Tag Archives: Disability news

Travelling with a disability – Public Transports in the UK

Travelling with a disability is never an easy task. That’s why public transports should be on the forefront of helping out. Unfortunately it seems this is not always the case.

 

Southern Rail’s cuts

 

Southern Railway train-Travelling with a disability

Southern Railway train

 

This week we got very concerned upon hearing how train companies in the UK are scrapping help for disable people; especially Southern Rail, that is quietly cancelling ‘guaranteed assistance’ from 33 stations.

 

Transport for All, which campaigns on behalf of disabled passengers, said the company have scrapped their ‘turn up and go’ access at dozens of stations.

 

Before the change was announced, train maps specified the stations where those needing assistance could turn up and travel.

 

Now, the maps on the trains say that if such passengers do not book help in advance, ‘there might be a significant delay to your journey’.

 

A spokesman for Transport For All said: ‘Whether it’s assistance failing to turn up, inaccessible platforms or a lack of accessible facilities on trains, what is clear is that our railways are failing disabled and older passengers.

 

‘Now, to make matters worse Southern Rail have announced that they are withdrawing turn up and go assistance from 33 stations across their network.

 

‘This is clearly a huge backwards step for accessibility.’

 

On the other hand, a Southern spokesman said: ‘Passengers do not have to book assistance before travelling with us.

 

‘We only recommend this to ensure we have staff prepared with ramps or that alternative travel is in place if a station is not accessible. Our priority is to have an on-board supervisor on services which previously had a conductor.’

 

‘In the exceptional circumstances when this is not possible, we have a clear, robust process to ensure passengers with accessibility requirements are assisted to complete their journeys.’

 

Travelling with a Guide Dog on Public Transport

 

Patrick Robert, from Lambeth, is blind and uses his guide dog Rufus to travel around London

 

After hearing about these cuts by major Railways companies we scanned the web where we found some other very interesting first person accounts about difficulties of travelling on public transport, in this case we report an informative account on the difficulties of travelling with a guide dog from Patrick Robert, from Lambeth, who is blind and uses his guide dog Rufus to travel around London.

 

Travelling in London can be a real challenge for people with a visual impairment. Back in 2009 I registered as severely visually impaired (Blind). Since then I have had to adapt myself to the transport network and change my habits. Every time I travel around I’ve got the support from Rufus my guide dog.

 

This change in my life was not always easy. As a result I joined Transport for All in order to get advice and support when using the different public transport modes. “Lack of communications is one of the biggest challenges I face.

 

I often struggle on buses: when you’re speaking to a bus driver they don’t always verbally respond, but probably do a sign which I can’t see. I have had also some bad experience with bus drivers not stopping at the bus stop but a few meters away. Obviously if a bus driver does not stop in front of me, it makes it impossible for me to discuss with them and check the bus number.

 

On the Tube I had a lot of issues following the closure of ticket offices, making it harder for me to find staff to assist me. I need staff in order to travel safely and I need to find them as soon as possible to avoid being targeted by the general public.

 

 

Lack of communications is also an issue with taxis. Once I booked a taxi and told the operator that I was travelling with my guide dog and the driver should ring my doorbell when they arrive. I received a telephone call from the operator telling me that my taxi had arrived and was waiting outside for me. I reminded the operator of my earlier instructions and asked how I was supposed to identify the taxi outside?

 

Five minutes later my doorbell rang as I opened the door the driver was already heading back to his taxi.

 

Locking my front door, Rufus and I walked up to my front gate, only to hear the driver say he cannot take the dog. He proceeded to rant and rave about dogs not being allowed in his taxi. I told him I had advised the operator that I was travelling with a guide dog and he needs to have a go at them and in the meantime I need to get to this council meeting. I could hear him talking on his phone saying he was not prepared to take me. At this point it had started raining and I said to him he was breaking the law by refusing to take us.

 

That seemed to subdue him for he assisted me and Rufus into his cab and during the journey he kept apologising saying his custom and culture does not accept dogs and his company knew this. I told him it is against the law to refuse access to guide dog owners and their guide dog.

 

On another occasion I booked a minicab and told the operator that I was blind and the driver needs to come to my front door and ring my doorbell. The phone rang; it was the driver saying that he could not find my property. I gave him specific directions to my home from the location he described to me. Five minutes later, he rang back and asked me to come outside so he could see where my property was and I could see where he was?

 

I walked outside and waited about ten minutes and then went back in to find four messages on my answer machine from the driver saying he could not see me; he could only see a guy with a white stick, am I anywhere near him? I called him back and told him I was the guy with the white stick.”

 

The interview with Patrick Robert has been taken from the inews.co.uk (https://inews.co.uk/essentials/news/travelling-disabled-person-taxi-drivers-try-refuse-take-guide-dog-i/)

 

For any other travel advice or guidance, feel free to contact us and to learn more about our active accessible holidays, click here.

 

World Down Syndrome Day

Today, March 21st, is the World Down Syndrome Day. A day all about recognising how unique those with the condition are. It is by recognising the contributions they can make to the world, and how much they can really achieve, that we can reduce the stigma surrounding disability.

 

 

Down Syndrome International encourages people across the globe to choose activities and events that will raise awareness of what Down Syndrome is, what it means to have the condition, and how people with Down Syndrome play a vital role in our lives.

 

By understanding the issues those with Down Syndrome face in everyday life, and recognising the steps people can take to help them realise their full potential, a real difference can be made to enrich the lives of those with the condition.

 

Today, as the  World Down Syndrome Day reached its 12th birthday, we hope where the voice of people with Down Syndrome, and those who work and live with them, will grows louder.

 

So, let’s celebrate this day with some amazing videos.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

For any other travel advice or guidance, feel free to contact us and to learn more about our active accessible holidays, click here.

Bionic Eyes – a Solution to Age-related Macular Degeneration?

Sufferers of age-related macular degeneration were given new hope last month after 80-year old pensioner Ray Flynn, an AMD sufferer, was able to see clearly for the first time in eight years after being fitted with a bionic eye. Mr Flynn had dry age-related macular degeneration, which had led to the total loss of his central vision. He was unable to make out the faces of his loved ones, and had had to give- up gardening, as well as going to see his beloved Manchester United play. His new eye was fitted during a four-hour procedure at Manchester Royal Eye Hospital.

This was the first time a bionic eye had been implanted in a patient with age-related macular degeneration, a condition which affects 500,000 people in the UK. The eye, known as the Argus II implant and manufactured by the US firm Second Sight, had previously been used to restore vision to patients who were blind as a result of the condition known as retinitis pigmentosa. The eye works via a camera attached to glasses worn by the patient. This visual feed is then converted into electrical pulses, and transmitted wirelessly to a retinal implant inside the bionic eye. This implant then stimulates the remaining undamaged cells in the patient’s retina, which send the information to the brain, where it is interpreted as vision. This serves to restore the central vision that age-related macular degeneration sufferers often lose.

Bionic eye for age-related macular degeneration

Ray Flynn’s bionic eye – Image courtesy of Sky News

Sky News reported:

“Now Mr Flynn will be able to read recipes without a magnifying glass, recognise the faces of his family and friends and, while wearing the special glasses, he will even be able to see with his eyes shut.

Mr Flynn had the system turned on for the first time on 1 July and says that, while he is slowly getting used to how it works, it is already improving his life.

“Before, when I was looking at a plant in the garden, it was like a honeycomb in the centre of my eye. That has now disappeared: I can now walk round the garden and see things.

“It has definitely improved my vision but I haven’t been out and about on a bus yet. I don’t think I will for a little while.”

His brother Pete, 77, said they were looking forward to the beginning of the Premier League season with the new sight aid.”

You can read the rest of the article here: http://news.sky.com/story/1523111/world-first-bionic-eye-gives-hope-to-millions

With Seable holidays, sports and accessible activities (article from Disabilità senza barriere)

 DISABILITY WITHOUT BARRIERS (italian blog)

Disability without barriers (italian blog)
http://www.disabilitasenzabarriere.it/

Recent article about Seable Holidays by “Disabilità senza barriere” an leading italian disability news blog, that we translate for our readers.

“Seable is a London-based social enterprise designed and created by Damiano La Rocca, a twenty-six years old from Catania, which for some years has been living in London.

But what is it Seable and what does it do?

(more…)

Top 20 Disability Blogs by Traffic Ranking by Joe Reddington

The Top 20 Disability Blogs By Traffic Ranking! by @joereddington

Disability Blogs by traffic ranking

Disability Blogs – Alexa Rankaa

Joseph Reddington has a post-doctoral researcher,  working at Royal Holloway on the PLanCompS project. He has a blog that include Disability news, where we found great sources information in particular of the lists of blogs that speaking of disabilities.

Seable is pleased to see that the interest around disability is increasing and that the work done by the blogs on disability is able to provide more resources to the disabled community.

(more…)

Disability news: 104 films calling disabled people film makers | Disability horizons

disabillity news

David Proud – Fun with Caravans – new film

Disability News:

“If you are disabled and want to make films, they want to know about you, so please get in touch… 104 Films is fast becoming the world leader in disability cinema and it is very exciting to be a part of this technonic shift in disability cinema. You can be part of it too – just connect with us on Twitter @104films.com and @funwithcaravans, or visit 104 Films website. If anyone has any questions, also feel free to find me on twitter @prouddavid and I can tell you more.” –

See more at: http://disabilityhorizons.com/2013/11/do-you-want-to-see-more-disabled-people-in-films/#sthash.vllrC3P7.dpuf


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