Tourist board criticised for new regulations, which also prohibit solo ascents with the aim of reducing the number of accidentsSolo climbers, blind people and double amputees have been banned from climbing Everest under new rules the Nepalese tourism m…
Aided by their care worker, a couple in love embark on an illegal tryst in an unsentimental romcom played with terrific gentleness and honesty
There’s a wonderful warmth and directness to this movie, adapted by Galway dramatist Christian O’Reilly from his original stage play, and directed by feature first-timer Len Collin.
In the lead roles, non-professionals Charlene Kelly and Kieran Coppinger have a terrific gentleness and honesty. They play Sophie and Larry – one has epilepsy and the other Down’s syndrome. Sophie is cared for in a community facility and Larry is at home with his mum, but they have met in Sophie’s care home and have fallen in love. And care worker Tom (Robert Doherty) has arranged to let them have an afternoon together in a local hotel in town, sneaking them away from a group trip to the cinema. This is against his better judgement, and indeed against the law: Section 5 of Ireland’s Criminal Law (Sexual Offences) Act 1993, which forbids sexual relations between people with developmental disabilities unless they are married – this law was in fact repealed earlier this year.
Arts Depot, London
Oily Cart’s new show is as much about making and doing as watching, situated at a point where arts and crafts meet theatre
“You’re not a real bird. You’re just pretending,” says the three-year-old sitting in front of me at the start of the latest interactive show from Oily Cart. Before you can say lullaby, she’s joining in. If there’s one thing that is learned over the next 45 minutes, it is that pretending is lots of fun.
Playing in two versions, one for the very young (six months to two years), and the other for three- to five-year-olds, Hush-a-Bye takes us to the top of the trees where the birds make their nests. Entering the space, we go past bird boxes with tiny peepholes through which we can glimpse twiggy, jewelled nests. Then it’s into the theatre where the children sit on benches in a semi circle and help Grandma and Grandpa birds make a nest and look after a baby bird.
I was in my first year of teaching when I was diagnosed with multiple sclerosis. I knew life would never be the same, but desperately wanted to keep working
It was New Year’s Day when I woke with pins and needles in my hand. I didn’t think much of it at first, but two days later my hand had seized up and I couldn’t even hold a pen. The day after that, I was struggling to walk in a straight line. I saw the GP and was admitted to hospital for a series of tests. By this time, I couldn’t even feed or dress myself.
The consultant neurologist was blunt in his delivery of my diagnosis. “There are lesions on your brain,” he said. “It’s clearly multiple sclerosis (MS). You should follow a different career – you won’t be able to be a teacher.”
The £580,000 Arts Council England funding will support new initiative to find and develop black and minority ethnic, disabled and LGBTQ writers
A new literary agency, which aims to discover “the next generation of diverse writers” and “blow open the pipeline” for them, is being launched by the editor of The Good Immigrant, Nikesh Shukla, with more than £500,000 in funding from Arts Council England (ACE).
The Good Agency, the brainchild of author Shukla and literary agent and Julia Kingsford, intends to work with “exceptional” writers who identify as black and minority ethnic, working class, disabled or LGBTQ. It will “identify, nurture and promote” these authors, with the intention of making the UK’s literary landscape more representative.
After years trapped in a top-floor ‘prison’, Alex has finally got an accessible flat. But if this seems like a good-news story, think again
Nowadays, Alex can go to the toilet without crawling on hands and knees. The 44-year-old – who has multiple complex disabilities and mental health problems – is in many ways living proof of beating the system. After four years of living in inaccessible social housing, Alex has a bit of dignity and safety. But I can’t help but think for a so-called civilised 21st century nation, there isn’t much to celebrate. In Alex’s words: “It feels like I’m still not living. Still trapped, made sicker by austerity.”
Why does it take the weight of a national paper and months of fighting from your bed for a disabled person to have hope?
Prospect of a new class of therapies that could transform future treatment of genetic hearing loss, at the root of nearly half of all cases of deafness
Deafness has been prevented in mice using gene editing for the first time, in an advance that could transform future treatment of genetic hearing loss.
The study found that a single injection of a gene editing cocktail prevented progressive deafness in baby animals that were destined to lose their hearing.
Crispr, or to give it its full name, Crispr-Cas9, allows scientists to precisely target and edit pieces of the genome. Crispr is a guide molecule made of RNA, that allows a specific site of interest on the DNA double helix to be targeted. The RNA molecule is attached to Cas9, a bacterial enzyme that works as a pair of “molecular scissors” to cut the DNA at the exact point required. This allows scientists to cut, paste and delete single letters of genetic code.
Green paper must create a clear and compelling picture of living well with disability and in older age
The government’s upcoming green paper on social care gives cynics many reasons for doubting it will amount to anything.
First, we have been here before. Many times. Each time, politicians’ desire to make things better for older and disabled people has lost out to the opportunity to score cheap points (Labour’s plans branded a “death tax” by Conservatives; Labour condemning the Tories’ “dementia tax”) or the Treasury’s particular aversion to pouring money into a sector it appears to regard, more so than others, as a leaky bucket.
The letter you always wanted to write
Forgive me, my darling girl, we are going to make a decision for you. It is a big one, and we can’t wait – it is now or never. We can’t ask you what you want. We can only hope it is the right choice.
Right now, you don’t know that you are different, that we inhabit different worlds. I always knew you were special, but I expect all parents feel that way about their children. We didn’t find out you were deaf until you were one, and for that I am grateful. I know early intervention is essential, but if I had found out you were deaf at birth, I would have been terrified.
Bethen Thorpe greeted her assessor the traditional way and promptly had her support axed. It seems people with disabilities now have to kiss cheeks instead
Do you shake hands? I do – with people I’m meeting for the first time, and often meeting up with people I already know really well. But the classic handshake is now not the single accepted greeting, and even with strangers you must awkwardly negotiate the possibility of the kiss on one or both cheeks, or bro shake with optional shoulder bump.
But I’ve been trained to think of the unhesitating handshake as simple good manners. The same, I suspect, is true of former pub landlady Bethen Thorpe from north London, who was diagnosed with multiple sclerosis in October 2014. She had to apply for disability benefit, filled in a 35-page application form, and then travelled to Chelmsford, Essex, for an assessment meeting. She was turned down because she shook the DWP assessor’s hand, which was taken as evidence of her fitness for work.