Mary Duffy – Innovator Par Excellence

Resolute, determined, funny, innovative and creative Mary Duffy is all of these things.

As a Thalidomide survivor, she has invented all sorts of ingenious ways of managing her daily life and her artistic career without arms.

Mary lives by the sea in Wicklow in Ireland and is an accomplished and honoured artist.

Aside from her painting, she’s tried pottery and photography. She loves gardening and is particularly adept at weeding onions using a spoon gripped between her toes.

Listen to Mary talking about portable grab rails, book page-turners, and gardening footwear.

Links:
Suction Grab Rails https://bit.ly/2OXwfQe
Shoe Trowel https://bit.ly/2WSyVmw
Reading Frame https://bit.ly/3hyXYTz

Steph Cutler – Panorama and Victoria Sponge

Steph’s career started in the fashion industry where she designed for high street labels, such as Ted Baker and M&S. She had always wanted to be a fashion designer and says she was working hard, playing hard and keen to make her mark. As her career began to take off disability came into her life when she unexpectedly experienced sight loss.

Her company, Making Lemonade was initially born from her lived experience of acquiring her impairment. This quickly led to an interest in the lived experiences of a wide range of other disabled people and interest in disability equality generally. She became an advocate of disability issues and a champion of diversity and inclusion which remains the foundation of Making Lemonade.

In this podcast, Steph tells us about the things she uses on a regular basis which help her get passed or around the barriers her sight loss presents.

Here are links to the Gear, Gadgets and Gizmos she mentioned.

iPhone

Ocado

Panasonic TV voice guidance 

Alexa 

Feet and Hands in Harmony.

Sue Kent is a massage therapist who uses her feet to massage. She pioneered this technique due to an upper limb disability caused by the drug thalidomide.

She has 8- inch- long arms and seven fingers and no thumbs. She has little strength or grip ability in her hands. Sue uses both her feet and her arms to do daily tasks, and she sometimes uses her teeth although she isn’t sure this is always a good idea.

Sue’s favourite pastimes include sea swimming, gardening and painting, all of which she does using a combination of her feet and hands.

Sue runs a Facebook page called Gadgets to make life easier, disabling disability. Here people can share gadgets they found that are useful or ask if anybody has a gadget for a problem that they have. https://www.facebook.com/groups/83214963722/?ref=share

Sue mentioned the following products/items in the podcast

A rocker chopper, here’s an example https://amzn.to/2WGbQUF

Automatic tweezers https://bit.ly/2TjjWAx

Split toe socks. https://etsy.me/2TdFSg7

 

 

Rudi Breakwell-Boss – Bent Spoons and Gobbledegook

Rudi has been a wheelchair user since 1971 following an accident which paralysed his legs, arms and hands, although he can still use his hands to some extent despite having no finger movement.

He says that he was fortunate to have been able to receive a university education, albeit in an ancient, entirely un-adapted environment.

He has worked in various industries including the charitable sector, television, the arts and sport both in the UK and the United States.

He was very active in disability politics in the 80s and 90s which was a very fruitful and happy period for him.

He is now semi-retired and lives in an adapted housing association flat in West London and uses a number of support workers to assist him with daily living tasks.

Rudi’s gadget list

  • Speech Recognition on iPad and iPhone

Ross Hovey – Red Through and Through

Ross Hovey works for Lloyds Banking Group as their Accessibility Manager. His role is to create an inclusive environment for disabled colleagues and he leads on the workplace adjustment programme.

Outside of work, he is a board director for Changing Places (campaigning for better toilet facilities for the most severely disabled people), a co-chair of the disability network WharfAbility and a member of the Independent Gatwick Accessible Panel. 

When he is not working he is a passionate supporter of Liverpool Football Club and attends all their home games and travels to away games when tickets are available.

Ross loves to travel all over the world and is also a big gadget fan. His home is equipped with all sorts of tech that help him to maintain an independent life. (He discusses some of them in this podcast).

Ross lives in Cambridgeshire in an adapted bungalow and he employs four support workers who provide the personal care that he requires.

Show Notes: –

Apple iPhone

Any List Shopping App for Amazon Echo/Alexa

Lightwave RF

Amazon Echo Show

Liverpool Football Club

Shannon Murray – Cars, Sticks and Toilet seats!

Shannon Murray is an actress, writer, disability consultant and a solicitor, on top of this she is also an accomplished keynote speaker.

Shannon was left paralysed from the waist down after a diving accident when she was 14 years old and first received international media attention a few years after her injury when she won the first-ever search for a disabled model.

She has since campaigned for the better representation of disability in the media for 20 years and has gone some way to improving that, appearing in a number of successful dramas for the BBC and Channel 4 as well as being the first disabled model to feature in a high profile advertising campaign for the British store Debenhams.

Hand controls push pull fitted to an automatic

Walking stick with marble/bone handle

Raised toilet seat of various heights.

When push comes to shove!

https://geargadgetsgizmos.buzzsprout.com/1172966/4250771-andy-healey-when-push-comes-to-shove

Andy Healey is an aerospace writer and published author. He blogs on mobility and disabled travel at JohnnySombreroRides.com.

Andy flew helicopters in the Royal Navy and subsequently for an air-taxi operator near London, before breaking his back in a 1985 flying accident.

Since then he has written for most UK national newspapers and presented for the BBC and Channel 4.

He wrote ‘Leading from the Front; Bristow Helicopters, the first 50 years’ (Tempus) and ‘The Rough Guide to Accessible London’ (Rough Guides); he is currently editing a book for a major aerospace manufacturer.

In our conversation, Andy shares his thoughts about his travels and the equipment he uses to make getting around that much easier.

If like him you’re a bit of a globetrotter take a listen

Luggage Bag     https://www.phoenixinstinct.com/ 

Freewheel for manual wheelchair http://bit.ly/2oZhmDp

RGK Tiga FX. http://bit.ly/2o8W8CK

GTM Mustang. http://bit.ly/2ogmvGA

Andy’s Website and Blog  www.johnnysombrerorides.com

Jamie Knight and Lion

https://www.buzzsprout.com/1172966/4250774

 

Jamie Knight is an autistic web developer, writer, speaker and mountain biker. Lion is a plushie who goes everywhere with him.

The duo has spent almost 10 years at the BBC working on everything from iPlayer Radio to children’s gaming. Millions of people use Jamie’s code each day. 

Lion’s BBC career has mostly been in antelope management. 

Jamie has been speaking about his autistic life for over 10 years. He’s also contributed to books, magazines and co-presented a podcast series for the BBC.

Jamie explains the importance of the tech he uses and the vital role it plays in helping him to manage communication, mood and life generally.

Jamie and Lion’s Gadgets list:

Proloquo2Go http://bit.ly/30taTyy

Apple Watch https://apple.co/32XSdHX

Phillips Hue Smart lights https://amzn.to/330eFzZ

Nest Smoke alarm https://amzn.to/32V6V2o

Alice Maynard on the things that help her maintain her independence.

Head and shoulders picture of Alice

https://www.buzzsprout.com/1172966/4250777

Dr Alice Maynard CBE is an experienced Non-Executive Director having worked since the early ‘90s as a Trustee of several Charities and a member of two Housing Association Committees.
Alice was Chair of Scope for 6 years, a £100m turnover charity providing services to disabled people with high support needs and campaigning for disabled people’s equality.
Alice is a Chartered Director (Institute of Directors) and has worked in the private, public and third sectors and she has established two successful businesses of her own (Equal Ability and Future Inclusion).
Alice has spinal muscular atrophy and uses a powered wheelchair to get around. She lives in Milton Keynes.

Here are the links to the products and services Alice mentioned:-

If you would like to appear on our podcast Gear, Gadgets and Gizmos please contact Chris Lofthouse. His email is chrislofthouse@RiDC.org.uk or call 0207 427 2467

Vivek Gohil – Gamer Extraordinaire.

Click here for podcast

In this Gear, Gadgets and Gizmos episode from the Research Institute for Disabled Consumers (RIDC), I’m in conversation with Vivek Gohil who has managed to find ways to enjoying gaming by bending technology to his will.

Vivek is 29 and from Leicester, he lives with the muscle-wasting condition Duchenne Muscular Dystrophy, he uses a ventilator to help him breathe and is a powered wheelchair user. 

He is a Blogger, Speaker, Accessibility & Assistive Tech Consultant and Freelance Writer for the gaming website Eurogamer. 

Vivek primarily writes about disability representation in all forms of media, assistive technology, gaming, mental health and his lived experience. 

He’s worked with Microsoft testing their Xbox adaptive controller, Logitech reviewing gaming mice and game developers to improve accessibility and disability inclusion. 

Comics, Sci-Fi, Robotics, Superheroes, Space and Psychology interest him so if you’re not busy then he can talk your ear off about those topics. 

You can learn more by visiting Vivek’s blog posts at http://bit.ly/2Zp1PcX

During our conversation Vivek mentioned the following products:

Gaming Mouse Logitech 3250 http://bit.ly/308h0Iq

Windows Dictation Software 

Playstation 4 Controller adapted by Special Effect a charity. http://bit.ly/3097IvC

Xbox adaptive control

Titan 1 controller  https://amzn.to/3050cSn

Rate it! is a product review website by and for disabled people. It’s an online space for you to share views of products (specialist and mainstream), hacks, and tips to make life easier. If you’re a disabled or older person living in the UK, use your knowledge and experience to do consumer research – Join the RiDC research panel