An atq script that might be useful

So as I mentioned in the last post – I’m in the process of leaving my job at Royal Holloway, this has obviously involved a bit of handover work and I took the time to make some of it more widely available.  If you are a regular reader this is NOT a post for you – this is a very specialist one that will probably only appeal to people arriving from Google. I use ‘at’ to schedule jobs and ‘atq’ to display the scheduled jobs.…

I’m starting a charity…

So in case you are wondering – I’m starting a charity….  In fact, it turns out that it already exists as of this week when we sent off the paperwork. My contract with Royal Holloway finishes at the end of this month and about six months ago I decided that it was time to throw my energy into doing social projects full time.  For some years I’ve been updating this file on my laptop: …and I decided that if I didn’t do something about the…

Why I personally have an open policy on if we use ‘people with disability’ or ‘disabled people’.

[Alex Salmond said] Mr Abbott’s comments were “offensive to the Scottish people”. The above quote (from Scottish independence: Australian PM Tony Abbott’s comments ‘offensive’)  got me thinking. The full offensive comment in question appears to be “What the Scots do is a matter for the Scots and not for a moment do I presume to tell Scottish voters which way they should vote. times “But as a friend of Britain, as an observer from afar, it’s hard to see how the world would be helped…

More books I am proud of

So last week I talked about a couple of books that we’d written, that I was proud of for very different reasons.  Here are another two I’m proud of. For two more different reasons. First up,  ‘Perfect Nightmare’ from Greycourt School in Richmond.  This was very important to me because it’s the first book done completely under the White Water Writers project.  They located the school, contacted the volunteers and did all the organizational work to ensure a smooth camp. I’m looking forward to many…

Entropy in AAC

This is a unfinished thought post.  I’m trying to work an idea though in my head and am putting it here in the meantime for comments and general interest – I’m genuinely yet to decide my final position on it – when I do I’ll be able to give it proper grounding and probably make it into a paper.  Until then, this might be of interest.    My little brother Richard uses a combination of phrase-based AAC(“[I would like new words in my voice]”) and…

Nicky Goulder: Create

Today’s post is from Nicky Goulder, Co-Founder and Chief Executive of the award-winning charity Create, which uses music, dance, drama, and visual art to transform lives, foster social change, increase well-being and strengthen communication. The group has worked with over 9,000 disabled participants in the last ten years.  Today Nicky talks on about the recent cross-art form project, creative:connection.   The Disability Equality Scheme published by Arts Council England found that those with disabilities are significantly less likely to participate in cultural activities than the rest…

The press: let’s make a deal…

Well, “ethical”, I don’t quite know what the word means, but perhaps you’ll explain what the word means – “ethical”. —Richard Desmond, Express owner and pornographer.(link) I hold these truths to be self-evident:  That the major newspapers in the UK are, almost without exception, failing in the duty to inform the public in an unbiased way.   That the press in in a position to exert far too much pressure on the government and politicians of all parties.  But… the only thing worse than a…

I don’t like living in a world where the squeaky wheel gets the grease…

One of the many reasons I have a blog is because it’s a helpful way to ensure that I have a reasonably solid grasp of what’s going on in the disability world.  This is useful because the system of support that we have is vital to my brother Richard’s heath.  There are occasionally problems with the system: assessments delayed, paperwork lost, knock on effects of cuts-elsewhere. It  helps to know the system, because then we can ensure that Richard gets the care he needs. Sadly,…

Gmail for yesterday’s jobs

Hey, so the recent article I did on extending your gmail search was very well received, so here’s another tip (that I’ve slightly souped up) for this article. I try and get everything in my inbox out and dealt with within 24 hours. But when I come online in the morning I get distracted by the stuff at the top of my inbox and forget, so things that come in at 10am often catch my eye more easily than the stuff that comes in at 6am.…

Shifting research goals.

I’m going to use this post to talk about how my research interests in AAC have changed, and why I think that other people might want to make a similar change. Even if you are unfamiliar with AAC, you might find the process illuminating. I’m aware a lot of my readers are more ‘general disability’ than AAC focused so the quick Wikipedia definition might be helpful. Speech-generating devices (SGDs), also known as voice output communication aids, are electronic augmentative and alternative communication (AAC) systems used…

Step-by-step guide on how to build a tactile overlay for an AAC device

Last month we had a great switch repair/teardown from very wonderful Kate McCallum, who is someone I take very seriously and who regularly fills Twitter with useful and interesting bits of AAC hackery. Kate is an SLT technician from Beaumont College and this month she’s giving us an awesome step-by-step guide on how to build a tactile overlay for an AAC device. I have a person who needs AAC -  they have significant physical and learning disabilities and CVI (Cortical visual impairment  -  a form…

Books I am proud of.

It’s been a busy few weeks for book writing using the TooManyCooks workflow. We’re still waiting for some to come back from the printers – but I thought that I might show you some of ones that have! You remember, for example, the wonderful guest post we had from Jim Dean of Croydon College? Well that book evolved into this: which you can buy from amazon! I said ‘semi-busy’, which is true, but the reason it was only semi-busy was that I was only mainly…

Link roundup for June.

In March I wrote a blog post where I collected together all the links I’d recently shared on social media. I think a lot about how I use things like twitter – I want to make sure that I’m providing useful, or at least interesting information to people. I would like to think I’m making the world a tiny bit better not a tiny bit worse. I got some very good feedback about the last post and so I thought I’d continue on with the…

Your past self is on your side. So do nice things for your future self.

(Image from wikipedia, from a suggestion by this person on reddit) My Google Calendar emails me. It’s incredibility good for the soul. When I am ill with a cold, I put a event in my Google Calendar saying “Take a moment to really enjoy being able to breath though your nose”.  A couple of months later my email goes ‘ping’ and I do.  I really do take a moment to enjoy being able to breath though my nose, it’s wonderful – you should try it…