Welcome to this week's Independent Living newsletter. 24.01.24 Contents:
• Improving rail transport
• Attendance Allowance appeals
•Update on cost of living payments
• A chair not a wheelchair
• Valuable 500
• News from OHMI
1. Improving rail transport
An interesting research project exploring how the UK’s rail network can be improved for disabled people is being run as part of a unique PhD programme at Coventry University.
Funded by the Motability Foundation, the research by Stephanie McPherson-Brown(pictured here) aims to improve disabled people’s experience of using transport, and focuses on the psychology behind the reluctance felt by many to embark on a train journey...
Attendance Allowance (AA) is the retirement age benefit you can claim to help with extra costs if you have a disability that means you need someone to help look after you. It has a much lower profile than the working age benefits, PIP and DLA, but something very similar has been happening to claimants: increasing numbers of people are being turned down and appealing the decision.
Apparently, RightsNet suggests that the quality of AA decisions has deteriorated because many experienced decision-makers have been transferred to work on Universal Credit instead.
Whatever the reasons, there has been an 87% increase in appeals year on year.
Independent Living subscriber VELA is famous for their ergonomic chair, which is widely adjustable to suit different users' needs and individual conditions.
Over the years, people have used a VELA chair in various ways. One excellent application is in situations where a person's mobility is declining to the point where they are considering a wheelchair. The VELA chair can be a versatile alternative to use around the home.
The Valuable 500 has launched a White Paper on inclusive representation at the World Economic Forum Annual Meeting in Davos.
Developed in partnership with Yale University and Open Inclusion, the White Paper highlights gaps in inclusivity. More than half the disabled people surveyed face barriers to accessing content and products and only 2% feel that they are accurately portrayed in media and marketing.
Valuable 500 is a global business partnership of 500 companies working together to end disability exclusion.
The One-Handed Musical Instrument Trust aims to enable children and adults with physical impairments to play musical instruments, whether at school, at home or professionally.
They are a brilliant charity for anyone who cares about music making and inclusivity, and they are getting 2024 off to a great start, having been selected to make a BBC Radio 4 Charity Appeal. And what's more, Tom Shakespeare, high profile bioethicist and disability researcher, has agreed to front the appeal for them
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