Got a tip? Pass it on!

generic-tip[1]This week sees the launch of our online community’s new tips feature, which offers hundreds of tried and tested practical tips on everything from travel to technology.

The tips are organised into easy-to-find categories such as ‘food and eating’ or ‘equipment and aids’ and they have all been contributed by people with first-hand experience of disability: disabled people themselves, parents, carers and professionals.

Most importantly, the tips feature allows you to contribute your own ideas and suggestions – things that have worked for you, lightbulb moments you want to share, and ideas you think other people will find useful. Perhaps you’ve discovered a fantastic gadget for reaching the top shelf of your cupboard – or maybe you’ve discovered a breakthrough technique for potty training your child. Now’s your chance to share it!

Practical problem solving

Fans of Netbuddy, which joined Scope earlier this year, will recognise the tips as one of the features that made the site so popular. As Netbuddy founder Deborah Gundle says, “Everybody in the disability community has a basic need for practical problem-solving. Passing on what we’ve learned to others who can benefit from it is really important.”

Although Netbuddy’s audience was largely parents and carers, our tips feature is for everyone to use – disabled people, parents, professionals, we want to hear from all of you! As our community champion Noah Fuller says: “As a disabled person myself, I love reading first hand experiences from other disabled people. They’re always so inspiring, and you always learn something.

“There is no substitute for first hand experience, of which disabled people have loads. They often come up with ingenious ways of doing everyday things without even knowing it.”

Pass it on!

So what makes a great tip? Well, if it works for you, the chances are it will help someone else. You may think your idea is too simple to pass on but, who knows, it could save another person a lot of time and energy. And if it helps make someone else’s journey easier,  what’s not to like?

untitled-2-5Author of the Special Parent’s Handbook, Yvonne Newbold, has the following advice: “As parents of disabled children, we learn to become resourceful, simply because we have to be. If we don’t find our own ways of coping with the sorts of problems life throws at us, nobody else will. 

“From a starting point of feeling we’ll never be able to cope, we slowly become our own child’s expert. We learn and develop methods for handling the things that most people might never have to deal with.  We’ve all acquired so much knowledge, experience and skills, and this huge wealth of wisdom can now be tapped into and passed on.”

Yvonne’s top tips

  1. Firstly, never be embarrassed that your tip may sound daft or quirky or odd. Some tips I’ve been given have made me laugh long and hard when I first heard about them, but when I tried them, they worked! It’s the ridiculous-sounding tips that are often the most effective and helpful.
  2. Keep it short and simple. Although saying that, you don’t really have to, and in fact sometimes it’s the story that goes with it that helps other parents see how well it can work for them too.
  3. Try and remember back to the things that drove you mad before you found a way around it. I think that’s the trick with being able to write tips – I write much better ones about the areas that went the most pear-shaped!
  4. Have fun! It’s great having a resource like this to pool our ideas and suggestions, even if they sound downright barmy! Let’s laugh about them too – parents in our situation can always do with a good old laugh. We’re all in this together, it might not always be easy, but we can all make it a lot more doable for each other.

If you have a lightbulb moment to share or you’re looking for inspiration, check out our  tips today!

Hannah with her daughter

Working mother of a disabled child – a lifestyle choice?

We’ve been investigating the extra costs of disability. For some parents and carers of disabled children, returning to work is a necessity. In a guest post from Hannah Postgate, she talks about attitudes towards working mums. Hannah campaigns for improved SEND childcare and is the co-founder of Rosyandbo.com which sells “toys, gifts and lifestyle products for families with special needs”.

The emotions of returning to work for any mother are tough, but putting that aside just for a moment… for many disabled families, returning to work is a necessity, economically. In fact it is even more vital as the financial burden is so much greater; bringing up a child with a disability is forcing families to go without essentials and get into debt.

  • 52 per cent of families with a disabled child are at risk of poverty.
  • It costs three times more to raise a disabled child.
  • One in seven families with a disabled child are going without food.
  • Almost a quarter of families are going without heating.
  • 41 per cent have fallen behind with bills, council tax, rent or mortgage.

(Contact a Family Counting the Costs 2012)

So where does this attitude, pervasive in so many circles, that working as the mother of a disabled child is somehow an indulgence, an advantage, a lifestyle choice, come from?

Well, from Local Authority (LA) staff for a start. From people on the frontline, working closely with families, all over the country; in Cambridge, London, Cornwall mothers are reporting attitudes like:

“Today, I was told by our LA that working, ‘is a lifestyle choice’ and I ‘choose to make my life difficult’.”

“My LA asked me, ‘Can’t you give up work because we can’t find your son a school?'”

“According to my LA apparently working is ‘my choice’ and I could ‘make my life easier by not working’.”

“I was told that returning to work was a lifestyle choice.”

“When I asked for respite, I have twice been told work is ‘respite’ and I choose to do it.”

How dare they? How dare they make sweeping assumptions about why we work? What makes work NOT a necessity? The main barrier to work for most mothers of children with disabilities is affordable appropriate, quality childcare. The battle for childcare is mammoth, exhausting, and perpetual.

Combining work and home is wrought with guilt, anxiety, shame for mothers like me – we want to work for our families and ourselves but are we letting our children down, perhaps we are being spoilt if we think we can have a job and be mother to a child with a disability? But yet why should we be left behind the equality movement? Setting up RosyandBo.com has empowered me to say, “I do have a right to work!”

Work is a necessity for many of us, not only financially, but also emotionally, mentally and for the benefit of society. Yes, for society!

Society needs to wake up – without work, many families like ours are at risk of loosing their homes, suffering mental illness, family breakdown. What are the costs of that to society? Housing, sickness benefits, children’s services and more.

Instead, if we are able to work we contribute in financial ways in tax to the Country’s coffers, but also as valuable, trained, qualified, experienced, skilled workers in many areas of industry, business, teaching, medicine, and more.

We are a growing group of mothers and we are no longer staying invisible – share your story below or tweet us.

You can chat with Hannah on Scope’s online community or follow her on Twitter. You can also share your own experiences of extra costs.

 

Darren

Why do the majority of disabled toilets have no facilities for disabled children?

Guest post from Darren Phelps, who has a 3-year-old son with Cerebral Palsy. Darren has been lobbying major supermarket chains about their disabled toilets only being set up for adults.

When out and about with my son, who cannot take himself to the toilet without help , we have always struggled. Disabled toilets are rarely equipped for children. We have to hover our son over the toilet as he is unable to sit on his own because of his disability. He goes very tense and struggles to go to the toilet and my partner is finding it harder to lift him as he grows.

I started my campaign by lobbying the “big four” supermarkets -asking why they ignore the needs of disabled children. I contacted all of them with simple suggestions on how to improve their toilets without costing a fortune. My suggestions were:

  • A simple step that would make it easier so that a child could be high enough to be able to balance with help and a boy to go for a wee.
  • A removable seat (most parents of a disabled child will have these at home) that would help most parents whose children have problems standing even with assistance.

Two out of the four supermarkets responded with the standard “we will raise this issue next time we look at our disabled toilet structure” – no timescale or agreement that it’s an issue. I’m still waiting for one to respond.

Tesco really surprised me, they took the time to ring me and listen to the problem. They agreed that this is a major issue and thanked me for bringing it to there attention. They also said they will implement my suggestions in my local store and they will also log it as a nationwide problem and roll out the changes nationwide! Let’s hope they stick to their word.

I now plan on taking my fight for disabled children further – lobbying government to force changes into how disabled toilets should be set up and that they actually cater for children as well!

shopping list with extra cost items

My family and the extra costs of disability

Guest post by Virginia from London, who has spoken to us about the disability-related extra costs she and her family faces. Virginia has asked for her name to be changed, as she is worried that speaking out will affect her son’s care package.

My 12-year-old son Kyle has Down’s syndrome, autism and global development delays. He’s a very funny, happy, nice smiling young man, but he doesn’t communicate verbally and needs a lot of extra support.

I am also disabled – I have functional movement disorder and a spinal injury and use a wheelchair or mobility scooter most of the time.

The things you don’t think about

There are a lot of problems that people don’t realise exist when you’re disabled or have a child with special needs, and some of them are costly.

Kyle has incontinence and feeding issues, so we’re washing his clothes 10 times more than we would normally. The washing machine and the dryer are going nonstop because he constantly needs spare clothes, and the bill goes up and up.

Kyle wears nappies which are provided for free, but we go through so many each day that often they run out and we have to buy more. Sometimes we have to reuse them; we just can’t afford any more. He damages a lot of clothes – he folds his legs under him so he tends to rip nice ones at the crotch – so we’re always buying new ones. I would get them adapted by a tailor, but we can’t afford to.

I can’t wash Kyle’s hair any more because of my spinal injury and his dad’s out seven days a week working, so the only way we can get his hair washed is to go to the hairdresser. Again, it’s for a price.

The extra costs have meant we couldn’t buy Kyle many of the things that would have helped his development. I would have loved to buy him special sensory toys as he got older, but that was out of the question. We had to buy toys for babies instead.

The costs we pay add up to hundreds of pounds a month, and if we could afford to get Kyle  everything he needs for his development, it would be hundreds more.

My extra costs

My local council wouldn’t give me a mobility scooter because in order to qualify you have to need it inside the house. I can get about on crutches but there’s no way I could manage outside, so I had to go out and buy my own. It was £650 second-hand. I could lie and say I need it indoors, but why should I do that?

There’s not as much financial support when you’re disabled as many people would assume. There are a lot of criteria you have to fit, and if you don’t fit those criteria, you’re stuck. Even when one of my crutches broke, the hospital told me to buy a new one off the internet.

If I could just get an electric wheelchair I could save everyone a lot of time and money, and be more independent, but it’s not likely to happen because I don’t fit the criteria. Ironically, I could probably get council funding for a carer to push me, but not for a wheelchair!

My husband and I worry all the time. The nappies run out and it’s a panic – how are we going to afford to pay? Do I get out a credit card? We’re trying not to get into more financial difficulty than we’re already in. It’s not an easy way to live.

This has to change. Find out more about Scope’s Extra costs campaign.

Chelsey

Lack of representation of disability in the fashion industry

Guest post from Chelsey Jay – model and ambassador for Models With A Disability.

People often say to me –

“Chelsey, what is the hardest part of being disabled?”

They imagine me to answer with what you may think is the obvious – how hard it was to give up my career, or how hard it was to have to leave my house behind and move into a bungalow and a whirlwind of ramps and wide doors.

But in fact, even though these things did cause significant heartbreak and anguish, the hardest part of becoming disabled, for me, was the fact that, at age 20, not only was a wheelchair thrust upon me, but so was a sudden eternity of exclusion.

It wasn’t just my mobility that I lost back in November 2012, but unbeknown to me, my significance as an individual would be stripped away too. Not through my own choice or decision. But by those that believe a disability is you and not just a part of you.

The Fashion Industry is a powerful, powerful industry.

It instructs us on what we should/shouldn’t be wearing that season, the latest era to be revisiting, whom from an array of famous faces we should be inspired by, what staples we all need in our closets, but most of all, and by far most important of all, it gives every single person who follows it, the vital sense of belonging.

That is however, unless you are disabled.

Through Models Of Diversity, a Campaigning Group that contacted me almost a year ago, I now am the Ambassador For Models With A Disability and I strive to change the aforementioned.

I will not have the fact that I essentially ‘stay sitting down’ stop me from being reflected in mainstream media – and on the larger scale, I am fighting for all the other 11million disabled people in the UK too. Not for special treatment, but the same treatment.

We may have missing limbs, or suffer with debilitating conditions, due to circumstance or just purely our bodies own choosing, but to have that as our definition! I don’t think so!

I challenge the Fashion Industry to include and not exclude people with disabilities and to realise that they are orchestrating an old fashioned and out dated version of ‘reality’. People want what I like to call the Next Generation Models, people that are not perfect but are an actual illustration of real life! This ‘out of sight, out of mind’ illusion that the Fashion Industry projects on to us, where no disabled people are represented, is just utterly preposterous and an awful, a somewhat bitter reflection of times past when black people were shunned from the world as though they too, did not exist.

In a bewildering puzzle of blame – the industry manages to get away with this clear discrimination. Brands that I pled with blame the Modeling Agencies for not supplying Disabled Models to castings, the Agencies blame the Brands for their non-existent demand for Disabled Models in the first place.

Fundamentally. They all need to be held accountable as they are all to blame.

Along this journey we are gaining incredible support, not just here in the UK but across the pond! LA Talk Radio favourites Dr Estelle Snider and John Johnson, modeling elite such as the likes of Christie Brinkley and other ends of the spectrum, that being, Members Of Parliament such as the Minister For Disabled People Kate Green – we really are gaining incredible momentum.

If the Fashion Industry is so concerned with Disabled People’s ability to model then they seriously need to wake up! Disabled people are attractive too – who knew!

Even though I too am struck with the industries banish, I am taking the power back, and not just for myself, but every other person forced to hide, in the shadow of their disability.

Visit Chelsey’s website and follow her on Twitter.

‘I was so stressed about my son’s autism that my hair fell out’

Heather was struggling to find the support she needed for her son Nicholas and was under a huge amount of stress, then she posted a message online asking other parents for help, and a woman called Jane got in touch.

New research from Scope just found that two-thirds of parents have had difficulty getting the support and services they need for their disabled children, and as a result are left feeling frustrated, stressed and exhausted.

Like many other parents with disabled children – this comes as no surprise to me whatsoever!

Heather and Nicholas
Heather and Nicholas

My 13-year-old son Nicholas has severe autism and learning disabilities and I’ve had endless issues getting the support I need for him. We’ve had to fight every single step of the way.

We even had to fight to get him a diagnosis in the first place – neither of the local hospitals wanted to take him on! Presumably because of the cost implications…we got passed from pillar to post and had to get our MP involved in the end.

But one of the worst times for us as a family was when Nicholas was placed in a school that wasn’t right for him.

It wasn’t the right environment for him at all. It got to the stage where he was doing nothing but lying on the floor each day and lashing out because he was so frightened. It was so upsetting.

We kept saying: this isn’t good enough! Over and over again. But nobody would listen.

I was so stressed about it all that I lost a lot of weight and got alopecia and my hair fell out. I saw my GP and he suggested anti-depressants but I didn’t want to take them.

In the end the school wanted to expel him because they couldn’t cope – but they still couldn’t find a school for him. So I got him signed off sick and took him out of school altogether.

In desperation I put a post on an online forum asking for advice from other parents of disabled children about finding the right school for Nicholas.

By chance a woman called Jane who lives in my area got in touch. She described her own son and it was like she was describing Nicholas.

She let me know that her son had just got a place in a brilliant school nearby, a school which I’d never even heard of.

Jane was amazing and helped me through how to get Nicholas a place there – it was a battle but we did it.

It is a school specifically for children with autism and it’s brilliant, he loves it. The change in him as been incredible.

If I’d never posted that message I would have never met Jane – and we’re still in touch now.

Scope has launched a new online community where parents of disabled children and disabled people can share their experiences and get guidance and practical tips from other parents and disabled people.

I’ve agreed to be one of the ‘online champions’ for the site and hope to be able to help people out when I can, like Jane helped me.

But I don’t have all the answers – and I expect I’ll be looking for more advice myself too at some point.

Chatting online to other parents certainly isn’t going to solve all your problems.

But at the very least it can be a huge relief to vent, and have some contact with other people who understand what you’re going through, instead of bottling things up.

Please do get involved in Scope’s online community. Because as well as asking for advice and tips you might be able to give it too.

And I know from experience that as well as getting support, it can be really rewarding to be able to say to someone who is struggling – I’ve been in that situation, I’ve dealt with that, and I’ve come out the other end.

Mum and son

The Children and Families Act can have a real impact – let’s make the most of it

“I feel like I am letting my daughter down and having to fight for the support she rightly deserves.”

“It would be lovely to hear ‘how can we best help you?’ rather than ‘what is it you are asking for?’”

Today Scope released new research which paints a stark picture of the emotional toll paid by families with disabled children as they fight a seemingly never-ending struggle to get support.

Two thirds of parents with disabled children have had problems accessing local services over the past year, with eight in ten parents feeling frustrated, stressed or exhausted as a result.

Stories like these are exactly why the Government promised the Children and Families Act would be a ‘once-in-a-generation’ reform of support for disabled children and their families; ending the battle many parents fight to get the support they desperately need.

Last week the changes made by the Act went ‘live’. The Act has the potential to make a real difference to the lives of families with disabled children.

Three changes that will help families with disabled children:

  1. Families should know what support is available locally – and help to shape it

The Act brings in a new ‘Local Offer’ of all the services and support for children and young people with disabilities or special educational needs from birth to 25. This will make it easier for families to know what support they can access.

Councils now have a duty to plan services in their area for all disabled children, not just those with special educational needs. So children who do not need support at school but have other needs will also be able to access support.

Scope’s Keep Us Close campaign focused on making the Local Offer as strong as possible so that families could access good, high-quality services close to home and hold local councils to account.

The Government listened to Scope’s concerns and strengthened the Act to give parents a greater say. Councils now have to consider the views and experiences of parents and young disabled people when they develop their Local Offers.

However, the Act was also an ideal opportunity for the government to ensure local authorities promote inclusive and accessible universal services that all families can use. This didn’t happen and feels like a missed opportunity.

  1. A stronger focus on preparing for adult life

The transition to adulthood can be a time of great anxiety and stress for young disabled people and their families. When they are deciding what sort of future they want, they have the added complication of big, confusing changes to all the services they receive.

The Act brings in a clear expectation that all agencies will work with families to plan the move to adult life and adult services from the age of 13 at the latest. There is more flexibility for local agencies to carry on providing children’s services up to the age of 25 and the Local Offer has to include support for young people to move into work, education or training and live independently.

This should help to remove the current cliff edge where support falls away from age 16 to 18.

  1. Joined up support – with a focus on ‘the best possible outcomes’

Families frequently tell us that they have to negotiate each aspect of their child’s support separately, and feel they are passed from ‘pillar to post’ by professionals from different types of services.

The Act brings in stronger requirements for all the services that support disabled children and young people to work together and promote ‘the best possible outcomes’ – at all levels, and for all disabled children and young people. It also introduces Education, Health and Care Plans – a single document that captures all the support received by children with special educational needs.

Next steps

The Act is a substantial change to the system of support for children with disabilities and special educational needs.

The reforms will require a cultural shift for a wide range of professionals, including commissioners and those working on the ground. All local councils need to make sure they provide adequate support for families with disabled children. A key part of this is listening to their views and experiences when planning and reviewing the Local Offer.

To help families navigate the new system, over the next two years Scope will be running a new Independent Supporter service in six areas across the country.

Independent supporters will help families with the move to Education, Health and Care Plans: supporting them to identify their legal rights and their needs and aspirations for their child, access any information they need to choose the right services and understand how to challenge decisions.

Legislation can only do so much – everyone involved needs to act and make sure the reforms work for families with disabled children.

Having fun in the community and challenging attitudes on disability

Over the summer the Community Campaigns Team delivered a series of workshops to over 300 16-17 year-olds in Devon who are taking part in the National Citizens Service (NCS).

The National Citizen Service, is a four week programme to encourage personal and social development by building leadership, teamwork and communication skills to help young people feel more confident and play a greater role in their community.

The workshop focused on Scope’s End the Awkward campaign and was designed to get people thinking differently about disability. Participants were shown the films used for the campaign and took part in quizzes and a lively discussion on where negative views of disability come from and the impact they can have on disabled peoples’ lives. The groups were then tasked with organising a community action project which was accessible to all.

Band with two guitars, drums and singerParticipants took a range of actions designed to get people thinking differently about disability. These included holding an accessible gig with bands comprising of disabled and non-disabled musicians and organising an inclusive summer fete with all activities and games made accessible for people with a wide range of impairments.

People attending both events were given information on the barriers disabled people face in accessing community life, but the main learning came from seeing disabled people carrying out the same sort of activities as their non-disabled peers. As well as challenging attitudes towards disabled people, the events also raised money for Scope.

Crowd watching band, back of a man with a Scope t-shirt

The feedback from the NCS staff has been extremely positive.  Many commented on the change in the students’ behaviour and language towards disability issues after attending the workshops.

Scope was one of a range of organisations delivering workshops, yet so many of the participants chose to base their Community Action projects on raising awareness on tackling attitudes towards disability and raising funds for Scope.

We had so much fun and  hope to build on the success of these workshops and develop a programme of work with other Scope colleagues that we will deliver in summer 2015 in other parts of England and Wales.

Baby on board badge

Should Transport for London introduce a badge for those less able to stand?

Guest post from Alice Ravenscroft.

Most Londoners would likely agree that commuting in the rush hour is not a particularly enjoyable experience. But what is it like for those with disabilities that are not easily visible? In 2005, TfL introduced the “Baby on Board” badge for pregnant women to signal to other passengers their greater need for a seat. Should a similar badge be introduced for those who are less able to stand?

As a result of a serious injury a few years ago, it is difficult for me to walk or stand for longer than 20 minutes at a time, but this is not immediately visibly obvious. I began commuting into London for work in 2012 and on a daily basis I feel the need for a way of signalling the problem to fellow passengers and find it a hassle to have to ask passengers for a seat every day. In my experience people much prefer to give up their seat voluntarily rather than being asked.

The possibility of not getting a seat or of someone knocking into me has certainly been a barrier to my independence and employment opportunities in the past and I have heard similar stories from other people with invisible disabilities and injuries. A report was commissioned by TfL in 2010, which assessed over 250 peak hour commutes on London public transport undertaken by disabled passengers. One of its key recommendations was that “TfL should run poster campaigns to raise awareness of disabled commuters (who may not always be obviously disabled) amongst other commuters”.

In 2005 TfL conducted research into the issue of pregnant women getting seats on the tube and found that:

  • 92% thought that people sitting down should offer the seat to a pregnant woman without having to be asked;
  • 85% think pregnant women should ask for a seat if she needs one;
  • 78% of currently pregnant women stated that they never ask for a seat when they need one.

Is it possible that giving passengers with hidden disabilities the option of wearing a badge would improve their commute and thus their quality of life and employment opportunities? There are two potential challenges I can think of. The first is that people might try to cheat the system, however I think that ensuring that badges are only distributed by medical professionals would reduce the likelihood of this. In addition, it is not the same as the Blue Badge for parking, in that it involves face-to-face interaction with other people, which I imagine would deter most people from wearing a badge under false pretenses.

A second potential obstacle is that people with disabilities might feel embarrassed or not want to be marked out. I would suggest that using a non-precise phrase on the badge like “less able to stand” rather than the word “disabled” would help considerably with this. Of course, a survey should be done to gather the opinions of people with disabilities themselves.

I myself would happily wear a “less able to stand” badge to make the commute a little easier. I would also like to see London become more inclusive and accessible to those with disabilities.

What do you think? If you would like TfL to consider this idea, please Tweet @TfLOfficial and comment below.

Disabled commuters’ journey experiences (PDF)

(photo credit: Acme on Flickr)

Horse puppet

Relax, it’s War Horse!

On 20 September, the National Theatre will be staging a relaxed performance of the internationally acclaimed stage production of Michael Morpurgo’s War Horse, in association with The National Autistic Society (NAS).

The performance is designed for those who may enjoy a less formal environment, in particular people with autism, sensory or communication disorders or learning disabilities. Audience members will be free to come and go as they please throughout the performance, lighting and sound levels during the show will be adjusted to soften their impact, and there will be a relaxed attitude to noise and talking . The idea is to provide a more supportive environment for disabled people and their families, many of whom may otherwise feel a trip to the theatre would be out of the question.

Ros Hayes, Head of Access at the National Theatre, said: “We are keen to share our plays with a wider audience, and provide an opportunity for families to enjoy a visit to the theatre together.  We want to create a welcoming, stress-free environment and our directors, designers and technical teams have worked really hard to achieve that.”

The National Theatre held its first relaxed performance of The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time three years ago, which was then repeated in the West End. Following the success of the show, the National Theatre put on three further relaxed performances  – Romeo and Juliet, Up Down Boy and The Elephantom.

Finding creative compromises

For resident director Andy Brunskill, this is the first relaxed performance he’s worked on for the National Theatre, and he says the biggest challenge has been keeping it true to the original show. “We wanted to find creative compromises, so that people would still experience War Horse, without noticing the tweaks,” he explained.

“So we’ve been  reducing the extremes really: toning down any bright flashing lights or loud noises. The technical team have been working on the bullet noises, for example, so they will still have the effect of a gun going off, but they won’t be so loud.

“I will be giving a preliminary talk at the beginning of the show explaining some of the devices we’ll be using so it’s not too much of a shock. This is a play about war, and you can’t have a story about war without guns and people dying, but it is also a story about hope and enduring friendship, so that balances it out.

“For the actors, this is an opportunity to perform to a different audience and that’s very exciting. I personally have learned a lot from this experience too – about how to tell a story to a different audience. People receive stories in different ways, and having to refresh how you tell a story is both challenging and stimulating.”

The National Theatre is producing a Visual Story for the relaxed performance of War Horse and this will be available to those attending, a week ahead of the show. This will give information about the play and the New London Theatre as well as lots of images to help prepare for people’s visit.

The relaxed performance of War Horse will take place at 2pm on Saturday 20 September. All seats are £25 each. Relaxed performance booking telephone line: 02074523961. For more information visit the National Theatre website.

Scope exists to make this country a place where disabled people have the same opportunities as everyone else. Until then, we'll be here.

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