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Archives for May 2010

Bank Holiday viewing and listening on the BBC

Emma Emma | 17:26 UK time, Friday, 28 May 2010

Here's a run-down of some of the disability-related stuff you can watch and listen to on the BBC this bank holiday weekend.

The Politics Show North West
The programme takes a look at the pivotal role of Lord Alf Morris in passing the Chronically Sick and Disabled Persons Act in 1970. A studio discussion with Councillor Pam Thomas, MP Paul Maynard and Amanda Batten of the National Autism Society follows.

BBC Scotland Investigates - Who's Cheating Who?
Government plans to end the UK's sicknote culture come under scrutiny as Mark Daly examines claims that patients with severe mental illness and cancer are being denied benefits and told they must find a job.

On Radio 4's In Touch programme for the 25th of May, Leonie Watson and Ian Macrae review the Internet Archive and have a go at accessing audio books.

On Sunday 30th and Monday 31st June at 9 pm, BBC One will broadcast a two part special to celebrate the tenth anniversary of Child Of Our Time, the 20 year social experiment which follows 25 children born in the UK in 2000. The show features disabled artist Alison Lapper and her son Parys.

The two programmes will explore the personalities of the Child of our Time children, and presenters Robert Winston and Sophie Raworth will reveal the results (so far) of Lab UK's Big Personality Test", which aims to gage the personality of the nation.

Finally, you can listen again to this edition of Woman's Hour, in which John Suchet discusses his wife's dementia.

2012 Paralympics mascot, audio described video

Damon Rose Damon Rose | 13:23 UK time, Friday, 21 May 2010

Did you see the unveiling of the 2012 Olympic and Paralympic mascots this week?

wenlock and Mandeville are their names. wenlock represents the Olympics whereas Mandeville is cheerleader for the Paralympics. The metallic character with a camera as an eye, is named after Stoke Mandeville hospital in Aylesbury, Buckinghamshire, where the first Paralympic-style games were held in 1948.

As with all good 360-degree digital branding, the characters have a back story. They're brothers, of sorts, fashioned from droplets of steel left over from the construction of London's Olympic stadium. Check out the inclusivity there? It's like they're saying, "The Olympics and the Paralympics are born of the same ideal and we hold them in equal esteem" isn't it? And actually, call me a sad old sap, but I was rather touched by it.

The characters will come to life on the web with regular instalments of their journey to London leading up to the games in 2012. I'm sure there's an iPhone app on the way if it isn't already out there.

the story of Wenlock and Mandeville was written by children's author Michael Morpurgo. And here we're going to direct you to an accessible version of the video:

Out of a rainbow - the story of the London 2012 mascots (with audio description)

And now Without audio description

What do you think of Mandeville and the video which shows living paralympian role models as inspirations to all? Tell us in the comments below.

Lastly, please can someone send me a Mandeville T-shirt? Thanks so much. Channel 4 might be covering the Paralympics this time round but it doesn't mean we stragglers at the BBC's disability website want to miss out.

[update] we've just been told that Mandeville is on Twitter. That means he must be real ... and the guys in the office were mocking me for thinking that. Idiots. Does this mean we can get him on our Talk Show?

Disability audio on the BBC

Emma Emma | 14:01 UK time, Wednesday, 19 May 2010

Two bits of disability related BBC reporting caught my attention this week.

On Monday, an item aired on Radio 4's Today programme and subsequently elsewhere on the BBC, about security correspondent, Frank Gardner's trip to the Norwegian Arctic. According to the news website, he "swapped his wheelchair for a snow mobile", to visit Walking with the Wounded, a group of disabled soldiers who have just launched an attempt to make it to the North Poll. Here's a link to the video.

This morning, also on Radio 4's Today programme, Sarah Montague interviewed blind musicians Amadou et Mariam. They are one of the African bands to be chosen to play at a concert organised to celebrate the start of the World cup. Listen to the interview here and as an added bonus, here's what happened when I interviewed the Mali couple for Ouch's 13 Questions feature.

Disability coming up on BBC TV

Emma Emma | 10:35 UK time, Monday, 17 May 2010

There are two disability related seasons of programmes on the BBC at the moment. BBC Three's Autism season has been running for a few weeks now and has featured programmes such as The Autistic Driving School and Autism, Discco and Me. The season will conclude next Thursday at 9 PM with the second half of Autistic Superstars, which follows a group of talented young people with autism as they prepare to perform live at a London venue. Next week, BBC Four will feature two evenings of programming supported by the Headroom campaign, which will explore attitudes to mental health. The Out of Mind season will be broadcast on Monday the 17th and Wednesday the 19th of May from 7.30 PM. It will feature a mixture of repeats, such as Stephen Fry's The Secret Life of a Manic Depressive, and new programmes including Sectioned, which follows 3 men as they make their way through the mental health system and Mental: a History of the Madhouse. Remember, if you miss any of the above programmes when they go out on TV, they will be available to view on the iPlayer for at least 7 days, or longer if the show gets repeated on any BBC channel.

Iain Duncan Smith, new DWP chief

Damon Rose Damon Rose | 16:31 UK time, Wednesday, 12 May 2010

Former head of the Conservative party, Iain Duncan Smith, was today appointed the new Work and Pensions Secretary in the UK's new coalition government.

In an interesting blog post from Disability Now editor Ian Macrae, he gives analysis on what disabled people might expect from IDS.

As yet we don't know who has the Minister for Disabilities post, if there is one. But Theresa May, the new Home Secretary, has 'Equalities' as part of her portfolio.

We're quite big fans of Laura Kuenssberg's tweets; the Chief Political Correspondent for the BBC News Channel has been posting updates to Twitter from her vantage point in White Hall since early today. Follow her for the very latest.

UK Learning disability soap cleans up at the web Oscars

Emma Emma | 13:56 UK time, Thursday, 6 May 2010

We've just had word that
Learning disability docusoapThe Specials, has won not one but two Webby awards, basically the Oscars of the internet.

The show, which follows a group of young people with learning disabilities who happen to share a house, received an award for best online reality show and snapped up the People's Choice award in the same category. They get to travel to New York to accept the gongs.

I was lucky enough to visit the house in Brighton where The Specials live. I met most of the show's stars but got to interview Lewis for 13 Questions. Lewis is absolutely hilarious. Read the interview here.

Congratulations to all involved on an incredible win.

How accessible was your voting experience?

Damon Rose Damon Rose | 14:12 UK time, Wednesday, 5 May 2010

Disability charity Scope are asking you to fill in a survey about the accessibility of your local polling station in their Polls Apart campaign.

After you've voted tomorrow, hot tail it to the online survey and fill it in. If you did a postal vote, check out this page.

Doing it online isn't the only way. If you visit the Polls Apart website you'll find out more details on how you can download a form and send it freepost as well as lots more info about how you can get involved with the campaign or make your local voting process more accessible.

Finally, if you 'do' phones, you can call the campaign hotline on 020 7619 7370 on election day and tell them direct.

• Talk about your voting experience on Twitter by using their hash tag: #PollsApart

Accessible Election Manifestos

Post categories:

Zoe E Breen Zoe E Breen | 10:29 UK time, Wednesday, 5 May 2010

It's less than 24 hours until the election and your last chance to decide who has the best policies for you. Autism Wales have collected together Easy Read versions of manifestos for the major parties in the .


To read the documents visit the Autism Wales website.

You can also check on Disability Bitch's last minute efforts to be elected MP for Cyberspace in her regular column.

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