Archive for the ‘Disability’ Category


June 23, 2010

What is there to say? 

If you want to see more of this site for people with disabilities then click the following link:


Disability Advice Project

February 25, 2008

The Disability Advice Project is a Torfaen based charity that serves the needs of disabled people, their families and carers in our community and surrounding areas of Torfaen, South-East Wales.

The Disability Advice Project covers the surrounding areas of Torfaen such as Blaenau Gwent, Caerphilly, Monmouthshire and Newport.

The Project is an independent charity that is a member of DIAL UK and affiliated to SCOPE. This status means we can operate without the expensive and time-consuming bureaucracy of a national charity and yet we are able to utilize their experience and expertise when needed. The Project is run by a group of volunteers who either have the experience of being a disabled person or of caring for a disabled person. This innate knowledge combined with a continuous training programme has created a committed group of individuals with a considerable expertise in all disability issues but particularly welfare rights and access auditing. There is a charge to service providers for our auditing and training service, with all monies being reinvested into the Project to fund our free welfare rights work for individual clients. We are also dependent on donations from our clients and any other individuals, as we do not receive funding from local government.

Since April 1999, we have represented over 300 people at disability benefit tribunals, with only 20% being unsuccessful. We have dealt with up to 250 enquiries in one month. We achieved the Investors in People standard in March 2001 (one of only 3 voluntary organisations in the UK and the first in Wales) and were awarded the Community Legal Service Quality Mark in January 2002. Both awards have subsequently been maintained.

In 2000 the project was awarded a Wales Training Award and in 2005 was the winner of a National Training Award at a UK level.

Don’t Disabled People Go Out After 6pm?

May 25, 2007

Since starting work  I now have to do the family shop either after work or
on the weekend.  Seeing as I hate shops and loads of people in them I find
it better to go straight after work.  By the time I get to my local
supermarket it is often around 6pm.  The good thing is the shop itself is
relatively quiet and yet I find trying to find a disabled parking space an
absolute struggle.  Why is this? Well obviously SOME of the general public
must have the perception that disabled people do not go out in the evenings
because they take up all the disabled bays!!

Before I was working I would shop during the day and only had problems
parking because the shop was busy.  Each bay would have a car displaying the
blue badge.  Good I have no problem with this at all (except it may be
suggesting that there are not enough parking bays for the disabled). So why
is it that as soon as the evening comes, the bays are jam-packed and on many
ocassions none display the blue badge?  This drives me crazy.  Many disabled
people lead a normal life which means that they do go out in the evenings
and I believe there is no law stating that we cannot go out after dark so
could people please please refrain from parking in disabled parking bays,
even if you are just “popping in” quickly.


and a welcome…….

February 5, 2007

to two new links for people with a disability.   The Gimp Parade and Falling Off My Pedestal, like Wheelchair Dancer, are written by individuals with severe disability who express their views on their lives and what goes on around them.   The content is  direct and may be painful for some, but it sure opens your eyes! 

and a link for those, young and older, who are suffering following the death of a relative or friend – Cruise Bereavement Care – if things are difficult, well worth a look.   Also entered in Links and Young People.

Physical Disabilities and Mental Health

February 4, 2007

If you have a physical disability, or disability and mental health issues, you might like to have a look at wheelchair dancer in Links, and Young People – and try some of the links on the site – gives you something to think about, and enjoy.

Stigma and Discrimination

January 31, 2007

A few weeks ago I wrote that I would be starting to gather information and comment on the Stigma issue which affects the lives of so many people with mental ill health.    The subject of mental ill health is one which attracts mythology, untruth, supposition, misunderstanding, mistrust – and most “mis -somethings” that you can think of.     Of course, fear, embarrassment, denial, exclusion, are all high in the stigma ratings, and is has disturbed me to hear people say sadly that the place where they feel they have experienced greatest stigma, and stigma which really gets to them, is in their own families.   Workplace stigma, loss of peer group friends for young people, community bullying, and unacceptable descriptive words are all part of the experience of those struggling with mental ill health, and it’s negative effects on their lives.   It needs to be dealt with, and in an effective and cohesive way, and during 2007 it will feature strongly in the work of the Monmouthshire Mental Health Network and also the work of Service User Involvement.   If you would like to become involved in some small or big way in working on getting information out into the press and community which creates better understanding, and hopefully starts to reduce stigma, then let me know by e-mail, and I will keep you informed.   If you feel strongly enough to want to take a lead role in the work group, then say so, and full facilities will be available.

E-mail to, or click on the stigma links in the categories or links section on the right side of the opening page, and send me a comment.

The following is an extract from the website of the Mental Health Alliance which offers two examples of recent press reporting.   It encourages you to write to the Editors of the two newspapers and tell them what you think about these comments.  

 The Sunday Times, ‘Mentally ill murder 400’

The Observer, ‘One person a week killed by mentally ill’

These were the headlines on the front of the Sunday Times and the Observer in December 2006, about the Department of Health’s report on suicides and homicides by people in contact with mental health services.

Headlines like these can add to the stigma and discrimination that people with mental health problems face. It’s important to tell newspapers how stories like this can affect you: your life, your work, your relationships.

You need to explain the effect that headlines like ‘Mentally ill murder 400’ have on you, how it affects perceptions of people with mental health problems, and the impact that has on your life.

The causes of so many of the deaths, homicides and suicides, were health service failings. The solution to these deaths is better mental health services. It’s important to remind newspapers that it is the poor state of mental health services that are the real problem.

Please send a copy of any letters you send to a newspaper to

Mental Health Works

January 31, 2007

I have recently been in contact with Mary Ann Baynton, Director of Mental Health Works, Ontario, Canada.   Mental Health Works provide a really interesting site for those involved with work issues and mental illness.   A link is now provided in our Links column and if this is your area of interest then the site is well worth a look for its attitudes, views, and explanation of the duties of employers and rights of employees in relation to mental health issues.  There may be differences between UK and Canadian Employmenty law – I don’t know – but the principles and positive approach are refreshing. 

Disability Hate Crime

November 9, 2006

Disability Hate Crime is very much in the news at present – but is always there regardless of media trends.   The Crown Prosecution Service is launching a public consultation about how Disability Hate Crime is prosecuted in this country.   If you have a view about this, or possibly knowledge of other people’s experiences, then it would be good if you could make a response to the consultation.   If you would like a clearer idea of what is happening, please click on this link to the CPS website, which will provide you with more details.

 If you don’t feel that you want to reply to the website, but have views you want to express to someone, then send them to  who will be able to include them in the response from the National Aids Trust.   

Many people, with a wide range of disability, including mental ill health and dual diagnosis, have experience of incidents which were difficult to prove – and wish it could be otherwise.   Well, this is an opportunity to say what you think t


Forum at The Sessions House, Usk

August 15, 2006


We usually meet in the Library.   Details of this meeting are:


Participation Network and Forum  

First, an apoplogy for the sudden cancellation of the meeting planned for 20th September.   This was due to problems in arranging transport, and I am sorry that people were disappointed that this could not be overcome.   However, the situation is likely to improve in the near future. 

The next meeting of the Network and Forum will take place at The Sessions House, Usk onWednesday 18th October, from 1.30 – 3.30pm.  There will be three main items on the Agenda which may encourage you to come and take part!                             


 1.  Housing and Homelessness in relation to Mental Health in Monmouthshire. 

( At present demand far exceeds resources – and this will be an opportunity for you to bring into discussion your experiences.  You may also want to take part in working on solutions to this situation.)  

2.   Self Support Groups.

 Why should you be interested?   What could they do for you?    

Come along – you might be surprised!

 3.  Evidencing the needs of service users through the use of Power Point and video. 

Let’s talk some more about this.

For further information tel Debbi or Tony on 01291673952 or e-mail: and