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Disability News Hub – April Bulletins

On this page we will provide regular news bulletins and information , as it happens, of interest to the disability community . Keep checking back as it will be regularly updated . Contact michael.mcewan@paisley.org.uk if you have any news  you would like us to feature next month

Renfrewshire Sound, a talking newspaper for the Blind, reached its 30th Anniversary last year. Started in 1981 by four Johnstone teenagers with a small grant from Prince’s Trust and the support of Playback service for the Blind, they hand delivered newspaper tapes – then known as Johnstone & District Talking Newspaper for the Blind. Each week they produce an 80-minute Talking Newspaper that features recordings of articles from the Paisley Daily Express and the Gazette group of newspapers.

This service is available via the post on CD, on tape or via their website as a stream or download.

Their service is run entirely by volunteers and they currently have a small team of around 25 people. Funding is derived from a variety of sources including Renfrewshire Council, donations from grant making organisations and individual donations. More information about this valuable though not well publicised service can be found at http://www.renfrewshiresound.com/about.html

Scottish Autism and Central Scotland Police have teamed up to launch a new autism awareness initiative – aimed at developing a greater understanding of autism in public services. The new Autism Alert Card enables those who carry it to identify themselves as being on the autistic spectrum.

Certain characteristics that are often associated with autism, such as high anxiety or hyper-sensitivity to being touched or exposed to loud noises can result in a difficult and stressful situation for all parties involved. The card is a simple, clear, identification designed to reduce this potential for misunderstanding, and ensure that people living with autism get the best possible support. The initiative is being launched in conjunction with NHS and Central local authorities and councils, who will promote the Autism Alert Card via GP surgeries, health centres, social work departments and educational establishments. More information and how to apply for the card can be found here: http://www.scottishautism.org/news/central-scotland-police-launch-autism-alert-card/  

Tommy Whitelaw spent years touring the world with bands such as U2 and the Spice Girls … but dealing with his mother’s dementia brought him back to  earth with a bang. He found the experience so frustrating he set out to discover how widespread his problems were. The response still stuns Whitelaw; strangers volunteering stories about their despair and isolation, their sense of inadequacy, their lengthy battles to get official help. Some have given up their jobs to become carers, while a number have had to use up their savings. “There are so many heartbroken people out there, of all ages, who are caring for their loved ones.” says Whitelaw. According to the charity Alzheimer Scotland, some 82,000 Scots have dementia, 3500 of them under the age of 65. The number is expected to rise to 164,000 by 2036. See a video here about Tommy’s quest, his mother’s story and the people he meets along the way. http://www.viascotland.org.uk/content/tommy-tour

 Glasgow’s Arches nightclub, in partnership with disability support organisations dates-n-mates and C-Change  launched “LATE”, Scotland’s first and only inclusive club night on 10th April 2012, it ran till midnight and costs just £4.00. The night was a complete sell-out and there will be another soon.

In conjuction with the hugely popular nightspot , they have launched a revolution in clubbing, which will be open to all, but especially welcoming to people with learning disabilities. C-Change is a Glasgow based supported living organisation, and dates-n-mates is Scotland’s first dating and friendship agency for people with learning disabilities. Further details from: http://www.thearches.co.uk/events/clubs/late

Young Scotland’s Got Talent is holding an event in Orchardhill ParishChurch, Giffnock on 21st April from 9.30am – 3.30pm.

This is a partnership event organised by Give Me a Chance, Values into Action, Scottish Consortium for Learning Disability and many others. Young people with learning difficulties who have paid jobs will appear on the catwalk to inspire and tell audience about their jobs.

Details are available here: http://www.viascotland.org.uk/content/young-scotlands-got-talent-east-renfrewshire


Disability Rights organisation Values into Action Scotland, in conjunction with Campaign for a Fairer Society, are holding a charity gig at Ivory Black’s in Glasgow City centre on 29th June to raise awareness about the campaign, to raise funds and also to provide a platform for a mix of different unsigned bands, including those with a disability, to perform.

Details will be available in due course at: http://www.viascotland.org.uk/campaigns/campaign-for-a-fair-society


Personal Independence Payment (PIP) is the new benefit set to replace Disability Living Allowance (DLA) in 2013. Details of the assessment process have yet to be finalised, and worries include that the process still relies too much on the medical model of disabilities, and does not take enough account of issues such as Housing, Access to Public Transport, and how this impacts a disabled person’s ability to live in society and what it costs them. The biggest concern is that one form does not fit all and a box ticking approach would result in many people being let down by a system failing to recognise their needs. Updates can be found here: http://www.personalindependencepayment.co.uk/


A Card has been launched that allows people with disabilities to obtain one free ticket for a person accompanying them to the cinema. The CEA card is valid at a large number of local and larger national cinemas.There is a small one-off fee of £5.50 for administration,more details including supporting cinema list and to download application form @ http://www.ceacard.co.uk/


A new Ipad game has been launched to help improve the social skills of children as young as 18 months who have Autism.

FindMe is a simple game that challenges children to find an on screen character in different scenarios. The game is designed to encourage players to focus on other people and their needs, which people with Autism can find difficult.

Children with Autism are often very good with computers, and with the Ipad’s touchscreen it is ideal for creating games aimed at very young children at a time that will benefit them most. FindMe is a free download from Apple’s App Store