How driverless cars can assist people with disabilities

Driverless cars – a button on the dashboard for automated driving

With driverless cars gearing up to hit the roads in the months and years to come, the motoring world looks set to experience one of its biggest shifts very shortly. Autonomous car technology is already being looked at by big-name vehicle manufacturers like Lexus and Mercedes, while Tesla has already begun to trial its driverless Autopilot system on UK roads. Google is testing its own automated technology as well, while there are rumours that Apple has teamed up with German car maker BMW to create its own vehicle — there’s speculation that this set of wheels will be automated too.

Blackrow Farm: accessible accommodation in picturesque Dorset

Blackrow Farm - the wheelchair-accessible cottages

Blackrow Farm offers self-catering holiday cottages in Dorset with wheelchair access and all facilities designed for use by disabled guests. The accommodation is suitable for all, but special attention has been paid to guests with mobility needs.

The accommodation is provided in an old red brick barn and former dairy and pig sty that have been converted and furnished with taste and attention to detail. Bedrooms, bathrooms and wet rooms are well appointed and the kitchen/living areas look out onto the glorious views of the Blackmore Vale.

Driving Miss Daisy service launches its 30 branch in the UK

driving miss daisy car and client

A driving service for people with mobility issues has launched its 30th franchise in the UK, joining a global community of supporting people who need transport. Driving Miss Daisy launched in the UK in 2014. Synonymous with and inspired by the Academy Award-winning film – which featured Morgan Freeman as a driver for his elderly client – the Driving Miss Daisy idea originated in Canada with just a single vehicle, and now spans across the world. 

Mencap lobbies Parliament for disability changes

mencap tessa parliament

Mencap has been working hard to fulfil its mission to create "a world where people with a learning disability are valued equally, listened to and included". Here Rob Holland, Mencap's Public Affairs Manager, discusses the progress which the charity has made in Parliament to improve the lives of people with a learning disability…

Rob says, “The General Election and Brexit has been the main show in Parliament this year, but we have still managed to make some good progress on benefits, apprenticeship and housing!”


PIP payments

Disabled Angling Forum Wins Award

Disabled Angling

The Suffolk Disabled Anglers’ Forum is the proud winner of this year’s Cosyfeet Community Award. The charity has won £500 towards the cost of equipment and bait.

Known as the SDAF, the charity provides the opportunity for people with disabilities to gain access to angling, and runs sessions at Woody’s Lake, Barking Tye from May to October. Volunteer helpers and angling coaches provide all the necessary skills, experience and knowledge to help disabled people to enjoy coarse fishing.  

New report finds gap between government ambition and reality for supporting disabled jobseekers

·        New report commissioned by ERSA from WPI Economics looks at the rhetoric and the reality of the government’s commitment to halving the disability employment gap.

·        The proposed 80% reduction in funding means 45,000 fewer disabled people will access specialist employment support in every remaining year of this Parliament.

·        Doubling resources would give an extra 160,000 disabled people access to appropriate support and bring Exchequer savings of £280 million.

Essex champions job opportunities for disabled people

Essex is championing employment opportunities for disabled people and aiming to find jobs for hundreds of residents.

Essex County Council has pledged to become one of Britain’s first accredited employers under the Department for Work and Pension’s nationwide Disability Confident campaign, and is now challenging other Essex businesses to close the disability employment gap.

We want disabled people to make up at least 7.5% of the council’s workforce by 2018, from 300 to 500 employees.

The county’s first candidate, Chelsey Reynolds, impressed so much during three weeks’ work experience at County Hall, Chelmsford, that she secured a full-time role as a Communications Officer – something she previously thought was out of reach.

Increasing Opportunities for Disabled Riders

Disabled Riders

The Accessibility Mark scheme is opening fresh avenues for riding centres, helping them provide more riding opportunities for disabled people. While this is good for the footfall of the business it brings a whole new set of challenges to the centres and their staff.

This is where the role of an Accessibility Support Officer (ASO) is vital to the success of the scheme.

Riding for the Disabled Association (RDA), in partnership with Hoof, the British Equestrian Federation’s (BEF) participation programme launched the revolutionary Accessibility Mark scheme with the aim of getting more disabled people to participate in riding.

Silver medal for tree of hope cybathlete

cybathlete Jonny

A disabled man supported by Tunbridge Wells charity, Tree of Hope, has returned from the world’s first Cybathlon with a Silver medal for Great Britain. 

Using bionic assistive technology that enables him to pedal despite being paralysed, Johnny Beer, from Aylesbury, saw off stiff competition from nine different countries in the qualifying rounds of the FES bike race. In a head to head final against Mark Muhn, for America’s Team Cleveland, Johnny smashed his personal best to complete 10 laps in 4.08 minutes for Great Britain on a BerkelBike. 

The event in Zurich, Switzerland, showcased technology that helps people living with disabilities cope more effectively with daily life.

Will Mellor encourages disabled people to be more active as Together We Will campaign hits London


Will Mellor is bringing the Together We Will campaign to London – a nationwide initiative dedicated to encouraging and supporting disabled people, along with their friends and families, to become more active.

The Together We Will campaign looks to address the low number of disabled people who regularly take part in sport or exercise as highlighted in the most recent Sport England Active People Survey. 

Greens call for Access to Elected Office Fund to be urgently reinstated

Fund desperately needed to create a level playing field for disabled election candidates

The government’s persistent delays in reinstating the Access to Elected Office Fund are a scandal, says the Green Party, who are determined to address the massive under-representation of disabled people in politics.  

The pilot Access to Elected Office Fund was created in July 2012 to help candidates with disabilities stand in elections, but was closed in May 2015. The Fund was not for normal campaigning costs, but for things like sign language interpreters; small things that are essential to allow people with disabilities access to a fair shot in an election.