August 2019 The Edinburgh Festival Fringe is kicking off right on our doorstep, and this year it will be even more accessible and inclusive. As well as taking a look at the Fringe, we thought it would be interesting to see what is happening around Scotland. In this newsletter we have listed a number of accessible events taking place across the country.

July 2019 In this edition we’re looking at ways to improve our health and wellbeing, whether that be in the home with App led activities, or out in the fresh air in the garden or participating in accessible sports and activities.

June 2019 This is a special edition dedicated to the great work of carers paid and unpaid across Scotland.  With Carers Week taking place between 10-16 June 2019 we wanted to take the opportunity to showcase the great work of many agencies and groups helping support those who often work below the radar, sacrificing their own goals to give the people they care for the best possible life.

May 2019 Summer is almost upon us and thoughts will be turning to short breaks, holidays and outdoor activities.  In this May edition of our newsletter we look at a range of activities, resources to find holiday funding and a quick guide to help you plan your applications.

April 2019 As the weather improves and the clock goes forward we want to spend more time outside, taking advantage of the great sunlight and warm(ish) weather.  Whether you are out for a walk in the local park or meeting friends for some alfresco dining being outdoors will almost certainly be good for your physical and mental health.

Macmillan have teamed up with Glasgow libraries to ensure support is available at the heart of the community.

News As we celebrate 20 years we are keen to explore working partnerships to ensure that disabled people, their family, friends and carers are connected and can access great quality information to tackle the issues they face in their lives.

The Gathering 2019 We had a great 2 days in Glasgow, meeting some wonderful organisations supporting people across Scotland.

Directory Updates We met quite a few organisations that will be joining our Disability Directory in the coming weeks, so keep searching.

Why Helplines and What to Expect A call to a helpline can give you immediate support and access to information without having to make an appointment or travel to an office.  You don’t have to give your real name or contact details.  Making the call is usually the first step in addressing a problem.

Epilepsy Scotland  Epilepsy Scotland’s free confidential helpline provides information, help and emotional support to anyone touched by epilepsy including children, young people, parents and carers.

National Helplines Contact List The list below gives contact details for some of the more widely used Helplines.

Public Consultations Consultation on timescales for carers of those with terminal illness.

Deaf Scotland’s Sensory and Equality Conference Our Manager, Scott, will be attending the Deaf Scotland’s Sensory and Equality Conference on March 15th.  This will be their first conference under a new brand and identity deafscotland.

#NoHateMate Disability Hate Crime The essence of hate crime is that a person is targeted because of who they are. If their identity relates to race, sexual orientation, transgender identity, religion or disability.

World Wheelchair Curling Championships 2019.  Tickets are now available for the championship being held at Stirling’s PEAK Sport’s Village from the 3 to 10 of March. This tournament is the first opportunity for the competing nations to gain vital qualification points for the 2022 Paralympic Games in Beijing.

EU Withdrawal (Evaluation of Effects on Health and Social Care Sectors) Bill (Bill 288) Update The Health and Social Care Alliance Scotland (the ALLIANCE) have circulated Brendan O’Hara MP’s Private Member’s Bill proposing an independent evaluation of Brexit’s impact on health and social care.  It has now been published in the House of Commons.

Sad to Say Goodbye to Angus Disabled Ramblers This November, Disability Information Scotland was delighted to receive a donation from the Angus Disabled Ramblers. However, with this donation came some sad news; after 16 years of service, the group has made the difficult decision to close down.

Merry Christmas The Board and staff at Disability Information Scotland wish you a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year. We look forward to a busy 2019 when we celebrate our 20th anniversary !!!

Are you ready for a White Christmas in Scotland 2018? Well the weather forecasts are unpredictable but it’s looking like we might have a white Christmas in Scotland this year. We have some tips to keep you safe, warm and healthy.

The Best Start Grant Pregnancy and Baby Payment The Scottish Government, has increased the payments available to lower income families for each child they have. The Best Start Grant Pregnancy and Baby Payment will help children across Scotland have a fairer start by providing cash sums to families at crucial times in a young child’s life.

Care and Repair provides help with home repairs and disability adaptions for older adults and disabled people, so they may live comfortably and independently in their homes.

Tribute to Cathy. We were saddened to learn of the passing of our colleague and friend Cathy Scott  a member of the UPDATE and Disability Information Scotland family for over 18 years.

Cycling update!  Hear from ABC Cycling and from our own Irene as she explores cycle options.

Listening Books.  A national UK charity offers a postal and online audiobook library service for anyone with a print impairment, due to an illness, disability, or mental health condition.

Top 10 Apps for Students. From managing your money to planning your social calendar, these apps will help make student life easier.

Scottish University disability support services.  A listing of disability support services in Scottish universities.

Mental Health services in University. Know where to find mental health support.

Our August news It’s been an enjoyable summer in DIS, with plenty to look forward to.

Looking forward to Independent Living Scotland 2018. ILS is Scotland’s largest FREE disability lifestyle and independent living event.

My trip to ABC All-ability cycle club Some years ago, I cycled everywhere and it is now some years since I have been able to cycle confidently. Find out how I got on at ABC All ability Bike Club.

Tactile Paving.  As we walk around the streets of our towns and cities there’s a little known code under our feet.

DWP’s new freephone telephone numbers. The DWP phone numbers for making new claims or enquiring about benefits have changed.

Accessible events in Scotland this August With the majority of tourists heading to our shores throughout August, why not get out there and enjoy what the country has planned, to showcase its talent and international visitors!

Our July news. Gosh, it’s been a while since our last newsletter update and it’s certainly been a busy time.

Welcome Irene and Ann to Disability Information Scotland. We are delighted to introduce our newest members of staff.

Do you want to get together at get2gether? If you feel isolated and want to mix and mingle, check out get2gether. It’s free to join and we organise social events for adults with disabilities.

Carers Allowance in Scotland. Upcoming changes to Carer’s Allowance in  Scotland.

PIP videos from the DWP The DWP has published 5 short videos to help give people an overview of the process for claiming Personal Independence Payment (PIP).

The new ILF Scotland Transition Fund has now been running for six months. The fund provides money, for up to one year, to support young people living with disabilities (as defined in the Equality Act 2010) to improve their lives.

The CEA Card is a national card scheme developed for UK cinemas by the UK Cinema Association (UKCA).  The Card enables a disabled cinema guest to receive a complimentary ticket for someone to go with them when they visit a participating cinema.

Access Scottish Theatre lists accessible performances and venues across Scotland. They provide you with all the information you need to plan a trip to the theatre and enjoy yourself.

Glasgow Disability Alliance Learning Festival Take part in fun workshops, meet others, have fun, build confidence and make connections.

Some helpful hints in a power cut. Thankfully, power cuts are much rarer than they used to be.  If your electricity goes off unexpectedly there are a few checks to do before you call your local network operator.

Accessible Housing Roadshow. Disability Equality Scotland in partnership with Blackwood Housing Group present a workshop on accessible housing in Dundee.

Hate Crime has no home in Scotland Campaign The Scottish Government has joined with Police Scotland and the Crown Office (COPFS) to launch a new campaign against hate crime.

Sensory Awareness TrainingNorth East Sensory Services’ (NESS) are offering Sensory Awareness Training that aims to raise awareness the impact of living with a sight and/or hearing loss.

Preparing for winter training for Carer’s in Edinburgh. The free courses for carers this autumn/winter including mental health, communication skills, surviving Christmas as a carer, money matters and stress management.

Self-Directed Support and Dementia Event, Inverness.
A free half-day event in Inverness, for people with dementia, unpaid carers and those within the third sector.

Support With Employing PA’s Lothian Centre for Inclusive Living (LCIL) are running a series of workshops to support people who are new to, or considering, employing Personal Assistants.

Bobath Scotland World Cerebral Palsy Day This event is free to attend, thanks to the kind support of Digby Brown Solicitors, who have been sponsoring the conference since it began in 2014.

Adapt2Fit. Developed by Glasgow Centre for Inclusive Living (GCIL) and Capability Scotland, Adapt2Fit is a new source of information on Equipment and Adaptations for older and disabled people.

dates-n-mates Halloween Party, Glasgow. You are invited to attend dates-n-mates spooktacular Halloween Party on Tuesday 31st October.

Access to elections: Call for Evidence. On Tuesday 5 September, the Minister for the Constitution launched a Call for Evidence, asking for views on how people with disabilities experience registering to vote and voting itself.

Consultation on the National Concessionary Travel Scheme. On 25th of August, Transport Minister Humza Yousaf  launched a Consultation on the future of the National Concessionary Travel Scheme.

It’s #Legoffgameon for Motherwell FC as club embraces amputee football Motherwell FC is to become the latest club in Scotland to embrace amputee football when the Club hosts an open training session as part of Amputee Football Association Scotland’s #LegOffGameOn Roadshow.

Disabled Women’s Reproductive JourneysBooking is now open for Disabled Women’s Reproductive Journeys in Glasgow.

New Independent Living Fund (ILF) Scheme launched! On 29th In its first phase, the new ILF scheme will specifically focus on supporting young disabled, between the ages of 16 and 21, who are at an important transitional stage in their lives

Our Information Stall. The team at Disability Information Scotland have got a busy couple of months lined up with our information stall.

Kidz to Adultz Scotland returns to Edinburgh (14th September 2017). FREE event dedicated to children and young adults up to 25 years with disabilities and additional needs, their families, carers and the professionals who support them.

Motability’s One Big Day. One Big Day at Royal Highland Centre, Edinburgh offers you the chance to see a large range of vehicles for disabled people. It will provide an opportunity to discover motoring with Motability.

Visit Independent Living Scotland. Get Inspired at Scotland’s largest disability lifestyle and independent living event from the 4 – 5 October 2017 at the SEC, Glasgow.

Independent Living Scotland. If you are looking for the best way to showcase your products and services to a captive audience, then join ILS this October.DON’T MISS OUT – LIMITED STAND SPACES AVAILABLE!

We are recruiting! Disability Information Scotland are recruiting for a part time (16 hours)Information Coordinator.

New Post School Learning Choices in Scotland Guide. The Information Service team at have now completed an updated version of their guide‘Post School Learning Choices in Scotland’.

New Helpline Hours. From Monday 24th July hour helpline hours changed.

Self Directed Support Forum East Renfrewshire- Open Forum. SDS Forum ER are hosting a series of open forums where you can go along to chat to people in similar situations and  find out what’s going on locally.

Accessible Fringe Performances. A look at accessible and disability related performances on throughout August in Edinburgh.

Health Improvement and Self-Management in Older People Seminar. Health improvement and self-management in older people seminar being held in the Scottish Border’s offering help for practitioners supporting older people from health, social care and 3rd sector organisations.

We bid farewell to our wonderful Rhonda. The old saying is true, ‘good things always come to an end’, for us at Disability Information Scotland we are saying farewell to Rhonda, our Information Coordinator.

Accessible Glamping. If you love the great outdoors but don’t fancy camping, check out our news feature on some accessible glamping spots in the UK.

Looking for information on disabled home adaptations? Check out our updated Quick Guide to Disabled Home Adaptions blog.

Festival of Fun. Sense Scotland are running a Festival of Fun at Lochore Meadows Country Park in Fife on Saturday 29th July.
Join them for a fun and fully accessible day out for the whole family.

Meditexts is a subscription service for people who are managing chronic conditions. It provides vital information on your medical condition or circumstances instantly and securely by text message to people who come to your aid.

Edinburgh Self-Management Network Event. An opportunity for anyone passionate about progressing self-management approaches for people living with a long term condition in Edinburgh to come together to build a network of support, learning and inspiration.

Employers urged to think differently about disability. A new campaign has launched to help employers in Scotland recognise the benefits of employing staff with disabilities.

Increased Carer’s Allowance to be delivered next summer. The first social security payments to be delivered by the Scottish Government have been outlined to parliament by Social Security Secretary Angela Constance. The next milestone in building Scotland’s new social security system will be the delivery of the first benefits and these will be the increased Carer’s Allowance, the Best Start Grant and the Funeral Expense Assistance.

Celebrate Carers Week. Carers Week running from 12th -18th of June, is an annual event that aims to raise awareness of paid carers within the UK.

Getting out and about with our Information Stall. The team at Disability Information Scotland have been getting out and about a lot over the past few weeks

Family Picnic for Parents and Carers of Children with ASD. The National Autistic Society Scotland and Chip+ welcome parents to their family picnic event. For more information or to book your spot, email The Pines.

Music festivals in Scotland – Disabled access and facilities. The summer music festival season is once again upon us and whether you are a seasoned festival goer or it’s your first time, we have put together some accessibility information on a selection of festivals in Scotland for 2017.

Be part of Luminate 2017!  If you are planning creative activities or events in Scotland this October that are aimed at older people, or that have a theme relating to ageing, why not put them forward to be part of Luminate 2017?

Hyperclub in Fife. Supports children with ADHD, autism and various other health issues and is run on a weekly basis. The children enjoy educational activities and work together or on a one to one basis.

Limelight Music is a Scottish Equalities professional music training and production company. From their base in Glasgow they collaborate with local authorities, schools, musicians, music producers and mainstream theatre companies to create new projects in education and in the entertainment industries.

Our news and developments with the Scottish Accessible Information Forum.  With the help of funding from The Scottish Government, Disability information Scotland (DIS) is delighted to be working with the SCVO and the Scottish Accessible Information Forum (SAIF) to safeguard the valuable work of the Forum.

Independent Living Scotland 2017 (4 – 5 October)Exhibitor places now available. Be part of Scotland’s largest and most inspiring independent living event.

Gig Buddies – Live music eventCome and join Gig Buddies and Upward Mobility for a fully accessible evening of live music!

Drama and Dance for adults and young people with learning disabilities, learning difficulties and mental health issues. Fife Academy of Performing Arts  are providing sessions in all aspects of drama and dance for adults and young people with learning disabilities, learning difficulties and mental health issues in Fife.

Sensory Impairment Skills and Information Event. Action on Hearing Loss are hosting a Sensory Impairment Skills and Information Event in May open to all sensory impaired people, not just those with a hearing loss.

Disability Information Scotland is delighted to receive Scottish Government funding. This funding will enable us to continue providing our information services throughout Scotland to disabled people, carers and people who work in the sector.

RicaWatch – consumer researchers wanted.  RicaWatch is a panel consisting of older people, people with long term health conditions and disabled people of all ages who assist Rica with its consumer research. Particularly looking for people living in Scotland.

Wheels to Water Event 2017.  Following two successful para sport events since 2015, Scottish Disability Sport (SDS) invites you to join them in this year’s exciting National Celebration of Para Water Sport and Para Cycling .

Don’t miss giant inflatable bowel in Glasgow for first time.  Bowel Cancer UK are giving Glaswegians the chance to walk inside an inflatable bowel when it comes to Glasgow for the first time on Saturday 1 April to launch the beginning of Bowel Cancer Awareness Month.

Discretionary Housing Payments. Local authorities in Scotland to receive £57.9 million funding for Discretionary Housing Payments. Scottish Government says this represents a £7.7 million increase in funding compared to 2016/2017.

New Bereavement Support Payment (BSP) replaces current bereavement benefits (Bereavement Allowance, Bereavement Payment, Widowed Parent’s Allowance) for new claims from 6 April 2017.

Law change demands equal treatment for disabled taxi users. From 6 April 2017 it will be illegal for taxi drivers to discriminate against wheelchair users. Taxi drivers face a fine of up to £1,000 if they refuse to transport wheelchair users or attempt to charge them extra.

Macmillan Stepping Stones course. Are you currently receiving treatment or have you recently completed treatment for a cancer diagnosis? This course could help you learn techniques to support you through your experience and how to manage physical and emotional lifestyle changes.

The Access to Elected Office Fund Scotland has been set up to offer financial assistance to disabled people who are seeking selection or have already been selected to stand in the 2017 Scottish Local Authority Elections.

Safe Journey Card. First Bus have relaunched their Safe Journey card, which has been designed to make travel easier for their customers. The Safe Journey card is particularly helpful for customers who may need extra help to make their bus journey that their drivers would otherwise be unaware of.

New website – Your Say on Disability. The Scottish Disability Equality Forum (SDEF) is excited to launch a new weekly poll that will allow you to have your say on a number of different topics affecting disabled people in Scotland.

Come and Try Wheelchair Dance Event
The Scottish Wheelchair Dance Association are having a FREE “Come Dance” event and disco on  Saturday 18 March.

Housing for disabled people: have your say. The Equality and Human Rights Commission Scotland (EHRC) want to hear from disabled people in Scotland about their housing experiences.

We are improving our accessibility! We have been looking at different ways to improve the accessibility of our services. We have been working to improve our overall website accessibility, our Info Guides, as well as working with contactSCOTLAND-BSL to improve access to our service for deaf BSL users.

DWP takes forward work on development of a ‘Personal Support Package’ for disabled people and people with health conditions.  Expressions of interest sought from local authorities to test ‘Local Supported Employment’

Scottish Social Security Committee writes to Work and Pensions Secretary concerning problems with universal credit roll-out in Scotland. As part of their inquiry into the roll out of universal credit, Committee members have met with jobcentre staff responsible for administering the system and heard directly from people claiming universal credit, and describe some of their findings as ‘shocking’.

International Women’s Day 2017 is on the 8th March and the theme is to #BeBoldForChange. There are a number of events running in Scotland from lectures to film showings.

Friends Unlimited Network (FUN) is a local group in Perth & Kinross which is for people who have learning disabilities who want to meet new people and develop lasting relationships. Membership is free.

Call for evidence on the Disabled Persons’ Parking Places (Scotland) Act 2009
The Scottish Parliament has launched a call for written evidence as part of its post legislative scrutiny of the Disabled Persons’ Parking Places (Scotland) Act 2009. Organisations and individuals are invited to submit written evidence setting out their views on whether the Act has achieved its objectives.

Your Parliament, Your Voice Inclusion Scotland are having an event where you can find out more about the Commission on Parliamentary Reform and feedback.

Disabled Access Day It all started in 2015 when Disabled Access Day was created to celebrate access. Sponsored by Euan’s Guide, the day highlights existing accessible environments.

Sensory friendly ‘Mini Kickers’ sessions launched by Edinburgh Leisure
A first in Scotland, sensory friendly ‘Mini Kickers’ session is being launched by Edinburgh Leisure, providing a safe and suitable environment for children who have a hearing or visual impairment to develop their football skills.

Free Bowel Health Awareness Talks
Bowel Cancer UK are running free Bowel Health Awareness Talks. You can book these short talks which are delivered by trained health promotion volunteers, who often have a personal connection to bowel cancer.

dates-n-mates Valentines Party
The Valentines Party is dates-n-mates flagship event. So whether you are looking for love and romance or just a fun night out come along and celebrate Valentines.

Accessible Information Courses
SAIF are running 2 courses on Accessible Information. Accessible Information: get your message across and Hidden Accessibility: how to create accessible documents.

Changing Places Official Toilet Map. You can now search quickly and easily for a Changing Places toilet near you using their Changing Places Toilet Map.

Scotland’s unique British Sign Language Interpreting Video Relay Service (VRS) which came into being in March 2015. It is provided by Sign Language Interactions on behalf of the Scottish Government and enables Deaf BSL users to make contact with Scotland’s public and third sector.

New advice service for people with mental ill health and financial difficulties to be developed
A new 2-year charity partnership is aiming to create a Mental Health and Money Advice Service that will offer support for people experiencing mental health and financial difficulties.

Keep Safe Scotland App. I Am Me is a community charity that works in partnership with Police Scotland to raise awareness of Disability Hate Crime. The Keep Safe initiative works with a network of businesses such as shops, libraries and cafes who have agreed to make their premises a ‘Keep Safe’ place for people to go if they feel frightened, distressed or are the victim of crime when out in the community.

It’s our websites 1st birthday!
This month marks one year since we first launched our website at The Gathering 2016. Despite a few hiccups along the way, it’s been a great success and we have received such positive feedback.

Our e-newsletter has had a makeover! Last year Disability Information Scotland went through a transition. During 2016 we re-branded, changed our name and launched our new website.

Looking forward to 2017. 2017 is upon us and we are very much looking forward to the New Year and the challenges this will bring.  If it’s anything like 2016 then I know we’ll have a year to enjoy.

‘Your guide to flying with a disability’ Open Day. Tryb4ufly are holding an event at Edinburgh Airport to support disabled people who are considering travelling by air.

Action on Hearing Loss Event for BLS users in Greater Glasgow. Action on Hearing Loss are running an event to inform British Sign Language (BSL) users in the Greater Glasgow area how to use Scotland’s interpreting video relay service.

Get artistic at Forth Valley Sensory Centre! Forth Valley Sensory Centre has teamed up with Delta Art Studios to offer an art work shop to the centers users, carers and the wider public.

The launch of the Power 100 LIST 2017. “Success is to be measured not so much by the position that one has reached in life as by the obstacles which he has overcome while trying to succeed.”

An Additional Support Needs Awareness Event. Gig Buddies are extremely proud to announce an additional support needs awareness event in collaboration with Independent Venue Week.

Living with chronic pain event. A patient information event ‘Living with Chronic Pain’ covering: What is chronic pain and how can it be managed; The importance of staying active; and …

Tackling Fuel Poverty Together Training. The Community Liaison and Partnership Team at Home Energy Scotland is running a free training and networking event which are designed to bring together individuals and organisations committed to tackling fuel poverty….

Scottish Government Disability Delivery Plan is part of the Scottish Government programme for a fairer Scotland. It has been shaped by the experiences of disabled people and the insights of disabled people and the organisations that represent them.

Accessible Housing Information Event. Capability Scotland Advice and Support Service West Lothian is holding an accessible housing information event on Wednesday 14th December.

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