This year finished for me on a high note after a period of ill health and a bit of surgery. I decided to go off to Majorca, Spain to recuperate and rest and whilst I was there I had the great pleasure of meeting up with our dear friend Martyn Sibley from disability horizons who was attending a Handisport conference to promote accessibility for the disabled. When i saw Martyn he confided in me that he had been voted as the 3rd most influential disabled person in the UK. This is an honour he truly deserves. Nobody has done more for campaigning on accessible travel and normalising disability in our country.
My next trip is to other side of Europe – up north in Finland where i have many friends and family. Funnily enough a really cool video promoting a Finnish dating site just passed across my desk and frankly it is so much better than the usual cheaply presented dating videos from Finland which is the poor man of dating promotions in Europe.
I enjoy looking at how other niche dating sites promote their offers and this offering from flirttideitti.fi is visually very nice indeed. OK. that was a ‘shout out’ now back to disabilitymatch which has been adding new members at a rate of knots. I have also been delighted at just how well our podcast has been doing. we have had hundreds of downloads for our episodes and, not just in the UK. We have podcast subscribers in Canada and Australia and we get social media coverage for the podcast all around the world.
I do recommend that you follow me on twitter @disabilitymatch where I tweet every day about things that are happening in the world of disability and in the wider worls of medical innovations. Finally we have rebuilt our store http://shop.disabilitymatch.co.uk and we are starting to get orders. We will be giving 15% of our shop profits to disability charities so if you need to buy a wheelchair or a disabled bed or a commode and many other things do buy from us because we will donate profits to a good cause.
Our latest podcast is ready for fee download from the podcast.disabilitymatch.co.uk site or from iTunes or most other podcast platforms. We hope you enjoy it. If you have 40minutes to while away then this is the podcast for you. It is an upbeat discussion on a variety of disability issues and our guests are shown in the video above.
I was reading a great article by Melanie Reid in today’s times newspaper. She is an insprational columnist and worth following. She is in a wheelchair following an accident and comes at the problems of spinal injusry from an interesting angle. Her article on rebranding the term ‘carer’ is a case oin point. I quote:
We need a new name for these people. A strong, proud word that will demand respect.
A rebranding. They need to be able to declare themselves minders, guardians, protectors, special forces. Not unsung heroes, because that’s sentimental, which is the last thing the job is, nor are they champions or buddies. Attendant is too close to lavatory, and personal assistant makes their caree sound like an aspiring CEO.
Care worker is diligent but dull, like sex worker, and while caregiver is popular in the States, I think I’d prefer a caretaker. In brown overalls with a spanner. How about floor manager? Concierge? Gofer? We could hijack the word caddy from golf, and start paying carers 5-10 per cent of our income.
Or get sponsorship for the profession from Apple or YouTube: create an iNeed or an iHelp; a YouMind or a YouVital.
Or how about a Selfish Pig? A few years ago Hugh Marriott wrote a magnificently mordant book called The Selfish Pig’s Guide to Caring, in which he blew apart the myth that carers are saintly, compassionate people and declared that it was perfectly normal to get guilty, angry and frustrated, and understandable to have murderous thoughts about the person you look after. Especially if you are one of the six million who do it unpaid, for a loved one, friend or neighbour, but even if you’re one of the one million-plus who toil in the adult care sector employed on the minimum wage.
I think this sets the case very clearly and I would welcome any suggestions from my blog readers on other terms to describe someone who finds themselves in this role – not through choice as a ‘devotee’ but through circumstance.
Are you after a romantic break? Do you fancy a secluded cottage in the countryside or some seaside fun?
If so, there are some really great resources available for you. There is a vast selection of accessible holidays and cruises both in the UK and overseas including hotels and cottages, caravans and villas. Whilst many are ATOL protected you should be aware that some holiday providers do not offer this degree of protection. Indeed, we believe you should insist that any holiday trips are covered by the ATOL money-back guarantee.
We are impressed with the range of holidays offered through DisabledHolidays.com. They have an experienced and specialised team to listen to your needs, find suitable holiday destinations and make recommendations based on your preferences. After you’ve chosen where you wish to go, they’ll do the rest: from arranging adapted transfers and airport assistance, to the hiring of any necessary equipment such as hoists, electric beds or sending your luggage on ahead of you – in fact anything you need to ensure that your holiday is as stress free as possible. Right from the moment you call or email they work hard to find your perfect accessible holiday.
Whatever your disability or medical condition, they work with you to find a holiday that not only meets your needs but exceeds your expectations. Where possible, they also visit holiday accommodation too in order to check out the facilities and assess their suitability. That way, they know exactly what’s available both on site and in the surrounding area.
We think this is a cracking good service for disabilitymatch members and we feel very comfortable in recommending them to you.