Independent Living – Welcome to this week’s Independent Living news.

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Welcome to this week’s Independent Living news.
03.10.18 Contents:
Change 100 open to applicants
Lifestyle monitoring testers needed
Spotting serious conditions…
Get Going Live! is back
Rightsizing, not downsizing, needed
Latest Updates – Product Focus; Travel app
1. Change 100 open to applicants

This year’s Change 100 programme of paid internships is now open to applicants.

Leonard Cheshire Disability launched Change 100 in 2014, to help young disabled people get valuable work experience and mentoring. The employment rate amongst working age people with a disability is about 50%, compared with 80% for non-disabled people.

The organisation’s research has shown that one in five employers would be less likely to employ a disabled person. Of those line managers who are less likely to do so, almost three quarters are concerned that they would struggle to do the job.

Read more here

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2. Lifestyle monitoring testers needed

A rare highlight of my recent visit to Independent Living Scotland was meeting Antonia Bradford and her husband Martin, who have set up a new company using their expertise in electronics and computing to develop a lifestyle monitoring system that is functional, affordable and easy.

Vixen Electronics Monitoring System is nearing commercial readiness, but first they need some volunteers to test the system. All you need to join the pilot is an Internet connection.

More details here

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3. Spotting serious conditions…

Serious conditions have signs, if you know what to look for. They can prove very detrimental to our health, but if you pick them up early enough, there are often steps you can take to either stop the process before it damages health too much or at the very least slow its effects.

Acorn Stairlifts has produced a useful guide to the tell-tale signs of six of the most commonly encountered serious health conditions – which are they?

You can find out here

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4. Get Going Live! is back

QEF’s Driving Assessment Centre in Carshalton, Surrey is hosting a relaunched Get Going Live! event so that young and recently disabled people can experience assistive driving.

Taking place this Friday, 5th October, admission to the event is free, and there is ample accessible parking.

Youngsters with a disability can start learning to drive at 15 rather than 16 – this is a great chance to try out adapted vehicles and driving controls in a safe environment.

More details here

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5. Rightsizing, not downsizing, needed

This week’s report from the Centre for Ageing Better highlights the fact that many older people only move house when a crisis forces them to do so.

Most don’t want to downsize or move into specialist retirement accommodation. But these options are generally what they are presented with, leaving many stuck in homes that don’t really meet their needs any more and unable to move even though they would like to.

By concentrating efforts on building age-restricted and extra care housing, which is only wanted by a small proportion of the market, the needs of the majority, for homes which are accessible and well located, are being ignored.

More details here

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6. Latest updates – Product Focus; travel app

This week, we have sent out the autumn edition of Independent Living’s quarterly roundup of new products and services.

An interesting batch, including some new developments in well-established products, and other completely fresh and sometimes unexpected solutions!

If you haven’t seen it yet, you can read it online here.

And why not sign up to receive future issues!

Following last week’s feature on travel apps for wheelchair users, news of  another one on its way. Passenger Assist should make it easier for people with a disability to book and amend assistance requirements for train journeys. It is currently being trialled by four train operators, and is scheduled to be available across the UK rail network by autumn 2019.

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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