Win £3,000 for your school in Mouth and Foot Painting's Unique Arts Awards!

Mouth and Foot Painting Alan Titchmarsh and Ellie Jones

The UK’s only charity dedicated to training young disabled artists, the Mouth and Foot Painting Artists Trust Fund (MFPA), has opened entries for its national 2018 Unique Arts Awards – with £600 in Great Art Vouchers for the winner and £3,000 of vouchers for their school up for grabs. 

Now in their third year, the awards recognise artistic excellence among disabled young people between the ages of 7 and 21 from across the UK. In October, the finalists will receive their awards at a glittering ceremony to be held in central London. 

Social network ensures Jonathan keeps busy

Social network Jonathan

A young man with learning difficulties and autism who was facing loneliness after friends at his residential home moved out, has made friends thanks to a social network.

Jonathan Richardson, 29, who has been living at Winchester House in Sheerness, Kent, since 2008, was missing two close friends who had moved out into supported living accommodation at the end of last year, so service manager Lisa Falconer suggested they find him new friends by creating a profile to share with other services run locally by care-provider the Regard Group.

Lisa said: “Although Jonathan was still in contact with his former housemates, he needed new friends fill the gap when they moved out, and the profile we created for him has yielded great results.”

Inclusive choir fills care service with the sound of music

inclusive choir singers

The sound of music is filling the air at one of Regard Group’s services with the launch of a brand new inclusive choir which is open to all.

Paige Marley, senior support worker at Victoria, a Plymouth-based residential service for people with learning disabilities and mental health issues, is leading the group which has called itself The R-Factor – R stands for Regard.

Paige was keen to give everyone joint ownership of the inclusive choir from the start, and was delighted to receive a great response to her request for song suggestions from people interested in attending.

Funding boost for disabled access review charity

Euans Guide funding boost

Funding boost for Euan’s Guide to expand its successful Ambassador Network in Scotland.

Euan’s Guide, the disabled access review website, has received £5,526 of National Lottery Awards for a funding boost in support of its Ambassador Network in Scotland. The charity, founded in 2013, is used by disabled people, their families and friends to review, share and discover accessible places around the UK and beyond.

Euan’s Guide will use the National Lottery funding to expand and develop its Ambassador Network in Scotland. The network is a growing number of Ambassadors who are committed to making more disabled people aware of the website and how they can use disabled access reviews.

Businesses unprepared for threats to disability rights post-Brexit, survey finds

Businesses unprepared for threats to disability rights post-Brexit, survey finds

Crucial gains for disability rights secured by the business community must not be reversed post-Brexit due to a lack of planning and preparation, [Business Disability Forum|] has warned. 

According to a survey of 1611 people (including 140 business-owners) run by Business Disability Forum with YouGov in January 2018, high proportions of people believe there will no impact on disability employment and three-quarters of business-owners that there would be no effect on their ability to cater for the needs of disabled people.

But Diane Lightfoot, Chief Executive Officer at Business Disability Forum, warned:

RIDI: Finalists Announced

RIDI: Finalists Announced

Following a rigorous and robust judging process, the Recruitment Industry Disability Initiative (RIDI) has released its eagerly anticipated shortlist for the 2018 RIDI Awards. As in previous years, the calibre and breadth of entries presented a challenge for the independent judging panel.

Now in their fourth year, the RIDI Awards celebrate progress and recognise the success of organisations that are making headway in increasing the inclusion of disabled professionals.

The 2018 entries came from organisations across the UK and from many new sectors, including transport, engineering, retail and professional services, reflecting RIDI’s sustained programme of outreach activity in 2017-18.

SI² Fund invests in Active Minds international growth

SI² Fund invests in Active Minds’ international growth

SI² Fund, a European social impact investment fund focused on scaling impact-driven businesses, on Thursday 14th December announced its investment in Active Minds, a UK-based company that develops human-centred activity products and games for people living with dementia. The funding by SI² Fund will be used to accelerate international growth, expand its product offering and achieve social impact at scale.

Innovative ProMove Sling enhances OmniServ’s customer experience delivery for PRM passengers at Heathrow

Innovative ProMove Sling enhances OmniServ’s customer experience delivery for PRM passengers at Heathrow

OmniServ, the UK’s leading airline and airport assistance services provider, working in partnership with the airlines at Heathrow, has deployed nearly 100 innovative new ProMove Sling devices across the airport’s terminals, significantly enhancing the level of care offered to PRM (People with Reduced Mobility) passengers.

The ProMove Sling is an easily transportable, lightweight option for lifting and transferring PRM passengers when it is impractical to deploy a powered hoist. When used correctly by properly trained staff, it is safe, comfortable and dignified, reducing the need for support personnel to touch the passenger or the danger of causing any injury such as bruising or shearing.

Special Olympics campaign

Special Olympics

Special Olympics & Play Unified Help 30,000 Young People Fight Intolerance in First Two Years

Play Unified, a Special Olympics GB campaign delivered in partnership with the Youth Sport Trust, is celebrating a second successful year fighting intolerance in schools across the UK - reaching almost 30,000 young people nationwide, enough to fill a football stadium!

The Special Olympics campaign aims to change perceptions of and end intolerance towards young people with intellectual disabilities (ID), such as the fact 8 in 10 experience bullying.  It aims to strengthen leadership and sport participation pathways for young people with intellectual disabilities and develop inclusive environments in schools through sport.

Scandic Hotels receives accessibility award and invited to speak at UN Office in Vienna

Scandic Hotels receives accessibility award and invited to speak at UN Office in Vienna

Scandic Hotels’ holistic accessibility strategy has earned the company an award as one of the most innovative practices in the prestigious Zero Project. The award ceremony will be held at the Zero Project Conference at the United Nations Office in Vienna. In addition to receiving the award, Scandic Hotels has been invited to speak about the company’s world-leading accessibility initiatives at the event.

-    This is yet another fantastic acknowledgment of the committed work that we’re all doing to advance accessibility every day, from the management team to the team members at all of our hotels, says Even Frydenberg, President & CEO of Scandic Hotels Group. 

Mobility Solutions deliver Cabin Car – a world-first in scooter technology

Mobility Solutions Cabin Car on van

The first brand-new Cabin Car mobility scooter has been delivered to a happy customer, who is set to enjoy features including reverse camera parking sensors.

Mrs Jordan in Knightswood, Glasgow, is is delighted with her purchase from Mobility Solutions. It is the world’s first scooter with reverse camera parking sensors, remote central locking and a heater. In fact, the Cabin Car has many comforts of a car whilst still being a mobility scooter.

Mrs Jordan said, “I’ve been telling everyone about it, all of my friends are desperate to see it and I can’t wait to show it off.

“All of the features will help me so much, if I was going out before I would have to wrap up with lots of layers but now I can just turn the heating on!”

Charity Pays For Alannah's Garden Of Delight

Charity Pays For Alannah's Garden Of Delight

A Weston-super-Mare-based charity has funded the creation of a sensory garden which has given a local girl a new lease of life.

The family of six-year-old Alannah say they are extremely grateful to the Axentis Michael Charitable Trust, which provided £5,000 for the garden to be created.

Alannah, who lives with parents Andy and Lisa, and 11-year-old sister Ella in Weston Village, is registered blind and has global developmental delay, which means she cannot walk, talk, sit unaided or stand.

Dad Andy said: “All her needs, such as feeding, changing, and bathing, are met by us.”

Achieving Inner Greatness with Accessibility Mark

Achieving Inner Greatness with Accessibility Mark

At the end of 2017, Hall Place Equestrian Centre based in Reading gained its Accessibility Mark accreditation.

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

Hall Place was delighted to receive this recognition.  Riders with special behavioural and physical needs have been riding at the centre for over 35 years and the Tilehurst RDA Group ride at Hall Place weekly.

DM Orthotics has a Doctor in the House this April

DM Orthotics has a Doctor in the House this April

DM Orthotics (DMO) are running specialist masterclasses this April at Naidex 2018 with their special guest Doctor Rod Lane giving two separate talks on the DMO e-step. DM Orthotics have been collaborating with Dr Lane since 2005 on the DMO e-step and are launching their latest iteration and highlighting their new developments at the trade show this year.

As well as the dedicated talks on the DMO e-step DM Orthotics, and their team of expert clinicians, will also be hosting masterclasses throughout both days introducing their free of charge training as well as their core product range including the DMO suit, DMO glove and DMO sock.

Guide Dogs supporting children and young people

Guide Dogs

When Sophie’s little girls Alma and Suzie were diagnosed with Leber’s Congenital Amaurosis (LCA), she didn’t receive much information from the hospital, so Sophie decided to look online and managed to find Guide Dogs children and young peoples’ services.

Sophie was invited to a Family Weekend by our Family Support team where she spoke with the specialist education staff who advised her on Braille, tactile learning and mainstream schools. Sophie also found it helpful to meet with other families in a similar situation, and has since built up a network through attending these events.

Wine and spirits courses for the Visually Impaired

Wine and spirits courses for the Visually Impaired

Richard Lane, 49 from Surrey, who lost his sight at the age of 23, is one of the most advanced visually impaired individuals in the world of wine. He has always had a passion for wine, and having previously attended informal night classes in wine tasting, a close friend suggested he look into taking his knowledge further and introduced him to WSET’s internationally recognised qualifications.

Richard says, “I wanted to stretch myself a bit further, and to see if my brain still worked as my last exam was for my degree back in 1989…”

Motionspot becomes the first accessible design company to exhibit at Grand Design Live London in 2018!

Motionspot becomes the first accessible design company to exhibit at Grand Design Live London in 2018!

Motionspot has been announced as the first ever accessible design company to exhibit at Grand Designs Live. Exhibiting from 5-13 May at ExCeL London, the accessible design specialist will be offering design advice, showcasing beautiful new products and revealing exclusive offers for anyone designing for a disability, or thinking of future proofing their home for themselves or a loved one.

As more and more people are shifting their focus to planning for the future, Motionspot will be highlighting how their accessible design principles and products can future proof a home and be universally appealing for all. 

How can carers gain confidence in the future support of their relatives?

Sense Deputy CEO on carers crisis

Richard Kramer, the Deputy CEO of disability charity Sense, talks to UCan2 about the looming crisis facing carers who support disabled adults…

“It’s very stressful. I find myself hoping she passes away before me. No parent should feel like this.” 

These words were spoken by Mark, who cares for his disabled daughter, who has complex needs. Mark lives with the fear and worry that his daughter’s care and support needs are so complex, and that his local social services are under such pressures, that should he not be able to support his daughter, then no one would.