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DLF launches 'Living made easy for children' at NAIDEX

28th April 2009

Today sees the launch of an innovative new advice and information website on equipment for children and young people with disabilities from national charity the Disabled Living Foundation (DLF) at NAIDEX 2009 in Birmingham. Visitors to the show can find out more about ‘Living made easy for children’ (http://www.livingmadeeasy.org.uk/children/) at the DLF Information Point or during the daily seminars on the website in the Kidequip area.

‘Living made easy for children’ builds on the success of DLF’s leading website ‘Living made easy’, and makes freely available on the internet for the very first time the advice and information on children’s equipment that DLF has built up over its long history. The aim of the website is to eventually bring together information on every product for children and young people with disabilities into one place, helping parents and carers and healthcare professionals such as paediatric occupational therapists to easily compare products and make informed decisions about what might help them. All the advice and information has been created by DLF’s team of expert occupational therapists so that visitors can get as much information as they need before contacting a supplier.

Chris Shaw, DLF’s Chief Executive, explains “Parents of children and young people with disabilities find it extremely hard to get information that can help their child.” A survey carried out by DLF two years ago showed that only 13% of parents said that all equipment was supplied by Social Services, with 84% purchasing products. 73% said they didn’t find it easy to get information on equipment. Parents commented that finding information was “a nightmare” and that “nobody seems to want to help you find the best or right thing for your child”. One person pointed out that it was “difficult to find information because it is time consuming and takes some searching and research. Also hard to find reviews to see whether information obtained may be appropriate for our needs”. Another stated that they “Have no way of knowing if we've found all possibilities for any type of equipment, so difficult to make properly informed choice - vital given cost of specialist equipment”.

Shaw continues “The need for a website like ‘Living made easy for children’ was obvious and we were delighted that the Department for Children, Schools and Families agreed to fund its development. The site has been extensively tested with users before launch so we hope that the service will really assist people in finding the help, information and equipment they need.”

‘Living made easy for children’ contains a number of innovative features that have proven popular with those involved in testing the website. For example, DLF’s star rating system rates products based on things like whether suppliers have provided prices for the product and whether they have signed up to certain industry Codes of Conduct, helping people find products from reputable suppliers who are transparent about their pricing more easily. Users can also review products themselves, can discuss products with other parents or ask for specific advice from one of the DLF’s occupational therapists in the website’s forum.

Comments from users who have seen the website include:

“It’s great to have all the information for children’s equipment in one easily accessible place. There is such a lot of information on all the equipment and suppliers.” – Julia Weldon, Paediatric Occupational Therapist, Westminster Children with Disabilities Team

‘Living made easy for children’ is funded by the Department for Children, Schools and Families. Companies sponsoring the website include Nottingham Rehab Supplies, Theraposture and Kingkraft.

Further information and images

Please contact Hugh Dobie, Marketing Officer, Disabled Living Foundation on tel 020 7289 6111 ext 211 or email hugh.dobie@dlf.org.uk

Notes for editors

DLF is the UK’s leading source of expert information, advice and training on independent living for older or disabled people. We want every older or disabled person to have the impartial information and expert advice they need to make choices about their daily lives – and front-line staff to be well trained and well informed.

DLF's information is disseminated through a wide range of services. Members of the public can obtain advice from DLF's Helpline service, which responds to up to 25,000 enquiries a year, or try products out at its Equipment Demonstration Centre in London, one of the largest in the UK.

DLF also provides a range of online services at www.dlf.org.uk, including:

  • ‘Living made easy’, (www.livingmadeeasy.org.uk), an impartial advice and information website about daily living equipment.
  • Free factsheets giving advice on a wide range of topics about disability and mobility products and choosing equipment for older and disabled people.
  • AskSARA, (www.asksara.org.uk), an online advice tool that guides people to appropriate useful advice and information on products that can help them.

Healthcare professionals benefit from DLF Data, the UK’s only comprehensive and up-to-date database of daily living equipment and assistive technology and an extensive Training Programme including a variety of bespoke courses. They also attend the DLF Moving & Handling People conference, an annual event in 3 parts comprising an exhibition, practical workshops and plenary sessions.

 

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