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Report - Disability Awareness Day 2019 - Thursday 15th August!

The Oracle shopping Centre provided the venue for Reading’s third Disability Awareness Day.  The event, with the theme “Staying healthy - Mind and Body” was held to celebrate the diversity of Reading residents and visitors who may have a physical disability, sensory need or neurological condition was a tremendous success.

The event was opened with a celebratory cake cutting and words of welcome from the Mayor of Reading, Councillor Paul Woodward.

Interactive sessions included blood pressure checks, hearing tests, easy yoga, tai chi and we had music from the ukulele Band Tea & Jam and art and craft activities were provided for children.

28 information stands provided a wealth of information and support to visitors and the stalls were very clearly busy throughout the course of the day.  We estimate that around 100 visitors passed through and visited the information stands.

Over 15 volunteers provided by Reading Voluntary Action, the Oracle Shopping Centre and Reading Borough Council all gave up their time to ensure that everyone could fully participate.

Refreshments and balloons were provided with a community grant from Reading Lions Club.

The event was organised by Reading’s Physical Disability and Sensory Needs Network (PDSN) that is made up of local service users and representatives from voluntary and statutory sector organisations.  The PDSN provides a forum where members can express their views and have their voices heard. 

Disabled Reading resident and Chair of the PDSN, Simone Illger, explained:

“There’s no doubt that the Oracle provided a perfect venue for us to host this year’s event as accessibility was excellent and we were able to reach a lot of people who wanted to know about services and support.  We would like more people to be aware of the Network and what our role is, which is why we were so pleased to see so many people participating in this event.  There is no one place in Reading where people can go to find out about support and services for disabled people and their carers, so events like this are essential.

This now the third Disability Awareness Day allowing people with a physical or neurological impairment, long term health condition or sensory need to come together to celebrate what we bring to the community. 

We are fortunate that Reading has so many services, voluntary organisations and charities which exist to enable disabled people to live a full and independent live.  This was the opportunity for people affected by disability - including carers and family members to meet and learn from one another.

I’m confident that the success of this event means that it has definitely established itself as an annual event.”

For more information about the event or to be added to the mailing list to receive information about future disability events, please contact pdsn@eading.gov.uk or call 0118 937 2383

To find out a bit more about what is PDSN, please click here.