Posts Tagged ‘disability’

See Trabasack and Version 22 at Naidex

(Looking for NAIDEX Floorplan? Scroll to the bottom)

As long time exhibitors at the fantastic annual Naidex disability and homecare event, we’re pleased to announce we’ll be back in 2015 and we’ll be sharing our stand with the fantastic talents of inventor and founder of Version 22, Simon Lyons.

Profile picture of Simon Lyons who is a young white man with a beard and brown hair

Simon will be joining the Trabasack Team at Naidex to show off his exciting new product

Come and see both the Trabasack team, showcasing our Equipped for Life online boutique range of products as well as Version 22 and their innovative and award-winning Geco Hub and other new ideas, between 28th and 30th April at the NEC in Birmingham.

This year representatives from Naidex say that there will be over 40 new product launches at the event so it’s certainly worth coming along to see what fresh and innovative ideas are out there for the future of disability living and care.

About Naidex

Naidex is the UK’s largest dedicated event with a focus on disability, rehabilitation and homecare. Over 300 exhibitors attend and show off some the most inventive and creative solutions to everyday problems for disabled people. The show also includes keynote speeches, conference seminars and the opportunity to meet experts in many fields of healthcare and gain insight and independent advice.

For full “how to get there” info click here.

The event is an opportunity to discover a new device or invention which could be exactly what you’re looking for.

The Geco Hub in Action

The Geco Hub in Action

About Version 22

We’re delighted to be sharing our stand with the creative and innovative talent that is Version 22. Simon Lyons is a multi-award-winning inventor whose fantastic Geco Hub has been showcased on our Living with Disability blog and is an example of a household item which is truly designed with design for all principles in mind. The Geco Hub has gone from strength to strength with the first units available for pre-order for delivery in May this year and thanks to huge success both on Kickstarter and thanks to the receipt of many awards for its ingeniousness.

Most recently Version 22 has been awarded the Irwin Mitchell Design for Life Award for a brand new invention which has been designed with the potential aim of improving the quality of life of people living with disabilities, although the idea is very much under wraps at present we look forward to hearing more about it!

Be one of the first people to see Simon’s newest product by visiting our stand  at the show!

The Irwin Mitchell Design Award is a huge accolade and gives Version 22 £10,000 in legal fees and R&D support to get their new idea off the ground. There were over 100 entries for the award but in the end this innovative new idea from Version 22 was the one that the prestigious law firm chose as their best bet. The winner was chosen in conjunction with Nesta and Disability Rights UK, ensuring experts were available to ensure the right entrant was selected. Congratulations Version 22!

Visiting our stand you’ll be able to see the Geco Hub in action and Simon is also planning to showcase and demonstrate his brand new product.

Trabasack and

Trabasack at Naidex National 2011

Follow Me on Pinterest Trabasack at Naidex National 2011

As long time exhibitors at Naidex National, we’re really excited to be back again in 2015 and hope to demonstrate both our originally designed Trabasack range as well as other products selected from our range which aims to provide useful and convenient tools for everyday life. Our range includes stand out examples of inclusive design including the Knork and Greepers Laces.

We will also have stocks of a new product never seen at Naidex before:

THE BIG BIG BODY WIPES! Giant wet wipes for camping, festivals and an all over body wash anywhere!

Our range represents aids which are designed to make life easier and we specialise in sourcing British designs, like our own, wherever possible.

We can be found at stand E102 in the Daily Living Aids sector of the exhibitors area and look forward to seeing as many of you as possible. 

We are directly ahead walking from the entrance at Hall 18 near the Trade Theatre. Tweet me if you get lost @trabasack!

The organisers of NAIDEX are reluctant to put a floor map online but I have one for you here  >

NAIDEX 2015 FloorPlan

Choice Unlimited

Logo for the Leicester disability event, Choice Unimited

Follow Me on Pinterest Choice Unlimited.

Trabasack to attend the Choice Unlimited Event

Trabasack is pleased to announce that they will be attending the Choice Unlimited event. Choice Unlimited Leicester is a new event aimed at disabled people, particularly young people, who want to find out about the services and options in their area. It will be held at the Leicester Tigers Stadium on the 21st November 2012, 10am – 6pm.

What is Choice Unlimited?

Choice Unlimited is a free event and everyone is welcome.  Disabled young people and young people with additional needs will find this event especially interesting as ‘Choice Unlimited is an opportunity to find out about information, services, products, ideas, innovation, education and employment.’  Parents, professionals and carers who work as service providers for them are encouraged to come along too.

This event particularly focuses on the ‘Transition Period’ which occurs when people are aged between 14 – 25 years old.  It’s a time of life when young people make sometimes momentous decisions about the life they wish to lead, the jobs they would like and where they want to settle.  Choice Unlimited aims to be a resource for young people who are in the midst of these choices and who often still need the support from services that are appropriate to their needs.

Who will be at the Event?

Trabasack will have a stand and the full range of their award winning lapdesk bags will be available. There will also be  over 160 exhibitors offering information and advice on: services, innovation, education, training, communications, wheelchair accessible vehicles, leisure and much more.  Voluntary and service organisations will be there too, with details on support, publications and holidays to name a few of the subjects covered. Trabasack will be at table 13 in the Products and Services Area.

Get Interactive!

If you’re someone with a ‘have a go!’ attitude, you might be interested in Choice Unlimited’s program of activities.  Get your pulse racing with a game of wheelchair rugby or perhaps roar around a race track with a driving simulator.  Should you prefer a more relaxed day, you’d be wise to consider the facials and pampering sessions that are on offer too.

Special Guest: Matt Hampson

Patron of Special Effect Charity

Follow Me on Pinterest Matt Hampson will be attending the Leicester event.

For those of you who, like us, are big fans, Matt Hampson will be at the event! Matt Hampson is the Tigers Rugby player who is also patron of the Special Effect charity that helps disabled gamers.

Professional Development

There are workshops on various topics.  If you’re involved with supporting young people through this transition period it helps to be aware of what is available for them and for you.  These workshops will help you to give the best choices to the people you work with.

See You There!

The Trabasack team would love to meet you and if you make your way over to the Products and Services area you’ll find us there.  Our products are designed to be able to be used by anyone and are especially useful to some disabled people, particularly wheelchair users, people with communication aids, and disabled children. Our company aim of assisting social inclusion for people with disabilities, if you would like advice or to find out more about what we do, we’ll be happy to help out.  Looking forward to seeing you on the day!

If you would like to find out more about the other exhibitors at the event the main website for Choice Unlimited can be found here.

Matt can be seen in the video below from the previous Choice Unlimited event that was held in April 2012

Trabasack supports Pat’s Petition

At Trabasack, we are proud to support those who are striving against all odds to improve conditions and services for those with disabilities. This means we support Pat’s Petition.

Pat Onions has submitted an e-petition to the government’s website and this petition is being promoted and supported by many leading disability organisations. Pat is registered blind and is also the carer for her husband and her determination and commitment to stopping and reviewing the benefit and services cuts is extremely admirable and we are proud to support her cause. The petition itself reads:

“Stop and review the cuts to benefits and services which are falling disproportionately on disabled people, their carers and families

Responsible department: Department for Work and Pensions

The government were embarking on wholesale reform of the benefit system when the economic crisis struck. These welfare reforms had not been piloted and the plan was to monitor and assess the impact of the new untried approach as it was introduced in a buoyant economy. Unfortunately since then the economy has gone in to crisis and the government has simultaneously embarked on a massive programme of cuts. This has created a perfect storm and left disabled people/those with ill health, and their carers reeling, confused and afraid. We ask the government to stop this massive programme of piecemeal change until they can review the impact of all these changes, taken together, on disabled people and their carers. We ask the government to stand by its duty of care to disabled people and their carers. At the moment the covenant seems to be broken and they do not feel safe. Illness or disability could affect any one of us at any time, while many more of us are potential carers.” Pat who has started an e petition Follow Me on Pinterest

We’re posting this because we want every one of our readers and customers to sign the petition. We have and we believe everyone should do the same and if Pat can get 100,000 signatures a debate will be raised in parliament. When you sign the petition you will have the opportunity to share it with your friends via Twitter, Facebook and e-mail. We urge you to share it with as many people as possible. We believe this petition will really ‘go viral’ once everyone starts sharing Pat’s message across their personal social media accounts.

With the changes in benefits and services causing detrimental effects to peoples’ lives every single day, it’s time to ask for change and petition this government and the media to stop generating scape goats of the  people who need help the most.

There are many leading organisations on board who are supporting Pat’s Petition including:

Disability Alliance
The Broken of Britain
Benefits and Work
Pain Concern
Diary of a Benefit Scrounger

and Trabasack are proud to add ourselves to the list.

To generate further discussion about Pat’s Petition, use the hashtag #patspetition on Twitter. Remember, if this e-petition gathers 100,000 signatures then it may be debated in Parliament.

Blue Badge Sat Nav goes the extra mile!

Blue Badge Sat Nav goes the extra mile!

This has been a long time coming and I’m sure plenty of disabled people and their carers breathed a sigh of relief when Navevo launched the Blue Badge Sat Nav, specifically for drivers with disabilities and their support staff.

An image of a Blue Badge Sat Nav Follow Me on Pinterest

The Blue Badge Sat Nav has all the great features of a standard sat nav, which all drivers expect but goes the extra mile by providing additional accessibility  information that is helpful to those with disabilities. Our favourite features of the Blue Badge Sat Nav include:

-Navigation directly to blue badge parking bays – extremely helpful if you have difficulty finding a parking space or knowing where the specified disabled parking area is! Additional information such as how long you are able to park in certain areas is also provided which is extremely helpful!

-Local and relevant information – not only does this sat nav provide you with information about many points of interest around the country (over 60,000 different places) they’re also tailored to which are accessible and who they cater for.

-Locating accessible amenities – from shops to train stations to toilets, finding accessible amenities is a daily struggle for many but with this sat nav, you’re directed to places which advertise said accessibility so there is no need to spend hours looking.

Blue Badge Sat Nav Software

These are just a few of the fantastic features made available through the Blue Badge Sat Nav and they are all designed to make life that little bit easier and they really do. If you’re not in the market for a whole new sat nav system but would like a solution to adapt your existing sat nav to support your additional needs you can also consider the downloadable points of interest (POI) software for TomTom or Garmin. This software contains some of the best features of the sat nav system including information regarding accessible amenities and also the essential Blue Badge parking bays across the country. It’s at a very affordable price too.

A sat nav inside a trabasack wheelchair laptray bag. Follow Me on Pinterest

A new sat nav is a big investment and something you need to take great care of. Use your Trabasack as a sat nav bag to safely transport your Blue Badge Sat Nav to and from your home. Store it in the bag compartment of your trabasack and you’ll never need to worry about it being stolen. The advice is not to leave a sat nav on show in the car window, so take it with you when sight seeing and shopping for peace of mind.

We are very pleased that Trabasack is being sold as a travel accessory by those digital data wizards at the PIE Guide. If you are looking for a Blue Badge Holders Sat Nav update for TomTom is recommended by the trabasack team.


Powerchair Pavement Problems

New video Pavement Problems


Activist blogger LatentExistence (Steven Sumpter) has made an excellent new film about the problems of travelling in his powerchair. Showing the dangers and difficulties of bad pavements and other road hazards especially on rural routes. The lack of alternatives and accessible transport available.

This page continues from a previous blog post about pavement problems and finding suitable powerchairs.

LatentExistence in a powerchair Follow Me on Pinterest

Badsey to Eversham Follow Me on Pinterest

His journey is from Badsey to Evesham, in rural Worcestershire. As he explains using clever titling in the video, although there are some shops and a post office in the village of Badsey, to access bigger shops, banks, GPs and train services, he needs to travel to Evesham. The bus service is unreliable and not wheelchair accessible. It is not considered a ‘priority route’ by the bus company, First Group.

The journey is about one hour for someone to walk. The other alternative is to use a wheelchair accessible taxi.

The cost for a round trip would be £17! However there is only one in the area and it is difficult to book at convenient times because of school runs. This is a common problem for wheelchair users, certainly it is also the case in our area that all suitable vehicles are blocked booked by Local Authorities using them for pupils travelling to special schools.

Steven uses a powerchair as he has ME (myalgic encephalomyelitis ) also known as Chronic Fatigue Syndrome, which among other things causes pain and exhaustion and means that he cannot stay on his feet for long periods.

Problems encountered:

1. The first obstacle is the lack of dropped kerbs on the street where he lives. This means that he has to cross at two driveways where the kerb has been lowered for cars. Here the pavement is broken and although there is some tarmac used to change the level, it is still a high kerb. The video clearly shows how bumpy it is for Steven to get up the kerb even with the special front wheel adaption on his powerchair called ‘Curb Skipper Wheels’.

Trabasack on a powerchair Follow Me on Pinterest

2. The next problem is a long detour because of a lack of dropped kerbs.  Adding to what is already a long journey.

3. A further lack of a ramp or sloped curve a cross a busy junction causes another detour. One of these detours can be seen on the map below.

4. Narrow paths with adverse cambers.

5. Uneven and broken pavement with cars passing very closely past at 60pmh.

6. Sloped that are suddenly steep, leading to tipping back problems.

7. Narrow paths with overgrowing vegetation.

8. Lack of paths with potential for slipping or being trapped in the mud.

9. Crossing the extremely busy and fast moving Eversham bypass.



The full video can be seen below.

Trabasack as a mounting aid.

Thorough out the film he uses his original Trabasack Curve to hold the camera. The Curve comes with two sets of straps. One pair is shorter ‘side straps’ that can be used to attach the trabasack and hold it on the lap at the armrests of a wheelchair or powerchair. Another way is to use one of the longer straps supplied to attach it around the waist and hold it in position almost like you would wear a bumbag (called a fannypack, belt pack or belt pack in US!). This ensures that it will not fall off your lap over rough terrain.

The beanbag cushioning in the trabasack gives some softening of the bumps and jolts of the journey but you can see from the film how jarring taking this journey would be. I am sure that it leads to aches and pain in the joints and muscles for powerchair users.

Awareness of pavement problems

This video is an important aid to raising awareness for the problems faced by powerchair users caused by lack of suitable pavenment adaptions and poor road surfacing. It also shows how difficult it is for people using wheelchairs who find themselves cut off by poor road and transport links.

Well done to Steven Sumpter for making the time and effort to get this difficult video made. I hope it opens people’s eyes to some of the realities of using a powerchair, wheelchair or scooter.

One Month Before Heartbreak – Blog swarm contribution

Disability Living Allowance – a personal view 17/01/11

This is my first ever blog post and my contribution to a campaign to raise awareness of the proposed changes to Disability Living Allowance (DLA). Please excuse my lack of formatting. I will improve!

My knowledge of DLA

In 1995, I became a Welfare Rights Advisor for Great Yarmouth Borough Council. It was a very rewarding job and I felt I was really helping people. The officers at Great Yarmouth Housing Dept. had just collated statistics that showed it to be one of the most disadvantaged and deprived areas in the country, with very high numbers of people on benefits; without work, as single parents, or with long term illnesses. We had a very busy ‘drop-in’ service but we were virtually always able to help people in some way, sometimes we could make a huge difference to their lives. Often by helping them to claim DLA.

Great Yarmouth Town Hall Follow Me on Pinterest

Great Yarmouth Town Hall

I learnt about DLA as part of my training. It was a benefit that the public didn’t really seem to know about and that the government didn’t shout about. The forms used to apply for it, are very long and need to be filled in very frankly and without making any assumptions on the part of the assessor. During my time there, I probably completed 600+ applications for people with a huge range of illnesses and disabilities.

Duncan Edwards (as was) Welfare Rights Adviser Follow Me on Pinterest

Duncan Edwards (as was) Welfare Rights Adviser

DLA is a benefit that can make a huge impact on people’s lives. As well as the weekly payment, it can passport you to increased payments from other benefits such as housing benefit and income support. People can also gain access to free transport, blue badges, a car leasing scheme (Motability), and many other concessions. At the time, it could be backdated, leading to some payments of thousands of pounds.

My first experiences, were helping people claim under the ‘Special Rules’. This meant that the form does not have to be fully completed as the person is expected to live less than 6 months. I visited many people in their homes; usually these people had cancer and had been working before the illness struck. They had lost their health and income and were understandably often struggling to cope.
I didn’t always find out if people had received an award or not. I remember an elderly man who couldn’t read or write. He had been a builder’s labourer all his life and this had taken a severe toll on his health in old age. He brought the letter to me to read and sobbed when I told him it had been awarded.
In 2005, I found myself completing a DLA form for my son, who has Dravet Syndrome. A neurological disease that causes difficult to control epilepsy and profound and multiple learning difficulties. I intend to write about this experience on another blog post.

The proposed changes and PIP

The Government proposes to revise DLA into a new benefit called Personal Independence Payments (PIP).  I read the consultation document last December and I became more and more worried and angry. It is obvious from the document that the proposals primary aim is to reduce the amount of money given to people with disabilities.

They will increase the qualifying time for 3 to 6 months and want to reduce the budget by 20%. The changes seem to be about looking for ways to exclude people. I invite you to read it yourself or this summary by rich_w and respond to the consultation. The cost of living with a disability is much higher than many people realise, people with disabilities are poorer, far less able to find work and face greatly reduced opportunities in our society.

We need to contribute to the consultation so that the government knows it cannot make the lives of people with disabilities more difficult.

Duncan Edwards

Co-founder and MD “Trabasack”

Twitter @trabasack



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A boutique store stocking useful, clever and accessible products and gadgets for everyday use.