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Mobilise issues new policy statements

Posted in News on Monday, May 10th, 2010

You can download and read the latest Mobilise policy statements on our Policies page.

The policy statement on off-street parking has been updated, and two new policy statements have been issued. One covers Shared Surfaces planning, and its postential impact on disabled people. The other covers the use of scooters and other mobility vehicles.

Karting for All! The Disabled Karting Championship

Posted in News on Tuesday, April 20th, 2010

In this article from 2008, Sally Roe reported on the disabled motorists competing in the first UK karting championship using hand controls.

Disabled Karting Team

The Disabled Karting Championship team

Recently Helen and I were invited by Mobilise member Kumar Moorthy to attend the ‘Disabled Karting Championship’ at Cannon Raceway in Birmingham, to have a go on the adapted karts and to meet some of the drivers and organisers working to make this fantastic sport accessible to all.

Kumar is the brains behind the Disabled Karting Championship, and in 2006 he persuaded Keith Jauncy, the owner of Cannon Raceway, to pay for ten of his karts to be converted into hand controls. Since karts have no gears, the controls consist of a fairly rugged push-pull accelerator / brake lever, which leaves the other hand free to steer the kart. Continue reading »

Member review: Nissan Note Tekna 1.6

Posted in News on Monday, April 19th, 2010

Mobilise member Daniel Anderson-McIntyre reviews the Nissan Note Tekna 1.6

Regular readers of Mobilise will remember my passion for Vauxhalls, but this month I am reviewing the other car I drive regularly, my fiancée’s Nissan Note. This is the top of the range Tekna spec with the 1.6 16-valve engine.

From the outside the Note looks quite long, tall and narrow and you might expect it to drive much like a van, but once on the road you find that the Note handles like a car. The driving position is higher than most, comfortable and offers a great view of the road all round.  The wheelbase is long with the wheels right at each corner which makes for great stability and a massive amount of useable space inside.

car interior with steering ball fittedThe Tekna comes with automatic lighting and wiper systems, alloy wheels, privacy glass, climate control, front fog-lights, flex board system, under-seat storage, cooled glove box, 6 disc CD changer, auxiliary input and a Bluetooth hands-free connection. Continue reading »

Transport for Disabled People exhibition opens in Coventry

Posted in News on Monday, April 12th, 2010

Grant Cobb MBE, President of the Coventry Warwickshire Leicester Group – Mobilise, on the opening of an historic exhibition in Coventry.

“Wonderful!” was how Baroness Tanni Grey-Thompson described the new exhibition, which she opened at the Coventry Transport Museum on the 1st April 2010. For the first time in the history of British museums, a collection of vehicles specifically designed for people with disabilities has been brought together under one roof. From the earliest bath chairs to hi-tech models of the future, the exhibition gives a fascinating insight into both the development of these vehicles and the attitudes of society to the disabled people who used them.

The exhibition was the idea of the Coventry Warwickshire Leicestershire Group – Mobilise to commemorate their 60th Anniversary.  Their President Mr Grant Cobb and their Chairman Ms Norma Lewis had worked with the Museum staff for 18 months, planning the exhibition.

Baroness Tanni Gray-Thompson with Mobilise trustees and staff Continue reading »

Accessible Hotel Rooms

Posted in Magazine on Tuesday, April 6th, 2010

Most towns and cities across the UK offer a wide range of hotels to choose from. As well as location and price accessibility is another consideration for disabled people. The big hotel chains all offer accessible rooms but as Helen Smith found out, no two are the same!

Yancey the Assistance dog checking out the facilities

One of the main variations between the rooms I visited at four different hotel chains in the Norwich area was the height of bed, bath and loo. I also wanted to find out if a shower or bath is on offer, as well as the width of the doors. Most chain rooms are pretty much exactly the same, whichever branch of the chain you are staying with, so I hope the following information will be useful if you’re planning to stay in one this summer.

Holiday Inn Express

As I drew into the car park I realised that the bay marked out for a disabled person was the same width the standard spaces; I had to straddle two parking bays to give myself enough room. The hotel itself was newly refurbished and all the doors to reception opened automatically. I was then shown up to my room, which was fairly spacious with a double bed and a sofa bed. If a carer needs to sleep in the same room the sofa bed is made up. Continue reading »

My Invisible Disability

Posted in Magazine on Tuesday, April 6th, 2010

Photo of David JacksonDavid L. Jackson talks to Mobilise magazine about having an ‘invisible’ disability.
There is clearly an underclass in existence within disability circles.
Excluded from the able-bodied lifestyle by our diminishing physical abilities, and likewise from disabled communities by blinkered perceptions and prejudice, the underclass I am talking about are those who have an invisible disability.  In my case, we are talking about severe and often debilitating pain, a result of my unilateral decision to refrain from living on high-strength  medication in an attempt to live a fulfilling and rewarding life. Continue reading »

Have you had a great accessible holiday?

Posted in Magazine on Monday, March 29th, 2010

Perhaps you spotted them in our Classified ads section and had the holiday of a lifetime… or you turned up late at night, on the off-chance that there might be a room at the inn? However you found them, we want to know all about the best accessible accommodation you’ve stayed at in the UK.

From campsites to B&Bs, five star hotels to self-catering chalets, tell us about the comfiest beds, scrummiest breakfast, fluffiest towels and hottest spots for night owls. We’ll be publishing a series of your recommendations for other Mobilise members to read over the next few months, so that we can all get planning our summer holidays!

Recommendations can be sent to us using the Contact form or by post to Mobilise National Office, Ashwellthorpe, Norwich, NR16 1EX.

And if you’d like to write about your holiday experiences in more detail, just let us know – we’re always looking for great stories from Mobilise members. We’ll supply you with full instructions and support you all the way through the writing process, from the first idea to publication. Sadly the charity doesn’t have the resources to pay contributors to our magazine, but we will supply you with some free copies so that you can share your stories with your friends and family.

Get Hooked on Accessible Angling!

Posted in Magazine on Tuesday, March 23rd, 2010

Wheelchair user landing a fishIt’s fun, it’s healthy, and it’s growing fast in popularity – fishing is a great way to enjoy Britain’s beautiful waters.  Marta Bartosiewicz joins two disabled anglers during a carp fishing match in Norfolk to find out more about angling and accessibility.

David Goose and Mike Ridealgh are passionate about fishing. Members of the Norwich Disabled Anglers Club, for which David is Secretary and Treasurer, they are both wheelchair users who enjoy a spot of competitive angling. They were more than happy to be bombarded with questions on accessible angling and suggested we meet at Barford Lakes, a fishery based in a secluded and picturesque part of Norfolk. In fact Barford Lakes was so secluded that I had some trouble finding it! I felt I was about to discover angling’s best kept secret. Continue reading »

InfoPoint : Dogs and Taxis

Posted in Magazine on Monday, March 22nd, 2010 Assistance Dog Yancey wearing her Canine Partners jacket

We had reported to us recently an incident when a member, with her assistance dog, was refused carriage in a London private hire vehicle by the Muslim driver. Islamic tradition warns Muslims against contact with dogs because they are seen as impure, and in recent years a number of Muslim drivers have been prosecuted and convicted under the Disability Discrimination Act for failing to comply with the regulations set out under the DDA. Continue reading »

Disability Cricket – The Umpire Strikes Back

Posted in Magazine on Monday, March 22nd, 2010

As the weather finally begins to warm up, Jim Rawlings’ thoughts turn to the most summery of sports; cricket! He finds out about the opportunities for disabled people to participate in this increasingly accessible sport.

When someone mentions cricket, do your thoughts turn to balmy sunny days lazing in a deck chair with a glass of Pimms in your hand? Do you imagine dozing to the sound of buzzing bees and genteel ripples of applause, interrupted only by the crack of leather on willow or a shout of “Howzat!”

Or are you the type to view a match from the comfort of your sofa or shouting at the radio in response to a view expressed by Geoffrey Boycott on just how a shot should be played? Cricket means many things to many people; the ideals of fair play and courage enshrined in the classic poem Vitai Lampada by Henry Newbolt:

“There’s a breathless hush in the Close to-night

Ten to make and the match to win

A bumping pitch and a blinding light,

An hour to play, and the last man in.” Continue reading »

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