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Don't quack like a duck, soar like an eagle!

Is it just me, or was that the longest January ever? 

It would not be a blog without a mention of the good old ‘Blue Badge Scheme’!  What now, I hear you ask?  Well, last year the scheme was extended to enable people with ‘non-visible’ disabilities to apply, however it appears to have become a bit of a post code lottery according to the data in the article.  Now, called me old fashioned, but I remember the days when you actually filled in a simple form and took it, along with your shiny new passport photo to Hanson House and wait for it – you actually spoke to someone!  Anyone under a certain age may think I have made that up!

Here is another myth-buster whilst I am on a roll!  Believe it or not, disabled people have relationships, get married and have children!  This article was triggered by comments made about Shane and Hannah’s relationship and the stereo-typed comments that were posted about them.  The story leads in well to the next article as it raises the important issue of people’s right to live an independent life, free from comment and judgement of others.

There were three particularly important documentaries aired by the BBC last month and are recommended viewing.  The first is Silenced: The Hidden Story of Disabled Britain’ that gives an insight into how modern attitudes towards disabled people were first formed, with the second ‘Targeted: The Truth about Disability Hate Crime’ an uncomfortable and hard-hitting insight into the impact of being a victim of such a crime.  My personal belief is by changing people’s perceptions and stereo typing of disability, then as a result, any ‘difference’ becomes blurred and hopefully, the number of ‘Hate Crimes’ may reduce.  However, I acknowledge that no matter how close you put the cup under a person’s nose; some people will never ‘smell the coffee’!  Both documentaries are available until the end of the year on BBC iPlayer.

Slightly different, but just as important was the third programme, ‘Katie Price: Harvey and Me’ as it followed the transition journey of moving from child to adult further education provision for the family.  It gives an insight on what can be an exciting, whilst daunting time of change for everyone concerned, with, or more likely without, celebrity status.  Again, it is available to watch on BBC iPlayer.

This article takes contactless to a whole new level!  No card, PIN etc needed, just your face and a simple hand signal!  Sounds amazing doesn’t it, but did you know it’s already in use?  You’ve probably been reading the blog long enough to know there is a ‘but’ on the way, so as not to disappoint you; but what if you can’t make a simple hand signal, like me for instance?  I am sure the boffins will have come up with something, but it would be nice if the article mentioned it!

Just to round off, here at Incontrol-able we still facilitate the Hartlepool Advocacy Hub, ensuring people receive timely and professional support from providers on the framework.Check out our dedicated website for further information.  Have you heard of ‘Borrow Box’, a free service enabling you to access eBooks and eAudio books?  If you are aged 65, or over, live in Hartlepool and need access to digital equipment to access ‘Borrow Box’, then please get in touch and we can loan you a tablet though our amazing Project 65.

Joke of the Month: I’ve been out bird watching with Sinead O’Connor.  So, far it’s been seven owls and fifteen jays.

My wings are aching, the eagle has landed – see you next month!

Please note: The content in this article is over one year old, there may be newer guidance available.

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