Words cannot describe how happy I am to be officially allowed to type this blog post. I have typed a blog post about the "Choice Unlimited" Roadshow in Leicester. earlier this year, but this is the first "officially authorised" blog post about "Choice Unlimited" itself.
I must admit that I was a little unsure as to what a "Choice Unlimited Roadshow" would be when I was invited to attend my first one last year. To be perfectly honest I thought it would be a crowd of disabled people moaning about their lives and trying to get people interested in their "fight for life".
I couldn't have been more wrong.
"Choice Unlimited" is the brainchild of some very clever people at Leicester Centre for Integrated Living (LCiL). LCiL is a charity run by disabled people for disabled people - with some rather interesting sidelines (for example the "Social Media Cafe", on Fridays between 12.00pm and 2.30pm, and "The Real Junkfood Cafe" on Thursday evenings from 7.00pm to 8.30pm, both at The West End Neighbourhood Centre, on Andrewes Street, Leicester - you will find me at both events).
"Choice Unlimited" started as a result of the UK Government's decision to change how they support Disabled People. The really good thing about "Choice Unlimited" is that it is based on the idea that you need to adapt the services to suit the clients and not the other way around.
Did you realise- for example - that Disabled People alone have an annual purchasing power to the tune of £212 billion???
This makes us a very influential group of people. Which makes me wonder why "Mainstream" companies sometimes seem to enjoy actively putting barriers between us and the goods and services they provide???
If you want to find out how best to help a disabled person - surely the best person to ask is either the disabled person themself or someone who works very closely with them (a carer, support worker, etc)???
Choice Unlimited started doing Roadshows where they showcase goods and services which are available for disabled people and their carers, etc. The geniuses at Choice Unlimited call them "Market Place For Independent Living". The Roadshows also have something else in their favour.
They are also a good place for Professionals (Doctors, Nurses, Social Workers, etc,) to go and learn about the goods and services provided for disabled people.
They show how disabled people can live like everybody else (with obvious adjustments at times). Roadshows have featured Disabled Sports, a Catwalk model show through "Mods of Diversity", etc.
The Leicester Roadshows have also had Matt Hampson (disabled ex-Tigers rugby union player) attending representing his Foundation for Disabled People.
This year has been the first year when the Roadshows have gone national.
The next Choice Unlimited Roadshow will be at Stockport Town Hall, Edward St, Stockport, SK1 3EX, on Tuesday 22 September 2015, from 10.00am to 4.00pm. It is a free entry event.
The Roadshow after that will be at Worcester Guildhall, The High Street, Worcester, WR1 2EY, on Thursday 29 October 2015, from 10.00am to 4.00pm. It is a free event.
For more dates for Roadshows which may be closer to you please visit www.choiceunlimited.co.uk/events.
If you go and visit a Roadshow you may be surprised by how independent Disabled People can be if you give us the opportunity and stop trying to stuff us into your preconcieved boxes!!!
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