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Inclusive bathrooms, by Paul Bailey of GROHE

GROHE inclusive bathrooms - Paul Bailey

Paul Bailey, Senior Product Manager at GROHE UK, discusses the need for careful design when it comes to accessible, inclusive bathrooms…

The design and features of inclusive bathrooms should be carefully considered, as it is the room where people perhaps most want to be self-sufficient to preserve dignity and save themselves from feelings of embarrassment. There are a number of ways that bathroom design can be structured in order to be accessible and ergonomic for wheelchair users or those with reduced mobility or additional needs.

Burning Issues with Jenni Meredith

Jenni Meredith - cartoon by Tony Meredith

Jenni Meredith, UCan2 contributor, on the pressing issues of the moment – from finance to fears over losing a carer…

Deflating debt

The other day, calling at our local optician’s to collect my husband’s new glasses, I had to wait whilst the assistant chatted on the phone to one of her friends. Not that I was eavesdropping, but it’s hard to avoid overhearing in small shops when you are the only customer. I think the friend or maybe a relative was sharing bad news because the optician’s assistant came away from that conversation fairly agitated and all worked up for a ‘put-the-world-to-rights’ session with anyone within shouting distance. I was that anyone. 

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.
 

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

Welcome return of dedicated break at Kielder charity

A room at the Calvert Trust Kielder

DATES have been confirmed for the Calvert Trust Kielder popular Multiple Sclerosis (MS) break which gives people with MS the opportunity to try a variety of activities, relax and have fun in spectacular surroundings.

The dedicated breaks offer those living with MS a chance to develop new skills and interests, increase their confidence and make new friends thanks to a special programme of activities including golf buggies, sailing and visits to local places of interest.

Taking place from 11 th – 18 th June 2018 at the charity’s award-winning centre in the beautiful Kielder forest, the week includes full board accommodation, professional instructor-led activities and full use of specialised facilities.

Meryem spreads her wings

Park Road

A young woman from Sittingbourne who is living proof that having learning difficulties need not stand in the way of being independent, has written her own account of the progress Park Road has enabled her to make over the past year.

Meryem Kizigol, 34, said:

“When I came to Park Road at the start of March last year I was unable to do a lot of the basic stuff. I kept myself to myself - a very lonely life. I can now do all my own laundry myself, cook, go for daily walks, do house chores and even do my own food shopping.  After a lot of support and encouragement I have been able to do this with no support from staff.”

Research shows that children with autism are able to create imaginary friends

Imaginary companions

PLAYING with imaginary companions (IC) helps children learn essential social skills such as empathy with other people.  It is often believed that autistic youngsters are incapable of creating pretend play pals – a further hindrance to their development of emotional understanding.

But now a project headed by a University of Huddersfield researcher confirms that children diagnosed with autism are able to create and play with ICs.  Further research is to be conducted and could eventually help to develop new therapies.

Ealing domiciliary care service rated Outstanding by CQC

Living Domiciliary

Ealing based, Support for Living Domiciliary Care Agency, has been rated Outstanding overall by the Care Quality Commission.

It was rated Outstanding for being well-led and effective. It was rated Good for being safe, caring and responsive, following the inspection in December 2017.

Support for Living Domiciliary Care Agency provides care and support to people living in 'supported living' settings, so that they can live in their own home as independently as possible.

The provider, Certitude, is a national provider of services for people with a learning disability, physical disability or with mental health needs.

Cat Parmenter - Driving Miss Daisy

Driving Miss Daisy

I have been using Driving Miss Daisy since February 2018, after my highly specialised drive-from-wheelchair car provided by Motability was declared a write off. I’ve had Cerebral Palsy from birth & after several years of deterioration, I use an electric wheelchair for the majority of the day, and travel with a working assistance dog provided by Canine Partners, named Etta.

Driving Miss Daisy has been a lifeline, after my highly specialised drive-from-wheelchair car provided by Motability was declared a write off. That car was my key to independence; without it, isolation and depression set in.

World Snooker Disability Day 2018

World Snooker Disability Day

World Snooker Disability Day will once again be staged during the Betfred World Snooker Championship in Sheffield on Wednesday 25th April 2018.

With activities to run throughout the day at the ‘Cue Zone’ situated at the Winter Garden, close to the Crucible Theatre, the event aims to raise awareness of disability snooker and encourage people with disabilities to participate in snooker as either players, fans or officials.

How does visual impairment differ demographically?

Sight loss

Worryingly, charities have raised concerns that by 2050, sight loss in the UK could double to affect over four million people. As of 2017, it’s estimated that there are more than two million people suffering with sight loss in the UK. However, just 360,000 of those are officially registered as blind. Troublingly, according to RNIB, 250 people every day start to lose their sight, with one in five people suffering from sight loss in their lifetime.     

Here we look at the most common causes of sight loss — and discuss if there could be ways to cure it.

All fair sailing for Mark

Sail Close

A young man with learning difficulties is enjoying a new lease of life after moving to a supported living service, Sail Close near King’s Lynn.

Since Mark Lowman - who is 27 and has learning difficulties - relocated from a service on the opposite side of town in February, he is ‘a different man’ according to senior support worker Danielle Garrigan.

“Mark was very keen to be living closer to his mum,” said Danielle. “His previous home was 20 miles away, whereas now she’s just around the corner, so that’s a big part of why he’s happier, but that’s not the only reason.

“We’ve given him a lot of personal support and he has settled in quickly at Sail Close, where he’s developing new skills including a much better understanding of how to manage his money.”

How technology is enabling those on their dementia journey to experience ‘moments of happiness’

There are 850,000 people with dementia in the UK, with numbers set to rise to over 1 million by 2025. Although dementia is usually associated with the elderly, there are over 40,000 people under the age of 65 who have dementia in the UK.

Dementia is something which affects a lot of us, from those who have experienced it first-hand, to the family members and friends of those who are on their journey.

UK’s leading provider of community equipment donates mobility aids to children living in world’s poorest countries

NRS Healthcare

NRS Healthcare, the UK’s leading provider of community equipment, has worked with Cambridgeshire and Peterborough Country Council’s to donate a range of their children’s mobility aids overseas, in order to help youngsters in some of the world’s poorest countries.

New Scottish Mountain Trike Experience Centre for the Mountain Trike Company

Mountain Trike Company

The Mountain Trike Company produce and manufacture all terrain wheelchairs which are designed to travel over uneven ground, offering wheelchair users inclusive access to the great outdoors.

The Mountain Trike wheelchairs are sold worldwide, either directly to customers, or through a distributor network and the company have been working with organisations throughout the UK setting up Mountain Trike Experience Centres, where fleets of Mountain Trike wheelchairs are available for demos or hires.

Leading disability vehicle hire company accelerates to record growth

Adapted Vehicle Hire

Adapted Vehicle Hire (AVH), came to the rescue of a little girl with one of the world’s rarest medical complaints as 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.

Bryerley Springs Equestrian Centre Gains Accessibility Mark Accreditation

Accessibility Mark scheme

A Milton Keynes equestrian centre has secured an accreditation to the Accessibility Mark scheme to encourage more disabled people to take up horse riding.

With the mental and physical benefits of horse riding well documented, the centre hopes its Accessibility Mark accreditation will help reach out to a wider group of riders.

The Riding for the Disabled Association (RDA), in partnership with the British Equestrian Federation (BEF), launched the revolutionary Accessibility Mark scheme to work with commercial riding centres with the aim of opening up more opportunities for disabled people to participate in riding.

New study to help people with long-term pain conditions back into work

Getting back

The University of Warwick is leading a project on getting back to work after you have have been unemployed due to long term pain conditions.

Called RISE (Return to Work with Individualised Supported Employment) it will provide short-term supported work placements matched with each individual’s ability. The study is co-ordinated by the University of Warwick and funded by Arthritis Research UK in hopes of getting people back to work.

The study is designed to examine how to help people with long term health conditions overcome obstacles to return, and remain, in the workforce.

New online resources for older adults struggling with mental illness

MindEd

MindEd for Older People is a new online educational resource that explains a range of mental illnesses commonly experienced by older people, and offers practical advice for dealing with them.

A team of older people and professionals are the authors behind the new MindEd resources which cover a range of common problems such as insomnia, depression, medications to be aware of, anxiety and alcohol-related problems.

The resources are a vital crutch at a time when demand for mental health services is increasing whilst supply of the mental health workforce for older people is falling. The number of Old Age psychiatrists has declined 8.5% since November 2013.

Shhh Quiet at the Aquarium

 Autism Awareness Week

As part of World Autism Awareness Week (26th March – 2nd April), The National Marine Aquarium will be hosting a special ‘quiet’ event next week for families with sensory needs.  

Taking place on Thursday 29th March, the afterhours event will invite visitors to enjoy the Aquarium’s surroundings without the noise and distraction of the daily shows, enabling them to appreciate the true beauty and calmness of the marine environment. The exclusive evening is tailored for people on the autistic spectrum and those with other sensory needs to allow them to experience the exhibits in a relaxed and stress-free atmosphere – as well as provide an opportunity to see the Aquarium's 4,000 ocean animals at night.