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Top Wheelchair Basketball Star to Judge Innovative Design Competition

Innovative Design Competition

ONE of the country’s top wheelchair basketball stars is to judge an Innovative Design Competition which aims to find the best new innovations to help people with disabilities.

Robyn Love, from Ayr, represented the British team at the 2016 Paralympic Games in Rio de Janeiro and currently plays for club side Lothian Phoenix in Armadale, West Lothian.

She will sit with a panel of experts to judge the annual Blackwood Design Awards (BDA), which invite budding designers, engineers and inventors to submit their creations to help disabled people live life to the full.

The fate of the shortlisted designs will lie in the hands of eight judges, with entrants asked to perform a ‘Dragon’s Den’ style pitch to them before a winner is selected.

Active Minds help people with dementia lead active lives

Active Minds

Active Minds have recently launched seasonally themed and easy-to-do activity guides that people living with dementia, family and carers can all participate in. Globally, the numbers of people living with dementia are predicted to increase from 50 million in 2017 to over 125 million in 2050. Activities such as painting have been proven to help people reconnect with their surroundings and can reduce isolation and depression.

Heathrow celebrates International Wheelchair Day 10th anniversary

International Wheelchair Day

Heathrow, in partnership with its special assistance service provider OmniServ, recently showcased a revolutionary Japanese-designed WHILL high-tech wheelchair to mark the 10th anniversary of International Wheelchair Day.

The WHILL – which has been dubbed "the world's most futuristic-looking wheelchair" – was designed by a start-up company created by a team of engineers from Japanese companies Sony, Toyota, Olympus and Panasonic.

When used in conjunction with beacon technology, mobile devices and other high-tech systems, WHILL wheelchairs can be controlled using smartphones, can travel in convoy through an airport and can be programmed to move themselves to where they are needed, without passengers or attendants.

New handbook for teenagers living with brain injury

Childrens Trust

A new handbook for teenagers living with brain injury has been launched by The Childrens Trust. Me and My Brain gives advice and guidance on topics such as independence, bullying, driving and education. It also includes real life experiences of young people living with the condition.

Created by The Childrens Trust’s team of medical professionals and teenagers affected by brain injury, Me and My Brain helps explain the lifelong condition. It provides tips and strategies on some of the challenges such as fatigue and memory loss.

The resource is recommended for family members, teachers and carers, emphasising brain injury as a hidden disability, which can be very difficult for those affected to explain.

Why aren’t more people with disabilities in ads? Because they ‘make people uncomfortable’

physical disabilities

New research has highlighted the ongoing struggle for people with mental and physical disabilities when it comes to appearing in advertising and getting away from negative stereotypes.

When asked why they think those with mental disabilities aren’t currently visible enough in UK advertising, 62% of Brits say it’s because they ‘make people uncomfortable’, while 43% say it’s because Brits aren’t exposed enough to people in this community.

Regarding the lack of those with physical disabilities in ads, 55% of Brits again say it’s because they make people uncomfortable – while 43% believe that brands are risking ‘not appealing to people’ with those adverts. A shocking third (34%) even say that it’s because people with physical disabilities are ‘not attractive’.

Opticians to get Clearer View of Visual Impairment

Thomas Pocklington Trust

Thomas Pocklington Trust are supporting entrepreneur Daniel Williams, and dispensing optician Peter Black, to drive forward the message that no patient should be diagnosed with an eye condition and left to fend for themselves. 

This innovative and insightful course leaves optometrists and dispensing opticians empowered with knowledge to deliver the highest quality service to their VIPs (visually impaired patients).

Experts to carry out independent review of Disabled Facilities Grant

Disabled Facilities Grant

The University of West of England has been appointed by the Government to carry out an independent review of the Disabled Facilities Grant (DFG) that England has to offer.

The University will be working with Foundations, the Building Research Establishment (BRE), Ferret Information Systems and an experienced occupational therapist to look at both the operation of the grant and the wider delivery of home adaptations to support the independence of disabled people living in their own homes.

The review, commissioned by the Department of Health and Social Care, will include a series of workshops this month.

Despite increases to the annual DFG budget, demand for adaptations has always outstripped supply and this is set to continue as the population ages.

Raising the Bar for Disabled Riders with Accessibility Mark

Accessibility Mark

Cloud Stables based in Reading has become the latest equestrian Accessibility Mark Centre to gain accreditation with a national scheme to provide more riding opportunities for disabled riders.

Cloud Stables based in Reading has successfully fulfilled the necessary criteria to become an Accessibility Mark Centre. Established since 1972, Cloud Stables provides lessons for riders of all abilities, using their fantastic facilities that boast both an indoor and outdoor arena.

Riding for the Disabled Association, in partnership with the British Equestrian Federation, launched the revolutionary Accessibility Mark scheme to work with commercial riding centres with the aim of getting more disabled people to participate in riding.

AutonoMe is funding to help learning disability support business grow

AutonoMe

AutonoMe has secured a total of £350,000 of new investment allowing the high-tech disabled support provider to double its workforce, further improve the technology and scale up its support platform for people with learning disabilities.

AutonoMe has offices in Bristol’s Engine Shed and in Weston-Super-Mare and the scale-up funds will help further develop its product and support a growing client base delivering independent living skills to people with learning disabilities.

William Britton, Founder and CEO of AutonoMe, said:

Driving Miss Daisy

Driving Miss Daisy

Susie Bennett, 43, lives in Teesside and has been using the services of Driving Miss Daisy for 3 years. 

“I was born in 1974, with cerebral palsy.  Back in the 70’s I initially attended a special school that was recommended via the local hospital, but then I went on to mainstream senior school.  When I left sixth form, I immediately started working for Cleveland County Council and then went on to work for 20 years at Stockton on Tees Borough Council.  Before leaving there, I taught maths and English to adults that couldn’t read and write.

I have never let my disability stop me from living my life, although a lot of people don’t get out because of the effort it takes to travel and I can understand that.

Contacta new hearing feature

hearing aid

Unique email alert system is stand out feature of Contacta’s remote monitoring module. Assistive hearing specialists, Contacta, have developed a remote monitoring module that alerts installers via email when a hearing loop driver develops a fault.

The RMM1 works with the company’s HLD7 and HLD9 large area drivers and provides a remote visual indicator of up to two of the drivers in standalone configuration or a pair in phased array.

Drive levels and loop output levels can also be adjusted from a laptop or mobile device via an embedded web service.

Previous models from the company have alerted users via SMS but the addition of email alert allows for comprehensive information to be transmitted quickly, ensuring system updates can be monitored efficiently. 

Adapted trike

Adapted trike

Charity funding for adapted trike sees disabled 11-year-old cycle for first time since brain injury

An eleven-year-old boy, who was a keen cyclist before he suffered a severe brain haemorrhage over three years ago, is now able to ride a bike for the first time since his injury after a children’s charity provided funding for a specially adapted trike.

Jimmy, who lives in Exeter, suffered a spontaneous bleed to the brain after a family day out. Despite his family being told there was little chance of survival, Jimmy pulled through but as a result suffered devastating injuries. Severe hemiplegia on his right side meant he was unable to speak, walk, swallow or even support his own head.

Gregory House Achieves Outstanding Rating

Gregory House

Healthcare inspectors have awarded Gregory House care home in Grantham, run by The Orders of St John Care Trust, the highest possible ranking of ‘outstanding’.

 

The Care Quality Commission’s report, published 18 December, commended Tracy Turfrey, the manager, and her staff’s commitment to person-centred care, praising the home’s ‘positive, person-centred and open culture’. Gregory House is one of fewer than 250 residential homes of over 27,000 in England to achieve this distinction.

 

The independent regulator of health and social care described Ms Turfrey as ‘inspiring and dedicated to providing care which met the highest of standards’.

 

All smiles as Leanna makes tremendous progress

A young woman called Leanna who had been struggling with behaviour and communication problems has undergone an amazing transformation over the past year.

 

Twelve months ago, Leanna Carey would keep herself to herself in her bedroom at Coneyhurst Lodge in Worthing, a residential care home for adults with complex health needs run by the Regard Group.

 

Regard is the UK’s fourth biggest private provider of supported living and specialist residential services in the UK for people with learning disabilities, mental health needs and acquired brain injury.

 

Coneyhurst Lodge’s deputy manager, Daniel Adams, who arrived in September 2016, said proudly: “Over the past year, Leanna has come on leaps and bounds.”

 

New product for neurological patients boosts recovery process

New product boosts recovery process for neurological patients

A pioneering piece of equipment for neurological patients is fast becoming a recognised tool in helping to retrain the brain after a stroke, injury or illness. Staff journalist Holly Harrison speaks to founder Andrew Marshall to find out more about how this simple tool is taking the healthcare sector by storm. People living with limited mobility as a result of a stroke, injury or illness have been thrown a lifeline as a clever, new product wins industry praise.

Chester offers 21st-century accessibility for stress-free holiday

Chester offers 21st-century accessibility for stress-free holiday

Steeped in a history that dates back almost 2000 years, Chester is a city with a tale to tell - and tip top accessibility solutions to boot.
Nestled on the border between England and Wales, Chester boasts a unique culture that is brimming with British history.
Claimed by the Romans in the first century, Chester quickly became one of the most pivotal cities of ancient Britain - a legacy that can still be seen on the city streets today.
Chester began life as a Roman army camp, so sights of centurions wandering the streets looking for selfie opportunities is all part and parcel of a normal day in peak season.

Call for healthcare reform after son’s battle to access life-saving equipment

Mum calls for healthcare reform after son’s battle to access life-saving equipment

“Freddie was sports obsessed, he loved music and he loved life.”

Emma Parkes spoke with both passion and pride as she begins to describe her wonderful son, Freddie. A fantastic sportsman, Freddie Kemp made a huge impact on his local sports community in Cornwall, excelling at power chair football and even setting up Cornwall’s first-ever boccia club. Freddie won widespread recognition in the Cornwall Sports Awards 2014, when he was named disabled sports coach of the year, and also bagged an award for disability club of the year. Emma continued: “He was such good fun and mad as a box of frogs! He was just a lovely young man.”

 

100 days until the Paralympic Heritage Flame events

100 days until the Paralympic Heritage Flame events

In true Vale tradition Aylesbury’s Stoke Mandeville Stadium is set to play host to the Paralympic Heritage Flame Lighting Ceremony, in the run up to the 2018 Paralympic Winter Games to be held in PyeongChang, South Korea.

On Friday 2 March 2018 the Stadium will be lit up to bring Paralympic sport to the fore in a day of sporting demonstrations, talks and events.