Cerebral Palsy: What you need to know
Aideen Blackborough
by AideenBlackborough
4M ago
March is National Cerebral Palsy Awareness Month -a chance to celebrate and raise awareness of the condition. As someone who has lived with the condition for over 40 years, these are some things I think people should know about Cerebral Palsy: It’s typically caused as the result of an accident or trauma in early childhood and is usually diagnosed before the age of three. Cerebral Palsy affects everyone differently. In my case, it affects my speech, muscle movement and co-ordination. However, the condition has many symptoms and people experience it differently. Typically, the condition isn’t pr ..read more
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Disability Etiquette: Why it’s important
Aideen Blackborough
by AideenBlackborough
6M ago
It’s now 2024 (Happy New Year!) and even now, disability is a taboo subject. In my forty years of having Cerebral Palsy, I’ve experienced many reactions to my disability and how people struggle to interact with me. They’re often not sure what to say or they want to offer support but they’re worried about offending me. Most people have great intentions but they just lack confidence with interacting with disabled people. That’s why I’m running a Disability Etiquette workshop on Tuesday 30th January. Negative attitudes towards disabled people According to the Disability Charity Scope, there are 1 ..read more
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Accessible Taxi Wanted – with a good attitude
Aideen Blackborough
by AideenBlackborough
8M ago
For the past few years, I’ve been spoilt. My hubby has been freelancing from home and therefore, been around to take me wherever I’ve needed to be. He’s now working full-time again and my free taxi service has come to an end. With my own work getting busier, I need an accessible taxi driver with a good attitude. You may wonder why I specify the “good attitude”. Believe me, I’ve had too many bad experiences to count. Accessible but not welcoming These days, the vast majority of taxis are accessible. By accessible I mean capable of taking a wheelchair. The problem arises with the attitude of the ..read more
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Headteacher Conference: Raising aspirations for SEND Pupils
Aideen Blackborough
by AideenBlackborough
9M ago
I was recently invited to speak at the Sandwell Headteacher Conference in Telford. The theme of the Conference was “Inspirational Leadership” though essentially, they wanted to hear about my perspective of mainstream education as a disabled pupil. I decided to then link this to the SEND Code of Practice and emphasise the importance of raising aspirations for SEND pupils. My mainstream education Following my diagnosis of Cerebral Palsy 36 (ish) years ago, my parents were adamant that I should have a mainstream education. Mum used to tell me, “There might be something wrong with your legs but th ..read more
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Emmerdale: Bringing Disabled Parents into Spotlight
Aideen Blackborough
by AideenBlackborough
10M ago
Emmerdale, Eastenders, Coronation Street – I’m an avid soaps fan! I remember writing a few years ago about a story line in Corrie where a disabled character fell pregnant. Her dad was really dead set against it and I was pleased that such issues were finally been addressed. In a current storyline, Emmerdale is bringing Disabled Parents into the spotlight and I’m really hoping that the writers will take the opportunity to try and change perceptions. The abilities of disabled people The story focuses on Ryan (played by James Moore) and his partner, Gail. Ryan has Cerebral Palsy and it’s just bee ..read more
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Councillor responds to Pavement Parking Proposal
Aideen Blackborough
by AideenBlackborough
10M ago
I’ve recently received an email response from Sandwell Councillor, Steve Melia, in relation to my Pavement Parking proposal. His response was informative as he explained the current legislation surrounding the issue: “The authority’s civil enforcement officers act under powers of the Traffic Management Act 2004.  This gives them legal powers to enforce restrictions on the Highway. (example yellow lines).  Restrictions are applicable from the centre of the carriageway to the bordering private property (including footpaths and verges).  Therefore, any vehicle parked on a footway a ..read more
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World Cerebral Palsy Day – Free Workshop
Aideen Blackborough
by AideenBlackborough
10M ago
I think by now you probably all know that I have Cerebral Palsy (CP) and if not, where have you been?! March is CP Awareness Month and this year, I offered four schools a free Cerebral Palsy Awareness Assembly. The sessions were snapped up and were really well received by both the children and the staff. I presented to over 1200 children during the month. One teacher said,: “The assembly was extremely beneficial for our whole school community.  As well as increasing awareness and understanding of Cerebral Palsy, our pupils were truly inspired by Aideen.  Aideen had over 500 children ..read more
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Pavement Parking Campaign – the latest
Aideen Blackborough
by AideenBlackborough
10M ago
I’m back to work after the summer break with my boys and there’s a lot to be done. Before I signed off for the summer, I explained that I’d been struggling to raise my Pavement Parking Campaign with Sandwell Council. I’d been given a general email address which was for generic feedback and as I’d feared, Sandwell Council haven’t responded. Pavement Parking ban in Reading However, having posted about my campaign on LinkedIn, I had a very useful and informative message from one of my connections. She gave me lots of advice on how I can progress the campaign and secure support for it. I have lots ..read more
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Pavement Parking Campaign Update
Aideen Blackborough
by AideenBlackborough
1y ago
If you follow my blog or Twitter account, you’ll know that I’m working on a campaign to get pavement parking banned. This follows many frustrating and also dangerous incidents where pavement parking has forced me into the traffic in my wheelchair. My ultimate goal would be to get a nationwide ban, though initially I’m lobbying Sandwell Council to implement it across the local authority. Pavement Parking endangers Disabled People I first initiated the campaign following an incident in October 2022. Whilst carrying my youngest child, I was almost tipped out of my wheelchair due to dangerous pave ..read more
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Diary of a Disabled Mum: Out and about
Aideen Blackborough
by AideenBlackborough
1y ago
I’ve been a disabled mum for ten years now – I don’t know where that time has gone!  I’ve spoken before about the challenges of getting out and about with my boys but I’m so glad to say that it’s slowly getting easier. Venturing further Up until now, I’ve just stayed local so that if I need support, family and friends are close by.  We’d visit family nearby and the local shops but that was as far as I’d go with them on my own. Now the boys are 10 and 4, I recently decided I could start venturing further with them. I took both of them on the bus to a neighbouring town and we had a few ..read more
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