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Essential Items: The RADAR Key is being relaunched

UPDATE

The new key has been revealed. It is not electronic and will still be compatible with existing locks but has an improved grip made of silicon. It also has embedded braille symbols.

* New Tactile Covering for improved sensory grip
* Easy Turn Bow shape
* Embossed with International Disability Logo
* NKI markings – National Key Scheme Identification to show genuine key
* Loop for Key Ring
* Braille for Visual Impaired Users
* Strong Red Colour for easy and quick identification on a key ring!

 

red covered key with improved grip for RADAR toilets

The New NKS key

 

UPDATE! CORRECTION, The RED KEY is not a RADAR key after all!

Just received this email from Tom at RADAR.

The red plastic headed key that you show on  is not a Radar key at all.
It is an inferior Chinese knock off, poorly manufactured, poorly cut and with sharp edges to boot -everything that you would expect of a cheap Chinese knock off.
Despite being refused permission for many good reasons, they shamelessly tried launching it as a Radar key-until they were instantly forced to remove from their showstand, all literature and signage which described it as a Radar key.
Please inform sales@radarkeys.org of anyone trying to sell it as a “Radar key”.
The new Radar key is still under development.
Unless it says Radar on it, it isn’t!
Genuine Radar keys genuinely open all the locks.

We still have stocks of the Genuine keys at a market leading price including postage of £4.95

Click below to buy:

 

Click here for a Small head, easy to carry, official RADAR key, £4.95 inc P & P
 Click here for a Large head, easy to turn, official RADAR key £4.95 inc P & P

 

Buy with confidence: call 0800 567 7812 for questions.

 

RADAR Key to be relaunched

The RADAR key scheme has just been reviewed on the BBC ouch blog. It also subtly mentions that RADAR key is getting a relaunch this year (2013). The RADAR key scheme is administered by Disability Rights UK (formed through the merger of Disability Alliance, National Centre for Independent Living (NCIL) and The Royal Association for Disability Rights – Radar). There are few details yet on their website about what the relaunch entails. The reasons cited are the number of fake keys on the market. The RADAR key is obviously a good income source for the charity, and every fake key means they are losing revenue with which to advertise and  administer the scheme. There is also the frustration and bad publicity for the scheme when someone finds they have been sold a fake key that does not work. If you look on ebay, Amazon or google you can find many fake keys. There are even unscrupulous online retailers who sell them, without always making it obvious in the listing that they are not selling genuine RADAR keys. Some people choose to buy the fakes because they are £2-3 cheaper, but personally it does not seem worth taking the risk!

Electronic RADAR keys

Electronic RADAR key

An electronic entry fob. Could this be the future of the RADAR key?

A key that could not be faked would be welcomed. If the key is to be relaunched with a more complicated mechanism or one that is harder to copy, I would guess that it will have some sort of electronic element to it. Any change to the key itself would mean the locks would have to be changed on 9000 toilets and that would cause uproar for the many cash strapped disability organisations, businesses and Councils that own the toilets.

I think they will introduce some sort of ‘disability oyster card’ or an electronic entry fob to supplement the existing key. An electronic pass card or key fob that will work on all new toilets, The mechanism could be retro fitted to existing toilets as and when they are refurbished. This would mean that existing users can still use the keys they have in most toilets and a card or ‘disability key fob’ would be reasonably cheap to produce. I doubt they will distribute them free to existing owners though, they are probably hundreds of thousands, perhaps millions in circulation.

Easier to Use – A more ‘Accessible’ RADAR Key!

The old keys are quite big and heavy. They are difficult to turn for people with arthritis or poor grip. The existing locks being frequently used and having secure 5-lever mortice locks, can get very stiff to turn. The large headed keys have helped a bit with this but an almost ‘contactless’ key would obviously be a huge improvement for accessibility. I assume the ideal would be to have the new electronic RADAR key electrically open the existing locks so that people who only have old keys could still use them. Perhaps they will operate a tandem scheme for a number of years until the old locks are all gone replaced.

How exactly will the new scheme work and what about existing key owners?

How the new scheme and keys will work for new and existing key owners needs to made clear as soon as possible as it leaves a lot of uncertainty for people who want to buy a key now, or for retailers like myself who have purchased them for sale. I will update this blog as soon as I know more. If you have any ideas or insider knowledge (!) please leave a comment below the post.

 

For more information about the existing scheme and to buy a key, read on:

Essential Items: The RADAR Key

For access to disabled toilets carry a RADAR key at all times. This handy key unlocks 9,000 wheelchair and disability toilets nationwide.

There are some items that you need when you’re out and about and they become an essential item to keep about your person at all times. To aid independence and keep yourself to yourself whilst out and about, a RADAR Key can be a great little investment.

This tweeter agrees that the RADAR key is a great disability gadget:

#DisabilityGadgets RADAR key, collapsible motorised scooter, laptop, qwerty keyboard phone, hugs.
@Becca_Boot
Rebecca Boot

What is RADAR Key?

RADAR Key

A RADAR Key is a specifically designed key which fits the majority of locks for disabled toilets around most city and town centres. Statistics suggest you should have access to over 9,000 locked public and disabled toilets around the country and with your own RADAR key, you can avoid the inconvenience of finding someone to unlock the door for you. You can access locked toilets immediately. It’s easy to appreciate that having to ask permission to use the public toilet can feel embarrassing and so, with your own RADAR key, this will not have to happen in many of the places you may visit on a regular basis.

Why lock a public toilet with a RADAR key?

 

As many disabled people will have experienced, disabled toilets are often used by ignorant members of the public who have no idea of the need to keep them free for people who need them. Even Ian Duncan Smith MP was caught out in this way! They can be used for drugs, people sleeping rough, ‘liasons’ and all manner of other activities if not kept locked! As this comment on the linked blog above states “For many of us waiting outside the door of the disabled toilet, because some oaf thinks his convenience comes first, means acute pain, while many more of us have almost no warning of needing to use the toilet. Disabled toilets are not simply there for our convenience when the ladies or gents are inaccessible, they are there to meet the often urgent needs of our disabilities. They are not there for you to abuse because you lack any sense of personal responsibility.”

Finding a RADAR Key holder

Unfortunately it can extremely demeaning to have to ask for the staff to get you a key and walk with you to the bathroom, especially as in many establishments they cannot hand the key over to you and therefore they may even wait outside for you to finish. This can make the whole experience quite embarrassing but with your own key, you can visit the bathroom at your own leisure and not feel restricted. The same can be applied to shopping trips, visits to public parks and attractions, so that there is no need to track down a key holder or wait until you get home, you can avoid that discomfort by having personal access via your key.

Avoid Fake RADAR keys

There are many fake keys for sale that do not have the engraved RADAR words on the key handle. We must advise you not to buy a fake RADAR key. Most are only 2 lever locks that may not fit all toilets. For the peace of mind and a small amount of money you should only buy official RADAR keys. These are 5 level mortice locks and are guaranteed to fit all disabled toilet locks across the country. Also the money raised from fake keys does not help RADAR publicise and support the scheme. It is not worth saving £2 if you can’t spend a penny!

RADAR keys can be purchased on Amazon clicking the link above. We now have a limited number of RADAR Keys that we can sell to you directly at a market leading price of £4.95 including P + P

 

Click here for a Small head, easy to carry, official RADAR key, £4.95 inc P & P
 Click here for a Large head, easy to turn, official RADAR key £4.95 inc P & P

 

Buy with confidence: call 0800 567 7812 for questions. This website is owned by the award winning laptop bag company Trabasack

 

Cool Crutches ideas, Stylish Canes and Glamorous Walking Sticks

Guest Post with some cool crutches ideas

from the excellent BlueBadgeStyle.com:

Trendy Mobility Aids: Sticks, Canes And Crutches For The Discerning Disabled

It can be really hard to find stylish mobility aids. It’s a real shame that so little attention is paid to making crutches and walking sticks that are a little bit more trendy. After all, these are pieces of equipment that people have to use all the time. They shouldn’t be stuck with something dull, clunky, noisy and grey.

With this in mind, we’ve compiled a list of some of the more trendy mobility aids that we have found:

 

Omhu walking sticks

These canes look really cool! They’re beautifully designed and look really vibrant and stylish. They come in a variety of colours and are apparently built to last a lifetime. They weigh 14 ounces and can support up to 300 pounds.

They’re made from a high-strength bicycle-grade aluminum shaft with a hooked birch wood handle. The handle widens in the right places and has a build in rubber strip to make it more comfortable and practical to hold. The shape of the handle also means that the user holds it directly above the tip which means they have increased stability.

The standard Omhu Cane costs £79 plus shipping costs. They come in three sizes depending on the height of the user.

6 coloured walking sticks made by Omhu

Cool Coloured Canes

 

As well as their standard cane, Omhu have created the Tuxedo – an all black version of their walking cane due to popular demand for a more formal mobility aid. It comes in luxury packaging and the birch handle is stained to make it darker and richer. According to their website: “It is the criminally gorgeous and brooding hero. It is the reflection of a love affair.” This might be a slight overstatement but, whether you agree with that or not, you have to agree it does look very good.

The Tuxedo cane costs £109.

Smart black Tuxedo walking cane from Omhu

Smart Tuxedo Cane from Omhu

Omhu Tuxedo Cane – £109

The final form of Omhu cane is their sports cane which is ostensibly for taking out on hikes and walks. The design is largely the same but  with a matte finish rather than the brighter effect of the standard model.

It’s a fair bit lighter, weighing 9.5 oz. and has a reflective logo, for walking at night. The handle is foam rather than birch wood which makes it more suitable for providing a secure hold on long walks but also makes it a little cheaper (£39.99 plus shipping). It’s not quite as stylish as the standard cane but it is perhaps a little more practical for some people.

Coloured sports canes from omhu

All the Omhu canes look fantastic!

Omhu Sport Cane – £39.99

All the Omhu canes look fantastic and are really creatively designed. It shows that you can do interesting things when designing walking sticks!

Arbin Crutches

Arbin Crutches are great because they are so compact. They’re retractable, so when you are using them they can put aside taking up very little space. It removes the usual problem of your crutches getting in the way and making a unattractive mess, when they aren’t being used. These crutch’s handles slide down from the cuff and up the bottom slides up from the foot of the crutch to the small size of only 67 centimetres. Once folded in it can also be stood up on the handle making it easier to reach as well as being less noticeable. It’s really practical and stylish too!

Arbin crutches also look good when they are at their full height. They’re sleek and cool and they come in bronze or grey. They’re available in the UK at Chic Aid Crutches costing £184 including postage, packaging and VAT.

Graphic showing height adjustable arbin crutches

Height adjustable Arbin Crutches

Arbin Crutches – £184

Folding arbin crutch shown leaning against a chair whilst a man enjoys a date!

Arbin Crutches fold discretely away.

Folds Away Easily And Discreetly

Ossenberg Crutches

These mobility aids have been described as “the Ferrari of crutches”. Ossenberg’s ‘stealth crutches’ are German designed, so you expect efficiency and they don’t let you down. The arm cuff  is one of the most comfortable and well designed on the market. These mobility aids are ultralight, slim and comfortable helping to make their users feel less conscious their disability. They’re really sleek and stylish.

Ossenberg Crutches

Ossenberg crutches are now sold in the UK through Mobility Choices, (an excellent customer focused retailer with a large online range). They have a variety of different designs with open and closed cuffs, different grips and a selection of different colours. Mobility Choices have a range of closed cuff colours that are exclusively sold in the UK. This model costs £49.95 for a pair or £25 each (plus postage). Apparently the most popular colour is the blackberry one below.

Pink and Purple German Crutches

Pink and Purple Ossenberg Crutches are available

Closed Cuff Colours Exclusive To The UK – £25

Crutch with closed cuff

Closed Cuff Crutch

Blackberry Crutch

On top of these great crutches, Arbin have also designed a carbon fibre folding crutch. This looks really cool and can become small and portable. It hasn’t yet been released in the UK but we are led to believe it should become available reasonably soon.

Folding light weight crutch

Lightweight and folding the Ossenberg Carbon Fibre Crutch

Folding Carbon Fibre Crutch – Very Stylish, Easy To Store

Glam Sticks

If you like bling and want to make a bit of a statement with your mobility aids then Glam Sticks is the place to go. In 2011 they were named Mobility Product of the Year. They take no prisoners with their designs – covering the sticks in diamante and sparkles – making everything extravagant and shiny. Glam Sticks look to provide glitz and glamour to go along with your style. They’re particularly good fun for evenings out, providing a bit of glamour to go along with your outfit.

Glittery crutch

Glam Sticks Kaleidoscope Crutch

Kaleidescope Crutch – £57.99

Glam Sticks come in a variety of models and designs with varying prices. The amount you pay is essentially based on how ostentatious you want your stick to be or how much bling you want on your crutches. A fairly basic, but stylish, crutch costs just over £3o. At the top end you can get a Swarovski encrusted walking cane – the ultimate decadent walking stick – for £224.99.

Walking stick with Swarovski crystals embedded

Swarovski Walking Stick – £224.99

 

Glam Sticks have picked up something of a following amongst injured celebrities, adding to their reputation for providing glitz and glamour. For instance, when Jessie J broke her leg last year, she wore a pair of Glam Sticks to the MTV Awards, giving her the required bling to accompany her style. These aids are great for providing a bit of luxury and sparkle, especially for a night out.

Jesse J Using Glam Sticks

Jesse J at MTV awards

Jessie J Using Glam Stick Crutches

Cool Crutches

Cool Crutches offer people a range of crutches with fun, patterned designs. They also have a washable, removable neoprene squidgy grip which moulds to left and right hands and makes walking a lot more comfortable. They are possibly not quite as light and sleek as some of the other crutches we’ve featured but they are fun, colourful and, well, cool!


Most of the crutches cost £47.50 (not including VAT or shipping) but for £67.50 you can create your own custom design for them.

Cool Crutches in polka do designs

Polka Dots from Cool Crutches

Cool Crutches Designs – prices vary

Ellipse Crutches 

This range offers a good range of block colours which liven up the crutches without becoming too garish. This might be preferable to people who don’t want to make quite as much of a statement, with their crutches, as someone who’d go for a Glam Stick, for instance, but who want to add a splash of colour to them.

You can chose from a variety of main and secondary colours to accompany the black handle. This is good because it means you can design your own crutches to be as bright as you want.

They’re available at Chic Crutches and cost £34.99 (plus VAT and shipping)

Chic Crutches

Nice Colour Range – £34.99

 

Mobilegs

Mobilegs have created an interesting new design of crutch, using a ‘saddle’ instead of a the normal cuff at the crutch’s top. This is supposed to improve mobility, flexibility and comfort for users. They say that since it is so radically different, from traditional crutches, it can’t even be called a crutch but has been named a ‘mobi’.

Mobilegs are intelligently designed to help the user and really are quite different. They look a lot better than many traditional crutches too – certainly a lot sleeker, slimmer and less drab than NHS crutches. It’s also possible to get a ‘mobiskin’ to cover the shaft with a more distinct design.

The problem (and it’s quite a big one) is that Mobilegs are currently not available in the UK. When we got in touch with them they told us that they are still a relatively small start up company so they can only cater to the US market. However, since there might be ways around this, especially if you buy them online, we thought they were worth including. They cost $129 plus the (possibly substantial) cost of postage and shipping. We will keep you up to date should there be any change regarding UK distribution. Hopefully there will be soon!

Mobilegs Crutch has a bend in it

The Mobilegs Crutch looks unique!

 

mobility aids

Intelligent Design

So that’s the end of our list of trendy mobility aids. We’ve had a variety of styles, designs and prices in there. From Omhu to Glam Sticks – hopefully there should be something for everyone in there!

If you know of any other trendy mobility aids on the market please get in touch with BlueBadgeStyle or leave a comment below

This post first appeared on BlueBadgeStyle.com

Once you have your cool crutch or glam walking stick you may also be interested in this neat gadget for holding sticks or crutches together. Check out this post on the Bridgit Crutch Holder

UPDATE : Strictly Judge shows off diamante encrusted crutches

BBC Strictly Come Dancing fans may have spotted judge Craig Revel Horwood with some glitzy crutches, apparently they are actually diamante encrusted.  He had major hip surgery and rehabilitation therapy at King Edward VII Hospital in London.

 

Crutches made cool: Craig dazzled with diamante encrusted crutch on Monday night's 'It Takes Two' with Zoe BallIce Cool Crutches: the diamante encrusted crutch showed off by Craig on ‘It Takes Two’ with Zoe Ball

 

Razzle Dazzle: Craig is attempting to transform the image of the humble crutch with his diamante number Craig is not the only person who wants to be seen with some stylish crutches. Copyright images : BBC

 

Craig Revel Gorgeous: The Strictly judge proudly showed off his new accessory on Sunday night's show

 

Female Toilet Aids

Female Toilet Aids

There are many reasons you could need a toilet aid. Urinary incontinence is a problem which effects 200 million people worldwide and a large number of these are women. UI can have serious social, sexual and professional consequences which make it a particularly embarrassing problem which many people find hard to deal with. There are a range of female toilet aids on the market designed to help with the problem. This video shows one woman dealing with her problem publicly on the Embarassing Bodies television programme. It also has some interesting facts and figures about the problem.

There are a range of female toilet aids designed to make it easier to handle with an incontinence problem.

Different Types of Urinary Incontinence

There are two main types of urinary incontinence: stress incontinence and urge incontinence. The NHS describes them thus:

  • stress incontinence – when the pelvic floor muscles are too weak to prevent urination, causing urine to leak when your bladder is under pressure, for example when you cough or laugh
  • urge incontinence – when urine leaks as you feel an intense urge to pass urine, or soon afterwards

There are many causes of this problem and in woman it can often be due to pregnancy and vaginal birth as well as ageing. Other causes include overweightness and obesity as well as a family history of the problem. It can be an extremely embarrassing thing to live with but there are methods and products designed to make the condition less debilitating and embarrassing.

According to the National Association for Continence one third of men ages 30-70 have experienced loss of bladder control at least once and the symptoms can be long lasting. What’s more many men and women wake in the night with the urge to urinate and a percentage admits to losing urine on the way to the bathroom. A toilet aid can be a sensible way of handling this embarrassing issue.

Female Toilet Aids for Everyone

You could have many reasons for needing a female toilet aid and it doesn’t necessarily mean you’re living with incontinence. Post-pregnancy and often after bariatric operations there’s a need to use a catheter and once it is removed there can often be a short-term problem getting used to passing urine again. Female toilet aids provide a solution to this short-term problem.

Illnesses that cause Urinary Incontinence

There are many different conditions which can lead to long-term incontinence; in fact it isn’t considered a disease in its own right as it’s usually a symptom of something else.

The NHS provide a list of the main causes of stress incontinence:

  • nerve damage during childbirth
  • increased pressure on your tummy, for example because you are pregnant or very overweight
  • a lack of the hormone oestrogen in women (less oestrogen is produced after the menopause)
  • certain medications

They do the same for the causes of urge incontinence:

  • neurological conditions, which affect the brain and spinal cord, such as Parkinson’s disease or multiple sclerosis
  • conditions affecting the lower urinary tract (urethra and bladder), such as urinary tract infections (UTIs) or tumours in the bladder
  • drinking too much alcohol or caffeine
  • constipation
  • certain medications

Living with any of these conditions could explain the development of your urinary incontinence but there are ways of managing the problem.

Women’s Toilet Aids for Travel

camping toilet aid

Toilet Aids can be used by campers

The toilet aids on the market are also a great idea if you travel. Anybody camping could really benefit from using one of the toilet aids on the market. These small portable facilities are a much more sensible alternative to some of the large bulky toilet-style products out there. The same could be said for festival-goers as using the on-site facilities isn’t always the wisest decision – if you’ve got any sense that is!

Women’s Outdoor Toilet

Personal or portable toilet aids exist to give people the option of passing urine when it may otherwise be impossible to do so discreetly and without feeling under pressure or embarrassed. The two leading devices are the Uriwell Personal Toilet and the Me Too – Outdoor Toilet Aid for Women. Let’s take a closer look at the benefits of each device as a women’s toilet aid.

Uriwell Toilet Aid

Uriwell Female Toilet Aids

A Uriwell Female Personal Toilet

The Uriwell is an affordable and portable personal toilet. It’s concertina design makes it easy to carry and keep stored discreetly but it can also hold a large volume. It’s made of hygienic plastic so can be easily cleaned and kept sterile. It’s ideal for times where there’s no chance to get to the bathroom such as in the car or in the bedroom when you’re caught unfortunately short. It can be kept discreetly in a drawer at home or in a handbag whilst you’re out and about. This video shows the Uriwell personal toilet being demonstrated:

 

Me Too – Finally Standing Up

Me Too Female Toilet Aid

Me Too – Outdoor Toilet Aid for Women

Me Too is a short term alternative to the Uriwell toilet aid. It’s disposable and gives women the freedom to urinate standing up, which can be essential when there’s the desperate urge to go and no opportunity to get somewhere appropriate. It’s designed with female anatomy in mind and is both hygienic and practical for use when out and about. The funnel and spout fit design can be separated to make carrying more simple and this device is considered great even for those who aren’t suffering with any form of incontinence and may just be attending an outdoor event. They’re great value and come in packs of five. They are designed to be thrown away after use making them completely hygienic.

she wee, instructions

She-wee Infographic

Advantages of Female Toilet Aids

Using a female toilet aid can save time; dignity and help users feel like they’re able to get on with their lives normally. You can avoid the stress of always needing to know where the nearest toilet is, as long as you have access to somewhere discreet such as your car.

There is no need to be ashamed or embarrassed as many people live with the problem and there are products on the market designed to make it less of a problem. No one needs to live with this problem ashamedly and can make actions towards living a full life despite having to manage the condition.

Photo Credit: Al_HikesAZ via Compfight cc

Purchasing Female Toilet Aids Online

We are pleased to announce the launch of Equ4L.com – Equipped 4 Life. Equ4L.com is a fresh and new online boutique-style store stocking the most innovative and inclusive gadgets and products on the market.

Equ4L.com stock a variety of products from the Uriwell range, including the Uriwell in Pink for women, the Happy Pee for kids and Me Too toilet aid for women.

If you would like to purchase a female toilet aid please click the button below to have a browse of the products available at Equ4L.com:

Orange button with text "buy at equ4l.com" - click to purchase

 

Review from Amazon for the Go Girl

I bought the Go Girl in preparation for my first summer festival in July and a walking holiday in August. This is after many years of ‘near misses’ because of lack of toilet facilities and a reluctance to expose myself on woodland or mountain walks. Even with someone acting as ‘lookout’it can be embarrassing to have your bottom on display! My Go Girl arrived within a few days of ordering it. I couldn’t believe how small the tube is and therefore discreet to carry around. I tried it out in the shower first…..all went well, so then risked the toilet…….all went well again. My only criticism is the need to still pull down trousers/jeans for fear of ending up wet. Although, leaning forward with one hand on the wall helped to direct the flow away from the body. Maybe an extension tube could be sold? I have thought of wearing skirts for walking to make the process easier. Skirts and walking boots? Hmmmn. Not sure!