New banner by Martyn Lake of Rocket Artists

Rocket Artists

Martyn Lake is a long-term member of the Rocket Artists whose practice includes collage and drawing.

He works from the Rocket Artists supported studio alongside other artists with and without learning disabilities. Martyn has exhibited artwork at ‘Side by Side’, Southbank Centre, London, through ‘Creative Minds Conference’, Brighton Dome and at Brighton Museum.

Untitled 2 by Martyn Lake (full version)
Ink on Paper
2016

For more information about Martyn’s work and the Rocket Artists please email info@rocketartists.co.uk or visit www.rocketartists.co.uk

Project LAB: tackling illiteracy and other global issues at Royal Institution of Science

Disability Co-operative Network

June 2017

1 in 5 adults in the United Kingdom are illiterate with 738 million globally. This is hard to digest in the 21st Century and seems more relevant in Victorian society, not the digital age.  In terms of cost to the world it is $1.19 trillion.  The unreasonable group have a selection of entrepreneurs who are making a real difference to society by supported projects in places such as the United States, United Kingdom, India and Asia.

The key thing about this day is the goal to eliminate illiteracy by 2030.  This is such important and refreshing thinking in addressing this aim and actually stating enough is enough and what we can all do to meet this target.

Jeff Hoffman, [1] was inspiring in his keynote address passionately advocating to our group that ‘there is no they – there’s us. It is us that will solve the problems. Don’t wait for the change’.

For DCNs and other museums work on inclusive practice to promote diversity, this is an empowering statement to advocate our own resources for positive change.  Almost all the projects had digital inclusion and collaboration with people at the forefront to develop solutions which have high social and economic impact.

Sophia Grinvalds Co-Founder and Co-Director of Afripads showed how one in ten girls skipped school because of lack of sanitary products.  Afripads are now a global supplier in washable sanitary ware for women in Uganda, Kenya and Malawi.  It has created positive impact for over 1.4 million women and created employment for 150 Ugandans.

ThinkCERCA enables critical thinking through web-based literacy platforms by building up analytical tools.

Ubongo project is a multi-platform for fun and engaging learning for remote communities in Tanzania, Kenya, Uganda, Rwanda and Burundi.  The multi-platform is radio, TV and mobile technology teaching mathematics, reading and science.  It was good to see Nisha Ligon speak about the project who has worked for online projects for the BBC, Science Museum and the Guardian.

Guru-G is an app based teaching tool for teachers to support a positive learning experience which has reached out to over 500 schools and used by 5,000 teachers for 120,000 students.  The app can be used with or without the internet and provides the opportunity for mentoring teachers with lesson plans based on different curriculum needs and techniques.

Livox was developed by Carlos Pereira and his wife to support their young daughter with cerebral palsy.  It is an app to support learning in reading, writing and communication with a smart virtual keyboard and reduces risk of social isolation for disabled people.

There were many projects associated with the project and unfortunately unable to list all of them here.  But more details relating to the project are here: http://projectliteracylab.com/

One of the key messages from the whole event was how the jigsaw pieces are there in respect to technology but getting the right people leading and collaboration to identify an active positive solution does not need high finance.  The second key was taking it forward and making it happen.

But, what for museums? Interestingly Project Lab says ‘illiteracy’ should be put where it belongs – in a museum.  Museums can do so much to trial solutions by entrepreneurs for positive social change. Should illiteracy belong in a museum which traditional techniques involve high literacy?  The world is changing and we can be part of the next chapter of positive change.

Becki Morris, Disability Co-operative Network

[1] Jeff was recently awarded the Lifetime Achievement Award and inducted into the Entrepreneurs Hall of Fame by the CEO Council and recently the Champion of Entrepreneurship Award from JP Morgan, Chase, Citibank and Rising Tide Capital.

Consultation Opportunity (Questionnaire) Dyslexia and the Impact of Managerial Practices Research

Disability Co-operative Network

Hello,

I’m trying to determine whether or not there is a relationship between managerial practices, and the impact on people with dyslexia regarding employment stability.

The study involves the completion of a short questionnaire which is available online and will take approximately 40 minutes to complete. Please click on the web link below to take part in the online questionnaire.

Link – https://stirling.onlinesurveys.ac.uk/dyslexia-and-the-impact-of-managerial-practice-research

Secondly in-depth interviews are available for anyone who would like to contribute further to the research and should last approximately two hours.

If you would like to participate in an interview and want to find out more, please email me at: dps00002@students.stir.ac.uk

The deadline is 19th July 2017.

Many thanks

Dean Smith

University of Stirling

NEWS: Consultation opportunity for disabled people at the Welllcome Collection

Disability Co-operative Network

Wellcome Collection are calling out to disabled visitors to user test designs for a forthcoming exhibition.
We would like to test the heights of exhibition cases, label angles and exhibition texts in
Gallery 1 Monday 5 June at 10am or 2pm.

To sign up or find out more contact g.monk@wellcome.ac.uk

We have an exhibition in development called Can Graphic Design Save Your Life? which will open our ground floor gallery at Wellcome Collection in early September.

We’re currently evaluating and improving our inclusive design process and will be trying out various models of user test over the coming year. In the immediate term though we would like to set up a small group to give us feedback on prototype showcase and labels before we commit to building all of the exhibition furniture for this September exhibition. We know from visitor feedback that we sometimes get showcase height & design, and label position & design wrong so would appreciate the chance to run this test, build cases in response to user panel comments, and then monitor feedback through the exhibition’s run.

We are looking for adult participants in the London area. We are running two session – at 10am and 2pm each with a total of 6 participants.  We could also run an early evening session if necessary.

Sessions will take place in our ground floor gallery and we’ll have a prototype showcase, object labels and some of the exhibition’s texts to get responses to.

We will reimburse travel and lunch expenses by cash or bankers draft.

 

PRESS RELEASE: HRH The Princess Royal to launch first Thames Valley Accessible Regatta

PRESS RELEASE

Release date: 16 May 2017

HRH THE PRINCESS ROYAL TO LAUNCH FIRST THAMES VALLEY ACCESSIBLE REGATTA

Wednesday 14 June 2017 – Bisham Abbey National Sports Centre

HRH The Princess Royal will officially launch the Rivertime Accessible Regatta 2017 on Wednesday 14thJune at Bisham Abbey National Sports Centre, Marlow.  The Regatta, the first of its kind, is being organised by the
Rivertime Boat Trust and the charity Give Them a Sporting Chance, of which Her Royal Highness  is Guardian.

Over 350 young people aged 8-15, with a wide range of disabilities and special needs, will take part in the Accessible Regatta.   Drawn from over 20 local schools, the event is designed to give them the same sporting opportunities other young people freely enjoy.

The river will come to life with a full programme of water sports taking place along the stretch of the Thames at Bisham Abbey.   They include:

  • Competitive Bell boating – a fun activity for all ages, bell boats can fit between 8-12 people in a very stable craft constructed of two hulls, where the paddlers sit, connected with a platform in the middle. The boats are steered by a helm positioned at the stern of the boat
  • Sailing and powerboating – accessible sailing dinghies and motor boats will be there, as will the Rivertime launch for leisure trips and Coulam Wheelyboats V20 for more exhilarating trips that can reach speeds up to 30mph on open water
  • Accessible canoeing, which is debuting at this event, kayaking and rowing

As well as providing opportunities for those taking part in the regatta, there will be more than 20 young sports leaders volunteering on the day to assist the sports providers in delivering the events.  Many are also from SEN schools and are working towards certificates in leadership, so this event provides them with an excellent opportunity to put their skills into action.

Carers supporting the children participating in the regatta will have the opportunity to take part in a ‘Carers Challenge’ on the day as well, to recognise their contribution and support.

As well as water-based activities, young people will also have the opportunity to try various land-based activities. The National Sports Centre, working with other charities, will be putting on a range of land based accessible sports such as wheelchair basketball and tennis, boccia, cycling, new age kurling, cheerleading, archery, land sailing and disability football.

Simon Davis, Rivertime Boat Trust Co-founder and Chairman says: “I am delighted that the Princess Royal is able to join us to launch our first Accessible Regatta which is unique in providing participation for so many children and young people in one place at one time.

“We are delighted by the enthusiasm and support we have received and it is this which will drive us forward to create The Rivertime Accessible Regatta as an annual event, inspiring other organisations and charities to organise similar events and encouraging children and young people with disabilities to develop a long-term involvement with accessible sports.”

Anne Wadsworth, Give Them a Sporting Chance Trustee, says: “Everyone’s life can be enriched and their horizons expanded by a sporting chance.   I am delighted that so many special young people will share this wonderful day of sporting chances at Bisham Abbey on 14th June.  This is exactly what Give Them a Sporting Chance is all about.  It has been wonderful to work with the Rivertime Boat Trust to put on this event together.”

Manor Green School said “We like the opportunity to give our students the freedom of being on the river.  Being on water makes the children more independent and they also improve at working as a team.  The children can access it all because there is also the Wheelyboat and so everybody who comes along gets a go and nobody gets left out.  They absolutely love it.”

–  ENDS –

Any media wishing to attend, or for further information, interview requests, or images please contact Firebird PR:
Jana Fickerova or Jane Bevan at Firebird PR on 01235 835297 / 07977 459547 or via email to enquiries@firebirdpr.co.uk

Event details:

Wednesday 14 June 2017

Bisham Abbey National Sports Centre,
Bisham Village, Marlow Road, Bisham, Marlow SL7 1RR

 

About Rivertime Boat Trust

The Rivertime Boat Trust offer disabled and disadvantaged children and adults the opportunity to get out on the River Thames between Windsor and Oxford on their specially constructed boat.

In designing the Rivertime Accessible Regatta, the Rivertime Boat Trust is being advised by a panel of experts on disability and aspires to stimulate children and young people with disabilities to develop a long-term involvement with accessible sports.

The Rivertime Boat Trust is a charity registered with the Charity Commission.

For more information, visit www.rivertimeboattrust.org.uk

About Give Them a Sporting Chance

Give Them a Sporting Chance offers those with disabilities and their carers an opportunity to turn their sporting and recreational dreams into reality. All recipients are recommended by organisations and, in return for living their dream, those who receive chances raise funds for another charity of their choice (but not Give Them a Sporting Chance). This makes the charity unique.

For more information, visit www.givethemasportingchance.com

A variety of experts will be available for interview on the day including:

  • Simon and Pat Davis MBE, Rivertime Boat Trust Chairman and Co-founder
  • Anne Wadsworth OBE, Give Them a Sporting Chance Trustee
  • Lucy Herbert, Rivertime Boat Trust Head Skipper
  • John Jenkins MBE, SportsAble President
  • Peter May, Rivertime Accessible Regatta Director
  • Charles Reed, English Federation of Disability Sports Chairman and Sport England Trustee

 

PRESS RELEASE: Discover accessible sports in the Thames Valley at Rivertime Accessible Regatta

SAVE THE DATE:  Wednesday 14 June 2017

Bisham Abbey National Sports Centre

You are invited to the first ever Rivertime Accessible Regatta on the River Thames –
a showcase of the wide variety of accessible activities for children and young people with disabilities in the Thames Valley

On Wednesday 14 June, over 400 pupils from local special needs schools will take part in the Rivertime Accessible Regatta and for many this will be their first experience with competitive bell boating, accessible sailing, wheelchair powerboating and canoeing. Organisers, Rivertime Boat Trust together with Give Them a Sporting Chance have also called upon other charities and organisations to provide a chance for the regatta participants to try out other land-based accessible sports, such as new age curling, archery and wheelchair basketball.

“On some days, we have 18 youngsters with disabilities and within half an hour of being here they are all doing something – you know – not just sitting in a boat watching the countryside go by.  They are actually doing something and that is so lovely.”
(Roy May, Accessible Boat Club)

Why is this event unique?

The Rivertime Accessible Regatta is the first event of its kind in the Thames Valley and will be the first competitive sporting event for many of the participants. The regatta will see several hundreds of pupils taking part and some schools are also planning to bring some of their Year 10 trainee Sports Leaders to support the teams.

The Rivertime Accessible Regatta does not aim to be a stand-alone event and plans are already underway to make this an annual event on the river. In addition, participants are encouraged to follow through with the ‘chain of goodness’, by raising funds for a charity of their choice in whatever way they choose; while the organisers are in discussion with other organisations along the River Thames to stage similar events.

What is the opportunity?

  • Find out about the benefits of getting children and young people with disabilities on the water and learn about the challenges these activities pose
  • Discover which accessible sports are taking place in the Thames Valley
  • Gain insights on accessible sports from a variety of experts available for interview, including:
  • Simon and Pat Davis MBE, Rivertime Boat Trust Chairman and Co-founder
  • Anne Wadsworth OBE, Give Them a Sporting Chance Director
  • Lucy Herbert, Rivertime Boat Trust Head Skipper
  • Jonathon Hobbs, Hobbs of Henley Managing Director and Rivertime Boat Club Trustee
  • John Jenkins MBE, SportsAble President
  • Peter May, Rivertime Accessible Regatta Director
  • Charles Reed, English Federation of Disability Sports Chairman and Sport England Trustee
  • Be inspired by the volunteers and carers’ enthusiasm in ensuring that children and young people with disabilities get the chance to enjoy a fulfilling life

When and where?

Wednesday 14 June 2017, 10am – 2pm
You are invited to drop in at any time, but please let us know your expected time of arrival, so that we can meet your needs: arranging interviews and photography as required.
More information on the schedule of the day will become available in due course.

Bisham Abbey National Sports Centre,
Bisham Village, Marlow Road, Bisham, Marlow SL7 1RR

RSVP

Jana Fickerova or Jane Bevan at Firebird PR on 01235 835297 / 07977 459547 or via email to enquiries@firebirdpr.co.uk

–  ENDS –

For further information, interview requests, or images please contact Firebird PR:

T: 01235 835 297/ 07977 459 547

E: enquiries@firebirdpr.co.uk

 

About Rivertime Boat Trust

The Rivertime Boat Trust is a charity registered with the Charity Commission to provide and maintain a specially constructed boat and other facilities for the disabled and disadvantaged; organise trips in the boat on the middle Thames between Windsor and Oxford; and work with other charities involved with the disabled and disadvantaged that have similar objectives.

In designing the Rivertime Accessible Regatta, the Rivertime Boat Trust is being advised by a panel of experts on disability and aspires to stimulate children and young people with disabilities to develop a long-term involvement with accessible sports.

For more information, visit www.rivertimeboattrust.org.uk

About Give Them a Sporting Chance

Give Them a Sporting Chance offers those with disabilities and their carers an opportunity to turn their sporting and recreational dreams into reality. All recipients are recommended by organisations and, in return for living their dream, those who receive chances raise funds for another charity of their choice (but not Give Them a Sporting Chance). This makes the charity unique.

For more information, visit www.givethemasportingchance.com

Talking Inclusion – Usher Syndrome ~ Molly Watts

Molly Watt Trust Logo

Open to Inclusion?

Check out our friend Molly Watts who is a consultant and advocate for Usher Syndrome.
She believes that the world has to be accessible to all.  Follow her website and blog via http://www.mollywatt.com/

Find out what Usher Syndrome is via her video blog here:

And how assistive technology is an enabling tool here:

Feel the Force Day III, 10 October 2015

Feel the force day welcome

Does inclusion have to cost the earth?  No.

We recently visited Feel the Force Day in Peterborough.  Feel the Force Day is the world’s only Film and TV Convention for people with disabilities and visual impairment. It should be noted that Feel the Force Day is for all, however it is marketed as such as a number of the larger comic con style events are understood to be not accessible to disabled audiences.

Feel the force day - Main event hall
Feel the force day – Main event hall

Feel the Force Day is now in its third year, with a second ‘sister’ Feel the Force Day to be launched in Plymouth.   The organisation is run by two people and a team of volunteers.  They are an incredible group of people whose enthusiasm for sci-fi, film and TV is evident when you visit. But their commitment to access to all to engagement in public spaces is evident by the sheer numbers in attendance (5,000 people visited this year for the 1 day event) and the charged positive atmosphere on the site.

The day itself is accessible on a number of levels.  Firstly, cost is incredibly low in comparison to a similar event.  Each ticket costs £3.30 per person.  We spent almost 5 hours at the event, which for £3.30 a ticket is an absolute treat itself.

Feel the force day - sensory table
Feel the force day – sensory table

Secondly, there is lots to do and all manners of engagement.  Such items on offer were touch tables for people who were visually impaired.  These tables had masks, toys, tactile shapes of transport vehicles and fighter ships. Also toys to touch for the concept of what is on screen, such as lightsabres and Doctor Who daleks.  There is the fantastic concept project of ‘Think Stink’ which is a selection of bottles and jars with various concoctions of herbs, spices and other things to create what a place smells like.  So, the Forest of Endor has smells of herbs, trees and plants in a small smoothie bottle.

 

Feel the force day - Dalek from Dr Who
Feel the force day – Dalek from Dr Who

There were over 1000 costumers, who enabled people to touch their costumes so to interpret what C-3PO looked like, what shape R2 was.  But also to interact with the audience, including young children, family groups and adults.  The costumers really ‘gelled’ with the audience by little quips and comments and engaged into conversation.

Thirdly, the audience meet actors and actresses.  During the day we met actors and celebrities from TV and film.  These included Ian McNeice who was recently ‘Winston Churchill’ in Doctor Who, Jeremy Bulloch who was ‘Boba Fett’ in the original Star Wars trilogy, and Trevor and Simon from Going Live.   We also had

Feel the force day - TV's Trevor and Simon
Feel the force day – TV’s Trevor and Simon

illustrators, the Department of Ability and a Paralympian.

During the day, there were projects highlighted on the main stage including local schools and groups, with a number of organisations and local support groups available.

The key is this, often inclusion is mistakenly seen as a costly venture.  Here it is difficult to see why.  Feel the Force Day does not have a high budget.  Instead it is based on building partnerships and with careful planning and evaluation.

The organisation has the confidence to talk to people, to network and generate new partnerships with local and national organisations.  Inside the large reception area are pitches by local charities and organisations to inspire and support families and individuals.

Feel the Force Day is now raising their profile via fundraising and appeals for Feel the Force Day IV which will be held on 1st October 2016.  More details to be found on there website:  http://www.feeltheforceday.com/