How easy is it for the limbless to get a bionic arm or leg?

  • 25 June 2015
Nicky Ashwell with her bionic hand holding a flower

Last week a woman who was born without a hand, showcased her new bionic arm - said to be the most lifelike one yet. But bionics can cost up to £100,000 and aren't an option for everyone - so what do other people do?

Nicky Ashwell's bionic hand has been created using F1 and military technology and is said to perfectly mimic the function of a real hand, with 14 possible positions. She says it has taken away "her awkward moments", and the movements are natural and easy to master.

Steeper, the company that made Ashwell's bionic hand, estimates that the whole arm costs about £30,000. It's undoubtedly the envy of many people without limbs, but few are likely to be fitted with one in the immediate future.

Stephen Davies's story is unfortunately more typical. When he went to his NHS prosthetic centre in 2008, he was looking for a more functional arm. He was struggling to mow the lawn and do the gardening so he needed a hand that could form a fist.

But when the hospital provided him with an arm that had a metal clamp, it was the last straw for Davies, and he left feeling annoyed and upset.

Read full article How easy is it for the limbless to get a bionic arm or leg?

'Disabled should band together to bring living costs down'

  • 23 June 2015
Person taking mobility scooter out of boot

Disabled consumers should be "bold and loud" about their spending power, says disability costs commission.

A year-long enquiry into the expensive lives that disabled people have has concluded that working together as a collective consumer force is necessary to bring down the cost of living.

Read full article 'Disabled should band together to bring living costs down'

The priest who had both hands blown off by a letter bomb

  • 22 June 2015
Michael giving a sermon

When a letter bomb was delivered to Father Michael Lapsley's house, it triggered a lifetime of healing.

Twenty-five years ago, Father Michael Lapsley's life changed irreparably while living in Harare, Zimbabwe.

Read full article The priest who had both hands blown off by a letter bomb

Losing your sight as a deaf person

  • 14 June 2015
View from a deafblind person with peripheral vision
See Hear created images of what some people with Usher syndrome experience

Sight is very important for deaf people, especially when attempting to talk with others, so what happens if you also start to go blind?

Deaf people are very visual, we use sign language and lip-reading as a way to communicate and socialise, so the prospect of losing our sight can be very daunting. A medical study found deaf people may even have enhanced peripheral vision, compensating for a lack of hearing.

Read full article Losing your sight as a deaf person

The 'dragons' who want to help disabled people start their own business

  • 11 June 2015
a man in a wheelchair sitting at a desk with a laptop

Meet the city financiers who want to help disabled people start their own businesses.

At a breakfast meeting in the City of London, a group of venture capitalists are making a presentation about a fund with a difference. It's called Kaleidoscope and it's aimed at giving financial backing to disabled entrepreneurs.

Read full article The 'dragons' who want to help disabled people start their own business

Did you hear about the club for mentally ill comedians?

  • 5 June 2015
Harriet Dyer

From a confused attempt at self-harm to setting up a comedy club for comics with mental health difficulties. Harriet Dyer has come a long way in the last year.

Comedian Harriet Dyer says friends have been questioning her state of mind her whole life. But up until quite recently, the 31-year-old thought of herself as just being eccentric.

Read full article Did you hear about the club for mentally ill comedians?

Ouch talk show 120: Comedian angst and disabled toys

  • 4 June 2015

On this month's show: We explore the links between comedy and mental health with funny people Felicity Ward, Stuart Goldsmith and also Harriet Dyer, who's starting a club night for comedians with mental health difficulties. Plus, there's a new campaign to promote disabled toys - we talk to one of the people behind it, Rebecca Atkinson.

Ade Adepitan and Kate Monaghan present.

How to listen

More about this month's guests and discussions:

Read full article Ouch talk show 120: Comedian angst and disabled toys

Brain injury: Stories of changed lives

  • 27 May 2015
Scan of Matthew's brain injury

A new blog aims to increase awareness of brain injury and its consequences by telling personal stories.

Charity Headway East London has worked with people who have an acquired brain injury (or ABI) to compile a tell-all blog of frank and open personal accounts of what their lives were like before, and after. The aim is to help ABI survivors rediscover their voices and give them confidence to use them.

Read full article Brain injury: Stories of changed lives

Nepal quakes: Treating the spinally injured

  • 26 May 2015
In the grounds of Nepal's Spinal Injury Rehabilitation Centre

The recent earthquakes in Nepal have left an estimated 400 people with serious spinal cord injuries. Many of them are presently being treated at the country's only spinal injury rehabilitation centre. Stephen Muldoon of the British charity Livability describes the situation on the ground.

On 25 April the first devastating earthquake struck Nepal causing 8,500 deaths, 16,000 injuries and 300,000 homes were destroyed. Nearly three weeks later I witnessed a second quake which caused another 141 fatalities and 3,000 injuries. Another significant statistic is that there have already been more than 173 spinal injuries resulting from the earthquakes. This number is predicted to rise to 400.

Read full article Nepal quakes: Treating the spinally injured

NHS wheelchair reforms are taking too long, say campaigners

  • 18 May 2015
A doctor pushing a wheelchair

Wheelchair users have criticised progress made by NHS England in improving services.

Last year NHS England launched the Wheelchair Services Improvement Programme after acknowledging they were not good enough.

Read full article NHS wheelchair reforms are taking too long, say campaigners