Have Spoon Will Travel

Born in 1960, Rosie’s impairment is four-limbed Phocomelia caused by the drug Thalidomide.

After graduating with a BSc., (Hons) Degree in Psychology through Cardiff University in 1985, Rosie joined the Civil Service and remained with the Department of Trade and Industry at Companies House Cardiff until 1993 at Executive Officer level.

In 1995 Rosie formed the RMS Disability Issues Consultancy, out of a genuine desire to deliver first-class training in the field of Disability Equality and Disability Issues.

Rosie received an OBE in the Queen’s New Years Honours List in 2015, “For Services to the Equality and the Rights of Disabled People.”

Rosie was awarded an Honorary Fellowship from Cardiff University in 2017.

Married, with one son, Rosie has a particular interest in radio, television and the arts.  Rosie has been the subject of several documentaries. She has worked with the BBC, Sky and ITV, and can be heard regularly on BBC Radio Wales.  She is a freelance TV and Radio Presenter.

Links:

Spoon and fork holder with a magnet

Single use flexible straws

Folding shelf for eating in restaurants

Fork holder with a magnet, use cheap cutlery

Mount n mover https://www.mountnmover.com/

It’s all about finding your way around says R​ick Williams

Rick Williams runs his own business based in Brighton. The company have been around for about 20 years and supply consultancy and training services to organisations that want to improve their employment and services provided for disabled people.

Rick went blind in his mid-40s as a result of retinitis pigmentosa and this explains his lifelong commitment and passion for ensuring that disabled people, particularly those with sight impairments, lead as independent and inclusive a life as possible.

In this edition of Gear, Gadgets and Gizmos Rick discusses a variety of things which enable him to have a very full and active life.

Freeney Williams http://www.freeneywilliams.com

iPhone and Ipad has a Text to Speech Function

Free Navigation support https://www.bemyeyes.com/

Jaws Screen Reader http://bit.ly/2DEWztk

Apple Vis https://www.applevis.com/

Talking Microwave http://bit.ly/2DB3K5x

Tactile Measuring Jug https://amzn.to/2DF77st

Dymo Tape http://bit.ly/2DDBfEw

Geoff Adams-Spink talks about his favourite gadgets

Hello everyone and welcome to this the inaugural edition of the Gear, Gadgets and Gizmos podcast. 

We’re delighted to welcome as our first guest Geoff Adams-Spink one of the trustees of Research Institute for Disabled Consumers (RiDC).

Geoff was born with multiple impairments as a result of thalidomide. He has  shortened upper limbs, a missing right eye and extremely restricted vision in his left eye. 

He left the BBC in 2011 to set up his own disability equality consultancy and to Chair an international federation of organisations for those affected by congenital limb difference (EDRIC). 

As a trainer and public speaker, he has worked extensively in the UK, many EU countries, Ukraine, China and Thailand. 

He has an outward-looking world view and seeks to help international business, public and third sector organisations to learn from each other by spreading best practice in the field of disability equality. 

In my conversation with Geoff he talks about the things that he uses to overcome the difficulties that his impairments put in his way. Some are simple devices others more complex but all provide a solution.

I’ve posted below links to the products and services that Geoff mentioned.

Don’t forget to take a look at the RateIt website hosted by the Research Institute for Disabled Consumers where you will find a whole host of products and gadgets which might be useful to you. https://rateit.ridc.org.uk/

Finally, if you are a disabled person and would like to join the RIDC Consumer Panel please email Chris Lofthouse at chrislofthouse@ridc.org.uk or call 020 7427 2467

Links:

Clamp for tablet Bestek https://amzn.to/2VBrDBa  £22 approx 

Amazon Echo Smart Speaker https://amzn.to/2VDfGLj 

Aquarius Portabidet http://bit.ly/2VBY5Dn 

Closemat http://bit.ly/2VFgE9Y 

Gerberit  http://bit.ly/2VCH243 

Disabled Facilities Grant from Local Authority http://bit.ly/2VDj48Z 

The Generation Game

The Generation Game

How often do you hear, ‘what do the young people want?’ Perhaps not often enough. Certainly not as often as ‘how things have changed since my day!’ 

We wanted to hear from the next generation so we invited the multi-talented Abbi Brown on to our show. She works for the ad agency behind the now famous Malteser adverts on Channel 4.

With Abbi we explore whether you can make more of a difference from the inside or outside, who her (disabled) role models were when she was growing up and does she think there’s a disability movement these days. Indeed, what is activism these days, what are the next generation ‘fighting for’ if anything and does social media help or hinder? We also talk about using the bus and not thinking twice about it. 

Abbi has personal experience of disability with OI (brittle bones) deafness and mental health problems. 

You can follow Abbi on 

Twitter @AbbiSigns 

Instagram abbisigns  

YouTube  Ithinkmynameismoose

Services or Swervices?

Over the past few weeks, I’ve become increasingly concerned about the struggles that some disabled people seem to have when using or accessing the most basic customer service.

Let me explain; the Guardian recently published a story about Anne Wafula Strike, a Paralympian wheelchair user who was forced to wet herself on a train because the accessible toilet was out of order. (http://bit.ly/2jw0Xzz) A few days later I came across the story that Frank Gardner, a wheelchair user and BBC journalist, had been left on a plane because the equipment needed to help him disembark was delayed. (http://bit.ly/2jvKYkV) Then Socitm which represents IT and digital professionals in the public sector, published research which revealed that one-third of website home pages used by local authorities are not accessible to many disabled people. (http://bit.ly/2jvY41G).

I guess these stories are just the tip of the iceberg and that many of you have personal horror stories about the lack of accessible services you’ve encountered.

What troubles me is that legislation was passed back in 1995 that was supposed prevent these difficulties from arising. So what is going on?

Clearly, financial stringencies have a part to play, but I’m not convinced that this is the main reason. I sense that for some service providers disabled consumers are just a nuisance. They think it is less expensive or less complicated to ignore us and hope that by placing more barriers in our way or by making life harder for us, we will go away. Hence the term “swervices not services.”

Am I being harsh or exaggerating the situation? I don’t think so! We have been complaining about the lack of appropriate customer service and access for years; we have eschewed the benefits of inclusive design for decades; we’ve protested, sued and lobbied and despite all this, our concerns continue to be disregarded.

Perhaps there is some light at the end of the tunnel. Doug Paulley’s recent victory in the Supreme Court concerning wheelchair spaces on buses is a pointer to customer service providers that they will have to do more or face serious consequences. (http://bbc.in/2jGj3Bx)