Disability

Are we tackling employment discrimination effectively?

employment discrimination - Chris O’Sullivan from the Mental Health Foundation

by editor Victoria Galligan

Despite disability discrimination being illegal under the Equality Act 2010, many people with disabilities find getting work difficult – either through direct discrimination during the application process, or because health issues affect their working pattern. 

In a recent case, a DWP worker was awarded £26,000 in compensation after his employer was found to have discriminated against him, after he took time off for medical reasons. Barrie Caulcutt had suffered an asthma attack at work and his employer had called him "a whinger". He was given a written warning for taking two and a half days off sick more than he was allowed.

Inclusive bathrooms, by Paul Bailey of GROHE

GROHE inclusive bathrooms - Paul Bailey

Paul Bailey, Senior Product Manager at GROHE UK, discusses the need for careful design when it comes to accessible, inclusive bathrooms…

The design and features of inclusive bathrooms should be carefully considered, as it is the room where people perhaps most want to be self-sufficient to preserve dignity and save themselves from feelings of embarrassment. There are a number of ways that bathroom design can be structured in order to be accessible and ergonomic for wheelchair users or those with reduced mobility or additional needs.

Burning Issues with Jenni Meredith

Jenni Meredith - cartoon by Tony Meredith

Jenni Meredith, UCan2 contributor, on the pressing issues of the moment – from finance to fears over losing a carer…

Deflating debt

The other day, calling at our local optician’s to collect my husband’s new glasses, I had to wait whilst the assistant chatted on the phone to one of her friends. Not that I was eavesdropping, but it’s hard to avoid overhearing in small shops when you are the only customer. I think the friend or maybe a relative was sharing bad news because the optician’s assistant came away from that conversation fairly agitated and all worked up for a ‘put-the-world-to-rights’ session with anyone within shouting distance. I was that anyone. 

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. 

Competition: WIN a MyHailo petrol pump attendance hailer 

MyHailo competition

Enter our competition to win a MyHailo unique wireless key fob, which enables drivers to call for assistance from their car.

The MyHailo system, which is endorsed by the charity Disability Motoring UK, enables drivers with mobility problems to avoid the humiliation of having to blast their horn or wave out of the window to summon an attendant, or even being verbally abused by other drivers.

“How we're helping people to stay Positive About MS”

Positive About MS Kaz Laljee

Positive About MS founder Kaz Laljee talks to UCan2 editor Victoria Galligan on World MS Day about offering a lifeline of support for people all over the world who have been diagnosed with MS.

When faced with a diagnosis of multiple sclerosis, Kaz found there was very little in the way of positive support. Working as an HR manager with a background in marketing at post-grad level, Kaz decided to do something about the lack of meaningful, useful resources for people with MS.

He says, “I set up Positive About MS in 2010, about a year after I was diagnosed. Everything I had read, seen and heard about MS since my diagnosis has been negative. I was being told that my life was over: that I should just go and watch TV, or go to Switzerland and kill myself.

Why Naidex was well worth a visit for all things mobility

Sensara awards at Naidex

Naidex 2018 – Europe’s largest and most established event for the disability sector – took place at Birmingham’s NEC last week. It welcomed guests including actor Warwick Davies and beauty vlogger Kat (see video), not to mention a whole host of expert speakers on everything from social media to spinal cord injuries.

Our editor Victoria Galligan went along to meet exhibitors, are here are some of her highlights:

The trouble with work - facing discrimination due to your disability

Scope Lasian discrimination

Despite disability discrimination being illegal under the Equality Act 2010, many people with disabilities find getting work difficult – either through direct discrimination during the application process, or because health issues affect their working pattern. 

In a recent case, a DWP worker was awarded £26,000 in compensation after his employer was found to have discriminated against him, after he took time off for medical reasons. Barrie Caulcutt had suffered an athmas attack at work and his employer had called him "a whinger". He was given a written warning for taking two and a half days off sick more than he was allowed.

Changing Places campaigner takes her PantsDown4Equality

pantsdown4equality Changing Places Sarah

As one brave mum gets set to take her PantsDown4Equality, UCan2 magazine is getting behind the Changing Places campaign to help boost the availability of accessible facilities. Along with carers, parents and disability rights campaigners, we are calling on public places to offer fully accessible disabled toilets, with equipment including adult-sized changing tables and hoists.

On Twitter, the campaign #changingplaces has long been highlighting inadequate toilet facilities. Firms who have invested in the right equipment to ensure people of all abilities can change without being embarrassed – and so that carers can lift and handle without putting themselves at risk – use the hashtag to show off new facilities and equipment.

Caldecotte Xperience’s Wheelyboat provides accessible water-based activities

 Action4Youth's new Wheelyboat makes waves on Caldecotte Lake

Caldecotte Xperience in Milton Keynes has launched a wheelchair-accessible Wheelyboat: the first fully accessible power boat to operate at this outdoor activity centre, strengthening existing provisions for people with disabilities. 

Two charities, The Wheelyboat Trust and Action4Youth, workied together on the project, to provide young people with mobility impairments with the ability to participate fully in water-based activities at this centre.

Could you make a Videocamp film about inclusive education?

Videocamp supporter Sally Phillips

Filmmakers with disabilities are being invited to enter a Videocamp funding competition, where the winner will be given prize money to spend on producing their movie.

The $400,000 (£285,000) Videocamp Film Fund 2018 will be awarded to the maker of a film (animation, documentary or fiction) on the theme of “inclusive education”. The competition is open to filmmakers worldwide, and is the largest social impact film fund of its kind. It launches at the UN on World Down Syndrome Day, 21 March 2018, and entries close on 21 June 2018.

No Barriers Radio: disabled DJs wanted to join team

No Barriers Radio Josh

A radio station set up by a DJ with learning difficulties are looking for disabled volunteers to present their shows – and are appealing for help to find a premises. No Barriers Radio is headed by station master Josh Hornsey – who is just 14 years old – and founder and chairman David Braysher, who has been DJing since 1978.

The members pre-record shows from their homes and transfer them via MP3 onto the website, nobarriersradio.com, where they can be listed to globally. Shows vary from 50s and 60s music to current pop and dance music. Anything goes and requests are welcome. 

People with unstable finances five times more likely to turn to high-cost credit

Doorstep lending money in hand

UK households struggling on volatile incomes are five times more likely to turn to high-cost credit products such as rent to own and doorstep lending, new research from Citizens Advice shows.

In its latest report, ‘Walking on Thin Ice’, the national charity says household budgets are increasingly vulnerable to changes in income or life events because of lower levels of savings and falling real earnings. People in insecure work are particularly at risk.

It also reveals that last year, almost half of UK adults (48%) experienced at least one monthly drop in their income, with an average largest fall of £385. One in five (21%) people with a volatile income said they went without food or other essentials in order to pay their bills last year.

How confident are people in disabled access in the UK?

How confident are people in disabled access in the UK?

New research reveals that 92% of disabled people do not feel very confident in visiting new places when thinking about disabled access.

27th February 2018: Over 700 disabled people have described situations they have faced when experiencing disabled access at different places. The findings, revealed in the new Access Survey by the charity Euan’s Guide and Disabled Access Day, show that 83% of disabled people have been affected by poor accessibility, and 92% do not feel very confident in visiting new places when thinking about disabled access.

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.