History-making Autism with Attitude

 Autism Dance Day

Autism with Attitude a street dance group from Hillingdon Manor School, are making a step this Autism Dance Day and made history last July when they qualified as the first special needs dance team to make it through to the finals of the United Dance Organisations (UDO) Championships - are preparing to head off to compete in the next stage of the competition, the European Championships in Kalkar, Germany, Friday 11 May 2018 to Sunday 13 May 2018.

Mobility study: ‘half of wheelchair users could not find accessible toilets’

My Mobility Unlimited supporters

As UCan2 gets behind the Changing Places campaign, an international mobility study has found that almost half of UK wheelchair users have been unable to find an accessible toilet when they needed one.

The poll by ComRes on behalf of the Toyota Mobility Foundation also found that nine out of ten wheelchair users in the UK say that they experience pain as a result of their mobility device, while 23% say they have been declined entry to public transport because of their mobility device.

And more than a quarter reported feeling frustrated because the design of their mobility device felt outdated.

The trouble with work - facing discrimination due to your disability

Scope Lasian discrimination

Despite disability discrimination being illegal under the Equality Act 2010, many people with disabilities find getting work difficult – either through direct discrimination during the application process, or because health issues affect their working pattern. 

In a recent case, a DWP worker was awarded £26,000 in compensation after his employer was found to have discriminated against him, after he took time off for medical reasons. Barrie Caulcutt had suffered an athmas attack at work and his employer had called him "a whinger". He was given a written warning for taking two and a half days off sick more than he was allowed.

Changing Places campaigner takes her PantsDown4Equality

pantsdown4equality Changing Places Sarah

As one brave mum gets set to take her PantsDown4Equality, UCan2 magazine is getting behind the Changing Places campaign to help boost the availability of accessible facilities. Along with carers, parents and disability rights campaigners, we are calling on public places to offer fully accessible disabled toilets, with equipment including adult-sized changing tables and hoists.

On Twitter, the campaign #changingplaces has long been highlighting inadequate toilet facilities. Firms who have invested in the right equipment to ensure people of all abilities can change without being embarrassed – and so that carers can lift and handle without putting themselves at risk – use the hashtag to show off new facilities and equipment.

Changing size of neurons could shed light on new treatments for motor neurone disease

Motor neurone disease

New research published in The Journal of Physiology improves our understanding of how motor nerve cells (neurons) respond to motor neurone disease, which could help us identify new treatment options.

Motor neurone disease referred to as Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis (ALS) is associated with the death of motor nerve cells (neurons). It starts with the progressive loss of muscle function, followed by paralysis and ultimately death due to inability to breathe. Currently, there is no cure for ALS and no effective treatment to halt, or reverse, the progression of the disease. Most people with ALS die within 3 to 5 years from when symptoms first appear.

LOROS Twilight Walk in memory of Leah Reek

LOROS Twilight Walk

“It’s something positive that I can focus my mind on during such a dark time. I know she’ll be smiling down on us all,” says Leah Reek’s mum who has entered this year’s LOROS Twilight Walk in memory of her daughter.

“We’re doing the walk for Leah, I know she would be so proud of us, she’d have a massive smile on her beautiful face.” Mum-of-two Joanne Reek, of Asfordby, says she hoped to raise £1,000 for the Hospice in Leah’s memory.

Since the tragic death of her daughter, Joanne and her family set up a JustGiving page and it has raised an astonishing £15,701 to date.

LOROSJoanne says:

Spinal injuries charity launches pioneering collaborative service

SIA Case

Leading spinal cord injury charity, the Spinal Injuries Association (SIA), has joined forces with Bush & Company, the UK’s largest case management provider, to launch SIA Case Management. Formally launched at the SIA 20th Anniversary charity ball in Manchester on 22nd March, SIA Case Management is the first joint venture of its kind.

It brings together the expertise of Bush & Company’s case management and rehabilitation services with the practical, emotional advice and support offered by the charity. SIA Case Management is the largest UK-wide case management service working solely with adults and children following a spinal cord injury.

Law firms specialising in catastrophic injuries have welcomed this new initiative.

Caldecotte Xperience’s Wheelyboat provides accessible water-based activities

 Action4Youth's new Wheelyboat makes waves on Caldecotte Lake

Caldecotte Xperience in Milton Keynes has launched a wheelchair-accessible Wheelyboat: the first fully accessible power boat to operate at this outdoor activity centre, strengthening existing provisions for people with disabilities. 

Two charities, The Wheelyboat Trust and Action4Youth, workied together on the project, to provide young people with mobility impairments with the ability to participate fully in water-based activities at this centre.

Young filmmakers could get their big break with Business Disability Forum event

Young filmmakers could get their big break with Business Disability Forum event

A disability film festival held by Business Disability Forum in London this summer will see lucky students win a paid job with the production company 90seconds. 

The Business Disability Forum Film Festival, which this year is sponsored by Barclays and will be hosted at KPMG’s headquarters in Canary Wharf, will showcase the best young filmmakers and their takes on what it means to be disabled in 2018. 

The Festival will take place on 20 June 2018 from 3.00pm – 6.00pm.

In the lead-up to the Festival, Business Disability Forum are running a challenge for student and graduate filmmakers, with competing teams given seven days to write, produce and direct a film about disability.

PLAYMOBIL announces sponsorship of World Autism Awareness Week

PLAYMOBIL announces sponsorship of World Autism Awareness Week

PLAYMOBIL toys are played with across the world and enjoyed by children of all ages. In fact in 2017 the toy giant marked the production of its 3 billionth figure.

This year the beloved toy maker is working with the National Autistic Society to explore how the hand-sized figures with the famous smile bring joy to children on the autistic spectrum, and help support their ongoing development.

The partnership will see PLAYMOBIL explore the relationship between children on the autistic spectrum and their much loved PLAYMOBIL toys through a research project. The toy manufacturer is also sponsoring this year’s World Autism Awareness Week (WAAW), taking place from March 26th. The week is the National Autistic Society’s biggest fundraiser of the year.

Four-year-old's mobility dilemma solved by vehicle hire company

Mobility - Mary in the car

A little girl with one of the world’s rarest medical complaints was giving a boost by disability vehicle specialist Adapted Vehicle Hire (AVH) when her family hit severe mobility problems.

Four-year-old Mary Allen, of Nantwich, Cheshire, was born with macrocephaly-capillary malformation syndrome (MCAP) – a condition that affects only 300 people globally and leads to severe physical and learning problems. She also suffers from hydrocephalus and epilepsy, which cause life threatening seizures, and has spent her life in and out of hospitals, including Alder Hey Children’s Hospital in Liverpool and Leighton Hospital in Crewe.

Calvert Trust Kielder unveils new interior design at accessible holiday centre

Calvert Trust Kielder cushion

Wheelchair-accessible holiday accommodation centre Calvert Trust Kielder has joined forces with respected artist and interior designer Anne Curtis to revamp a suite. 

A former quarter-finalist on BBC 2’s The Great Interior Design Challenge, Anne has worked with the award-winning centre’s dedicated team to re-design The Gallery Corridor, consisting of five rooms each with a nature theme to highlight the local wildlife at Kielder Water and Forest Park. 

This is the first time Calvert Trust Kielder has partnered with an interior designer with all parties hoping to mirror the success of the centre's collaboration with architect and TV personality George Clarke  (Amazing Spaces) for its hugely popular ‘Sky Den’ accommodation.

Could you make a Videocamp film about inclusive education?

Videocamp supporter Sally Phillips

Filmmakers with disabilities are being invited to enter a Videocamp funding competition, where the winner will be given prize money to spend on producing their movie.

The $400,000 (£285,000) Videocamp Film Fund 2018 will be awarded to the maker of a film (animation, documentary or fiction) on the theme of “inclusive education”. The competition is open to filmmakers worldwide, and is the largest social impact film fund of its kind. It launches at the UN on World Down Syndrome Day, 21 March 2018, and entries close on 21 June 2018.

Legendary Personalities to Join Sir Richard Stilgoe’s Orpheus - the Mythical

Legendary Personalities to Join Sir Richard Stilgoe’s Orpheus - the Mythical

So here is our story, more ancient than hist’ry, With monsters and mortals and Gods on their thrones. This March, the Orpheus Centre celebrate their 20th birthday with a musical extravaganza at The Other Palace. Highlighting their important work, alumni and current students from this pioneering disabilities charity will join forces with recent graduates from the Arts Educational School to present Sir Richard Stilgoe’s Orpheus – The Mythical.

Disability rights campaigner and scientist Stephen Hawking dies

Prof Stephen Hawking

Stephen Hawking — 'Remember to look up at the stars and not down at your feet.'

Professor Stephen Hawking has died at the age of 76, leaving a legacy of scientific discoveries as well as years of campaigning for disabled rights.

Prof. Hawking, who suffered from motor neurone disease and had been wheel-chair bound since the late 1960s, saw worldwide success as a leading physicist. his book The Brief History of Time (1988) sold over 20million copies in its first 20 years of publication. It was written in an easy-to-understand style, so readers without prior knowledge of scientific theories could understand complex ideas including general relativity and quantum mechanics.

Disability employment specialist awarded Most Inspirational Social Care Professional

Autism Awards

A Surrey Choices employment support specialist is celebrating after winning a prestigious award at the National Autistic Society’s Autism Awards 2018.

Winner in the ‘Most Inspirational Social Care Professional’ category, Carolyn Tucker impressed the judges with her exceptional contribution to the lives of autistic people.

Carolyn supports people with a wide range of disabilities by helping them to find employment opportunities with local employers.

The support specialist works for the EmployAbility Service at Surrey Choices with adults who may have traditionally found it difficult to secure employment. EmployAbility is a dedicated service that helps to find work placements, training, volunteer opportunities and paid work with employers.

Wheelchair star Ade Adepitan launches crowdsourcing campaign #mymobilityunlimited

#mymobilityunlimited ambassadors

Wheelchair basketball player Ade Adepitan and journalist and broadcaster Martyn Sibley announce a global crowdsourcing campaign to find solutions to the challenges faced by people with lower-limb paralysis. The crowdsourcing, entitled #mymobilityunlimited, will hopefully inspire innovators taking part in the Mobility Unlimited Challenge.