News

Contacta creates bespoke hearing loop system for Chester’s listed railway station  

Contacta hearing loop system sign by seating

Contacta Systems, one of the UK’s leading hearing loop manufacturers, has unveiled a bespoke induction loop system at Chester station to make announcements more accessible to passengers with hearing loss.

The system features phased induction loops built into signage on the wall at two points – one in the waiting room and the other on the main concourse within easy view of the information screens.  The signs instruct hearing-impaired passengers to stand within its transmission range so they can clearly hear announcements over the station’s PA system by switching their hearing aid or cochlear implant receiver to the ‘T’ position.

Innovative wheelchair wins design competition

Innovative wheelchair competition winners

Getting Back on Track competition intended to encourage innovation and raise awareness of the day-to-day challenges facing people with spinal cord injuries

London South Bank University student’s innovative wheelchair design wins £3,000 prize money, plus £2,000 for the university

Today the winner of law firm Bolt Burdon Kemp’s inaugural student design competition, ‘Getting Back on Track’ has been announced.

Faulty immune system linked to UK's leading cause of blindness

Faulty immune system linked to UK's leading cause of blindness

Research findings shared for National Eye Health Week (24 - 30 September) reveal a link between over-active immune systems, stimulated by poor diets and oxidative stress, and the development and progression of age-related macular degeneration (AMD) - the UK's leading cause of blindness.

Research conducted by teams of British scientists has found that yellow deposits (known as drusen) found at the back of the eye in AMD patients contain protein covered waste products that attract and activate faulty immune cells leading to low grade but chronic inflammation and ultimately sight-threatening retinal damage.

Local dance company showcased at film premiere

Local dance company showcased at film premiere

A film aimed at changing the attitudes towards disability premiered in London last week, featuring a Surrey-based dance company. 

‘House Finch’ explores the relationship between a mother and her son who has a disability and stars Adjoa Andoh, an actor who has previously starred in Eastenders, The Bill, Casualty, Doctor Who and much more, along side Edward Bluemel who has appeared in The Halcyon, The Commuter and Access All Areas. 

Rhythmic Collision, a dance company run by social care provider Surrey Choices, was commissioned by writer and director, Joe Johnson, to appear in the film. 

Nominate your local disability sporting hero for the Active Essex Sports Awards 2018

 Active Essex Sports Awards 2018

Nominations are now open for the Active Essex Sports Awards 2018, an annual event that celebrates the outstanding achievements of sporting organisations and individuals.

The event recognises local sporting heroes from grassroots to an elite level, and following last year’s great response, public votes have returned for three of the 11 awards – including the ‘Disabled Sports Personality of the Year’ category.

The award celebrates athletes who have made a significant impact in the last year at a national or international level, either individually or as part of a team. The award is open to all ages and disabilities.

Study by the FSA exposes young people with food allergies fear eating out

Study by the FSA exposes young people with food allergies fear eating out

A new study conducted by the Food Standards Agency ( FSA ) has exposed that a high percentage of young people aged between 16-24 with food allergies fear eating out at restaurants and in some cases, have specifically avoided going out to eat. 

The FSA study showed a staggering 64% of food allergy sufferers had avoided going out in the last 6 months. These results could be down to the lack of faith allergen sufferers have in restaurants and menu options, or it could be that they're comfortable with a certain restaurant and do not wish to 'create a scene' at a new establishment. 

Wheelchair basketball tournament raises over £20,000 for disabled female athletes

Meg Hillier, MP with Anita Choudhrie at the basketball tournament in aid of disabled female athletes

A charity Wheelchair Basketball Tournament held at the Olympic Park has raised over £20,000 to support disabled female athletes, with further funds expected to be raised over the next month. 

The tournament took place at the iconic Copper Box Arena and was organised by leading disability charity Path to Success. More than 100 people attended the tournament, as ten corporate teams took to the court to battle for the title of ‘Corporate Wheelchair Basketball Champion’. 

Voucher scheme initiative 'to tackle social care crisis'

Busy Bees Group founder John Woodward OBE has suggested a social care vouchers scheme

An adult social care vouchers scheme has been put forward by John Woodward OBE, president and founder of the Busy Bees Group, to help solve the social care crisis in the UK. Both Mr Woodward and the organisation were instrumental in lobbying the government to help working families with childcare costs via a non-taxable benefit. The result was the Childcare Voucher scheme which launched in 2005 and has helped more than 600,000 families. Here, John explains how the voucher scheme could work for adults needing care…

For disabled people living in their own homes or in residential care, how is the cost of social care currently being met?

Solar Care Homes Becomes Part Of The Regard Group

Solar Care Homes Becomes Part Of The Regard Group

The Regard Group, the UK’s third largest private care provider in its sector, has strengthened its presence in the South West with the acquisition of the Cornwall-based Solar Care Homes Ltd. 

This latest acquisition has increased Regard’s portfolio to 167 services, offering 16 new beds in Redruth to adults with learning disabilities, autism and physical disabilities. 

CEO Carole Edmond said: “One of Solar Care’s services is rated Outstanding by the CQC, and we were attracted to them because their vision matches our own - to provide excellent care and support, to continuously improve the quality of our service and to make people’s lives better every day. 

Heathcotes launches garden pod initiative

garden pod

Care provider, Heathcotes Group, is rolling out a new development initiative across its estates with the construction of gardens pods providing new self-contained space for residents to use. The first pod has been completed at Heathcotes Larkrise in South London, one of the company’s specialist residential services for adults who have Autism, complex learning disabilities and associated challenging behaviour.  Designed by Heathcotes’ in-house architectural consultancy, JDS Design, the accommodation includes kitchenette, lounge, bedroom, toilet and shower room, private patio area and garden space.

Majority of employers struggle to know where to source disabled talent

disabled man working

The Recruitment Industry Disability Initiative (RIDI) has launched RIDI 100: a directory of recruitment service providers which are committed to the inclusion of disabled jobseekers. The introduction of the resource comes in response to a survey of internal hiring managers which found that 70% of employers struggle to know where to source disabled talent. The same study found that just 11% of HR professionals feel ‘confident’ in knowing where to find candidates with a disability. 

Winners of Inventor Prize JUST announced - Bristol designer wins £5,000 for Braille e-reader

Winner of Inventor Prize

Little over a year ago, the Inventor Prize was launched as part of the Industrial Strategy, in order to find Britain’s grassroots and garden shed inventors. Today innovation foundation Nesta, supported by the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy (BEIS), is announcing 1 overall winner and two recognition awards, from their ten shortlisted finalists. The awardees will receive £50,000, £15,000 and £5,000 respectively, to help get their product to market.

40,000 Urged to sign-up to the largest ever study of depression and anxiety to transform mental health care for future generations

Glad Logo

Researchers at King’s College London are launching the largest ever single study of depression and anxiety. By recruiting at least 40,000 people in England who have experienced either depression or anxiety at some point in their life, the Genetic Links to Anxiety and Depression (GLAD) study will make important strides towards better understanding of these disorders and improving the lives of future patients. GLAD will provide a ‘bank’ of potential participants for future studies on the genetic aspects of these two conditions and reduce the time-consuming process of recruiting patients for research.

Alicia Wood, Head of Public Affairs at Dimensions, comments on the government’s response to the Learning Disabilities Mortality Review (LeDeR) Programme Second Annual Report

Alicia Wood, Head of Public Affairs at Dimensions, comments on the government’s response to the Learning Disabilities Mortality Review (LeDeR) Programme Second Annual Report

“The Second Annual LeDeR Report published in May sent shockwaves through the social care sector. Today, Dimensions welcomes the Government’s much-anticipated response. It goes a long way to assuring us that the government recognises the urgent need to stamp out the profound health inequalities that people with learning disabilities experience.

WestBridge Capital backs MBO at AJM Healthcare

WestBridge Capital backs MBO at AJM Healthcare

WESTBRIDGE CAPITAL, which typically invests in medium sized enterprises, has backed a management buyout of AJM Mobility Limited (t/a AJM Healthcare), which provides mobility and equipment solutions to the NHS, Local Authority Partners and individuals across the UK.

AJM is a leading integrated wheelchair service provider for the NHS, delivering services to a population of over 2 million, and was the first company in the UK to be granted CECOPS accreditation for integrated wheelchair services, widely acknowledged as the gold standard for quality in the sector. AJM employs over 150 people, ranging from specialised therapists to field service engineers.

Sport and leisure sector offers golden opportunity for training and employment in Essex

Sport and leisure sector offers golden opportunity for training and employment in Essex

New research shows that the significance of sport to the Essex economy is comparable with other industries including burdening creative industries in driving employment growth. Over 11,000 new jobs in sports and leisure could be created, to add to the 21,400 already employed in the sector.

Active Essex, the county sports partnership for Greater Essex, and Creative Sport & Leisure Ltd, specialists in apprenticeships and work-based learning, have unveiled a new Sport Skills Strategy and Action Plan based on new research that identifies the need to develop a highly skilled, dynamic and diverse workforce in the sport and leisure sector.

£4.3m innovative Radyr development will cater to those with disabilities

£4.3m innovative Radyr development will cater to those with disabilities

The construction of a £4.3 million innovative housing development in Radyr, Cardiff, parts of which are designed specifically for the needs of individuals with physical disabilities, will start this autumn. 

Aspects of the bespoke development, being built by Hale Construction in partnership with Taff Housing Association, will be wheelchair-friendly and designed specifically with the needs of disabled users in mind.

The designs of the development for 36 units on De Clare Drive in Radyr were approved in May 2018 – construction of the development is expected to take 62 weeks. 

The development will comprise 18 one-bedroom apartments, 10 two-bedroom apartments and eight three-bedroom homes – four of which will be suitable for wheelchair users. 

BRITS ‘too embarrassed’ to wear a hearing aid

BRITS ‘too embarrassed’ to wear hearing aids

Silent epidemic of hearing loss means Brits damaging quality of life, say experts

NEW Styletto by Signia is a revolutionary hearing aid that aims to empower wearers through technology, innovation and stylish design

Friday 7th September 2018. Over half of people might who need a hearing aid aren’t doing so because of discomfort (57%) and embarrassment (56%) according to a recent survey of UK consumers[i]. In light of this, experts are warning that in choosing not to wear a hearing aid, many could be seriously damaging their quality of life.

WheelPower appoints new Chair

WheelPower appoints new Chair

WheelPower, the national charity for wheelchair sport based at Stoke Mandeville Stadium, today announced the appointment of Rob Wilson as their new Chair of Trustees. Rob succeeds Kevan Baker OBE who retires as Chair after more than 20 years in the role.

Former Member of Parliament for Reading, Rob Wilson has a wealth of experience and joins WheelPower at an exciting time during the 70th anniversary year of the first Stoke Mandeville Games which sparked the Paralympic Movement.

How Good Design is Behind Effortless Independence

How Good Design is Behind Effortless Independence

As Cliff Kuang said in Fast Company, “Disability is an engine of innovation”[1].  Yet too often, it produces clinical, functional products. Somehow style gets lost in the design for people with disabilities. And yet, just because we lose our mobility, or hearing, or sight, it doesn’t mean we also lose our style or our desire for an exciting social life. It’s important to have wheelchairs and hearing aids that work, but the next step could be; ones that we actually covet! Design for people with disabilities currently provides for our basic needs, but it needs to respond to our desire for a good night out!