Naidex 2019

Naidex is Europe’s largest event showcasing the latest technology, products and services for disabled people, helping them to live, work and travel with greater independence and comfort. The event is now in its 45th year and it’s absolutely massive, occupying a large hall in the NEC Birmingham for 2 days.

I first went to the show last year, having never heard of it before, and enjoyed having a good look around over both days. I took in as much as I could, even things that weren’t particularly relevant to me, to get a good sense of what was there. So this year, now that I knew what to expect, I was able to prepare more, and only went for 1 day. I knew that would be enough time to see everything that was of most relevance and interest to me, and I think it was a wise move. Other people may find going for both days very beneficial though, it just depends how much you want to look at.

Also for the second year running, I was proud to be an ambassador for the show. That simply means we plug each other on social media, so I give them shoutouts and they promote my blog in return. Beyond that, I’ve not been gifted in any way to promote or mention the show, I paid all of my own expenses to attend, and I’m not obliged to give any kind of review. Likewise, I’m not sponsored by or affiliated with any companies mentioned in this post. I just want to go through what I saw and picked up information about, and all opinions are my own as always.

So let’s get on with it, and I hope you enjoy my rundown of Naidex 2019!

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TFL Access All Areas 2019

I feel very comfortable using the public transport in London, and generally have no problems getting around on it. I always plan my journeys as best I can, and feel confident travelling around the city by myself, because I find the public transport in London to be very accessible.

There is a Transport for London Accessibility Page giving lots of information to help you access public transport in the city. It’s well worth looking through everything there, even if you think you’re very familiar with the transport system, because you may well discover something you didn’t know about. There’s a recent article about accessibility that TfL have published as well.

But there is still lots of room for improvement, so TfL are constantly making efforts to improve accessibility, within the limits of funding and other resources available to them. And with that in mind, they held their Access All Areas event at ExCel London in March, to highlight the current accessibility options and services that are available, and to share future developments. It’s a great opportunity to hear from decision makers and engineers, and get to know a variety of organisations.

So I decided to go along and check it out, because it sounded very interesting. Plus it was free to attend, and just a short bus ride from my house. So in this post I want to show you some of the things I discovered there. I hope you enjoy reading about it.

Note: I am not sponsored by TfL or any of the other organisations mentioned here, and have received no incentives to mention them. I just want to tell you about what I saw at the event, and make you aware of things you might find useful. So all opinions are my own.

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Cheshire Chuckle Comedy Night

March was an incredibly busy month, so I’ve got a lot to tell you about, including disability exhibitions, theatre shows and museum visits. But to start with, I wanted to tell you about a special charity comedy night I went to.

The Leonard Cheshire charity provides valuable support to disabled people, helping them to live, learn and work as independently as possible. And, like any charity, fundraising is essential. So they sometimes hold special events to raise both money and awareness.

In March, therefore, they held Cheshire Chuckle, their first ever comedy night. I was very kindly given complimentary tickets to see and review the show, so I attended with my friend James. But all opinions here are my own as always. Thank you very much to the charity for inviting me along and looking after us.

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Disabled Access Day 2019

Happy Disabled Access Day! 🙂

Disabled Access Day aims to promote the accessible experiences that are available for disabled people, and this year’s event is encouraging people to “try something new and send a review”. I myself am going to an event today and will post my thoughts on it in due course, along with other accessible events that I’m attending this month.

Today is important because it helps to raise awareness of the importance of accessibility for all. It is a basic human right for everyone to have equal access to products, services, experiences, etc, including disabled people, because we need, desire and enjoy the same things as everyone else. We’re all human at the end of the day. Yet there are still many barriers to access and things that need to be improved, which is one reason why there are so many visually impaired bloggers and disabled bloggers who discuss their accessibility issues on a regular basis

However, it’s just as important to celebrate the positives as well. There are already lots of accessible experiences out there, and Disabled Access Day is a great opportunity to promote them. Because it’s not always obvious what’s available. Even now I’m still discovering things in London despite living here for 2 years! So to have a day full of organised events to choose from is a great initiative, which will hopefully inspire disabled people to discover and do more, and inspire other individuals and organisations to take notice and work to improve access for all.

So with that in mind, I’m very proud to have been asked to write 2 guest posts for today, highlighting the accessible experiences that I’ve been enjoying in London. So please do check them out, and I hope you enjoy them:

You can also check out reviews of my cultural experiences by following the links on my museum and theatre pages, among other posts I’ve made about my London adventures. I also have lots of posts about living with my visual impairment if you want to understand that aspect further.

Disclaimer: The Old Vic kindly gave me tickets to a show in exchange for my post, while I was not gifted for the London Vision post. In both cases, however, all views are my own.

February 2019 Favourites

The time has come for another favourites post and video, looking back at February. It’s the shortest month of the year, and this is going to be one of my shorter favourites posts, because there’s been a lot of behind the scenes stuff going on, in a good way.

In particular, I’ve been spending quality time with my girlfriend Claire, and of course we celebrated Valentine’s Day together, as well as meeting up regularly in general. So naturally I’m not going to write about anything personal here.

But also, a sudden influx of wonderful opportunities have come my way over the past few weeks that have filled up my calendar for March. I can’t say too much yet, but keep an eye out for some guest posts on Disabled Access Day on March 16th, a review of the Transport For London Access Day that I’m going to on March 19th, and later on some special cultural reviews. My blogging efforts have really been paying off lately it seems!

Also don’t forget to claim your free tickets for Naidex, Europe’s largest show dedicated to disability and independent living, on 26th & 27th March in Birmingham. You’ll see me posting a lot about it on social media as it approaches, because I’m an ambassador for them. This just means we exchange posts promoting each other, I’m not paid or gifted to mention them. I just really enjoyed the show last year, so I’m looking forward to going again.

Back to February though, and there are still some things I am able to write about, mainly focusing on museums and entertainment. As always, there’s a video to go with this post, and I’m not affiliated with or sponsored by anybody I mention here. So I hope you enjoy my latest roundup!

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Red Dwarf – Series 1-8 – Blu-ray Box Set Review

Red Dwarf is one of my favourite sitcoms of all time. I’ve had the DVDs of series 1 to 8 from the BBC for quite some time, along with Blu-rays of the newer episodes shown on Dave. But when they released a Blu-ray set of series 1 to 8 in January, with extra material I hadn’t had before, I decided it was a good time to upgrade and bought it.

I’ve been happily binge-watching the set over the past month since then. It’s been a while since I last watched those earlier shows, so it’s been great to revisit them, and they’re still very enjoyable. So I thought I’d do a review of the set, along with an unboxing video to go with it. I’ve added a few short opinions of the Blu-ray sets for the Dave shows produced so far at the end as well.

The set cost me £37.72 from Amazon, though the price has since gone up at the time of writing. I bought it with my own money, and I’m not sponsored by or affiliated with anybody connected with the product. I just wanted to tell you about it now I’ve finished watching it all. So all opinions are my own.

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The White Album (The Beatles) – Box Set Review

Back in 2017 I did a review of the 50th anniversary deluxe box set of Sgt Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band by The Beatles. This is a follow-up to that, as I now have the 50th anniversary box set for The White Album as well. The album is actually called The Beatles, but it’s commonly called The White Album given its design, and I like referring to it in that way.

It’s another great box set by the legendary band, through which I’ve been able to learn more about them and gain a further appreciation for the quality of their music. Given that I wasn’t born when the Beatles albums were released, and I haven’t studied the band in depth before, I’m not familiar with the finer details and history of their work than die-more obsessive fans may well be. So I’m finding these sets to be a real treasure trove of music and information. But hardcore fans will find plenty to enjoy here as well, given that a lot of the extra material has never been released before.

I treated myself to the Super Deluxe edition for £99.99 from Amazon, which contains the album (2 CDs), Esher Demos (1 CD), sessions material (3 CDs) and high-definition audio (1 Blu-Ray), all encased in a huge 164-page hardback book.

But you can also buy a smaller Deluxe edition, which has just the album and Esher demos, on 3 CDs or 4 vinyl LPs or digital download. Or you can buy the remastered album on vinyl, which is just 4 LPs and doesn’t have any extras.

So here I’m going to review the Super Deluxe Edition, and I’ve also made an unboxing video to show you what’s inside.

Please note that I bought this set with my own money, and I’m not sponsored by or affiliated with anybody connected with the product. I just wanted to tell you about it because I’ve enjoyed going through it. So all opinions are my own.

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