Category Archives: Disability

Mind the gap: how tech can help disabled people – Chips with Everything podcast

Can technology provide solutions to the various difficulties that disabled people face every day in areas where full accessibility is lacking?

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Anyone who uses the London Underground will recognise the monotonous tone of the robotic voice that tells us all to “mind the gap”. Transport organisations around the world use similar systems, hoping passengers will keep their eyes and ears open for long enough to avoid injury.

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Source: gadt

What would a truly disabled-accessible city look like?

Most cities are utterly unfriendly to people with disabilities – but with almost one billion estimated to be urban-dwellers by 2050, a few cities are undergoing a remarkable shift

To David Meere, a visually impaired man from Melbourne, among the various obstacles to life in cities is another that is less frequently discussed: fear.

“The fear of not being able to navigate busy, cluttered and visually oriented environments is a major barrier to participation in normal life,” says Meere, 52, “be that going to the shops, going for a walk in the park, going to work, looking for work, or simply socialising.”

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Source: gad

As the commuter video shows, blind people are still seen as a problem | Jon Cronshaw

The viral video of a blind man being berated on the tube is a sad indication of what life can be like if you’re visually impaired

When I first saw the footage of a man trying to barge past Kika the guide dog and her handler on a London Underground escalator, I was saddened but not surprised. Last week, I qualified with my second guide dog, Digit. It’s been almost two years since my first dog, Watson, retired. Working with Digit has reminded me just how much I’ve missed having a guide dog to help me get around, yet the footage made me nervous about the potential altercations I may encounter.

Over the years, I’ve faced a number of access issues when trying to go about my life. Before we moved to Morecambe, Lancashire, my wife and I visited for a weekend break and went to a pub that had an upstairs restaurant. We ordered a drink and set off for the dining room, only to be told that we could not take the guide dog into the restaurant without the barman ringing his boss (he was under the impression that his boss would say no on account of other diners’ potential allergies). As an alternative, he told us we could eat in the bar.

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Source: gad

Down's syndrome test could see condition disappear, C of E warns

Church says new NHS test could lead to more terminations and fewer people born with condition

A new advanced test for Down’s syndrome to be offered to pregnant women this year raises the prospect of people with the condition disappearing from UK society as terminations are expected to rise, the Church of England has warned.

Non-invasive prenatal testing (NIPT), a safer form of screening, is to be rolled out by the NHS this year. It will be offered to about 10,000 women a year who are considered to have a higher likelihood of giving birth to a baby with Down’s syndrome or two less common genetic conditions, Edwards’ and Patau’s syndromes.

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Source: gad

What I’m really thinking: the deaf parent

I worry I’m stopping my child from having the life yours have

What’s going on? Am I missing out on something? Or should I say on something else: all the opportunities for small-talk that might make me feel more comfortable and confident in asking if your child wants to come to ours for tea, because our kids are friends. I am bamboozled. I feel the opening gambit has been lost.

My audiologist is great. He tries everything, but it’s about how the brain processes the reduced amount of sound I get, which is about half what anybody else might hear. Lip-reading goes only so far. I’d swap my arm for your hearing. Or my leg. It depends what day it is and how many times I’ve had to get someone else to answer my phone. Or how many times I’ve had to ask the woman in the supermarket to repeat herself, only to realise she’s asking if I have a loyalty card, as she has every other time I’ve been at her till. As a single dad, I’m in the shop a lot.

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Source: gad

Are there any good portable MP3 players for blind and visually impaired people?

Annabelle has been using an Apple iPod Shuffle but the battery is going. Is there a cheap and suitable music player she should replace it with?

I am a blind young woman who absolutely loves listening to music. Does anybody out there know of any lightweight, blind-accessible alternatives to the iPod Shuffle? I have a first-generation Shuffle, which I purchased in 2008, and the battery dies after one hour. I want something that can be compatible with iTunes Music, especially .m4a files, that can store lots of music, and most important of all, that has an easy way to replace the battery. Also, I don’t want it to be too spendy, as right this moment, I don’t have hundreds of dollars. Annabelle

Apple has discontinued the iPod Shuffle, but there are still lots of them available from other sources. Many are advertised as being brand new and still sealed in their boxes. Your simplest and least disruptive option is to buy a more recent Shuffle, or two, either “as new” or little used. Given that your last Shuffle lasted around nine years, this should also be a reasonably cost-effective option.

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Source: gad2

India’s blind cricketers are champions – but money is still a sticky wicket

Unlike India’s superstar players, blind cricketers manage with minimal support. Could World Cup success finally bring them the funding they deserve?

They are brilliant exponents of India’s best-loved game, a sport that routinely produces millionaire superstars.

But none of the cricketers competing in the recent final between Gujarat and defending champions Andhra are going to get rich from the sport any time soon. That is because they are all blind.

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Source: gad

Nepal bans blind people and double amputees from climbing Everest

Tourist board criticised for new regulations, which also prohibit solo ascents with the aim of reducing the number of accidents

Solo climbers, blind people and double amputees have been banned from climbing Everest under new rules the Nepalese tourism ministry believes will reduce the number of deaths on the mountain.

The changes have provoked criticism from the US ambassador to Nepal and a former Gurkha soldier planning to scale the peak after losing both legs in Afghanistan.

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Source: gad