quite for me. Fast foward to 2012, I came across wheelchair racing and decided to give it a go. I was the only person there for the first 6 months. During those 6 months I learnt that, as a disabled person, I could do physical activity on a weekly basis. Around this time the “Year of Yes” started. In 2013, I went for national classification. Whilst going through the classification a lovely coach, Steve, told me I was built for throwing. He told me to go see another coach called Alison, and because I was in my “Year of Yes” I had to go. I had a couple of sessions with Alison, but then went off and did life. In 2014, Alison tweeted me and said when are you going to come back to training. I spoke to a friend about bravery, about holding ourselves back and then got tag teamed by two ladies on the counter at the local Boots, who convinced me to try some red lipstick. I suddenly felt confident. I went back to Alison and started training properly in January 2015. She had me competing by April. I was British Champ by the summer, and I still am British Champ. And then it all went a bit crazy, because the Rio Paralympics were the following year and I made the team. That is how I became a Paralympian.

Your dream is to compete at the Tokyo Paralympics, can you tell us what it’s like to set that goal and the shotput training that’s involved to achieve it?

I remember back in 2019 at World Champs, having just won the bronze, I was sitting with my coach chatting. I had a really weird feeling because I felt like an athlete for the first time ever. For years I had had imposter syndrome and in that moment I really felt like I was getting the whole “athlete” thing, finally. So to set the goal of Tokyo, especially following such a challenging year with the pandemic, I don’t feel that imposter syndrome anymore. I set the goal to not just make the team, disabili t

“MY GOALS FOR TOKYO ARE TO BE HEALTHY, BE FABULOUS, AND TO ENJOY THE PROCESS.” but to go out there and chuck the hell out of the shot put. I’ve now got confidence in myself to be able to do that. Sometimes it takes a long time to get to that point. Some people think that that confidence has to be your driving force. I always say to people to believe in what other people say and encourage you to do, until you can have that belief in yourself. My goals for Tokyo are to be healthy, be fabulous, and to enjoy the process. The process itself includes three throwing technical sessions a week— which is generally a combination of things that generate the fabulousness, or the “sexy throws.” I do three strength and conditioning sessions a week, alongside pilates as well. Sometimes a little cardio is thrown in for good measure.

How has the pandemic impacted your training and focus? I have been extremely lucky, when we first went into lockdown my coach was creative. We started to do some training online - including her notorious stretch sessions! It was a great way to keep things ticking over until we could meet oneto-one. When we could finally meet, we met in a park and it was lovely. There is research into “Green

Exercise,” and the benefits of training outdoors, and I really felt those benefits.

What advice would you give to any disabled person keen to try shot-put out?

Have a go, have a go again, and then come back the following week and have a go again. I am so keen for people to try it. Often people won’t give things a go if they think they can’t do it, and that can sometimes hinder ourselves. So whether you are going to throw as far as the moon or you are simply enjoying the environment you’re in, power sports are for us. No matter your disability, just come and try throwing. Just look at me, with a bit of red lippy and confidence I am now going to my second Paralympic games. I didn’t know this was possible, and now I do. Give yourself a chance, even if it takes time.

We b s i te: pa r a l y m p i c s .o r g.u k Tw i t te r: @ Pa r a l y m p i c s G B I n s ta g ra m: pa r a l y m p i c s g b_o f f i c i a l Fa ce b oo k: @ Pa r a l y m p i c s G B

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HOW ONE PARALYMPIAN IS MAKING SUPERHEROES OF US ALL Meet Sophia Warner, Paralympic athlete, passionate disability sports advocate, and creator of The Marvel Superhero Series… Hi Sophia, you are a mother, marketing specialist, tv presenter, and Paralympian what an amazing life you lead! Can you tell us more about who Sophia is and what values drive this energy you have? My big driver for me has always been my love of sport, my love of running, everything else is just life really. Everything I have done in television, everything I have done has been because of running. My marketing career was a part of the path I took at university, which has now led me to sports marketing. So all of this together has been like a perfect storm leading to the Superhero Series.

As a Para athlete you had great success on the international stage, but it wasn’t until London 2012 that you made the Paralympic team. Can you tell us about your Para athlete career? What was it that you loved about your sport? What I loved about my sport was definitely my love of running. That’s it! People think with Paralympians that it’s more complicated than that, and maybe for some people it is, they have something prove, etc. For me though, I literally just love running. My journey to the Paralympics was complicated, due to classification issues. My classification, which is a T35, wasn’t

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represented at the Paralympic Games until London 2012. And so whilst I was World Champion and completely top of my sport from 1996, the 2012 games were the first opportunity I had for the Paralympics.

You retired from elite sport in 2013; what sporting challenges do you take on these days? What does sport and keeping active bring into your life? I have taken a real interest in long distance running again. Long distance running is where my heritage is really; I am not a sprinter, I am a much more laidback runner. I currently have an injury though, so instead of running I am aiming to walk 10 kilometres every day. You don’t realise how much you don’t walk until you put on a pedometer. So I am really making that effort to move more, that is part of my fitness challenge at the moment.

In 2013 you set up your own sports marketing agency to maximise opportunities for disabled sport, how do you believe sport can be a positive benefit to disabled people? I think that sport is positive for everybody, but there is a huge gap between elite and grassroots sport. There are something like 850,000 mass participation sport events for nondisabled people, and whilst these events aim to be inclusive, inclusion can be really tricky because it’s different for everyone. It’s got to

come down to grassroots sport; where do disabled people go to do Tough Mudder, for example.

You have also founded the charity “Superhero Sport Foundation,” and as part of this you run the Superhero Series, the UK’s only disability sports series. With Marvel as your headline sponsor, and now entering its fourth year, can you tell us more about the series and why you started it? It is just about getting disabled people doing sport for fun. Whereas other single sporting events I have turned up to seem to have a sympathetic vibe to them, they are not gutsy, punchy, or cool. With Marvel as the Superhero Series headline sponsor, we want to make disability sport cool and aspirational. The Superhero Series is really just about everyone finding their own way to do stuff and to prove that anything is possible.

Want to take part in a Superhero Series event? Check out the website for more information. Tw i t te r:: @ S u p e r h e r oTr i I n s ta g ra m:: s u p e r h e r o_ s e r i es Fa ce b oo k:: @ s u p e r h e r ot r i

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SINGLE HANDEDLY TAKING ON THE WORLD Do you dream of adventure? The excitement of setting yourself a challenge? Meet Sarah Fisher who is preparing to embark on a global cycling journey single handedly…

My motivation comes from my love going on adventures and tackling the hurdles I’ve faced when trying to do these adventures— the major one being my prosthetics. I have used NHS prosthetics my whole life but they are really heavy, you over heat in them, and once you take it off you can’t get it back on…which is a disaster when you are out in the middle of a ride! Motivation also comes from talking to children who have limb differences or amputations who want to ride their bike. Children tell me their prosthetics put them off cycling- this makes me so sad and really frustrated. If I can push my prosthetic to its very limit and see what is possible, then hopefully it is something that future one armed cyclists can use.

Hi Sarah, can you tell us a little about yourself…

I grew up in a small village called Auchtertool on the East Coast of Fife. I was born with my lower left arm missing. I was taught by my parents from a young age to not let anything stop me. So having one arm was never a weakness, only a strength, which is why I want to go on these adventures, to show myself I can do these things. After school, I went on to university to study Communication Design. I then moved to the big city of Manchester to start a career in graphic design. After living the city life, I decided it wasn’t for me anymore, so I move to Dalwhinnie in the Scottish Highlands. Living there made me appreciate the outdoors more and I felt so grateful to live in such a beautiful part of the world. I wanted to explore it more, so I picked up my bike and haven’t been off it since.

You are about to embark of an epic journey, to cycle around the world “single handedly,” can you tell us what motivated you to start this adventure… 60

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make soft prosthetics and my mind was blown! I told them about my idea to cycle the world and they were even more excited than I was. Working with Koalaa, we are now developing a unique cycling prosthetic that uses their innovative Mitt style socket to create something that is lightweight, super comfy and looks pretty cool too. Other than the prosthetic, my bike has had a few modifications, the brakes and gears are on the right hand side and controlled by one hand.

What are the logistics of such an adventure? The logistics of this trip are huge! It is a massive undertaking, but I have gathered the help of so many amazing people who have completed incredible adventures themselves, such as the fastest male and female who have circumnavigated the globe on bikes. With all of this support and knowledge flooding in, I’m confident I can make it happen.


Have you always been a cyclist? What is it about cycling that you love so much?

Cycling was something we did a lot of as a family. I have so many flash backs to my dad pushing us up hills, legs turning a dozen to get up the Cairngorm mountains. Cycling is one of the best ways to explore where you live and every time is a new adventure. During lockdown it was my way to get out and about and gave me a sense of freedom. Our closest food store is 15 miles away in the next village so I would cycle there and back just for a bar of chocolate!

There are many bike adaptions for people with different impairments and conditions, is your bike adapted and if so, how? disabili t

Any words of advice for other disabled people who want to plan a global adventure, or even who just want to get into the sport of cycling?

Just go out there and give it a try. No matter your disability there are always ways around it. I believe anything is possible if you put your mind to it. I am massively blown away by how much support there is out there. It seems once you start talking about your plans and adventures to other people who are interested, they share your excitement and want to help you in any way they can.

How can people support you on your journey?

Frustrated with the lack of improvement in NHS prosthetics and an inability to afford a prosthetic made privately, I was successful in winning a grant to get a TRS cycling grip which is far better than the ball and socket I had been using all these years. However, the socket is the main problem. It is a hard cast shell moulded tight to your arm and elbow, you can’t straighten your arm and there is very little wiggle room inside. Researching alternatives, I stumbled onto a company called Koalaa who

The biggest support would be to keep spreading the word of the trip. It would be amazing to get the word of adaptive athletes out there through sharing, following and commenting on my social channels! Fundraising is going to be the biggest way for me to make this trip happen, so I will be sharing through these channels and the Single Handedly NTW website on how you can help support.

Website: singlehandedlynavigatingthe Author: Sarah Fisher Instagram: @singlehandedlyntw Twitter: @singlehandedntw

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Wrigleys Solicitors can help you and your family plan for the future Wrigleys specialise in helping vulnerable and disabled people. We have a team of people who are dedicated to looking after the best interests of clients either via a trust or through the Court of Protection/Deputyship. Our article in this edition of the Disability Review Magazine covers two possible areas where we could help. For Section 89 Trusts contact Peter Clarkson t: 0114 267 5581 e:

For Statutory Wills contact Jane Netting t: 0114 267 5621 e:

Alternatively write to Wrigleys Solicitors LLP, Derwent House, 150 Arundel Gate, Sheffield S1 2FN tel: 0114 267 5588 •

Are you suffering following an accident? CRPS, Chronic Pain and Fibromyalgia can be life-changing. Which is why Brian Barr Solicitors work tirelessly to secure our clients the compensation they deserve. Brian Barr Solicitors represented a former health care assistant and mother of five, who twisted her ankle when she tripped over an unmarked and unlit step and tragically ended up with a below-knee amputation. With an eventual diagnosis of Complex Regional Pain Syndrome (CRPS), she also suffered from fatigue and constipation and fibromyalgia, all of which resulted in a major depressive disorder. Mid claim, a significant interim payment was obtained to allow for the purchase and renovation of a home suitable for her condition, followed by a final overall settlement of £4million which will assist allowing her to live the best possible life alongside her condition.

Brian Barr Solicitors helped to secure £4million in compensation for our client

Specialist Fibromyalgia, CRPS, Chronic Pain & Critical Illness Lawyers To start your claim get in touch: call us on 0161 737 9248


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my limb difference has never been an issue. In fact, as a grassroots sport ‘for the players by the players’, roller derby prides itself on being inclusive and diverse. When I’m on the track I feel invincible, like a superhero! I can do things with my body, and move at speeds that wouldn’t be possible off-skates and that gives me a huge sense of freedom. I then became involved in coaching juniors and helping to form Team GB Junior Roller Derby.



Roller Derby

Have you ever heard of Roller Derby? We spoke to Bev Gormley to learn more about this surprisingly inclusive sport. I’M Bev Gormley and I was born missing my left arm below the elbow, but I’ve never let that hold me back! I’m a Programme Manager for a Charity called the Heritage Trust Network and work with community groups and organisations who are rescuing and restoring historic buildings. I am also a roller derby player and coach.

What is Roller Derby and how did you get started? My journey into roller derby started back in the 1980s when I used to spend more time on skates than in shoes! It was the heyday of the roller disco and I was very lucky that my school held one every Saturday. We could even skate instead of doing PE sometimes! After a 25-ish year break I rediscovered my love of skating when my daughter started to go to a roller disco that had just started nearby. That’s where I bumped into the first

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roller derby player I’d ever seen. She looked the epitome of cool and told me all about the Lincolnshire Bombers roller derby team. Two weeks later I’d bought a pair of roller derby skates and attended my first training session! Roller derby is a full-contact sport played on quad roller skates, by two teams of players skating around an elliptical track. It consists of a series of two-minute countdown jams and lasts for 60 minutes. The skaters do their utmost to stop the opposing Jammer (the point scorer) passing them and scoring points by using shoulder/hip checks, shoving them out of the way or knocking them to the ground. The game is fast and furious and once you see it you’re hooked.

How does Roller Derby work with your impairment? During my time with the Lincolnshire Bombers and now Grimsby Grim Reavers,

You recently received your Hero Arm, can you tell us more about this and how it might impact you in roller derby? My Hero Arm has completely changed my life, and has brought a little bit of the superhero into everyday activities. I no longer try to hide my prosthetic arm and love it when people ask me about it. Once we’re allowed to start playing roller derby again I’ll be wearing my hero arm while coaching and every minute up until the point where the full contact starts. It will increase my confidence so much that I’ll be standing 7 feet tall and people won’t be able to ignore the fact that having a disability doesn’t have to stop you getting involved in team sport.

Why should disabled people to give roller derby a go? Over the last 9 years I’ve coached and have played alongside numerous people with visible and hidden disabilities. Teams across the UK regularly hold free taster sessions where you can borrow skates and kit. Roller derby not only needs players, it needs referees, non-skating officials, game-day organisers and fundraisers, so if skating’s not for you there are lots of ways to be part of the team!

Tw i t te r: @ B i o n i c B eve r l ey Fa ce b oo k: fa c e book .co m/B i o n i c B eve r l ey L i n ke d I n: l i n ked i m/i n/b eve r l eyg o r m l ey/

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Emma Hardie’s Skincare Essentials for Summer

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Let’s check out 4 of Emma Hardie’s must have skincare products for summer…

WITH warmer days upon us and lockdown

restrictions eased, many of us are getting out and enjoying the sunshine, parks and beaches. To get yourself summer ready, DRM has tried out some of skincare specialist, Emma Hardie’s products. A leading pioneer in skincare and rejuvenation, Emma Hardie is the most accomplished Holistic facialist in the UK today. Emma’s award-winning skincare system includes simple, but effective products that are must-have daily essentials. Emma’s products are designed to suit all skin types. Working with the skin’s natural functions to moisturise, firm and brighten, this skincare system is light, fresh, and perfect to keep you cool in the summer heat.

Skin protection is key, and hydration a must, so here are our top recommendations for beautiful summer skin in 2021: The Moringa Light Cleansing Gel is a lightly foaming cleanser with a gentle, citrusy fragrance, perfect for washing your face first thing in the morning. It comes in an easy to use, pump action bottle, that doesn’t clog or slip from your fingers, making it ideal for those with limited dexterity. It contains Moringa and Sweet Almond Oil to nourish the skin, Grapeseed Oil and essential fatty acids to moisturise and soften, and Sea Fennel


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The Moisture Boost Vit+C Cream is a luscious, enriched cream, perfect for use after the Moringa Light Cleansing Gel. In a solid round jar, that is easily opened, making it a great product to have as your every day moisturiser if you have limited dexterity. The vitamin c enriched cream helps to reduce pigmentation and age spots, whilst also increasing cellular renewal, giving skin a lovely youthful glow. This moisture boosting cream sinks quickly into your skin, with no feelings of dryness or greasiness left behind. The Protect and Prime SPF 30 cream is perfect for everyday use and protection in the hot summer sun. Protecting your skin from premature ageing, sun damage and environmental exposure, this cream fits perfectly in your handbag, so you can reapply when necessary. Like the Moringa Light Cleansing Gel, the SPF comes in an easy to use, pump-action bottle making it ideal for those with limited dexterity. Lightweight

The Plump and Glow Hydrating Facial Mist is the key must have for traveling and days out. Suitable for sensitive skin, this mist protects your face and neck from pollution and environmental damage, evens out your complexion and creates a luminous glow. It comes in an easy to use, lightweight pumpaction bottle that is easy to hold. Formulated with Aloe Vera, Velvet Flower and Wild Watermint, this mist tones and moisturises dehydrated skin. Perfect if you get a touch too much sun. Formulated with powerful ingredients, all the products avoid any of the “nasties”— parabens, SLS, synthetic colours, synthetic fragrances, petrolatum, and mineral oil, amongst others. This makes Emma Hardie skincare a great option for those with sensitive skin, scent or chemical sensitivities. All their products are vegetarian, cruelty free and power-packed with only the best high-grade, skin-friendly ingredients.

we b s i te: e m m a h a r d i m Tw i t te r: @ E m m a H a r d i eUK I n s ta g ra m: @ e m m a h a r d i es k i n ca r e Fa ce b oo k: @ e m m a h a r d i es k i n ca r e



IS 2021 THE YEAR OF MEANINGFUL TRAVEL FOR DISABLED PEOPLE? As the world starts to open up again, now is the time to start planning your next holiday with Limitless Travel. HAVING been isolated more than 12 months,

disabled people feel they’ve become a forgotten community. This is reflected in a recent government survey where 41% of disabled people reported that the coronavirus pandemic has made their mental health worse, compared to 20% of able-bodied people. And according to Airbnb’s latest report, ‘2021 The Year Of Meaningful Travel,’ travel in 2021 is set to be an antidote to this isolation and disconnection. This is an idea firmly supported by Limitless Travel, a specialist provider of disabled-friendly and accessible holidays, who can testify that travel has the power to change people’s lives with multiple benefits for their mental health. Limitless Travel’s CEO and Founder, Angus Drummond tells us that “travel doesn’t just offer the change of scenery that we’re all desperate for; travel has the power to benefit our mental health. These are mental health benefits such as lowering stress levels, providing a break from the routine, refreshing outlooks and boosting creativity, boosting self-esteem and confidence and providing different perspectives. Even precovid, our accessible and safe holidays have


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been reducing the isolation felt by many people with disabilities and their carers who sometimes haven’t been on holiday for years due to their disabilities.” After shielding at home for so long, almost half (47%) of disabled people reported higher anxiety levels in September 2020, compared to less than a third of non-disabled people. And whilst many disabled people, who’ve been shielding at home, are ready to go on their next holiday, many can feel nervous because they lack confidence in what type of holiday is accessible for them. Angus explains, “After a year of being at home, we want our customers to feel the magic of travel again. It’s much needed after the anxiety and stress of the past year. For us, 2021 is the year for embracing new adventures, ticking off travel highlights that have been on your to-do list; be that bucket list trips full of epic experiences or quieter retreats to familiar locations, we’re confident that there are sunnier times ahead for all of us.” Angus, diagnosed with limb-girdle muscular dystrophy (a rare genetic disorder) at the age of 22, was devastated with this news and knew his life would never be the same.

Determined to experience the best of what the world had to offer, Angus quit his job in finance, dusted off his Glastonbury backpack, and set off with his wife to explore 35 new countries. They canoed through Vietnam, climbed to the top of Machu Picchu, sailed the backwaters of Kerala, and partied in Rio.

“TRAVEL SHOULD NOT BE EXCLUSIVE TO NON-DISABLED PEOPLE.” As their journey progressed Angus noticed just how rarely the travel industry considered disabled tourists. Given the incredible experiences the world had given to him, Angus realised that travel should not be exclusive to non-disabled people. Wanting to do something about the challenges he, and other disabled people face, Angus made it his mission to make travel limitless for all disabled people. Thus Limitless Travel was born. Limitless Travel is an expert provider of disabled-friendly and accessible holidays in the UK and abroad with a sense of community designed for anybody and everybody. Limitless Travel’s holidays and experiences make the world accessible to all, revolutionising travel for people with disabilities by reducing the worry and stress they face when booking a holiday and ensuring all their access needs are met.

We b s i te: l i m i t l es s t r ave l.o r g Tw i t te r: @ L i m i t l es sTr4ve l Fa ce b oo k: @ L i m i t l es sTr ave l O f f i c i a l



Healthy Eating Summer Salad It’s summertime! Celebrate the warmer weather with this light and fresh summer salad. Perfect for picnics in the park, days at the beach, and even light dinners at home… This easy summer salad literally takes minutes to make. Use any vegetables and herbs that you have to hand, even ones that you may have grown yourself.

INGREDIENTS: 400g new-season potatoes, washed 2 bunches of radishes, whole or sliced 1 red onion, sliced 1 small cucumber, peeled, deseeded and sliced Handful of dill (or any other herb you prefer)

For the dressing: 100ml rapeseed oil 20g English mustard 1 tbsp white wine vinegar

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Bring a pan of salted water to boil and simmer the potatoes for 10-12 minutes (or until ten-der).

2. 3.

Meanwhile, whisk the salad dressing ingredients together.

Cut the cooked potatoes in half and toss together with the salad dressing



At the last moment, toss in the other vegetables and


What to have with the summer salad: Serve the salad alongside some sausages (meat or vegan), kebabs, or fish.

Drink… A Strawberry Limeade:

1. 2.

Make a syrup with 1/3 cup of water and 1/3 cup of sugar.

In a pitcher, combine 1/2 cup of lime juice, the syrup, sliced strawberries, a handful of mint leaves and 2 cups of cold water.


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Relaxing respite breaks from £500 Who we are

Our current breaks

We are a national charity that typically provides awardwinning holidays and much-needed breaks for disabled people and carers. And we’re here to give you the time to take a break.

We’ve reduced and simplified our prices so you can enjoy a short break for less and we’re also offering week-long stays at Sandpipers, our coastal hub, that are designed to give you a change of scenery.

Call 0303 303 0145

Book with confidence Our Book with confidence guarantee means you won’t have to worry about cancellation or amendment fees if things change. So rest-assured you won’t lose out if you need to postpone your break.


→ Fully catered → 24/7 expert nurses and helpful carers → Fully accessible accommodation → Hoists → Call system → Profiling beds



*Please contact our friendly booking advisors for full terms and conditions.

Make Moments That Matter

Accessible Vehicle Hire

0800 069 8454


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1 9 4


5 3 2

Don’t miss out on incredible cash prizes!

The Mencap weekly lottery just got even bigger - you now have the chance to win a massive prize of £25,000! Match 5 6 Match

0 0 0 , 5 2 £


Match 4




5 ent r into ies next the draw

Entry to the Mencap lottery is only £1 per week! Mencap are passionate about changing the world for everyone with a learning disability. Everything we do is about supporting people with a learning disability, and their families and carers to live happy, healthy lives. Each time you play you’ll be helping us to do that – it’s a win-win!

It’s quick and easy to sign up today – just visit

Players must be 18 or over. GB residents only.




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VISIT OUR AWARD-WINNING FULLY ACCESSIBLE THEATRES • Wheelchair accessible • Free Sennheiser Units • CFT Buddies • Audio described performances • Captioned performances • Signed performances • Relaxed and dementia friendly performances • Touch tours • Access discount

Chat on our website T ES RK W PA H DLY UT IEN SO FR


Lovingly developed over 40 years by the Franks family Situated on the Jurassic Coast near to Sidmouth Touring pitches divided into private ‘groves’ Holiday caravans & leisure lodges for purchase/hire Camping Pods, Premier Pods & Shepherd Huts Deluxe centrally heated, spotlessly clean amenities Well-stocked shop and café Popular 9-hole par 3 golf

Call 01297 680387 disabili t

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queen elizabeth’s foundation for disabled people

Do you have reduced mobility or a disability? Are you recovering from a stroke or an operation? QEF’s expert services can support you. From mobility equipment hire to driving assessments, bespoke children’s equipment to neuro rehabilitation and specialist residential care. Our friendly team of experts can support you to live your life to the full.

Call us on 01372 841 100 or email

Jansel Business Centre Suite, Ashcroft Rd, Stopsley, Luton LU2 7XH | T: 01582 969393 72

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WE ARE RECRUITING! We are looking for care and support workers to join our teams in Berkshire, Buckinghamshire or Hertfordshire.

Contact us to find out more! 01442 292 300

Vose Farm Holiday Cottages

Vose Farm Holiday cottages, 7 Luxury cottages, sleeping from 2 to 6 persons. 3 purpose built disabled access cottages. All cottages have plenty of private parking outside cottage & their own private gardens. Vose Farm Holiday Cottages. Tregony, Truro, Cornwall. TR2 5SH Contact Phil or April Tel: 01872 530520 Email:

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re g e’ itin W ru c Re

Eastleigh College is not just a place for learning! We employ over 600 staff in teaching, learning support, assessing, administration, sales, enrolment, IT and more, from apprentice to managerial.

Staff benefits include: • Flexible working procedure and free health screening • Denplan dental cover • Cycle to Work scheme • On site staff discounts including the gym, vehicle maintenance workshop and hair and beauty salons • Health cash plan • Eye tests and spectacles • Employee assistance and development programme (counselling service)

“Eastleigh College is an extremely supportive place to work. They actively encourage staff development and as a result I have undertaken a variety of training, including sponsored professional” Lynsey King, Marketing Manager

• A fantastic induction • The highest standard of training • Great supportive team • Competitive pay • Wellbeing and work/life balance • Long service and excellence awards

• Pension and Life Assurance • Rising annual leave Charity number 255913

ly p y Ap da to

Queen Alexandra College


Aerial Dance Summer School



new and exciting fo!r 2021/22

Photograph by David Dunbar Purple Swan Photography

Queen Alexandra College (QAC) are working in collaboration with University of Worcester and The Albion Foundation to deliver a unique and ground breaking bespoke Wheelchair Basketball sport performance programme. The programme is specifically designed for ambitious young sports people aged 16-24 years who use a manual wheelchair and are eligible under the International Wheelchair Basketball Association (IWBF) classification criteria.

For more details please contact: 0121 428 5050 or

QAC: Registered Charity No. 1065794 Registered in England No. 3387540


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Creatability is back… and bigger than ever! Youth Theatre • Music Makers Visual Arts • Aerial Dance We are expanding our existing model of Creatability to include multiple artforms and activities for neurodivergent and disabled children and young people aged 4-21. Visit to find out more! Beacon Arts Centre Custom House Quay, Greenock PA15 1HJ T. 01475723723 E. Greenock Arts Guild Ltd, trading as Beacon Arts Centre, is a company incorporated in Scotland under the Companies Acts (Company No. SC024805, VAT Registered Number 265140673, Scottish Charity Number SC003030)



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Join a university that is passionate about equality, diversity & inclusivity

Port Selma Lodges are set in some of the most spectacular scenery in the Western Highlands. These wheelchair friendly luxury lodges with full disabled access are set in quiet countryside 200 metres from the shore, 8 miles north of Oban. The lodges overlook the Hills of Morvern with magnificent sunsets in the summer. They are in a secluded position but within two minutes walk of the small village of Benderloch which has a small supermarket (open 7 days a week), petrol station and excellent tea-room. Open from Easter until the end of October. Dogs Welcome. The lodges have full disabled access and have been specially designed to make holidays for wheelchair users easy and comfortable, but they are also entirely suitable for more able visitors. The scenery includes quiet sea lochs, forests with walkways and cycle tracks, secluded beaches, dramatic mountain ranges and historic castles. From Oban there are ferries (fully accessible) to the Inner and Outer Hebrides with day trips to Mull, Iona, Staffa, Lismore and Colonsay.

Liverpool John Moores University (LJMU) offers over 200 internationally recognised courses and is proud to support staff, students & visitors, living with disabilities including mental & long-term health conditions. Visit our website to find out more:

To enquire about renting one of the lodges please Email :

or telephone Erin Jordan on 07881 713716

quality top-quality accessible in Devon • Eight 8 accessible luxury lakesideholiday lodges lodges in Devon • Touring caravan & tent pitches with electric hook up • Well stocked 1.5 acre coarse fishing lake • Heated indoor pool (Seasonal) • Games Room and Free WiFi • Orchard and woodland walk • Dogs welcome

At Royal Holloway, University of London, we are a close-knit community and proud of the egalitarian spirit of our founders, which we continue to foster today. We value diversity and promote equality of opportunity for students and colleagues, whether they work in academia or professional services. We welcome applicants from all backgrounds, particularly people with disabilities, both students and staff.


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01409 211140 disabilit


TAKE A LEAP Join a team as unique as you are

Find your job opportunity of a lifetime at

Hill Lodge Dorset

• Wheelchair-accessible Holiday let • Secluded location just outside Poole

• Sleeps up to 6 people • Tetraplegic owner

Contact Becky Hill on: Tel: 01202 630075 Email: Web:

Appreciating You And valuing everyone’s differences

Brunel University London is located on the western edge of the capital set within a modern campus environment. One of the University’s greatest strengths is the diversity of its culture, backgrounds, values and individual differences of people who live, work and study here. The staff workforce drives and supports the invaluable teaching, research and enterprise activities and also contributes to the University’s exciting diverse community. A wide range of employment opportunities are available at the University and we encourage you to visit our website to view our current vacancies. We positively encourage applications from all sections of the community.

Committed to equal opportunities and representing the diversity of the community we serve

DRM Be Curious Dream Big Give Back

To advertise, please call 01959 543 650 disabili t

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JEEP RANGE AVAILABLE ON THE MOTABILITY SCHEME FROM £195 ADVANCE PAYMENT* For more information or to book a test drive visit or visit your nearest Jeep Retailer.

Fuel economy and CO2 results for the Jeep® range mpg (l/100km) combined: 25.7 (11.0) - 48.7 (5.8). CO2 emissions: 259 - 148 g/km. Figures shown are for comparability purposes; only compare fuel consumption and CO2 figures with other cars tested to the same technical procedures. These figures may not reflect real life driving results, which will depend upon a number of factors including the accessories fitted (post-registration), variations in weather, driving styles and vehicle load. *Jeep Compass and Renegade available on the Motability scheme. Models shown: Jeep Compass 1.4 MultiAir II 140hp Night Eagle (with additional bi-colour paint @£400). Available on the Motability Scheme from £1,295 advanced payment. Jeep Renegade 1.0 GSE T3 120hp MT 4x2 Limited (with additional bi-colour paint @£400). Available on the Motability Scheme from £195 advance payment. Vehicles only available through Motability accredited participating Jeep retailers and are not available in conjunction with any other offer. These offers are valid for orders placed from 1st April and 30th June 2021.Terms & Conditions apply. Offer may be varied or withdrawn at any time.

To arrange a test drive please visit

THE FIAT FAMILY AVAILABLE ON THE MOTABILITY SCHEME* Fuel economy and CO2 results for the Fiat range (including mild hybrid) in mpg (l/100km): Combined 34 (8.3) – 53.3 (5.3). CO2 emissions 192 – 119 g/km. Only compare fuel consumption, CO2 and electric range (if applicable) figures with other cars tested to the same technical procedures. BEV vehicle figures were obtained after the battery had been fully charged. Both PHEV and BEV vehicles require mains electricity for charging. The values of CO2, electric range (if applicable) and fuel consumption may not reflect real life driving results. Motability Terms & Conditions: Vehicles only available through Motability accredited participating Fiat retailers and are not available in conjunction with any other offer. Advance Payments are correct at time of publishing and are subject to orders being placed between 1st April and 30th June 2021 . Terms & Conditions apply. Offer may be varied and withdrawn at any time.

Profile for Seven Star Media

DRM - Disability Review Magazine - Summer 2021  

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