Several mobility and independent living suppliers from across the UK recently exhibited a range of assistive technologies at Disability Awareness Day (DAD) 2023 on 16 July 2023.

The annual event took place this year in a huge tented village within the grounds of Walton Hall Gardens in Warrington, North West England.

Organised by the Disability Trading Company and its owner, the Warrington Disability Partnership, the aim of this year’s event was to promote independent living through the theme: “It’s what disabled people can do that matters.”

The show has three main aims: to highlight what statutory, private, or voluntary services are available to enable disabled people to stay independent; to promote equipment and aids that could maintain or improve independence, not just what is offered by statutory service providers; and to provide an opportunity to showcase what disabled people can do in the field of sport, arts, and entertainment.

Visitors to the show had the opportunity to interact with over 200 organisations that include support groups, statutory services, and businesses sharing ideas on education, care, equipment, transport, holidays, leisure, employment, and more.

Alongside promoting services, exhibitors were able to network with other organisations and display a range of assistive technologies and services such as accessible bathrooms, kitchens and daily living products from AKW Medi-Care Ltd, and Wheelchair Accessible Vehicle adaptations from the Automotive Group, while informing attendees on how its services and products can aid mobility and independent living.

DAD attendees were also able to access a one-stop-shop for advice and guidance about conditions, services, and peer-to-peer support, supplied mainly by charities and community groups, and a range of pan-disability and pan-age matters relating to inclusion and independence. Charities and community groups were able to benefit from their attendance on the day by fundraising through various activities.

Additional entertainment was provided, including a sports zone with free events, a performing arts marquee, two arts and crafts marquees, a silent disco, a main arena, and family entertainment.

Special guests to DAD included the High Sheriff of Cheshire Dr Dennis Dunn MBE JP DL, the Mayor and Mayoress of Warrington, Councillor Steve Wright, and his wife Julie, who all praised the team behind DAD, the sponsors, United Utilities and Expanse Learning, and supporters.

On Tuesday 11 July, the UK Government scheme Disability Confident, Warrington Disability Partnership and Jobcentre Plus, held a workshop for employers regarding recruitment and retention, reasonable adjustments and funding, which gave three disabled people the opportunity to share their experiences of good and poor employment practices.

The morning of Thursday 13 July saw over 100 staff from support services based in the North West attend the event presented by Customer Vulnerability Summit and United Utilities, which highlighted support services available to vulnerable customers, including priority services and much more.

In the afternoon, the Carers Wellbeing Festival and Warrington Carers Hub attracted carers to its event, which thanked carers with health and wellbeing activities including massages, mindfulness, music, crafts and lunch.

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