Independent Living

Mapping for Change’s ‘Ramp It Up!’ Competition

Ramp It Up

Running a social media contest to improve accessibility in our towns and cities

The London based social enterprise Mapping for Change is encouraging local businesses to improve access to their premises with a competition to win one of ten wheelchair ramps. Those one or two steps at the entrances of buildings should not be a barrier to those with limited mobility. Nor should they stop business owners from accessing an estimated £200bn of spending power from people in the UK with disabilities. A wheelchair ramp is a simple way to counter those steps, even on listed buildings or rented premises as it is completely portable.

Paralysed builder walks again thanks to pioneering technology

Gheorghe can now go for strolls around the local park

A paralysed man who was told he would never walk again has taken his first steps, thanks to a life-changing exoskeleton suit.  

Gheorghe Duncan, from Bromley, was left paralysed from the waist-down after he fell nine metres while working in 2011. 

The 42-year-old, who was working as a labourer at the time of his accident, was told he would spend his life in a wheelchair, but is now able to go for a stroll around his local park, thanks to a pioneering piece of technology. 

Considered Construction Boosts Business

Woman in wheelchair

An experienced architect, city planner or builder will already be aware of the Equality Act(2010) and its predecessor the Disability Discrimination Act (1995) in regard to ensuring disabled access to public buildings, offices or new-build homes.

Being sympathetic to a wide range of disabilities and individual needs can be challenging for any business, but it’s imperative that companies think more inclusively when they’re developing their premises.

Government faces backlash over plans to change PIPs criteria

Government announces changes to PIP payments

Changes to disability benefits have been criticised with claims that 160,000 people could lose out on much-needed payments. 

The government has announced plans to make amendments to the Personal Independence Payments (PIPs) following two legal judgements, which called for more points to be given to people suffering from psychological difficulties. 

Penny Mordaunt, minister of state for disabled people, health and work, made the announcement last week saying the amendments were necessary to bring the system back to its original purpose: to ensure the support is given to the people who need it more. 

Ambitious Charity Unveils Progress of Innovative New Housing


THE CONSTRUCTION of six pioneering homes set to transform the lives of those with disabilities is well underway in Dundee.

Designed and created by Blackwood, one of Scotland’s leading housing and care providers, the hugely innovative houses will set a new standard of accessibility by combining technology, modern construction and engagement to meet customers’ changing needs.

Since it built its first home in Dundee in 1972, Blackwood has endeavored to be a pioneer in accessible housing. Today, the Blackwood vision is to be able to offer beautiful, accessible and affordable homes.

Measuring success by growing independence

Rebecca receives her certificate from the Mayor of Croydon

For Joseph Osoba and his team at a supported living service in Penge, South East London, while it tugs at the heart-strings to say ‘goodbye’ to the individuals they support when they move out and start living independently, it is also a time for celebration.

“They all have learning disabilities and associated mental health issues, and they come to us for support in learning the skills that will enable them to live on their own, so when they’re ready to move on, it means we’ve done our job,’ Joseph said, “but it’s always hard to see them go.”

The latest success story from Joseph’s service, Crystal House, is 24-year-old Harrison, who lived with them for just over a year.

Campaign launches to develop deeper understanding of attitudes towards home adaptations

 home adaptations

A crowdfunding campaign has been launched to fund research into older people’s views on adapted homes.

It is hoped insight drawn from the work will help to improve support services and enable more people to live independently.

The campaign, launched on Crowdfunder – – has been set up by Foundations, the national body for England’s 200 not-for-profit home improvement agencies.

‘Wheelchair versus buggy’ ruling welcomed

wheelchair user and bus

Yesterday’s bus space ‘wheelchair versus buggy’ Supreme Court judgment has been hailed a “significant change of culture.”
Wheelchair user Doug Paulley, who brought the case, is reportedly “absolutely delighted” with the ruling – which means bus drivers will have to do more to ensure wheelchair users can get on buses.

Previously passengers with buggies occupying wheelchair spaces could be ‘requested’ to vacate the space. But FirstGroup’s policy did not require any more of their drivers than simply making the request. 

Disability North announces return of popular exhibition

The largest independent living event in north of England is opening its doors once again to give disabled people access to must-have products and services. 

Disability North has been hosting the free event for disabled or elderly people and their families, in addition to carers and healthcare professionals, for the past 30 years.

Now event organisers are on the hunt for leading businesses and suppliers in the sector to exhibit at the show, which is organised in partnership with Moving and Handling People North. 

Exhibitors will be able to meet directly with potential customers and publicise themselves at the biggest event of the year. 

Now Delta 7 are taking the next step in their career with the release of first ever track ‘The Jungle’

Delta 7

Delta 7 are a seven-piece rock band from Eastbourne, East Sussex, who write and perform all their own material. Band members Mikey, Fraser, Elliot, Harry, David, Craig and Speedy have different personalities, talents and disabilities. But their shared love of performing, positive energy and mutual support allows them to create music that is infectious and inspiring, making Delta 7 an uplifting and powerful voice for everyone who feels a little outside ‘the mainstream’ of society. 

‘Please Offer Me a Seat’ badge and card to be rolled out permanently, as trial proves to be a great success

badge of ladies top

• 1,200 people with invisible impairments took part in the successful six-week trial across TfL’s network 

• Badge and card to be introduced on a permanent basis in spring 2017

• TfL will be first European transport provider to officially recognise invisible impairments and conditions


Transport for London (TfL) is pleased to announce that a blue badge for those less able to stand on public transport will be introduced on a permanent basis in spring. 

Long-awaited change to planning law will benefit disabled people

 Long-awaited change to plannning law will benefit disabled people

Aspire, a national charity that provides practical help to people who have been paralysed by Spinal Cord Injury, is delighted that this week the Government has agreed to amend planning law so that local authorities will have a legal duty to plan housing for disabled people.


The amendment to the Neighbourhood Planning Bill was tabled by Heidi Allen, MP for South Cambridgeshire, who worked with Aspire, Habinteg and the Papworth Trust to come up with its wording and frame her case and also has the support of Housing and Planning Minister Gavin Barwell.


ProMove Sling

ProMove Sling


Established in 2007, ProMove UK Ltd manufactures and supply’s the ProMove sling. The unique design of the ProMove sling means it can be used to move an individual in a confined or outdoor location where a hoist cannot be used.

The ProMove sling allows an individual to be moved without being manhandled and with the least risk to the operator. It has been independently tested to carry a range of different sized individuals, from children aged 3 years to large adults weighing up to 45 stone.

Essential Bathing are the UK distributors

open door bath


Essential Bathing is pleased to introduce to the UK the OASIS bath range. Currently selling in the U.S.A, the baths are built to the highest standard and give the best range of optional extras on the market today. Options such as heated seat and back, Chromotherapy light , air and water jet spa systems,  water re heater, Aromatherapy, MP3 player and even a water proof TV.

Built in an acrylic composite, the shell is much stronger than normal and resists mold and staining. The door and jamb are made in aluminium for extra safety and strength. Front and side panels are included.

Vision Support Services Offer Specialist Healthcare Textiles In Brand New Online Shop


Leading textile supplier and distributor, Vision Support Services, have launched a brand new online shop in a bid to ensure their customers can shop with them 24/7.

The new online shop houses all three of their leading product brands under one roof including the specialist Whitakers range, the performance Hilden brand and the luxury Liddell collections.