Here’s a roundup of the latest news stories about accessible travel and disability that have caught my attention. From new accessible railway carriages to makeup products designed with disabled people in mind to the significant shortage of accessible homes and more.
North Yorkshire Moors Railway Launches Accessible Carriages
The North Yorkshire Moors Railway (NYMR) has announced the completion of four accessible ‘fuss-free’ coaches, thanks to funding secured from the Yorkshire’s Magnificent Journey project (YMJ), as part of its long-term initiative to make the heritage railway attraction accessible to all.
The new coaches ensure that every carriage set in service includes one coach that has been adapted for wheelchair users with access requirements, to accommodate them and their friends and family. The coaches all have access ramps, accessible toilets, and an accessible space to accommodate wheelchair users.
The North Yorkshire Moors Railway has completed a thorough review of its access points and facilities in order to make further necessary adjustments. Pickering Station has received significant upgrades and changes, including large print and braille menus and accessible route maps; the installation of fixed and portable hearing loops; free travel for carers; accessible parking spaces; and additional signage at its stations.
The heritage railway has also updated its website, appointed new ‘access champions,’ provided access training to its employees, and made station guides available for download.
For more information about NYMR visit, www.nymr.co.uk
Selena Gomez’s Rare Beauty Line Releases New Disability-Friendly Product
Selena Gomez’s beauty brand, Rare Beauty, has just released an exciting new addition to its makeup line: the Soft Pinch Tinted Lip Oil. This revolutionary lip jelly is intended to provide a comfortable, non-sticky layer of colour and shine to your lips while providing nourishing hydration.
Rare Beauty products are designed to be accessible to people with disabilities. The new Soft Pinch Tinted Lip Oils are packaged in the same way. The glass bottles have rounded toppers which help disabled people to open them and apply the product.
The packaging for most Rare Beauty products has unique shapes to help with grip. Their lipsticks and lip balms have a flat side, so they don’t roll off a vanity.
Without Walls to Tour Leading Inclusive Dance Company at Major UK Festivals
Without Walls has announced the 13 artists who will perform at major UK festivals this summer as part of this year’s programme. With arts spaces closing across the country, Without Walls is committed to creating vital and accessible public art in 2023.
The programme features work by some of the UK’s most renowned outdoor arts and performance specialists and some of the most exciting new companies and street artists.
One of the shows in the programme is by the Candoco Dance Company, a world-leading inclusive company of disabled and non-disabled dancers that commissions and produces work by world-class choreographers. Their new work in the 2023 season is directed by Jamaal Burkmar and set to popular music, allowing audiences an opportunity to broaden their perception of who can dance.
The artists included in the programme will tour concurrently this summer to Without Walls festivals partners which include:
- Brighton Festival
- Hat Fair (Winchester)
- Norfolk & Norwich Festival
- Stockton International Riverside Festival
- Timber Festival (Staffordshire)
- Certain Blacks – Ensemble Festival (London)
- Just So Festival (Cheshire)
- Greenwich+Docklands International Festival
- Leeds 2023
Young Disabled People are Shut Out from Housing and Forced to Live with their Parents
Isabelle Atkins, a wheelchair user and other disabled young people share their experiences of trying to find accessible housing and being forced to sacrifice their independence. Isabelle’s local council believes she can live with her parents indefinitely, so she has dropped down the social housing waiting list. In addition, there are almost no affordable, accessible homes available on the private rental market.
According to the Habinteg Housing Association, there are approximately 20,000 people on council waiting lists in England for a wheelchair-accessible home. Another 104,000 people are waiting for an accessible or adaptable home, but there aren’t enough being built.
Each year, only 427 wheelchair-accessible homes are built. At current construction rates, someone could be on the waiting list for 47 years. If this were the case, Isabelle would be in her 70s before she moved out.
Accessible housing isn’t much better in Scotland. I know from personal experience that finding suitable housing is like finding a needle in a haystack. This was also the same for Cal Grevers from Edinburgh who after waiting on a council waiting list for two years, started a crowdfund and raised over £50,000 to secure an accessible flat through shared ownership.
Read the whole story on the Big Issue website.
George at Asda Launches Adapted Clothing Range for Children and Young People
Asda has developed a children’s adaptive clothing collection to help those with additional needs and reduced mobility dress independently.
The 24-piece collection for children aged 3 to 16 features discreet and practical adaptations. Hidden hook and loop fasteners on necklines make it easier to slip sweatshirts and t-shirts on and off, and higher backs and longer legs ensure a level waistband and perfect leg length when seated.
Holes have been added to make dressing easier for feeding tubes, while soft threads have been specifically incorporated and care labels have been removed to prevent potential irritation and support children with sensory needs.
Prices for the Easy On Easy Wear range begin at £9 and are available in Asda stores and online.
Catch Up on the Latest Updates on Simply Emma
Finally, make sure you’re up to date on some of my most recent posts, which are linked below.