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

Welcome to this week’s Independent Living news roundup. And I want to start by letting you know that Belinda Schwehr, founder of legal advice charity CASCAIDr, will be talking about Care Act easements on the BBC radio 4 Today programme tomorrow morning (Thursday), sometime between 7 and 8 AM. Always worth listening to!
13.05.20 Contents:
New music by disabled artists
SCI Awareness
Impact of social distancing
Time to learn sign language!
More suppliers’ COVID-19 activities
Latest – Support for Key Workers
1. New music by disabled artists


Drake Music and Sound and Music are hosting a cross-genre showcase of new music from emerging disabled musicians, with events taking place tomorrow, 14th May on Zoom, Facebook and YouTube.

The day begins with a live Listening Party, a chance to hear the new commissions by Remi Fox-NovakThe Dyr Sister (pictured here) and Robbie Ashworth.

Each artist has collaborated with a film-maker or visual artist on bold moving image to accompany their new tracks and live performances.

You can find out more here



Back to Top
2. SCI Awareness


Coming up on Friday is SCI Awareness Day, and it is worth reflecting that even though we are in coronavirus lockdown, people are still sustaining spinal cord injuries.

Jonathan Fogerty,  Associate Solicitor at CFG Law, who sustained his spinal cord injury 32 years ago, has started writing about life with SCI - you can read his first blog here

And I interviewed Jonathan for Independent Living a while back about Access and the Equality Act. In its 10th anniversary year, why is the act not doing more to support equal access for people with disabilities?

You can listen to the interview here




Back to Top
3. Impact of social distancing


An interesting new study at the University of Stirling will be exploring the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on social contact, loneliness, wellbeing and physical activity in older adults.

Professor Anna Whittaker (pictured here) and her team will primarily focus on over 70s in Scotland – but are also keen to speak to other adults who are typically physically active and those who are at risk of social isolation generally, as well as at this time – for example, those with intellectual or cognitive disabilities, and carers.

If you might be interested in taking part, you can contact Dr Simone Tomaz, who is part of the research team.

Read more about the study here



Back to Top
4. Time to learn sign language!


The virtual life we have all been getting used to has not always been as inclusive as it might be for deaf and hearing impaired people.

The extraordinary lack of a BSL interpreter at the daily Downing Street coronavirus briefings led to a social media campaign and the launch of legal proceedings against the government.

The National Deaf Children’s Society is now providing free online classesin British Sign Language, which you can follow on YouTube for the next 12 weeks.

Something useful to do with any spare lockdown time!

More details here



Back to Top
5. More suppliers’ COVID-19 activities


OTs and other healthcare professionals who are unsure about how to continue to support clients will, I am sure, appreciate the expert briefing notes provided through Inclusion.Me.

Bariatric specialists, Benmor Medical, are providing emergency rentals around the country 24/7, with a reminder that their Aurum specialist care beds can easily be adjusted to meet requirements for a standard size profiling bed.

Easylink UK are continuing to work remotely, and can provide essential equipment such as facemasks and contactless thermometers.

And Branch Properties may have their doors closed, but can still offer accessible property search services.



Back to Top
6. Latest – Support for Keyworkers


Independent Living’s friends at MASIS (Mobility and Support Information Service) have launched a campaign to show support for all key workers in whatever sector.

The 2020 Key Worker Lapel Badge can make a positive difference to somebody’s state of mind. It lets them know that they are being honoured, supported and appreciated for their efforts.

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!


Back to Top


That’s it until next week!

Thank you for reading and best wishes,



Share on:
Frances Leckie
Editore: editor @
t: +44 (0) 208 133 0628
Skype: francesleckie
Follow us:


Print Friendly