Review of Blue Badge fraud as scheme is extended to those with ‘hidden disabilities’

blue badge holders sign

People with hidden disabilities will soon be able to access Blue Badge parking permits, thanks to the roll out of new guidance today (Saturday, June 15).

For drivers or passengers with dementia, anxiety disorders or reduced mobility, anticipating difficulty travelling, such as trouble finding a parking space, can result in a build-up of stress on top of the stress of the journey itself.

The new guidance, which represents the biggest change to the scheme since the 1970s, will offer a lifeline to people who often find road travel difficult by providing better access to work and other amenities, while also helping combat loneliness by helping them stay connected to family and friends.

More businesses are becoming Disability Confident

Disability confident man working at a warehouse

The Department for Work and Pensions reported that over 46,000 people have used a new search engine filter that gives them a direct line to Disability Confident employers, in the first six months of the tool being launched.

Jobseekers have been able to search for vacancies with Disability Confident employers on the government’s Find a Job website since November 2018.

The news is evidence that there is growing demand for opportunities with inclusive employers.

A tribute to disability activist Professor Mike Oliver

A tribute to disability activist Professor Mike Oliver

UCan2’s Jenni Meredith on the legacy of disability activist Professor Mike Oliver, and the future of disability rights in the UK under new Disabilities Minister Justin Tomlinson as Brexit looms...

In March this year, Professor Mike Oliver, a fiery disabled activist and the man who changed mainstream attitudes with his social model of disability, sadly died.
He was the person largely responsible for forcing the UK Government to adopt anti-discrimination legislation in the form of the Disability Discrimination Act (DDA), yet was disappointed with the Act when it finally appeared on the statue books.

Housing association develops policy for employees and tenants

Housing association step free route sign

Housing association L&Q has partnered with two leading organisations to ensure it is offering the best service to its disabled staff and residents.

As part of its disability inclusion initiative L&Q will work with Evenbreak, a social enterprise that helps inclusive employers attract and retain more talented disabled people.

L&Q is also working with disability charity Scope to develop housing advice content for their website and advice line.

Already L&Q has upskilled its employability service, to better engage and support disabled residents in securing employment.

Fellowship award offered by children’s disability partnership

Staff from Newlife charity with children's disability partnership signs

An exciting new funding partnership will see dedicated investment of £270,000 ring-fenced specifically to help children with disabilities across the UK.

The Royal College of Paediatrics and Child Health (RCPCH) and Newlife the Charity for Disabled Children have joined forces to offer talented post- doctorial researchers the opportunity to compete for a pioneering three- year fellowship award.

The partnership, launched earlier this week at RCPCH’s annual conference in Birmingham, will enable the chosen recipient to have a real impact on the lives and health of children with disabilities across the UK.

Princess Anne Launches 50th Anniversary Tartan for Riding for the Disabled Association

Princess Anne Launching 50th Anniversary Tartan for Riding for the Disabled Association

HRH Princess Anne Launches 50th Anniversary Tartan for Riding for the Disabled Association in Scotland

A new tartan has been produced by Lachcarron of Scotland in celebration of 50 years of Riding for the Disabled Association (RDA) providing therapy through horses.

The tartan was launched at an anniversary event in Edinburgh by RDA President, Her Royal Highness, The Princess Royal. The Princess met with volunteers and participants from around the country and was presented with her very own RDA tartan scarf by brothers Andrew and William McLeod.

Blenheim Joins Forces With Farming Charity

Blenheim Staff with Farming Charity staff

Blenheim is working with an Oxfordshire-based farming charity to host working visits for people with learning disabilities and autism.

A team of co-farmers from FarmAbility will be making regular visits to the Blenheim Estate to assist in a variety of hands-on animal and land-based activities.

The initiative is part of a series of community-based charitable programmes supported by Blenheim as part of its goal to double its charitable contributions within a decade.

FarmAbility is a farm-based programme for co-farmers, who are people over the age of 16 with learning disabilities and often also with autistic spectrum disorder.

Student nurses attempt Guinness World Record

Student nurses attempting Guinness World Record

Over 500 student nurses, academics, healthcare professionals and people with learning disabilities, as well as their family and friends, gathered in Birmingham on Friday 26 April to attempt to set a new Guinness World Record for the most people in one room simultaneously signing ‘Hello my name is’ using Makaton.

The #HelloMyNameIs campaign calls for more compassionate care by highlighting the importance of seeing a patient as a person and putting them at the heart of decision making.

Spinal Unit Games and WheelPower attracts 136 newly paralysed sports

Chris Keogh member of WheelPower

WheelPower, the national charity for wheelchair sport, recently welcomed 136newly paralysed men and women representing 15 spinal injury units from across the United Kingdom and Ireland to the 32nd Inter Spinal Unit Games at Stoke Mandeville Stadium from 9-11 April 2019.

Some had never played sports before, and each person had a different story to share as to how they became paralysed, yet all were willing to give the 26 different sports and physical activity sessions a try, before entering competition sports between the Spinal Unit teams. The flagship event finally culminated in a gala dinner and awards ceremony for all the participants, sports leaders and supporters of the event to celebrate the achievements and effort of all the participants and winners. 

CMG and Regard Campaign For Change

A group from CMG at the C4C Conference

CMG and Regard, a leading provider of support for people with learning disabilities and associated complex needs, is proudly supporting self-advocacy group – Campaign 4 Change – which is led by 11 of the people it supports.

Campaign 4 Change (C4C) is made up of members who passionately campaign on issues that affect people with learning disabilities and autism, both on a local and national scale.

Charity offers guiding hand to foster carers

Foster carer and her foster children

Becoming a foster parent is something that has the power to change a child’s life - particularly if that child is living with a disability.

Although becoming a foster parent may seem daunting, it is also a hugely rewarding experience, and there is plenty of support available to help you on your way. 

Scope’s fostering service specialises in pairing up disabled children and young people with foster families, and find a solution that works for you.

Although fostering is a step that will have a long-lasting effect on your day-to-day life, it is also an opportunity to transform a child’s life, to give them a chance to experience a safe, comfortable, and loving upbringing.

Hft awarded Centre of Excellence status for exemplary training  

Award for Hft - Centre of Excellence status for exemplary training  

The national learning disabilities charity, Hft, has been awarded Centre of Excellence status in recognition of its exemplary training provision by Skills for Care.

Hft is only the third charity to receive the accolade and one of just 24 organisations to have the bespoke quality mark which is awarded to the providers with the best learning and development programmes within the adult social care sector.

How can animal therapy help young children with mental health disorders?

Animal therapy session for mental health

According to a study by NHS Digital, one in eight young people suffer from a mental health disorder in the UK. This study also found that, in the age group 5-10, boys were almost twice as likely to be diagnosed with a disorder as girls, at 12.2% compared with 6.6%.

To combat the growing trend in mental health diagnoses, animal therapyis becoming more common as education providers look for ways to support their children through complex social and emotional developments.

Therapy animals have been used in interventions with children with autism, ADHD and ODD (Oppositional Defiant Disorder) and have had observable physical, social and emotional successes.

Animal therapy supporting children with autism

Care home residents sings for Parkinsons sufferers

Two Care home residents singing for Parkinson’s sufferers

A CARE home resident has rekindled her love of singing after joining a choir dedicated to raising awareness of Parkinsons disease.

Barbara Millican thought she would never sing in a choir again after moving into Hazelgrove Court Care Home, in Saltburn-by-the-Sea, in October 2017.

However, the home’s activities coordinator, Sharon Lewis, found the Tremeloes Parkinson’s Choir, which both she and Barbara have since joined.

The choir, named after the tremors those with Parkinson’s experience, recently performed at Saltburn Community Centre as part of Parkinson’s Awareness Week.

Barbara said: “I like being part of a choir, just like before I lived at Hazelgrove. It’s lovely to be able to perform again as well.”

New research shows greater action needed on workplace adjustments

Man in wheelchair in workplace

Findings from a new and extensive survey on workplace adjustments were announced today (25 April) at Business Disability Forum’s annual conference in London.

Based on the views of over 1,200 respondents, The Great Big Workplace Adjustments Survey provides a detailed and up-to-date picture of what is and isn’t working when it comes to making and managing adjustments; how effective adjustments are, and how far everyone who needs adjustments has them in place.

A not-for-profit membership organisation, Business Disability Forum sought the views of employees and managers working with adjustments to compile what it believes to be one of the most informed pieces of research available on the subject.

Path To Success Sponsored Wheelchair Tennis Champions

Path To Success Sponsored Wheelchair Tennis Champions


British athletes, Jordanne Whiley and Lucy Shuker are celebrating double title success after sweeping the board in the women’s singles and doubles at the ITF 2 Busan Open over the weekend. The pair won the doubles title before Jordanne clinched the singles title in the first of three elite tournaments in Korea this month.

Hill Care chooses Macmillan for year of fundraising

Hill Care Group Fundraisers
A care home group has kickstarted a year of fundraising for one of Britain’s largest cancer charities by collecting hundreds of pounds at their annual conference.

The Hill Care Group, which operates care homes across the north of England, has nominated Macmillan Cancer Support as their chosen charity for 2019/20.

After the announcement, the company collected £851.10 from raffle ticket sales at their annual conference, held at Cedar Court Hotel, in Wakefield, West Yorkshire.

Managers from the group of 38 care homes attended the event and were asked to vote for the charity they want to support over the next 12 months.