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Is it OK to call disabled people inspirational?

A debate which is receiving a lot of attention of late, is whether disabled people can be “inspirational” for doing everyday things – or if the tag is condescending.  Two big Super Bowl advertisements have reignited this debate. During the American football festivities earlier this month, Paralympian Amy Purdy (picture curtesy of Getty images) ran, snowboarded and danced for Toyota, while Microsoft showed off how its technology helps a six-year old boy with prosthetic legs.   Trending radio recently brought together two disabled bloggers to debate the adjective. Is it OK to be “inspired” by disabled people – and is the “inspiring” tag encouraging or offensive? You can read their responses...

Access – or the lack of it

These frustrating situations seem to be an everyday part of life, not just in London, but in towns and cities across the country. Exactly the sort of routine access problems that the DDA, and then the Equality Act, were supposed to solve. Any business that doesn’t make “reasonable adjustments” so that people with a disability can use their services are breaking the law, which you would think might make them pause for reflection, even if they aren’t bothered about all the business they are losing by turning away so many potential customers. But apparently, high profile chains including Costa Coffee, Caffe Nero, Eat, Itsu, Chipotle and the Post Office think that a bland apology, and a statement that they are rectifying things now, is...

21-Stone British man wins landmark case after judge rules his obesity is a disability

In the first case of its kind an overweight British man has won a landmark discrimination case against his employers. This is after a High Court judge ruled the effects of obesity can be classed as a disability.  John Walker, 49, weighed more than 21 stone when he was dismissed from his post as an IT manager at Sita Information Networking Computing UK. He was sacked after spending seven years off work with health problems linked to his size such as asthma, diabetes, high blood pressure, chronic fatigue and knee problems. For the full story and more information on the impact that this will have click...

Smart Shoes with lasers set to make strides in mobility

Last Week at the Footwear Health Tech Conference in Eindhoven, the Netherlands a very exciting product was introduced to the world.  A new mobility aid named Path which helps people who have trouble walking – simply by being fitted to their shoes. Lise Pape, an engineer at InnovationRCA at the Royal College of Art in London, was inspired to build the system by her father, who was diagnosed with Parkinson’s disease more than 10 years ago. Like many people with Parkinson’s, he falls occasionally and experiences freezing of gait, the temporary impression that his feet are glued to the ground. For more information on this upcoming product, read the full...

Transport for London – Guide

Transport for London are continuing to improve the number of step-free access stations. However it is still crucial to have up-to-date information to aid with planning your route. This...

Disabled Man Takes on Tube Challenge

Ben Holt who has cerebral palsy, bids to visit all 270 London Underground stations to highlight system’s accessibility problems and set new world record. This challenge is made all that harder with only 24% of the underground stations being fully accessible. Ben is attempting to break the current record of 16 hours and 20 minutes, however he would become the first disabled person to complete this challenge should he find his way to his final stop at Epping Station. Read more here and good luck...

International Day of Persons with Disabilities

Today marks the 12th anniversary of the International Day of Persons with Disabilities. The observance of the Day aims to promote an understanding of disability issues and mobilise support for the dignity, rights and well-being of persons with disabilities. This article by the International Business Times outlines some of the most recent technological breakthroughs aimed at improving the living standards of those affected by a...

London Access Guide

One of the biggest challenges that wheelchair users face is the ability to find accessible bars, restaurants, hotels, cinemas, music festivals & sports ground (Pic courtesy of The Guardian). This was a problem Euan found all to often when going out with friends. This inspired him to create Euan’s guide a comprehensive directory on disabled access that allows people to share their reviews with others. If you would like to find new exciting and accessible venues within your area do not hesitate to check out the...

Importance of Disabled Access for Businesses

This recent article by the Telegraph on the “20 most accessible tourist attractions” highlights the success that businesses can enjoy when they provide complete disabled access. There are eleven million people with a disability in Britain and they and their families have a spending power of over £200bn. This is a large potential market to be restricting your business from through lack of appropriate disabled...

Wheelchair Map – Find Wheelchair Accessible Places

Wheelmap is an open and free online map for wheelchair-accessible places. It empowers users to share and access information on the wheelchair-accessibility of public places.  Places that are not yet marked have a grey tag and can be quickly and easily marked by everyone. The crowdsourced information is free, easy to understand and can be shared with everyone.  Read more...