NAC Stories: What Was New At Naidex 2021?

Maggie Boyd gives us an insight into some of the accessible products exhibited at Naidex

On Wednesday 15 September, I got up early to get the 6.55am train from Knaresborough to the Birmingham NEC, arriving at 10.30am. Not too bad for a train journey – extremely quiet and no early morning rush.

The NEC is a huge complex – well signposted, easy access, and signing in was easy. There was a vast hall with lots of stalls, catering for all kinds of disabilities from robotics to high tech mirrors.  It was like entering a sweet shop – disability heaven!

wheelchair accessible caravanWheelchairs and Motability

As a manual wheelchair user, it was great seeing a variety of wheelchairs – just like someone with feet going into a fancy shoe shop!

There was a good range of Motability vehicles with a variety of mobility equipment. Also, bespoke wheelchair accessible leisure vehicles which were luxurious and worth looking at if you don’t want a caravan. They weren’t cheap, but if you want the freedom to travel, it seemed well worth it.

Heating, Gardening and Dating

Vegepods for accessible gardeningAdaptive heating technology was interesting, especially as we’re now having to adapt to greener heating, as were the motorised blinds which can be controlled by your voice.

For those of you who like gardening, they had Vegepod, a self-watering container with a protective cover, available in three sizes – such a great idea.

As well as lots of stalls, there were also live speakers at certain times. I listened to one about an online dating service called Disability Match. It was set up by David Miller – who has been a dating coach for twenty years. Among other things, he explained how to write a great profile.

Smart mirror display at Naidex showSmart Mirrors

One bit of technology that did stand out was My Smart Mirror. This has smart technology integrated inside, so you can write reminders whilst brushing your hair or cleaning your teeth. It has an inbuilt light around the outside. I just thought it was a great idea.

A Final Note

The toilet situation was lacking, at times there were long queues for accessible toilets, and the food wasn’t brilliant, however I would definitely go again. It was also so good to meet up with other beneficiaries who made the trip. Next time, I think I would stay overnight and attend two full days. Even though this year there weren’t as many stalls as usual due to Covid-19, there was still so much to take in.

Other images from the show:

Rota-rise turning bed

Wheelchair accessible van

Accessible chair at Naidex show

 

Read more from the NAC in the full Autumn 2021 Newsletter (PDF)