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News and Information from 2014

UK-Wide Website – Disability Equipment Service

This website, which used to run only around the Surrey area, has extended to cover the UK.

The website offers the chance to buy and sell both new and second hand equipment suitable for disabled and older people.

You can find the website at:

http://disabilityequipmentservice.org.uk/

(Posted 15 December 2014.)

(GMCDP does not necessarily support or promote any organisation, individual or website mentioned in this post.)

Breakthrough Independent Living Awards

This year’s winners have been announced as follows:

Overall Independent Living Award – This award recognises outstanding achievement in the promotion of independent living.

Winner : SPECTRUM Centre for Independent Living

Judge, Baroness Jane Campbell DBE said:

“We need to recognise the important role of Disabled People’s Organisations (DPO) in 2014, a time when independence for many is under threat. Over the last 30 years Spectrum CIL have played a pivotal role in delivering Independent Living opportunities and influencing social policy. They have grown and developed whilst always keeping true to their values and objectives.”

Influencing disabled people’s participation in society

This award recognises innovation and achievement by an organisation that has increased the participation of disabled people within their local community.

Winner : Rachel Gadsden

Judge, Chris Holmes MBE said:

“Community participation is an important element of independent living. Rachel’s artwork encourages disabled people and the wider community to challenge prejudices and break down barriers. By exploring the themes of fragility and resilience her art empowers communities to successfully challenge perceptions of disabled people and disability.”

Providing greater choice, control and independent living 

This is awarded to an organisation that can evidence a service / product or approach that has offered real choice and control for disabled people to achieve, or move towards independent living.

Winner : Surrey Independent Living PA Finder Service

Judge, Asif Iqbal MBE said:

“This service allows disabled people to be the key decision makers over decisions that affect their daily lives. It gives disabled people the opportunity to take real control and make real choices over the personal assistants they employ.”

Enabling disabled people to pursue and develop their careers – This is awarded to an organisation that can demonstrate excellence in recruitment, retention or progression of disabled people.

Winner : The Cherry Orchard Garden Service

Judge, Evelyn Asante-Mensah OBE said:

“Employers can break down barriers to enable disabled people to develop their careers. The Cherry Orchard Garden Service is a clear example of an inclusive team philosophy. Owned and operated by disabled people, members increase their work ethic, have a voice and develop independent living skills.”

Working towards excellence – This award recognises the steps an organisation has taken to include disabled people within governance or leadership roles.

Winner : Monique Jarrett, Independence Development Service

Judge, Dr Jenny Morris OBE said:

“Monique Jarrett gives generously of her time to listen to, mentor and inspire other young disabled people who obviously gain a lot from her confidence and experience. She has first-hand knowledge of the worries and difficulties facing young disabled people but her achievements illustrate that they too can aspire to the same hopes and dreams as any other young person.”

For more detail, go to:

www.breakthrough-uk.co.uk

(Posted 12 December 2014.)

(GMCDP does not necessarily support or promote any organisation, individual or website mentioned in this post.)

Review of Wheelchair Provision

NHS England and NHS Improving Quality are reviewing wheelchair provision, particularly for people whose requirements are complex and changing. It is called My Voice, My Wheelchair, My Life.

There has already been a summit, and more work will be forthcoming.

You can find out more about the review at:

NHS IQ

You can find notes of the summit meeting held on 27 November 2014 at:

Second National Wheelchair Summit

(Posted 12 December 2014.)

(GMCDP does not necessarily support or promote any organisation, individual or website mentioned in this post.)

Stockport User-Friendly Forum – New Saturday Drop in

This drop-in for people experiencing mental distress is at Sir Joseph Whitworth Centre from 2-3.30pm on Saturdays. There is Art, Scrabble, Dominoes, Cards, Jenga and more.

The drop-in is free, with a charge of £1.50 for tea, coffee, biscuits, cakes, etc.

STUFF has been supporting people with mental distress in Stockport since 1999.

To find out more, contact STUFF (Stockport User-Friendly Forum by:

phone: 07754 560269

If you do not use a voice phone but would like more information, email info@gmcdp.com and put ‘more information about STUFF’ in the subject box, and someone at GMCDP can make the call on your behalf to find a more accessible way for you to find out what you need to know.

(Posted 11 December 2014.)

(GMCDP does not necessarily support or promote any organisation, individual or website mentioned in this post.)

Powered Wheelchair Report – 2014

A recent survey published by RICA (Research Institute for Consumer Affairs) asked wheelchair users for feedback on how they obtain and use their powered wheelchair.

The survey of 374 powered wheelchair users found that:

48% didn’t get the right information

Over a third (37%) get no assessment

A quarter (26%) are turned down for NHS funding 32% had to fund their own powered wheelchair completely themselves

To find out more and for links to the questionnaires and survey report, go

to:

Powered Wheelchair User Survey – RICA

(Posted 11 December 2014.)

(GMCDP does not necessarily support or promote any organisation, individual or website mentioned in this post.)

Survey – Is Social Care Working?

The Department of Health has commissioned Scope to survey working-aged disabled people who receive Social Care services.

The survey aims to find out whether people who receive social care services are receiving the kind of service they need and want.

You can find the survey on the Survey Monkey website at:

Is Social Care Working?

or for alternative formats:

phone 020 7619 7247 or

email caitlin.boswelljones@scope.org.uk

(Posted 11 December 2014.)
(GMCDP does not necessarily support or promote any organisation, individual or website mentioned in this post.)

Urgent Request to Support ILF Campaign From DPAC

GMCDP has received the below from Disabled People Against Cuts (DPAC) about the Independent Living Fund (ILF).

As you may be aware, the Government won a case in the Royal Courts of Justice on Monday 8 December, which made their decision to close the ILF – Independent Living Fund – lawful; and this closure will now go ahead on 30th June next year.

Unless, of course the families, friends, supporters and others stand in solidarity with ILF Users campaign to Save the ILF, and together apply the sort of political power which changes minds and policy.

You can do that today by signing the Open Letter to Ed Miliband (full text below), asking him, should he become Prime Minister in May’s General Election, to keep the Fund open while ordering an independent review into the benefits of a model such as the ILF.

We know that many disabled people will lose some or all of their support, isolating people in their homes – at best. For many more, being institutionalised in residential homes is once again a grim reality, to save on average just over £300 per person. Don’t let this happen. Stand in support with ILF Users in this action, and the many more on-going & to come (full details www.dpac.uk.uk)

You can add your signature as an individual, or as your organisation – please make this clear when adding your name.

Closing date for signatures 12pm on Tuesday 16 December.

Please email mail@dpac.uk.net to add your name, writing ‘Add me to ILF Letter’ in the subject bar.

Thanks in advance for your support. Andy Greene, DPAC

Begin Letter

Open Letter to Ed Miliband, Rachel Reeves and Kate Green

Please Help Us. Save Our Independent Living Fund

We, disabled people, family, friends, supporters and allies, are asking for your help. We are asking you to pledge to keep the Independent Living Fund open to existing applicants, pending a review of Independent Living for all disabled people.

As you may know, on the 8th of December at the High Court, a ruling was given against our challenge to the closure of the ILF [1], and we were not given leave to appeal.

The closure of the ILF effectively signals the end of the right to independent living for disabled people in the UK. Whilst never perfect the ILF represents a model of support that has enabled thousands of disabled people to enjoy meaningfully lives and to contribute to society as equal citizens.

Since the closure of the Fund to new applicants in December 2010 we have seen disabled people left with their most basic needs unmet and unable to seek employment, to volunteer or go into education or simply even to leave the house.

But we have vowed to fight on against the ILF closure,  disabled people will not be pushed back into the margins of society, we will not go back into the institutions, our place is in the community alongside our family and friends and neighbours and we are fighting to stay.

We ask you to imagine what it will be like, for people who have been enabled  to live a full life, be with friends and family, go out, work, study and enjoy recreation, to have all that taken away, and find themselves trapped inside, all day, every day, with choices over what they do, when and how, removed.

To severely disabled people the Independent Living Fund represents the difference between having an existence, and having a life.

Please Ed, keep our Independent Living Fund open. Keep Our Lives Open. It means the world to us.

References

[1] http://dpac.uk.net/2014/12/disabled-people-vow-to-continue-the-fight-to-save-

Free DJ and production Course for Disabled DJs, Producers and Musicians

Drake Music is inviting disabled DJs, producers and musicians aged 18+ from across Greater Manchester to apply to be part of a free week-long accessible DJ/production course.

The course will be  led by MOBO Award nominated jazz composer and DJ, Matthew Halsall. Matt and members of his band will team up with Drake Music to deliver a course exploring sampling, arranging, producing and performing using Assistive Music Technology.

The project is:

  • 1 full day workshop with live musicians at Band on the Wall
  • 4 morning workshops at Z-arts
  • 1 live evening performance at Band on the Wall
  • 3 live mini-performances at local schools and colleges Before-and-after home mentoring sessions for each participant

Venues are wheelchair accessible.

To apply you must:

  • Be 18+
  • Identify as disabled
  • Have a passion for DJ culture, music and music production Have an interest in technology Be available on the following dates in February 2015:Thursday 12 (all day);  Monday 16, Tuesday 17, Wednesday 18, Friday 19 (mornings); Monday 23 (afternoon & evening). Home mentoring dates and schools performance dates are to be arranged.

To apply, tell them:

  • Why you want to take part in the project
  • Who your favourite musician, producer or DJ is and why
  • What kinds of technology you have enjoyed using up to now
  • How you would like to hear from them regarding your application, e.g. email or phone
  • About any access requirements you may have

You can use whatever method of communication you prefer to apply, e.g.: email, video recording, audio recording, letter.

Email: abigailward@drakemusic.org

Phone: 0161 232 6073

Address: Drake Music North West, Z-arts, 335 Stretford Road, Hulme, Manchester, M15 5ZA.

The closing date is Tuesday 16 December 9am. Successful applicants will hear by 18 December.

(Posted 10 December 2014.)
(GMCDP does not necessarily support or promote any organisation, individual or website mentioned in this post.)

Genie Networks – Job Skills for Deaf People

The Genie Network is offering a free course to Deaf and hard of hearing job seekers. The course gives the chance to increase confidence and skills to help find and keep work.

You will learn:

  • Good job skills
  • Which jobs to apply for
  • How to write a good CV
  • How to get ready for interview
  • Good interview skills
  • Good workplace behaviour
  • About your rights at work
  • About access to work

The course will be taught in British Sign Language by an experienced deaf tutor. Interpreters will be available if needed.

The course starts on Monday 12th January 2015.

It is on Mondays 10.30am – 3.30pm for 10 weeks.

It is at: Genie Networks, Oakland House, Talbot Road, Old Trafford, M16 0PQ.

This course is for deaf or hard of hearing people who have JSA or ESA, age 19-65 and allowed to work in the UK.

There are only 12 places.

To book your place or ask questions contact:

email: information@genienetworks.org.uk

phone: 0161 877 0796

mobile text: 07853 917332

text relay: 1800 161 877 0796

website: www.genienetworks.org.uk

(Posted 10 December 2014.)

(GMCDP does not necessarily support or promote any organisation, individual or website mentioned in this post.)

Consultation on Draft Guidance for Disabled People Wanting to Become Health Care Professionals

The Health and Care Professions Council (HCPC) is revising its guide for disabled people wishing to become a health professional registered with the Council.

New guidance has been produced, and the HCPC are consulting on the new guidance until 16 January 2015.

The HCPC say:

“The primary aim of the guidance is to provide information to help overcome any perceived boundaries or obstacles to disabled people becoming qualified in their chosen profession and becoming registered with us. The guidance also includes information for staff working for approved education providers about their responsibilities when making decisions about disabled applicants and students.

You can find more information, plus ways to take part in the consultation at:

HCPC – Health Care and Professions Council – Consultation

(Posted 11 December 2014.)

(GMCDP does not necessarily support or promote any organisation, individual or website mentioned in this post.)

Revolving Doors National Service User Forum

Revolving Doors is an organisation supporting people who have ‘complex needs’ and who have had contact with the criminal justice system.

According to their website, ‘revolving doors’ refers to the cycle of crisis and crime. Also:

“Forum members get involved in activities such as research, policy consultations, delivering training, contributing to conferences and raising awareness of the issues they face.”

Revolving Doors offers training such as: train to train, research skills and influencing policy.

For more information, go to:

National Service User Forum – Revolving Doors Agency

(Posted 10 December 2014.)

(GMCDP does not necessarily support or promote any organisation, individual or website mentioned in this post.)

Demonstration – Stop the Cuts to Specialist “Violence Against Women” Services

Safety4Sisters has organised this demonstration which is on 10 December 2014, 12:00-2:00pm in St Peter’s Square, next to the Cenotaph, in Manchester City Centre.

The organisers are asking people to bring banners, placards, whistles, pots/pans, spoons and drums.

  • 1 in 4 women will experience domestic violence over their lifetimes.
  • 1 in 5 women (aged 16-69) have experienced some form of sexual assault since aged 16 years.
  • Research has shown that disabled women face a higher risk of experiencing domestic violence, but face more barriers in escaping from the situation.
  • Between 2010 and July 2014 the number of specialist refuge services decreased by 17%.
  • Manchester City Council has just announced that it has to find a further £60 million saving. Some women and children are facing an uncertain future as specialist services, such as Women’s Aid refuges and Rape Crisis centres, struggle to survive.

You can contact Safety4Sisters by emailing Sandhya Sharma or Vicky Marsh at safety4sisters@gmail.com Twitter: @safety4sisters Facebook: Safety4sisters (Northwest)

(Posted 9 December 2014.)

(GMCDP does not necessarily support or promote any organisation, individual or website mentioned in this post.)

Urgent Request to Support ILF Campaign From DPAC

GMCDP has received the below from Disabled People Against Cuts (DPAC) about the Independent Living Fund (ILF).

As you may be aware, the Government won a case in the Royal Courts of Justice on Monday 8 December, which made their decision to close the ILF – Independent Living Fund – lawful; and this closure will now go ahead on 30th June next year.

Unless, of course the families, friends, supporters and others stand in solidarity with ILF Users campaign to Save the ILF, and together apply the sort of political power which changes minds and policy.

You can do that today by signing the Open Letter to Ed Miliband (full text below), asking him, should he become Prime Minister in May’s General Election, to keep the Fund open while ordering an independent review into the benefits of a model such as the ILF.

We know that many disabled people will lose some or all of their support, isolating people in their homes – at best. For many more, being institutionalised in residential homes is once again a grim reality, to save on average just over £300 per person. Don’t let this happen. Stand in support with ILF Users in this action, and the many more on-going & to come (full details www.dpac.uk.uk)

You can add your signature as an individual, or as your organisation – please make this clear when adding your name.

Closing date for signatures 12pm on Tuesday 16 December.

Please email mail@dpac.uk.net to add your name, writing ‘Add me to ILF Letter’ in the subject bar.

Thanks in advance for your support. Andy Greene, DPAC

Begin Letter

Open Letter to Ed Miliband, Rachel Reeves and Kate Green

Please Help Us. Save Our Independent Living Fund

We, disabled people, family, friends, supporters and allies, are asking for your help. We are asking you to pledge to keep the Independent Living Fund open to existing applicants, pending a review of Independent Living for all disabled people.

As you may know, on the 8th of December at the High Court, a ruling was given against our challenge to the closure of the ILF [1], and we were not given leave to appeal.

The closure of the ILF effectively signals the end of the right to independent living for disabled people in the UK. Whilst never perfect the ILF represents a model of support that has enabled thousands of disabled people to enjoy meaningfully lives and to contribute to society as equal citizens.

Since the closure of the Fund to new applicants in December 2010 we have seen disabled people left with their most basic needs unmet and unable to seek employment, to volunteer or go into education or simply even to leave the house.

But we have vowed to fight on against the ILF closure,  disabled people will not be pushed back into the margins of society, we will not go back into the institutions, our place is in the community alongside our family and friends and neighbours and we are fighting to stay.

We ask you to imagine what it will be like, for people who have been enabled  to live a full life, be with friends and family, go out, work, study and enjoy recreation, to have all that taken away, and find themselves trapped inside, all day, every day, with choices over what they do, when and how, removed.

To severely disabled people the Independent Living Fund represents the difference between having an existence, and having a life.

Please Ed, keep our Independent Living Fund open. Keep Our Lives Open. It means the world to us.

References

[1] http://dpac.uk.net/2014/12/disabled-people-vow-to-continue-the-fight-to-save-

Free DJ and production Course for Disabled DJs, Producers and Musicians

Drake Music is inviting disabled DJs, producers and musicians aged 18+ from across Greater Manchester to apply to be part of a free week-long accessible DJ/production course.

The course will be  led by MOBO Award nominated jazz composer and DJ, Matthew Halsall. Matt and members of his band will team up with Drake Music to deliver a course exploring sampling, arranging, producing and performing using Assistive Music Technology.

The project is:

  • 1 full day workshop with live musicians at Band on the Wall
  • 4 morning workshops at Z-arts
  • 1 live evening performance at Band on the Wall
  • 3 live mini-performances at local schools and colleges Before-and-after home mentoring sessions for each participant

Venues are wheelchair accessible.

To apply you must:

  • Be 18+
  • Identify as disabled
  • Have a passion for DJ culture, music and music production Have an interest in technology Be available on the following dates in February 2015:Thursday 12 (all day);  Monday 16, Tuesday 17, Wednesday 18, Friday 19 (mornings); Monday 23 (afternoon & evening). Home mentoring dates and schools performance dates are to be arranged.

To apply, tell them:

  • Why you want to take part in the project
  • Who your favourite musician, producer or DJ is and why
  • What kinds of technology you have enjoyed using up to now
  • How you would like to hear from them regarding your application, e.g. email or phone
  • About any access requirements you may have

You can use whatever method of communication you prefer to apply, e.g.: email, video recording, audio recording, letter.

Email: abigailward@drakemusic.org

Phone: 0161 232 6073

Address: Drake Music North West, Z-arts, 335 Stretford Road, Hulme, Manchester, M15 5ZA.

The closing date is Tuesday 16 December 9am. Successful applicants will hear by 18 December.

(Posted 10 December 2014.)
(GMCDP does not necessarily support or promote any organisation, individual or website mentioned in this post.)

Genie Networks – Job Skills for Deaf People

The Genie Network is offering a free course to Deaf and hard of hearing job seekers. The course gives the chance to increase confidence and skills to help find and keep work.

You will learn:

  • Good job skills
  • Which jobs to apply for
  • How to write a good CV
  • How to get ready for interview
  • Good interview skills
  • Good workplace behaviour
  • About your rights at work
  • About access to work

The course will be taught in British Sign Language by an experienced deaf tutor. Interpreters will be available if needed.

The course starts on Monday 12th January 2015.

It is on Mondays 10.30am – 3.30pm for 10 weeks.

It is at: Genie Networks, Oakland House, Talbot Road, Old Trafford, M16 0PQ.

This course is for deaf or hard of hearing people who have JSA or ESA, age 19-65 and allowed to work in the UK.

There are only 12 places.

To book your place or ask questions contact:

email: information@genienetworks.org.uk

phone: 0161 877 0796

mobile text: 07853 917332

text relay: 1800 161 877 0796

website: www.genienetworks.org.uk

(Posted 10 December 2014.)

(GMCDP does not necessarily support or promote any organisation, individual or website mentioned in this post.)

Consultation on Draft Guidance for Disabled People Wanting to Become Health Care Professionals

The Health and Care Professions Council (HCPC) is revising its guide for disabled people wishing to become a health professional registered with the Council.

New guidance has been produced, and the HCPC are consulting on the new guidance until 16 January 2015.

The HCPC say:

“The primary aim of the guidance is to provide information to help overcome any perceived boundaries or obstacles to disabled people becoming qualified in their chosen profession and becoming registered with us. The guidance also includes information for staff working for approved education providers about their responsibilities when making decisions about disabled applicants and students.

You can find more information, plus ways to take part in the consultation at:

HCPC – Health Care and Professions Council – Consultation

(Posted 11 December 2014.)

(GMCDP does not necessarily support or promote any organisation, individual or website mentioned in this post.)

Revolving Doors National Service User Forum

Revolving Doors is an organisation supporting people who have ‘complex needs’ and who have had contact with the criminal justice system.

According to their website, ‘revolving doors’ refers to the cycle of crisis and crime. Also:

“Forum members get involved in activities such as research, policy consultations, delivering training, contributing to conferences and raising awareness of the issues they face.”

Revolving Doors offers training such as: train to train, research skills and influencing policy.

For more information, go to:

National Service User Forum – Revolving Doors Agency

(Posted 10 December 2014.)

(GMCDP does not necessarily support or promote any organisation, individual or website mentioned in this post.)

Demonstration – Stop the Cuts to Specialist “Violence Against Women” Services

Safety4Sisters has organised this demonstration which is on 10 December 2014, 12:00-2:00pm in St Peter’s Square, next to the Cenotaph, in Manchester City Centre.

The organisers are asking people to bring banners, placards, whistles, pots/pans, spoons and drums.

  • 1 in 4 women will experience domestic violence over their lifetimes.
  • 1 in 5 women (aged 16-69) have experienced some form of sexual assault since aged 16 years.
  • Research has shown that disabled women face a higher risk of experiencing domestic violence, but face more barriers in escaping from the situation.
  • Between 2010 and July 2014 the number of specialist refuge services decreased by 17%.
  • Manchester City Council has just announced that it has to find a further £60 million saving. Some women and children are facing an uncertain future as specialist services, such as Women’s Aid refuges and Rape Crisis centres, struggle to survive.

You can contact Safety4Sisters by emailing Sandhya Sharma or Vicky Marsh at safety4sisters@gmail.com Twitter: @safety4sisters Facebook: Safety4sisters (Northwest)

(Posted 9 December 2014.)

(GMCDP does not necessarily support or promote any organisation, individual or website mentioned in this post.)

Lack of Access in the News Again

This weekend saw a flurry of media coverage following a press release from the website DisabledGo.

DisabledGo surveyed 30,000 shops and restaurants, finding that less than a third of shops have an accessible changing room, and 40% of restaurants do not have an accessible toilet. In addition, only a small number of premises have an induction loop (a piece of equipment which links to hearing aids) and only a quarter of restaurants catre for wisually impaired people.

To find out more, go to the DisabledGo press release at:

DisabledGo shocks the Government with evidence of inaccessible British high streets

And don’t forget Manchester and surrounding areas has its own access specialists in Manchester Disabled People’s Access Group. You can find MDPAG at:

www.mdpag.org.uk

(Posted 9 December 2014.)

(GMCDP does not necessarily support or promote any organisation, individual or website mentioned in this post.)

Changes to Motability Quietly Implemented

The Disability News Service has highlighted some changes to the Specialised Vehicle Fund which Motability administers on behalf of the government. This scheme provides grants to disabled people who need a vehicle they can drive from their wheelchair.

New eligibility rules say only people who spend more than 12 hours a week in employment, education, ‘caring’ or volunteering will be eligible to apply for the grant.

The Disability News Service article says Motability expect to give 50 fewer grants for these vehicles, but also expects to increase grants for WAVs – wheelchair accessible vehicles.

This, along with the two court judgements yesterday (see below) just adds to the possible future restrictions to disabled people’s choice and control over our lives.

See the Disability News Service article at:

Motability Rule Change

Disabled People Against Cuts would like to hear from anyone who thinks they will be affected by this change. You can email DPAC via mail@dpac.uk.net

(Posted 9 December 2014.)

(GMCDP does not necessarily support or promote any organisation, individual or website mentioned in this post.)

Revolving Doors National Service User Forum

Revolving Doors is an organisation supporting people who have ‘complex needs’ and who have had contact with the criminal justice system.

According to their website, ‘revolving doors’ refers to the cycle of crisis and crime. Also:

“Forum members get involved in activities such as research, policy consultations, delivering training, contributing to conferences and raising awareness of the issues they face.”

Revolving Doors offers training such as: train to train, research skills and influencing policy.

For more information, go to:

National Service User Forum – Revolving Doors Agency

(Posted 10 December 2014.)

(GMCDP does not necessarily support or promote any organisation, individual or website mentioned in this post.)

Demonstration – Stop the Cuts to Specialist “Violence Against Women” Services

Safety4Sisters has organised this demonstration which is on 10 December 2014, 12:00-2:00pm in St Peter’s Square, next to the Cenotaph, in Manchester City Centre.

The organisers are asking people to bring banners, placards, whistles, pots/pans, spoons and drums.

  • 1 in 4 women will experience domestic violence over their lifetimes.
  • 1 in 5 women (aged 16-69) have experienced some form of sexual assault since aged 16 years.
  • Research has shown that disabled women face a higher risk of experiencing domestic violence, but face more barriers in escaping from the situation.
  • Between 2010 and July 2014 the number of specialist refuge services decreased by 17%.
  • Manchester City Council has just announced that it has to find a further £60 million saving. Some women and children are facing an uncertain future as specialist services, such as Women’s Aid refuges and Rape Crisis centres, struggle to survive.

You can contact Safety4Sisters by emailing Sandhya Sharma or Vicky Marsh at safety4sisters@gmail.com Twitter: @safety4sisters Facebook: Safety4sisters (Northwest)

(Posted 9 December 2014.)

(GMCDP does not necessarily support or promote any organisation, individual or website mentioned in this post.)

Lack of Access in the News Again

This weekend saw a flurry of media coverage following a press release from the website DisabledGo.

DisabledGo surveyed 30,000 shops and restaurants, finding that less than a third of shops have an accessible changing room, and 40% of restaurants do not have an accessible toilet. In addition, only a small number of premises have an induction loop (a piece of equipment which links to hearing aids) and only a quarter of restaurants catre for wisually impaired people.

To find out more, go to the DisabledGo press release at:

DisabledGo shocks the Government with evidence of inaccessible British high streets

And don’t forget Manchester and surrounding areas has its own access specialists in Manchester Disabled People’s Access Group. You can find MDPAG at:

www.mdpag.org.uk

(Posted 9 December 2014.)

(GMCDP does not necessarily support or promote any organisation, individual or website mentioned in this post.)

Changes to Motability Quietly Implemented

The Disability News Service has highlighted some changes to the Specialised Vehicle Fund which Motability administers on behalf of the government. This scheme provides grants to disabled people who need a vehicle they can drive from their wheelchair.

New eligibility rules say only people who spend more than 12 hours a week in employment, education, ‘caring’ or volunteering will be eligible to apply for the grant.

The Disability News Service article says Motability expect to give 50 fewer grants for these vehicles, but also expects to increase grants for WAVs – wheelchair accessible vehicles.

This, along with the two court judgements yesterday (see below) just adds to the possible future restrictions to disabled people’s choice and control over our lives.

See the Disability News Service article at:

Motability Rule Change

Disabled People Against Cuts would like to hear from anyone who thinks they will be affected by this change. You can email DPAC via mail@dpac.uk.net

(Posted 9 December 2014.)

(GMCDP does not necessarily support or promote any organisation, individual or website mentioned in this post.)

 “Going, Going, Gone! To The Care Home With The Blue Door”

The BBC has highlighted that some local authorities, under the guise of increased ‘personalisation’ of care, are putting details of disabled people on a website for care providers to view, and offer to house them.

This came to light when the sister of a disabled man in Devon was notified by the home he currently lives in, that his details were on the website which Devon council use. Although his name was omitted, enough personal information was on the website to identify him.

To see the story, go to the BBC webpage:

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/health-30312581

(Posted 8 November 2014.)

(GMCDP does not necessarily support or promote any organisation, individual or website mentioned in this post.)

Prams Versus Wheelchair Users – One Nil

Today the High Court has ruled that bus companies do not have to ‘require’ people with prams to move from the designated space for wheelchair users on their buses, they only have to ‘request’.

The BBC has written up the story at:

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-england-leeds-30376446#story_continues_1

(Posted 8 November 2014.)

(GMCDP does not necessarily support or promote any organisation, individual or website mentioned in this post.)

Closure Of Independent Living Fund ‘Lawful’

Today, Mrs Justice Andrews made a massive understatement when she said people would feel ‘great disappointment’ with the ruling that there is to be no judicial review of the government’s decision to close the Independent Living Fund.

BBC News has an article about the decision at:

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-30374254

Disabled People Against Cuts has an outline of the campaign on their webpage, ‘Disabled people vow to continue the fight to save independent living’:

http://dpac.uk.net/2014/12/disabled-people-vow-to-continue-the-fight-to-save-independent-living/

GMCDP will keep you informed about any further developments and where you can find information about continued campaigning.

(Posted 8 December 2014.)

(GMCDP does not necessarily support or promote any organisation, individual or website mentioned in this post.)

Shadow Report on Right to Independent Living

The European Network on Independent Living has launched its shadow report on the implementation of Article 19 of the UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (UNCRPD) in the European Union.

This section covers Living independently and being included in the community.

The report gives information to the Committee on the Rights of People with Disabilities about how the European Union is meeting obligations under this section of the convention.

For more information, and a link to the report, go to the ENIL webpage:

ENIL – ECCL Launch Shadow report on the right to live independently in the European Union

(Posted 1 December 2014.)

(GMCDP does not necessarily support or promote any organisation, individual or website mentioned in this post.)

Wheelchair Dancing in Wythenshawe

There are opportunities to learn wheelchair dancing at the Lifestyle Centre in Wythenshawe, Manchester, for people over 14 years old.

Classes cost £5 and are on a Saturday from 11.00-1.00. Dancing is both with a standing person or other wheelchair user.

You can find more information on the BBC webpage:

BBC things to do – wheelchair dancing

(Posted 1 December 2014.)

(GMCDP does not necessarily support or promote any organisation, individual or website mentioned in this post.)

Article – Setting The Record Straight: The Slow Progress on Disabled People’s Rights

This article has been put on the Disabled People Against Cuts website. If you are interested in the history of disabled people’s rights, you may find it interesting.

http://dpac.uk.net/2014/11/setting-the-record-straight-the-slow-progress-on-disabled-peoples-rights/

(Posted 1 December 2014.)

(GMCDP does not necessarily support or promote any organisation, individual or website mentioned in this post.)

Campaign For Disabled Students’ Allowance

The Alliance for Inclusive Education (ALLFIE) would like to hear from university students and potential students who are worried about the proposed changes to Disabled Students’ Allowance (DSA). If you are, contact Simone Aspis as soon as possible, by:

Email simone.aspis@allfie.org.uk

ALLFIE is encouraging everyone to take part in their campaign to stop the proposed changes to Disabled Students’ Allowance.

ALLFIE are asking people to write to their MP to request an urgent debate on the changes to Disabled Students’ Allowance.

There is a template letter at the following webpage address:

http://www.allfie.org.uk/docs/DSA%20letter%20to%20MP.doc

For more information about ALLFIE, including their June briefing paper about the DSA reform, go to:

www.allfie.org.uk

(Posted 1 December 2014.)

(GMCDP does not necessarily support or promote any organisation, individual or website mentioned in this post.)

New Drop-in surgery – Tameside CAB

The Water Adventure Centre (WAC) are hosting Monthly Citizens’ Advice Bureaux drop-ins on the first and third Tuesday of the month, 1.30pm – 5pm (Last client seen at 4.30 pm)

Dates are:

18 November, 2 December, 16 December 2014.

6 January, 20 January, 3 February, 17 February, 3 March, 17 March, 7 April 2015.

There is no need to book an appointment . The drop-ins are at:

Water Adventure Centre (WAC), The Old Boathouse, Fairfield Locks,

off Maddison Road, Droylsden, M43 6ES

phone 0161 301 2673

(Posted 26 November 2014.)

(GMCDP does not necessarily support or promote any organisation, individual or website mentioned in this post.)

4PI – Meaningful Involvement

The National Service User Survivor Network has been involved, for the past 3 years, in producing guidelines for service user and carer involvement in the health and social care setting.

4PI stands for principles, purpose, presence, impact.

The authors suggest that 4PI is relevant to a wider audience than just the mental health sector.

To find out more, go to the NSUN webpage:

National Involvement Partnership

Where there is also a link to the report.

a blog by Alison Faulkner about 4PI can be found at:

4PI: A Framework For Involvement

Organisations can sign up to the standards and get access to more of the resources. Contact NSUN by

email info@nsun.org.uk

phone 0207 820 8982.

(Posted 26 November 2014.)

(GMCDP does not necessarily support or promote any organisation, individual or website mentioned in this post.)

Change For 2015 – E-campaign

The Disability Horizons website has launched a campaign for change in 2015. The website says:

“All too often, disabled people are excluded because of physical, attitudinal and procedural barriers. Disability Horizons is tired of this unnecessary discrimination and is ready to act.

With your help, we are going to tell the world about these daily injustices and demand change. We want disabled people to be heard by government, media, businesses and general society. Change must begin. It begins now, with you.”

To find out how to take part, go to the Disability Horizons website:

www.disabilityhorizons.com

and click on Change For 2015? eCampaign.

(Posted 26 November 2014.)

(GMCDP does not necessarily support or promote any organisation, individual or website mentioned in this post.)

Poor Treatment of People with Learning Difficulties Highlighted – Yet Again

Today, when the mainstream media is full of stories about the poor treatment of people with learning difficulties, you can read several articles on the Guardian website covering the issues, go to:

Guardian

(Posted 26 November 2014.)

(GMCDP does not necessarily support or promote any organisation, individual or website mentioned in this post.)

New Football Opportunity in Tameside

Adult Disability Football – Day Time Fun Football Sessions

Active Tameside in Partnership with Manchester FA are launching a new ‘PAN’ impairment day time football session for adults (male and female).

The sessions take place at Medlock Sports Centre. They will be social, geared around the individual player’s needs and delivered by FA qualified football coaches. It costs £2.00 per player to play.

For more information phone John Hurst (Disability Officer) on 07545343842.

(Posted 20 November 2014.)
(GMCDP does not necessarily support

Consultation by Tameside Council

Tameside Council has set up a consultation to find out what residents’ priorities are. This is in preparation for more budget cuts.

To find out more, and have your say, go to:

Budget consultation and overview

(Posted 20 November 2014.)
(GMCDP does not necessarily support or promote any organisation, individual or website mentioned in this post.)

Inquiry into Benefits Sanctions

The Work and Pensions Committee is holding an inquiry into benefit sanctions policy.

The Committee would like submissions of no more than 3,000 words from both organisations and individuals. Two of the areas the Committee is particularly interested in are:

  • “Employment and Support Allowance (ESA) sanctions, including: whether the current ESA sanctions regime is appropriate and proportionate for jobseekers with ill health and disabilities; and the reasons for recent sharp increases in the number of ESA sanctions
  • Whether particular groups of ESA and JSA claimants (by impairment type; age; gender etc.) are proportionately more likely to be sanctioned than others.”

Deadline for submissions is 12 December 2014.

For more detail, and how to submit, go to:

Committee launch inquiry into benefit sanctions – news from Parliament page

(Posted 19 November 2014.)

(GMCDP does not necessarily support or promote any organisation, individual or website
mentioned in this post.)

Use of Abusive Language Continues

At the start of anti-bullying week, on 17 November, the Anti-Bullying Alliance released the results of their latest survey.

The survey found that 4 in 10 adults use the words ‘spaz’, ‘spastic’, ‘retard’ or ‘mong’ in casual conversation, with half seeing it as ‘banter’. 1 in 10 adults have used abusive language to a disabled person in order to be insulting and 1 in 5 said they use such words in banter, while 65% of people surveyed had heard others use these words, and 37% had seen them used online.

A survey of teachers also showed that children use these words in school; with 70% of teachers hearing children use the words in conversation, half of times being used casually, half as an insult.

For more detail, go to:

Anti-Bullying Alliance

(Posted 19 November 2014.)

(GMCDP does not necessarily support or promote any organisation, individual or website mentioned in this post.)

Disability History Month Events in Manchester

Two talks and two exhibitions have been organised for Disability History Month by The Manchester City Council Disabled Staff Group, Central Library, People’s History Museum and University of Manchester. Disability History Month.

The theme this year is: War and Impairment: The Social Consequences of Disablement, focusing on World War 1.

The events are as follows:

1 December 2014 – 5 January 2015

First World War: Soldiers, Shellshock and Disability. A Manchester Story.

An interactive digital exhibition in the Virtual Archive Wall, which is part of the Archives+ exhibition on the ground floor of the Central Library, St Peter’s Square, Manchester M2 5PD.

Open: Monday to Thursday – 9am to 8pm; Friday and Saturday – 9am to 5pm; Closed Sunday

3 December 2014: 12:30am – 1:30pm

Archives Handling Session.

This session in Archives+ offers a unique opportunity to handle archives and rare books which are usually kept locked away in the strong rooms of Manchester Central Library. This is a chance to look through these items and ask questions about them. A BSL interpreter will be present.

At the Central Library, St Peter’s Square, Manchester M2 5PD

17 December: 5:00 – 7:00pm

Hidden Histories of Disabled Veterans and the First World War

Find out about the impact of the first world war on the two million men disabled by it. What happened to them and to the wider society on their return from the war. In this talk, Dr Ana Carden-Coyne explores these themes as part of UK Disability History Month.

At the Central Library, St Peter’s Square, Manchester M2 5PD

Refreshments will be provided. For more information, email: equalitiesteam@manchester.gov.uk

– 22 February 2015 at the Manchester Art Gallery, Mosley Street, Manchester M2 3JL

The Sensory War: 1914 – 2014

The Sensory War explores the responses of a range of artists over the past century to the sensory effects of warfare through a series of themes.

  • Militarising Bodies, Manufacturing War – examining artist’s reactions to the industrialised process of militarisation and the effect of noise in the urban environment.
  • Pain and Succour – a display exploring how artists responded to the treatment of soldiers on the front line.
  • Rupture and Rehabilitation – looking at how art was employed not only to record the treatment of soldiers in hospitals but also how it reflected on the new medical advances of plastic surgery and facial reconstruction.
  • Shocking the Senses – a display which reflects on the experience of shell shock
  • Bombing, Burning and Distant War – explores the effects on the ground of military conflict. nt.
  • The Embodied Ruin: Natural and Material Environments – a display which looks at how artists such as Paul Nash and William Orpen used landscapes destroyed by conflict as a metaphor for the fate of the soldiers who fought there.
  • Chemical War and Toxic Imaginations – includes work that responds to gas warfare since the First World War.

Haunted Ghostlands: Loss, Resilience and Memory – exploring the after-effects of military conflict. Bassett.

(Posted 18 November 2014.)

(GMCDP does not necessarily support or promote any organisation, individual or website mentioned in this post.)

Some in ESA Support Group Being Called to Jobcentre

There have been reports that some Employment Support Allowance claimants in the Support Group are being called for a work focussed interview by their Jobcentre. Disabled People Against Cuts has re-produced a blog on their website saying this is happening to people in one Jobcentre area – Shirebrooke.

DPAC would like any others experiencing the same problem to let them know.

For more information, go to:

Are you in the ESA Support group?

(Posted 18 November 2014.)

(GMCDP does not necessarily support or promote any organisation, individual or website mentioned in this post.)

New Groups for Visually Impaired People Over 50

Henshaws Society for Blind People are setting up coffee/tea mornings for visually impaired people aged over 50 living in Manchester.

The first south Manchester meeting took place on 13 November . Meetings will be set up in central Manchester at the Deaf Centre (Booth Street East, off Oxford Road) and north Manchester meetings will be at the Avenue Library and Learning Centre, Blackley.

For more information, call 0161 872 1234 and ask to speak to a member of the Pathway Team.

To find out about other Henshaws groups and services, go to:

www.henshaws.org.uk

Phone 0161 872 1234

Write to: Henshaws Society for Blind People, 88-92 Talbot Road, Old Trafford, Manchester. M16 0GS

(Posted 18 November 2014.)

(GMCDP does not necessarily support or promote any organisation, individual or website mentioned in this post.)

Extension to Trial Permit Scheme on Metrolink

Earlier this year GMCDP reported a trial permit scheme for scooter users to use the Metrolink in Greater Manchester.

On 30 September, Transport for Greater Manchester (TfGM)  announced an extension of the trial scooter permit scheme until 1 December, with an evaluation report and recommendations going to the TfGM Committee on 14 November.

On 14 November, BBC Manchester reported that the scooter ban has been lifted, but GMCDP has not yet found confirmation of more than the trial extension from TfGM.

BBC News: Mobility scooter ban on Manchester Metrolink trams lifted after trial

You can find the evaluation report at:

TfGMC – Friday 14 November – Meeting Papers

(Posted 18 November 2014.)

(GMCDP does not necessarily support or promote any organisation, individual or website mentioned in this post.)

London Underground to be Made More Accessible

Those of you who travel to London for work, pleasure or protest may be interested to know that London Underground have announced that £75 million is going to be spent to make it more accessible.

For more information, go to:

Transport for All

(Posted 14 November 2014.)

(GMCDP does not necessarily support or promote any organisation, website or individual mentioned in this post.)

 Offer for Salford Residents from Listening Books

The national charity, Listening Books, has received funding to offer free membership to residents of Salford who could not usually afford their service.

Listening Books provides audio books to people who cannot use print books for a number of reasons. This includes:  visual impairment; physical impairment (not being able to hold a book or follow a line of writing); learning difficulties; and mental health (difficulty concentrating or remembering).

Listening Books also have some smaller bursaries for other parts of the country.

To find out more, go to:

Website www.listening-books.org.uk

Phone 0207 407 9417

(Posted 14 November 2014.)

(GMCDP does not necessarily support or promote any organisation, website or individual mentioned in this post.)

Manifesto on Mental Health Research

Many organisations are developing manifestos in the run up to next year’s general election. The following has just come to our attention.

The Alliance of Mental Health Research Funders (AMHRF) is a group of charities which fund research, and use research as a base for initiatives to improve the mental health of communities.

AMHRF has launched a manifesto Prioritising Mental Health Research. It sets out what political parties can do to make mental health research a priority during the General Election 2015, and in government.

You can find the manifesto at:

http://nsun.cmph.org/l/aI85vhD64MwgDAVdAe0zpQ

(Posted 13 November 2014.)

Lack of Access Highlighted Yet Again

Two disabled researchers in London, one a guide-dog owner and one a wheelchair user, recorded their daily experiences of access using pin-hole cameras.

The usual issues were faced: no ramp or level access; high tables in cafes; faulty bus ramp; guide dog owner being refused taxis.

To see the report, and a link to the film, go to the BBC webpage:

BBC News: Firms disability access unlawful

(Posted 13 November 2014.)

(GMCDP does not necessarily support or promote any organisation, individual or website mentioned in this post.)

Council Tax Benefit Success in Court

Taxpayers Against Poverty are publicising their recent successful case against Harringay Council.

The Supreme Court ruled that Harringay Council’s 2012 consultation on Council Tax was unlawful. Other groups tackling Council Tax iniquities are expecting to be able to use this ruling in their campaigns.

For more information, go to:

News: Taxpayers Against Poverty

(Posted 12 November 2014.)

(GMCDP does not necessarily support or promote any organisation, website or individual mentioned in this post.)

Job Vacancy at Trafford CIL

GMCDP has been sent the following information to circulate.

“TCIL is currently recruiting for the role of Training Resource Project Officer [fixed term contract 31/03/2015].  This post has been developed as the outcome of a successful bid to Skills for Care and the focus of the role is to contribute to the development of a best practice resource for support organisations seeking to work in partnership in the provision of information, and marketing materials for Individual Employers and Personal Assistants.

The salary for this role is £19,635 pro-rata [18 hours per week] and we expect interviews to take place during the third week in November with the final date to be confirmed.  Interested applicants should apply with by CV and a competency based supporting statement of no more than 2 pages.  We are eager that the successful candidate should be able to take up this offer as soon as possible and we would be grateful if you could share this information with your network contacts.  Please advise applicants to complete to submit their CV and competency statement together with our equal opportunities monitoring form, to hello@traffordcil.co.uk “

Trafford Centre for Independent Living

Trafford CIL, Marshall House, 2, Park Avenue, Sale, M33 6HE

Telephone: 0161 850 0645   Fax: 0161 973 2003

Textphone (via mobile)  07944 049092 (8am to 4pm)

Website www.traffordcil.co.uk

(Posted 12 November 2014.)

(GMCDP does not necessarily support or promote any organisation, individual or website mentioned in this post.)

Discrimination In The Workplace – Survey Results Published

The solicitor, Leigh Day, commissioned a survey of disabled people’s experiences in work.

Findings show that 1 in 5 disabled people feel unsupported or that discriminated against in the workplace. In addition, three quarters do not want to let their workplace know about their impairment because of fear of discrimination, rather than embarrassment or other personal reasons.

1 in 6 respondents in work felt they were not supported by colleagues and 1 in 4 felt the management did not support them.

Less than half of people in the survey had not asked for reasonable adjustments because they did not want to draw attention to themselves, and 1 in 3 of those who had requested adjustments felt they received little or no support.

For more detail, and a link to the report, go to the Leigh Day webpage:

Report reveals disabled still feel discriminated against in workplace

(Please note, this is not written in words GMCDP would use.)

(Posted 12 November 2014.)

(GMCDP does not necessarily support or promote any organisation, individual or website mentioned in this post.)

Salford Disability Doorsteps Football Club

This is a weekly football club for disabled people in Salford, every Wednesday 11am – 12noon, starting on Wednesday 26 November.

The club meets at Salford Sports Village, Littleton Road, M7 3NQ.

For more information, contact Andy Jones at Salford Community Leisure:

Phone 0161 778 0769

email andy.jones@scll.co.uk

(Posted 12 November 2014.)

(GMCDP does not necessarily support or promote any organisation, individual or website mentioned in this post.)

Assisted Dying Bill – Update

Many disabled people rallied outside the House of Commons on Friday 7 November to show their objection to the Assisted Dying Bill.

An amendment was tabled saying that a Judge may make the decision whether someone with less than 6 months to live and a ‘determined’ wish to die can be given a legal dose of drugs prescribed by 2 doctors.

Several media articles about the case are listed on the Not Dead Yet news page:

http://www.notdeadyetuk.org/notdeadyet-news.html

You can read the transcript of the debate on the Parliamentary webpage:

http://www.publications.parliament.uk/pa/ld201415/ldhansrd/text/141107-0001.htm#14110775000728

(Posted 11 November 2014.)

(GMCDP does not necessarily support or promote any organisation, website or individual mentioned in this post.)

Call for Submissions to Art Funding

Unlimited, the initiative which supports disabled artists to create and present work across the art forms, has opened the second round of submissions for commission funds. Disabled artists and companies who are creating new disability-led work are invited to apply.

Commissions from Unlimited’s first round of applications were highlights of this September’s Unlimited Festival at Southbank Centre. They included Katherine Araniello’s The Dinner Party Revisited, Julie McNamara’s Let Me Stay, Ian Johnston and Gary Gardiner’s Dancer, Jo Bannon’s Exposure, Fittings MultiMedia’s Edmund the Learned Pig, Birds of Paradise Theatre’s Wendy Hoose, Juan delGado’s The Flickering Darkness (Revisited) and Owen Lowery’s Otherwise Unchanged.

There will be surgeries on the application process in Glasgow, Edinburgh, Liverpool, London, Caernarfon and Cardiff. weareunlimited.org.uk/ for more detail.

The deadline for applications is 2 February 2015. Funding decisions will be announced at the end of March 2015.

Unlimited is delivered by Shape and Artsadmin.

For more information, go to:

Website www.weareunlimited.org.uk

email info@unlimited.org.uk

phone Shape 0207 424 7330
phone Artsadmin 020 7247 5102

(Posted 11 November 2014.)

(GMCDP does not necessarily support or promote any organisation, individual or website mentioned in this post.)

Ex-Remploy Worker Speaks Out

This article has been drawn to our attention by a GMCDP member.

Whilst GMCDP has never supported segregated employment, the treatment of the REMPLOY workforce since its closure has confirmed many of the worst fears of those that campaigned for its retention.

In this article on the Labourlist website, ex-Remploy worker and union convenor, James Stribley, shows what life is like for many ex-Remploy workers now.

Remploy: a year after the last closure

(Posted 10 November 2014.)
(GMCDP does not necessarily support or promote any organisation, individual or website mentioned in this post.)

Live in Stockport? What is Your Ideal Home?

Stockport Council want disabled people with physical impairments and learning difficulties to have a say about their Housing Strategy.

Stockport Advocacy are holding events to ask disabled people in Stockport what their ideal home would be. There will be arts and crafts, so people can be creative in saying what they think.

The events are on:

Tuesday 25 November, 10:00 – 7:00

Wednesday 26 November, 10:00 – 4:30

Thursday 27 November, 10:00 – 7:00

Friday 28 November, 10:00 – 4:30

Saturday 29 November, 10:00 – 1:30

at:

LDRC, Owens Farm Drive, St John’s Wood, Offerton, Stockport. SK2 5EA

For more information, ring 0161 480 8979.

(Posted 10 November 2014.)
(GMCDP does not necessarily support or promote any organisation, individual or website mentioned in this post.)

Young People’s Forum at Manchester People First

People First have a group for people with learning difficulties who are 18 – 25 years old and live in Manchester.

“You can talk about things that are important, be listened to and learn more about issues.”

It is every Tuesday, from 2:00 – 3:30pm.

You can ring 0161 839 3700 to find out more.

People First is at: 3 Broughton Street, Cheetham Hill, Manchester. M8 8R

(Posted 7 November 2014.)
(GMCDP does not necessarily support or promote any organisation, individual or website mentioned in this post.)

Performance Celebrating International Day of Disabled People

On Saturday 13 December, Queer of the Unknown, a group of queer disabled people, are hosting an evening of performance by disabled artists against government cuts.

The performance is from 7:30 – 10:30pm in the Birch Community Centre, (off Brighton Grove, which is off Wilmslow Road), M14 5JT.

There will be British Sign Language Interpreters and personal assistants available; snacks, drinks and cake.

The performance is free.

Book a place by emailing: idodp2014@gmail.com

The centre is wheelchair accessible with a slope up to the door. Limited car parking is available in the Community Centre, on-street parking also. Accessible toilet available.

(Posted 7 November 2014.)

(GMCDP does not necessarily support or promote any organisation, individual or website mentioned in this post.)

Evidence from the Front Line – Report

Making Every Adult Matter has produced a report on the effects of policy changes on people with ‘multiple needs’.

Publicity about the report says:

“The interim report from our Voices from the Frontline project features the results of a survey of over 140 local services. Our findings suggest that recent welfare reforms are having a negative impact on people with multiple needs. The report also explores the effect of changes to the way services are commissioned.”

You can download the report from the MEAM webpage:

Publications – MEAM – Making Every Adult Matter

MEAM is a coalition of 4 national organizations: Clink, DrugScope, Homeless Link and Mind. MEAM  promotes a co-ordinated approach to supporting people with multiple needs; encouraging local services to work together more effectively.

To find out more about MEAM, go to:

www.meam.org.uk

(Posted 6 November 2014.)

(GMCDP does not necessarily support or promote any organisation, individual or website mentioned in this post.)

CQC Report on Places of Safety

Under the Mental Health Act, anyone who seems to be experiencing a mental health crisis in a public place has the right to be taken to a health based ‘place of safety’, for example, mental health unit or Accident and Emergency.

Earlier this year, the Care Quality Commission undertook a survey to find out whether this is working in practise. They were looking at:

  • The availability, in practice, of health-based places of safety.
  • Accessibility, including any exclusion criteria.
  • Staffing and training of those involved in operating places of safety.
  • Target times and delays in carrying out MHA assessments after people have been taken to places of safety.
  • Governance, reporting and multi-agency working.
  • The role of police and ambulance services.

The CQC found 4 areas which need addressing:

  1. Too many places of safety are turning people away or requiring people to wait for long periods with the police, because they are already full or because there are staffing problems.
  2. Too many providers operate policies that exclude young people, people who are intoxicated, and people with disturbed behaviour from all of their places of safety.
  3. Too many commissioners are not adequately fulfilling their responsibilities for maintaining an oversight of the section 136 pathway.
  4. Too many providers are not appropriately monitoring their own service provision. This makes it difficult for those providers and their commissioners to evaluate if provision is meeting the needs of people in their local ar

For more detail, and links to the full report and a map of provision, go to:

A Safer Place to Be: Care Quality Commission

(Posted 6 November 2014.)

(GMCDP does not necessarily support or promote any organisation, individual or website mentioned in this post.)

Updated Guidance on Personal Independence Payment

The Department of Work and Pensions has updated its guidance for organisations who explain Personal Independence Payment to claimants and potential claimants.

You can find the guidance at:

The Personal Independence Toolkit: Publications gov.uk

(Posted 6 November 2014.)

(GMCDP does not necessarily support or promote any organisation, individual or website mentioned in this post.)

Failings in NHS Complaints Procedure

Healthwatch England have published a report following their examination of the NHS complaints procedure.

The results show that 3 out of 5 people who complained about poor treatment felt their concerns were not addressed, and:

  • Just 1 in 5 said they only had to complain once before someone listened to them
  • Fewer than 1 in 10 was provided with formal support to make a complaint
  • Well over 80 per cent of people say they would be more willing to complain if they could see it making a difference – e.g. informing inspections or improving servicesAs well as people’s views on the complaints procedure, the report contains some ‘relatively simple and straightforward changes to complaints handling…”

For more information, go to the webpage:

Renewed efforts required to created compassionate complaints system: Healthwatch England

http://www.healthwatch.co.uk/news/renewed-efforts-required-create-compassionate-complaints-system

To download the report, go to:

Our report on complaints: Healthwatch England

For a copy of this report in a different format:

emailenquiries@healthwatch.co.uk

phone 03000 68 3000.

(Posted 5 November 2014.)

(GMCDP does not necessarily support or promote any organisation, individual or website mentioned in this post.)

Listening Event With Macmillan and Healthwatch

Macmillan and Healthwatch want to hear people’s experiences of how cancer services in Greater Manchester communicate with each other. This event, being held in the centre of Manchester, is for people who have used cancer services, or who have supported someone to use cancer services around Greater Manchester.

The event is on 17 November, from 10:00am – 1:00pm. Lunch, refreshments and travel expenses will be provided.

For more information and to book a place, contact Naomi or Sarah by:

Phone 01904 756 432

Email EMNERegionLandD@macmillan.org.uk

(Posted 5 November 2014.)

(GMCDP does not necessarily support or promote any organisation, individual or website mentioned in this post.)

Greater Manchester Faith in Health Conference

This conference provides an opportunity for faith community leaders and members, faith based health projects, strategic health agencies, young people and others to learn from one another, network and raise issues for action. There will be 12 workshops to choose from; and the following key questions will be addressed during the day:

  • What are the religious issues in health and social care provision?
  • How should generalist health services incorporate sensitivity to faith?
  • What is the role of health services targeted at/for faith groups?
  • How to ensure health services meet the needs of young people of faith.

The conference is on 18 November, from 10:00 to 4:00pm, at St Luke’s Church and Neighbourhood Centre, Guide Post Road, Longsight, Manchester, M13 9HP.

For more information and to book a place, go to the webpage:

https://www.eventbrite.co.uk/e/faith-in-health-conference-tickets, or contact 0161 833 8822

or email: admin@fn4m.org

(Posted 4 November 2014.)

(GMCDP does not necessarily support or promote any organisation, individual or website mentioned in this post.)

Petition to Keep Manchester Youth Fund

GMCDP is one of the organisations currently receiving money from the Youth Fund for one of our young disabled people’s projects.

Manchester City Council is considering reducing the amount of money in the Youth Fund.

Voluntary Youth Manchester has set up a petition on the Manchester City Council website to stop this reduction. It needs 4,000 signatures by 22 November so that the Council has to discuss it at a full Council meeting or Scrutiny Committee.

To sign the petition, you need to have a Manchester address, whether that is home, work, school, college or university.

You can find the petition at:

http://petitions.manchester.gov.uk/petitions.ti/keeptheyouthfund

For more information, go to the Voluntary Youth Manchester news webpage:

www.vymnetwork.org.uk/news/

(Posted 4 November 2014.)

(GMCDP does not necessarily support or promote any organisation, individual or website mentioned in this post.)

Protest Against Assisted Dying Bill

GMCDP has been sent the following information. To find out more, go to the Not Dead Yet UK website: www.notdeadyetuk.org

On Friday November 7th the ‘Assisted Dying Bill’ returns to the House of Lords to be debated and amended line by line.

We have to show the Lords, the public and the media that disabled people do not want to give doctor’s the power to end our lives.  We do not want the state sanctioned killing of old, ill and disabled people of all impairments.

We do not want to legalise assisted suicide.

This Bill is not safe!

We want support to live, not to die.

We have to stop this before it begins.

If we don’t, who will be next?

We have no choice but to protest.

Not Dead Yet UK plans to be outside the Lords in a show of opposition that no one will want to miss.

We’ll be gathering from 8 am at the Methodist Central Hall where the cafe will be open and there are accessible toilets.

http://www.methodist-central-hall.org.uk

From there, we’ll be making the 5 minute push to the statue of George V, opposite the Houses of Parliament, Abingdon Street, London, SW1P 3JY (where we were last time).

We know this is early for many of us but please, if you can get there at any time before 10.30 am, please join us.  If you’ll be arriving after 9 am, go straight to the George V statue.

We should be finished by 11 am at the very latest.

If you need support – financial or otherwise, it may be possible for us to help out.  Please contact us on:  0797 0959791

This is a matter of life and death – please join us on the 7th November to say Kill the Bill, Not Us!

(Posted 4 November 2014.)

(GMCDP does not necessarily support or promote any organisation, individual or website mentioned in this post.)

Patient Advice and Liaison Service Consultation Event

The Patient Advice and Liaison Service are inviting those who use their services, families and supporters, plus partner agencies, to give ideas on how their services should be developed.

The event is on Wednesday 19 November, from 10:00 am – 1:00 pm (including lunch).

It will be held at Dukinfield Town Hall, King Street, Dukinfield, SK16 4LA

Lunch and refreshments are provided.

Return transport is available from central pick-up points in each borough if required.

To book a place phone PALS on 0161 716 3178

Closing date for bookings is 7 November 2014.

(Posted 4 November 2014.)

(GMCDP does not necessarily support or promote any organisation, individual or website mentioned in this post.)

Spectrum Southampton CIL Celebrates 30 Years

One of the first Centres for Independent Living in the UK is celebrating its 30th anniversary next week.

Spectrum CIL, which used to be known as Southampton CIL, came out of a public meeting of disabled people who were wanting to set up a Centre for Independent Living in 1984.

This anniversary has been recognised in the Guardian newspaper (although the title uses people with disabilities instead of disabled people):

30 years of independent living for people with disabilities

GMCDP has produced a brief outline of independent living in the UK. Please contact the office for a copy.

(Posted 31 October 2014.)
(GMCDP does not necessarily support or promote any organisation, individual or website mentioned in this post.)

Campaign to Save Welfare Assistance Schemes

The government is planning to withdraw funding from welfare assistance funds in April next year. These are funds which have been set up by local authorities in the last 2 years. They are to assist people going through particularly difficult financial hardship with benefit changes such as the bedroom tax.

A Judicial Review ruled that the government must consult on this change, so organisations are using this time to campaign against the cut. A survey by the Local Government Association found that 3 out of 4 local authorities would have to close or drastically cut the welfare assistance fund if government support is withdrawn.

Inclusion London has drafted a response to the government’s consultation. They are asking for people either to use their response as a template, or sign up to support their response.

You can find the story, with a link to the Inclusion London response, on the Disabled People Against Cuts webpage:

Save the Welfare Assistance Fund: Inclusion London

You can read a press release from the Local Government Association at:

Media releases: Local Government Association

(Posted 30 October 2014.)

(GMCDP does not necessarily support or promote any organisation, individual or website mentioned in this post.)

American Firm Taking Over From Atos

Maximus, which already runs some welfare to work schemes in the south of England, is taking over from Atos to undertake ‘fitness for work’ tests for Employment and Support Allowance.

The contract is thought to be worth £500,000,000 over 3.5 years.

For more detail, go to the BBC News webpage:

US firm Maximus awarded contract to assess fitness-to-work

(Posted 29 October 2014.)

(GMCDP does not necessarily support or promote any organisation, individual or website mentioned in this post.)

Disability Hate Crime Convictions Drop

A BBC News article has highlighted that convictions in cases of disability hate crime have dropped, although there has been a rise in convictions for hate crime in general.

You can read the story at:

Disability hate crime convictions drop, says CPS

If you have experienced hate crime – whether it is verbal abuse or physical assault, you can report it anonymously if you are more comfortable with that.

Go to:

Disability hate crime – report it – True Vision

(Posted 29 October 2014.)

(GMCDP does not necessarily support or promote any organisation, individual or website mentioned in this post.)

Manchester Deaf Centre Youth in Award Winning Music Video

Young people from Manchester Deaf Centre feature in a music video – for the song Sleep Sound – which won best video at the Q Awards last week.

For more information, and to see the music video, go to the Limping Chicken blog:

Music video featuring members of Manchester Deaf Centre wins best video at the Q Awards

(Posted 29 October 2014.)

(GMCDP does not necessarily support or promote any organisation, individual or website mentioned in this post.)

1Voice Bridging the Gap

The national communications organisation, 1Voice, and Bridge College, are holding a free social event for disabled children and young people aged 0-25, their families and ‘carers’.

It is a chance to meet others, develop communication skills through fun activities and access some of Bridge College’s resources. Refreshments will be provided for all.

This event is on 5 December, from 13:00 to 15:00; at Bridge College, Openshaw Campus, Whitworth St, Manchester, M11 2GR

For more information about the event, contact Francesca Sephton, Speech and Language Therapist on 0161 487 4293 or email: fsephton@bridgecollege.ac.uk

To register your place, send an email to: events@1voice.info giving details of who you are and any needs or requirements.

(Posted 23 October 2014.)

(GMCDP does not necessarily support or promote any organisation, individual or website mentioned in this post.)

Calling Out to Young Black Men – We Tell You Research Project

42nd Street & Hideaway Youth Project in Manchester are interested in hearing the voices and opinions of 500 young black males across the city of Manchester.

The We Tell You project aims to give young people a platform  for their opinions to be heard & to explore what factors positively or negatively affect psychological wellbeing and what methods or support some young people use to maintain good psychological health.

The young men’s ideas, experiences and opinions will be utilised to influence the design of future wellbeing services that support young men to better cope with stress.

For more details contact:

Paul Allen (Mental Health Practitioner)

email paul.allen@42ndstreet.org.uk

mobile 07823 349236

phone 0161 228 7321 (42nd Street admin line)

(Posted 22 October 2014.)

(GMCDP does not necessarily support or promote any organisation, individual or website mentioned in this post.)

Living Well With MS Events

The MS Society are organising the following events:

The Practical Management of MS Symptoms, Tuesday 28 October 6pm-8.30pm.

MS: Managing Mood and Emotions, Wednesday 19 November 6pm-8.30pm.

Living Well with MS: Exercise, Mobility & Lifestyle, Wednesday 26 November  6pm-8.30pm.

All the events are held at the Regis Suite, Alma Lodge Hotel, 149 Buxton Road, Stockport SK2 6EL.

Arrivals/registration is from 6pm onwards and tea, coffee and biscuits will be served. Presentations will start from 6.30pm. Each session is free and you can book to attend one or more. Places are limited.

To book your place contact Melanie Worthington, MS Society, on 020 8438 0713 or melanie.worthington@mssociety.org.uk or MS Society, MS National Centre, 372 Edgware Road, London NW2 6ND.

(Posted 22 October 2014.)

(GMCDP does not necessarily support or promote any organisation, individual or website mentioned in this post.)

Exciting opportunity to set up and manage a new GMCDP Project

Funded by the Kevin Hyett Legacy Fund, this project will support young disabled people to become GMCDP volunteers and play an integral part in taking our organisation forward. The project will provide volunteers with appropriate training and support to ensure that full participation is possible.

The Project will offer a varied range of opportunities for young disabled people to get involved in, including developing leadership skills, improving GMCDP’s online presence, supporting the production of Coalition and other publications, getting involved in GMCDP campaigns, organising events, becoming trainers, refreshing our publicity and much more.

We are recruiting a Project Co-ordinator to lead this project. Initially this will be an 18 month post and will be extended if additional funding can be secured.

The co-ordinator will be responsible for the management, development and delivery of the project and for recruiting and supporting the involvement of volunteers.

Hours: 28 per week

Salary: £21,400 per annum pro rata (actual £17,120 p.a.)

If you would like an application pack please contact the office:

Greater Manchester Coalition of Disabled People,

Unit 4,

Windrush Millennium Centre,

70 Alexandra Road,

Moss Side, Manchester M16 7WD.

You can email us at info@gmcdp.com.

Telephone: 0161 636 7534

Text: 07508 537561

Please let us know what format you would like your application pack in (standard or large print, by email or post, etc.).

Closing date: Friday 31st October.

Listening Event – Macmillan Cancer Support and Healthwatch

On 17 November, 10am – 1pm, at a venue in central Manchester, there will be an event for people who have used cancer services in Greater Manchester.

Macmillan Cancer Support and Healthwatch want to hear about people’s experiences of how cancer services communicate with each other.

To find out more and book a place, contact Naomi or Sarah by:

Phone 01904 756432

Email EMNERegionLandD@macmillan.org.uk

(Posted 20 October 2014.)

(GMCDP does not necessarily support or promote any organisation, individual or website mentioned in this post.)

New EHRC Disability Committee Members

The Disability Committee is the part of the Equality and Human Rights Commission which works around disability equality.

Currently, the Committee must have at least half of its members as disabled people, and the chair must be, or have been a disabled person.

One of the 7 new members is Michele Scattergood, Chief Executive Officer of Breakthrough UK – the Manchester-based organisation supporting disabled people around employment issues. The others are:

  • Rachel Perkins. Former Chair of Equality 2025.
  • Marc Bush. Director of Policy & Intelligence at Healthwatch England.
  • Professor Anna Lawson. Coordinator of the accessibility strand of the EU Academic Network of Experts on Disability (ANED).
  • Helen Chipchase. Interim Head of Diversity at Sainsbury’s.
  • Rob Greig. Chief Executive National Development Team for Inclusion.

For more detailed information about the new members, go to:

Commission appoints new members to its Disability Committee

and for more information about the Disability Committee and its work, go to:

Disability Committee: Equality and Human Rights Commission

(Posted 20 October 2014.)

(GMCDP does not necessarily support or promote any organisation, individual or website mentioned in this post.)

What a Week! – Disabled People and Work

Last week there was a lot of discussion about disabled people’s value in paid employment.

First there was the exposure of Lord Freud’s comment at a Conservative Party Conference fringe meeting, suggesting that some disabled people are not worth the minimum wage. See:

BBC News – Welfare Minister apologises for disability pay comments

Then, at the weekend, The Independent Newspaper highlighted a comment by Andrew Selous at another fringe meeting, saying that disabled people work harder because we are grateful to have a job. You can find the Independent article (with some phrases GMCDP would not usually use), at:

Andrew Selous: Disabled are grateful so work harder

Disabled People Against Cuts are holding a protest today, 20 October, outside Caxton House in London, calling for the resignation of Lord Freud.

(Posted 20 October 2014.)

(GMCDP does not necessarily support or promote any organisation, individual or website mentioned in this post.)

Meeting to Raise the Profile of Personal Assistance in Europe

The European Network on Independent Living (ENIL) is organising a discussion meeting about access to personal assistance across Europe, and the ‘portability’ of personal assistance packages across countries. ‘Portability’ means being able to take a personal assistance package from one place to another.

ENIL will also present the results of its survey on the availability of personal assistance in Europe and the initiatives of ENIL, the Erasmus Student Network and the European Disability Forum to promote freedom of movement for disabled people in Europe.

The meeting is hosted by Marian Harkin MEP, on 18 November, 9am – 11am, at the European Parliament in Brussels. It is for: disabled people and their organisations, MEPs, European Commission officials, representatives of the Member States and academics.

You must register for the meeting by 7 November. For more information and to register, go to:

Registration Form (download)

or contact Vanessa Scanlon at the ENIL Secretariat,

vanessa.scanlon@enil.eu

(Posted 20 October 2014.)

(GMCDP does not necessarily support or promote any organisation, individual or website mentioned in this post.)

Research into Disabled People and Online Recruitment

Frederike Scholz is a postgraduate researcher at Leeds University and a volunteer at Breakthrough UK.

Frederike is doing research into whether online recruitment and selection create additional barriers for disabled jobseekers, especially for individuals with visual impairments or learning difficulties.

You can find out more on Frederike’s blog, which is at:

http://www.frederikescholz.com

(Posted 17 October 2014.)

(GMCDP does not necessarily support or promote any organisation, individual or website mentioned in this post.)

Manjeet Wins Her Case!

Excellent news today, a disabled woman, Manjeet Kaur, has won her case against being evicted by the Home Office.

For more detail, see the news item further down this page.

Liverpool Pathway Still Being Used?

Last year, GMCDP reported the discrediting of the Liverpool Care Pathway for End of Life, and the announcement that it would no longer be used as a guide for health care at the end of someone’s life.

Now, an ethics and palliative care academic from Keele University has claimed that the Liverpool Pathway is still being used by some health professionals as a guide for care at end of life.

For more detail, go to the Nursing Times article on the Linkis webpage:

Liverpool pathway continues to be used

(Posted 16 October 2014.)

(GMCDP does not necessarily support or promote any organisation, individual or website mentioned in this post.)

Disability Benefits to be Taxed?

The word is going around that Ian Duncan Smith has suggested he may consider taxing Disability Living Allowance and Personal Independence Payment for wealthy claimants.

His argument appears to be that more money can then go to less well off claimants.

To see more information, go to the Benefits and Work webpage:

IDS plans to tax DLA and PIP

(Posted 15 October 2014.)

(GMCDP does not necessarily support or promote any organisation, individual or website mentioned in this post.)

Launch of Learning Disability Alliance England

The Learning Disability Alliance England is a new coalition of organisations and individuals who are, or who support someone who is, learning disabled. It aims to make sure that the views and rights of people with learning difficulties are promoted in the run up to the General Election in 2015. This will be partly achieved by looking at the policies of the political parties and campaigning.

At present, the Alliance includes: People First England, National Forum of People with Learning Difficulties, National Valuing Family Forum, Association for Real Change and the Housing and Support Alliance.

For more information, go to the website:

http://www.learningdisabilityalliance.org

For a blog about the setting up of the Learning Disability Alliance by Simon Duffy, go to:

http://simonduffy.blogspot.co.uk/2014/08/why-were-launching-lda-for-england.html

(Posted 15 October 2014.)

(GMCDP does not necessarily support or promote any organisation, individual or website mentioned in this post.)

Lobby – Manjeet Must Stay Campaign

Manjeet Kaur is an Afghan national and current Chair of RAPAR, a human rights organisation based in Manchester. Manjeet has led many campaigns against the government’s asylum policies and practices.

Manjeet is under threat of eviction by the Home Office. She is appealing against the decision on Thursday 16 October.

There is a lobby outside the appeal hearing on 16th October, between 9am and 10am. The hearing is in the Piccadilly Exchange building on Moseley Street near Piccadilly Gardens (where the tram stop used to be).

Campaign organisers are asking for as many people as possible to join the lobby.

Background: Manjeetis a disabled woman who came to the UK after being threatened and attacked, following the disappearance of Amitt Bhatt, her husband (in India) in February 2011. Before he disappeared, Amitt Bhatt, a campaigning journalist and Panun Kashmir activist, had been persecuted and attacked. Manjeet was beaten at her home in Delhi.

On two occasions by a group of men looking for information about her husband. She was told if they did not find her husband they would come back to rape and kill her.

For more information about the meeting tonight, go to:

Manjeet Must Stay in the UK: DPAC

To find out more about Majeet and the campaign, go to:

Keep Manjeet Safe In The UK – RAPAR

(Posted 14 October 2014.)

(GMCDP does not necessarily support or promote any organisation, individual or website mentioned in this post.)

‘Working With MS’ Meeting in Tameside

On Wednesday 29 October, the group MS Tameside is holding a meeting to explore some of the issues facing people living with MS. Elaine Astley, from Breakthrough UK, will be speaking about issues relating to employment.

The meeting is being held at Ashton Village Urban Resort Pamir Drive, Ashton-under-Lyne, Tameside OL7 0LY from 7pm to 9.30pm.

For more information, contact the Tameside and Glossop branch on 07876 155307 or at jeffsueedwards252@btinternet.com

(Posted 14 October 2014.)

(GMCDP does not necessarily support or promote any organisation, individual or website mentioned in this post.)

Legal Aid Cuts Impact on Disabled People

The Benefits and Work website have highlighted how big an impact the cut in Legal Aid has been on disabled people.

The website says that the number of people claiming benefits who receive Legal Aid has dropped from 88,380 in 2012-13 to 149 in 2013-14.

The website also highlights that no applications for Exceptional Case funding have been approved.

For more information, go to the Benefits and Work webpage:

Legal Aid cuts savage sick and disabled

You can download the latest statistics from the government publication (PDF file):

Legal Aid Statistics in England and Wales

(Posted 14 October 2014.)

(GMCDP does not necessarily support or promote any organisation, individual or website mentioned in this post.)

Visually Impaired Gamesters Spread the Word

There is an article in the Observer newspaper highlighting video games which are accessible to visually impaired people, both by accident and design.

If you are interested, go to:

Video games which open the door for the blind to play: Technology: The Observer

(Posted 14 October 2014.)

(GMCDP does not necessarily support or promote any organisation, individual or website mentioned in this post.)

Access to Justice Campaign

The Law Society has launched this campaign to highlight recent changes in the ability of people to gain access to support with the justice system. One major element of this is the reduction in Legal Aid, another is the closure of free legal advice services due to budget cuts by government and local authorities.

The reduction in Legal Aid and free legal advice has had a significant impact on disabled people, particularly in the areas of challenging discrimination, disability hate crime and benefits.

The 3 goals of the campaign are: to:

  • persuade policymakers to amend parts one and two of the Legal Aid, Sentencing and Punishment of Offenders Act
  • raise public awareness of the importance of legal aid and the areas of law where it is still available, and
  • encourage and support our members to make their services more accessible to the public

You can find out more about the campaign on the Law Society webpage:

http://www.lawsociety.org.uk/representation/campaigns/access-to-justice

(Posted 13 October 2014.)

(GMCDP does not necessarily support or promote any organization, individual or website mentioned in this post.)

Reminder: Consultation on Draft Accessible Information Standards

There are only 4 weeks left to respond to the NHS consultation to seek people’s views of their draft standards for making information accessible to patients.

The consultation is only open until 9 November 2014.

Link to the documents and survey are on the webpage:

http://www.england.nhs.uk/ourwork/patients/accessibleinfo-2/

For enquiries and copies of the documents in alternative languages and formats,

Email england.nhs.participation@nhs.net

or phone 0113 8251324.

(Posted 13 October 2014.)

(GMCDP does not necessarily support or promote any organization, individual or website mentioned in this post.)

Today – World Mental Health Day

The theme for this year’s World Mental Health Day is living a healthy life with schizophrenia.

For more information, go to the National Survivor User Network (NSUN) webpage:

NSUN News Bulletin 29 September

and

World Health Organisation

and

Mental Health Foundation

(Posted 10 October 2014.)

(GMCDP does not necessarily support or promote any organisation, individual or website mentioned in this post.)

Test Case Against Access To Work

A Deaf British Sign Language user is challenging Access To Work through a Judicial Review, following their Access to Work budget being cut. The case is being taken with the support of Stop Changes to Access to Work and the solicitors Leigh Day.

If the test case is successful it could mean Access To Work will have to review other decisions they have made about Deaf people’s support.

To find out more, go to the Stop Changes To AtW webpage:

http://stopchanges2atw.wordpress.com

There is an article on the Limping Chicken by Jen Dodds, along with a BSL version of the article. Go to:

Jen Dodds: Why you should support the Access to Work test case

(Posted 9 October 2014.)

(GMCDP does not necessarily support or promote any organisation, individual or website mentioned in this post.)

Emergency Meeting Tonight – Manjeet Must Stay Campaign

Manjeet Kaur is an Afghan national and current Chair of RAPAR, a human rights organisation based in Manchester. Manjeet has led many campaigns against the government’s asylum policies and practices.

There is an emergency meeting of the Manjeet Must Stay campaign tonight, Tuesday 7 October, at 5pm. The meeting is at the RAPAR office. 6 Mount Street, basement offices Manchester M2 5NS.

Manjeet is a disabled woman who came to the UK after being threatened and attacked, following the disappearance of Amitt Bhatt, her husband (in India) in February 2011. Before he disappeared, Amitt Bhatt, a campaigning journalist and Panun Kashmir activist, had been persecuted and attacked. Manjeet was beaten at her home in Delhi.

On two occasions by a group of men looking for information about her husband. She was told if they did not find her husband they would come back to rape and kill her.

For more information about the meeting tonight, go to:

Manjeet Must Stay in the UK: DPAC

To find out more about Majeet and the campaign, go to:

Keep Manjeet Safe In The UK – RAPAR

(Posted 7 October 2014.)

(GMCDP does not necessarily support or promote any organisation, individual or website mentioned in this post.)

Survey about Bipolar Disorder

This survey has been launched to gather material which will guide future research into Bipolar Disorder. The survey is the first asking for the views of people who experience Bipolar Disorder themselves, as well as families, friends and professionals.

For more information, go to:

Bipolar

(Posted 7 October 2014.)

(GMCDP does not necessarily support or promote any organisation, individual or website mentioned in this post.)

Lib Dem Delegate Promotes ILF

Linda Jack, a delegate at the Lib Dem party conference, wore an ILF campaign T-shirt while speaking, and also called for the Lib Dems to support the continuation of the Independent Living Fund.

You can hear this part of Linda Jack’s speech on YouTube:

http://youtu.be/b1PDpNhoNVA

(Posted 7 October 2014.)

(GMCDP does not necessarily support or promote any organisation, individual or website mentioned in this post.)

US Rapper in ‘Stand Up’ Controversy

A GMCDP member has brought this to our attention and asked us to share it with you.

Kanye West has sparked much internet-based discussion for singling out a disabled fan at a concert.

West asked everyone to stand up before he would perform one of his songs. He said: “Unless you got a handicap pass and you get special parking,” (Note: the word handicap is more acceptable in America.)

One fan was singled out in particular, and booed by the audience,  until it was seen that he was a wheelchair user.

For more detail of the incident and arguments condemning and supporting West, go to the BBC webpage:

BBC News: Kanye West tells wheelchair-user to stand up

For a commentary on the high number of times the phrase ‘wheelchair-bound’ was used by the media covering this story, go to:

The Mighty

(Posted 7 October 2014.)

(GMCDP does not necessarily support or promote any organisation, individual or website mentioned in this post.)

Consultation – Housing Strategy for Age Friendly Manchester

Manchester City Council is holding a consultation until 31 October. The consultation is about its new Housing Strategy for Older People in Manchester (2014 – 2020).

The strategy outlines how housing for older people will develop and what Manchester City Council needs to do. It links to how care and health services will be provided for the older population and shows how Manchester City Council can make sure the city is a good place for people to grow older in.

Links to a summary of the Strategy, the full document and an on-line survey are at:

HFAHAM

(Posted 6 October 2014.)

(GMCDP does not necessarily support or promote any organisation, individual or website mentioned in this post.)

Good News Story! Victory in Campaign for Accessible Transport

The new Crossrail service being built through London, and due to open in 2019, was originally planned without all stations having step-free access.

London-based Access for All, and other disabled people’s groups, have been campaigning and protesting to have this decision reversed, and to ensure that all Crossrail stations would have step-free access.

Access for All have now been told that all stations along the line will now have step-free access.

This is a heartening news story in these bleak times, reminding us that there are success stories emerging from the hard work of disabled campaigners.

For more information, go to:

We Won on Crossrail! : Access for All

(Posted 6 October 2014.)

(GMCDP does not necessarily support or promote any organisation, individual or website mentioned in this post.)

19th Century Campaigning For Inclusion

If you are interested in the history of disabled people, the Ouch! Blog written by historian Dr David Turner will make a good read for you.

The blog tells of blind people in Victorian times campaigning for an end to segregated education for blind and Deaf children; and for the recognition that blind people could do more than brush-making or basket-weaving.

You can find the blog at:

How Blind Victorians Campaign for Inclusive Education: BBC Ouch!

If you are interested in the campaign for inclusive education today, go to:

Alliance for Inclusive Education

(Posted 6 October 2014.)

(GMCDP does not necessarily support or promote any organisation, individual or website mentioned in this post.)

10 October – World Mental Health Day

The theme for this year’s World Mental Health Day is living a healthy life with schizophrenia.

For more information, go to the National Survivor User Network (NSUN) webpage:

NSUN News Bulletin 29 September

and

World Health Organisation

and

Mental Health Foundation

(Posted 3 October 2014.)

(GMCDP does not necessarily support or promote any organisation, individual or website mentioned in this post.)

Does Poverty Porn Undermine the Welfare State?

This event, co-hosted by Social Action and Research Foundation (SARF) and Dr Kim Allen, Manchester Metropolitan University (MMU), will focus on the relationship between welfare policy and media representations of poverty. It will be informed by recent debates about so-called ‘poverty porn’.

It is taking place on 6 November, 2014 – 5:00 – 8:00, at Z-Arts, 335 Stretford Road, Hulme, Manchester, M15 5ZA.

The event will include panel discussions with the media, politicians, academics and people from the wider community.

The audience will participate in a discussion on the impact of the media and how stigma shapes policy on poverty. There will be an opportunity to discuss this with leading academics and people who shape policy and media responses.

For further information, contact Daniel Silver, at: dan@the-sarf.org.uk

(Posted 3 October 2014.)

(GMCDP does not necessarily support or promote any organisation, individual or website mentioned in this post.)

Public Attitudes Towards Poverty – Report

This new report, funded by the Joseph Rowntree Foundation, explores public attitudes to poverty and how they have changed since 2008. It also looks at how the public thinks poverty should be defined, what causes it and what kinds of policies might be effective in tackling poverty in the UK.

Some of the main findings are:

  • harder views towards poverty remain, but the economic circumstances of recent years have encouraged some to reconsider both who might be affected by poverty and its causes;
  • participants considered poverty to be about more than just income. They also questioned whether the term ‘poverty’ was appropriate in the UK context.

For more detail, and a link to the report, go to:

Public Attitudes Towards Poverty: Joseph Rowntree Foundation

(Posted 03 October 2014.)

(GMCDP does not necessarily support or promote any organisation, individual or website mentioned in this post.)

Freedom Drive 2015 – From Strasbourg to Brussels

The European Network on Independent Living has announced a date and place for the Freedom Drive in 2015.

In 2014, ENIL held all of the Freedom Drive events under the banner of “Ten Years with the Freedom Drive” in Strasbourg. In 2015 the Freedom Drive, including the march to European institutions, will take place in Brussels.

In September next year, ENIL will march for the 6th time to lobby for Independent Living across Europe. Over the course of the last decade, the Freedom Drive has gone from an informal meeting to a formal meeting with hundreds of participants.

ENIL have had great success in their lobbying work with Members of the European Parliament. Now ENIL plan to target decision makers in the European Commission as well as Members of the European Parliament. The majority of European policy making takes place in Brussels. By holding the Freedom Drive in Brussels, ENIL hopes to create more connections in both the European Parliament and the European Commission.

For more information, go to the ENIL website:

www.enil.eu

(Posted 2 October 2014.)

(GMCDP does not necessarily support or promote any organisation, individual or website mentioned in this post.)

How to Confirm DWP Has Your ‘Fit Note’

If you put your mobile phone number on the top right-hand side of your ‘fit Note’, the DWP will send you a text to confirm they have received the note and when you can expect payment.

It takes 7 days for the DWP to receive documents, so wait til after 7 days before chasing it up if you do not receive a text.

This information came from the Disability Rights UK webpage: Confirmation That The DWP Has Your Fit Note

(Posted 30 September 2014.)

(GMCDP does not necessarily support or promote any organisation, individual or website mentioned in this post.)

National Women’s Self Injury Helpline

This UK-wide Women’s Self Injury Helpline is now open on Wednesdays from 7-9pm and Thursdays from 3-5pm. You can call for confidential, non-judgemental emotional support around self injury:

Phone 0808 800 8088.

All volunteers are female and have received specialist training.

For more information, go to:

Women’s Self Injury Helpline

http://www.selfinjurysupport.org.uk/womens-self-injury-helpline-0808-800-8088

(Posted 30 September 2014.)

(GMCDP does not necessarily support or promote any organisation, individual or website mentioned in this post.)

Text and Email Support Service for Girls and Young Women Up to 24 Who Self-Injure

TESS is open Monday to Friday, 7pm-9pm

Text 0780 047 2908 or email TESS

Or use the email contact form on the webpage:

http://www.selfinjurysupport.org.uk/tessform/

TESS says: “If you don’t know how to start talking, just text or email ‘hello’.”

They reply to all messages. The aim is to text back within half an hour and to email within 24 hours during opening times. If the service is particularly busy and cannot reply the same day, you will receive an auto message letting you know if TESS is experiencing a high number of texts and emails.

(Posted 30 September 2014.)

(GMCDP does not necessarily support or promote any organisation, individual or website mentioned in this post.)

Euthanasia and Assisted Dying: Lessons from Belgium

This international one-day conference will take place in Twickenham on Saturday 1 November, from 9:30 – 4:30, at St Mary’s University, Twickenham.

The conference will consider the experience of ‘physician assisted death’ in Belgium, and what lessons this has for the choices facing England, Wales and Scotland.

The conference has been organised by the Anscombe Bioethics Centre in cooperation with KU Leuven, the Scottish Council for Human Bioethics, and the Centre for Bioethics and Emerging Technologies at St Mary’s University, Twickenham. The Anscombe Bioethics Centre is a member of Care Not Killing.

Cost of the conference is £20 concessions, £45 full cost.

You can find out more information here

Anscombe Bioethics ; bookings here http://anscombebioethics.bigcartel.com/product/conf-human-nature-biology-ethics-and-theology

(Posted 30 September 2014.)

(GMCDP does not necessarily support or promote any organisation, individual or website mentioned in this post.)

Everyday Disablism Seeks Your Experiences

This website is calling for disabled people to share their experiences of ‘disabling encounters”.

“… What happened? What sense were you able to make of what happened? What impact did it have on you going forward? The more we talk about these things, the better prepared we’ll be to understand and challenge them when they happen in future.”

Disabled activists Dr Colin Cameron, Maggie Cameron and Andy Fletcher have set up this website. They were inspired by the  Everyday Sexism project developed by Laura Bates.

You can find the website at:

http://everydaydisablism.com

(Posted 26  September 2014.)

(GMCDP does not necessarily support or promote any organisation, individual or website mentioned in this post.)

Stockport Wellbeing Week

From 6 – 10 October, Stockport MBC are promoting different ways people can improve their wellbeing. People are encouraged to ‘pledge’ a change to improve their wellbeing, and a variety of organisations will be available each day in Merseyway to chat to people and give information about improving wellbeing. These include Mind, Healthy Stockport Team and the Richmond Fellowship. Information will be available about mental health, being more active, learning, getting involved in groups and mindfulness techniques.

For more information and a calendar of each day, go to:

Stockport Council: Stockport Wellbeing Week

(Posted 26 September 2014.)

(GMCDP does not necessarily support or promote any organisation, individual or website mentioned in this post.)

DaDaFest International 2014 on its Way

From 8 November 2014 until 11 January 2015, Liverpool is once again hosting this bi-anual celebration of Deaf and Disability Artists.

This year will include:

  • Art of the Lived Experiment exhibition at the Bluecoat
  • a celebration of Unsung radical – Edward Rushton,
  • a weekend of activities for young people
  • performances from Laurence Clark, Staff Benda Bilili, Krip-Hop Nation, Sophie Partridge and many more.

For more detail, go to the website:

www.dadafest.co.uk

(Posted 25  September 2014.)

(GMCDP does not necessarily support or promote any organisation, individual or website mentioned in this post.)

‘Developing Social Justice’ Lecture Series

This series, organised by Manchester University, provides lectures on several topics, including ‘The Beauty of Diversity’ by Francesca Martinez on Friday 17 October.

Publicity from the University describes the series as follows:

“Our Developing Social Justice series brings together a range of experts from all areas of Health, Psychology and Social Care and demonstrates the impact of healthcare education in meeting the challenges and demands of modern society.”

For more information, and links to book a place, go to:

http://facultyofhealthpsychologysocialcare.cmail1.com/t/y-e-itljduy-jjddjidhky-r

(Posted 24 September 2014.)

(GMCDP does not necessarily support or promote any organisation, individual or website mentioned in this post.)

SAFE – Salford Autism Friendly Environment

The goals of this newly established user-led group are:

  • To provide a support network, working in partnership with Salford City council and external agencies.
  • To encourage the goodwill and involvement of the wider Autism community. To foster community spirit and encourage civic pride
  • To promote positive images and ethos and works towards breaking down barriers and or stigma re: Autism.

Regular Meetings will be at Eccles Town Hall (once a magistrates court), on the 1st Thursday in each month from 12:00 – 3:00pm. There will be ‘coffee and light bites’ in the Training Room.

SAFE offers confidential signposting support for individuals and families who have not found a comfortable answer elsewhere to their questions or to their needs.

Find out more about SAFE on their webpage

SAFE

http://nsun.cmph.org/l/zFQA7wVucj_36d2GArOj4w

Telephone: 0161 408 8040
Email: Salford.SAFE.2014@gmail.com

(Posted 24 September 2014.)

(GMCDP does not necessarily support or promote any organisation, individual or website mentioned in this post.)

Disability Rights UK – Change of Contact Details

DRUK has moved. New address and telephone number are as follows:

Ground Floor, CAN Mezzanine, 49-51 East Rd, London. N1 6AH

Telephone numbers:

Main office 020 7250 8181

Sales 020 7250 8191

Tribunal Support Unit 020 7250 8193

Disabled Students Helpline 0800 328 5050

Independent Living Advice Line 0300 555 1525

Membership 020 7250 8180

Member Organisations Welfare Rights Advice Service 020 7250 8184

Website and email remain the same:

enquiries@disabilityrightsuk.org   www.disabilityrightsuk.org

(Posted 24 September 2014.)

(GMCDP does not necessarily support or promote any organisation, individual or website mentioned in this post.)

Free Webinar – How to Build Accessible Apps

AbilityNet are offering this free webinar at 1pm on Tuesday 30 September 2014.

For more information, go to:

https://www3.gotomeeting.com/register/978726966

AbilityNet say: “AbilityNet exists to change the lives of disabled people by helping them to use digital technology at work, at home or in education.”

To find out more, go to:

www.abilitynet.org.uk

(Posted 24 September 2014.)

(GMCDP does not necessarily support or promote any organisation, individual or website mentioned in this post.)

Important Reminder – Consultation – The Future of Health Services In Greater Manchester

Healthier Together is a review of health and care in Greater Manchester.

There is a short, 10 minute online survey which Healthier Together wants residents of Greater Manchester to complete. There is also a short video to find out more.

Responses must be completed by 30 September 2014.

GMCDP has been informed that Healthier Together has not yet received the number of responses they would like, and are urging people in Greater Manchester to give their views.

For more detail, and a link to the survey, go to:

 https://healthiertogethergm.nhs.uk

(Posted 24 September 2014.)

(GMCDP does not necessarily support or promote any organisation, individual or website mentioned in this post.)

Boycott Workfare Week of Action

Boycott Workfare is calling on people to take action between 4 – 12 October.

To find out more, go to:

Boycott Workfare

(Posted 23 September 2014.)

(GMCDP does not necessarily support or promote any organisation, individual or website mentioned in this post.)

Save the ILF Images for Party Conferences

Brian Hilton has produced some images which can be tweeted or used in other ways during the party conference season.

To find the images, go to the Disabled People Against Cuts webpage:

#Save ILF Campaign Images For Party Conferences

(Posted 23 September 2014.)

(GMCDP does not necessarily support or promote any organisation, individual or website mentioned in this post.)

New Short Film about ILF

Kate Belgrave has produced a short film about the fight for the Independent Living Fund (ILF) in conjunction with False Economy, Ros Wynne Jones (Daily Mirror) Disabled People Against Cuts (DPAC) and Moore Leven Films.

For more information and to see the film, go to the DPAC webpage:

New short film with the Daily Mirror

(Posted 23 September 2014.)

(GMCDP does not necessarily support or promote any organisation, individual or website mentioned in this post.)

Labour Health Policy

The Socialist Health Association is two meetings during the Labour Party Conference in Manchester to discuss future health policy. Both meetings are in the Quaker Meeting house in Mount Street, outside the security zone, so everyone can attend.

Monday 22nd September at 12.30 pm Lord Phil Hunt, Dr Brian Fisher and Claire Ward Chief Executive of the Independent Pharmacy Federation will be leading a discussion on the future of the NHS under Labour.

Tuesday 23rd at 6.30 Luciana Berger MP, Dr Tony Jewell and Dr Gabriel Scally will lead a discussion on The Health of the Public under Labour.

For more information, contact Martin Rathfelder, Director

Mobile 07968703740

Email admin@sochealth.co.uk

Socialist Health Association, 22 Blair Road, Manchester. M16 8NS

www.sochealth.co.uk

https://www.facebook.com/Socialist.Health

@SocialistHealth 

(Posted 19 September 2014.)

(GMCDP does not necessarily support or promote any organisation, individual or website mentioned in this post.)

‘Disabled Access Day’ – 17 January 2015

This is a new initiative being organised and promoted by a group of disabled people and their family/friends in Scotland. The group includes the people developing the website

Euan’s Guide, which people use to pass on information about the accessibility of places and venues.

The organisers are suggesting that, on this day, all disabled people should go somewhere they have not been before. There are suggestions for individuals and venues of how they can get involved in this day.

For more information, go to the Disabled Access Day website:

http://disabledaccessday.com

(Posted18 September 2014.)

(GMCDP does not necessarily support or promote any organisation, individual or website mentioned in this post.)

Important Reminder – Consultation – The Future of Health Services In Greater Manchester

Healthier Together is a review of health and care in Greater Manchester.

There is a short, 10 minute online survey which Healthier Together wants residents of Greater Manchester to complete. There is also a short video to find out more.

Responses must be completed by 30 September 2014.

GMCDP has been informed that Healthier Together has not yet received the number of responses they would like, and are urging people in Greater Manchester to give their views.

For more detail, and a link to the survey, go to:

https://healthiertogethergm.nhs.uk 

(Posted 18 September 2014.)

(GMCDP does not necessarily support or promote any organisation, individual or website mentioned in this post.)

Don’t Forget! Save The ILF Campaign Continues

It is important for us to continue putting pressure on our MPs to reverse the decision to close the Independent Living Fund next year.

For more information, go to the Save The ILF page on the GMCDP website:

Save The ILF Campaign

(Posted 17 September 2014.)

New Epilepsy Support Group in Stockport

A new group is starting in Stockport, which aims to inform people where to get help, support, or just an informal chat with someone who understands epilepsy.

The first meeting will be held on: Tuesday 30th September, from 10am -12noon at Disability Stockport:

23 High Street, Stockport. SK1-1EG

Tel: 0161-480-7248.

People are invited along for a chat, tea, coffee, and biscuits.

(Posted 17 September 2014.)

(GMCDP does not necessarily support or promote any organisation, individual or website mentioned in this post.)

Activism, Ambition, Action…and Austerity? Disabled Young People Speak Out

This is an event being held at Sheffield University on Wednesday, 5 November 2014 from 10:00 to 16:00.

The aim of the event is to stimulate discussion about disability, youth, ambition, action and activism in a time of uncertainty for disabled people politically, culturally, legally, and economically in Britain.

Organisers say this discussion is vital to all social scientists, but is particularly relevant to young disabled people who are affected by current austerity measures.

The organisers invite, “disabled, D/deaf, Mad, learning disabled and neurodiverse people as activists, students, self/advocates, artists, academics and attendees.” They also invite, “(University of Sheffield and other) researchers, academics, teachers and associated professionals, practitioners and policy makers.”

They have confirmed activist, campaigner and (neurodiverse) artist, Touretteshero, as keynote speaker for the day (touretteshero.com).

There are also three inter/national supporting speakers (two social scientists; one activist; each of whom identify as young and/or disabled/Mad).

Dr Jenny Slater, Sheffield Hallam University;

Danielle Landry, School of Disability Studies, Toronto, Canada; and

Dr Kirsty Liddiard, University of Sheffield.

For more information, and to book a place, go to the Eventbrite webpage:

Activism, Ambition, Action…and Austerity? Disabled Young People Speak Out

If you have questions, contact: k.liddiard@sheffield.ac.uk

(Posted 16 September 2014.)

(GMCDP does not necessarily support or promote any organisation, individual or website mentioned in this post.)

Soteria Network (UK): AGM and Open Forum

Soteria is inviting all to this event taking place on Saturday 20 September 2014: 11 am – 4 pm, at the St Thomas Centre, Manchester.

The event is free, and there will be lunch and refreshments available.

To book a place,

email dawn.mccarrick@bcu.ac.uk

phone 0121 331 7151

Website www.soterianetwork.org .uk

Soteria describes itself as follows:

  • Promoting the development of drug-free and minimum medication therapeutic support for people experiencing ‘psychosis’ or extreme states.
  • Part of an international movement of service users, survivors, activists, carers and professionals fighting for more humane, non-coercive mental health services.

(Posted 16 September 2014.)

(GMCDP does not necessarily support or promote any organisation, individual or website mentioned in this post.)

New Email Welfare Rights Service for Organisations

Lasa has funding to offer an email welfare rights service working with people who need good quality welfare rights information. The service is free, but limited in the number of organisations it can support.

For more information, go to:

Rightsnet Services

(Posted 16 September 2014.)

(GMCDP does not necessarily support or promote any organisation, individual or website mentioned in this post.)

Healthier Together Events in Stockport

Healthier Together is a review of health and care in Greater Manchester.

Final public listening event in Stockport. Wednesday 24th September 5-7pm (after the AGM); at Stockport County (Edgeley Park).

To attend the event, register at

www.stockportccg.communications@nhs.net

or email stockportccg.communications@nhs.net

Stockport Question time event. Thursday 25th September, 7- 9pm in Lecture Theatre B, Torkington Centre, Stockport College. On arrival report to Main Reception, Main Building, Stockport College, Stockport, SK1 3UQ.

The local panellists will be Ranjit Gill (NHS Stockport CCG), Eamonn Boylan (Stockport Council), Henry Ticehurst (Pennine Care), Colin Wasson (Healthier Together clinical champion and Stockport Foundation Trust Anaesthetist) and Dr James Catania (Stockport Foundation Trust Medical Director).

(Posted 16 September 2014.)

(GMCDP does not necessarily support or promote any organisation, individual or website mentioned in this post.)

New Health and Work  Service Coming Soon

This new government initiative is intended to ‘help’ disabled people and people with longer term health conditions to say in or gain employment.

The service will be activated when a person has reached or is expected to reach 4 weeks on sick leave; when the person’s GP will make a referral to the service.

The person will then receive an assessment by an occupational health professional, who will identify all the reasons (not only looking at health) why the person is not yet returning to work. A return to work plan will then be written for the employee with recommendations on how to return to work more quickly, and where to get support and advice.

There will also be a telephone line and website which employers, employees and GPs can use to find information.

For more information from the government website, plus a link to a PDF document outlining the service and a press release about which company has been commissioned to carry out the service, go to:

Co-ordinating The Health, Work and Wellbeing Initiative

For a commentary on the Service, which raises some serious concerns about the service and the provider, go to the Disabled People Against Cuts webpage:

The private provider which not only denies benefits but also treatment

(Posted 16 September 2014.)

(GMCDP does not necessarily support or promote any organisation, individual or website mentioned in this post.)

Anti-Bullying Week 2014

The theme of anti-bullying week this year is ‘Let’s stop bullying for all.’ The week runs from 17 – 21 November.

Disability History Month are producing a resource for this week focussing on bullying of young disabled people, which will be on their website:

www.ukdisabilitymonth.com

For more information about anti bullying week, go to:

www.antibullyingweek.co.uk

(Posted 15 September 2014.)

(GMCDP does not necessarily support or promote any organisation, individual or website mentioned in this post.)

BBC Highlights Cuts In Social Care

In an article on Sunday 14 September, the BBC highlighted how much the provision of social care by local authorities is being reduced.

Those of you regularly receiving information bulletins from GMCDP will have been aware for some time that most local authorities no longer support those assessed with low or moderate need.

The article can be found at:

BBC News: Cuts Forcing English Councils To Limit Social Care

(Posted 15 September 2014.)

(GMCDP does not necessarily support or promote any organisation, individual or website mentioned in this post.)

New Memorial to Disabled People Killed By Nazis

Earlier this month a memorial was unveiled outside the Berlin Philharmonic Building. The blue glass wall commemorates the 300,000 disabled people killed as part of the T4 programme during the 2nd World War.

For more information, there are several sources:

An Article about the memorial in the Jewish Times:

Berlin Memorial To Nazi’s Disabled Victims

A BBC news article about the memorial at:

BBC News: Nazi Disabled Victims Memorial Unveiled In Berlin

For information about the Holocaust and disabled people, go to the 2009 BBC Ouch web page:

http://www.bbc.co.uk/ouch/fact/the_holocaust_and_disabled_people_1207.shtml

(Posted 15 September 2014.)

(GMCDP does not necessarily support or promote any organisation, individual or website mentioned in this post.)

The Employers’ Network for Equality and Inclusion (ENEI) Manifesto

The Employers’ Network for Equality and Inclusion (ENEI) has produced a manifesto outlining changes to make the workplace more inclusive. ENEI argue these changes need to be made if the UK is to complete in a global market.

The manifesto was launched last week at ENEI’s annual reception at the House of Lords.

For more information, go to:

Leading Employers Launch an Equality and Inclusion Manifesto

You can download the manifesto in PDF or word document from:

Resources: Employers’ Network on Equality and Inclusion

(Posted 15 September 2014.)

(GMCDP does not necessarily support or promote any organisation, individual or website mentioned in this post.)

Disability and Austerity: impact of the cuts

This workshop and seminar, on 5 November, will be led by people with learning disabilities, family members, activists and allies, and by academics who are currently working to co-produce a research project, ‘Big Society? Disabled people with learning disabilities and Civil Society’.

This will be an opportunity to explore with people with learning disabilities their experiences of community participation through their engagement with employment, self-advocacy and circles of support.

This event offers a space for critical reflection on current changes to the delivery of services and welfare reform that are increasingly impacting on the lives of disabled people in England.

The aim is that the audience will gain a better understanding of the impacts of the cuts on disabled people, and that they will gain a better understanding of the ways in which disabled people contribute positively to society in a time of austerity.

The event, jointly organised by Manchester Metropolitan University and Manchester University, will be held at: Birley Fields Campus, Manchester Metropolitan University, 53 Bonsall Street, Manchester, M15 6GX.

The event is from 4:00-6:00pm on 5 November 2014.

For more information, contact Dr Katherine Runswick-Cole by

email k.runswick-cole@mmu.ac.uk

or go to the Economic and Social Research Council webpage:

Disability and Austerity: impact of the cuts

(Posted 15 September 2014.)

(GMCDP does not necessarily support or promote any organisation, individual or website mentioned in this post.)

Resources for Developing ‘Inclusive Communities’

Disability Rights UK has published several resources relating to making communities inclusive. They are:

  • guidance for Disabled People’s User Led Organisations;
  • Guidance For Local Authorities;
  • Inclusive Communities Research Report; and
  • Five Key Messages For Inclusive Living

You can find the resources in PDF and word document on the Disability Rights UK webpage:

Inclusive Communities

(Posted 12 September 2014.)

(GMCDP does not necessarily support or promote any organisation, individual or website mentioned in this post.)

In Safe Hands? An Evaluation of the Work Programme

This short briefing published by the Institute for Policy and Research, looks at how effective ‘welfare-to-work’ programmes are for people who experience mental health and behaviour issues. The report shows that both the Work Capability Assessment and work programmes currently available are not satisfactory.

The report makes recommendations around:

  • “collecting additional information and evidence about people who might be disadvantaged by the level of self-reporting that the WCA requires;
  • additional training for assessors and decision-makers before they are allowed to handle applicants with mental and behavioural health problems; and
  • continuous monitoring of how the WCA is conducted to mitigate negative effects on the wellbeing of participants with mental health problems.”

For more detail, and to download the briefing, go to:

In Safe Hands? Evaluating Employment Pathways for Claimants with Mental Health Problems

(Posted 11 September 2014.)

(GMCDP does not necessarily support or promote any organisation, individual or website mentioned in this post.)

Important! Consultation – The Future of Health Services In Greater Manchester

Healthier Together is a review of health and care in Greater Manchester, looking at ways of providing the best care.

There is a short, 10 minute on-line survey which Healthier Together wants residents of Greater Manchester to complete. There is also a short video to find out more.

Deadline for responses is 30 September 2014.

GMCDP has been informed that Healthier Together has not yet received the number of responses they would like, and are urging people in Greater Manchester to give their views.

For more detail, and a link to the survey, go to:

Healthier Together

(Posted 10 September 2014.)

(GMCDP does not necessarily support or promote any organisation, individual or website mentioned in this post.)

Mobility Benefit Claimants Still Exposed

The Benefits and Work website has revealed that it is still possible for people to find out from the DVLA website whether their neighbours or people they know receive the higher mobility component of Disability Living Allowance (DLA) or either mobility element of Personal Independence Payment (PIP).

Although the Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO) has told the DVLA it must remove the information, this has still not been done.

For more detail, see the Benefits and Work webpage:

DVLA Website Still Lets Visitors Check on Neighbours’ Benefits

(Posted 10 September 2014.)

(GMCDP does not necessarily support or promote any organisation, individual or website mentioned in this post.)

Nominations Sought for Independent Living Awards

Breakthrough UK is once again holding its national Independent Living Awards. Nominations can be submitted until midnight on 6 October 2014.

Award categories are:

  • Overall Independent Living Award. This award recognises outstanding achievement in the promotion of independent living.
  • Influencing disabled people’s participation in society. This award recognises innovation and achievement by an organisation that has increased the participation of disabled people within their local community.
  • Providing greater choice, control and independent living. This will be awarded to an organisation that can evidence a service / product or approach that has offered real choice and control for disabled people to achieve, or move towards independent living.
  • Enabling disabled people to pursue and develop their careers. This will be awarded to an organisation that can demonstrate excellence in recruitment, retention or progression of disabled people.
  • Working towards excellence. This award recognises the steps an organisation has taken to include disabled people within governance or leadership roles.

For more information, go to the Breakthrough webpage:

Breakthrough Awards

(Posted 10 September 2014.)

(GMCDP does not necessarily support or promote any organisation, individual or website mentioned in this post.)

Proposal to Cut Long-Distance Train Routes

An article in Private Eye has highlighted a Department of Transport proposal to reduce the number of long-distance train routes, for example, the East Midlands route Norwich to Liverpool, which it is proposed would break at Nottingham.

This would have a significant impact on disabled and older people, as more train changes would be necessary. As many disabled people are aware, although there have been great improvements in accessibility on the rail network, including infrastructure and staffing, train changes can often go wrong.

The reasoning behind these changes is to make the administration of rail franchises easier and more cost effective, not to improve services for passengers.

A teaser for the story is on the Private Eye webpage:

http://www.private-eye.co.uk/sections.php?section_link=columnists&issue=1373

Thanks to Tony Baldwinson, GMCDP has a PDF copy of the article. Contact the office if you would like us to send it to you.

(Posted 9 September 2014.)

(GMCDP does not necessarily support or promote any organisation, individual or website mentioned in this post.)

New Stroke Information / Support Group

Stroke Information is a new group set up by 4 people who have experienced strokes. The aim is to provide information and support to people who have had a stroke, their families and supporters. The group is initially working with people throughout Greater Manchester but hopes to extend its range as it develops.

For more information, go to their website:

www.strokeinformation.co.uk

Contact:

John by mobile on 07850 605 236 and email John@strokeinformation.co.uk

Or

Nick by mobile on 07950 286417 and email  Nick@strokeinformation.co.uk

(Posted 9 September 2014.)

(GMCDP does not necessarily support or promote any organisation, individual or website mentioned in this post.)

Salford Forced to Keep Transport for Disabled People

Salford City Council has been trying to cut transport to day centres for disabled people in the city. Erwin Mitchel solicitors supported a disabled man to take the Council to the High Court in Manchester to stop this. The Council agreed it would not cut the service while a Judicial Review is being sought.

This means that the people who used to use this transport have to re-apply through an appeal process by 11 September.

For more information, go to the Salford Star webpage:

Victory for Salford Families in High Court

(Posted 8 September 2014.)

(GMCDP does not necessarily support or promote any organisation, individual or website mentioned in this post.)

BIHR Human Rights  Pop-up Tour 2014

Each year the British Institute for Human Rights makes a tour of the UK. The nearest event to Manchester is on 23 October in Liverpool.

The day focusses on raising awareness about human rights, how they are relevant in everyday life & having a space for debate & discussion.

The model for each pop-up uses a mix of presentations, discussions and interactive sessions, with some creative elements. The day runs from 10am – 4pm, and covers:

  • Where do human rights come from? Our human rights history in 60 minutes!
  • Human rights law for non-lawyers: Introduction to the Human Rights Act
  • Making human rights work in your work: Applying human rights in real life situations
  • The human rights conversation: Human rights in the media, in politics and in your community

For more information, including alternative venues,  and to book a place, go to:
Human Rights Tour 2014: BIHR

(Posted 8 September 2014.)

(GMCDP does not necessarily support or promote any organisation, individual or website mentioned in this post.)

Exciting Opportunity for Deaf and Disabled Writers in the North West

Graeae Theatre Company in partnership with The Liverpool Everyman & Playhouse, The Royal Exchange Manchester and The Octagon Bolton, bring you Write to Play, a new writing initiative committed to developing the skills and experience of Deaf and disabled writers in the North West.

Fresh from its first year in London, Write to Play is breaking out and heading  to the North West of England to discover and develop five new writers!

Working alongside leading artists in the UK this paid one year programme consists of tailor-made workshops, one to one mentoring and opportunities to have your short pieces of work performed in front of a live audience.

For full details on how to apply go to:

www.graeae.org

Deadline for application submissions: Monday 22 September, 12 noon

Please be aware that you must:

  • Identify as a Deaf or disabled person
  • Work or live in the North West
  • Be available for select dates from December 2014 – December 2015

(Posted 8 September 2014.)

(GMCDP does not necessarily support or promote any organisation, individual or website mentioned in this post.)

Consultation Events – Manchester City Council All-Age Disability Strategy

Manchester City Council is developing a new all-age disability strategy for disabled people living and working in Manchester. The strategy will offer improved choices for accessible services, support and independent living. The strategy will involve disabled people, people with long-term health conditions and carers.

There are events around the city for people to give their views. There is no need to book.

For more information, or if you have any access requirements contact Kate Fowler by:

Email k.fowler@manchester.gov.uk

Phone 0161 219 2087

More information is available on the Manchester City Council webpage:

http://www.manchester.gov.uk/info/100010/social_care_and_support/6610/disability_strategy_engagement_2014

Times and venues of events are:

Thursday 11 September 1–3pm at the Windrush Millennium Centre, 70 Alexandra Road, Moss Side, Manchester M16 7WD

Thursday 11 September 6–8pm at Meeting Rooms 1 and 2, Wythenshawe Forum, Forum Centre, Forum Square, Wythenshawe, Manchester M22 5RX

Saturday 13 September 2.45– 4.45pm at Factory Youth Zone 931 Rochdale Road, Harpurhey, Manchester M9 8AE

Monday 15 September 5.30– 7.30pm at Longsight Library and Learning Centre, 519 Stockport Road, Longsight, Manchester M12 4NE

Tuesday 16 September 6–8pm at the Irish World Heritage Centre, 1 Irish Town Way, Cheetham, Manchester M8 0AE

Wednesday 17 September 6–8pm at the Banqueting Room, Town Hall, Albert Square, Manchester M60 2LA

Thursday 18 September 5–7pm at the Minehead Resource Centre, Minehead Avenue, Withington, Manchester M20 1FW

(Posted 8 September 2014.)

(GMCDP does not necessarily support or promote any organisation, individual or website mentioned in this post.)

Reminder! Deaf Health Day – 5 September

Deaf Health Champions is organising this event, from 10:00am to 3:00pm, on 5 September. It is a chance for Deaf people to find out more about health issues from organisations in Manchester.

The event is being held at the Deaf Centre, Crawford House, Booth Street East, M13 9GH

For more information, go to the Deaf Health Champions website:

www.deafhealthchampions.org.uk

(Re-posted 2 September 2014.)

(GMCDP does not necessarily support or promote any organisation, individual or website mentioned in this post.)

Independent Living Training

Are you a disabled person living in Manchester?

Would you like to learn more about independent living and the issues that are important to you?

Do you want to get the information you need to make choices in your life?

Greater Manchester Coalition of Disabled People is running one-day training for disabled people around independent living on:

17 September 2014 – aimed at young disabled people aged 15-25.

30 September 2014 – for disabled people over 26.

Training starts at 10.30am and finishes at 3.30 pm.

The training will cover the topics you need to know, to get on the road to independent living.

There is no charge for these training sessions.

Why not come along and find out more?

If you would like to find out more information about either of these training events, would like to book a place, or would like to have a chat about the training please contact Phil Samphire.

GMCDP, Unit 4, Windrush Millennium Centre, 70 Alexandra Road, Moss Side, Manchester, M16 7WD.

Email me at:

psamphire@gmcdp.com

Phone me on: 0161 636 7537

Text me on: 07921 237 167

Lunch will be provided. Please let me know about any dietary requirements when booking.

Please also let us know if you have any access requirements.

Disability History Month 2014

It isn’t too soon to start planning events for this year’s Disability History Month, which will be launched on 19 November in London.

The theme for this year is:

‘War and Impairment: The Social Consequences of Disablement’

For more information, go to the Disability History Month website:

www.ukdisabilityhistorymonth.com

(Posted 1 September 2014.)

(GMCDP does not necessarily support or promote any organisation, individual or website mentioned in this post.)

Finding Out about Personal Health Budgets

The Department of Health government is now pushing forward with the roll out of Personal Health Budgets for disabled and ill people who use health services. These will work in a similar way to Individual Budgets for social care. The ultimate aim seems to be a combined health and social care personal budget for those people who use health as well as social care services.

In theory, as with Individual Budgets, Personal Health Budgets are intended to give the individual more choice and control over which services they use. Personal Health Budgets are, for some people, replacing Continuing Health Care, although in some cases there may be a combination of Personal Health Budget and Continuing Health Care.

For more information, including how to manage a Personal Health Budget, go to the NHS Choices webpage:

About Personal Health Budgets – Patient Choice – NHS Choices

and more information is available on the NHS website:

Personal Health Budgets

(Posted 29 August 2014.)

(GMCDP does not necessarily support or promote any organisation, individual or website mentioned in this post.)

Vacancy for Employment and Independent Living Services Manager at Breakthrough UK

Breakthrough UK, an established disabled people’s organisation which promotes the rights of disabled people, is entering a new stage of its development. After 16 very successful years as a thought leader of disability policy and a provider of employment support and independent living services to disabled people we are remodelling our service delivery to customers to meet the challenges and opportunities of public services reform in Employment & Skills, Health and Adult Care.

You will lead the transformation of delivery of our front line employment and independent living services developing and implementing new approaches which enable disabled people to work, live independently and be active and responsible citizens.

You will have the opportunity to introduce and test out your innovatory ideas for improvement and growth in our employment and independent living services portfolio, which currently includes local authority contracts and commissioned projects from a range of funders.

You will provide dynamic leadership for our team of employment and independent living advisers delivering person-centred services within a target-driven and outcome-focused performance culture which delivers positive results for individual clients, commissioners and funders.

As a member of the Company’s Senior Management team you will contribute to the development and implementation of Company policy and business strategy alongside the Chief Executive, Deputy Chief Executive, Fundraising Manager and Office Services Manager.

www.breakthrough-uk.co.uk

Initial expressions of interest by CV or for more information to p.jackson@breakthrough-uk.co.uk

(GMCDP does not necessarily support or promote any organisation, individual or website mentioned in this post.)

National Disability Arts Collection and Archive

In July it was announced that the match funding needed to establish the National Disability Arts Collection and Archive (NDACA) has almost been realised. Alongside the work effort being put into finding funding, the project’s archivist, Alex Cowan, is progressing with the Content & Condition survey.

To keep a watch on developments, go to:

NDACA Home

(Posted 28 August 2014.)

(GMCDP does not necessarily support or promote any organisation, individual or website mentioned in this post.)

National Database of ‘Disabled People’s User Led Organisations’

The Office for Disability Issues (ODI) is developing a national database of Disabled People’s User Led Organisations (DPULOs).

The Office for Disability Issues’ definition of a DPULO is taken from their Facilitation Fund Programme:

  • Are led and controlled by disabled people and have a minimum membership of 75% of disabled people on their board
  • Actively demonstrate their commitment to disabled people by employing disabled staff and volunteers
  • Actively demonstrate their commitment to the Social Model of Disability
  • The Facilitation Fund will also consider those organisations which can demonstrate they are working to achieve the above definition.

(from: http://odi.dwp.gov.uk/odi-projects/user-led-organisations/how-to-apply.php)

You can find the database on the gov.uk webpage:

https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/disabled-peoples-user-led-organisations-list-and-contacts.

(Posted 27 August 2014.)

(GMCDP does not necessarily support or promote any organisation, individual or website mentioned in this post.)

Challenge to Closure of Independent Living Fund

This second challenge against the Department of Work and Pensions will take place at the Royal Courts of Justice on 22 and 23 October.

Disabled People Against Cuts are organising a vigil outside the Court from 12.30 on 22 October, to support the Independent Living Fund recipients taking the challenge to court.

For more information, including links to background information, go to the Disabled People Against Cuts webpage:

Second Court Case On #saveilf

(Posted 26 August 2014.)

(GMCDP does not necessarily support or promote any organisation, individual or website mentioned in this post.)

Disabled Artists Re-Visit World War One

14-18 WW1 Centenary Art Commissions and Channel 4 have commissioned 5 disabled artists to make short films which present an unorthodox view of the First World War.

The films can be viewed on Channel 4’s website at:

Does It Matter? World War 1 Shorts: Channel 4

And will be shown free of charge as part of the South Bank Unlimited Festival in the Clore Ballroom in the Royal Festival Hall, on 2 September 2014, from 6:00-7:00pm. Free event, unticketed.

For more detail, go to the Disability Arts Online webpage:

News: Channel 4: Does It Matter? World War 1 Shorts

(Posted 22 August 2014.)

(GMCDP does not necessarily support or promote any organisation, individual or website mentioned in this post.)

DRUK Raises Concerns over ILF Transition Fund

Disability Rights UK (DRUK) has made a Freedom of Information request, asking local authorities their plans regarding the Independent Living Fund transition money when it is passed onto them in the first year after ILF closure.  DRUK asked, firstly, whether the funding would be ring-fenced to support ex-ILF recipients, and secondly, whether the transition fund would be ring-fenced within the social care budget.

Only 10 local authorities said they have plans to ring-fence the money for ex-ILF recipients, and a further 10 said they would ring-fence the money to their social care budget.

For details, go to the Disability Rights UK webpage:

Most Councils Will Not Ring-fence ILF Resources

(Posted 21 August 2014.)

(GMCDP does not necessarily support or promote any organisation, individual or website mentioned in this post.)

The Reality of Small Differences – A textile art exhibition in Leeds

For those of you in Greater Manchester who are tempted to visit Leeds over the next couple of months may be interested in this textile exhibition.

Originally conceived as a response to the inaccessibility of the local venue of a popular touring exhibition, this exhibition showcases the work of disabled artists based in Yorkshire, in two accessible venues.

Launched on 23 August 2014 (from 3:00-7:30pm), and continuing until 4 October 2014, this is an exhibition in two accessible venues:

Inkwell Arts, 31 Potternewton Lane, Chapel Allerton, Leeds. LS7 3LW www.inkwellarts.org.uk

(Opening times: Saturday 23 August 5:00-7:00pm, then Tuesday -Saturday 10:00am–4:00pm until 4 October.) 2014).

And

Union 105, 105 Chapeltown Road, Leeds. LS7 3HY

www.eaststreetarts.org.uk/space/union-105

(Opening times: Saturday 23 August 3:00-5:00pm; Sunday 24 August 12:00-4:00pm; Tuesday 26 – Thursday 28 August 12:00-6:00pm; contact for more opening times until 3 September). Venues are wheelchair accessible with parking nearby. Get in touch for more detailed access information.

The exhibition is part of

Chapel Allerton Art Trail

There will be a series of workshops and activities throughout the exhibition. Get in touch to be added to the mailing list for more information.

How to book. Contact Gill Crawshaw by:
email gill.crawshaw@gmail.com

phone 0790585 2341

(Posted 20 August 2014.)

(GMCDP does not necessarily support or promote any organisation, individual or website mentioned in this post.)

Save the ILF – Summer Mobilisation

The next phase of the campaign to save the Independent Living Fund is happening now.

ILF recipients are being asked to contact their MP over the summer break (when MPs are usually in their constituencies) and invite their MP to visit them at home.

This is to give the MPs a real sense of what will be lost when the ILF closes.

To find out more, including sample letters and supporting information to download, go to the Disabled People Against Cuts webpage:
ILF users and allies #saveilf Summer Mobilisation For Download

(Posted 18 August 2014.)

Consultation – Independent Advocacy support for social care service users

Manchester City Council is consulting on proposals for a new Advocacy Hub.

Under the Care Act 2014, the City Council must encourage disabled people and those with poor health to be actively involved in the planning of their care and support.

The Council must also provide independent advocacy for those who may have difficulty understanding or taking part in their assessment. An advocate would support a person to express their needs and wishes, secure their rights, represent their interests and obtain the care and support they need

The consultation will take place from 1 – 30 September. Information about the changes and a consultation questionnaire will be available on the City Council website at

http://www.manchester.gov.uk/consultations

A public consultation meeting will be held at Manchester Town Hall, Lord Mayors Parlour on Tuesday 2 September, 10 am – 12 noon.

A further meeting for Advocacy Providers and VCS organisations will be held at Manchester Town Hall, Friday 26th September 10-12 noon. Please confirm attendance.

For more information, contact Paul Johnston by:

email p.johnston@manchester.gov.uk

phone 07701 065 447.

(Posted 18 August 2014.)

(GMCDP does not necessarily support or promote any organisation, individual or website mentioned in this post.)

New Research – Disabled People and 3D Printing

Disability Rights UK has teamed up with academics from Salford and Dundee universities for the ‘In the Making’ Project.

The research, starting in January 2015, will consider how disabled people can make use of the new 3D printing technology, not only to produce items for themselves, but also as entrepreneurs and political activists.

The project will first map the current use of digital fabrication technology by disabled people. The second phase will bring mobile digital fabrication to disabled people in community and other venues around Greater Manchester. Digital fabrication experts and artists will support disabled people to make both useful and creative 3-D items with this technology. The final stage will be an exhibition of creations at the Salford University Media City campus.

For more detail, go to the Disability Rights UK webpage:

Our New ‘In the Making’ Project

(Posted 18 August 2014.)

(GMCDP does not necessarily support or promote any organisation, individual or website mentioned in this post.)

Poor Access to UK Tourist Attractions

The charity Vitalise has surveyed the physical accessibility of UK tourist attractions on the top 100 most popular list. Only 52 responded, and of those 63% were not fully wheelchair accessible, with 25% not having fully accessible approaches to their door. In addition, only 26% had information about accessibility on their website.

For more detail, go to the BBC news webpage:

Disabled Facilities at UK Tourism Venues Must Improve

(Posted 18 August 2014.)

(GMCDP does not necessarily support or promote any organisation, individual or website mentioned in this post.)

Poor Access to UK Tourist Attractions

The charity Vitalise has surveyed the physical accessibility of UK tourist attractions on the top 100 most popular list. Only 52 responded, and of those 63% were not fully wheelchair accessible, with 25% not having fully accessible approaches to their door. In addition, only 26% had information about accessibility on their website.

For more detail, go to the BBC news webpage:

Disabled Facilities at UK Tourism Venues Must Improve

(Posted 18 August 2014.)

(GMCDP does not necessarily support or promote any organisation, individual or website mentioned in this post.)

Stop Sanctions – 11 September

The Anti-Bedroom Tax and Benefit Justice Federation are planning a series of nation-wide protests outside Department of Work and pensions and other key buildings on 11 September.

These actions are to call for the sanctioning of benefit claimants to be stopped. The day will also launch new advice for benefit claimants who have been sanctioned.

GMCDP will keep you informed of more details as we receive them.

To see the source of this information, which also includes statistics about the pressure DWP staff feel under to sanction claimants, go to the webpage:

Anti-Bedroom Tax and Benefit Justice Federation – Stop Sanctions: 11th Sept Day of Action

(Posted 18 August 2014.)

(GMCDP does not necessarily support or promote any organisation, individual or website mentioned in this post.)

Yet Another Abuse Case

On 29 August, 2 employees of a ‘care company’ are due in Rochdale Magistrate’s Court facing charges of, ‘ill treating or wilfully neglecting a person without capacity.’

For more detail, go to the BBC webpage:

Rochdale Care Workers Accused of Disabled Man Abuse

(Posted 18 August 2014.)

(GMCDP does not necessarily support or promote any organisation, individual or website mentioned in this post.)

Care Act in Jeopardy

The Local Government Association (LGA) has announced that 9 out of 10 local authorities think they will not have enough funding to implement the Care Act.

The LGA has written to the Health Minister, Norman Lamb MP, asking that the government consider extra funding to cover the shortfall.

For more detail, go to:

Media Releases: Local Government Association

(Posted 13 August 2014.)

(GMCDP does not necessarily support or promote any organisation, individual or website mentioned in this post.)

Dramatic Increase of Employment and Support Allowance Sanctions

The Benefits and Work website have reported an amazing 580% rise in sanctions of people in the Work Related Activities Group for Employment and Support Allowance claimants. This is when comparing the figures for March 2013 with March 2014. There has also been a doubling of sanctions in the first three months of this year.

Benefits and Work say the majority of sanctions are of people on the Work Programme, for not carrying out work related activities. They also suggest this is usually because the person is too unwell to carry out the activities expected.

For more detail, go to:

Coalition Wages War on Disabled

(Posted 13 August 2014.)

(GMCDP does not necessarily support or promote any organisation, individual or website mentioned in this post.)

Deaf Health Day – 5 September

Deaf Health Champions is organising this event, from 10:00am to 3:00pm, on 5 September. It is a chance for Deaf people to find out more about health issues from organisations in Manchester.

The event is being held at the Deaf Centre, Crawford House, Booth Street East, M13 9GH

For more information, go to the Deaf Health Champions website:

www.deafhealthchampions.org.uk

(Posted 13 August 2014.)

(GMCDP does not necessarily support or promote any organisation, individual or website mentioned in this post.)

NHS Accessible Information Consultation – Second Phase

NHS England has now written draft guidelines for making information accessible. All NHS services will have to follow these guidelines when they are approved. The guidelines will say how they should make sure disabled patients and service users receive information in a way that suits them.

NHS England are now asking people to say what they think of these guidelines. You have until 9 November to say what you think.

To find more information, plus links to the consultation document and survey in Word document, PDF, easy read, audio and British Sign Language, go to:

NHS England – Accessible Information

(Posted 13 August 2014.)

(GMCDP does not necessarily support or promote any organisation, individual or website mentioned in this post.)

Greater Manchester Police Treatment Of Disabled People Criticised

John Pring, of the Disability News Service, has highlighted the fact that the Independent Police Complaints Commission (IPPC) have criticised Greater Manchester Police for the fourth time in three years over its treatment of disabled people.

The fourth incident was the death of a 19 year old man after he experienced epileptic seizures while in custody. The IPPC said the approach to the young man’s care was “sloppy”.

The other three criticisms were around the police not taking the tormenting of a disabled man for years as disability hate crime; using a Taser on a man just after he had a seizure; and not responding to two calls about a disabled man who was later found dead.

To see the article, go to the Disability News Service webpage:

Police Force Criticised By Watchdog For Fourth Time In Three years

(Posted 11 August 2014.)

(GMCDP does not necessarily support or promote any organisation, individual or website mentioned in this post.)

Permission Granted For Second ILF Case

Last week, a Judge gave permission for the second court case challenging the government’s plan to close the Independent Living Fund. ‘Expedition’ was also granted, which means the usual court timetable will be sped up.

The announcement was made on the Disabled People Against Cuts website. See the post at:

ILF – Second Court Case to Go Ahead

(Posted 11 August 2014.)

(GMCDP does not necessarily support or promote any organisation, individual or website mentioned in this post.)

‘Justice for All’ Public Meeting

Access to Advice and Justice Alliance North are holding a public meeting on cuts to legal aid and advice services and the future of publicly funded legal advice.

The ‘Justice for All’ public meeting is on Tuesday 23 September 2014 from 5pm, at the Cross Street Chapel, Manchester, M2 1NL.

Speakers include: Shadow Justice Minister Andy Slaughter MP and family lawyer Cris McCurley. There will also be a screening of the Justice Alliance film about the impact of legal aid cuts.

The Justice Alliance UK website is at:

http://justiceallianceuk.wordpress.com

The Access To Advice webpage is part of the Greater Manchester Welfare Rights Advisers group website at:

http://gmwrag.wordpress.com/access-2-advice

(Posted 11 August 2014.)

(GMCDP does not necessarily support or promote any organisation, individual or website mentioned in this post.)

New Travel Guide

The Equality and Human Rights Commission has produced a new passport-sized travel guide. It explains what facilities companies legally have to supply, and services are available for disabled and mobility impaired passengers from travel companies, airports and airlines.

For more information, go to:

Travel Weekly

To download the booklet, plus another EHRC booklet about disabled people’s rights when flying, go to:

Disability and Air Travel: Equality and Human Rights Commission

(Posted 5 August 2014.)

(GMCDP does not necessarily support or promote any organisation, individual or website mentioned in this post.)

 Survey on What Patients and Carers Want From Health Apps

PatientView and Health 2.0 are undertaking a short survey. It aims to find out what people who are living with a long-term or lifetime health condition (and people who support them) want from health apps.

The results of the survey will be announced at a conference for app developers, the Health 2.0 Conference on 10/11 November in London.

The survey is open until Friday 24 October. The survey is at:

Survey on What Patients and Carers Want From Health Apps

(Posted 5 August 2014.)

(GMCDP does not necessarily support or promote any organisation, individual or website mentioned in this post.)

 Most Home Visit ‘Benefit Checks’ are Without Notice

Last month the Benefits and Work website received a lot of concerned comments regarding home visits by Management Review Officers from the Department of Work and Pensions (DWP).

This was after a change of wording on the DWP website to say that people on certain benefits are being chosen at random for a home visit, and they may not always get a letter in advance of the visit. It applies to people receiving: Employment and Support Allowance, Income Support, Pension Credits, Jobseekers’ Allowance and Housing Benefit.

The Benefits and Work website has recently undertaken a Freedom of Information request to find out how many people who receive home visits to check their benefits are notified by letter in advance.

Their request highlighted that almost all visits are done without warning. They also report that Officers are advised to make visits without notice to all ‘customers’ apart from: “customers suffering from depression or a medically defined mental illness, customers with an alcohol or drug-related dependency, disabled customers where there is evidence from the preview information that they may be distressed if an MRO calls unannounced.” But if fraud is suspected, visits can still be made without warning to these people too.

Benefits and Work have issued the following advice for anyone who has a surprise visit from a DWP Management Enforcement Officer:

  • “you don’t have to let them in; and
  • you can insist on being given proper notice;
  • you can insist on having the interview at a DWP office instead of in your home.
  • And doing so won’t affect your benefits, though refusing to take part in an interview at all may leave you open to a fraud investigation.”

For more information, go to the Benefits and Work website at:

www.benefitsandwork.org.uk

(Posted 5 August 2014.)

(GMCDP does not necessarily support or promote any organisation, individual or website mentioned in this post.)

Consultation – Mental Health Act (1983) New Code of Practice

‘Stronger Code: Better Care’ is a consultation asking for people’s comments on a new draft Code for the Mental Health Act 1983.

The Code protects patients’ rights, gives guidance for decisions health practitioners make, and shows how the Mental Health Act should be implemented.

The Code gives information about being detained or treated under the Act, what care and support is available during a crisis, and what to do if that care is not received.

The new code includes:
• 5 new guiding principles.

• An updated chapter on how to support children and young people; the use of restraint and seclusion; and the use of police powers and places of safety.
• There are new chapters on care planning, equality and human rights; links to the Mental Capacity Act and Deprivation of Liberty Safeguards; and support for victims.

The consultation is open until 12 September. To find out more, go to the government consultations webpage:

Changes to Mental Health Act (1983) Code of Practice

(Posted 5 August 2014.)

(GMCDP does not necessarily support or promote any organisation, individual or website mentioned in this post.)

7 Families Initiative

GMCDP has been sent the following information from Disability Rights UK. As it is an opportunity for 7 disabled people to receive support, we are sharing it with you. Please note the closing date is 10 August.

“7 Families Initiative

Disabled people leading change

Has a disability forced you to leave your job in the last 2 years? Are you enthusiastic to return to work but need help?

The 7 Families Initiative is a project designed to help 7 individuals (and their families) who have been forced out of their jobs due to disability or ill health and are now facing financial hardship. By offering financial support (by way of a donation), advice and access to services 7 Families will give participants the chance to relieve some of the financial burden, access rehabilitation service or retrain in order to return to ultimately return to work in some capacity.

This will be a 12 month programme of support and in return participants will share their stories, with a media team spending time with them regularly throughout the period documenting the challenges, resources (or lack of them) and reality of going through what is often financially and emotionally draining transition. The media team will produce short films that will then be broadcast / available online – probably via Youtube, and there will also be some marketing / PR to raise the profile of the project.

The ultimate aims of the initiative are two fold, firstly to offer tangible help to the 7 participants who are selected and secondly to raise awareness of what life can be like when a person’s livelihood is threatened due to a disability and what can help.

There are strict criteria for participation in the project which has been set by the funders. To apply you must:

  • be between 21-50 years old
  • have been diagnosed with your health condition or disability after the age of 21
  • have left full-time employment in the last 2 years for reasons relating to your condition or adjustments needed
  • be aiming to return to work
  • have held of less than £50000 per year when you were forced to leave

If you are interested in applying for one of the 7 places or have any questions please email jason.jaspal@disabilityrightsuk.org detailing how you meet all of the 5 criteria and with your contact details (including phone number). The closing date for applications is 10th August 2014.”

(Posted 5 August 2014.)

(GMCDP does not necessarily support or promote any organisation, individual or website mentioned in this post.)

“Healthier Together” Greater Manchester Consultation

This consultation about the future of health and care services in Greater Manchester has been organised by the 12 Clinical Commissioning Groups (CCGs) in the county.

Residents of Greater Manchester are being asked to comment on the following:

• “How primary care is changing – this refers to the services you get from GP surgeries, as well as dentists, pharmacists and opticians
• How we are joining up care – this refers to how health and care organisations working together can deliver services locally
• How hospital services could change – this refers to all hospitals in Greater Manchester providing the safest and highest quality of care to all patients every time
• The eight hospital options for organising our hospitals – this refers to how the options have been chosen for the proposed changes.”

The consultation is open until 30 September, and you can either respond on-line or attend a ‘listening event’.

For more information, go to the website:

Best Care For You, Your Family and Your Neighbour

Or ask for the consultation document and form by:

phone 0800 888 6789

email healthier.together@nhs.net

(Posted 5 August 2014.)

(GMCDP does not necessarily support or promote any organisation, individual or website mentioned in this post.)

Online Holiday Booking and Accessibility

Abilitynet is an organisation supporting access for disabled people to the internet and digital technology.

Abilitynet have carried out a second survey of the online booking websites of major airlines and holiday companies.

The investigation has shown that there is little change in terms of “accessibility and usability” compared to their first survey 10 years ago.

For full details of the survey go to the Abilitynet webpage:

Travel and Tourism Report: Summer 2014

(Posted 5 August 2014.)

(GMCDP does not necessarily support or promote any organisation, individual or website mentioned in this post.)

Commission Examining Extra Living Costs For Disabled People

The BBC has published an article highlighting an inquiry being carried out by Scope. It is examining the higher cost of living for disabled people.

There is a suggestion that with more careful shopping disabled people could reduce their expenditure, but an acknowledgement that ‘specialist equipment’ often costs a lot more.

The article can be viewed at:

BBC News: Disabled Shoppers Should Attract Firms

(Posted 4 August 2014.)

(GMCDP does not necessarily support or promote any organisation, individual or website mentioned in this post.)

Concerns over Planned Taxi Deregulation

Cllr Catherine Hynes, who represents an Urmston ward, has raised concerns about the government’s proposed deregulation of taxis following a debate in Trafford Council opposing the government’s plans. Suggested deregulations include no longer checking licenses annually, and allowing taxis to be driven by people other than the licensed driver when the taxi is ‘off duty’.

For more detail, go to the Messenger webpage:

Blind Trafford Councillor Concerned By Proposed Taxi De-regulation

(Posted 4 August 2014.)

(GMCDP does not necessarily support or promote any organisation, individual or website mentioned in this post.)

Reminder! Trade Up – An Opportunity For Young Disabled People

Trade Up is a new and exciting project for young disabled people aged 16-30 living in the Greater Manchester area. It will be of particular interest to young people who want to gain new skills, have some fun, or try out a business idea.

Trade Up is run by Greater Manchester Youth Network (GMYN).

The course will focus on:

  • Increasing skills
  • Money management
  • Advertising
  • Planning
  • Teamwork

The style of delivery and length of the programme will be adapted to suit the group’s needs.

The first stage of the programme includes: youth friendly learning; direct trading experience on the market; and visiting local businesses. GMYN are aware that trading may not be suitable for all groups, so have developed internet and other business models for the young people to work with.

The second stage of the programme is for those who have had a taste of trading and wish to continue down this route. They will have access to start up funding, and be fully supported for the first 6 months of their journey by the Trade Up Project Worker and existing traders.

The project will give young people the chance to receive an ASDAN Accreditation, and in house certification. We will hold a celebration event at the end of the programme to honour all the young people’s achievements.

For more information, contact Joseph Cain by:

email joe.cain@gmyn.co.uk

phone 01612743377

(Posted 23 July 2014.)

(GMCDP does not necessarily support or promote any organisation, individual or website mentioned in this post.)

The Cumulative Impact of Welfare Reform – A Commentary

The Social Security Advisory Committee has updated this report (which was originally published in April).

The report examines the impact on households of the government’s welfare reform to working-age tax credits and benefits.

The report states that the cumulative impact is difficult to assess, but the Committee makes 4 recommendations:

  • A further analysis of the impact on what they class as ‘vulnerable groups’, including disabled people.
  • For the Department of Work and Pensions to produce case studies of the impact on households from certain groups of people.
  • Extend the review of Universal Credit.
  • After more analysis, the Department of Work and Pensions need to consider if any changes need to be made to offset negative impact on some groups.

For more detail, and links to the report and executive summary, go to:

SSAC Occasional Paper 12: The Cumulative Impact of Welfare Reform

(Posted 29 July 2014.)
(GMCDP does not necessarily support or promote any organisation, individual or website mentioned in this post.)

Finding ‘Not Dead Yet’ Campaign Updates

The Care Not Killing website has a page describing

Falconer Bill: Where we are now – Care Not Killing

There are also Youtube clips of the lobby on the day the Bill had its second reading:

Care Not Killing Youtube

plus contributions to the wider debate at:

Voices against assisted dying – Care Not Killing

(Posted 29 July 2014.)
(GMCDP does not necessarily support or promote any organisation, individual or website mentioned in this post.)

Jobseeker Sanction Advice – New Website

A group of ex Department of Work and Pensions staff have set up a new website. The site gives advice on Jobseeker’s Allowance sanctions.

The website says:

“Our time is spent researching the law as regards the Department of Work and Pensions, one member of our team in particular is a highly experienced ex D.W.P. employee who has held many roles in the service over the years including managerial positions too and makes a point of keeping abreast of current legislation. Indeed, we’d go as far as to say that we know the law relating to Job Centre Sanctions and agreements sometimes much better than the front line staff who are engaged in implementing them.”

The group offer to:

  • Research your situation and sanction, to establish if it is legal.
  • If possible, attend a tribunal to overturn an unfair Jobseeker’s Agreement or benefit sanction.
  • Speak to the local DWP office on your behalf.
  • If you wish, deal with your local MP.
  • Give general benefits advice such as expense claims.All information is treated confidentially.

To contact the team, either use the contact form on their website:

Jobseeker Sanction Advice

(Posted 29 July 2014.)

(GMCDP does not necessarily support or promote any organisation, individual or website mentioned in this post.)

PIP Court Case Not Successful

The High Court has said the consultation about the new Personal Independence Payment mobility criteria of 20m was fair.

Many disabled people, including Mr Steven Sumpter who brought the challenge, are concerned that they will lose their mobility component – and then their motability car. When being assessed for Personal Independence Payment (PIP). The Disability Living Allowance (DLA) eligibility criteria for receiving high rate mobility component are 50m, but this has been shortened to 20m for PIP. A Judicial Review last year agreed that the consultation was unfair, but the High Court has now ruled that although the consultation in 2012 was “mind-bogglingly opaque”, the additional consultation carried out by the government in 2013 means the consultation process was fair and lawful.

For more detail, and a link to the Judgement, go to the Disability Rights webpage:

PIP 20 Metre Court Case Fails

(Posted 28 July 2014.)

(GMCDP does not necessarily support or promote any organisation, individual or website mentioned in this post.)

Disability Hate Crime – Seeking Research Participants in Manchester

Yvonne Thorne, of Victim Support, is researching people’s experiences of crimes or incidences they feel have been committed against them because of being transgender, disabled, their sexuality, religion/faith, alternative subculture or race/ethnicity.

Yvonne is seeking people to interview, either alone, with another person or in a small group, whichever they prefer. The interview will discuss their experiences of support services and criminal justice systems when they have reported hate crimes, and also why they do not report such crimes.

Yvonne also wishes to speak to service providers to discuss their experiences of supporting victims of such incidences and crimes.

If you wish to take part, or for more information, contact Yvonne by:

email Yvonne.thorne@victimsupport.org.uk or

phone 0161 200 1996

(Posted 28 July 2014.)

(GMCDP does not necessarily support or promote any organisation, individual or website mentioned in this post.)

Jobcentre Staff Expected to Pressure ESA Claimants

The Benefits and Work website have highlighted the evidence of a Jobcentre whistleblower. The Jobcentre manager met with the journalist Polly Toynbee, showing her that they have targets for removing people from benefits, and they are encouraged to “disrupt and upset” claimants.

You can read the article at:

Mentally ill people need to be helped, not hounded: Benefits and Work

(Posted 28 July 2014.)

(GMCDP does not necessarily support or promote any organisation, individual or website mentioned in this post.)

Caroline Gooding

GMCDP is sad to inform you that Caroline Gooding died on 19 July.

Caroline Gooding was a Disability Equality consultant and legal expert, particularly disability rights law. She achieved a substantial body of work, as a lawyer, author and consultant which had a significant impact on disabled people’s lives. Caroline was part of the Disability Rights Task Force, and Director of Legislative Change at the Disability Rights Commission.

It is not possible to do justice to Caroline’s life here. To see details of Caroline’s work and publications, go to the following web pages:

Caroline Gooding: Disability Business Forum

Disability News Service: Fellow Rights Campaigners Mourn Loss of Caroline Gooding

Caroline Gooding Obituary

(Posted 28 July 2014.)

(GMCDP does not necessarily support or promote any organisation, individual or website mentioned in this post.)

Second South Bank Unlimited Festival

For those of you who would enjoy immersing yourselves for 5 days in a mixture of performance and exhibitions by disabled artists, the South Bank Centre in London is holding its second Unlimited Festival from 2 – 7 September.

The programme includes visual arts, theatre, music, literature, dance and comedy.

Publicity says:

“For the first week in September, Southbank Centre will be a hub of creativity, showcasing the work of over 100 international disabled dancers, choreographers, theatre makers, cabaret stars, stand-ups, puppeteers, musicians, poets, filmmakers, visual artists, activists and thinkers. The festival includes over 20 performances, 11 exhibitions and installations and a wide ranging programme of talks, debates workshops and free outdoor and indoor activities, including a mass participatory signing and dance to Pharrell Williams’s Happy.”

For more information, go to the South Bank Centre webpage:

South Bank Unlimited

(Posted 28 July 2014.)

(GMCDP does not necessarily support or promote any organisation, individual or website mentioned in this post.)

Report Highlights Issues with Benefit Sanctions

The Department of Work and Pensions commissioned an independent report about benefit sanctions by a well-known, politically centre-right Welfare expert, Matthew Oakley.

Oakley has highlighted that how the DWP communicates with claimants is confusing, people were not informed why they were sanctioned and not told about hardship payments they were entitled to.

Oakley has recommended several changes, which the DWP has accepted. They include: a review of all correspondence with claimants; claimants receiving personalised information, in the way they prefer; identifying claimants who may need letters explaining to them.

For more detail, and a link to the full report, go to the Benefits and Work webpage:

Benefit Sanctions Hit Most Vulnerable People The Hardest, Report Says

(Posted 28 July 2014.)

(GMCDP does not necessarily support or promote any organisation, individual or website mentioned in this post.)

Disabled People and The BBC – New Strategy

The BBC has announced its plan to increase the number of disabled people both working for the BBC and portrayed in its programmes by 2017.

Their website says measures will include:

  • “Quadrupling the on-screen representation of disabled people by 2017
  • A pan-BBC Disability Executive to champion disabled talent and projects
  • Developing the BBC’s existing schemes to recruit and retain disabled staff
  • Opening up even more opportunities for disabled people to work for the BBC.”

The BBC also has an Independent Diversity Advisory Group, which Baroness Tanni Gray Thompson has now agreed to join.

For more information, go to the BBC webpage:

BBC announces ambitious plan to improve representation of disabled people on and off screen

(Posted 28 July 2014.)

(GMCDP does not necessarily support or promote any organisation, individual or website mentioned in this post.)

MPs Say Employment and Support Allowance Needs Re-Design

The Work and Pensions Committee published a report this week which says:

“The flaws in the Employment and Support Allowance (ESA) system are so grave that simply “rebranding” the assessment used to determine eligibility for ESA (the Work Capability Assessment (WCA)) by appointing a new contractor will not solve the problems.”

The Committee recommends that the whole process of applying for Employment and Support Allowance (ESA) is re-designed before the new tender for the contract to carry out the assessments is released in 2018. They have also put forward suggestions to improve the experience of people going through the process in the meantime.

Some of the short term recommendations are that:

–      The DWP improves communication with people going through the claim process; making letters plain English and easier to understand.

–      That the DWP takes over full responsibility for the ‘end-to-end ESA claim process”.

–      That the DWP seeks evidence of the impact of a person’s medical condition rather than leaving it wholly to the claimant to provide the evidence.

For more detail, go to the News From Parliament webpage:

Employment and Support Allowance needs fundamental re-design, say MPs 

(Posted 24 July 2014.)

(GMCDP does not necessarily support or promote any organisation, individual or website mentioned in this post.)

 

Applications Open for Trafford Equality Grants 2014/15

Trafford Council launched the Promoting and Advancing Equality Grant Programme 2014-15 last week.

Grants of up to £5,000 are available for: “innovative projects, which will support isolated sections of the community to engage in activity and foster new community relationships”.

The projects are expected to:

  • Work with groups of people vulnerable to discrimination
  • Create a fairer Trafford
  • Reduce Social Isolation

Applications can be submitted until 12 September. Application forms and guidance notes can be downloaded from:

www.thrivetrafford.org.uk/third-sector-grants/equalities-grants/

Enquiries can be made to Thrive Trafford by:

Phone 0300 777 0145 or

Email info@thrivetrafford.org.uk

(Posted 24 July 2014.)

(GMCDP does not necessarily support or promote any organisation, individual or website mentioned in this post.)

Important – Guidance on New Lobbying Rules

Many voluntary sector organisations, including disabled people’s groups, are starting to plan campaigns in the run up to the general election next year.

The new Lobbying Act has added a complication to the planning process, by introducing rules for non-party campaigners. These include some restrictions to the amount of money which can be spent on campaigning; and who is defined as the general public and regular contributors of organisations.

The Electoral Commission has produced guidance for the Lobbying Act, and Elizabeth Chamberlain of the National Council for Voluntary Organisations (NCVO) has written a summary of the rules for non-party campaigners with links to the full guidance.

Find the NCVO summary at:

Electoral Commission Guidance on the Lobbying Act – some key questions answered – NCVO

Find the full Electoral Commission guidance at:

Electoral Commission: Guidance for Non-Party Campaigners

(Posted 24 July 2014.)

(GMCDP does not necessarily support or promote any organisation, individual or website mentioned in this post.)

New Website – DWP Unspun

False Economy has launched a new website to share :

“Everything the Government doesn’t want you to know about work and benefits.”

You can find DWP Unspun at:
http://dwpunspun.org.uk

(Posted 24 July 2014.)

(GMCDP does not necessarily support or promote any organisation, individual or website mentioned in this post.)

Black Mental Health UK Launches New Campaign

The Campaign Against Black Deaths In Custody has been launched, after many years of concern, to challenge the high proportion of deaths in custody of people from African and Caribbean communities. The Campaign is concerned with several settings, including prison and mental health facilities.

The Campaign is calling for:

1. Independent judicial inquiries into all preventable deaths in psychiatric settings and an end to deaths in custody.

2. A government commitment to outlaw use of control and restraint in mental health settings.

3. An independent public inquiry into black deaths in custody.

As part of the campaign, Lord Herman Ouseley will raise the issue of much needed reform in this area in the House of Lords, and a petition has been set up on the government e-petition website:

Black Mental Health UK Campaign Against Black Deaths in Custody

http://epetitions.direct.gov.uk/petitions/55714

For more detail, go to the Black Mental Health UK webpage:

BMHUK launch campaign against deaths in custody

http://www.blackmentalhealth.org.uk/index.php/expert-opinion-mainmenu-127/1485-bmh-uk-launch-campaign-against-deaths-in-custody

(Posted 24 July 2014.)

(GMCDP does not necessarily support or promote any organisation, individual or website mentioned in this post.)

Paris Saint-Germain Football Club Found Guilty

Following a football match on 2 April, during which away disabled Chelsey fans had no choice but to sit below home fans, Paris Saint-Germain have been found guilty, by UEFA, of discriminatory conduct towards the disabled Chelsey fans.

The stadium only has one area for disabled supporters, which is in the area for home fans. Disabled Chelsey supporters had bottles thrown at them and were spat on during the game by Paris Saint-Germain fans.

The stadium is now being prepared for alterations to rectify this problem.

For more information, go to the Level Playing Field webpage:

http://www.levelplayingfield.org.uk/

And the UEFA webpage:

Disciplinary: uefa.org

 http://www.uefa.org/disciplinary/index.html

 

(Posted 24 July 2014.)

(GMCDP does not necessarily support or promote any organisation, individual or website mentioned in this post.)

Depression – Asking the Right Questions – National Survey

Public Health England are promoting the ‘Depression: Asking the Right Questions (ARQ)’ project.

This is a national public survey on depression. It is seeking the views of anyone affected by depression. The results will be used to improve future research.
Depression ARQ is a partnership of 27 national organisations. They want to know what questions people have about depression. They are collecting questions from those directly affected, their friends, family and carers, and they are also seeking input from health and social care professionals who work with people with depression.

The top priority unanswered questions uncovered by the survey will be promoted to researchers and funders.

You can find more information, and the survey, at:

Depression: Asking the Right Questions

(Posted 23 June 2014.)
(GMCDP does not necessarily support or promote any organisation, individual or website in this post.)

‘Think Different, Think Equal’ Videos

On 21 July, in Dublin, The European Network on Independent Living (ENIL) launched a series of four videos entitled “Think Different, Think Equal”. Their aim is to empower and raise awareness about the rights of disabled people in Europe.

Developed by a group of young disabled people from fifteen member states of Europe, at a week-long seminar in Strasbourg. “The video campaign explores the concept of intersectionality and helps young disabled people understand and embrace their multiple identities. Its goal is to build young people’s capacity to identify and respond to discrimination by knowing their rights and the protections available, as well as to encourage self-advocacy.”

Katie Cragg, who works for GMCDP, participated in the seminar. Katie said:

“Going on this session was a really positive experience for me. I met some brilliant activists and campaigners, all working on disability issues in different countries. I hope this is the start of creating new alliances and forging co-operation between the participants and their networks.”

The “Think Different, Think Equal” video campaign will run on ENIL’s website and during different events around Europe. To watch and share the videos, go to:

http://www.enil.eu/multimedia/think-different-think-equal-campaign

For more information on the “Think Different, Think Equal” video campaign and ENIL’s work with young people, go to:

http://www.enil.eu

(Posted 23 June 2014.)

(GMCDP does not necessarily support or promote any organisation, individual or website in this post.)

Disability Arts Online

Don’t forget, for those of you who are budding or mature disabled artists – and those who are interested in disability art – there is a website which offers news, information, training/job opportunities and debate.

You can find the website at:

www.disabilityarts.org

(Posted 23 June 2014.)
(GMCDP does not necessarily support or promote any organisation, individual or website in this post.)

New Mental Health Resource

Time to Change has produced a new resource to support parents and guardians to work out how to talk to their children about mental health.

You can find the resource on the Time to Change webpage:

Talking to your child about mental health: Time to Change

(Posted 23 June 2014.)

(GMCDP does not necessarily support or promote any organisation, individual or website in this post.)

“Things Are Getting Worse For Disabled People”

Jenny Morris has written a blog outlining the findings of her latest research. She has been looking at whether there has been any progress for disabled people since the Independent Living Strategy in 2008.

Jenny concludes that there has been no progress in the choice and control disabled people have in their lives; in fact, disabled people needing more support have a reduced chance of being involved in their community or family life.

You can find the blog at:

Jenny Morris: for the first time in the history of modern social policy things are getting worse for disabled people

(posted 21 July 2014.)

(GMCDP does not necessarily support or promote any organisation, individual or website mentioned in this post.)

New Minister of State for Disabled People

In last week’s Government shuffle, Mike Penning was replaced as Minister for Disabled People by Mark Harper, MP for the Forest of Dean

To find out about Mark Harper, go to his webpage at:

http://www.markharper.org

(posted 21 July 2014.)

(GMCDP does not necessarily support or promote any organisation, individual or website mentioned in this post.)

Government in Breech of Legal Obligations

A report published on 6 July by Just Fair has highlighted shortcomings in the  government’s obligations to disabled people.

The report, called: ‘Dignity and Opportunity for All: Securing the Rights of Disabled People in the Austerity Era’, has found that the government has not met its, “legal obligations to respect, protect and fulfill the human rights of disabled people.” The web page with links to the report says:

“The report is the first comprehensive analysis of the extent to which the UK government is meeting its international obligations to realise the rights of disabled people in the austerity era. It examines the rights to independent living, work, social security, social protection and an adequate standard of living.

Combining legal analysis with testimony-based evidence, the report concludes that government policies are compromising disabled people’s enjoyment of these fundamental rights, causing significant hardship.

The report – Dignity and Opportunity for All: Securing the rights of disabled people in the austerity era – analyses the impact on disabled people of public austerity and the reform of social security.

Evidence and case studies from disabled people and people with a long term health condition were provided via an online survey or sent directly to Just Fair. Three areas of social security policy were of concern to the greatest number of those who responded:

  • Employment and Support Allowance (long term sickness benefit) and the Work Capability Assessment,
  • Personal Independence Payment (for support with disability-related costs), and
  • The housing benefit size criteria for claimants in social housing (reduced housing support for households with a ‘spare’ bedroom).”

For links to the report (including an easy read version) and survey results, go to:

Dignity and Opportunity for All: Securing the rights of disabled people in the austerity era

(posted 21 July 2014.)

(GMCDP does not necessarily support or promote any organisation, individual or website mentioned in this post.)

Assisted Dying Bill Voted Through Despite Opposition

On Friday 18 July, a vote in the House of Lords was in favour of Lord Falconer’s Assisted Dying Bill going forward to its third reading.

This was a disappointment to the many disabled people campaigning against the Bill, many of who were outside the House of Lords on Friday while the Bill was being discussed.

To read the transcript of the debate, go to:

Lords Hansard  Text for 18 July 2014

To find out more about Friday’s lobby, and to keep up to date with the on-going campaign against the Bill, go to:

News Blog – Not Dead Yet

and

Care Not Killing

(posted 21 July 2014.)

(GMCDP does not necessarily support or promote any organisation, individual or website mentioned in this post.)

Activities for Young People this Summer

Z-Arts in Hulme have a programme of activities for children and young people from age 2 to 17 years.

For more information, go to:

Z-Arts

There is also a summer camp for young people at the Power House in Moss Side from 21 July to 8 August. It is for young people aged 5 to 16 years, and run by Active Lifestyles for Young People. It costs either £6 a day or £25 a week. For more information, ring 234 5454

(Posted 21 July 2014.)

(GMCDP does not necessarily support or promote any

New Scheme Proposed – Linking Medical Treatment to Benefits

The Telegraph newspaper has highlighted a new proposal made by this government.

The proposal is to link receiving benefits to receiving treatment for people experiencing anxiety and depression. This would mean that if someone refused treatment they may have their benefits cut or stopped.

The article can be viewed at:

Tories discuss stripping benefits claimants who refuse treatment for depression

(Posted 21 July 2014.)

(GMCDP does not necessarily support or promote any organisation, individual or website mentioned in this post.)

Young Deaf and Disabled People Wanted for Research

The University of Edinburgh in partnership with the Universities of Strathclyde and Coventry are doing research exploring the experiences and views of maltreated disabled children and young adults about child protection services.

This issue has not been explored from the perspective of disabled young people before in the UK, so it is hoped that the study will provide valuable lessons about how services can better protect and support them.

The team would like to interview disabled children and young people aged 11 – 26 years who have been abused, whether or not a child protection referral was made. Interviews will be made accessible.

More information can be found at:

http://www.childprotection.ed.ac.uk/public-information-participate-in-research/talking-about-child-protection

The lead researcher, Audrey Cameron, can provide further information on the research. She can be contacted by e-mail:

childprotection@ed.ac.uk or audrey.m.cameron@ed.ac.uk

(Posted 21 July 2014.)

(GMCDP does not necessarily support or promote any organisation, individual or website mentioned in this post.)

Article Researching DWP Benefits Statistics

Anita Bellows has carried out a detailed analysis of recent Department of Work figures about Employment and Support Allowance claims, and appeals as well as other benefit sanctions.

If you are interested, you can view the information on this Disabled People Against Cuts web page, which also has a link to the full research paper:

Appeals and Sanctions: More Chaos at the DWP

(posted 21 July 2014.)

(GMCDP does not necessarily support or promote any organisation, individual or website mentioned in this post.)

Mind Manifesto for 2015 General Election

The mental health charity Mind has produced a manifesto. They are asking supporters to email the manifesto to their MP and ask them to sign up to it.

Mind is campaigning for better support services for people experiencing mental distress.

For more information, go to the Mind web page:

Mind Supporters

(Posted 16 July 2014.)

(GMCDP does not necessarily support or promote any organisation, individual or website mentioned in this post.)

Call for People to Oppose Falconer Assisted Dying Bill

On Friday 18 July the House of Lords will debate the Bill put forward by Lord Falconer to make it legal for terminally ill people who have less than 6 months to live to have assistance to die.

Although some disabled people are in favour, there are many disabled people campaigning against the Bill.

There is still time to contact members of the House of Lords if you want to express your views to them.

There is also a rally being organised by Not Dead yet UK while the debate is taking place, in New Palace Yard, Westminster, opposite the House of Lords. The rally will be from 9:30am to 7:00pm, but the key times are 12:00 – 2:00 and 5:00 – 7:00.

For more information, go to:

Falconer Final Weeks: Care Not Killing

(Posted 15 July 2014.)

(GMCDP does not necessarily support or promote any organisation, individual or website mentioned in this post.)

Lancaster University Seeks Research Participants Experiencing Bipolar

The study is being run by a team of researchers, academics, service user researchers and clinicians from the Spectrum Centre for Mental Health Research at Lancaster University. They are exploring relationships between thinking style, responses to mood, positive experiences of mood swings, inspiration, mood and recovery. The study has received University ethical approval.

People taking part will be interviewed about their mood experiences and be given a series of questionnaires on thinking style, behaviour, mood & recovery. Questionnaires can be completed either online or via post.

A £5 Amazon voucher will be given as a thank you for the time taken with interview and questionnaires.

For further information go to the web page:

Lancaster University: Spectrum Centre for Mental Health Research

(Posted 15 July 2014.)

(GMCDP does not necessarily support or promote any organisation, individual or website mentioned in this post.)

Question Over Football Away Matches

Level Playing Field is the organisation which promotes the accessibility of football and other stadia to disabled people. It also promotes the development of disabled supporters’ groups.

Level Playing Field is currently raising the issue of disabled fans’ travel to away matches. It has come to their attention that many clubs who offer travel to away matches for their fans do not take the access needs of some disabled fans into consideration. This means some fans are not able to take advantage of clubs’ arrangements for travel to away games.

Level Playing Field are asking disabled fans to tell them if their club includes or excludes disabled fans in their arrangements for travel to away games. You can email info@levelplayingfield.org.uk or phone 020 8621 2403.

For more information, go to:

Level Playing Field

(Posted 15 July 2014.)

(GMCDP does not necessarily support or promote any organisation, individual or website mentioned in this post.)

Online Radio Run by Disabled People

LDOK is an online radio station based in Salford. The station has a variety of music programmes, including 80s, rock, and country, and also broadcasts a programme for people interested in computer and video games.

The radio station aims to be inclusive and particularly works with people with learning difficulties. The website says: “LDOK.net is an inclusive online radio station with a mission to inform and entertain everybody, everywhere at anytime!”

For more information, and to hear the station, go to:

www.ldok.net

(Posted 15 July 2014.)

(GMCDP does not necessarily support or promote any organisation, individual or website mentioned in this post.)

Tory Councillor Shocks Scrutiny Panel

On 10 July, the Independent reported that a Tory Councillor in Devon, Michael Hytche, implied that the work house was suitable for poor people and people experiencing mental distress. Mr Hytche said, in a Mental Health Scrutiny Panel meeting, that: “Since the workhouses have been closed down, what has been put in their place? As far as I can see, nothing has been.”The Independent also reports an interview with the Herald Express in which Mr Hytche says: “The remark was meant to say people were looked after by their communities better back then.”

For the full article, go to:

Tory Councillor Laments Closure of Work Houses

(Posted 15 July 2014.)

(GMCDP does not necessarily support or promote any organisation, individual or website mentioned in this post.)

Sheffield Protesters in Court

Today, 7 July, Sheffield Disabled People against the Cuts are organising a vigil to support George and Tony, who are being taken to court following a recent protest.

Both men, along with many other older and disabled people, took part in a peaceful demonstration at Sheffield train station on 23 June. This was the latest in a series of protests against the suspension of free travel for disabled and older people by South Yorkshire Passenger Transport Executive.

Protesters and observers have highlighted how heavy-handed the police response to this peaceful protest was, leading to minor injuries such as cuts and bruises.

For more information, go to:

Justice for Tony and George: DPAC

(Posted 7 July 2014.)

(GMCDP does not necessarily support or promote any organisation, individual or website mentioned in this post.)

Vigil for the WCA Judicial Review on 8 July

The Mental Health Resistance Network and Disabled People Against Cuts are organising a vigil outside the Courts of Justice, from 12 noon – 2.00pm, on Tuesday 8 July. This vigil will be on the second day of the Judicial Review of the Work Capability Assessment (WCA), following recent court cases in which the WCA was found to disadvantage people applying for Employment and Support Allowance on grounds of mental health.

For more information, including background information, the address of the Court and how to get there, go to:

Vigil For The WCA Judicial Review 8th July (updated): DPAC

(Posted 7 July 2014.)

(GMCDP does not necessarily support or promote any organisation, individual or website mentioned in this post.)

Lobby of Lords against Assisted Dying Bill

On Friday 18 July there will be a lobby outside the House of Lords, starting at 9.30am and continuing all day.

This is to coincide with the second reading of Lord Falconer Assisted Dying Bill. The Bill aims to make it legal for doctors to assist people to die who want this assistance, are terminally ill, have less than 6 months to live and can give their consent.

Many disabled people are against this Bill, seeing it as the thin end of the wedge. This is partly because other European countries have introduced such laws, and then quickly extended the criteria for who can have assistance to die.  For example, including people who are not terminally ill, older people and children.

For more information about how to contact members of the Lords to tell them your views, the lobby and arguments against the Bill, go to:

Disabled People Against Cuts

Not Dead Yet UK

Care Not Killing

To see support by disabled people for assisted dying, go to:

Disabled Activists for Dignity in Dying

(Posted 7 July 2014.)

(GMCDP does not necessarily support or promote any organisation, individual or website mentioned in this post.)

Save the ILF Update

Much has been happening in the campaign to save the Independent Living Fund during the last week or so.

Westminster Abbey

On 28 June, members of Disabled People Against Cuts (DPAC) were supported by members of Occupy and UK Uncut to protest at Westminster Abbey, and attempt to occupy the green inside the Abbey grounds.

Reports say over 200 police kettled and charged protesters, as well as standing on tents as protesters attempted to put them up to create a camp for Independent Living. Some protesters also chained themselves to gates and railings. A letter was given to the church explaining the protest, but the Dean of Westminster would not heed the call for support from the disabled protesters.

For a report on the day, links to films of the protest on youtube and links to press coverage, go to the DPAC web page:

Battle for Westminster Abbey, What Next?

(Posted 7 July 2014.)

(GMCDP does not necessarily support or promote any organisation, individual or website mentioned in this post.)

Call for Evidence – Work Capability Assessment

The 5th Independent Review of the Work Capability Assessment (WCA) is now under way.

The review is seeking evidence from organisations and individuals who have information about how the Work Capability Assessment is working and how it could be improved.

For more information in standard and large print, easier to read, audio and British Sign Language, go to:

Work Capability Assessment: Year 5 Call For Evidence: Consultations – gov.uk

(Posted 7 July 2014.)

(GMCDP does not necessarily support or promote any organisation, individual or website mentioned in this post.)

Counselling Service for People with Sight Loss in Stockport

Walthew House are offering counselling for people who have lost their sight and who live in the Stockport area. Anyone can refer themselves to the service, or be referred by GP, other professional or friend.

For more information, phone 0161 480 2612.

(Posted 7 July 2014.)

(GMCDP does not necessarily support or promote any organisation, individual or website mentioned in this post.)

New Disability History Initiative

Accentuate, part of Screen South, has gained funding from The Heritage Lottery Fund to develop a national disability history project ranging from the 1100s to the 1970s. This is to create local histories of disabled people’s lives linked with heritage sites – for example, significant buildings such as alms houses, asylums and purpose-built buildings.

The project will also assist with recommending low cost ways of making heritage sites more accessible to Deaf and disabled people, and create a touring exhibition of its work.

For more information, go to:

Accentuate History of Place – A Major New Disability History Initiative – wins Heritage Lottery Fund support

(Posted 7 July 2014.)

(GMCDP does not necessarily support or promote any organisation, individual or website mentioned in this post.)

Law Commission Reports on Hate Crime Consultation

The Law Commission has completed its consultation: “Hate Crime: Should The Current Offences Be Extended?”

It has recommended that aggravated offences in the Crime and Disorder Act 1998 and the stirring up of hatred offences under the Public Order Act 1986 should both apply to all 5 protected characteristics.

They also recommend that the Sentencing Council gives new guidance on sentencing for hate crime; and that when a sentence is increased because of it being a hate crime, this is recorded on the offender’s record in the Police National Computer.

For more detail on these, go to the Law Commission web page:

Hate Crime – Law Commission

(Posted 7 July 2014.)

(GMCDP does not necessarily support or promote any organisation, individual or website mentioned in this post.)

Further Stage for Council Tax Hardship Appeals

The President of the Valuation Tribunal has now said that appeals can be made to the Valuation Tribunal if a local authority refuses a Council Tax Hardships Payment to an individual.

This is particularly important now that there is no automatic award of full Council Tax Rebate to some people on benefits.

The Valuation Tribunal takes appeals challenging a variety of decisions relating to Council Tax. The President had previously announced that the Tribunal would not take appeals against decisions to refuse Council Tax Hardship Payments.

For more information about the Valuation Tribunal, go to:

Valuation Tribunal

For information from Citizen’s Advice, go to:

Help With Your Council Tax

(Posted 7 July 2014.)

(GMCDP does not necessarily support or promote any organisation, individual or website mentioned in this post.)

Consultation on New Care Act Regulations

The Department of Health has set up a consultation about the regulations for this new Act, which gained Royal Assent earlier this year. This consultation is open until 15 August 2014.

The guidance and regulations which go with an Act set out how the Act will be used in practise, so it is important for them to be as good as possible.

To see the consultation, go to:

Care Act 2014: How should local authorities deliver the care and support reforms? Please give us your views

For an overview of the Care Act, and link to fact sheets about the Act, go to the Department of Health web page:

Care Act 2014

(Posted 7 July 2014.)

(GMCDP does not necessarily support or promote any organisation, individual or website mentioned in this post.)

Universal Credit Rolls Out

From mid June to the end of this year, Universal Credit is being extended to 90 Jobcentres in the North West. Initially it will only be single people being transferred, but couples and families will also be transferred to the new benefit during this time.

Universal Credit is replacing: Income-Based Jobseeker’s Allowance, Income-Related Employment and Support Allowance, Income Support, Child Tax Credit, Working Tax Credit And Housing Benefit.

For more information about Universal Credit, go to the Citizen’s Advice web page:

What Is Universal Credit?

or the government’s web page:

Universal Credit – gov.uk

(Posted 7 July 2014.)

(GMCDP does not necessarily support or promote any organisation, individual or website mentioned in this post.)

Lobby of Lords Against Assisted Dying Bill

Lord Falkener’s Assisted Dying Bill will have its second reading in the House of Lords on 18 July.

Not Dead Yet, Disabled People Against Cuts and other disabled people’s organisations and individuals are lobbying the House of Lords on this day.

To find out more, go to:

News – Not Dead Yet

This page also has a link to the Bill itself.

(Posted 25 June 2014.)

(GMCDP does not necessarily support or promote any organisation, individual or website mentioned in this post.)

‘Right To Die’ Case Failed

Today, Justices in the Supreme Court have rejected the request by Paul Lamb and Jane Nicklinson for a change in the law to allow doctors to assist disabled people to die.

They have also turned down a request for clarification of the guidance  on prosecution of health and care professionals around assisted suicide.

For more information, go to:

BBC News: Campaigners Lose Right To Die Case – Breaking News

(Posted 25 June 2014.)

(GMCDP does not necessarily support or promote any organisation, individual or website mentioned in this post.)

First Review of Personal Independence Payment

The Department of Work and Pensions are asking for evidence about how well the assessment for Personal Independence Payment (PIP) is working so far.

The closing date for evidence is 5 September 2014.

You can find the documents on the web page:

Personal Independence Payment (PIP) Assessment: First Independent Review – Consultations-gov

(Posted 25 June 2014.)

(GMCDP does not necessarily support or promote any organisation, website or individual mentioned in this post.)

Proposal to Withdraw Some Hearing Aid Provision

Action on Hearing Loss have launched a campaign to oppose the withdrawal of hearing aids for people with mild to moderate age-related hearing loss.

This has started because on 3 June, North Staffordshire Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG) announced proposals to withdraw the provision of NHS-funded hearing aids for people with mild to moderate age-related hearing loss.

The CCG is carrying out a national consultation on the proposal. Action on Hearing Loss are asking people to respond to this consultation and sign the petition they have started.

For more information and links to the petition and CCG consultation, go to the Action on Hearing Loss web page:

NHS Hearing Aid Services Are Under Threat

(Posted 25 June 2014.)

(GMCDP does not necessarily support or promote any organisation, website or individual mentioned in this post.)

Disability/Diversity Day In Stockport

Disability Stockport is hosting its annual Celebrating Disability/Diversity Event on Tuesday 12 August 2014, at Mersey Square, opposite the bus station in Stockport, from 10.30 am to 3.30 pm.

There will be information from organisations in Stockport, craft stalls and food.

Disability Stockport are also having an open day in their centre at 23 High Street.

For more information:

Phone 0161 480 7248

Email email@disabilitystockport.org.uk

(Posted 25 June 2014.)

(GMCDP does not necessarily support or promote any organisation, website or individual mentioned in this post.)

Epetition for Right to Scooter

Steven Dovote has set up an epetition on the Directgov website calling for disabled and older people to have the right to have a class 2 scooter, as he says this is not set in law at the moment.

To see the petition, go to:

I propose that the existing qualifying criteria for the blue badge scheme be extended to users of Class II Mobility Scooters

(Posted 25 June.)
(GMCDP does not necessarily support or promote any organisation, website or individual mentioned in this post.)

Healthier Together Equality Impact Assessment on its Way

Healthier Together is a review of health and care in Greater Manchester. This includes primary, community and hospital services and the impact on social care. It is led by NHS Greater Manchester on behalf of the area’s 12 Clinical Commissioning Groups (CCGs). It will consider how best to provide the right service, at the right time, in the right place to achieve the best outcomes within the resources available.

GMCVO (Greater Manchester Council for Voluntary Organisations) is involved, to influence Healthier Together from the point of view of the voluntary sector.

You can find out more about Healthier Together on the GMCVO web page:

Healthier Together Makes Progress in Manchester

There is a consultation process for Healthier Together, plus an Equality Impact Assessment. GMCVO are part of a steering group co-ordinating the Equality Impact Assessment.

There will soon be events for voluntary sector organisations to contribute to the Equality Impact Assessment. They will be announced on the GMCVO website.

(Posted 25 June 2014.)

(GMCDP does not necessarily support or promote any organisation, website or individual mentioned in this post.)

New Report on Failure of Work Programme

‘Fulfilling Potential?’ is a new report by Catherine Hale, co-published by Mind and The Centre for Welfare Reform, it outlines the failure of the Government’s back-to-work programme.

The report describes the experience of those sick and disabled people who are put into the ‘Work Related Activity Group’ in order to help them find work. The report found:

  • people didn’t get support to find work;
  • People were sanctioned for failing to do things that are impossible to do;
  • People were left fearful, anxious, depressed, further from work.

You can find the report on the Mind web page:

Mind – Support, Not Sanctions

(Posted 24 June 2014.)

(GMCDP does not necessarily support or promote any organisation, website or individual mentioned in this post.)

Guidance – Mental Health and Debt

The Money Saving Expert website now has a PDF document specifically around mental health and debt. The guide was Written by Martin Lewis, Jenny Keefe & Marianne Curphey, and compiled with the assistance of several organisations, including Mind, Rethink and the Alzheimer Society.

You can find a link to the guide on the Money Saving Expert debt web page:

Debt Management, Where to Get Help

(Posted 24 June 2014.)

(GMCDP does not necessarily support or promote any organisation, website or individual mentioned in this post.)

Petition – Don’t cut off people’s benefits while the Government gives a second opinion on who is fit for work

Citizen’s Advice has started a campaign – ‘Fit for Work’ – calling on the government to make changes to the application process for Employment and Support Allowance (ESA).

They explain that:

“A new process called ‘mandatory reconsideration’ cuts off people’s disability benefit while the DWP reconsiders their ESA application. This has led to cases where people are being told by one part of the Government that they can’t claim ESA, because they are fit enough to work, while another part of the Government is telling them they can’t claim Jobseeker’s Allowance (JSA) because they are not fit for work. This has resulted in some people having no money at all and led to many of the people we help to turn to food banks to get by.”

You can find out more about the campaign at:

Fit for Work

The petition is at:

Don’t cut off people’s benefits while the Government gives a second opinion on who is fit for work

(Posted 23 June 2014.)

(GMCDP does not necessarily support or promote any organisation, website or individual mentioned in this post.)

Events for Mental Health Crisis Care Concordat

The Mental Health Crisis Care Concordat is a national agreement between services and agencies involved in the care and support of people in crisis. It sets out how organisations will work together better to make sure that people get the help they need when they are having a mental health crisis.

For the Crisis Care Concordat to work it needs to be taken up at a local level. Each local area needs its own declaration. Mind are contacting organisations who need to come together to make their own joint Declarations and implement an Action Plan.

Regional events are being held through this year. They aim to bring together service providers and mental health system users to develop a declaration for their local area. The closest to Greater Manchester are the events on 7 July in Widnes and 17 July in Leeds. For more information, go to the National Survivor User Network web page:

Mental Health Events

To find out more about the Concordat, go to the Mind web page:

Mental health Crisis Care Concordat

You can contact the Mental Health Crisis Care Concordat team by:

Email crisiscareconcordat@mind.org.uk

Phone Helena Brown on 0208 2152223

(Posted 23 June 2014.)

(GMCDP does not necessarily support or promote any organisation, website or individual mentioned in this post.)

Latest News about ESA, PIP and Other Benefits

The website Benefits and Work has released their latest newsletter today. In it, you will find statistics about the fall in ESA appeals; and a rise in the number of ESA claimants being assessed as not fit for work, compared to under the last government.

GMCDP has become a subscriber of the Benefits and Work website, so we may be able to support our members and other disabled people in Greater Manchester with the information the website offers.

You can find the newsletter at:

Benefits and Work Newsletter 18 June

(Posted 18 June 2014.)

(GMCDP does not necessarily support or promote any organisation, website or individual mentioned in this post.)

High Court Case about ‘DNR’ Notice

High Court Appeal Judges have ruled that Addenbrooke’s Hospital infringed the human rights of Janet Tracey, who has since died, by placing a ‘DNR’ – Do Not Resuscitate – notice on her records without consulting her.

The action itself, placing the DNR notice, was not the infringement of Mrs Tracey’s human rights. Not consulting her was ruled to be a violation of her respect for private life – article 8 under the European Convention on Human Rights.

At a time when the issue of assisted dying is gaining more publicity, the issue of DNR notices is of increased importance.

GMCDP has produced an information sheet about disabled people’s right to health care, you can find a link to this at:

Information: Greater Manchester Coalition of Disabled People

To see an article about this case, go to:

Family’s High Court Victory in DNR Case – Anglia, ITV News

(Posted 18 June 2014.)

(GMCDP does not necessarily support or promote any organisation, website or individual mentioned in this post.)

Assisted Dying Bill Had Its First Reading

Lord Falkener’s Assisted Dying Bill has had its first reading in Parliament.

To find out more about the Bill, including a link to download the Bill itself, go to the Parliamentary web page:

Assisted Dying Bill (HL) 2014 – 15

To find out about campaigns by disabled people against assisted dying, go to:

Care Not Killing

To see a campaign by disabled people in favour of assisted dying, go to:

Disability Activist For Dignity In Dying

(Posted 16 June 2014.)

(GMCDP does not necessarily support or promote any organisation, website or individual mentioned in this post.)

Urgent! – Get Your MP to the ILF Adjournment Debate this Wednesday

The future of the Independent Living Fund (ILF) will be debated in the House of Commons this Wednesday 18th June, from 11 – 11.30am.

We need to make sure as many MPs know it’s happening, and will be there prepared to stand up for the ILF and the future of independent living support for disabled people.

You can send an email to your MP asking them to be there on Wednesday and to support the ILF.

For more information, a template email and link to the website where you can find out who is your MP, go to:

#SaveILF – Urgent Action Needed

(Posted 16 June 2014.)

Headmeds – New Website for Young People

This recently launched website gives accessible and practical information about mental health medication. It is for young people, and has been developed by Young Minds.

You can find the website at:

Headmeds

And to find out more about Young Minds, go to:

Young Minds

(Posted 16 June 2014.)

(GMCDP does not necessarily support or promote any organisation, individual or website mentioned in this post.)

Inquiry into Employment and Support Allowance

The Work and Pensions Select Committee held its last two oral evidence sessions last week on 9 and 11 June.

You can view these on Parliament TV, and keep up to date with the Inquiry on the Parliament website.

For links to Parliament TV and the Inquiry page, go to:

Final Evidence Sessions for Inquiry Into ESA and WCA

(Posted 16 June 2014.)

(GMCDP does not necessarily support or promote any organisation, individual or website mentioned in this post.)

‘Into apprenticeships’ – Guide

This new guide from Disability Rights UK is for disabled people, parents and key advisers. It is about applying for apprenticeships in England.

The guide deals with common questions such as how to find an apprenticeship, whether the training will be accessible, and what support is available in the workplace.

The guide costs £3.99. You can buy it from Disability Rights UK. For more information, go to:

Into apprenticeships – Disability Rights UK

(Posted 10 June 2014.)

(GMCDP does not necessarily support or promote any organisation, individual or website mentioned in this post.)

DPAC Independent Living Tea Party – 4 July

Disabled People Against Cuts are organising a tea party outside the offices of the Department of Work and Pensions in London. They are inviting everyone to go along, and encouraging disabled people all around the country to organise their own tea party on the same day.

For more information, and suggestions, go to:

Disabled People Against Cuts

(Posted 10 June 2014.)

(GMCDP does not necessarily support or promote any organisation, individual or website mentioned in this post.)

Known Activist, Secret Artist

An exhibition of art works by Ken Lumb at Urmston Library, Trafford, Manchester, M41 0NA

Launch event: 7 June at 1pm

Other opening times (in June):

Friday 6 (3pm-7pm), Saturday 7 (1pm-4pm), Monday 9 (10pm-5pm), Tuesday 10 (10pm-7pm), Wednesday 11 (10pm-5pm), Thursday 12 (10pm-1pm)

Ken Lumb was an early member of the Union of the Physically Impaired Against Segregation, a vital organisation in the emergence of the disabled people’s movement. With a few others, he founded the Greater Manchester Coalition for Disabled People (GMCDP) and was heavily involved in the organisation until his death in 2009.

This one-off event provides a glimpse into the largely secret art works of a well-known activist.

(Posted 31 March 2014.)

(GMCDP does not necessarily support or promote any organisation, individual or website mentioned in this post.)

Disabled Child’s Grandparents to Appeal Judicial Review Decision

Paul and Susan Rutherford, who have their 14 year old disabled grandson living with them, have said they will appeal against a Judicial Review decision at the High Court that they should not be exempt from the Bedroom Tax.

The couple and their grandson live in an adapted 3-bedroomed property, and are considered to be over occupying even though the third bedroom is used for personal assistants (or ‘carers’) to stay overnight twice a week.

The request was dismissed because currently the couple receive Discretionary Housing Payments. As these are generally only temporary, and may be withdrawn at any time, the couple are going to appeal against the decision.

At the moment households with a disabled adult child are exempt from the ‘Bedroom Tax’, but not families with a younger disabled child.

For more information about the case, go to:

Child Poverty Action Group

(Posted 2 June 2014.)

(GMCDP does not necessarily support or promote any organisation, individual or website mentioned in this post.)

Independent Living Conference

Disability Rights UK are inviting organisations to a conference to launch their Declaration on Independent Living and to reach a common understanding of what independent living is today and to a basis for future campaigning and policy development.

The conference is on Friday 18th July from 9:30am (for a 10:30 start) to 4:00pm.

The keynote speech will be: The independent living movement’s achievements of the last 30 years and the issues for 2014.

Topics to be covered are:

  • Advocacy
  • Housing
  • Transport
  • Employment
  • Choice in Support
  • Right to Control
  • Inclusive Communities
  • Education
  • Sport
  • Voice and Co-production

The venue is The Kia Oval, Kennington, London SE11 5SS

The conference is free of charge to attend. Lunch will be provided.

To book, email karen.earl@disabilityrightsuk.org or telephone 07411 067367

The Disability Rights UK website is at:

www.disabilityrightsuk.org

(Posted 2 June 2014.)

(GMCDP does not necessarily support or promote any organisation, individual or website mentioned in this post.)

Anti Bedroom Tax and Benefit Justice Federation National Meeting

This meeting is to decide the next steps in campaigns against the Bedroom Tax and benefit cuts. It will take place in Manchester on 7 June, from 12:00 to 5:00pm, at the Central Hall, Oldham Street, Manchester M1 1JQ.

Invited speakers are: Scottish Bedroom Tax Federation, Owen Jones and MP Linda Riordan (who voted against the Welfare cap), Disabled people against Cuts (DPAC) and trade union speakers.

There will also be a legal session on how to stop evictions, and a session on benefit sanctions and workfare.

The organisers suggest these are things you can do now:

  • Send suggestions and proposals for the event.
  • Let them know who is going to the meeting.
  • Ask unions and others to help pay for your travel expenses.
  • Take photos and reports to the meeting.

For more information, go to the web page:

Anti Bedroom Tax and Benefit Justice Federation National Meeting

(Posted 2 June 2014.)

(GMCDP does not necessarily support or promote any organisation, individual or website mentioned in this post.)

Reminder – Save the Independent Living Fund Postcard Campaign

GMCDP, along with other disabled people’s organisations, is running a campaign to put pressure on the government to reverse their decision to close the Independent Living Fund. A postcard has been produced outlining the issues. We are asking people to send these postcards to their MP and other politicians such as the Prime Minister and leader of the opposition.

For more information, go to the GMCDP web page Save the ILF Campaign:

www.gmcdp.com/save-the-ilf

(Posted 29 May 2014.)

In Defense of Facilitated Communication

Many disabled people who do not use speech use Facilitated Communication. See the article by a group of young disabled people who use Facilitated Communication –

Quiet Riot

The International Society for Alternative and Augmentative Communication (ISAAC) has recently condemned the use of Facilitated Communication.

To see an article in defence of Facilitated Communication, go to the DPAC (Disabled People Against Cuts web page:

‘Professionals’ try to deny our human rights again

(posted 29 May 2014.)

(GMCDP does not necessarily support or promote any organisation, individual, or website mentioned in this post.)

New Procedure to Redirect Health and Social Care Complaints

The Care Quality Commission (CQC) and Local Government Ombudsman have agreed to work together on complaints about health and social care services. Each organization receives complaints which should have gone to the other. They have now agreed to pass these complaints on, rather than telling the complainant to contact the other organization.

To see an article from the Community Care website go to:

CQC and Ombudsman join forces to make social care complaints easier

To find out more about the Care Quality Commission, go to:

www.cqc.org.uk

To find out about the Local Government Ombudsman, go to:

www.lgo.org.uk

(Posted 28 May 2014.)

(GMCDP does not necessarily support or promote any organization, website or individual mentioned in this post.)

New Inquiry into Global Mental Health

The All Party Parliamentary Groups on Global Health and Mental Health are working together on a new inquiry.

The inquiry will look into what the UK is doing to address the gap between the global need for mental health treatment, and the treatment available.

For more information, go to:

New Inquiry launched: what should the UK’s response be to the global mental health treatment gap

(Posted 28 May 2014.)

(GMCDP does not necessarily support or promote any organization, website or individual mentioned in this post.)

Old Age a New Reason for Assisted Suicide

The Swiss organization, Exit, have now added ‘psychological or physical problems due to old age’ to the list of reasons for people to take the road of assisted suicide.

This is a worrying development for campaigners against legalized euthanasia.

To see a Guardian article about the development, go to:

Swiss group to allow assisted dying for elderly who are not terminally ill

To find out about a campaign against assisted suicide, go to:

Care Not Killing

(Posted 28 May 2014.)

(GMCDP does not necessarily support or promote any organization, website or individual mentioned in this post.)

Briefing on Changes in Support for Disabled Students

The Alliance for Inclusive Education (ALLFIE) has produced a briefing (June briefing) on the changes recently announced to support for disabled students in higher education. These changes, as reported by GMCDP on 12 May, will lead to a reduction in the support available through the Disabled Students’ Allowance.

Find ALLFIE’s briefing at:

www.allfie.org.uk

(Posted 28 May 2014.)

(GMCDP does not necessarily support or promote any organisation, individual, or website mentioned in this post.)

Call for Evidence

We have already publicised one call for evidence, this is a second, with a later deadline, if you still wish to submit any evidence.

Elaine Astley from Breakthrough UK has sent us the following request:

We are putting together a report on how well – or not – the United Nations Convention on the Rights of Disabled People (UNCRPD) is working for disabled people who live in the North West of England.

The UNCRPD is a list of ‘articles’ covering disabled people’s rights in different situations. The UK government has signed up to this.

A list of the articles is here: http://www.un.org/disabilities/default.asp?id=259

Here is an easy words version of the convention, let me know if you need a different format.

UN-Agree.pdf

You will see that they cover a lot of different areas to do with disabled people’s human rights – including things like accessibility, right to life, education, work & employment, health, living independently and being included in the community – and many more.

We need to give clear, evidenced examples showing whether or not disabled people are getting these rights.

Do you have evidence you can share with us for the report please? It does not need to be long, but it does need to be based on your own experience. No names will be used in the report.

We need to know:

  1. Which article of the UNCRPD does the issue you are raising relate to?
  2. How serious is the issue you are raising for the rights of disabled people in your area?
  3. Who does the issue affect? How many people are affected (if you know)?
  4. What strong evidence do you have for this?
  5. What needs to change?

Please get in touch if you would like to talk things through rather than put something in writing. If you would like to take part, the deadline for getting your evidence back to me is Monday 9 June.

Many thanks in advance.

Elaine Astley, Policy and Research Assistant

Tel: 0161 234 3950

Email e.astley@breakthrough-uk.co.uk

(Posted 21 May 2014.)

(GMCDP does not necessarily support or promote any organization, individual or website mentioned in this post.)

New Report on Women and Mental Health

The Women’s Health and Equality Consortium has published ‘I am more than one thing: a guiding paper by Imkaan, Positively UK and Rape Crisis England and Wales’

The report explores issues around women’s mental health. It builds on existing evidence to highlight women’s experiences of poor mental health and wellbeing and their interactions with the mental health system.  It also aims to identify support needs or barriers that women encounter in the process of seeking support across the voluntary and statutory sector. Whilst there are several factors that impact on women’s mental health, this guiding paper focuses on women’s mental wellbeing within the context of the effects of sexual violence, as well as different levels of social exclusion or marginalisation that may be experienced by black and minority ethnic (BME) women, and women affected by HIV.

For a link to the report and an executive summary, go to:

Women’s Health and Equality Consortium

(Posted 21 May 2014.)

(GMCDP does not necessarily support or promote any organization, individual or website mentioned in this post.)

Urgent evidence on Employment Tribunal Cases needed Deadline 28th May

The TUC is developing a high profile campaign aimed at ending employment tribunal fees and restoring access to justice for working people.

They are urgently seeking case studies for use in a short report and media work in the run up to 12 June when the government will publish the latest statistics on employment tribunal claims.

In particular, they are interested in hearing about:

  • individuals who have been deterred from taking an employment tribunal claim since July because of the cost,
  • individuals who have won a case against their employer in the past but who believes they wouldn’t have been able to had tribunal fees existed at the time.
  • low paid workers who had an application for remissions turned down.

They would like to find individuals who would be happy to tell their story in person.  It is also possible to anonymise the case studies. The deadline is May 28th.

There is an on-line link for reporting case studies at:

www.surveymonkey.com/s/employment_tribunal

(Posted 21 May 2014.)

(GMCDP does not necessarily support or promote any organization, individual or website mentioned in this post.)

New Association for Disabled Police Officers

The Disabled Police Association has been set up for staff within the Police Force. The aim is to promote equal opportunities and treatment for disabled officers and staff within the force. The Association will also bring together representatives from groups of disabled staff from around the country, and improve relations between the police and disabled people.

For more information, go to the Business Disability Forum news page:

Association Created to Support Disabled Police Officers

(Posted 20 May 2014.)

(GMCDP does not necessarily support or promote any organisation, website or individual mentioned in this post.)

Care Bill Receives Royal Assent

The Care Bill became the Care Act on 14 May. It sets out to change the social care system. Details are not clear at the moment. Elements of the Act include: a minimum eligibility criteria across the country; personalisation through personal budgets; and a cap of £72,000 on ‘care costs’ (not including accommodation).

Disability Rights UK have a brief article at:

Care Bill Becomes Care Act

and you can find more information on:

Social Care Funding Reform FAQs – Commons Library Standard Note

To see comments from the Minister for Health, Norman Lamb, go to:

https://www.gov.uk/government/speeches/care-bill-becomes-care-act-2014

The Community Care website also has an article about the Act, at: http://www.communitycare.co.uk/2014/05/15/care-act-2014-becomes-law/

A  brief commentary on the implications of the cap for social care costs in the Guardian is at:

http://www.theguardian.com/social-care-network/2014/may/08/politicians-must-act-care-rationing?CMP=twt_gu

(Posted 19 May 2014.)

(GMCDP does not necessarily support or promote any organisation, individual or website mentioned in this post.)

Fraud and Error in the Benefit System

The latest report from the Work and Pensions Committee on error and fraud in the benefit system has been released. It says the estimate is fraud accounts for only 0.7% of the total benefits budget, but the public perception is that the fraud is 34 times greater. The report also says that overpayment due to error is 2%.

The committee has suggested that statistics on fraud and error are released on separate days, to avoid confusion in the media.

For more detail, and a link to the report, go to:

Uncertainty over how benefit fraud risk will be managed – news from Parliament

(Posted 19 May 2014.)

(GMCDP does not necessarily support or promote any organisation, website or individual mentioned in this post.)

Petition – Stop Euthanasia in Belgium

The Euthanasia Prevention Coalition Europe has set up a petition calling on the Belgian government to suspend the law making euthanasia legal, and to hold a review of practices being carried out under the law.

For background information, and a link to the petition, go to:

EPC Europe

(Posted 19 May 2014.)

(GMCDP does not necessarily support or promote any organisation, website or individual mentioned in this post.)

An Opportunity to Try Competitive Climbing

On 24 May an event is being held at the Climbing Centre (Bennet Street, Manchester), for disabled people to try climbing in a competitive environment. The day is also being used as a talent-spotting opportunity for the GB para climbing team.

To find out more, go to the English Disability Sports Federation web page:

BMC para climbing series, Manchester

(Posted 19 May 2014.)

(GMCDP does not necessarily support or promote any organisation, individual or website mentioned in this post.)

Vigil at Royal Courts of Justice, 8 July 2014

The Work Capability Assessment Judicial Review for mental health claimants, Substantial Hearing, takes place on 7, 8 and 9 July. The hearing is to consider what changes the Department of Work and Pensions needs to make to the Work Capability Assessment. This follows a long court case which finally concluded that the WCA process puts people applying on mental health grounds at a disadvantage. The Department of Work and Pensions now has to make some ‘reasonable adjustments’ to the process.

The Mental Health Resistance Network (MHRN) and Disabled People Against Cuts (DPAC) are organising a vigil at the front entrance of the Royal Courts of Justice on Tuesday 8 July, from 12noon – 2.00pm. The vigil aims to highlight the issues raised by this case, while the hearing is in progress.

For more detail about the case and the vigil, go to the DPAC website:

Important vigil to fight the injustice of the WCA

(Posted 19 May 2014.)

(GMCDP does not necessarily support or promote any organisation, website or individual mentioned in this post.)

Public Uncomfortable around Disabled People

The charity Scope has released the results of its latest survey recording the general public’s attitude towards disabled people. It shows that 67% feel uncomfortable when communicating with disabled people. This is down to a fear of appearing patronising or saying the wrong thing. People also feel that getting to know a disabled person would make them more comfortable when speaking to other disabled people.

For more detail, and a link to the report, go to:

Most Brits Uncomfortable Talking to Disabled People

(Posted 19 May 2014.)

(GMCDP does not necessarily support or promote any organisation, website or individual mentioned in this post.)

Call for Submissions into Access to Work Inquiry

The Work and Pension Select Committee is holding an inquiry into Access to Work. It is asking for submissions from disabled people’s organisations and disabled individuals.

They are asking for submissions of no more than 3,000 words. The Committee is particularly interested in:

  • The Access to Work application and assessment processes, from the perspectives of employees and employers;
  • The adequacy of ongoing support,  both in terms of the aids, adaptations and support workers provided through Access to Work, and the help and advice offered by the Department of Work and Pensions;
  • The effectiveness of Access to Work in supporting people with mental health conditions and learning difficulties;
  • Access to Work’s effectiveness in terms of helping disabled people to:
  • Secure a job;
  • Stay in employment; and
  • Develop their careers; and

The deadline for submitting evidence is Friday 20 June.

For more information, go to:

Employment support for disabled people

(Posted 15 May 2014.)

(GMCDP does not necessarily support or promote any organisation, individual or website mentioned in this post.)

Job Seekers Grateful for Sanctions?

The Benefits and Work team have reported that Neil Couling, work services director at the DWP, has been giving evidence to the Scottish parliament’s welfare reform committee.

He said: “My experience is that many benefit recipients welcome the jolt that a sanction can give them. . . Some people no doubt react very badly to being sanctioned—we see some very strong reactions—but others recognise that it is the wake-up call that they needed, and it helps them get back into work.”

Cowling also said Job Centres do not have targets for sanctions. This goes against evidence gathered in a survey by the PCS union

Results of the PCS Membership Survey on Conditionality and Sanctions

which highlights that

  • 23% of members had been given explicit targets for referring claimants for sanctions;
  • 36% of members stated that they have been placed on a Performance Improvement Plan for not making enough sanctions referrals;
  • 10% have gone through formal poor performance procedures for not making enough sanctions referrals.

Benefits and Work have given some tips on how to avoid sanctions on their website, go to:

JSA Sanctions

(Posted 15 May 2014.)

(GMCDP does not necessarily support or promote any organisation, individual or website mentioned in this post.)

St Anne’s Square, Manchester – Save the Independent Living Fund Postcard Campaign!

Tomorrow, Thursday 15 May, sees Brian Hilton and others from GMCDP campaigning in St Anne’s Square from 12.30 – 2.30pm.

Brian and co. are going to be asking passers-by to support the campaign by signing the postcards.

There will be a similar campaign in a couple of weeks, we will let you know when.

For more information about the campaign, go to the page on this website:

Save the ILF Campaign

(Posted 14 May 2014.)

First case on Personal Assistance at the European Court of Human Rights

The first complaint concerning access to Personal Assistance has been submitted to the European Court of Human Rights by a disabled man from Romania.

The case of Radi v. Romania, submitted earlier this month, challenges how personal assistance is provided to disabled people. It argues that such treatment amounts to violation of Article 4 (prohibition of slavery and forced labour), Article 8 (right to respect for private and family life) and Article 14 (prohibition of discrimination) of the European Convention on Human Rights.

In Romania, personal assistance is provided mainly by family members, without taking into account the individual needs or preferences of the disabled person. Family members (predominantly women) are forced to give up their jobs and become full-time carers. Personal assistants are deprived of most rights guaranteed under Romania’s Labour Code and are paid a minimum wage. They also effectively do not have a right to rest, even though they may be caring for their family member 24/7.

For more detail, go to:

First case on Personal Assistance at the European Court of Human Rights

(Posted 14 May 2014.)

(GMCDP does not necessarily support or promote any organization, website or individual mentioned in this post.)

 Petition: repeal illegal mental health laws

The UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (CRPD) guarantees equality under the law for all disabled people. The UK Government has ratified this Convention.

The UK Mental Health Act allows (as in many other countries) people with mental health problems to be treated against their will even when they have capacity to make a decision and can understand information given to them.

In the UK people can be compelled to accept treatment even if they live in the community. This is against civil liberties and leads to second-class citizenship or non-citizenship for many thousands of people who are forced to take medication.

There is a petition about this issue. To find it, go to:

Rt Hon Jeremy Hunt MP

To find out about the Mental Health Act, go to:

Mental Health Act 2007

(Posted 14 May 2014.)

(GMCDP does not necessarily support or promote any organization, website or individual mentioned in this post.)

 

‘Counting the Costs’ Survey for Families with Disabled Children

Contact a Family are re-running their Counting The Cost survey, to assess how welfare reforms are affecting families with disabled children.

The survey closes at the end of May.

You can find the survey at:

Counting the Costs 2014 Survey

To find out more about Contact a Family, go to:

www.cafamily.org.uk

(Posted 13 May 2014.)

(GMCDP does not necessarily support or promote any organisation, individual or website mentioned in this post.)

Romiley Depression Group – Call for Votes

The Romiley Depression Group has been running at the Romiley Life Centre for 12 years. At the moment they are running a Work Club once a week, teaching people who are unemployed the skills to be able to give them a better chance of obtaining employment.  They are trying to extend this to people who have suffered breakdowns and depression.

They have put in a bid to Engage Mutual, an organisation which has a fund to support groups working within the community. In order to obtain funding it is necessary to show that they have the support of enough people to help prove that the project is worthwhile.

Organisers of Romiley Depression Group are asking that people show their  support by voting on-line.

Voting is open to the general public. To register go to

http://www.engagemutual.com/foundation/login-logout

The Romiley Depression Group project is found at http://www.engagemutual.com/foundation/projects/depression-group-rebuilding-lives

(Posted 12 May 2014.)

(GMCDP does not necessarily support or promote any organisation, individual or website mentioned in this post.)

ALLFIE Local Elections Manifesto

ALLFIE, the Alliance for Inclusive Education, has produced a manifesto for the local elections this month.

ALLFIE are asking for all local council candidates to pledge their support for inclusive education practise. If any of the candidates are supporting ALLFIE’s manifesto, ALLFIE would like you to encourage them to email over a photo or a video link to ALLFIE at

simone.aspis@allfie.org.uk

You can find the Manifesto at:

http://www.allfie.org.uk/docs/ALLFIE%20Manifesto%20Local%20Elections%202014.pdf

The ALLFIE website is at:

www.alffie.org.uk

(Posted 12 May 2014.)

(GMCDP does not necessarily support or promote any organisation, individual or website mentioned in this post.)

Current Attitudes towards Disabled People

Scope has produced an updated report on current attitudes to disabled people in the UK.

You can find a link to the report at:

Current Attitudes towards Disabled People – Scope Report

(Posted 12 May 2014.)

(GMCDP does not necessarily support or promote any organisation, individual or website mentioned in this post.)

Charter for Mental Health Services In Manchester

Users of mental health services in Manchester have put together a Charter of what they would like from services in Manchester.

To find out more about getting involved, and to see the Charter, go to:

Charter for Mental Health Services in Manchester – MACC

(Posted 12 May 2014.)

(GMCDP does not necessarily support or promote any organisation, individual or website mentioned in this post.)

‘Challenge it, Report it, Stop it’

On 1 May the Government published the latest progress report on its strategy to reduce hate crime – ‘Challenge it, Report it, Stop it’.

You can see the written statement to Parliament by Norman Baker MP, Minister for Crime Reduction,  at:

Challenge it, Report it, Stop it – Written Statements to Parliament

You can find the report at:

Challenge it, Report it, Stop it

The Association of Chief Police Officers have developed a website about hate crime, to go to the section about Disability Hate Crime go to:

Disability Hate Crime – Report It – True Vision

(Posted 12 May 2014.)

(GMCDP does not necessarily support or promote any organisation, individual or website mentioned in this post.)

‘Beyond the Barriers’ Report

The Spartacus Network has produced a report, ‘Beyond the Barriers’, which proposes an alternative to the Work Capability Assessment for Employment and Support Allowance. The report draws together results from 5 consultations; provides an analysis of Employment and Support Allowance and the Work Programme; draws together academic research and examples from other countries; and proposes an alternative solution.

For more information and a link to the report, go to:

ESA – Spartacus Network

(Posted 12 May 2014.)

(GMCDP does not necessarily support or promote any organisation, individual or website mentioned in this post.)

“An Inclusive Education and a Fulfilling Life” Conference

This conference is on Saturday 7th June 2014, 10am – 3.30pm at an accessible venue: Kahawa Café, 163 New Union Street, Coventry, CV1 2PL.

It sets out to bring together disabled people, the parents of disabled children and those with SEN, and their non-disabled allies, to explore common ground, opportunities and choice with regard to independent living and enjoying an education alongside their peers.

The conference will:

  • Be respectful and accessible
  • Be informative and participatory
  • Use cooperative learning approaches
  • Give examples of where things are working
  • Discuss why life is getting harder for disabled people.

Lunch will be provided

The charge will be: £2.00 for disabled people and family members,  £4.00 for allies (professionals, etc.). Pay on the day. Organisers need a definite commitment that you are going so they can make arrangements. This is a not-for-profit event; all proceeds are to cover the cost of the conference.

Interested in attending or want more information? Please book a place by

Email afulfillinglife2012@gmail.com

Text or call: 0780 587 8729

The organisers are: Elaine Hill, Rob Punton, Keith Venables, Caroline & Maresa MacKeith. Advisors are: Katie Clarke, Steve Cooper & Tara Flood.

For more information about the Alliance For Inclusive Education (ALLFIE) visit:

Alliance for Inclusive Education

(Posted 7 May 2014.)

(GMCDP does not necessarily support or promote any organisation, website or individual mentioned in this post.)

Quiet Riot

Members of Quiet Riot, a group of young disabled people who use Facilitated Communication Training (FCT), have written a very interesting and informative piece about FCT, the group and their personal experiences. Find the piece on the DPAC website at:

Quiet Riot: a voice that will be hear, a voice to be reckoned with!

(Posted 7 May 2014.)

New Disabled Women’s Group

GMCDP has been sent the following information

A new disabled women’s group is forming. This won’t be completely building-based. We aim to keep in touch, lessen our isolation and discuss issues which affect us, in other ways. We have set up a ‘secret’ Facebook group (invite only, not visible in their groups list or on Facebook in general), and will also communicate by phone, text, Skype, face-time, letter, tape and maybe email group, as members wish.

We will meet on occasion in a wheelchair accessible venue, such as the Town Hall cafe Hebden Bridge, or the Community Resource Centre or Fielden centre, Todmorden.

1st meeting Tuesday 17th June 10.30-12.30 Fielden Centre, Ewood Lane, Todmorden OL14 7DD (good parking, level access, accessible loo, half-back upright seats).

First discussion will be the Social Model of Disability. Please see what the Greater Manchester Coalition of Disabled people have on their website about this: www.gmcdp.com

Contact the new local Disabled Women’s Group:

contact either Aspen by phone 01282 697942 (leave a message), email a.silverwood@tiscali.co.uk. Or contact Willow: 01706 819607, willow@willowmerrymoon.co.uk