Independent Living – Welcome to the latest Independent Living news roundup.

Welcome to the latest Independent Living news roundup.
03.07.19 Contents:
Remap Award Winners
Self-Esteem and Spinal Cord Injury
Why walking football rules!
Tech to bridge employment gap
Disabled Access – ignorance not bliss
Latest – Cross-government disability team
1. Remap Award Winners

I promised you award winners last week, and here they are!

We have details of all the ingenious solutions devised by Remap’s wonderful volunteers in the article on Independent Living.

I am particularly enthused by Akshaya Ahuja’s discreet and practical CP positioning alert which he made for Sarah Stones – partly because as you see, I had the honour of presenting him with his award, and the equal pleasure of meeting him and Sarah, who works in motivation for young people.

More about the further development of their project later!

Read about all the winners here

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2. Self-Esteem and Spinal Cord Injury

We have a really interesting guest blog this week, contributed by disability campaigner and blogger David Miller, who runs the dating site

He writes about recovering self-esteem in the aftermath of a spinal cord injury, and why it is important. Adapting to some degree of reliance on others he likens to “giving up control over your life to someone else and just hoping they won’t do anything bad with it.” Not an easy transition.

Read his article here

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3. Why walking football rules!

Every week, I walk past a poster for walking football on my way to ballet class, and have often idly wondered what it’s all about.

Well now I know, as Better, a social enterprise dedicated to active leisure, has helpfully explained the differences between the familiar sport and its slower paced variant.

As well as football, the governing bodies of volleyball, weightlifting, orienteering and boccia have all launched revamped versions of their sports in an effort to attract older participants to take part and get fit.

More details here

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4. Tech to bridge employment gap

There is still a significant disability employment gap, despite initiatives such as the Disability Confident scheme, and Access to Work funding support.

Leonard Cheshire believe that accessible and assistive technology is the key to bridging that gap, as well as having a positive impact on other areas of daily life with a disability.

A recent event at the House of Commons came up with recommendations for the government to take the initiative, as well as showcasing some groundbreaking tech developments.

Read more here

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5. Disabled Access – ignorance not bliss

I received a press release recently, on behalf of Konditor cake shop, which said that it hadn’t realised that it should make “reasonable adjustments” to provide access to disabled customers, until Esther Leighton, a disability rights campaigner, pointed it out to them.

The law has required this since 1995. That’s very nearly 25 years of not realising they were breaking the law, and while I am delighted that wheelchair users in London can now eat cake as easily as everyone else (in moderation, of course!), I can’t help thinking that it’s a real shame that a law which seeks a bit of fairness for people with disabilities can apparently pass below the radar in this way.

I would love to know what you think! You can also see comments from our Facebook group and from Esther Leighton herself.

Read more here

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6. Latest – Cross-government disability team

The Prime Minister appears to be fighting a valiant rearguard action not to be remembered exclusively for the Brexit fiasco. On entering Downing Street, she spoke about correcting “burning injustices”, and she has now launched a new drive to tackle the barriers faced by disabled people, coordinated through a disability team which will operate across departmental divides.

More 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, best wishes,


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Frances Leckie

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