6th April Emily and I made our way up to the Birmingham NEC for NAIDEX 2011. I knew that it was going to be rather large but didn't quite prepare myself for how large it was. I think had I known how large it was I would have made it a 2 day thing, being already low on spoons from the day before I found trying to get around the whole place very tiring. Maybe next time 2 days would be better as I could take more time and perhaps not plan anything the day either side of it.
There were quite a lot of interesting stalls there. I got to buy a funky blue badge holder from Blue Badge Company my one is navy blue with sparkly stars. I particularly liked the sensory stalls particularly the one that had the bubble tubes that changed colour and you could change the colour with a switch that was in a cube. They had a chair that vibrated to whatever the sound was on the screen like a rocket, could be done to music and so on.
We managed to meet up with Robin for some lunch and he trundled around with us for the rest of the afternoon. It was so much fun, he really makes me laugh sometimes. It was a pleasure. I finally got to give him back his hoodie which he left at our house almost 3 years ago and has come on 2 housemoves since then. Hopefully it wasn't too covered in cat hair!!
I got to try out a lightweight manual chair with e-motion power assist on the wheels and I must say that I think that I could actually push myself in that. In other manual chairs even really lightweight ones my joints have a habit of falling out all over the place. I need to look for a longer term solution as my powerchair isn't going to hold up for too much longer. The axel of the front wheel is rather warped, the batteries are shot and the right motor is on it's way out, getting it repaired will cost me more than I paid for it. I have a referral to wheelchair services but I'm not sure how long that will take to come through.
Some other interesting products were the such and such products, there was an attachable handle that you could slide onto the side of glasses that they are in the process of testing. With a few of the kinks sorted out I can see that would be a great product, being able to clip it onto any glass rather than having to ask for something special would be nice. The fact that it didn't look particularly "special" also appeals to me. A lot of items that aid with the whole not dropping glasses/anti spill all look rather childish and "special".
I had a look at the Trabasack stall and their stuff looked rather great too. I imagine that could be rather useful as well. The fact that you could stick velcro to stuff and then stick it to the tray I could see would be rather handy. It was not only functional but rather nice looking too, with some funky colours.
There was a really nice chair that we tried out that reclined so far that you could have your feet above your head. I really liked that, it was like being in a marshmallow so comfy. Myself, Emily and Robin all seemed to really like it, if I had the £1.8k to buy one I certainly would. Being poor I can't see that happening anytime soon.
I managed to meet up with some other people from twitter albeit in a rather frantic way. Unfortunately because of limited time I didn't really get to meet as many people as I would have liked and the people I did see wasn't for very long. Hope people didn't think I was too rude not stopping to chat to them.
There was a stall that sold weighted blankets by Protac that were filled with ping pong balls,I was a bit sceptical about them but when Robin explained to me how they worked it made a bit more sense. I think if I had the chance to try them for a bit longer I would be more convinced by them. I liked the look of the vest version that they had in their information that they gave us. I could see how they would be useful and will be recommending it to a friend of mine who currently carts around a massive weighted blanket, if she had the vest version maybe it would be better and the blanket for when she is at home?
I'm sure there were other things that stood out about that day that aren't coming to mind right now. At the end of the day we went back home to Bristol with many many bags of free stuff and information. It will probably take me a few weeks to sift through it all into potential items that I would want. I would definitely say that it was worth going up and having a look around for ideas. It was a good but very tiring day.