News

Putting an end to ‘hidden disabilities'

Blue Badge Scheme

The Department for Transport recently announced that the Blue Badge Scheme will change. New criteria will mean people who have hidden disabilities that make it hard to travel safely will be eligible for a Blue Badge. This will help people with disabilities like autism and learning disabilities and people with mental health conditions.

When you have a hidden disability you are working against people’s ignorance. If people can’t see a disability then they don’t think it’s there, or they don’t believe the severity of your disability is what you say it is.

I have cerebral palsy and learning difficulties. I think that if I lined up 10 people, 9 out of 10 wouldn’t see my disability or wouldn’t believe it.

£76m a year for vulnerable people to live independently

Specialised housing

Thousands of extra homes, Specialised housing designed for people with disabilities, mental health issues and older people who need extra support, will be created over the next three years with an additional £76 million a year, government announce today.

This supported or specialised housing is designed to be accessible and aid independent living by having features including:

Individual home with their own front door flexibility to adapt or install equipment or assistive technology in the home varying levels of personal care and support to residents, including access to GP or other health services communal areas (for housing for older people)

Back pain AI app could save economy billions each year

Kaia back pain app

Stephan Huber, Chief Medical Officer of Kaia Health, discussed the back pain app and how it could save the economy billions each year…

How long has the app been in production for and who developed it? 

The app has been produced for 2.5 years now and it is still being redeveloped continuously to adapt to user feedback, and to continuously improve clinical outcomes. The Kaia team are working on this daily. We developed the app in Munich, Germany with a strong collaboration with University Pain Centers including the Center for Interdisciplinary Pain Medicine at the Technical University of Munich. 

Tell us about the clinical trials. How did the app make a difference?

Carers get chance to win UK holiday in #GladtoCare competition

The Care Workers Charity

Carers from across the UK are being invited to take part in the #GladtoCare competition for the chance to win a fabulous holiday with Haven. The photo competition is being run by Person Centred Software with The Care Workers Charity.

To enter, carers are invited to request a tote bag (free of charge) and to take a photo of themselves with the tote bag doing something that makes them ‘glad to care’ (no need to include a resident) and say in two sentences (or less!) why it makes them proud to be a carer. Entries can be posted online with the hashtag #GladtoCare or emailed to gladtocare@personcentredsoftware.com.  The competition closes at midnight on 10 December 2018.

GOSH and visual impairment charities tackle mental health link

Visually impaired children

Visually impaired children face increased risk of developing mental health problems says new research revealed at international conference.

New research shows that eight to 11-year-old children with a visual impairment and no additional intellectual disability are three times more likely to develop a mental health problem than their sighted peers. About a third are at high risk of anxiety or mood disorders and about half show difficulties in quality of life or adaptive behaviour. This new research was presented at a major conference in London this month by clinical academics at Great Ormond Street Hospital NHS Foundation Trust (GOSH) and the UCL Great Ormond Street Institute of Child Health (ICH).

Chris Wood Releases His Business Drive With Dragon

Dragon communication system

One cycle ride was all it took to transform the life of former professional rally co-driver and automotive consultant, Chris Wood. Having blasted through the world’s most famous rally courses with some of the world’s most respected rally teams and co-piloted drivers - including Alister McRae – Chris’ life changed in December 2012. During a cycle ride a few days before Christmas, he struck a kerb and was thrown from his bike. The seemingly innocuous fall had serious consequences. Two damaged vertebrae at the top of Chris’ spinal cord rendered him tetraplegic. This left Chris with little to no movement below the neck.

Caalm Camp

Caalm Camp

Caalm Camp offers a beautiful glamping experience with a difference – Original Mongolian Yurts in the beautiful North Dorset countryside.  Situated just south of Shaftesbury in Dorset, our former dairy farm enjoys stunning views across the Blackmore Vale, to Duncliffe Woods, Bulbarrow and Hambledon Hill. Caalm Camp has been voted to be the best Glamping Site in the South West by campsites.co.uk

Model and Influencer Samanta Bullock Joins wheelAIR as Official Brand Ambassador

wheelAIR

Glasgow based healthcare start-up, wheelAIR, have secured the model, athlete and influencer Samanta Bullock as their second official brand ambassador.

Originally from Brazil, Samanta has had a glittering career as a former Paralympic tennis player, a successful model and style icon as well as a key representative for many disability inclusion groups.

Samanta started using the wheelAIR on her wheelchair in London this year to stay cool during the extremely hot weather we have been having.

Incredible Arm Gives Harry’s Hero Ben McBean A Confidence Boost

Dorset Orthopaedic prosthetic arm

When former soldier and double amputee Ben McBean saw someone in Plymouth wearing a lifelike prosthetic arm, he had to know where he could get his own — and he found what he needed at Dorset Orthopaedic.

Thanks to the clinic’s internationally-renowned silicone workshop in Ringwood, Ben, 31, of Richmond, has an arm so lifelike people often don’t realise he is wearing a prosthesis.

He said:

“All my friends and family were pretty shocked when they first saw it. I don’t think people realise what can be done to be honest! The best thing about it is the fact most people don’t even notice I have a prosthetic arm and that says it all.”

MyLiferaft

MyLiferaft

Nothing really prepares you for parenthood and caring for a child with additional needs carries extra challenges. Nicola Murgatroyd, the founder of MyLiferaft, was a working mother and parent carer for her daughter Faith. Sheunderstands the world of being a parent carer and wanted to find a way to make life easier for families.  

“I realised the lack of joined up care meant that parents, carers, education and medical professionals frequently held the same information, but none of it was shared.  I wished there was one place I could hold all our information, and then share it with others. This is what we have created with MyLiferaft – a secure online tool to support families managing extra care related work; but also helps with aspects of modern day living”.

Gold-medal winning Paralympian launches start-up to tackle disability stereotypes

The Ability People, TAP

A gold-medal winning Paralympian is launching a new business venture set to challenge assumptions about the careers those living with disabilities can build and the role they can play in the jobs market.

The business, a recruitment consultancy called The Ability People (TAP), will be headed up by former Paralympic swimming champion Liz Johnson and staffed exclusively by people living with disabilities. The start-up will be operating on a for-profit basis, not as a charity, and is aiming to secure major recruitment deals with some of the country’s largest and most sought after employers whilst simultaneously creating opportunities for its consultants to build thriving careers.

Epic cruises for adventurers with physical limitations

Expedition cruises

Expedition cruises are one of easiest, most reliable and least stressful options for people, of all ages and physical capabilities, wanting that truly epic holiday adventure.  With more cruise lines than ever before departing to exotic climes directly from the UK – and from a number of easily accessible, new, regional departure ports too, such as Falmouth, Newcastle, Liverpool and Swansea –  cruise lines are helping UK travellers avoid all the hassle of air travel, with the forever possibility of flight cancellations, lengthy check-in procedures and over-crowded planes. A number of cruise lines have also introduced special onboard features that enhance the experience for travellers with disabilities.

Westway Sports & Fitness Centre launches accessible climbing sessions for people with disabilities

Westway Sports & Fitness Centre

Westway Sports & Fitness Centre, operated by Everyone Active in partnership with Westway Trust, has recently received funding from Activate to launch climbing sessions for those with disabilities. The sessions cost £1 per one-hour session and will take place in the afternoon and early evening weekdays.

Thanks to funding and in a bid to ensure climbing is accessible to everyone, Westway Sports & Fitness Centre will be offering climbing sessions to anyone with a disability during the school term times. The centre is launching sessions which will facilitate anyone who is in a wheelchair or mobile impaired, autistic, blind, deaf or suffers from mental health problems.

Superhero Tri backed by Professor Greg Whyte OBE

Superhero Tri Greg and David

Following the success of last year’s Superhero Series, the only sports series dedicated to the UK’s 13.3 million people with disabilities and long-term injuries, event partner npower has launched an innovative new service to enable even more families to participate in the inspirational Superhero Tri. 

The new ‘npower support squad’ will provide support dinghies and volunteers to give participants even more confidence to enter the swim section and enjoy the rewarding experience. In addition to providing assistance in the water at Dorney Lake on 18 August, 2018, the support squad will be fully involved on land from leading participants in the warm-up to cheering them across the finish line. 

Npower support squad enables more families to find their superpowers at superhero tri

Superhero Series

Following the success of last year’s Superhero Series, npower is once again supporting the only sports series dedicated to the UK’s 13.3 million people with disabilities and long-term injuries. The energy supplier is announcing the launch of an innovative new service, the ‘npower support squad’, to enable even more families to participate in the inspirational Superhero Tri at Dorney Lake on 18 August, 2018.

A recent study indicated that disabled people are twice as likely to be physically inactive (43 per cent) as non-disabled people (21 per cent) due to a lack of confidence or access to specialist equipment.1

New AI app which reduces low back pain by 40% launches in the UK

Kaia app

Low back pain (LBP) is an increasingly widespread and expensive condition worldwide, and the World Health Organisation (WHO) has identified back pain as being the global number one reason for disability. According to the Office for National Statistics back pain accounts for almost 31 million days of work lost in 2013 costing the UK economy £14bn a year - but this could now change thanks to an AI app which launches in the UK, and has significantly reduced the pain intensity of LBP by 40% in a recent clinical study.

Wheelchair users call for urgent innovation to increase economic productivity in UK

Toyota Mobility Foundation

Data from a new international survey of wheelchair users on behalf of the Toyota Mobility Foundation highlights the need for innovation in the field of assistive technology to allow people with limited mobility in the UK the opportunity to fulfil their potential in the workplace. The impact of which could have huge consequences for the estimated 65 million people worldwide who use a wheelchair and for the global economy.

Adventure Awaits For Amazing Grace Thanks To Ottobock C-Leg 4

Adventure Awaits For Amazing Grace Thanks To Ottobock C-Leg 4

Whether it’s climbing up the side of the O2 Arena in Greenwich or scaling the heights of a treetop assault course, nothing is too big a challenge for former rugby player Grace Matthews.

Which is remarkable, given her whole world was turned upside down after a devastating injury during a match less than two years ago.

Playing in the front row for Bletchley Ladies, Grace, 26, of Milton Keynes, dislocated her knee during a game against Olney, an injury that eventually led to her losing her leg above the knee.

TV presenter launches specialist dementia care for Wellington

Ercall Court

TV presenter Angela Rippon enjoyed afternoon tea when she visited a brand new specialist dementia nursing facility, Ercall Court, part of the acclaimed Morris Care Centre, in Wellington, Shropshire.

The popular broadcaster, an ambassador for the Alzheimer’s Society, met residents and staff at Morris Care’s new Ercall Court to mark the occasion.

RSPCA Honour assistance dog who saves owner's life

RSPCA award guide dog

Elgin has given Julie Barrett and her Mum Sue, from Beer in Seaton, Devon, the freedom to enjoy their life as they know they can rely on his incredible skills. 

As well as being trained to help with everything from dressing and undressing, shopping, and fetching the phone, Elgin also warns Julie when her blood sugar is too high or low, alerts her when she is going to have a seizure and, incredibly, fetches help when she chokes.

Elgin was awarded an Honour at the ceremony hosted by Alastair Stewart OBE at the Royal Society on July 11. 

The ceremony was attended by celebrities including Kate Lawler, Deborah Meaden, Peter Egan and Jo Brand. 

Owner Julie said: