PM launches disability policy overhaul

disability policy overhaul – inequality lettering

Prime Minister Theresa May has revealed plans to enhance the lives of those living with a disability in the UK, announcing the launch of an Equalities Hub in Parliament.

With around a fifth of the working-age population living with a disability, the Prime Minister also announced a new cross-government disability team which will sit alongside the Government Equalities Office and Race Disparity Unit in a new Equalities Hub.

This team will work closely with disabled people, disabled people’s organisations and charities to develop a new approach to disability, with their views and experiences at the forefront of any new policy. Further measures will be set out later this year.

How accessible is the public transport system?

Kings Cross railway station - accessible meeting point

In England during 2017/2018, the Department of Transport found that a population of 9.8 million held older and disabled concessionary travel passes. With that in mind, is there enough being done to make the nation’s means of public transport accessible for disabled people and the elderly? With assistance from stairlift manufacturer Acorn Stairlifts, we’ve investigated this issue…

Into the Frame – new wheelchair fencing book promotes sport 

Wheelchair fencing competitor Jonathan David Collins

We caught up with author of a new book, Into the Frame, to chat about his love for wheelchair fencing. Jonathan David Collins spoke to our editor and is keen to promote the sport as it helps boost physical and mental health and wellbeing – yet few people know it even exists.

Jonathan said: “I was born with Spina Bifida and Hydrocephalus and I have been in a wheelchair since I was 18 months old.

“I used to do a bit of swimming but due to an operation I had, it was advised I gave it up.

“A friend of mine who was a wheelchair fencer fenced at a club near me, so I went to the club and became hooked on it when I started to learn.”

Business Disability Forum highlights need for disability technology gap to be addressed

Business Disability Forum's CEO Diane Lightfoot

Responding to the recent publication of the NHS Long Term Plan, Business Disability Forum has welcomed the additional funding announced for GP and mental health services, while highlighting the ongoing technology gap found when accessing healthcare services.

Diane Lightfoot, CEO, Business Disability Forum said: “The role that GPs and others in primary care play in supporting millions of disabled people and people with long-term conditions to stay in work often goes unnoticed. Yet for many people they make working possible, by helping them with the ongoing management of their conditions.

Importance of taking part in activities when you have a disability

Activities when you have a disability

The term disability covers a wide range of conditions and impairments, but it can be anything which can affect a person’s everyday living. This can include mental, physical, cognitive or developmental impairments. 

It is important that people living with a disability have access to a wide variety of activities which help to improve their everyday quality of life. 


Physical Wellbeing

Physical exercise can be a huge challenge for someone who is living with a disability, and this is not just restricted to those with limited mobility. Exercise can seem like a daunting task which is why inclusive sports and activities should be offered widely in the community. 

Tetraplegia charity Regain launches Transforming Lives appeal 

The Regain Transforming Lives appeal launch

Regain, the charity for sports tetraplegics, is excited to announce its new fundraising appeal, Transforming Lives. Aiming to raise one million pounds, the Transforming Lives campaign was officially launched at the Waldorf Hotel on Thursday 22nd November by the charity’s founder and chairman, Lord Ivar Mountbatten, and former Olympic swimmer and Regain patron, Mark Foster.

Mark Lane: Gardening tips for people who thought they could never garden

Mark Lane is an afeard-winning landscape gardener and TV host

Mark Lane, wheelchair user and presenter of the award-winning BBC Gardeners’ World, as well as the RHS Flower Shows, discusses getting out into the garden and how to make gardening easier if you have mobility issues…

It doesn’t matter what level of ability you have, you can still enjoy gardening. Gardening makes you feel safe and secure and it has a positive effect on mental and physical wellbeing. With these simple tips you can get outside, enjoy nature, be alone for personal reflection or socialise with family and friends.

Italian restaurant aiming for Autism Friendly award

San Rocco, an autism-friendly restaurant

A restaurant in Manchester has become a hit with parents of children with autism and other conditions after adapting its menu, and staff plan to make the eating experience even more enjoyable for families.

The San Rocco Italian restaurant in Ashton-under-Lyne is now working towards being recognised by the National Autistic Society by becoming recognised as “Autism Friendly”.

It hit headlines earlier this year when its pictoral menu, designed for non-verbal autistic children, allowed families to come and choose food without guessing when their children wanted.

Lookers Motability Awareness Week to support more inclusivity on our roads

Lookers Motability Awareness Week - friends next to a car

National motor retailer Lookers, who are widely known for their variety of disability cars, is set to encourage those with a variety of disabilities to visit its dealerships with the launch of the first Motability Awareness Week across its network. 

The week, to take place between 6th-13th October, coincides with the National Autistic Society’s Autism Hour initiative and will see each participating dealership make changes to their showrooms such as turning down the lights and turning the music off.

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?

Universal credit and disability – are you prepared?

Man at computer trying to fathom Universal Credit

Universal Credit will be rolled out across England and Wales next year, moving claimants’ existing benefits to a single monthly payment which must be applied for online.

Charities and organisations have expressed concern that the most vulnerable of people will be left out of pocket if more support is not given – so where does this leave disabled claimants?

The National Audit Office carried out a report on Universal credit, which was published in July, and said there was no practical alternative to continuing with Universal Credit as proceedings had already begun. It studied some areas included in a pilot scheme. 

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.