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Welcome to this week’s Independent Living news.
14.02.18 Contents:
Elderly care around the world
Speech recognition for the voiceless
Elegant and practical Matrix basin
Scope supporting social enterprises
Derek’s View – Functional seating
Latest – Who won the pancake relay? Carers and work
1. Elderly care around the world

How do they do care for elderly citizens in other parts of the world?

Most of us have a reasonable idea of the way the system works in whichever part of the UK we inhabit, but how different is it in Canada? Or Germany?

Are there any ideas we should be picking up on?

Acorn Stairlifts has been investigating – you can read more here

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2. Speech recognition for the voiceless

I used to be part of very small minority, talking to my computer and expecting it to do as I ask. Then voice assistants such as Siri and Alexa came along, and everybody’s at it!

Or not quite everybody. Until now, if you struggled to make yourself understood by other people, then speech recognition apps would be out of the question also.

Israeli start-up Voiceitt has been developing a system which translates unintelligible speech into clear words.

Find out more here

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3. Elegant and practical Matrix M basin

Pressalit Care has launched a new height adjustable wash basin, the Matrix M. It has integrated power buttons for raising and lowering the basin, and to aid all-important hygiene control,  the plumbing has been incorporated into a discreet, concealed unit.

The Matrix M also features the company’s highly regarded grab handles at the front of the basin.

See more details here

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4. Scope supporting social enterprises

Social enterprises (like this one) are more interested in doing useful work than making lots of money.

No doubt one useful outcome for any social enterprise would be providing employment opportunities for disabled people, a million of whom are willing and able to work, but excluded from the labour market.

So the news that disability charity Scope is investing £375,000 in social start-ups is definitely welcome.

Find out more here.

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5. Derek’s View – Functional seating

Site subscriber, Mercado Medic, provides a range of functional chairs for people with physical disabilities. They are based on a unique modular system, which enables them to be adapted to meet the needs of users whatever their disability.

You can see more about them on their newly updated showcase page.

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

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6. Latest – Who won the pancake race? Carers & work

Yesterday was Shrove Tuesday. Did you eat pancakes? If so, I hope they behaved themselves and didn’t end up stuck to the walls or ceiling!

I’m sure you are wondering about the outcome of the Rehab Parliamentary Pancake Race – was it MPs, peers or journos who carried the day?

You can find out here.

Committee on employment support for carers

The Work & Pensions Committee completed its investigation into employment support for carers, with a final evidence session last week.

Details here.

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!

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Until next time, all good wishes,


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Frances Leckie

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Skype: francesleckie

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