Update: Annual General Meeting and Open Forum 11 Dec

We are pleased to invite you to our AGM and Open Forum on Tuesday 11 December, 1pm – 4pm at The Foundation, Triodos Bank, BS1 5AS.
We always combine our AGM with an Open Forum on that year’s theme.  This year it is transport and we are delighted to have secured James White, interim Director of Transport at the West of England Combined Authority (WECA).  James has a very thorough knowledge of the local Joint Strategic Transport Plan.  Given the transport difficulties – whether on foot, bike, by car, bus, train or taxi – Disabled people experience, this is a perfect opportunity to tell him what needs to be done to achieve the accessible transport we need.
On a lighter note, we will then launch our new peer support project ‘- with cake and coffee!
This new project, ‘Making Change Happen’, will set up four groups across the most disadvantaged communities in Bristol so that Disabled people can come together and establish what their needs are and how, as a group, they want to address them.  For some groups, it might be an opportunity to socialise; others may swap information and advice; and others may have particular barriers/issues they want to address within their own community.
The first meet-ups are in January so why not come along and find out where and when they will be, take away a few flyers for other Disabled people and older people with impairments that you know, and sign-up to make sure you get regular updates as the project progresses.
BSL interpreters, PA support and refreshments will all be provided.  Unfortunately we can no longer pay transport costs for every member.  However, if you have need for accessible transport, please contact us with more details and we will do our best to help.
It would be great to see you, so do come along!
If you have any questions or to tell us about your access needs, email bristoldef@gmail.com or call 0117 914 0528

24 Nov 2018 – Bristol celebrates Disability History Month

 

Disability History Month runs from 22 November to 22 December and this year the focus is Disability and Music.

To celebrate, The Forum invites you to join us at the M Shed on 24 November.

Running order 

 

12.00     Registration

12.15     Welcome and Introduction to the day

12.30     Raquel Messenguer

12.35     Beth Richards

13.05    Electric Storm Ensemble

13.35    Break for people to buy a drink or food in the café.  There will also be a                   playlist of Disabled people’s music throughout the break.

14.05   Welcome back

14.10    Interview with Barrington Chambers about his experiences as a                                Disabled musician

14.35    Symbiosis

15.05    Speaker and performance by Mind Your Music

15.45     Final words

16.00     Event Ends

Information about the performers and speakers.

 

Raquel Messenguer – Raquel is a local arts activist who will be talking about her work to encourage venues to be accessible to people who can’t sit or stand in the same position for long periods of time by enabling them to lie down.

 

Beth Richards – Beth is a researcher at the University of Bristol and active member of The Misfits, a local theatre and spoken word group of and for people with Learning Difficulties.

 

Electric Storm Ensemble – The Electric Storm Ensemble is a group of Disabled musicians supported by Drake Music.  They are an inclusive band of musicians based in Bristol who play and write music together and perform live at venues around the city.

 

Barrington Chambers – Barrington is a local musician who plays in the Bristol Reggae Orchestra and has been involved in a number of other groups over the years.

 

Symbiosis – Symbiosis is an emerging local band of Disabled singers, song-writers and instrumentalists who will be performing acoustic music.

 

Mind Your Music – Mind Your Music is an inclusive music project aimed at enhancing the mental health of survivors of mental health difficulties and those in recovery from alcohol/drug addiction.

 

Please note: BSL interpreters will be available. For more information, or if you would like to discuss your access needs, please email bristoldef@gmail.com or call 0117 914 0528

 

 

Would you like to become a Forum Advisor?

It’s that time of year again when we are planning our Annual General Meeting (AGM). Before our AGM we need members to stand as an Advisor in our next elections. Advisors are the people members elect to our management committee (now called a trustee board). Sadly, we have lots of spare places as a number of Advisors experienced poor health and/or worsened impairments over the past year.

This year we have the following vacancies:

East Bristol: 1 Advisor post

Central and West Bristol: 1 Advisor post

City Wide: 2 Advisor posts

Organisations FOR Disabled People: 2 posts

Organisation OF Disabled People: 4 posts

This is an exciting time to become an Advisor as we are moving into a new phase with lots of opportunity to re-think what we do and develop new work. While we welcome applications from all, we are particularly keen to recruit people with experience in:

  • Marketing
  • HR
  • Fundraising
  • Business Development

So, if you identify as a Disabled person and are interested in becoming a Forum Advisor, please take the time to read through the nomination paperwork below and send us your nominations via post or email. We look forward to receiving them by 1pm on 27 October.

If you have any questions about becoming an Advisor or require any of the paperwork in a different format, please contact the office on 0117 914 0528 or email bristoldef@gmail.com

Advisor Role descriptions:

Area and City Wide role description

Trustee role description

Nomination forms:

Nomination form for individuals

Nomination form for organisations of Disabled People

Nomination form for organisations for Disabled People

Nominations wanted for the Rowen Jade Award 2018

We are looking for nominations for the Rowen Jade Award 2018.

This award is given annually to a Disabled person who lives in or near Bristol who has campaigned for the rights of Disabled people, or who has, by example, shown how Disabled people can play an active role in society.

Rowen Jade died in September 2010. She was a Disabled woman who worked tirelessly with and for Disabled people nationally and here in Bristol. Rowen was also a Forum Advisor, so we created this annual award in her memory.

The memorial bowl, engraved with the name of each year’s winner, will be presented at our AGM later this year.

Could it be you or someone you know this year?

To nominate someone for this award, please contact the Forum with the name of your nominee, a seconder and some information on what the person being nominated has done.

email: bristoldef@gmail.com

tel: 0117 914 0528

address:  Bristol Disability Equality Forum, St Pauls Learning and Family Centre, 94 Grosvenor Road, Bristol BS2 8XJ

Nominations must reach the Forum by: Thursday 8 November

There are criteria for the award which we can send, on request.

We look forward to receiving your nominations!

Inaccessible Rail Travel

Since Tanylee Davis gave her account about an upsetting train journey on social media, there have been a flood of news reports on the inaccessibility of rail travel.

A guard insisted that Tanylee move her mobility scooter when a mother with a pushchair then boarded the train.  He then proceeded to inform all passengers via the tannoy that the train was delayed due to the woman with a mobility scooter refusing to move.

Ms Davis, a comedian reported that the confrontation left her feeling humiliated and tearful for the rest of the journey.

GWR later admitted that they’d made an error and that a wheelchair space is for wheelchairs not for luggage or pushchairs.  However Sara Harvey experienced similar problems:  https://www.disabilitynewsservice.com/train-company-faces-calls-to-rip-up-scooter-policy-after-latest-shameful-episode/

Speaking about the incident Tanylee has said she just wanted to highlight problems she had been encountering for the last 15 years.  A statement that many of us would whole-heartedly agree with!

There’s many reasons why train travel can be stressful for Disabled people including inaccessible booking, toilets, platforms, lack of ramps, inconsistent support to get on and off trains and at stations.

I relayed a tale where I booked assistance for a journey which worked well at the outgoing station, was absent at a connecting station whilst the final station was unmanned. Many DEF members nodded in agreement and obviously had their own horror stories to tell.  Such inconsistencies mean people can be stranded at stations or miss vital connections.

Leonard Cheshire research says 1 in 3 Disabled people face rail misery and have called for the government to improve accessibility on train journeys and is encouraging the public to sign their petition: https://www.leonardcheshire.org/about-us/latest-news/press-releases/one-three-disabled-people-face-rail-misery

The Equality and Human Rights Commission is calling for legal action against the government over its failure to ensure an accessible rail service.

Transport For All (TfA) campaigns for affordable, reliable and accessible transport as a right:  http://www.transportforall.org.uk/

In Bristol problems can be reported to the Public Transport Group, if you email me I can inform the group.

sarah.howard@brandontrust.org

Tanyalee is a fiesty performer, catch her if you can! https:/tanyaleedavis.com

 

 

The Right Trousers: developing the tech for robot assisted trousers

BDEF Co-chair, Suaad Walker, recently attended The Right Trousers event at UWE’s Future Space in their Robotics Lab. The event centred on a research project into robotic trousers to help those with impaired mobility.

The location was fully accessible. The event was a showcase/feedback for some of the research that is being collaboratively worked on by several universities: Bristol, UWE, Leeds, Loughborough, Nottingham, Southampton and Strathclyde. Funding is a mix of EU and UK health funding to look at ways of using robotics to improve independent living. This event particularly focused on the use of robotics to overcome restricted mobility in terms of getting out of a chair/walking as well as reducing the problems associated with drop-foot syndrome. Bristol showcased their work with focus groups of elderly and disabled to identify exactly what kind of help is needed in a variety of different scenarios as well as helping the researchers to better understand the experience of impaired mobility. This feedback suggested that assistive trousers would need to be light-weight, cheap, comfortable, and easy to take on and off plus be washable!

Research so far has:

  • Resulted in a specialist 3D printer that combines viscous silicone with a hardener to produce a substance that is textile like and has the potential to act like an artificial muscle when stimulated.
  • Precision motion capture technology that concentrates on joint functionality and has a built in feed-back similar to, but a major improvement, on current ‘health-wristband’ technology.
  • Several different varieties of artificial muscle:
    • A flat plastic, folded like a strip of origami paper that unfolds when electrically stimulated to simulate muscle activity.
    • A flat tube of plastic that fills with air pressure to simulate muscle activity.
    • A sequence of connected plastic beads that fill with air pressure to simulate muscle activity.
    • An ‘activator’ small enough to clip onto a belt that contains enough compressed air for 100 ‘doses’ of ‘muscle activation’.
  • A ‘slim’ sock designed to overcome the problems of foot drop incorporating a further form of artificial muscle.
  • A pair of trousers incorporating many of the above developments.
  • A pair of trousers that can be remotely lowered or raised when activated.

Tuesday 24th August – Hidden Impairments Access Group

Do you have a long-term health condition but do not ‘look disabled’?  If so, you
are invited to the next meeting of the Hidden Impairments Access Group to discuss our Access Needs and what we are going to do to improve the situation for ourselves and other Disabled people.

Previous topics of conversation have been cycling and Disabled people, how disgusting supermarket floors are to sit on, resting spaces in Bristol and the image of Disabled people.

Tuesday 24th August 2018

3:30pm – 5:30pm

St Pauls Learning Centre, room LT3

You can register your free place by:

Emailing us at bristoldef@gmail.com,

By phoning us on 0117 914 0528

Or book a free place online at https://bit.ly/2vo4aav

Or just turn up on the day!

Please get in touch if you would like to join in via Skype.

Direct Payments Account – Your Choice

If you get a Direct Payment, Bristol City Council (BCC) is making a change that affects you.

BCC has set up a pre-paid card system – called a Bristol Direct Payments Account.  Until now payment has been to your own bank account which is under your control.  Under the new system BCC will run the account on your behalf using Prepaid Financial Services based in Ireland, and give you a ‘debit card’ to pay for goods and services they agree with.

The main differences are that, if the money is in your own bank account, you have total control and you don’t have to use the internet if you don’t want to.  With your own bank account, BCC have to ask you for the return of any money and you can question their decision if you disagree with it.  However, you do have to keep a record of exactly what you spend your Direct Payment on and all receipts.

With the proposed pre-paid card system you only have to keep your receipts but BCC have direct access and can take money out without your agreement.  Although they are meant to notify you first, this means they can take the money before they respond to any objection you might raise.

It is up to you to decide which system works best for you but we have negotiated with BCC that you do not have to transfer to the new system if you prefer not to and, if you have already been moved, you can request that you go back to the old system.  You have the right to choose which payment method suits you best.

If you are asked to move to a pre-paid card system and don’t want to, make this clear to BCC when they contact you.

If you have already been moved and want to go back to using your own bank account you should call Care Direct on 0117 922 2700 or online at www.bristol.gov.uk/social-care-health/form-contact-adult-care-services

REMEMBER – THE CHOICE IS YOURS