It can be quite scary to trust an airline to look after your medical equipment during a flight, especially if you’ve seen some of the horror stories in the news recently! But it is important to remember that for every negative experience, there are hundreds of wheelchair users flying every day who don’t have any issues. In order to try and minimise the chances of your wheelchair getting lost or damaged, I have shared some of the tips and tricks I have learnt over the years!
Organising a trip abroad is naturally quite a time consuming task, especially if you aren’t relying on a travel agency/organisation to coordinate the different aspects of your trip. But once you add a wheelchair, medical supplies, assistance dog, dietary requirements, allergies and a chronic condition into the mix, you can expect to be doing a lot of research!
Following on from my previous post that was all about preparing for a flight, this instalment in my series of travel tips contains a list of ideas that might help you both onboard a plane and in the airport!
Some of the tips in part 3 of our travel series may seem obvious or unimportant to some, but they are actually quite useful to anyone travelling with a disability! For example, choosing an appropriate flight time, booking passenger assistance and organising your medication.
If you have mobility difficulties, you may require additional assistance to get around an airport both before and after your flight. Even if you are fairly mobile, travelling often involves lots of walking; so there are various services in place to assist passengers of all abilities!
Last year I had the opportunity to test out a green lanyard with yellow sunflowers on, as part of a hidden disability support system that will be rolling out across all UK airports at some point in the near future. So after flying to America and London, I thought I would share my thoughts incase some of you are nervous about going to the airport this summer!
Flexzi is a funky, flexible gadget stand that provides support for items like buddy buttons, iPads and mobile phones. It is made from a single, double or triple strand of flexible plastic segments that allows perfect positioning of your devices. I was kindly GIFTED a Flexzi 1 in exchange for a review, but all of the opinions in the blog post are my own.
Last month I went to see the Spice Girls at the Stadium of Light in Sunderland and I am still in awe of how incredible the show was! I vowed never to go back to this stadium after several awful experiences, but I couldn’t pass at the chance to see the Spice Girls live! To my surprise the entire set up had completely changed, making it the easiest concert I have ever attended in terms of accessibility.
Last week was national Carers Week, which is a campaign dedicated to recognising the 6.5 million carers living in the UK. The event is brought to life by thousands of individuals and organisations coming together to organise activities and events across the UK. However unlike this campaign, a carers responsibility doesn’t stop until the next event; so I believe it is important to raise awareness all year round!
Beyond the Boundary Wheelchairs are distributors of the life changing, stylish & versatile Trekinetic Wheelchairs. These all terrain, eye catching & award winning wheelchairs give you the freedom to go anywhere! The company is run by two sisters, who want to make a difference and help people live their lives in a happier, more fulfilling way.
As Mental Health Awareness Week draws to a close, I thought I would write a post to give people an insight into some of the mental health struggles people living with a disability face! Disabled people are often forgotten about when it comes to mental health issues and it needs to change!
Last month we exhibited at Europe's largest disability exhibition called Naidex. This annual event takes place at the NEC in Birmingham and this year Naidex celebrated their 45th show! The event showcases the latest innovative products, live demos, seminars, networking opportunities and more! There were 350 cutting-edge exhibitors, meaning we were part of an incredible line up!
I had read many positive reviews about the Harry Potter Studio Tour, but I was still quite apprehensive about the level of accessibility. So many attractions/venues say that they are accessible, when really they are not. However. I was pleasantly surprised by how much I was able to experience!
Some of you may have heard that Dr Phil (an American talk show host) recently claimed that #100outof100 interabled relationships FAIL! So I am jumping on the bandwagon to show the world just how inaccurate this statement is!
Today is Rare Disease Day, which takes place on the last day of February each year. The main objective of Rare Disease Day is to to raise awareness for all rare diseases and the impact they have on patients' lives. Building awareness is so important, because 1 in 20 people will live with a rare disease at some point in their life. Despite this, there is no cure for the majority of rare diseases and many go undiagnosed.
WE ARE GOING TO NAIDEX! Naidex is Europe's most established trade event, which is open to both professionals and the public! The event is dedicated to the care, rehabilitation and lifestyle of people with a disability or impairment.
In November the AYL team went to a Get Active Sports Event by WheelPower, at Stoke Mandeville Stadium. People of all ages and abilities were getting involved in a large variety of sports – from archery to Boccia! I really didn’t expect to have so much fun, or to be able to participate in many different sports.
Until I became dependent on the use of a wheelchair, I didn’t have to worry about where I would go to the toilet when out of the house. But I now have to plan every outing in advance, to ensure there is an accessible toilet in close proximity. Thankfully there is usually at least one around, but for some people standard disabled toilets just aren't sufficient.
Mobiloo provide mobile accessible toilets with a changing bench and hoist for hire. I have lost count of the amount of events I have been too, which didn’t have adequate facilities for disabled guests. So I was very excited to see their accessible van in person at the Kidz to Adultz North Event at Event City in Manchester, after reading so many positive reviews online!
It wasn’t until I met a lady with a pair of Loopwheels and saw how much they had helped her, that I knew I had to try them out. The lady suggested I sign up to the Loopwheels ‘try before you buy scheme’. This was something that immediately interested me, as I didn’t want to spend so much money on a device that might not work for me. It’s really hard to gauge if a piece of equipment meets your needs, by testing it in a shop for 10 minutes. Users need to be able to see how a device fits into their routine, if it makes certain activities easier and improves their quality of life.
October is Dysautonomia Awareness Month! Did you know that there are many ways in which the Autonomic Nervous System can malfunction? Three of the most common syndromes linked to Dysautonomia are Orthostatic Hypertension, Postural Orthostatic Tachycardia and Vasovagal Syncope.
Being dependent on the use of a wheelchair is definitely not easy. Not only do you encounter many physical hurdles linked with accessibility, but it can also be mentally challenging at times too. It certainly isn’t our fault that we need to use a wheelchair to get around, yet why do we continually have to overcome so many barriers?!
Welcome to Access Your Life! We are so excited to finally have a website that is available to everyone! When you have worked on something for so long, it is very surreal to suddenly see our names pop up on Google! Since announcing the launch date for this website, we have taken some time to reflect on how far we have already come. It has been really interesting to see how our initial idea has evolved, but it is also reassuring to know that despite the endless design ideas, our mission has stayed the same.