Be part of The World Triathalon Para Series in Swansea this summer 

traithalon para series swansea

The world’s best para triathletes are heading to Swansea this summer for The World Triathalon Para Series and there are a host of ways for people of all ages and abilities to join in the fun and swim, bike, and run alongside these amazing athletes. This year’s event sees the biggest opportunity to take part in multi-sport in the event’s three-year history.    The World Triathlon Para Series returns to South Wales on 22 June, with racing taking place just months before this summer’s Paralympic Games in Paris. Whilst the elite athletes will be battling it out for vital qualification points for the Games, organisers have announced a range of events and races taking place at the Prince of Wales Dock.   Kids can enter the aquathlon (swim, run) and take part in either a timed race or have a go at a multi-sport at their own pace without having to think about a time.   The four options for junior participants: All four options are open to participants with and without disabilities. sign up here: A​s with the previous events, 2024 will also provide people aged 15+ with a disability the opportunity to complete a swim, bike, run across much the same course as the elites through the British Paratri Super Series. The Super Series contains two strands, one for anyone aged 15+ with a paratriathlon classification, giving them the chance to gain points for the national series.   The second strand is for disabled participants aged 15+ without a paratriathlon classification, providing an entry point into swim, bike, run and paratriathlon. This strand is also open for those whose impairment lays outside the scope of classification, such as participants with intellectual impairments. All events and races on the day will lead participants to the same finish line, with the elite finish area set to welcome Paralympic medallists and first-timers alike.  You can find out more about the opportunities to take part on Saturday 22 June below and you can sign up here:  Ruth Daniels, British Triathlon CEO, said: “This is the largest participation offer we’ve had at World Triathlon Para Series Swansea and for it to come in a Paralympic and Olympic year is really special.  “This summer’s events in Paris will be such a motivator to get involved in sport, and I’m delighted that we can get ahead of that and provide these opportunities to experience swim, bike, run on 22 June.  “Showcasing and growing paratriathlon and the elite athletes we have here in Great Britain is a major driver behind this event, and I’m really excited that we can work with our partners at Swansea City Council and the Welsh Government to once again bring this event to Swansea.”  Dawn Bowden, Deputy Minister for Arts, Sport and Tourism, said: “Welsh Government support for the third-year running will enable this fantastic event to bring an even higher level of inclusion and participation across this exciting sport.  “This reaffirms our commitment to the development of disability sport and providing a further platform to promote sporting opportunities for disabled people. I’m delighted to be able to welcome organisers, participants and spectators back to Wales.”  Robert Francis-Davies, Swansea Council’s cabinet member for investment, regeneration, events and tourism, said: “There are many opportunities to take part in the 2024 World Triathlon Para Series, Swansea’s third staging of the event. We look forward to welcoming thousands of athletes and supporters.  “We’re a city with a passion for sport and with a glorious natural environment for everybody to enjoy – and we’re excited that local people will be inspired to enjoy sport on the weekend of June 22-23.  “The World Triathlon Para Series is a major boost to our local economy and we’ll make sure, once again, that local residents, businesses and organisations are fully informed about opportunities and road changes for the event’s big weekend.  “It’ll be another big summer of events for Swansea next year as the Ironman 70.3 Swansea is due to take place on July 14, the Wales Airshow is due to take place on July 6-7 and there are big-name concerts arranged for Singleton Park. There’ll be more big announcements to follow.”  ​

Geberit AquaClean Case Study: Billie Orfanelli Turner

Geberit aquaclean shower toilet

Billie Turner from Manchester has Cerebral palsy, a motor disability leaving her wheelchair bound and relying on her parents. The installation of a shower toilet, AquaClean, in her home has returned Billie’s privacy and dignity, which her mother says has given her a whole new independence. The AquaClean from Geberit has been a vital part of independent living for a lot of people like Billie. Billie’s Story 22-year-old Billie lives with her parents in Greater Manchester and has a motor condition which affects her ability to move and maintain balance and posture. Billie spends all day in a wheelchair which can leave her feeling uncomfortable and clammy. Before the AquaClean Billie’s parents would have to clean and dry her, leaving her without privacy and having a negative impact on her sense of wellbeing and dignity. Billie’s parents had begun installing a wet room to increase her independence when Billie’s friend, who is also disabled recommended an AquaClean. Billie’s Occupational Therapist further recommended the installation of a shower toilet, knowing that this would enable Billie to clean herself independently after going to the toilet and give her wellbeing a boost.  The Solution  Following the recommendation of the Occupational Therapist, Billie’s parents, although dubious at first, installed the shower toilet. Since it’s installation alongside the fitting of the wet room in their home, they have seen a dramatic change in their daughter’s mood. Stylish and innovative, the Geberit AquaClean Mera Care toilet features an oscillating spray arm that cleans at the touch of a button with a jet of warm water and a warm air dryer, offering Billie ease of cleaning after using the toilet Geberit AquaClean Mera Care  ​In addition to an oscillating spray and warm air dryer, the Geberit AquaClean Mera Care toilet boasts a host of additional features to aid personal hygiene and help users like Billie to live a more independent life, including an automatic flush function via user detection, remote control, programmable user profiles for multiple users, and a continuous flow heater for constant warm water. Geberit has taken every ounce of its 150 years of experience in helping to understand the wants and needs of its customers and put that into creating a product that can make a guaranteed difference to the way customers live day in day out. Everything is designed with comfort and convenience in mind, and the Geberit development team is constantly evolving and enhancing every aspect of the product to ensure it meets the needs of the customer.  Billie’s mother, Kim says: “It’s such a relief that there is no longer a struggle, and she doesn’t have to rely on others to be hygienic, she feels fresh all the time now.” The Future  Since the installation of the Geberit Mera Care toilet Billie is able to rely less on her parents and enjoy some privacy and independence. This has boosted her sense of wellbeing and the change in her emotions can be seen by everyone around her.  Billie’s mother stated: “Billies mood has changed 100 percent. She feels so much better in herself now that she has privacy and it’s given her a whole new independence, it’s amazing. The toilet has made a big difference in my daughter’s life and to her mood, its brilliant. Thank you for having such a great toilet, thank you so much.” More Details Want to learn more about the shower toilet, AquaClean from Geberit? Check out other case studies such as the AbleStay story here and see how this solution to independent living has improved the lives of others. Don’t forget to subscribe to Ucan2 Magazine and stay up-to-date on all the latest news and stories regarding independent living and accessibility. ​

Access BDD Accelerates Growth with Strategic Team Expansion

access BDDs new strategic team

​ Access BDD, a global leader in mobility and accessibility solutions, announces a significant stride in its expansion into the US and Canadian stairlift market by adding four experienced professionals to its team. This move underscores the company’s commitment to growth and aims to strengthen its presence in North America. New Team Members Fuel at Access BDD Growth with Key Regional Focus Access BDD welcomes Kaylee Buscher as the Business Development Manager for the Northeast region. With a rich background in sales and marketing within the mobility sector, Kaylee’s experience in the dealer market is poised to enrich Access BDD’s client relationships and market penetration. John Biddle joins the Access BDD team as the Business Development Manager for the Southeast region. John’s extensive industry knowledge and sales experience, particularly in direct-to-consumer stairlift sales, positions him as an invaluable asset to the team. Callum Boyd re-joins Access BDD as Business Development Manager for the West Coast. His previous tenure with Access BDD in France and recent experience in the high-rise elevator industry provide a unique perspective that will drive growth. Additionally, Juan Rivera joins as a Technical Manager for the West Coast. His expertise in technical service in the direct sales stairlift market strengthens Access BDD’s commitment to exceptional product support and customer service. Strategic Expansion Highlights Ambitious Growth for Access BDD This expansion, increasing the US-based team to six, reflects Access BDD’s ambitious growth plans. It aims to extend its reach, reinforcing support for existing customers and developing relationships with top industry players who share its ambitions and values. The presence of three additional sales professionals and a further technical expert is a significant step towards achieving these objectives. Melissa Davies, Head of Business Development at Access BDD, commented, “The expansion of our team in the US is a strategic move to deepen our market penetration and bring our innovative solutions closer to our customers. Kaylee, John, Callum, and Juan are key to our growth trajectory, and their expertise and energy will be instrumental in our journey ahead.” Managing Director Andrew Warbrick added, “This expansion is more than just adding numbers to our team. It’s about infusing new energy, perspectives, and expertise to achieve our goal of being the preferred stairlift solutions provider in the US and Canada. We are excited about the future and what this team will accomplish.” Team Unites at TK Elevator Test Tower in Atlanta The new team members recently convened for a three-day intensive training and strategy session at the TK Elevator Test Tower in Battery Atlanta. This event focused on product training, team building, and strategic planning for the year ahead, ensuring that the team is fully equipped to support our dealers and introduce the Flow X and HomeGlide stairlifts to new markets. To find out more about Access BDD, visit their website here: ​

National Autistic Society responds to Government school attendance campaign –

school attendance

​The National Autistic Society responds to the Government’s new campaign about school attendance, with the view that this campaign has completely missed the mark and fails to take into account the struggles which many autistic children and young people face in the classroom. Tim Nicholls, Head of Influencing and Research at the National Autistic Society, said: “This campaign completely misses the mark and fails to address the huge barriers autistic children and young people face every day in the classroom. School shouldn’t be a tick box exercise in attendance. It should be about ensuring all children get the support they need to be able to thrive from well-trained staff who understand their needs. “We know there’s a high rate of school absence for autistic children. Our research shows that only a quarter (26%) of the more than 200,000 autistic pupils in England are happy at school. But this is no surprise when only 53% of autistic young people said they have someone to go to if there is a problem at school, and almost three in four parents (74%) say their child’s school doesn’t meet their needs. “Instead of shaming parents and children for low attendance at school, the Government should prioritise urgent reform of the education system. We won’t accept a world where autistic children miss out on an education, and families are left on the brink of crisis.” Image courtesy of Adobe Stock Images ​

Join a Spectrum Colour Walk to support National Autistic Society

spectrum colour walk 2024

​ The National Autistic Society is inviting people to join a Spectrum Colour Walk and raise vital funds to support autistic people and their families during World Autism Acceptance Week 2024. World Autism Acceptance Week will take place from Tuesday 2 April to Monday 8 April 2024. The theme of colour returns for this year, and a new location has been added to the line-up of Spectrum Colour Walk events: ​The Spectrum Colour Walks start at 2pm on Saturday 6 April in each location. The courses are 5km, suitable for all ages and abilities, and take place in a calm, inclusive green space. All money raised during World Autism Acceptance Week will go towards the National Autistic Society’s aim to transform lives and change attitudes to help create a society that works for autistic people. World Autism Acceptance Week is the biggest event in the charity’s year and for 2024 it is highlighting four key areas for autistic people and their families: Education, Employment, Mental Health and Diagnosis. As well as signing up for a Spectrum Colour Walk, there are many other ways to get fundraising for this year’s World Autism Acceptance Week, including: For more inspiration, head to our World Autism Acceptance Week resources page to download and print useful information, as well as fun and colourful branded items to wear during fundraising events. Make sure to use World #AutismAcceptanceWeekto share your event on social media. ​Caroline Stevens, Chief Executive of the National Autistic Society, said: “World Autism Acceptance Week is the most important event in our charity’s year because it’s a chance to get society talking about autism. “It’s vital that autistic people and their families are understood, supported and accepted in their communities, schools and workplaces. Better understanding of autism across society could transform hundreds of thousands of lives. “We want to encourage everyone to take part in World Autism Acceptance Week by joining one of our Spectrum Colour Walks or by fundraising your own way.  Whatever you do, get colourful and together we can make every step count to create a society that works for autistic people.” For more information, visit our website: ​

Bagel – giving the support for freedom in water


One of the biggest restrictions for anyone with limitations- and their carers- when bathing or participating in aqua therapy is achieving strain-free support in the water. AAT’s Bagel removes that restriction. It restores the person’s ability to free float without any risk of head immersion by stabilising and supporting their head above the water without restricting their body. Utilising innovative vacuum technology, the core cushion can be precisely and infinitely moulded to each user. Hook and loop straps round the body secure the cushion in place, thereby positioning he buoyancy on the chest and torso. This relieves pressure on the neck and head, ensuring safe, proper stability and relaxation whilst immersed in the water. As a result, it enables all areas of the user’s body to be easily reached and cleaned during bathing, and allows full movement and thus flotation benefits of hydrotherapy to be enjoyed. “Bagel supports all involved to get the most out of basic ADLs such as bathing or aquatherapy,” explains AAT Director Peter Wingrave. “It ensures the client receives the full benefit of their hydrotherapy or bath experience, by having the safety and freedom to free-float. “As importantly, it relies the carer of the physical strain of having to support them- particularly an issue in bathing, when you’re trying to balance properly supporting the head above the water, over the side of the bath, and perform the hygiene routine.” Find out more and book a free, no obligation assessment here: Bagel is just one element of AAT’s innovative support solutions to help with water-based scenarios. Details of the full range of options are available here:

Smirthwaite Sales Team Strengthened with Jodie Carter Appointment


Smirthwaite, a respected designer and manufacturer of bespoke equipment for children and young adults with additional needs has extended its sales team with the appointment of Jodie Carter who will be taking on the role of Technical Product Advisor, North East & Cumbria/Lancaster.  Jodie’s background involves working closely with children and adults with disabilities, including brain injuries. Most recently Jodie has been assessing and installing technology in people’s homes across North Yorkshire to aid vulnerable people, including those with epilepsy or dementia.  Reporting to Ewan McPhee, Northern Sales Manager, Jodie will manage her own territory whilst working alongside healthcare professionals to support children with disabilities with bespoke Smirthwaite equipment that promotes a healthier and better quality life for the user.  Jodie’s appointment is another exciting opportunity to further strengthen the team  at Smirthwaite and include the promotions of Derek York to UK Commercial Manager and Ewan McPhee to Northern Sales Manager. The new appointment and promotions are part of the company’s continued focus on growing its business, investing in its people and delivering excellence for its customers.  Jodie commented: “I am delighted to be joining a market leader in the paediatrics industry & a company that’s renowned for quality products and service. I’m very much looking forward to working with our Occupational Therapists and helping to further the growth of the business.” Ewan McPhee, Northern Sales Manager added: “I am thrilled to welcome Jodie to the Smirthwaite team. I’m confident that her excellent interpersonal skills and sheer enthusiasm will help grow market share and help drive our growth plans; strengthening our position in the market moving forward. Jodie also joins us at an incredibly exciting time as we continue to launch new products such as our Asiento postural support chair, Levitex pressure care relief technology & our Moving & Handling equipment. We wish her a very warm welcome.” Smirthwaite are proud of their dedicated, high-calibre staff; and offer competitive pay and rewards, training, career paths, and the opportunity to progress and achieve. Jodie’s contact details: Email: For further information about UK TPA roles at Smirthwaite, please contact Derek York, Commercial Manager on or +44 (0)7971126877.

Hidden disability diagnoses have increased by 63% in the UK

hidden disability

​ To mark UK Disabilities History Awareness Month, Cool Crutches and Walking Sticks, an innovative mobility aid company, reveals a 63% increase in hidden disability diagnoses in the UK.  The study looks at government data from 2017-2022 looking at impairments that are hidden disabilities, finding a 63% increase in the last 6 years, with mental health showing the largest increase by a third (33%).  Disabled people in the UK increased by 3.9 million from 19% to 24% of the population between 2011 and 2023 and it’s estimated that 80% of these people have a hidden disability, equating to over 10 million people. Hidden disabilities are conditions that are not immediately obvious to others. They can be physical, cognitive or mental in nature. Examining 6 years worth of government data, the biggest rise in hidden disabilities comes from mental health diagnoses, with a 33% increase since 2017.​ Social and behavioural impairments are second in the ranking, accounting for 22% of diagnoses, followed by learning difficulties at 8%. Social and behavioural impairments are a broad term that encompasses a range of conditions that affect a person’s ability to interact with others and their environment. According to the data, nearly all of the disabilities reported by children are hidden. For disabled children, the most common impairment types were social or behavioural, with half reporting this, followed by mental health (30%) and learning impairments (26%). Amelia Peckham, CEO and Co-Founder of Cool Crutches & Walking Sticks comments: “It is important to note that hidden disabilities can have a significant impact on a person’s life. I personally live with hidden and visible conditions and find the hidden much more complex to navigate. In turn I believe these require an equal level of resources, attention and care to support effectively in order to promote accessibility for all. Hidden conditions and disabilities can make it difficult to work, travel, learn, and form relationships. People with hidden disabilities are also more likely to experience bullying, victimisation and other negative outcomes so prioritising awareness around them is key.” As an expert in the field of disability, Amelia Peckham believes that we need to take action to address the increase in hidden disability diagnoses, outlining ways in which businesses and society can further support people with an invisible impairment: Many people are not familiar with hidden disabilities, which can lead to misunderstanding and discrimination. It is important to raise awareness of these conditions so that people can better understand and support those who are affected. For example, the sunflower lanyard can be used as an indicator of disabilities and can be particularly effective for adults with communication challenges.  People with hidden disabilities often need specialised services and support to help them manage their condition and live a fulfilling life. It is important to ensure that these services and support are available and accessible to everyone who needs them. For people with hidden disabilities such as anxiety, depression, and post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), mental health services can be essential for managing their symptoms and improving their quality of life.  This includes making sure that public spaces and transportation are accessible, and that workplaces and schools are inclusive. It is also important to challenge negative attitudes and stereotypes about people with disabilities. Training and education on hidden disabilities can help people to better understand and support those whose impairments may not be visible, creating a culture of acceptance and inclusion Images courtesy of Adobe Stock ​

Geberit Aquaclean Care: The AbleStay Story

geberit sales accessible bathroom

​ AbleStay is a registered charity with the mission of providing fully accessible holiday accommodation to disabled people and their families. AbleStay has purchased its first property in London and has transformed it, making it wheelchair accessible, with a fully adapted bathroom, an accessible kitchen, a​ bedroom with profiling beds, a ceiling track hoist and more.  The AbleStay charity began when it became apparent that most disabled people are unable to visit London, England’s Capital City because of accessibility. Founders Charles and Jo were staggered to realise that no hotel, nor self-catering property was designed to meet the needs of those with complex physical disabilities.  Not only this, but there are 1⁄4 million + people in the UK with complex physical disability (Cerebral Palsy, MND, Muscular Dystrophy, Spinal Muscular Atrophy, Brain Injury and Spinal Cord Injury etc) and there is nowhere suitable to stay in London. So, they decided to take it upon themselves to create one.  Large accessible bathroom/wetroom – ceiling hoist from bedroom, height adjustable bath, Geberit shower toilet, accessible basin, shower trolley, large wet room shower area, Rifton HTS shower chairs and grab rails  Accessibility is, of course, more than just handrails and the bathroom in particular is a space that can be a challenge for people with disabilities.  THE SOLUTION  Geberit gifted a Mera Care shower toilet to the AbleStay house to contribute towards the accessibility of the family bathroom. Stylish and innovative, the Geberit AquaClean Mera Care toilet features an oscillating spray arm that cleans at the touch of a button with a jet of warm water and a warm air dryer, offering ease of cleaning after using the toilet.  GEBERIT AQUACLEAN MERA CARE  ​In addition to an oscillating spray and warm air dryer, the Geberit AquaClean Mera Care toilet boasts a host of additional features to aid personal hygiene and help users to live a more independent life, including an automatic flush function via user detection, remote control, programmable user profiles for multiple users, and a continuous flow heater for constant warm water. Geberit has taken every ounce of its 150 years of experiencein helping to understand the wants and needs of its customers and put that into creating a product that can make a guaranteed difference to the way customers live day in day out.  Everything is designed with comfort and convenience in mind, and the Geberit development team is constantly evolving and enhancing every aspect of the product to ensure it meets the needs of the customer.  THE FUTURE  AbleStay intend on expanding and offering more fully accessible homes to families and disabled individuals. Innovations which allow disabled people the same luxuries as everyone else are essential, whether that be the luxury of a family holiday home or the simple pleasure of privacy and dignity in the bathroom.  Co-founder Charles said: “We are hugely grateful to Geberit. People need bathrooms with an accessible basin, toilet and bath which currently isn’t available despite huge demand. We intend on expanding throughout the UK and are so appreciative of Geberit’s help with this first curial house.”  Learn more about AbleStay here:  ​