Independent Living – Welcome to the Independent Living newsletter.

Hello Hannah
Welcome to the Independent Living newsletter.
11.10.17 Contents:
How accessible is accessible?
Distance caring
National Disability Arts Collection
Superheroes don’t stop for snow!
Derek’s View – Super Loo for new Super Pub!
Latest – Stoptober; Disabled peoples’ rights
1. How accessible is accessible?

A couple of stories I have read this week made me think about relative accessibility.

First, the Advertising Standards Authority upholding a complaint about a competition in a disability lifestyle magazine, where the winner was unable to enjoy their holiday, because the resort wasn’t actually wheelchair accessible.

And then, the Blue Badge Style awards for venues which combine great style with accessibility. An excellent idea, as no one chooses to forego good design for the sake of access. Yet none of the finalists in the “Good Loo” category were fully accessible Changing Places toilets

What is the answer? Is there an absolute definition of accessibility we can agree on? Let me know what you think!

Back to Top
2. Distance caring

A reminder about the research project at the University of Hull which is trying to find out more about the experiences of people who provide help, care and support to a relative or friend who lives at a distance from them (meaning that they have to travel for one hour or more to visit them).

If you are one of these distance carers, and you are aged over 18, the researchers would like to hear from you.

They believe that people are providing important help and support to relatives and friends who are disabled or affected by old age or a long-term condition, whether they live in their own homes, residential and nursing homes or NHS settings.

We are fast approaching the closing date to complete their survey and contribute to this useful research.

Read more here

Back to Top
3. National Disability Arts Collection

Work is continuing on the National Disability Arts Collection and Archive (NDACA) at Bucks New University.

This week, they are holding a series of open-house “digitising sessions” led by NDACA’s archivist, Alex Cowan, where students and staff will be able to watch the process of physical artefacts becoming part of a digital archive.

The collection celebrates the history of the disability arts movement, inextricably linked with the political activism which led to changes in the law to establish important rights for people with disabilities.

The new learning wing containing the collection and archive is scheduled for opening next April.

You can read more here 

Back to Top
4. Superheroes don’t stop for snow!

You probably remember the first Superhero Tri, held at Dorney Lake Windsor during the summer. The only mass participation sporting event open to everybody, whatever their ability, was a great success, and the organisers are following up with Winter Wonderwheels, a 5k relay sponsored by npower, with celebrity team captains joined by four teammates, who will each complete 1km of the course.

The event will be taking place in December, and participants can cycle, run, walk, scoot, push or be pushed – or anything in between!

Find out more on the Superhero Series website

Back to Top
5. Derek’s View – Super Loo for new Super Pub!

If you enjoy a convivial drink, and you or someone you care for needs a fully accessible toilet, then you should raise a glass to Wetherspoon’s.

The only pub chain in the country that has committed to including Changing Places toilets in as many venues as possible, has just opened a “super pub”, the Royal Victoria Pavilion at Ramsgate, which is believed to be the biggest pub in the country.

Apart from rescuing a handsome Grade II listed building on the seafront, the company has made sure that its doors are open to all, by installing one of Closomat’s Changing Places assisted accessible toilets.

You can read more here

If you provide high quality products and services, and you would like to reach our site visitors and newsletter readers, please email

Back to Top
6. Latest – Stoptober; Disabled peoples’ rights

For several years now, October has been the month to focus on smoking – or rather, not smoking.

Stoptober is the campaign to encourage the 19% of adults who still smoke to try and kick the habit. If you manage to stop for 28 days, you are five times more likely to stop for good – so getting support in the early days and weeks is very important. There are various resources available -

Find out more here

Tomorrow (Thursday 12th) sees an adjournment debate in the House of Commons on upholding the rights of disabled people. This is the only Parliamentary time that has been secured to discuss the serious findings of the UN disability committee concerning the negative impact of welfare reform on disabled people’s rights in the UK. Email your MP and ask them to attend – the more members there, the more important the subject is taken to be.

Don’t forget that you can apply to join the Independent Living Facebook group, if you would like to spend more time discussing these themes with other interested people.

There are various ways you can get in touch with us: email me; visit our Facebook page and leave a message there; or if it’s short and sweet, Tweet!

Previous newsletters are archived here.

If you are reading a copy of the Independent Living newsletter that has been passed on to you by a colleague or friend, why not sign up for your own free subscription – it’s quick and easy, and won’t lead to your inbox being bombarded with other stuff!

Back to Top

Until next time, all good wishes,


Share on:
Frances Leckie

e: editor @
t: +44 (0) 208 133 0628
Skype: francesleckie

Follow us:
Print Friendly