Mayor opens new sensory garden at Optalis’ respite service

Optalis respite centre new sensory garden

Optalis respite service centre in Maidenhead that supports people with learning and physical disabilities has officially opened its new sensory garden for customers to coincide with Learning Disability Week 2018.

The service, which is run by social care provider Optalis, enables carers to take an essential break from their caring role. The break can be for a few hours, an overnight stay or several days.

The new garden on Allenby Road, features a special selection of self-watering plants and materials, laid out in such a way to stimulate the senses.

Highlights include a sensory log cabin, a mini-golf course and a wheelchair swing.

Autism's Got Talent shows what talented youngsters with autism can achieve

Autism’s Got Talent Lakhile Dlamini, aged 10

Autism’s Got Talent, the nation's leading autism talent show part sponsored by Options Autism, the national provider of care and education to children, young people and adults with autism, complex needs and learning difficulties, is taking its amazing show out to new British audiences this summer with events in Cornwall and the Wirral.
 
Autism’s Got Talent (AGT) was founded by Options' Autism Ambassador, Anna Kennedy OBE, a well-respected autism campaigner and mother of two sons who have autistic spectrum conditions.
 

Accessible parks for National Picnic Week

Accessible parks for National Picnic Week

Pack up the hamper and celebrate National Picnic Week (18-24 June) and the increasingly warm weather,  a series of top accessible parks and inclusive parks throughout Great Britain feature in an inspiring new guide to encourage people with diverse needs to enjoy a day out.

The revamped The Rough Guide to Accessible Britain, now in its 10th year, offers reviews and details of ramps, accessible toilets, and parking spaces for visitors with more hidden conditions such as autism and mental illness. The guide includes reviews of over 180 venues, including great, green locations perfect for an alfresco adventure.

UK’s largest all-inclusive mass participation event comes to Scotland for the first time

UK’s largest all-inclusive mass participation event comes to Scotland for the first time

Parallel Glasgow opens for registration: The UK’s largest all-inclusive mass participation fun run will take place in Scotland for the first time on 2 September 2018 as Glasgow’s George Square plays host to a mini family festival of active lifestyle activities. 

Parallel will welcome thousands of people of all ages and abilities to take part in a series of fun runs from 5km to 100m, including the ever popular Super Sensory 1km course. The award-winning event places disability inclusion at the heart of the experience, operating with the spirit of ‘Start Together, Finish Whenever’. Registration for the first ever Scotland event is open at parallellifestyle.com.

Considerations When Adapting a Car for a Disabled User

Wheelchair accessible

Wheelchair accessible transportation can be a huge problem for those with a disability and/or those that care for someone with a disability. Public transportation can be difficult and unreliable, plus it does not always get you to where you need to go. Fortunately, in recent times there have been some incredible advances in disability friendly motoring with many vehicles now available for those with a disability to either drive themselves or ride as passenger safely and comfortably.

Freedom

Essex All Together ambassador inspires others with new song ‘Don’t Tell Me’

All Together

Justine Harrington, 28, from Basildon, who was born with a visual impairment, is hoping to encourage more disabled people to get involved with physical activity and sport through All Together and the launch of her new song and music video; ‘Don’t Tell Me’.

Having been involved with the inclusive Active Essex ambassador scheme ‘All Together’ since 2017, Justine has used her passion to help break down some of the misconceptions around disability sport. 

Justine strongly believes that everyone, whatever their level of ability or learning, should have the same opportunities to access sport and physical activity.

Two new beach wheelchairs purchased for the Pembrokeshire Coast

Two new beach wheelchairs purchased for the Pembrokeshire Coast

The Pembrokeshire Coast is famous for its winding Coast Path and picturesque sandy beaches, and with the help of the Pembrokeshire Coast National Park Authority, several beaches can be accessed by specially designed beach wheelchairs.

Wheelchairs for use on sandy beaches are available to hire under the National Park Authority’s beach wheelchairs scheme at eight locations across Pembrokeshire for a small fee or no charge.

Tapscott Learning Trust CEO welcomed by Prime Minister and Education Secretary at Number 10

Tapscott Learning Trust

Newham head teacher and CEO of the Tapscott Learning Trust, Paul Harris, has been hailed for his hard work, talent and commitment by the Prime Minister and Education Secretary.

Paul was one of only one hundred UK teachers invited to a Downing Street reception aimed at championing visionary educational leaders and celebrating their commitment to giving every child an excellent education.

Teachers from schools across the country were invited to the evening reception, which was hosted by the Prime Minister and Secretary of State for Education. Both paid tribute to the hard work and dedication of the profession.

Aspire Charity announces aspirations for its biggest Channel Swim to date

Aspire Channel Swim

Spinal cord injury charity, Aspire are once again calling for all challenge-seekers to take part in the annual Aspire Channel Swim, which last year saw over 6,000 swimmers jump into pools across the country to complete the 22 mile challenge over 12 weeks.

Aspire, who provide practical help to people who have been paralysed by Spinal Cord Injury, hope to increase the number of swimmers this year to 7,000; made up of Aspire beneficiaries with spinal cord injury, those with an affiliation to the charity and the general public. For its 17th anniversary, the Aspire Channel Swim this year is estimated to be the biggest so far.

The William Merritt Centre announce new addition to their AccessAbility Exhibition

The William Merritt Centre announce new addition to their AccessAbility Exhibition

Following the success of The William Merritt Centre’s AccessAbility Exhibition in 2017, it is excited to announce its plans to make 2018 bigger and better by the addition of Get Going Live covering all your vehicle mobility needs.

It will take place on 18th October 2018 at the Centenary Pavilion, Leeds United Football Club between 10.00am and 3.00pm, showcasing new and innovative assistive technology and equipment, providing information and advice to enable greater independence for disabled children and adults or those with additional needs.

Essex All Together ambassador inspires others with new song ‘Don’t Tell Me’

All Together

Having been involved with the inclusive Active Essex ambassador scheme ‘All Together’ since 2017, Justine has used her passion to help break down some of the misconceptions around disability sport. 

Justine Harrington, 28, from Basildon, who was born with a visual impairment, is hoping to encourage more disabled people to get involved with physical activity and sport  through the launch of her new song and music video; ‘Don’t Tell Me’.

Justine strongly believes that everyone, whatever their level of ability or learning, should have the same opportunities to access sport and physical activity.

New Books Help People With Learning Disabilities Who Want To Work

New Books Help People With Learning Disabilities Who Want To Work

Only 6% of people with learning disabilities has a job whereas around 60% actually want to go out and work.  

The Grange Charity in Bookham has been working with the specialist learning disability publisher, Beyond Words Books, to highlight the serious issue of disability and work.

Grange resident, Katie Coen, and Work Experience Co ordinator, Mel Sheehan, were present at the launch of the books at the House of Lords last week. 

Beyond Words Books was created by Baroness Sheila Hollins of Wimbledon (a Bookham resident), who had the idea of using wordless illustrated books to help people with learning disabilities tackle everyday issues of life.

Learning disability group pays visit to Number 10 for awareness campaign

Walk in Our Shoes

Becky and Henry receive support from Hft, a national charity supporting adults with learning disabilities, they travelled to 10 Downing Street today (Thursday 7th June) to present the gift as part of their Walk in Our Shoes campaign. 

The initiative has been led by the charity’s speak-out group, Voices to be Heard, who feel that their hopes and concerns are not given the same attention by political leaders as those of people without disabilities.

The custom-made footwear has been designed using pictures of Voices to be Heard members and Hft’s signature purple and gold colours. 

FestABLE speaker Sally Phillips: 'The SEN world is a treasure chest'

Festable a girl enjoys the day

Having a child with special needs enables parents to understand and appreciate the important things in life, says actress and writer Sally Phillips. The well-known British comic was speaking at FestABLE, a festival celebrating specialist learning staged at National Star College in Cheltenham. 

It is the first time a festival dedicated to specialist learning has been staged in the UK.

“We are sitting on a treasure chest in the SEN (Special Educational Needs) world. Not only do we have freedom from some of the standards that the world operates with which are completely bogus but there’s a lot of living in the moment,” said Sally, who has a son with Down’s Syndrome.