My summary of November 2019

The days are getting shorter and the nights are drawing in. Christmas is approaching, so let us cheer and sing. November is coming to an end and what a month it’s been. Non-stop work full of blog posts, articles, products, meetings and applications, constant rehearsals for our festive show, health dramas and technical disasters plus concert bookings, reading books and binge watching TV when I get the chance.

Disability Horizons

A majority of this month i’ve been helping finish up uploading and editing articles to a new online shop which has had its soft launch last week.

We are eager for people to have a sneak peak and give us your feedback so we can make improvements ready for the full launch in January. So please go check it out in my blog roundup below.

I am slowly heading back into writing news content so be sure to keep an eye out on news roundups in the coming weeks.

AccessAble

Earlier this month, I attended another meeting with the local council to discuss the benefits of access guides. This time I met with the leader of Fareham Borough Council.

Unfortunately I thought the meeting didn’t go particularly well. The councillor appeared very on interested and kept closing his eyes, folding his arms and looking at his phone throughout the presentation.

At the end of the presentation, we offered him to ask us any questions or comments and all he said was “okay I’ll have a look at the app”.

So we haven’t got much hope on securing any funding on this one. However we are not giving up and in the New Year we will continue chasing up local councils to see if any further updates have occurred since our meetings.

Job applications

Also this month, I spontaneously applied for two marketing jobs. The first one was a marketing campaign coordinator role at Mayflower Theatre in Southampton. I came across this position on a theatre newsletter which was promoting upcoming shows but also had a section at the bottom for job vacancies. This position would be perfect for me to expand my music and entertainment portfolio plus gain vital experience within the marketing industry.

The application does say if I don’t hear back within six weeks then my application is unsuccessful.

The second job I applied for was an apprenticeship for a marketing and communications/business administrator apprenticeship at Portsmouth City Council. This role would consist of me working in the marketing department at Portsmouth city council while working towards an A-level in business studies. I know I already have A-levels and I have been reluctant to return to study but I’m at a stage now where I’m happy to take any position that is going to give me some more vital experience within media/marketing. Plus it’s a convenient location for me to work in.

The application closed this week so I’m hoping to hear if I’ve been shortlisted in the next week and then interviews will take place the following week.

Drama

Our Christmas production is almost ready and we’re due to perform next week. If you fancy coming to see our fairytale pantomime So White and the Ugly Sinisters on the 2nd or 3rd December at 7:30pm, you can book tickets by calling 01252 330040 or visit the West End Centre box office: 48 Queens Rd, Aldershot, Hants GU11 3JD

Health

The catheter fiascoes continue. since my last catheter update, I’ve had three more blockages resulting in three more changes and I’m still awaiting an appointment with the urology consultant.

I received a referral letter eventually but when I went online to book the appointment, the next available appointment was in March 2020. I definitely wasn’t going to wait that long. I left a message on the online system explaining my situation and that I needed an urgent appointment.

For about two weeks, I still received no contact. I then phoned my GP again to see if they could chase it up and they offered to send another letter. The following day I called the admissions team at Basingstoke hospital and explained my situation and the lady that spoke to me said that I should be on an emergency list rather than a general referral list and she would contact the urology management team to get this sorted.

Since then I’ve still not received any news. On one occasion when I had to call the nurses out to get it changed, the nurse who visited me gave me the direct phone number for the urology department. The next day I phoned that number and left a detailed voicemail explaining my situation. A week on, still no response.

Then only on Thursday 28th November, I received an unexpected phone call from my GP. Initially I thought she was ringing to give me some news that they’ve organised an appointment but when I answered she just mentioned something about the referral again and that she has sent the second letter as mentioned before and then went very quiet. So I explained I wasn’t expecting a phone call from her and that since I last spoke to the GP I’ve also contacted urology myself and left a message. She then just said don’t worry I’ll look into it and the phone call ended.

I know the NHS is under pressure, but this is becoming a joke now. How difficult is it to say to a consultant we have a patient who needs urgent treatment so please get in contact with her ASAP!

As well as all my catheter drama, I also had my checkup with the eye consultant at Moorfields eye hospital in London. The appointment was pretty much same old news but I was getting quite anxious to know what the next stages might be for me as I don’t really want to go through the same surgery I had several times before because the recovery time appears to be longer and I’m concerned more damage might be done if I keep having it. However the consultant couldn’t give me much information and basically just said well if you don’t want it done then we will just see you in six months – not very helpful!

iPad errors

A fee weeks ago, I was having a technical issue with my iPad charger. It appeared to be loose in the socket and not charging while I’m using the device. I googled some solutions and one suggestion was to do a software update – bad idea that was!

I stupidly didn’t read the T&Cs and just went ahead and did the update to iOS 13. Once I had completed the update, I discovered that my accessibility features had all changed.

The smart invert that I usually use was no longer working properly. Instead because the device now has a new light or dark display function not all apps or programs will be compatible with the smart invert too. For example, if I use Safari, the Internet screen is still inverted but the touchscreen keyboard is still white with black text which is no good for my vision.

Another issue I found, is that the zoom controller is a lot more sensitive to control making my screen very shakey when I’m trying to read text.

I googled a few options to resolve the issue but no luck. I then had the idea of resetting the device and transferring my data from my iPhone which still has the original iOS 12. Again, another bad mistake. After trying to scam my data from my phone, it would not let me and I then remembered that the data on my phone is from my iPad because I got myself a new phone earlier this year. Therefore I had to spend a week uploading all my apps and work again – how annoying!

I then went onto an Apple chat service, but unfortunately the agent speaking to me didn’t really seem to know what to do. She gave me a phone number for an accessible  support service but it was a US number. I was slightly suspicious that this wasn’t a genuine number so I just made my thanks and after the chat.

I then googled Apple accessibility support service and found a page with a variety of contacts and phone numbers. I found a UK phone number I thought I’d give it a go and ring it. When I got through I spoke to an agent who took some details and asked if we can have a viewing access to my device so I can show what was wrong. after about 20 minutes or so of trying to explain the situation, he still didn’t seem to understand and kept putting me on hold to speak to a colleague. I then said are you accessibility support service and he said that he is new here and doesn’t really know. He then went away again and managed to put me through to accessibility support team. So basically the website was wrong and this was an accessibility number.

I then spoke to another agent from the accessibility team who went through some options but admitted at this stage there wasn’t much that could be done to resolve it but he will raise his concerns with the engineers and hopefully something can be resolved. He gave me the correct phone number so if I had any other issues I could phone them. If any Apple users need accessibility support, the number is 08000480754.

Currently I’m having to stick to classic invert and switch every time I want to look at an image or video. With the zoom controller, i’m beginning to get used to it more but it is still rather difficult.

Note to self – do not update software unless you specifically know the accessibility features are fine.

Also to anybody else who requires accessibility features and has not got iOS 13, I strongly suggest you do not update.

Music

I have accepted defeat on getting to go to any more concerts this year. However, 2020 is already starting to be booked up with events. So far I have tickets to see We Will Rock You at Southampton Mayflower, Billy Lockett in Guildford and The Killers at St Mary’s Stadium in Southampton (brave decision being a Pompey fan).

Books

I finished reading The Secret Commonwealth by Phillip Pullman – the second book of The Book of Dust trillogy. Overall it was dark, dramatic, depressing and nerve-racking but couldn’t stop reading. The story ended on an almighty cliffhanger and I’m desperate for book three to be released as soon as possible.

TV

Talking of Phillip Pullman and his protagonist Lyra, His Dark Materials has been made into a television drama on BBC One. The first series follows Lyra and the gyptians up to the north to rescue the children from the gobblers. It’s half way through the series so far and my current thoughts on it is that it has a lot of detail but a lot slower than the book. Luckily I’ve read the books so I know what to expect but I think for those who haven’t, it must be very complicated to follow. Also, I noticed they’ve already begun following a character into the other world, which I don’t remember until book two of the trilogy.

I’ve also been watching my annual guilty pleasure, I’m a Celebrity… Get Me Out Of Here! I love it because it has my favourite duo in the world, Ant & Dec, plus I get watch people do crazy challenges in the jungle. Normally I can predict a winner early on in the series, but this year I can’t decide who I think will win or even who I want to win.

Another programme starring my favourite duo was Ant & Dec’s DNA Journey where they travelled across Ireland and America to discover their families past and meet other living relatives. The documentary was so interesting and thoroughly entertaining.

One of my weekend favourites has returned for a new series, Michael McIntyre’s Big Show. This is a prime time family show with comedy, music, surprises and pranks, all hosted by comedian Michael McIntyre.

Audio Description Campaign

Just a reminder that more signatures are needed for my petition to get audio description available on all films, TV shows and streaming services for blind and visually impaired people. I would appreciate it if you can continue to sign and share far and wide.

Donations

Since the end of August until now, the blog has received £50 in donations. This Christmas I want to give 20% of all donations made to a worthy disability charity. So if you can give anything from £5 to £50, it will be very much appreciated.

Guest Bloggers Wanted!

Please remember I’m very eager to fill my blog with more guest bloggers.

So if you’re a lifestyle, disability and/or music blogger, send me your blog stories.

I’m flexible with any type of blog posts; life story, disability awareness, music event, musician promotion – basically anything to do with life, disability or music!

Social Media

As I mentioned back in August, I’ve altered my blog schedule and taken a step back from blogging regularly to concentrate on my freelance work.

However I continue to be active on social media, where I share life updates, previous blog posts, freelance work and disability and music news. So if you haven’t done so already, please follow me on Facebookand Twitter.

Blog post roundup

In case you missed any of my blog posts this month, here is a roundup of them:

1. Tackling climate change with a disability

2. Guest Blog: A brief guide to music streaming services

3. AccessAble Champion: One year anniversary

4. Take a sneak peak at the new Disability Horizons Shop

5. 8 stylish accessible gifts for disabled people this Christmas

5 Favourite Blog Posts

Here are my 5 favourite blog posts I’ve read this month:

1. Online dating it’s like a box of chocolates … by Ellie at My life, my way

2. Approached by a stranger… by Ross Lannon at A life on wheels

3. Sight Village 2019 by Glen Turner at Well Eye Never

4. Tips for Travelling To New York City At Christmas In A Wheelchair by Emma Muldoon at Simply Emma

5. My Final Undergraduate Adventure at De Montfort University Leicester Pt 1 by Sophie Abel at The life of Sophie

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DONATIONS

Thank you for visiting Rock For Disability! If you enjoy reading my blog content, please consider supporting me by donating money to help fund future blog posts. Plus 20% of each donation will go to a disability charity at the end of the year! ♿️🎸🎶🎵🤑😍❤️

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Published by Rock For Disability

This blog follows my life as a disabled person, reports disability news, share music reviews, give advice pieces, shows multimedia content plus much more!

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