Disability Hacker

Disability Hacker: New Gadgets and Resources Site

This looks an interesting new site Disability Hacker

Created by Ceri, it is a new site to share tricks and gadgets to ‘hack’ disability.

disability hacker

Ceri is a creative problem solver and social media manager for a small charity

At they moment they are adding new information to the resource page. I was invited to add the following about trabasack:

 Trabasack is a bag that can be easily used on your lap for food, gaming or laptops and tablets. It is lightweight, can be attached with straps and has a firm upper tray top and a small bean bag underneath to make it level and comfortable on your knees.

Any one can use it and it looks like a smart bag but as a wheelchair user designed it has some easy to use features like ring pull zips, grab handles and multiple straps and attachment options for different shaped chairs and people!

The is even an option to have a soft fabric called ‘Connect’ that is velcro receptive so you can add a small rough patch of velcro to your phone or ipad to keep it secure when you are moving about! Trabasack is also very popular for children for more info about uses for children visit http://sensoryplaytray.com or http://buggytray.com

People who use switches and communication aids also get there own site at http://communicationaids.info

But the most popular use is still for all those occasions when you cannot get to a table or just want a cup of tea in bed or in front of the TV!


Ceri has also started a blog with recent tips on exercise and mouse control. I notice there is also a post about shoe laces but she has not discovered the marvel of Greeper laces yet! I better get over and comment!


The new Disability Hacker site is well worth a look, pop over and add some info!

Design Matters At Mobility Roadshow

If you are going to the Mobility Roadshow, please spare a minute to nominate trabasack and/or our new Media Mount for the cool wall, details below:




Mobility Roadshow 2012 is nearly here, and we need YOUR help please with ideas for the Cool Wall product feature at the show.

Our interactive Design Zone provides the rare chance for visitors to meet designers, innovators and people who have a bright idea to help make life that little bit easier for those living with disabilities. It’s your chance to have a say about the future design of products for independent living and mobility.

As part of this, we’d like to ask you to nominate your favourite or most desired products to go on the Design Zone’s Cool Wall, and we’ll ask visitors to vote for the best. The winning company or designer will be announced as this year’s Coolest Design Zone Product winner, and receive their very own trophy.

The product doesn’t have to be new – it can be something that you’ve enjoyed for years, or that you bought yesterday, or would love to own to help make day to day living that bit easier. We want to build a picture of the nation’s favourites with your help, and recognise those who come out tops!

To nominate your favourite product: email us at designzone@mobilityroadshow.co.uk, with a just few sentences about what it is, why you love it, and where you can get it (if known). If you can send a photo, even better. We’ll add them to the Enabled by Design (Design Zone partner) websitewww.enabledbydesign.org where you can check out all of the nominations before the show. So join the debate on the Enabled by Design website where you can start voting now, and of course in person at the Roashow.

We look forward to hearing from you soon and reading all about your Cool Wall nominations – thank you!

Design Zone 2012 is organised by

enabledbydesignsmaller.jpg  suchandsuchsmaller.jpg

And supported by


hhcd_4line_versionrgbsmaller.jpg  autoadapt-smaller.jpg

jj sig.jpg

I am the 2%

Originally from facebook link below http://www.facebook.com/photo.php?fbid=2090917921596&set=a.1045520507314.2007633.1504704294&type=1&theater

gervais – a dirty ugly word

Gervais – a dirty ugly word

There is a new swear word, first seen on twitter yesterday 

"@: Yes. RT @: @ What a fucking gervais." < Call the OED! We have a new insult!
Duncan Edwards

People are using it as a term of abuse, the disabled community are ‘reclaiming’ the word ‘gervais‘ as a new swear word. I am using it to mean a disablist bully who is running out of jokes.


Word: Gervais

What’s the definition?

1. A disablist: someone who mocks someone who has a disability

2. A bully who makes cheap jokes about disabled children and adults but claims he doesn’t mean ‘that’.

3. Someone who uses out dated offensive terms such as mong and refuses to acknowledge that they are offensive and cause distress to disabled people, their families, friends and carers.

4. A hasbeen desperate ex comedian who has run out of ideas and wants to generate publicity for his flagging career.

5. Someone who thinks they can ‘reclaim’ a word that wasn’t their word to reclaim in the first place.

Became a popular insult after Ricky Gervais began to use the word mong for cheap laughs about his tool Karl Pilkington.


“Don’t be such a bloody gervais, nobody uses the R-word any more”

“He’s pulled a face, tweeted it and called himself a mong. Sad desperate gervais.'”

pathetically unfunny gervais

Pulling a 'gervais'. The pathetically unfunny Ricky Gervais does a 'mong' impression

“You can’t say retard now, stop being a total gervais.”

“Don’t park there without a blue badge, you ignorant gervais!


It isn’t the first time Ricky Gervais has got into trouble over the use of the word ‘mong’. Last year he used it to insult singer Susan Boyle.

In May 2010, he was criticised by Xanthe Breen, of the Down’s Syndrome Association, who said in this Daily Record article: “We’ve had a campaign to have that particular word removed from common usage and we really don’t want a resurgence.”

Ricky Gervais obviously does want a resurgence and a bit of publicity to help his new tour. I don’t think I will bother… but I have a new swear word.

For more on this please see this article  http://nickyclark.blogspot.com/2011/10/needless-cruelty.html

Please link to this post on the word gervais. If enough of you do, Ricky might see it listed when he googlebates.

Trabasack at Learnpod11

Trabasack and Learnpod11



Representing Trabasack, I have recently had the opportunity to attend Learnpod11’s  unconference in Doncaster. The experience was definitely something that I hope to attend annually. The main focus was social media and its use in education. This gave me the opportunity to mix with professionals from new backgrounds and to learn about technology being used in our classrooms and colleges.


The free event took place on 13th July at Doncaster College and was attended by many interesting and inspiring delegates including founder  Rob Wilmot, and co-organiser Kevin Campbell Wright.

Delegates listen to Rob Wilmot introduce the Learnpod11 event

Delegates listen to Rob Wilmot introduce the Learnpod11 event - note the blank agenda!


I also the opportunity to share our new design, Trabasack, and my growing knowledge of social media tools. The event was entirely free and it was great to be able to show trabasack as a practical item for use as a conference bag or for mounting and holding new educational tools such as iPads and other tablet computers.


The key themes the event was based around were:


 What innovations can we use to reshape education for the benefit of teachers and learners?

How can we use social media to change teaching & learning practice – and should we?

How do practitioners and learners work with management and strategists to make technology work for them?

These themes were of great interest to me, as I am keen social media enthusiast and use it for our business marketing and promotion as well as for information and obtaining services and mentors. I find it a fantastic resource which I have been able to use to connect and help others as well as becoming part of a new movement and community of people sharing ideas.


Advantages of an unconference


This was my second unconference. The first being the inspiring ‘Design for all’ unconference hosted by EnabledbyDesign.

The ‘unconventional format’ ensures that all delegates have a good opportunity to participate and ensure that the day is rewarding for their own personal interests. At the beginning of the day presentations were invited from delegates and the agenda was decided there and then. It was an exciting prospect to get involved and hear inspirational speakers including Rob Wilmot (pictured using one of our Trabasacks).

Rob Wilmot tries a Trabasack Curve Connect laptop laptray

Rob Wilmot tries a Trabasack Curve Connect laptop laptray




All information shared used open access (Creative Commons) principles so after the event ended all participants, speakers and others were able to continue their discussions. Twitter was used to promote and continue the event using the hashtag #learnpod11.



With access to free Wi-Fi access delegates could enjoy and share their experiences of the unconference online and even gleaning knowledge from presentations occurring in different rooms. It had a very pleasant, informal and friendly atmosphere in comparison to some conferences I’ve been to and I’d love to get more involved with future events.


Throughout the event, I used my Trabasack with its effective lap tray mode to take notes and use it to position my laptop comfortably during the sessions. I also left some examples of the different styles and shapes of trabasack with the ‘Playing with Gadgets’ team who showcased them alongside some of the latest technological gadgetry.





Trabasack laptop bag and laptray

Trabasack laptop bag and laptray being used by Doug Wallace at the event



Moodle and LinkedIn

I attended a very interesting session on the use of Moodle in schools. I was amazed by the clunky and boxy appearance of the virtual learning environment that our pupils and teachers use! Rob Wilmot led another great presentation on using LinkedIn for business. I found this very interesting as I have neglected my LinkedIn account not really understanding its benefits. I now know how to use it for expanding my business contacts and making faster connections. I also realise that I have been too generous with my adding of contacts on there, and will review them to list only very trusted colleagues.


Another workshop was led by the founder of Twicket, Jon Popham which I would have liked to attend. I had heard about twicket and find the idea of real-time streaming of local events very interesting. The potential for including people who may not be able to physically attend such events but are still able to participate is particularly good from my perspective.

Facebook for Education

I also attended a ‘Facebook and education session’ with Doug Wallace.

Doug Wallace at Learnpod11

Doug Wallace multitasking with a trabasack at LearnPod11

Doug is running a series of virtual networking and learning ‘#coffeebreaks’ each Wednesday and using Facebook to host these events.  Participants are able to invite friends and each week there is a fairly structured plan of demonstrating and discussions around a theme. I have attended several of these and have benefited from the knowledge shared. Doug discussed with IT and teaching staff how this style of event could be used to engage students and pupils. The penetration of Facebook among young people being virtually 100% this seems a good idea but there was some resistance around policing of the events and school bans of Facebook use. However the benefits and opportunities of using Facebook ‘events’ to advertise and for engaging students in after school discussions were obvious.

I’ll be there!

The whole experience was very valuable and I’ll definitely be getting involved in the next Learnpod event. I also look forward to seeing more trabasacks in schools and colleges and on the laps of entrepreneurs and business enthusiasts! I am grateful to the team for putting on the event and for Doug Wallace for inviting me to it and giving me a tour of Doncaster afterwards.