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News Archive 2015

Maximus Losing Millions on WCA

Maximus are not carrying out enough assessments because they are having problems recruiting enough health professionals to do the job.

Their staffing issues means that an expected $30 million profit in the first year of the WCA contract has ended up as a $4 million loss. Maximus’ shares plummeted in value by 26% when the loss was revealed.

More here

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

Nothing about us without us – Scorpio strikes back

More sting from Scorpio

Nothing about us without us

With such a small number of disabled people elected to the funny farm, that is Parliament, it is probably not much of a surprise to note that the new chair of the APPG on disabled people is not a disabled person. What might be of surprise is that this is the first time in 50 years that a non disabled person has held this position.

Presumably those few disabled people who were eligible to contest the position chose not to fearing that LieDS and his cronies would seek to kill them as they have disabled people across the board.

The honour of holding this position has fallen to Lisa Cameron (no relation to ‘just call me Dave’). I wonder how this representative of the Scottish National Party would feel if a non Scot stood for election as the chair of the APPG on Scotland?

It’s worth noting that the pathetic under-representation of disabled people is likely to get worse as Gideon has just announced that the funding for the pilot scheme to increase the number of disabled MPs is being suspended. He probably thinks that once LieDS has finished his mission there won’t be any disabled people left.

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

Mandatory Work Schemes to close

The government is axing mandatory work activity and community work placements. The announcement comes after years of protests and court action by claimants forced into unpaid work with no prospect of a job at the end.

However, a new scheme called the Work and Health Programme is to be introduced. As one commentor has already suggested, this might be the beginning of attempts to force claimants into compulsory treatment programmes such as CBT or help to combat drug or alcohol misuse.

From Benefits and Work

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

Forced DLA to PIP transfer in trouble

The Office for Budget Responsibility (OBR) now believes that it will take the Department for Work & Pensions three years instead of two to reassess all current working age Disability Living Allowance (DLA) claimants for Personal Indepence Payments (PIP).

It blames the increase on Atos and Capita failing to carry out enough face-to-face assessments and suggests that the DLA to PIP transfer process is beginning to look as badly managed as the incapacity benefit to ESA one.

However, the OBR still believes that 26% of ‘lifetime’ DLA claimants will get no award at all when forced to claim PIP.

From Benefits and Work

Disabled People ‘struggling to eat’ because of benefit cuts

A new survey has found that nearly a third of disabled people reliant on a key sickness benefit say its current low level has left them unable to eat.

The research, which relates to the so-called “Work Related Activity Group” on Employment and Support Allowance, comes ahead of a £30 a week cut to the £102.15 payment which will reduce the income of disabled people even further.

Researchers at the Disability Benefits Consortium surveyed 500 people in the WRAG found that 28 per cent of people had been unable to afford to eat while in receipt of the benefit.

More at the Independent here

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

Co-production in mental health – (NDTi) call for practice examples

The National Development Team for Inclusion (NDTi) have been funded by the Esmée Fairbairn Foundation to demonstrably increase understanding of co-production in mental health.
One of the key aims of the work is develop a practical, evidence-based resource on how co-production can be understood and implemented in mental health.
NDTI would love to hear about examples of co-production which have worked, but also those that have not worked, from within and outside statutory or mainstream mental health services, including:
• From people who identify as having a mental health problem or as service users/survivors
• User-led organisations (ULOs)
• Non-user led mental health campaigning organisations
• Local authority or NHS commissioners (including Clinical Commissioning Groups)
• NHS Trusts
• Local authorities
• Voluntary and community sector mental health providers
• Specialist voluntary and community sector groups/organisations (such as those supporting BAME or LGB & T people)

Feedback form here

More information here

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

Upcoming courses at Trafford CIL

Trafford Centre for Independent Living have recently been awarded funding from Skills for Care to deliver a range of health and social care courses. The courses they are offering are:
• The Care Certificate
• Moving & Handling Training (Full)
• Employment Rights and Responsibilities specifically for people employing through a direct payment/personal budget
All of the courses are free. The Employment Rights and Responsibilities training is a classroom based session that is held at the CIL, and the Care Certificate is blended learning, with e-learning modules and workbooks to be completed.

Places are limited and will be allocated on a first come, first served basis…
For more information please contact
Savvas Papadopoulos
Email – maps.admin@traffordcil.co.uk
Phone – 0161 850 0645

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

Accessible Performances at The Lowry Winter/Spring 2016

The Lowry has a series of accessible performances for Winter/Spring 2016

The event programme features:

– Audio Described Performances
– Captioned Performances
– Signed Performances
– Relaxed Performances

You can download a PDF of their listings below

Accessible Performance Listings Winter-Spring 2016

Lowry also have a webpage about their accessible features here

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

Manchester toilet event highlights disabled and transgender people’s fears

GMCDP’s Brain Hilton is interviewed by Mancunian Matters regarding the accessible public toilet situation in  Manchester. There is currently only one public toilet open in Manchester.

Brian expresses the view that many disabled people feel about public toilets

‘Brian Hilton, the Digital Campaigns Officer for the Greater Manchester Coalition of Disabled People (GMCDP), says that toilets need to be thought of ‘holistically’, with consideration given not just to those with mobility requirements but with visual and hearing impairments.

He told MM: “A lot of disabled people will go out on the assumption that they won’t use the toilet which is a terrible thing to have to do.”

Brian also draws a link between austerity and the increasing number of public-private partnerships, citing fears that the access standards of these facilities will be sub-par.’

Read more here

Opinion – New Scorpio post –   Forever Usurping Crip Knowledge

Scorpio returns with some well placed venom.

Forever Usurping Crip Knowledge – Unbelievable

Shameless doesn’t even come close. Having stolen our freedom, our identity, our funding, our voice, Charities are now trying to get their grubby little mitts on our history.

Scope have received funding to mark the 20th anniversary of the Disability Discrimination Act by chronicling the campaigns that led to this woefully inadequate law being passed.

Will they recall how for decades they, and other, charities actively sought to undermine the fight for independence; denying the right to self-representation, incarcerating disabled people in segregated residential units, schools and workshops, begging for money by portraying us as incapable and incurable, and actively opposing the formation of disabled people’s organisations and what became the campaign for Civil Rights – amongst other sins including abuse and cruelty.

I will always remember speaking at a Spastic Society (as they persisted in calling themselves for financial benefit) conference in Blackpool sometime in the 1980s. There were supposed to four of us but a missing ramp left colleagues unable to disembark the train.

We had been invited to talk about emerging disabled people’s organisations and our campaign for self advocacy. Needless to say they were a tough audience; they were very restrained, in fact they listened in silence and remained silent when invited to show their appreciation!

The highlight came during the feedback session that followed. A particularly distressed member of the SS shouted ‘what’s it got to do with the cripples, we’re here for the spastics’. It’s not often I’m lost for words but this was one of those rare occasions. Once I had recovered, my response was sufficient for the organiser to, not so politely, invite me to leave. I was escorted out to cries of “militant, ungrateful, disgrace, unrepresentative”, which I was quite proud of (except for the Militant bit).

Leonard Cheshire Homes, meanwhile, have received a staggering £300,000 lottery funding to establish an archive. I hope they find space to display their correspondence threatening to bankrupt GMCDP for publishing an article (Disability and the bomb, by Ken Davis – recently reproduced on the Coalition’s website) that they found objectionable. LCH share the distinguished company of Jimmy Saville and Trinity Mirror Group in making threats to sue – Saville didn’t take kindly to be accused of being a pervert, whilst the Mirror objected to criticism of their ‘agony aunt’ who didn’t think that disabled people should have relationships. What’s the old saying about judging people by the company they keep?

We should not be surprised by the multi-million pound disability charity industry. It has demonstrated itself to be the perfect parasite; constantly adapting and evolving but careful not to kill off the host. We will never be free until we have destroyed every single charity which feeds off our oppression. Just imagine how rich we would all be if these leeches were culled and all their assets distributed directly to disabled people. OUR history teaches us that this is still the biggest battle to be won if we are to achieve equality.

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

 

Celebrating International Day of Disabled People event at Central Library – Thursday 3rd December

Join us for an International Day of Disabled People event, which will include:

Opening speech by Councillor Tracy Rawlings

An exhibition celebrating 30 years of Greater Manchester Coalition of Disabled People

The launch of a comic book designed by young disabled people from Greater Manchester Coalition of Disabled People’s Taking Action Project and local artist Jim Medway called ‘The Accessibles – Our Time Is Now’ – which is a time travel through local disability history.

Songs from local disability activist and musician Miss Dennis Queen

Closing remarks by Martin Pagel (veteran disability rights campaigner and former deputy leader of Manchester City Council)

This event is open to all and there will be light refreshments. There will be BSL interpreters.

The exhibition will run until Tuesday 22nd December as part of Disability History month.

This event is organised by Manchester City Council Disabled Employee Group in partnership with Greater Manchester Coalition of Disabled People and Central Library.

Facebook page for the event here

For further information

email: info@gmcdp.com
phone: 0161 636 7534
text: 07508 537561.

Your Organisation Needs You! GMCDP members meeting – Thursday 3rd December

Your Organisation Needs You!

This meeting is open to all members of Greater Manchester Coalition of Disabled People – and to anybody interested in becoming a member. If you know any disabled people who might be interesting in joining us, let them know. This is a workshop on how you can get more involved with Greater Manchester Coalition of Disabled People – and so we can prioritise what is important to us as an organisation.

Facebook page for the members meeting here

There is also an exhibition later on in the evening that celebrates International Day of Disabled People.

Facebook page for the Celebration event here

If you wish to attend, it is important that you contact us to book a place. Could you also let us know of any access requirements.

Please contact us on:

Phone: 0161 636 7534
Email info@gmcdp.com
Text: 07508 537561

 

Blind schoolgirl banned from using cane

A blind schoolgirl has been banned fro using her cane at school because of ‘Health and Safety’ concerns. Seven-year-old Lily-Grace Hooper has been told not to bring in the fibre glass stick in case she trips someone up.

Her school has since carried out a risk assessment and told her to instead “walk carefully” with an adult at all times.

More here

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

Disabled man dies of heart attack after ESA sanction threat

A disabled man died of a heart attack, just an hour after being told by the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) that they were threatening to sanction his disability benefits.

Alan McArdle told a friend who had read the DWP letter to him: “They’ve sanctioned my money,” before he collapsed. Maximus had reported him to the DWP for failing to attend appointments they had arranged.

More at Disability News Service here

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

Manchester People’s Assembly ‘ A Nightmare Before Christmas’ Demonstration – Tuesday 24th November

Manchester People’s Assembly, an organisation which campaigns against Austerity throughout the North West are hosting a demonstration called “A Nightmare before Christmas” in Manchester to protest on the eve of George Osborne`s Autumn Statement- ahead of the expected announcement of further huge spending cuts.

They will march from Piccadilly Gardens to Market Street.

Tuesday 24th November
5PM
Piccadilly Garden
Manchester

For further information email manchesterpaaa@gmail.com

Facebook link for the event here

Manchester People`s Assembly Facebook page can be found here

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

Posted 19/11/2015

Disabled teenager sedated and flown away likened to ‘Extraordinary Rendition’

A disabled teenager was “unlawfully” sedated and flown from south-west England to Dundee in a move a health boss likened to “extraordinary rendition to Guantanamo Bay”.

A report has shown that this occurred in 2007 happened without her or her parents’ consent.She was eventually placed at a private hospital near Bristol, which was later closed following an abuse scandal.

More here

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

Posted 19/11/2015

Feedback for inclusive planning for disabled people wanted – survey

A MSC Urban Planning student at UWE Bristol is calling for some feedback for a survey that is part of a presentation on inclusivity within the planning system, looking at infrastructure provision for disabled people as well as public consultation.

The survey can be found here

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

Work Capability Assessments linked to Suicide and mental ill health

Studies by Oxford University and Liverpool University show (after taking account of baseline deprivation, economic trends,and long term trends in mental health) there was around 6 extra suicides 2,700 more cases of mental ill health and an extra 7,020 prescriptions for anti-depressants for every 10,000 people reassessed during this period, which equates to 590 additional suicides, 279,000 extra cases of mental ill-health and 725,000 more prescriptions for anti-depressants across the country as a whole between 2010 and 2013. Linked does not always mean ‘causal’, although several coroners’ inquests into suicides have now shown it to be the case.

What this study shows is that harm is not only done by benefits loss, but by the fear of it, a testimony to the arbitrary nature of this assessment. Harm is done by giving too short prognosis, in case somebody would spend an extra day on benefits than he/she should have done, leading to endless reassessments. Harm is done by cancelled appointments, and assessors’ lack of sensitivity. Harm is done by having to prove endlessly your impairments or chronic health condition, and by not being believed. Harm is done by mistakes or deliberate and systematic errors. Harm is done by being left destitute after the loss of ESA. Harm is done by the Work Programme and its long litany of sanctions, misery and suffering

More from DPAC here

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

Posted 18/11/2015

 

 

Equality Watchdog told that they should support more disabled people to tackle discrimination

From Disability News Service

The equality watchdog should do far more to support disabled people who want to enforce their rights under disability discrimination laws, a committee of peers has heard.

Two wheelchair-users who have used the Equality Act to take legal action against service-providerswere giving evidence to the committee set up to examine the impact of the act on disabled people.

More here

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

Inclusion London – Open Letter calling for more ILF monies

URGENT ACTION – Sign our Open Letter calling for more ILF monies

The social care system is in crisis and unable to meet Disabled people’s support needs, as evidenced by recent reports from In Control and Scope.

One of the starkest examples of the inability of the mainstream social care system to adequately meet Disabled people’s needs is presented by the closure of the Independent Living fund, exposing the gap between meaningful independent living and reality.

Both the Minister for Disabled people and the Chancellor gave assurances before the closure that is was a transfer, not a cut.

Objectively the facts bore out the discrepancy between the outcomes delivered by the ILF and how LA administered social care support operates.

Nevertheless, the Chancellor gave a “special assurance” that the government would “demand” that money transferred to Local Authorities would be spent on former ILF recipients and that money would be allocated in future budgets.

We are now calling on the Chancellor and the Minister for Disabled people to honour their promises that support will not be removed and to ensure that further ILF Grant Determination funding is committed in November’s Autumn Statement.

This funding alone will not solve the much wider failings in the current social care system and it won’t help those Disabled people who missed out on the ILF. It is nevertheless right that we lobby to protect those we can. The continuation of ILF level support packages clearly evidences what independent living is and how Disabled people can be part of society. Once we lose that evidence it will be much harder to regain the independent living ground we will have lost.

To add your name/the name of your organisation to the below letter contact:ellen.clifford@inclusionlondon.org.uk before 5pm on Tuesday 17th November.

“The situation facing thousands of Disabled people since the closure of the Independent Living Fund at the end of June 2015 is just one example of how cuts and the crisis in social care are breaching disability rights (http://www.theguardian.com/society/2015/oct/20/un-inquiry-uk-disability-rights-violations-cprd-welfare-cuts).

Assurances were given that the closure of the ILF was a transfer not a cut by both the Minister for Disabled People and the Chancellor. Writing into this newspaper (http://www.theguardian.com/society/2015/jun/11/impact-of-changes-to-disability-benefits) Justin Tomlinson said “the claim that support made available to some disabled people under the independent living fund is to be removed” was “a travesty of the truth”. In an interview on BBC Look North before the election Osborne said that the ILF was “such an important fund… that we will be able to include it in the budgets going forwards”.

Reality is not living up to the rhetoric. Local Authorities facing massive social care budget shortfalls have already made devastating cuts to support packages since the end of June. In one area, for example, 53 out of 60 former ILF recipients are facing cuts to their packages, with more than a quarter facing dramatic cuts of over 50 per cent of their support.

We call on the Chancellor and the Minister for Disabled People to uphold their pledges to protect former ILF recipients and to ensure further funding is not only devolved to Local Authorities through the forthcoming Autumn Statement but also ring-fenced.”

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

New article on accessible travel by Lorraine Gradwell

Lorraine Gradwell has written a new article about accessible travel over at Disability Horizons

‘I sat on the platform at Euston train station, watching people running past me, clutching bags and Starbucks paper cups, jumping on the train with just minutes to go. I’d arrived at the station early and so had asked to be put on an earlier train, which was already at the platform. Despite staff in the Passenger Assistance office sending me down to the platform, the staff there said they didn’t have time to get the ramp out for me. So I watched, angry and frustrated as the train pulled out without me.’

More here

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

Join Miss Dennis Queen in ‘Singing For Your Rights’ – this saturday!

Microsoft Word - Dennis Flyer

Join Miss Dennis Queen in “Singing for your Rights”
Saturday 21st November (3pm to 5pm)

Dennis will be talking about her campaigning experiences and will be telling us why she uses music as a way of protesting. Come along and listen to what Dennis has to say and listen some of her favourite songs.
Where? GMCDP,Unit 4, Windrush Millennium Centre,70 Alexandra Road, Manchester, M16 7WD

If you are young disabled person 18-30, live within Greater Manchester and would like to join us for this fabulous event please contact:

Louise on 0161 636 7538 or email: lhollingworth@gmcdp.com

as soon as possible to book and discuss your access requirements (Places are limited)

From Disability News Service – WCA death scandal: Ministers ‘failed to pass 2010 suicide report to Harrington’

John Pring at Disability News Service reports that

Ministers appear to have failed to hand a crucial report about the work capability assessment – warning it put at risk the lives of thousands of people with mental health conditions – to the expert they commissioned to review the test.

An investigation by Disability News Service (DNS) suggests that work and pensions secretary Iain Duncan Smith and employment minister Chris Grayling neglected to pass on a legal letter written by a coroner in the wake of the suicide of a disabled man, Stephen Carre, in 2010.

The letter – written under Rule 43 of the Coroner’s Rules – said Carre’s death had been triggered by being found “fit for work”, and it called for a review of the policy not to seek further medical evidence from a GP or psychiatrist if a claimant has a mental health condition.

A coroner could only write a Rule 43 letter – a system replaced in 2013 – if he or she believed that the evidence they heard in an inquest “gives rise to a concern that circumstances creating a risk of other deaths will occur or will continue to exist in the future”.

It is the second letter uncovered by DNS to have been written by a coroner to warn about the failure to seek further medical evidence when assessing the fitness for work of someone with a mental health condition, and was written more than three years before a similar report into the death of Michael O’Sullivan, from north London.

Although the Rule 43 letter relating to Stephen Carre was sent to the Labour work and pensions secretary, Yvette Cooper, it arrived on 30 March, just a few days before the start of the 2010 general election campaign.

More here

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

posted 15/11/15

From Disability News Service: DDA’s 20th anniversary provokes lukewarm celebrations, and anger at charities

John Pring over at Disability News Service has interviewed GMCDP members about the the 20th Disability Discrimination Act.

From the article

‘In Greater Manchester Coalition of Disabled People’s (GMCDP) annual report for 1995-96, the organisation said: “Important areas of our lives, such as transport and education, remain inadequately addressed, and there are gaping holes and ‘get-out’ clauses disguised as issues of reasonableness and high cost.”

GMCDP warned then that the “shameful” and “invidious” DDA “threatens to polarise the movement into those who will work with the government on implementing the Act and those who refuse to do so”.

But Anne Rae, a former member of the Union of the Physically Impaired Against Segregation (UPIAS), which is often credited with giving birth to the social model of disability in the 1970s, and herself a former chair of GMCDP, said the DDA was still “incredibly important”, if only because it “took into statute that disabled people were a discriminated-against group in mainstream society”.

She was one of the UPIAS representatives on a group set up by the big charities such as Scope and RADAR to push for disability discrimination legislation, although UPIAS pulled out when it became clear that “the charities’ opinion was that we were too precise about what should be in the bill”.

But Rae told Disability News Service (DNS) that the DDA was “very influential” at local authority level, with well-funded disabled people’s organisations which had “enormous input and influence” on councils’ disability policies, including improvements to access, the establishment of Dial-a-Ride services, and moves to implement independent living.’

More here

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

Royal Mail staff strike over the treatment of disabled colleague

Around 80 Royal Mail staff in Bridgewater staged a strike yesterday over the treatment of a disabled colleague. The workers made a conscious decision yesterday to flout strike laws to support a fellow worker who they say has been prevented from working by the company.

Dave Chapple, who has worked for the Royal Mail for 37 years and is the local representative of the Communication Workers Union (CWU), said the company has placed constant obstacles to his colleague Andrew Mootoo, who has multiple sclerosis, returning to work.

More at Politics.co.uk

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

Posted 13/11/15

From DPAC: The Falsification of History: The Twenty Year Burial of the Civil Rights Bill

Disabled People Against Cuts (DPAC) have posted an essay by Bob Williams Findlay, which looks at the Disability Discrimination Act and the rewriting of history

 

It’s often said that history only remembers the victors. Recently, the Equality and Human Rights Commission produced a video to, and I quote, “Celebrate twenty years since the passing of the Disability Discrimination Act in 1995.” For disabled people who were involved in the struggle to have the inequalities we face acknowledged and addressed, I doubt there are many of us who will be putting the flags out or popping champagne corks in celebration of the Act itself.

The bulk of us who were actively involved remain true to the belief that the passing of the Disability Discrimination Act (DDA) was a significant defeat for disabled people and the struggle against social oppression. This is not to say the passing of the DDA had no positive impact upon disabled people’s lives or had no influence on social change, it did, but acknowledging this shouldn’t detract us from recognising the fact the DDA restricted our progress, was of limited use to disabled people and was never likely to challenge the status quo.

It is impossible to produce a balance sheet of the DDA’s true impact because all kinds of external factors operate to mask the truth. It can be argued that the overall struggle for anti-discrimination legislation and specific actions such as the Campaign for Accessible Transport were more instrumental in bringing about organic social change. Over the last twenty years the whole of society has radically changed, and how disabled people have been both seen and treated have been part of that process whether that’s been via Tony Blair’s “rights and responsibilities” agenda or the neoliberal business case for ‘including disabled people’.

More here

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

 

Volunteers required for oral history independent living project

SCIE (Social Care Institute for Excellence) is trying to put together a project on the oral history of independent living in the UK. The funder we are looking at for this requires projects to have a strong input from volunteers so we are looking to recruit a pool of disabled people/service users to work as interviewers for the project.
They will be providing full training in oral history interviewing and meeting all expenses and support costs. The project would be based in London but there is likely to be work all round the country. They can’t be certain of getting the funding for the project but they need to see if they can get a group of volunteers together before they can go further with the bid.
Contact: copro@scie.org.uk

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

DWP have cut 60% of Disability Employment Advisors

There have been severe cuts to the numbers of full-time Disability Employment Advisors (DEA’s)  posted in Jobcentres, new figures show. Between 2011 and 2015 the number of Jobcentres employing a full-time advisor to support disabled people to find employment fell by over 60 per cent from 226 to just 90, with reductions in every recorded year.

Read more at the Independent here

BBC is holding a recruitment evening for ‘technically talented disabled people’ – Thursday 17 December 2015

The BBC are holding a recruitment event aimed at disabled people, which takes a behind the scenes look at the various applications of technology at the BBC and is aimed particularly at those who have tech skills, qualifications or experience. It’s a networking, development and recruitment event to help to attract more disabled talent to roles in BBC Digital.

BBC Digital designs, develops and runs BBC online services including iPlayer, the Red Button and BBC websites. They are also responsible for the creation of apps and games for teams including Sport, Children’s, News, Learning and myBBC.

BBC People with Disabilities in Tech Event Event

Thursday 17 December 2015 | 15:00-19:00

Quay House, MediaCityUK, Salford

for more information – go to here

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

posted 10/11/2015

 

Trafford CIL to run accessible gaming session – Thursday 12th November

Trafford CIL with the Aidis Trust are running an accessible gaming session on Thursday 12th November.

Use the latest gaming technology that helps make computer games playable for everyone.
There will be a range of assistive technology available to try – all for FREE!

Come along and challenge your friends, enter a 3d world using the Oculus Rift or improve your driving skills on the driving simulator. Everyone is welcome and it’s all FREE!

2:00pm – 5:30pm
Trafford CIL, Marshall House, Park Ave, Sale

For more information or to book, contact:
0161 850 0645

J.kennedy@traffordcil.co.uk

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

 

 

 

Age UK focus on Mental Health

Each year Age UK selects an area of focus for service development around the health and wellbeing of older people. This year the focus is mental health – and specifically, depression.

Age UK knows that depression is the most common mental health issue in older age, but its significance is often underestimated. Older people’s services do not always offer mental health support and mental health services do not always cater very well for older age groups.

In early 2016, Age UK will launch a national funding programme for local Age UKs and will invite them to bid for funding to run pilot projects offering specific mental health services for older adults.

Age UK wants to make sure that it develops services which are accessible and useful, so the organisation have asked Lorna Easterbrook and Imogen Blood – independent researchers specialising in older people’s care and support – to help in this.

During November 2015, Lorna and Imogen will be speaking to individuals and organisations to gather their views and experiences.

Are you – or is someone you know or support – aged 55 and older? Do you/they have experiences of low mood and/or a diagnosis of depression? Would you be willing to tell the researchers about:

– Your experiences of what best supports you
– Your views about what services might be needed
– Your ideas for how local Age UKs might best support people in accessing services or diagnosis?

This could involve either:

1. A private, confidential telephone call with Lorna or Imogen. Age UK will organise all the details with you in advance, so you would know who is calling, at what time and what questions the researchers would like to ask you.
You can expect the call to take around 45-60 minutes – but Age UK would call your number, so there’s no cost to you for the call.
As a thank you, Age UK would send you a £30 High Street Voucher (which can be used in a huge selection of chain stores).
Age UK would need your name and postal address for this but would just use it to address the envelope and would not store or share that with anyone.

OR

2. The second option is completely anonymous, so unfortunately this does mean Age UK wouldn’t be able to send you a thank you voucher. It involves answering around half a dozen questions on an online form.
If you are willing to do this, please click on this link.

Please note, the survey closes at 9am on Monday 30 November.

The researchers have strict confidentiality, data protection and ethics policies in place. If you want to find out more about any aspect of the project before deciding whether or not to volunteer, do please get in touch with your queries or to have an informal chat. You will find details for a contact within Age UK below.

Once they’ve spoken with you, or looked at your online answers, Lorna and Imogen will prepare a short report for national Age UK during December 2015-January 2016, highlighting the points that people have made (but not identifying any of the individuals that took part). This will then be used by Age UK to inform its development work in this area.

Get in touch with Age UK
Age UK would really appreciate your help, and hope to hear from you by the end of November 2015 if possible. If you are interested in being involved or would like more information, in the first instance please contact Rebecca Stanley with your name and contact details by email atRebecca.stanley@ageuk.org.uk; or, ring Rebecca on 0203 033 1403 during usual office hours.

DPAC need evidence on the impact on the closing of the ILF

DPAC and the Reclaiming Our Futures Alliance are gathering evidence on the impact of the closure of the Independent Living Fund (ILF) since it was shut permanently on 30 June 2015. This will be used for a report which they aim to bring out ahead of the Chancellor’s Autumn Statement due at the end of November.

The report will publish responses from a latest round of Freedom Of Information requests asking Local Authorities how many reassessments have been carried out and the overall results (percentage pf support packages increased, percentage decreased..etc).

They also want to base their findings on testimonies from individuals and organisations with direct experience of the impact of closure.

Testimonies could be from people who used to receive ILF, people who missed out on ILF when it shut to new applicants, Disabled People’s Organisations, care managers expected to carry out reassessments or Council’s now responsible for meeting the full adult social care needs of Disabled people.

Information it may be useful to include in your testimonies:
– communication about the transfer process
– experience and knowledge of Local Authority staff carrying out assessments
– experiences and outcomes of reassessments

-how the transition process has impacted on you

Please indicate if you want:

– your testimony to be anonymous

– your testimony to be used only for the purposes of the informing the findings of the report or whether you are happy for your experiences to be used as an anonymous illustrative case study

– if you are happy to speak to the media about your experiences. If so please include contact details to reach you on and any communication access needs.

Send testimonies to mail@dpac.uk.net before mid-night 8th November 2015. Please keep testimonies as brief as possible and ideally no more than 4 pages

Posted 4/11/15

 

 

Disability and the Bomb – new opinion piece

GMCDP has reprinted an article written by Ken Davis from Coalition News (GMCDP’s print newsletter) from May 1987 about Leonard Cheshire and the Nuclear bombs dropped in Japan in 1945.

GMCDP thought it was timely Leonard Cheshire Disability have just received almost £300k to document the history of disabled people.

Read the article here

Posted 4/11/2015

 

Big Health and Care debate – Stalybridge Town Hall – 11th November

Do you want to know more about the biggest challenges faced by GP practices and pharmacies in Tameside? Curious about how you can have your say about changes? Come along to the Healthwatch Tameside Big Health and Care Debate to find out more.

Healthwatch Tameside have lined up a panel of speakers to tell you how it feels to them. There are some big projects coming along that they want to help you to be able to influence. They hope their debates will help you to have the knowledge you need to do this.

Big Health and Care Debate
11 November 2015
Time: 6.30 to 8.30pm
Where: Stalybridge Civic Hall
To book your place…

Register online at http://www.healthwatchtameside.co.uk/news/big-health-and-care-debate

If you have access needs you would like us to help with so you can attend, please let us know.
Tel: 0161 667 2526

email: info@healthwatchtameside.co.uk
Web: www.healthwatchtameside.co.uk

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

Considering Intimate Lives

Considering Intimate Lives: Ways Forward is a workshop for people with learning disabilities and/or autism, self-advocates, their families, friends, allies and those who work with and for them (e.g. care staff, support workers, social workers, and associated professionals). Members of the public, students, and activists who share an interest in the workshop themes are also welcome.

The workshop will focus on intimate rights and citizenship – our rights to love, sex, family, intimacy, friendship and community. These integral aspects of life are fragile in the lives of disabled people with
learning disabilities and/or autism, who are routinely denied basic rights, justice and access within their intimate lives.
Come along and learn, think through, and imagine ways to create change. For free tickets book viahttp://intimatelives.eventbrite.co.uk
9 November 2015
10.00 – 16.00

Lunch Provided
St Mary’s Church
Bramall Lane

Sheffield

S2 4QZ

For questions regarding access, or anything else, please email k.liddiard@sheffield.ac.uk

posted 28/10/15

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

NHS Wheel chair services in Manchester and Trafford survey

NHS North, Central and South Manchester Clininical Comissioning Groups (CCG) would like to understand your experiences of using wheelchair services in Manchester and Trafford. If you have used wheelchair services in the past three years, they would like to hear from you. If you are interested in being involved in a focus group, please share your contact details with us at the end of the survey.
All of the information collected will be used to develop further work regarding wheelchair services in Manchester and Trafford.
The survey closes on Friday 6th November. Please share with your networks.
https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/2XWQT6T

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

Manchester deserves better mental health services – public meeting Saturday 7th November

Manchester deserves better mental health services – public meeting

Speakers: UNISON Manchester Community & Mental Health Branch, Service Users, Carers groups, Refugees, Campaigns against cuts, Greater Manchester Keep Our NHS Public

Plan the campaign to defend and improve mental health services.

Saturday 7th November,

2pm-5pm
Friends Meeting House,

Mount Street,

M2 5NS

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

Scorpio: LieDS isnt NORMAL!

From the sting of Scorpio!

I’m still none-the–wiser for knowing what deep, dark secret LieDS holds over Prime Minister Cameron. Obviously it wasn’t the alleged porcine affection of the PM which has kept him in his job, as this is now firmly in the public domain. There must be some other grotesque secret that keeps his odious, ineffective, pathetic man in post.

I think we should all be proud of the fact that LieDS doesn’t think that we are normal. In his world it is normal to: lie to Parliament, invent people who support benefit sanctions, boast about food-poverty, determine that dead people are fit for work, claim that evicting families and paying exorbitant hostel fees saves money, claim £30 for (his) breakfast, view all unemployed people as feckless, idle, scroungers and rejoice in the persecution of disabled people.

I think it is normal to absolutely hate this disgusting, loathsome creature.

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

Free Art Writing Workshops For Disabled Artists

Disability Arts Online, in partnership with arts writer Bella Todd and Wikimedia UK, are offering several free workshops (venue in London) over the next few months.

The workshops will develop skills in writing about arts practice for publication, promotion, critique and social media.

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

Opportunities – Disability Arts Online

(Posted 22 October 2015.)
(GMCDP does not necessarily support or promote any organisation, individual or website mentioned in this post.)

DDA Exhibition At The People’s History Museum

On 27 October an exhibition opens at the People’s History Museum in Manchester, looking at the history and impact of the Disability Discrimination Act 1995. The exhibition continues until 19 November.

For more information, go to:

People’s History Museum

(Posted 22 October 2015.)

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

Diversity And The British Film Institute – Interesting Read

The Disability Arts Online website has a review, by Joe Turnbull,  of the London Film Festival Diversity Town Hall Discussion. This is particularly apt to draw your attention to, as the theme of Disability History Month this year is portrayal of disabled people in the media, art and literature.

Last year the British Film Institute (BFI) introduced a ‘three ticks’ scheme for its funding, in relation to diversity. This event was to look at how the scheme is progressing, the development of diversity in the film industry, and how the industry can move forward in terms of improving diversity. A new £1m fund to improve diversity was also announced at the event.

Diversity Standards have now replaced the Three Ticks scheme. You can find out about this at:

BFI Diversity

Joe Turnbull’s review of the event is at:

Review: London Film Festival Diversity Town Hall Discussion – disability arts online

(Posted 21 October 2015.)
(GMCDP does not necessarily support or promote any organisation, individual or website mentioned in this post.)

PIP Mobility Criteria Upheld

Last week, the High Court ruled that the Department of Work and Pensions’ consultation about Personal Independence Payment was fair.

The consultation failed to highlight that the eligibility criteria for PIP mobility component was changing from being able to walk 50m to being able to walk 20m. Information given on the Benefits and Work website says:

“As a result the DWP estimates that 548,000 (61%) of the 892,000 working age claimants who were getting higher rate mobility DLA in 2013 will lose it when they are forced to apply for PIP.

349,000 (39%) are expected to be left with no mobility award at all and 199,000 (22%) with standard instead of enhanced mobility.”

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

www.benefitsandwork.co.uk

(Posted 21 October 2015.)
(GMCDP does not necessarily support or promote any organisation, individual or website mentioned in this post.)

Call For Action To Improve Access To Politics

The Equality and Human Rights Commission (EHRC) has called for action to increase the number of disabled people involved in politics.

These suggestions for action are part of the EHRC’s response to a United Nations inquiry into the right of disabled people to participate in political and public life.

The EHRC website says:

“In 2010, a review of parliamentary representation by the Speaker’s Conference, a cross party House of Commons committee, found that barriers such as inaccessible buildings and lack of reasonable adjustments impaired many disabled people’s opportunities to engage fully in political life. Barriers can range from a lack of sign language interpretation at official meetings to an absence of lifts, ramps and automatic doors. The Access to Elected Office Fund, set up by government in 2012 to support disabled people in meeting the additional costs they face in standing for elected office, was closed earlier this year and is currently the subject of an independent review.”

The 5 areas of action highlighted by the EHRC are:

  • “The House of Commons, House of Lords Appointments Commission, Welsh Assembly and Scottish Parliament should collect regular and confidential disability data from Members in order to identify barriers and track progress towards proportionate representation. For the House of Lords, this information should inform future appointments.
  • The Government should implement section106 of the Equality Act 2010 requiring political parties to publish diversity data about their election candidates, to provide transparency about where issues remain to be tackled.
  • The Government should reopen the Access to Elected Office Fund or a similar alternative and extend it across Britain, in order to redress the extra financial burden disabled people face in engaging in political life.
  • UK, Scottish and Welsh Governments should deliver targeted campaigns to raise awareness among disabled people of opportunities to stand for elected office, build confidence and tackle barriers.
  • All elected bodies, at national, regional and local level, should demonstrate best practice in providing practical support for elected Members. This should include providing fully accessible buildings and meetings.

To find out more, go to the EHRC webpage:

Commission urges action to boost number of disabled people in politics

(Posted 21 October 2015.)

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

GMCDP Website Being Hacked

Please note, there have been items placed on the GMCDP news page recently which have not been put on by GMCDP.

Please keep this in mind while we try to stop this happening again.

We would appreciate you telling us if you find anything on our news page or website which you think does not fit with GMCDP’s aims, objectives and/or work, so we can remove it as soon as possible.

Our email address is: info@gmcdp.com

Thank you.

(Posted 20 October 2015.)

National Demand For Social Care Budget Cuts To Stop

The Association of Directors of Social Services (ADASS), the Local Government Association, NHS and other organisations have joined to give a statement to the Government’s current Spending Review.

The joint statement calls for cuts to Social Services to stop. The statement says:

“The quality, safety and sufficiency of social care services are fundamental to a dignified society.

But the social care sector is in danger of a deepening crisis. This is compromising the dignity, health and wellbeing of older and disabled people, their families and carers, the workforce and the economy. It is also threatening the sustainability both of the care market and of the NHS.”

The Government Spending Review will be published on 25 November. You can find the joint statement at:

Spending Review 2015 – a representation from across the care and support sector

(Posted 20 October 2015.)

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

Trafford CAB New Phone Number

Citizen’s Advice Trafford has a new telephone number:

0344 488 9622 Please click here

Note: calls to this phone service cost the same as calling 01 and 02 numbers. They will be included as part of a mobile allowance or a landline call package. Calls will be charged if not included in a landline package or if the mobile allowance is exceeded, or if the person does not have a call package with their provider.
(Posted 20 October 2015.)

Protecting Trade Union Rights – Stopping The Trade Union Bill – Manchester Public Meeting – 17th October 2015

From Unison:

Protecting Trade Union Rights – Stopping The Trade Union Bill – Manchester Public Meeting

Date: 17th October 2015 Time: 13:00–16:00 Place: Mechanics Institute, 103 Princess Street, Manchester, M1 6DD

Join us to speak out against the government’s trade union bill and find out more about what we will be doing to oppose these changes
Speakers include:
Lynn Collins, North West TUC Regional Secretary
Ian Hodson, President BFAWU
Rebecca Long-Bailey MP, Shadow Treasury & Labour NEC
Other speakers TBC
Why should you attend?
This autumn, MPs and peers will discuss the Trade Union Bill which threatens the basic right to strike. For the first time, employers will be able to break strikes by bringing in agency workers. The bill proposes huge restrictions on peaceful picketing and protests. Striking workers will have to tell their employer all their plans – including what they will post on Facebook and Twitter – two weeks before they strike. The Bill also imposes thresholds on strike ballots as well as many other restrictions on trade unionists carrying out their duties to represent members. Organisations such as Liberty and Amnesty International, alongside others and trade unions themselves have spoken out against the legislation.
Who should attend?
This meeting is open to all trade unionists and anyone interested in defending our democratic rights. Come along to find out more about the threat the Trade Union Bill poses to our right to organise effectively and join the discussion about how we can mobilise effectively to stop these proposals.
More information here

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

TUC National Demonstration this Sunday (4th October) – Come along!

Greater Manchester Coalition of Disabled People will be joining in at the TUC National Demonstration this Sunday (4th October)

We are planning to meet at the car park at the Aquatics Centre in Manchester, Booth St East between 12:30-1pm

Map for Aquatics Centre

Programme for the day

12.00: Assemble Oxford Road from All Saints Park southwards
13.00: Opening rally
13.30: March through the city on a route that circles the Conference Centre, ending at Deansgate / Whitworth St for coach pick ups

It will take place on Sunday 4 October in central Manchester.

See GMCDP’s comment on this here

GMCDP New Factsheets up on the website

Greater Manchester Coalition of Disabled People has produced some new factsheets.

They can also be downloaded in a few different formats

They can be found here

Scorpio returns…

The infamous Scorpio returns on our new Opinion page.

More here

posted 29/9/15

H.M. Coroner’s ‘ground-breaking’ verdict: Suicide was ‘triggered’ by DWP ‘fit for work’ test

A coroners report that directly linked a man’s death to his treatment by the Department for Work and Pensions has been called a ‘groundbreaking’ finding.

In a report sent to the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP), the senior coroner for inner north London, Mary Hassell, said “the trigger” for the suicide was the man being found fit for work by the department.

Catalina Devandas Aguilar, the UN Special Rapporteur on the rights of persons with disabilities, is visiting the UK in the coming months to spearhead an inquiry into claims that Britain is guilty of ‘grave or systematic violations’ of the rights of disabled people– and anyone who has lost a family member due to a poor work capability assessment is encouraged to contribute to that inquiry.

Anybody who has been affected is entitled to procure a copy of the deceased’s full DWP and Work Capability Assessment (WCA) files, and request sight of the Coroner’s report from HM Coroner.

These documents can be sent, along with a covering explanatory letter requesting that UN officials investigate the case for possible human rights violations, to:

United Nations Human Rights
Jorge Araya
Secretary of the Committee on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities
Groups in Focus Section
Human Rights Treaties Division
Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights
OHCHR-Palais des Nations,
8-14 Avenue de la Paix,
CH-1211 Geneva 10,
Switzerland.

E-mail: jaraya@ohchr.org

More at Black Triangle Campaign site here

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

posted 25/9/15

Calling all young disabled people!

Logo comic for book project

GMCDP’s young disabled people are working on a joint project with Manchester City Council to put an exhibition together to celebrate Disability History month.
A group of young people are meeting regularly and like the idea of putting this across in the style of a comic.
If you are a young disabled person 18-30, live within Greater Manchester and would like to come along and see how you can be part of this exciting project please get in touch.
We offer support with travel costs and other access requirements so please give us a ring to discuss this as we want everybody to have the opportunity to get involved.
Dates we will be meeting are: –
Windrush Millennium Centre
Thursday 24th Sept 12:30 – 3:00
Tuesday 29th September 11:30 – 13:30
Wednesday 7th October 10:00 – 12:00
Manchester Art Gallery
Thursday 8th October 13:30 – 16:00
Thursday 15th October 13:30 – 16:00
Thursday 22nd October 13:30 – 16:00
Thursday 5th November 13:30 – 16:00
Thursday 12th November (extra session if needed)

The launch will be on International Day of Disabled People on Thursday 3rd December 2015

Contact Louise on:
Tel: 0161 636 7538
Email: lhollingworth@gmcdp.com
GMCDP Taking Action – Young Disabled People
https://www.facebook.com/pages/GMCDP-Taking-Action-Young-Disabled-People/

 

posted 24/9/03

Ian Stanton, GMCDP founding member and disability arts activist

Ian Stanton was one of the founding members of Greater Manchester Coalition of Disabled People and a leading light on the UK disability art scene. In 1993, Channel 4 produced a documentary on Ian Stanton.

Here it is

 

New UK-wide Self Injury Helpline for women

TESS have started a non-judgemental, emotional support & listening service to women affected by self injury and those who care about them. The helpline also signposts to other relevant services and send out self help information on request.

More here

Women’s Self Injury Helpline 0808 800 8088 Mon-Fri 7-10pm & Thurs 3-6pm

TESS national text & email support for young women up to 24 Sun to Fri 7-9pm / Text: 07800 472908 /

Email: please use the link on the website

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

Free Personal Health Budgets Event in Wigan: The Art of Possible – Wednesday, 30th September

This FREE event describes itself as an opportunity to learn about personal health budgets in a way that brings them to life.

The event is open to anyone who is interested in personal health budgets including individuals, families, NHS/LA professionals, voluntary sector, providers etc.

Wednesday, 30th September 10am to 3pm

Venue:

My Life CIC
Thompson House Equestrian Centre
Pepper Lane
Standish
WN6 OPP

To book this event:

E-mail info@my-life.org.uk

Phone 01257 472900

Booking essential

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

Early days of the GMCDP video now up on our website

We have put a video on Youtube, which we have also posted onto our website here

The video features interviews with many of the people who were involved in the early days of the organisation

Disabled student wins discrimination case against university

The University of Wales Trinity Saint David built a library it knew was inaccessible in order to cut costs and has now agreed to pay £20,000 in compensation for discriminating against a disabled photography student.

Andrew Brenton and other disabled students at the University of Wales Trinity Saint David were barred from using the basement floor of the library for more than four months after he raised concerns about fire safety practices when a lift broke down at the start of the academic year in October 2013.

Disabled students are believed to have been using the building in Swansea since 2005, even though it had been considered unsafe, particularly for wheelchair-users.

Although the lift was fixed within a couple of weeks, disabled students were not allowed to use the basement of the library until the following February, as university authorities took that long to install the necessary safety improvements.

The basement floor of the library on the university’s Dynevor campus houses all of the photography literature Brenton needed for his three-year photojournalism degree course, which is entirely assessed on coursework, with students expected to spend hours every week browsing the books in the library.

The university’s inadequate safety procedures were highlighted in May 2014 when Brenton – who has mobility and other impairments – was abandoned in a stairwell of the library after a fire alarm sounded and the building was evacuated.

After he launched his complaint, he obtained an email that had been sent by Professor Ian Wells, the university’s pro vice chancellor for student experience, in which he said: “Privately I understand that much of the Dynevor building was constructed without taking into account DDA [Disability Discrimination Act] requirements, to save money and this has caused the lift problem.”

Despite the discrimination, Brenton graduated this summer with a first-class honours degree. He has now agreed to settle the case, and will be paid £20,000 compensation by the university.

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

posted on 20/9/15

 

Manchester DPAC invite you to Fury Road on Wednesday 7th October 9AM Tory Conference Manchester Central.

From Manchester Disabled People Against Cuts

Manchester DPAC invite you to Fury Road on Wednesday 7th October 9AM Tory Conference Manchester Central.

To coincide with David Cameron’s conference closing speech we want as many people as possible to surround the venue (kettle the Conservatives!) on all sides and show the government our fury at the thousands of deaths caused by austerity. There will also be Direct Action lead by Disabled People Against Cuts for those who wish to be involved. Cameron will not get to deliver his litany of spite and lies in peace.

For more information see the facebook event page or email us at mail@dpac.uk.net.

For those who can’t make it to Manchester to take part Tory Conference protests, we’ll be running a parrallel protest on social media, its going to be bolshie, fun, and very very DPAC! Watch this space.

More info here

There is also a facebook page here

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

posted 19/9/15

Disability artist seeks collaboration for upcoming exhibition

Local artist and GMCDP member, Gemma Nash will be collaborating with contemporary and historical photographer, Michele Selway, to produce ‘Hanging in the Balance’.

‘Hanging in the Balance’ will be a series of images symbolising the devastating impact austerity is having on disabled people in the UK.

Using wet plate processes in the remote woodland area, Nash and Selway will photograph disability related paraphernalia (such as wheelchairs and walking sticks) hanging ominously in the trees. The emptiness of these images, along with the antique process used, will create a haunting double negative. Suggesting a post apocalyptic scenario, these images will depict the deep sense of threat and despair many disabled people feel about their future: A future that hangs in the balance.

“Our project has very much been inspired by Liz Crow’s ‘Figures’ and aims to carry on highlighting the deeply troubling effect of austerity through art activism.” Gemma Nash 2015

Gemma would like to accompany these plates with statements from disabled people highlighting how their lives are hanging in the balance.

If you would like to contribute, please email info@gemmanashartist.com with your statement by 1st November 2015, and let her know whether you are happy for your name to be used with your quote.

More information here

You can follow on twitter with the hashtag #hanginginthebalance

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

posted 18/9/15

Disability Rights UK new ‘receiving and using personal budgets’ factsheet

Disability Rights UK have produced a new factsheet on ‘receiving and using personal budgets’ factsheet.

It can be viewed and downloaded here

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

posted 18/9/15

 

GMCDP get a mention on the Mancunian Matters website on the Assisted Dying Bill

Greater Manchester Coalition of Disabled People offer their views on the Assisted Dying Bill to the website Mancunian Matters here

More information on GMCDP’s response to the bill can be found here

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

Posted on 16/5/15

Manchester campaigner successfully challenges Bedroom Tax

Manchester based campaigner, Mervyn Drage has successfully won a legal challenge against Manchester City Council over his Bedroom Tax.

Mervyn is one of thousands of residents who have been forced to pay a proportion of the tax, having previously been exempt. He took the challenge to a High Court hearing. The hearing was unsuccessful, but Mervyn continued the challenge to Manchester City Council who waived charge.

Premier League pledges to meet Accessible Stadia standards by 2017

Premier League clubs said they would comply with the by August 2017 after criticism in a The guide was first published in 2003.

The Accessible Stadia Guide sets out minimum standards all new grounds have to meet in terms of the provision, location and quality of facilities for disabled fans.

The Premier League, the Football Association and the National Association of Disabled Supporters – which is now known as Level Playing Field – all contributed to it.

In order to comply with the guidelines, 15 of the current 20 clubs would have to increase their capacity for disabled fans.

During a House of Lords debate on Tuesday, it was announced that the government will also meet with the Premier League in early November to monitor their progress.

Conservative peer Baroness Neville-Rolfe said she expects the Football League clubs to “take inspiration from the Premier League announcement”.

The Premier League says it is a third of the way through its own assessment, but has committed to ensuring the appropriate number of wheelchair bays are located in away sections.

The clubs’ plan of action includes looking at ticketing policies, steward training and the information available on their websites.

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

posted 16/9/15

Disability Rights UK seek Trustees

Disability Rights UK (DRUK) are seeking six Trustees to govern and support the development of the organisation

They are looking for candidates who have the general skills needed of a trustee and skills and experience in some of the following areas:

  • Disability rights and equality including independent living
  • Corporate governance
  • Financial management*
  • Technical knowledge (eg human resources, legal)
  • Marketing and building relationships*
  • Income generation*

(*They are particularly looking for Trustees with skills in these areas)

More here

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

posted 15/9/15

 

Could you be a Fab Pioneer?

Disability Rights UK are holding a FREE 2-day ‘Fab Lab’ course. The course is open for disabled people living in Salford to discover more about digital fabrication, 3D design and printing, and how this new technology might work for you. They offer expert tuition and guidance in a friendly, supportive environment. All you need is an open mind – no prior experience or computer skills necessary.

You are required to commit to attending one of their two-day courses. You can bring a friend, family member or PA. They can pay your travel expenses where this is necessary to meet your access needs.

When: 10 am – 3 pm on Wednesday 16  and Thursday 17 September 2015

Where: 1 St Phillips Place, off Chapel Street, Salford M3 6FA

More here

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

posted 15/9/15

Campaigning for the future report issued by Shaping Our Lives

Shaping Our Lives  have just released a new report called Campaigning For The Future

The report offers the views of a wide range of disabled people about present UK disability policy and how they may best work to improve it. Shaping Our Lives have facilitated two meetings to enable disabled people to discuss what they think about the findings of the report and look at ways in which disabled people can lead improvements to policy and practice as experts by experience – disabled people living and working in austerity Britain from 2012 through to mid-2015

The report can be found here

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

posted 15/9/15

 

 

 

DPAC reveal contents of UN dossier that sparked UN probe

CAMPAIGNERS have revealed details of the dossier of complaints which led to the UN launching an investigation into allegations of “grave and systematic violations” of disabled people’s human rights in the UK.

Disabled People Against Cuts (DPAC) has published a list of more than 40 issues which it submitted as evidence to the UN that “attacks are being carried out in every area” of disabled people’s lives by the UK government.

The list ranges from the introduction of the bedroom tax and Work Capability Assesments tests, to the impact of benefit sanctions and cuts to mobility allowances.

The campaigners say the UN inquiry – the first of its kind – has “great historic importance” and will examine the “vicious and punitive attacks” on disabled people’s independent living, as well as cuts which have led to unnecessary deaths.

A spokeswoman for DPAC, which was formed by a group of disabled people in protest against austerity cuts, said she could not give any more details of what stage the UN investigation is at due to confidentiality, but that it would be “getting more active in the next few months”.

She said: “Quite simply we’d like disabled people’s rights to be respected rather than torn away at every opportunity.

More here at the Herald Scotland

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

EHRC seek disabled people to talk about their experience of the DDA

The Equality and Human Rights Commision are marking the 20th anniversary of the Disability Discrimination Act and are planning to commission a small number of videos that they will be putting on their website and sharing on their social media channels.

The videos will the focus on the views and experiences of people whose lives have been impacted by the DDA. They are thinking of speaking to an influential disability campaigner/ architect of the Act, someone who has used the DDA to win a legal case and finally a young person who can give their opinion of what needs to happen over the next 20 years to improve things for disabled people.

If you would like to get in touch, contact:

James Beetham on

James.Beetham@equalityhumanrights.com

Integrated Communications Officer
Equality and Human Rights Commission
3rd Floor, Arndale House
Arndale Centre
Manchester
M4 3AQ

Tel: 0161 829 8633

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

Volunteers successfully challenge 95% of WCA decisions

Volunteers at the Bristol and Avon Law Centre have helped 95 per cent of people (over 200 people) in its local area challenge decisions by the DWP that they were “fit to work”. Of these, only 5 per cent of claimants’ appeals failed once a legal professional took on their case.

The centre is staffed by law student volunteers who appear with claimants in front of a judge and a doctor at benefit appeals to help claimants make their case.

Nationally, the appeal success rate for disability benefit claims is also high – at 59 per cent, but the experience of the Law Centre appears to suggest that legal representation makes it go higher still.

The figures come amid questions about just how accurate the Government’s Work Capability Assessment actually is.

More at the Independent here

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

ODI shows that choice and control for disabled people have plunged under Conservatives

The Office for Disability Issues (ODI) have issued a report which shows that choice and control for disabled people has significantly declined.
The report (which can be found here) has highlighted a decline in one of the key measures of the success of its disability strategy: the proportion of disabled people who feel they have choice and control in their lives.

When the Office for National Statistics began collecting the figures, in 2008 – two years before the Conservative-led coalition came to power – it found that 76 per cent of disabled people said they frequently had choice and control over their lives.

But the new report, published on 21 August by ODI – but not publicised with a press release – showed that figure plunging to just 65 per cent last year, a fall of more than 14 per cent (or 11 percentage points) in just six years.

More at Disability News Service here

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

Iain Duncan Smith criticised for using the word ‘normal’ to describe non-disabled people

Work and pensions secretary Iain Duncan Smith has been criticised for referring to non-disabled people as “normal”.

The Conservative cabinet minister made the remarks in the House of Commons as he defended the government’s record on getting more disabled people back into work.

“I think the figure is now over 220,000, which I believe is the highest figure since records began, in proportionate terms, but the most important point is that we are looking to get that up to the level of normal, non-disabled people who are back in work. Those with disabilities have every right and every reason to expect exactly the same support into work that everybody else gets,” he said.

More at The Guardian

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

DPAC reveal contents of UN dossier that sparked UN probe

CAMPAIGNERS have revealed details of the dossier of complaints which led to the UN launching an investigation into allegations of “grave and systematic violations” of disabled people’s human rights in the UK.

Disabled People Against Cuts (DPAC) has published a list of more than 40 issues which it submitted as evidence to the UN that “attacks are being carried out in every area” of disabled people’s lives by the UK government.

The list ranges from the introduction of the bedroom tax and Work Capability Assesments tests, to the impact of benefit sanctions and cuts to mobility allowances.

The campaigners say the UN inquiry – the first of its kind – has “great historic importance” and will examine the “vicious and punitive attacks” on disabled people’s independent living, as well as cuts which have led to unnecessary deaths.

A spokeswoman for DPAC, which was formed by a group of disabled people in protest against austerity cuts, said she could not give any more details of what stage the UN investigation is at due to confidentiality, but that it would be “getting more active in the next few months”.

She said: “Quite simply we’d like disabled people’s rights to be respected rather than torn away at every opportunity.

More here at the Scottish Herald

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

 

EHRC seek disabled people to talk about their experience of the DDA

The Equality and Human Rights Commision are marking the 20th anniversary of the Disability Discrimination Act and are planning to commission a small number of videos that they will be putting on their website and sharing on their social media channels.

The videos will the focus on the views and experiences of people whose lives have been impacted by the DDA. They are thinking of speaking to an influential disability campaigner/ architect of the Act, someone who has used the DDA to win a legal case and finally a young person who can give their opinion of what needs to happen over the next 20 years to improve things for disabled people.

If you would like to get in touch, contact:

James Beetham on

James.Beetham@equalityhumanrights.com

Integrated Communications Officer
Equality and Human Rights Commission
3rd Floor, Arndale House
Arndale Centre
Manchester
M4 3AQ

Tel: 0161 829 8633

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

 

Volunteers successfully challenge 95% of WCA decisions

Volunteers at the Bristol and Avon Law Centre have helped 95 per cent of people (over 200 people) in its local area challenge decisions by the DWP that they were “fit to work”. Of these, only 5 per cent of claimants’ appeals failed once a legal professional took on their case.

The centre is staffed by law student volunteers who appear with claimants in front of a judge and a doctor at benefit appeals to help claimants make their case.

Nationally, the appeal success rate for disability benefit claims is also high – at 59 per cent, but the experience of the Law Centre appears to suggest that legal representation makes it go higher still.

The figures come amid questions about just how accurate the Government’s Work Capability Assessment actually is.

More at the Independent here

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

ODI shows that choice and control for disabled people have plunged under Conservatives

The Office for Disability Issues (ODI) have issued a report which shows that choice and control for disabled people has significantly declined.
The report (which can be found here) has highlighted a decline in one of the key measures of the success of its disability strategy: the proportion of disabled people who feel they have choice and control in their lives.

When the Office for National Statistics began collecting the figures, in 2008 – two years before the Conservative-led coalition came to power – it found that 76 per cent of disabled people said they frequently had choice and control over their lives.

But the new report, published on 21 August by ODI – but not publicised with a press release – showed that figure plunging to just 65 per cent last year, a fall of more than 14 per cent (or 11 percentage points) in just six years.

More at Disability News Service here

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

TUC ‘YES to Workers’ Rights NO to Austerity’ march in Manchester

The TUC are co-ordinating a Rally and March in Manchester to coincide with the start of the Tory Party Conference details are set out below.

Event details
Date: Sunday, 4th October 2015
Assemble: 12 noon Oxford Road (from All Saints Park)
Rally starts: 1.00 pm
March sets off: 1.30 pm

The theme of the demonstration will be ‘No to Austerity and Yes to Workers’ Rights’

Route
The route is 2.1 miles long and will start with a rally in Oxford Road before moving off. A short route will be available for members with mobility impairments. Please contact Gillian Breeze on 0161 661 6769 if you have any member wishing to take part in the short march.

If you have travelled to Manchester recently you will have noticed that there are significant road works taking place in and around the city centre, this has hindered the final route being agreed although hopefully this will be resolved next week.

Numbers

Given the event is being held in Manchester, TUC are calling on North West Branches to mobilise their members and do everything they can to maximise support for this demonstration. Ideally, numbers will exceed the last TUC demonstration in Manchester which was an estimated 60,000.
Regional staff will be contacting Branches periodically over the next 7 weeks to try and estimate the numbers expected.

Transport
Exact drop off point for coaches are yet to be confirmed. In the meantime, the drop off point will be around the University area.

Those travelling by Train can alight at either Oxford Road or Piccadilly as both are within walking distance of the rally point.
Materials
In preparation for the demonstration Branches can order materials direct from UNISON stockorders@unison.co.uk The 4 October Manchester demo leaflet is available to order (stock number 3560) and poster (stock number 3561). A limited number of the leaflets will be dispatched to branches.
You can also order T-shirts direct from TC Branding quoting reference UNI-1138 demo T-shirt. For prices and details please contact unison@tc-group.co.uk or call 01844 275 7000. Please note the minimum number is 12. All orders must be placed by 14th September.
Useful websites
www.tuc.org.uk/notoausterity
https://www.unison.org.uk/events/tuc-national-demonstration-at-conservative-party-conference-oct-2015/
North West Website details will be available as from 25th August 2015.

Any queries please contact Gillian Breeze on telephone: 0161 661 6769

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

Campaigner publishes DIY legal guide on challenging discrimination cases

A disability rights activist who has brought more than 40 legal cases against organisations that discriminated against him has published a new online guide to help other disabled people take similar action through the courts.Doug Paulley has taken more than 40 disability discrimination cases against service-providers in England over the last 10 years, first under the Disability Discrimination Act and then using the Equality Act. In all but three of the cases he has acted as a litigant in person (someone who brings a court case without legal representation), but so far has lost only two cases.Doug has used those experiences to produce his Disability Attitude Re-adjustment Tool (DART). He stresses in his free guide that he is not a lawyer himself, and that anyone who uses information within it must do so at their own risk.(GMCDP does not necessarily support or promote any organisation, individual or website in this post)

 

Caroline Flint – concern over Maximus links to lobbying firm

Labour MP for Don Valley and contender for Deputy Leader of the party, Caroline Flint has received a donation from a former member of staff from Sovereign Strategy working on her campaign – a donation worth £8,000 – and the use of a room in Sovereign’s London offices. One of Sovereign’s key clients is the US outsourcing giant Maximus who recently over the ‘fitness for work’ contract from Atos.

More on the story at Disability News Service here

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

 

Posted 11/08/2015

 

 

GMCDP’s new Opinion page

Greater Manchester Coalition of Disabled People now has an Opinion page where guest writers will write opinion pieces.

You can find the first piece by GMCDP mainstay Brian Hilton about SCOPE’s End The Awkward campain here

(If you would like to submit an article for consideration, drop us a line at info@gmcdp.com )

Call for papers for Disability History conference

London Metropolitan Archives are in the process of organising a second Disability History conference.

Papers are invited from across the heritage, cultural, academic and grassroots communities. The aim is to generate a dialogue between these groups through a programme of presentations and short talks discussing the theme of technological change and portrayal of disability then and now.

Topics may include but are not limited to:

Assistive technology – the changing way in which technology has been seen to act as an equaliser and a ‘fix’ for disability.

Medical Technology – the ways in which new medical technology has affected concepts of what is ‘normal’

A revolution? – comparisons of the portrayal of disability in the information age with agricultural and industrial societies

They are also invite short abstracts of between 50 and 200 words for informal 10 minute presentations that share in work-in-progress or provide an introduction to new projects or research that addresses these themes in more detail.

The conference is being delivered on a not for profit basis and the organisers are unable to cover speaker’s costs except in cases where speakers would otherwise be prevented from attending for financial reasons.

Deadline: 1st October 2015

For further details contact:

Tom Furber

Information Officer

London Metropolitan Archives

tom.furber@cityoflondon.gov.uk

Tel: 020 7332 3851

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

Posted – 11/8/2015

Citizens Advice announces changes to advice services in Trafford

The Trafford Advice Partnership has secured a new 3 year contract with Trafford Council to provide information and advice services in the borough.
The Trafford Advice Partnership is led by Citizens Advice Trafford and includes the leading information and advice providers in the borough including Age UK Trafford, Trafford Centre for Independent Living, LMCP Care Link, BlueSCI, Trafford Carers Centre and the Autistic Society for the Greater Manchester Area.
The work of the partnership will see information and advice services transformed in Trafford with the aim of making advice accessible to more people. This will include offering more advice via telephone, webchat and webcam as well as outreach work in each of Trafford’s localities.
Citizens Advice Trafford services will be changing so that advice is mainly given via telephone, with more detailed advice available at pre-booked appointments at new outreach locations across the borough.

On 31 July, Citizens Advice offices in Altrincham, Urmston, Stretford and Partington will close. The Sale office will remain open, offering telephone advice and pre-booked appointments only until early September.

From September, pre-booked appointments will be on offer at Trafford Wellbeing centres in Sale West, Broomwood, Old Trafford and Partington, and the Sale office will offer telephone advice only.

Anyone who needs advice should call Citizens Advice Trafford on 08444 994 103 (03004 562 568 from mobiles), who will be able to offer telephone advice and arrange face to face appointments where appropriate, on their premises over the coming weeks. People who already have appointments booked have been informed of the changes.

The telephone service will operate between 10am and 4pm, and the opening hours will extend in the autumn when Citizens Advice Trafford joins the national Citizens Advice Adviceline service.
Advice on a wide range of issues is also available from www.citizensadvice.org.uk and from the Citizens Advice consumer service on 03454 04 05 06.
Dale Maskell, Chief Officer of Citizens Advice Trafford said:
“This new contract will mean that we can build on our strong history of partnership work and deliver more accessible services to Trafford residents. This is a big change for our services and, working with our staff and volunteers, will help us to be more responsive to the needs of more people in Trafford, and target those in greatest need. ”
Phil Aspden, Chair of Citizens Advice Trafford said:
“The Citizens Advice service has delivered information and advice to Trafford residents for over 75 years. We have been able to sustain the service for so long by adapting to new circumstances and evolving to meet the changing needs of the people we help.
“The changes in our funding mean we have worked with our partners to design a new service that can meet local demand at a reduced cost. We will continue to innovate and monitor access to the Trafford Advice Partnership to ensure that Trafford residents get the information and advice that they need.”

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

Mental health inpatient wards are not safe, says research

People do not feel safe on inpatient wards according to the findings of a new piece of research by National Survivors User Network . NSUN found 45 people’s experiences of inpatient wards across the country found that 67% did not feel safe on the ward and 68% had experienced stigma and discrimination from staff members.

Half of the participants reported that their dignity had not been respected. They described a range of disturbing and traumatic experiences – bullying and harassment from others on the ward, a lack of basic care and empathy, forced medication and abusive members of staff:

More at NSUN

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

Centre For Welfare Reform post Spartacus ESA Mythbuster

Members of the Spartacus Network have written about some what they see as some of the damaging myths that have been fostered about Employment and Support Allowance (ESA).

It is available as a PDF that can be read on the site or downloaded

They can be read here

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

Young disabled people wanted for KIDS MIP 3 project

The KIDS MIP 3 project is working with young people to develop information about short breaks and personal budgets. We want to work with you to try and help make things better for disabled young people in the UK and improve the information you have. We are going to hold regular meetings in Stockport to find out what kind of information young disabled people would like to have about short breaks and about personal budgets and develop guidance to support this. This group is called YPEG. We think it’s important that disabled young people get to have their say in the things that affect them and that adults (including the people who make the laws) listen to disabled young people and take what you say seriously.

All the meetings will be held in Stockport at Priestnall School, Priestnall Rd, Stockport SK4 3HP on the following dates, you do not have to attend all of them and I can pay for your transport.

Wednesday 5th August 10am – 2pm
Wednesday 16th September 5pm – 7pm
Wednesday 28th October 10am – 2pm
Wednesday 2nd December 5pm – 7pm
Wednesday 13th January 5pm – 7pm
Wednesday 17th February 10am – 2pm

What will you get in return?
To say thank you for coming to the meetings and giving us your views we will:

* Give you lunch/dinner/snacks appropriate to the time of day we meet.
* Do some fun activities alongside the meetings
* We will personally thank you for attending the meetings and give you a voucher to spend.

If you wish to get involved please get in touch with Tracy Ryan on 07584702026 or email tracy.ryan@kids.org.uk

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

Designs for Altrincham Health and Wellbeing Centre unveiled

Altrincham Town Hall is the venue for a two-day display of outline design and architectural concepts for the planned new Altrincham Health and Wellbeing Centre which will be located on the site of the former Altrincham Hospital. The drawings will be unveiled to the public next weekend (Friday 7 and Saturday 8 August).
The Altrincham Health and Wellbeing Centre will help facilitate the co-ordination of public health services, enhanced community facilities and General Practice (GPs) provision within south Trafford as part of the move to address social and health care integration across the borough.
Trafford Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG) will be commissioning healthcare and wellbeing services that will be based within the building. Trafford CCG aims to ensure that people living in Trafford have the best possible healthcare outcomes through commissioning high quality, equitable and integrated services.
Over the two day exhibition, the developers for the new centre, Altrincham-based Citybranch Ltd, will share visuals, floor plans and layouts of how the new centre could look internally and externally. A representative from Trafford CCG will also be in attendance to answer any questions from the public regarding healthcare facilities in the Altrincham Health and Wellbeing Centre when it opens in Spring 2017.
The public are invited to come and talk to Trafford CCG and Citybranch Ltd about the plans for the Health and Wellbeing Centre between 12-7pm on Friday 7 August and 10-5pm on Saturday 8 August at Altrincham Town Hall.

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

NHS survey on wheelchairusers’ views of local services

NHS North, Central and South Manchester CCGs are looking to hear your experiences of using wheelchair services in Manchester. If you have used wheelchair services in the past three years, they would like to hear from you.
They have created a survey which can be accessed here
(GMCDP does not necessarily support or promote any organisation, individual or website in this post)

Changes to Motability grant making conditions – people needed for legal challenge c032014

from DPAC

Motability have introduced changes to their grant making conditions which only impact disabled people with the highest support needs who need specialised adaptations to internal transfer to drive (ITD) or drive-from-wheelchair (DfW) vehicles. It is possible that these changes could be found to be discriminatory before the law.

What are the changes?
A “usage test” was has been introduced by Motability. It was applied to existing customers from June 2014, but has been in place for new customers for some time. According to Motability “usage test” has been introduced to establish if a vehicle will see:

“extensive and essential use to support substantive employment, education, volunteer working or to enable the disabled driver to provide vital and sole care to another, for example, a school-age child or children or a disabled loved one who resides with the disabled person.”

We have been informed that Motability considers 12 hours or more as substantive. However, you need to in full-time education or training and apparently volunteering cannot be internet based, but has to be outside the home and doesn’t include travelling time.

Motability does says they “will look at some cases on an exceptional basis” if disabled person doesn’t fulfil the eligibility qualification. Information about the “Usage test” is available on Motability’s website at: http://www.motability.co.uk/understanding-the-scheme/financial-help/eligibility-for-financial-help
Lack of information and consultation
The “usage test” was introduced without any consultation. No written information has been sent to individual existing customers about the changes to eligibility to ensure they are informed before undergoing the telephone assessment.

Impact of changes
The impact of these changes, which only affects those with the highest and most costly needs are potentially life-changing: It could well prevent people having contact with friends and family, if they live in a rural area with little or no transport; it is doubtful if anyone who can only travel with equipment like hoists, oxygen cylinders and other bulky items will be able to go anywhere. Older people are less likely to be able to fulfil the criteria so are more liable to lose out. It also could prevent disabled people from applying for employment, education or volunteering opportunities in the future, if they are not currently involved in these activities.
The criterion also ignores the fact that due to cuts to other services people may not have support from someone else to drive them.

People needed for legal action
Legal advice has been sought to see whether these changes can be challenged as discriminatory and now we need to hear from anyone who is or would be affected by these changes in the near future and who would qualify for legal aid.

In particular we want to hear from anyone who currently does not have a vehicle and has been refused the right to apply for grant funding.

If you think you might be affected by these changes and are willing to consider taking legal action then please contact Disabled people Against Cuts on: mail@dpac.uk.net

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

St John’s Ambulance to offer free training at Stretford Mall

St John Ambulance are opening a pop up training venue in the Stretford Mall for 12 months. During this time they want to run some community focused first aid training sessions with local groups at zero cost.

The shop is opposite Tesco, upstairs in the mall (what used to be The Hive) and they would be looking to take bookings from mid-September time.

An indication of the courses they may offer, depending on the group are:

Basic first aid (3 Hours)
Basic First Aid (6 hours, 2 hours of the course contain a ‘build your own’ element)
Essential First Aid (2 Hours)
Essential First Aid – Legal Highs (3 Hours)
Essential First Aid – All Ages (3 Hours)
Esential first Aid with AED demo (3.5 Hours)
Essential First Aid with Auto Injector Demo (3.5 Hours)
Essential sports first aid (4 hours)
Essential first aid for sports injuries (4 hours)
Babysitters First Aid (6 Hours)
Essential and Basic First Aid (6 hours)
Activity first aid (12 hours, suitable to groups who spend a lot of time outdoors, hillwalking etc)

For more information contact:

Ryan Evans – Training Administrator

T. 0161 443 0106

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

Could you be a ‘Fab Pioneer’? – Salford

From Salford CVS

An invitation to all disabled people living in the city of Salford.

What would you make, if you could make anything you wanted? This project could help you to explore that idea!

We need ‘Fab Pioneers’.
We are inviting disabled people to help us with a research project. Our project is called ‘In The Making’. It aims to explore the possibilities of ‘digital fabrication’, or ‘3D’ printing – a new technology which allows us to print three-dimensional objects from computer files.

What is the project about?
We want to find out if 3D printing can help people to make things that are useful to them in their daily lives. We want to see if people can design things that others might want to buy. We want to invite people to work creatively, to express their experiences and identities. Working with artists and technologists, we want to see what people imagine and how 3D printing might bring it to life. To do this, we are taking our mobile ‘Fab Lab’ out into community venues, and asking local people to give it a go.

When and where will it happen?
The ‘In The Making’ project will run from July to December and happen in neighbourhoods around Salford, including Eccles, Swinton, Walkden and Irlam.

What will volunteers do?
We want disabled people to come to our free workshops and find out what the equipment is capable of doing. We will aim to show or teach you how to make your ideas a reality. With equipment such as 3D printers and laser cutters, you will be supported to learn how to use the equipment to make things and through doing so share your hopes, ideas and plans with others. You could make an art object, a 3D selfie of someone you care about, learn a skill that employers need, make a new aid or adaptation, make a prototype for a new invention, or something that already exists but which you can make more cheaply. No previous experience is necessary. Where needed we will arrange transport and you can bring a carer or a friend along too. Help will also be given with where to obtain ongoing support in the equipment’s use.

How to respond:
Please respond by email to Philip.connolly@disabilityrightsuk.org or by post to

Philip J Connolly c/o Disability Rights UK,

Can Mezzanine

49-51 East Road

London

N1 6AH

and include your contact details (including postal and/or email address), your access requirements (e.g. mobility, sight, hearing, unseen, fluctuating, cognitive etc.) and if possible a description of your circumstances and ambitions (100 words maximum). We will then get in touch with you and tell you where and when the equipment will be in your neighbourhood.
Organisers: Salford University, Dundee University, Disability Rights UK
Supported by: The Arts and Humanities Research Council’s ‘Connected Communities’ Fund.

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

Writer’s research request for film about Disabled People’s Movement

From Beth

Hello.

My name is Beth Louise Irwin, a recent graduate Screenwriter in Northwest England. I am seeking people to speak to regarding a feature film script that I am currently developing based upon the disabled peoples’ rights movement of the 1990’s (ITV Telethon, D.A.N protests and demand for access that led to the DDA) – As a disabled person myself I believe it is a story that needs to be told.

Whether you played a small or a large part in the actions and events of the time I would love to hear your side of the story, your memories and opinions on equality then and now.

Please get in touch via my email address: bethlouise.irwin1991@gmail.com
Many thanks for reading and I hope to hear from you all soon.

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

ALLFIE needs your help!

The Alliance for Inclusive Education (ALLFIE) is a national campaigning and information-sharing network led by disabled people. ALLFIE campaigns for all disabled people to have the human and civil right to access to and be supported in mainstream education. They are putting a call for:

  • Disabled students experiences of higher education and the disabled students allowance – Government’s consultation on the DSA reforms
  • Evidence on how effective Equality Act is for promoting inclusive education practices in schools, colleges and universities – Call for Evidence for House of Lords Select Committee Inquiry into the Equality Act 2010
  • Government’s consultation on the DSA reforms

The date for the DSA reforms consultation is taking place over the summer break. So we have to act quickly. We are keen to ask Disabled Peoples Organisations to make contact with Disabled students who are willing to share their experiences for ALLFIE’s response to the Government’s consultation on their Disabled Students Allowance reforms.

They are also interested in speaking disabled students who are thinking about going to university from September 2016.

They would like to have a chat with you initially either on the phone, face-to-face or via email by 17th August.

Call for Evidence for House of Lords Select Committee Inquiry into the Equality Act 2010

The House of Lords Select Committee on the Equality Act 2010 has called for evidence regarding the implementation of Equality Act 2010, particularly in relation to how the Act serves disabled people.

This is our opportunity to tell the Committee about how Equality Act and SEN legal provisions are working for disabled students wanting to be included in mainstream education. This is particularly important, as Government’s own figures have shown a steady decline, over the last 4 years, of disabled children and young people on the roll of mainstream schools.

ALLFIE wants to hear from disabled children and young people, including those with SEN, their families and disabled students about how the law is working for them. Also whether you have been able to access the law and if you have what that experience was like. We want to hear from you whatever your experience is, positive or negative!

We have included SEN because many children with SEN fall under the Equality Act’s definition of disability. We are keen to hear from you about how SEN and Equality Act law affects disabled learners rights to access mainstream education.

ALLFIE will be submitting evidence to the House of Lords Equality Act Inquiry during September 2015.

Please contact us if you have a story we can include into our response by 10th August 2015.

If you want more information please contact Simone Aspis, ALLFIE’s Campaigns & Policy Co-ordinator simone.aspis@allfie.org.uk ALLFIE tel number 0207 737 6030

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

Job Vacancy at Bury People First

Bury People First is an organisation which supports learning disabled adults to speak up for themselves through training, information gathering, peer support and involvement at all levels of service development.
They have a new vacancy for a Sessional Development Worker. The post is for an average of 7 hours per week for 40 weeks (times and days to be negotiated but must be flexible)
Rates of pay are £11.50 per hour
The closing date for applications is Monday 17th August
Interviews will be week commencing Monday 24th August
Should you need any further information contact

Telephone: 0161 705 4342
E Mail: admin@burypeoplefirst.co.uk
Chris Sullivan on the above number or 07746453410

Hamaira Ashraf Haroon on the above number or 07436547376

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

DPAC officially back Jeremy Corbyn for Labour Party leadership

DPAC have officially backed Jeremy Corbyn for the Labour leadership contest. Corbyn has been a long time supporter of disabled people’s issues, most recently the Save The ILF campaign and has made frequent attacks on disablist policies.

There has been much debate on the language used by the four contenders in the run up to the leadership contest, especially how in regards to welfare issues.

DPAC generally stay independent from party politics but feel that Corbyn’s outspoken condemnation of disablist and his recent rebellion on the Welfare bill have convinced them to officially back him.

In a recent editorial blog post, DPAC said ‘Jeremy has a proud and long established track record of standing up for what he believes, of going against the flow when it matters, and opposing, not just with fine words, but with deeds the evil that comes his way. Jeremy Corbyn has also been a long standing supporter of DPAC and disabled people’s rights. He has been there for us when it mattered, now its time for DPAC to return some of that support.’

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

Making a complaint to Maximus – DPAC guide

DPAC are offering advice on how to make a complaint against a Work Capabilty Assessment now undertaken by Maximus

from DPAC

In the first instance, phone 0800 288 8777 Mon-Fri 8am to 8pm or Sat 9 to 5 – and if you can’t afford (or don’t want) to hang on, a Customer Service Manager MUST call you back Mon-Fri 9 to 5.
Email is not much use, but it’s worth a try – customer-relations@chdauk.co.uk and as the website does not clarify what the complaints procedure actually is, demand a copy of it by email or letter. They must have a proper complaints procedure.

If your complaint is about Customer Experience, you should send your letters – of complaint – to Sue Marsh, Head of Customer Experience, Health Assessment Advisory Service, Room 4E04, Quarry House, Leeds LS2 7UA.It is interesting to note that neither the website nor the postal address mentions the name Maximus. It is particularly interesting that no formal complaints procedure is mentioned anywhere.
Obviously, if you don’t know how to complain or who to complain to, there’s only one thing to be done.
Complain to the District Manager of DWP for your area – and here they all are……

Read the full post here

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

 

 

GM Mental Health Transformation Event on Tuesday 4th August

GMCVO are holding a Mental health Transformation Event

This event will go ahead on Tuesday 4th August from 11am to 4.30pm.
It will be held in the Cadishead Lounge – AJ Bell Stadium, Stadium Way, Eccles, Manchester M30 7WH.

GMCVO have capacity for approximately 150 and will allocate places on a first come first served basis.

People wishing to book a place please could confirm attendance to stephaniekenny@nhs.net.

An agenda for the session will be circulated to attendees in the week before the event.

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

Young disabled people wanted to help shape development of young people services

Calling all young disabled people (under 25) in the Greater Manchester area

What do you know about personal budgets?

What would you like to know so that you can be involved in choosing the support you have?

How would you like to find out about this information?

What do you know about short breaks?

Young People’s Engagement Groups (YPEG) are looking for young people to attend meetings to help the the development of young people services. The group will meet regularly to find out what sort of information young disabled people would like about short breaks and personal budgets. The group will help design and develop guidance to support this.

In return, you get…

A voucher that you can spend

Fun activities

Lunch, dinner or snacks depending on when we hold the meeting

For more information contact Tracy Ryan on 07584702026

or email on Tracy.Ryan@kids.org.uk

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New heating control given top marks for accessibility

Rica has given British Gas’ Hive Active Heating 2 control top marks for inclusive design

According to testing by Rica, Hive Active Heating 2 smart thermostat is a ‘game changer’. British Gas worked with Rica to independently test Hive Active Heating 2 as part of its product design and its full range of new heating controls with older and disabled consumers. The interactive heating control’s design incorporates many suggestions made by their consumer testing panel, including improved colour contrast on the display.

Rica has two Consumer Research Panels totalling over 600 people. Members have a range of impairments and are from all age groups. They assist Rica’s research by testing a range of products and services. You can find more about the consumer panels here

More here

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Low Incomes Tax Reform Group update website for 2015/16 tax changes

The Low Incomes Tax Reform Group website has now been updated for all the 2015/16 tax changes, and some other sections – such as auto enrolment – have been updated.

Over the coming year, they hope to enhance the website further with new features. LITRG have just launched a video that introduces people to the website and what they can expect to find on it. They have also added a news section that is regularly updated with important updates and articles that will be of relevance to anyone working in this field.

Contact them directly at litrgdtg@litrg.org.uk.

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Free training at Trafford CIL

Trafford Centre for Independent Living have recently been awarded funding from Skills for Care to deliver a range of health and social care courses. The courses they will be offering are:
• The Care Certificate
• Moving & Handling Training
• Employment Rights and Responsibilities specifically for people employing through a direct payment/personal budget
All of the courses are free and will be running until February next year. The Moving and Handling and Employment Rights and Responsibilities training will be classroom based sessions that will be held at the CIL every other month, and the Care Certificate is blended learning, with e-learning modules and workbooks to be completed.

This is a fantastic opportunity not to be missed. Places are limited and will be allocated on a first come, first served basis..

For more information please contact

Savvas Papadopoulos
Email – maps.admin@traffordcil.co.uk
Phone – 0161 850 0645

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Watchdog backs DWP refusal to release 49 benefit deaths reports

From Disability News Service

The Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) has been told by the information watchdog that it does not need to release secret reviews it carried out into the deaths of 49 benefit claimants.

Campaigners have expressed frustration and disappointment at the decision, with one MP saying it underlines the need for an independent inquiry into the use of benefit sanctions.

A series of freedom of information requests eventually revealed that DWP had carried out 49 internal peer reviews into benefit-related deaths since February 2012.

More here

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Disabled students in higher education: funding proposals

The Government are seeking people to take part in a consultation into disabled student in Higher Education

From the Gov.uk website

We want information and evidence to help us direct funding for disabled students in higher education (HE) more effectively. We want to balance the support available for all disabled students from HEproviders, and that available from Disabled Students’ Allowances (DSAs).

The consultation is relevant to:

  • HE providers
  • disabled HE students (current and prospective)
  • stakeholders working with disabled students in HE or wishing to enter HE
  • disability charities
  • advocacy organisations working with disabled people
  • DSAs assessment centres
  • non-medical help suppliers

The questions only relate to HE students entitled to receive support from Student Finance England.

Respond online

or

Complete a response form and either

Email to:
Write to:
Paul Higgs
Higher Education Student Funding Policy
5th Floor, Abbey 1
Department for Business, Innovation and Skills
1 Victoria Street
London
SW1H 0ET

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Crisis Point 2015 Open Day – 24th July 2015

Crisis Point are holding an open day on 24th July

The focus of this year’s open day at Crisis Point is an open discussion of issues relating to ethnicity, culture, and mental health, with the aim of identifying ways in which we and other services can offer more effective support to people from ethnic minority groups.

Turning Point
Crisis Point
24 Albert Road
Manchester
M19 2FP

For more information contact –

Thomas.Farebrother@turning-point.co.uk
T: 0161 225 9500
M: 0742 343 5295

DPO’s call for new national user led network

Disabled People’s Organisations (DPO’s) throughout the country have backed calls for a new national network to represent user-led groups across England. This will likely spell the end for the UK Disabled People’s Council (UKDPC), which for years has been beset by serious organisational and financial problems.

The conference organised by the Reclaiming Our Futures Alliance (ROFA) produced an overwhelming consensus on the need for a new umbrella organisation to represent disabled people and fight for their rights.

The event hosted by Disability Sheffield, was attended by many of the country’s leading disabled people’s organisations, including Greater Manchester Coalition of Disabled People.

Mark Harrison, chief executive of  Equal Lives (formerly Norfolk Coalition of Disabled People) “UKDPC doesn’t exist. It is a dysfunctional, disbanded organisation, so there is not a national organisation of disabled people.

“ROFA has filled that gap since 2012. It is an alliance of DPOs. We want to expand that to draw the rest of the disability movement into the ROFA world.”

More here

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Disabled woman ‘thrown out of Morrisons because of her condition’

The Metro has reported that a disabled woman claims that she was told to leave a Morrisons store recently for fear that she would cause ‘mischief’.

Stephanie Couldry who has Downs Syndrome said she was shopping in the Haydon Wick store in Swindon, Wiltshire for her disabled parents when the humiliating incident occurred. She said a member of staff approached her and said ‘what are you doing here?’, and ‘get out now’.

Morrisons claim that Stephanie is ‘well known’ in the store and is a regular visitor. They also claim that Stephanie uses her mobility scooter at an ‘inappropriate speed’ and that there have been several incidents of her ‘forgetting to scan certain items on the self service checkout machines’. A Morrisons spokesman has said: ‘Keen to continue welcoming her, the store team agreed with Stephanie and her family that she would be accompanied in the future to help avoid this happening again.

‘On this occasion, Stephanie was alone and asked to leave.’

Stephanie’s brother-in-law Stephen called the incident ‘disgusting’. He added: ‘She has been there before lots of times. She had been in there the day before. I don’t think she would want to go back there again after what has happened. And I don’t think her mum and dad would want to shop there again.’

Read more here
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Deaf Education Advocacy Fellowship

Deaf Education Advocacy Fellowship (D.E.A.F) is very exciting for Deaf Black Minority Ethnic Project Launch to provide an opportunity for the BME communities of Trafford and the wider Greater Manchester area to engage and receive accessible information on core issues of the area and to raise awareness of services and facilities that can improve the lives of the participants.

Do you live in the Trafford or Greater Manchester area ?

Would you like to be part of a network of people supporting BME issues?

The sessions will be fantastic information, meet another peoples and also brilliant guest speakers attending.

Different topics will be discussed on each session and those attending will decide what is on the agenda for each session.

For example, housing issues, domestic violence, social care, disability services, learning disability support, hate crime, family support, counselling, isolation, social activities, sign post you to find the right services within Trafford/Greater Manchester.

Deaf BME individuals and communities traditionally have faced many barriers preventing access to information and services, in-part to their communication needs. Working with multi cultural groups, we aim to break down and remove theses barriers, providing more knowledge and awareness. We are a strong believer that Deaf people from diverse and different cultures should have access to information without feeling isolated or ignored.

Our BME service has a track record of over the past 3 years with projects to provide services and events on a monthly basis. We also provide services for Education, Employment, Benefits, Welfare to Work.
Please click on the link below which explains all about the BME project and you can see the British Sign Language Video with audio:
http://www.deaf-fellowship.org/trafford-deaf-bme-project/

Esmail Patel Director/Founder at D.E.A.F. is hosting our first session on Friday 24th July 2015 – 2.00 p.m. – 5.00 p.m. at Harry Lord House, Humphrey Road, Stretford, Manchester M16 9DF.

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

People’s History Museum exhibition about Social Model of Disability – Get involved!

2015 marks the 20th Anniversary of the passing of the Disability Discrimination Act. The Disability Discrimination Act is a law that aims to protect disabled people and promote equality of access to services, education and employment. Hannah Paterson organising an exhibition at the Peoples History Museum to celebrate 20 years of legislation.

The exhibition is to introduce people to the concept of the Social Model of Disability and is looking for visual representations of the barriers that disabled people face in society.

It could be a photo of an inaccessible club/bar/venue/building to show physical access. It could be a painting of an examination room to demonstrate inaccessible learning. It could be a cross stich of a rude/patronising staff member to demonstrate people’s attitudes. It could be anything that demonstrates the barriers society puts in your way.

The exhibition will use art pieces to help visualise and bring to life the experiences of disabled people, to tell and share your stories and use them to ensure people understand that society is often the problem that disabled people face rather than their impairment.

If you are interested in getting involved in the project please email:
Hannah.paterson@hotmail.co.uk

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

Disability related charities to give evidence to Commitee on the Equality act

The Committee on the Equality Act 2010 and Disability will hear from Disability Rights UK and the Royal National Institute of Blind People (RNIB) on the disability provisions of the Equality Act 2010.

The charities will be asked for their views on the effectiveness of the Act, how Government policy supports the legislation, and whether reasonable adjustments are being made where applicable.

More on the Parliament UK website here

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

Another attempt to reintroduce Right To Die bill


From Not Dead Yet…

There is another attempt is being made to reintroduce a right to die bill. A private members bill, based on a previous effort from Lord Falconer, is to be introduced by Labour MP Rob Marris in September.

There is more information on Not Dead Yet’s website on how to engage your MP

Not Dead Yet website

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Ministers in charge of Transport

Transport Ministers

For your information, Transport For All (TFA) have compiled a list below of the MP’s currently responsible for transport issues –

  • Claire Perry MP : Under Secretary of State responsible for the railways including accessibility.
  • Andrew Jones MP: Under Secretary of State is responsible for bus policy, technology and innovation and road safety amongst others
  • Robert Goodwill MP: Under Secretary of State for Transport with responsibility for areas including high speed rail (HS2), aviation and cycling and walking.
  • Lord Ahmad of Wimbledon: Under Secretary of State for Transport with responsibility for London

More here

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

Healthwatch Stockport survey released

Healthwatch Stockport have released their findings in a report from a survey they held recently

The report called “What would a good experience of a health or social care service look like to you?” (which can be read here)

The recommendation from Healthwatch Stockport within the report was for local service providers to take the findings of this report into account when planning future services.

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

 

 

Lord Freud makes no promises on disabled people’s benefits cuts

The minister for welfare reform, Lord Frued refused to make any promises in regards to protecting disabled people’s benefits in the upcoming budget.

From Disability News Service:

Lord Freud, the welfare reform minister, had been asked by the disabled peer Baroness [Jane] Campbell (20.00 onwards) whether disabled people’s support – through the new personal independence payment (PIP) – would be “protected” in the budget.

She told fellow peers that the prime minister, David Cameron, had promised during the election campaign that he wanted to “enhance” and “safeguard” PIP, which is replacing working-age disability living allowance (DLA).

But Lord Freud said only that the government would “continue to support the disabled and the vulnerable in months to come”.

The question was repeated by Labour’s Baroness Sherlock, a shadow work and pensions minister, who added: “The government want to make £12 billion of welfare cuts. Will he say today that none of those will fall on disabled people?”

Lord Freud replied: “I repeat what I said: we will continue to support disabled people and the vulnerable through that process.”

More here

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30 Year Celebration Drop In event at GMCDP

30 year celebration banner

Following on from our recent event at Friends Meeting House, GMCDP is continuing its 30 Years Celebration at GMCDP Offices.

This is not a whole day event as such, rather a chance to drop-in and see the exhibition boards, and staff will be on hand to chat.

There will be exhibitions of GMCDP history and a chance for you to share your memories and feelings about GMCDP

Please call on 0161 636 7534 to confirm and arrange your attendence.

Volunteering Opportunity at Disability Rights UK Leadership Academy Programme

Disability Rights UK are offering a volunteer placement on their Leadership Academy Programme

The placement will include – answering calls from, and making calls to, existing and prospective programme participants; events assistance; sourcing venues; and other, general programme administration. More here

More at DRUK
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Capita gives receptionists ‘scripts’ to deal with PIP backlog

Capita has handed its receptionists ‘overbooking scripts’ to deal with PIP assessment cancellations.

John Pring at Disability News Service reports

‘Because of a shortage of assessors to carry out the tests, Capita is having to recruit 90 more healthcare professionals, just five months after making an estimated 80 of its 400 assessors redundant.

Disability News Service (DNS) revealed those job losses in January, which themselves took place only months after Capita had launched a recruitment drive to clear a huge PIP claims backlog last summer.’

More here

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

Disability Arts – Liz Crowe on her Austerity Mud Figures

The BBC website has a feature on prominent artist Liz Crowe on her austerity mud figures.

More on her process here

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

Guide to accessible caravanning

There is a guide to accessible caravanning on Access Magazine’s website, offering practical solutions to caravanning.

Visit it here

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

DPAC, Deaf campaigners and NUBSLI march against austerity in London – 20th June

From the DPAC website

DPAC, Deaf campaigners and NUBSLI (National Union of British Sign Language Interpreters) will be marching together on 20th June. We want to make our block as colourful and lively as possible to get across the message loud and clear that we will fight the attacks against us being carried out in the name of austerity loudly and proudly. We are not going away! Disabled activist Liz Carr will also be speaking on the platform at the end of the march.

For anyone wishing to join the DPAC block for the long march, this block will meet on Walbrook which is opposite Cannon Street station. Meet from noon for start of march at 1.30pm.

There will also be a static protest opposite Downing Street which will feed into the DPAC block as it passes for a short march to Parliament Square.

Access information for the 20th can be found here:http://www.thepeoplesassembly.org.uk/access_info_20jun

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

Lee Irving’s murder is being treated as possible Disability Hate Crime

The recent murder of a young learning disabled man is being treated as a possible Disability Hate Crime by the police. Lee Irving from East Denton, Newcastle was found dead on saturday morning. Two men have been arrested in connection to the murder.

Disability hate crime convictions went up from 77% to 82% between 2012-13 and 2013-14 and have been growing year on year according to the Crown Prosecution Service

More from The Guardian here

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

DPAC petition to defend the Independent Living Fund video

DPAC have started an online petition via the 38 Degrees website to lobby David Cameron on the Independent Living Fund. The video features people who will be affected by the closure and support from some celebrities.

 

You can go directly to the petition page here

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Neville Strowger family member donating to GMCDP – sponsor him!

A member of Neville Strowger’s family (one of the ‘Magnificent 7′ – the people who started the GMCDP 30 years ago), Jack Lyons, is running the Liverpool Rock N’ Roll Marathon on Saturday. He is donating money to the GMCDP

From the pledge –

I am also fundraising seperately in person too and that money will be sent to GMCDP (Greater Manchester Coalition of Disabled People) and will go towards the young persons project.

Neville Strowger, who died in January aged 75, lived a full and independent life despite contracting poliomyletis at the age of 3. He loved his family; Manchester both the city, where he worked until his retirement and its football team; socialising with friends at concerts and the theatre and holidays home and abroad. He was an active member of a number of disabled persons organisations and was particularly passionate about young disabled people realising their potential and aspiring to live and work as independently as possible. Last but not least he had a wicked sense of humour and is remembered by all with a smile.

You can sponsor Jack here:

https://www.justgiving.com/Jack-Lyons1/

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

GMCDP Email system currently down

Apologies if you have contacted us over the last few days. The broadband connection at our premises is being upgraded. Normal service will resume as soon as possible

Save The ILF Lobby

Save The ILF Campaign and DPAC are lobbying the government to save the Independent Living Fund at the Houses of Parliament on Wednesday 24th of June.

DPAC are offering some support with transport. For further information, please contact mail@dpac.uk.net

More information here

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

Disabled Women’s Group this Saturday

GMCDP is hosting a Disabled Women’s Group this saturday (13th June)

The group holds an informal discussion around disability and women’s issues

This week, the group will be talking about campaigns for disabled women

This group is open to disabled women of all ages who live in Manchester

Please contact Maureen on 0161 636 7537 for further information

There is a Facebook event page here

 

Digital Fabrication Project launch event in Salford, Wednesday 29th & Thursday 30th July 2015

Disability Rights UK and University of Salford are hold a Digital Fabrication Project launch event  at Media City, Salford on Wednesday 29th and Thursday 30th July 2015.

There will be live demonstrations of 3D printing on site

If you would prefer to speak on the phone, or would like more information, please call Ursula Hurley at the University of Salford on: 0161 295 2851

More info here

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How to make a PIP complaint. Advice given by a solicitor

DPAC have posted some advice on how to make a complaint regarding a Personal Independence Payment with advice given by a solicitor. It can be found here

From the website

In relation to the complaints process generally, we have compiled these instructions, which I hope you will find useful:

In order to make a complaint, you should:

  • Check the contact details at the top of letters you have received from the DWP’s Disability and Carers Service. This local office is where to send your letter of complaint to the DWP.
  • If your claim has been forwarded to ATOS or Capita, you will also need to send a letter of complaint to that local ATOS/Capita office.
  • If you are not sure where to send your complaint, call the PIP helpline on 03458 503 322 to find out.

Within your letter of complaint, ensure that you:

  • Include your name, date of birth, national insurance number, and all your contact details;
  • State your PIP claim reference number;
  • Call the letter “a formal complaint”;
  • State the date you first called the DWP to make a PIP claim (this is the date of your claim);
  • Say how long you have been waiting;
  • Explain how many times you have chased your application, how and when;
  • Say that you want the letter to be dealt with a formal complaint under the complaints procedure; and
  • Ask them to confirm receipt as soon as possible and explain how your PIP application will be processed in a timely manner.

If you are not happy with the response (e.g. it does not explain how your PIP claim will be resolved quickly) then you can:

  • Ask for your complaint to be sent to the Director General of Operations for the DWP, who aims to deal with complaints within 15 working days; and
  • If you are unhappy with the response of the Director General of Operations, you can ask for an Independent Case Examiner to investigate; and
  • If you are unhappy with the ICE’s response, you can then ask your MP to make a complaint to the Parliamentary and Health Service Ombudsman.

 

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

Big Lunch in Stockport

Flyer for Big Lunch event

‘The Big Lunch is a nation wide event focused on creating new social opportunities and bringing people together.

Our event is about raising awareness of mental health and celebrating the alliance between Stockport Mind and SPARC. It will be a fun day out where you can socialize and meet new people, win prizes at the raffle and enjoy refreshments whilst being entertained.’

Get your tickets now, whilst there are some left!

Enquiries: 0161 480 7393

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

 

 

Selby appoint first learning disabled Mayor

A council in north Yorkshire has made history by appointing the UK’s first learning disabled mayor.

Gavin Harding, 39, has risen from the position of deputy mayor to become the town’s mayor, as he starts his second term as a Labour town councillor for Selby Northward.

The local politician was nominated for the position by a fellow councillor, and was later approved as mayor by the body as a whole.

More here

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TV industry under-representing disabled people

A new report from The Creative Industry Network shows that disabled people are drastically under-represented within the television industry.

The chairman of Creative Skillset’s TV skills council Andrew Chowns said: “The TV industry has much work to do to create a truly diverse and representative workforce. The progress that has been made in recent years to encourage more BAME and women professionals must be extended to people with disabilities.”

More here

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Mental health Resistance Network call for public rally against merger of community mental health services with job centres

Mental Health Resistance Network are holding a public rally aginst the merger of community mental health services with Jobcentres. The meeting is at Streatham Memorial Gardens, Streatham High Road/Streatham Common North on Friday 26 June at 1:30pm to march to Streatham Job Centre Plus, Crown House, Station Approach, London SW16 6HW
Next demonstration planning meeting will be held on Monday 8 June, 6pm at the Dragon Cafe, Cypt of St Georege the Martyr Church, Borough High St, London SE1 1JA

There is no Gov.uk publications about this proposed merger, so it is difficult to know what it is supposed to entail but so far, grassroots movements report that a merger would mean benefit claimants suspected of having mental health problems would have to have psychological therapies at the job centre in order to receive their benefits.

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

 

The Mirror design template letter to challenge Bedroom Tax

The Mirror has created a template to appeal Bedroom Tax if you ‘…have a disabled partner’. Presumably disabled people can use this template personally as well.

See the post here

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

Professor Stephen Hawking – young disabled scholars may not receive enough support

Professor Stephen Hawking, the world renowned physicist and author, has expressed his fears that disabled students would not flourish under the current economic climate.

Speaking to an audience at University of Cambridge’s Gonville and Caius college, which he attended as a student, Professor Hawking said “I wonder whether a young ambitious academic, with my kind of severe condition now, would find the same generosity and support in much of higher education.

“Even with the best goodwill, would the money still be there? I fear not.”

More here

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Contribute to research into peer support

ENRICH is a research project that aims to develop, pilot and then trial a new approach to peer support to improve people’s experiences of discharge from inpatient to community mental health care. This work is being led by a team from St George’s, University of London with a number of other universities, mental health NHS Trusts, and individuals and organisations involved in developing and delivering peer support as partners.
ENRICH are looking for written or web-based material about existing or new peer support initiatives (in the UK or elsewhere): reports, magazine articles or conference papers, posted on websites or included in student dissertations. This might also include individual accounts of experiences of giving and/ or receiving peer support, documents such as role descriptions or training material, and evaluation plans.
If you can help, please email ENRICH before 15 June

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

Influence July 2015 Budget decisions

National Service User Network have set up an online survey to influence decisions for the upcoming 2015 Budget

From the newsletter:

Crucial decisions on funding for mental health support will be made by the new Government in the next few weeks and we all have a chance to influence them.
The Chancellor of the Exchequer, George Osborne MP, is due to present his first Budget to the new Parliament on Wednesday 8th July. The Treasury, the government department responsible for setting the Budget, is currently running a survey to get ideas on what should be included. You can take part in it here. This is a huge opportunity to press on the Government’s commitment to treat mental and physical health equally through fair funding.

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

Human Rights petition by Amnesty International

Amnesty International have created an online petition to challenge the scrapping of the Human Rights Act

The petition can be signed here

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Almost 5,000 disabled adults have been sexually abused in England in the past two years

An article in the Guardian reports that almost 5,000 disabled adults have been sexually abused in England in the past two years.

‘Almost 5,000 disabled adults – across 106 councils – have been sexually abused in England in the past two years, new figures show. As the NSPCC put it, this is the “visible peak” of what could be a bigger problem of sexual assault against disabled people. People with learning difficulties were the victims of almost two-thirds of reported incidents. The others had a range of physical disabilities. Disabled children are also likely victims.

The charity Respond noted they had seen “some horrendous cases” involving young disabled people. “[There are] gangs of boys who don’t have a disability who are grooming girls who do.” Your stomach may be starting to crawl at this point. Mine is. I think most of us would put the rape and assault of people with disabilities into the category of things we do not want to think about – let alone say out loud. But then, that is part of the problem. Hush it up. Ignore the warnings. Some things should not be real.

Here’s the reality. Today’s finding of sexual assault against disabled adults – and likely, teenagers and children – is part of the large-scale abuse of disabled people in this country. Disabled children and young people are three to four times more likely to be abused and neglected than their non-disabled peers, according to the NSPCC.’

More here

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Manchester’s Band On The Wall wins Attitude Is Everything’s Gold Status

Manchester’s Band On The Wall has become the first small venue to win Attitude Is Everything’s Gold Status for their commitment to making their venue accessible for disabled people.

More info over at Attitude Is Everything website

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

 

 

Maximus still assessing claimants for ESA or DLA with 2 year old ESA5 forms

DPAC have published a post about Maximus using 2 year old forms

‘Following Benefits and Work’s article about a claimant negotiating with Maximus to use an up to date ESA50 form for a Work Capability Assessment  (rather than using an ESA50 Form completed 2 years earlier), there has been much debate about how this situation arose. A number of scenarios have been considered, but in the absence of evidence, it has been difficult to establish who was responsible for this state of affairs and whether it was really a legacy from the Atos period.

A recent interesting case has been brought to the attention of DPAC, which demonstrates that it is absolutely essential for claimants to refuse to undergo a WCA without first completing an ESA50, and to refuse to undergo a WCA with an ESA50 submitted for an earlier assessment.’

Article here

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

Unlimited: Owen Lowery presents Otherwise Unchanged at Worktown Literature Festival, Bolton

Otherwise Unchanged employs an orchestration of sound and image to draw out the gravity, emotion and shimmering lyricism in a reading of Owen Lowery’s first poetry collection, on themes of war, life in recovery, and the arts.

Find out more here

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

Benefits and Work website produce a guide for tactical voting

Benefits and Work website have produced a guide to tactical voting. It can be found on their bloghere

This follows their guide as to what political parties policies on benefits here

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

An open letter from disabled people about further welfare cuts

Links are embedded in the text

Please note there is some terminology that the GMCDP would not agree with

‘People with disabilities or a long-term illness, having borne the brunt of welfare cuts in this Parliament, fear what will happen after the General Election. With the Conservatives promising a further £12 billion cuts without specifying where the axe would fall, they fear the worst.

Disabled people wrote an open letter, signed by many celebrities and prominent figures, which appeared in the Guardian. You can view it here. They want it be read by as many people as possible, so it is also published here.

“The general election is upon us. In 21st century Britain we like to think we live in an equal and fair society, but equality is hard won. There was a time when women chained themselves to railings for their right to vote, a time when gay people were imprisoned and when signs proclaimed “No blacks, no dogs, no Irish”. All have had to fight for their right to equality. Disabled people are fighting too, but not simply for equality – for their very survival.

“A third of disabled adults already live in poverty. Disabled people and those needing social carehave already been hit up to 19 times harder by cuts than others. Under the Conservative-led coalition every aspect of their support has been reduced, abolished or failed, costing the taxpayer and costing lives. But just weeks before the election we discover through a leaked document that the Tories plan £12bn more cuts to social security, including disability benefits (Report, 30 March).

“The UN is said to be conducting a confidential inquiry into “grave or systemic violations” of the human rights of disabled people in the UK. If these cuts went ahead it would be a further breach of the UN convention on the rights of persons with disabilities, which the UK ratified in 2009, with cross-party support. Every week we learn of more people who have lost their lives, many others will follow if more support is stripped away.

The Institute for Fiscal Studies has said the chancellor must specify how he will reach the targets. Yet George Osborne, David Cameron, Theresa May, Matthew Hancock and David Gauke have all doggedly refused to give any details before the election. Iain Duncan Smith has said: “We may, we may not, decide that it’s relevant to put something out there about some of those changes.”

“It is unfair and irresponsible to conceal changes that may heavily impact the lives of those who have already been hit the hardest. Perhaps they think disabled people are an easy target, becausemisleading articles and the rhetoric of “scroungers” and “skivers” has skewed public perception of people who need support. But more and more, people are becoming aware of how unfairly disabled people have been treated. The tide is turning.

Disabled people wrote an open letter calling on politicians to stop any further cuts which would increase their already profound social and economic disadvantage and asked the public to show their support. We, like those before us, are prepared to fight until disabled people are treated equally and difference doesn’t matter anymore.

“Armando Ianucci Writer, director, producer, Bianca Jagger Council of Europe goodwill ambassador, Founder Bianca Jagger Human Rights Foundation, Michael Sheen Actor, director, Peter Tatchell Human rights campaigner, Dominic Minghella Screenwriter, Aamer Anwar, Criminal defence solicitor, Human rights campaigner, Rev Andy Smith Ecumenical Dean of Telford, Richard Hughes Drummer, Keane, Sophie Christiansen Triple gold medallist, London 2012 Paralympic Games, Steve Peers Professor of human rights law, Jonathon Tomlinson GP NIHR research fellow, Eddi Reader Musician, Professor Peter Beresford Professor of social policy, Brunel University, London, Cherylee Houston Actor, Dr Sam Majumdar Consultant surgeon Dundee, Surgical advisor Royal College of Surgeons Edinburgh, Francesca Martinez Comedian, author, campaigner, Deborah Bowman Professor of ethics and law St George’s, University of London, Terry Christian Broadcaster, Dr Simon Duffy Director, The Centre for Welfare Reform, Lisa Hammond Actor, Jonathan Bartley Green party spokesperson on work and pensions, Rabbi Debbie Young-Somers, Dr Kailash Chand, Rev Fr Patrick Brennan Priest, archdiocese of Birmingham, Cameron McNeish Broadcaster, author, Bill Bowring Barrister, professor of law, Birkbeck, University of London”

The letter is linked to a petition which you can sign here to show your solidarity and support.’

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

17 Demands on the New Government elected on 7th May from Disabled People’s Organisation

Four leading Disabled People’s Organisations (DPOs) have got together to produce a list of 17 things we need the new Government to implement in the first 100 days after being elected. These are based on making the British Government compliant with its obligations under the UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (CRPD).
Disabled people have been disproportionately affected by the Coalition Government’s austerity programme. By the 2015 election, more than 28 billion pounds in benefits and entitlements will have been taken away from disabled people. At the same time, disabled people are twice as likely to live in poverty as non- disabled people. In Austerity Britain, where the Prime Minister and Chancellor of the Exchequer continue to claim “We are all in this together”, disabled people will pay 9 times more towards reducing the budget deficit than the average citizen. Those who are severely disabled will pay nineteen times more.

Disabled people have been forced to report the UK Government to the UN CRPD committee for human rights violations. They in turn have launched an inquiry into possible grave or systemic violations of “disabled people’s human rights.”

The following demands from Equal Lives, Inclusion London, Disabled People Against Cuts and the Alliance for Inclusive Education, if implemented, will bring the UK Government back in line with its obligations to the UN CRPD and ensure disabled people enjoy equal rights with non-disabled people:

1. Reverse the decision to close the Independent Living Fund (ILF) in June and plan to open it up again to new recipients.
2. Abolish the Bedroom Tax.
3. Announce the scrapping of Work Capability Assessments and suspend assessments.
4. Work with Disabled People’s Organisations (DPOs) to re-focus employment of disabled people to removing disabling barriers and ensuring workforces in public and private sector reflect the diversity of the community by age, disability, race, gender, sexuality, etc.
5. Move the Office for Disability Issues out of DWP and into the Cabinet office and appoint disabled peo¬ple from Disabled People’s Organisations (DPOs) to key posts.
6. Engage with Disabled People’s Organisations (DPOs) to co-produce an action plan to implement the UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (CRPD) and the Interpretative Declaration. Remove all reservations.
7. Invite the UN inquiry team into the UK so they can carry out their investigation into human rights abuses of disabled people.
8. Fund mental health based on parity of esteem to address the short term crisis while longer term solu¬tions are sorted.
9. Scrap benefit sanctions.
10. Restore funding to the NHS and local authorities for children’s and adult social care to 2010 levels and up rated for inflation.
11. Reverse cuts to Access to Work and expand its remit and scope.
12. Stop all new Special Free Schools/Academy applications and begin a plan to revert existing Free schools and Academies to Local Authority control.
13. Stop the plan to cut Disabled Students Allowance.
14. Review equality legislation and work with DPOs to draft disability civil rights legislation with real scrutiny and enforcement by DPOs.
15. Plan a programme of affordable public house building and ensure all new homes are accessible and built to Life Time homes specifications.
16. For disabled people renting in the private sector the level of Local Housing Allowance paid must re¬flect the costs of their additional needs and no longer be restricted to the 30th percentile of Broad Market Rental Area rents.
17. Repeal changes to Legal Aid in England & Wales to ensure that Disabled people and all other groups have equal access to the justice system and all are equal under the rule of law”.

Tracey Lazard, CEO, Inclusion London said

“Disabled people have been hit harder than most by austerity. We have seen the hard won progress towards our equality and inclusion systematically undermined and weakened by a plethora of cuts that are stripping away our quality of life, dignity and independence. Meeting these 17 demands will begin to restore fairness and justice for Disabled people and mark the moment Government starts working with us and not against us “
A DPAC spokesperson said
”Over the past 5 years disabled people’s human rights have been systematically destroyed by vicious and unjust ConDem policies. We are now asking for these demands to be met within the first 100 days of a new government to start the long the road to reclaiming those rights and to begin to rebuild our lives.”

Notes

Press/TV/Radio: Interviews are available with Mark Harrison, CEO Equal Lives: 07825 600195 or 07979 400564

About Equal Lives
Equal Lives is a user-led human rights organisation supporting all disabled people in Norfolk. It was formed in 1996 by groups of disabled people in Norfolk. The organisation is led by a Board of Trustees all of whom are disabled people and elected by and from its membership. The organisation undertakes a wide range of services including:
• Comprehensive advice that covers all Department of Work and Pensions benefits relating to illness and disability. We offer support, advice and information to families and carers of disabled people
• Providing advice and support to people considering or using Personal Budgets or Direct payments in Norfolk
• Support for vulnerable adults and juveniles detained in police custody
• Advocacy support for users of mental health services to make sure that their views and concerns are heard by others
• Advice and support to people considering or using Direct Payments in Suffolk with our Suffolk Independent Living service
• Projects and activities with our membership and others to work towards achieving Equal Lives

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

Scorpio: The Sting is now on Facebook

Scorpio Facebook Cover Photo

Scorpio is now on Facebook.

Scorpio has written pithy and edgy comment about current disability issues in the Coalition magazine for the last twenty years.

Now, with modern technology, Scorpio can share his musings, anger and insightfulness at the press of a button, rather than waiting for the quarterly magazine to give him a platform.

Check your boots!

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

 

 

 

Bolton Voluntary and Community Sector Forum – Wednesday 13th May, 12:30pm at The Bolton Hub

Bolton Voluntary and Community Sector Forum have their next meeting on -Wednesday 13th May, 12:30pm at The Bolton Hub

The agenda includes:
• Lynne Ridsdale, Bolton Council, who will give a short update on the Council savings and the latest news from the Council;
• Kathryn Carr, Bolton Council, who will give a short update on the latest Town Centre developments;
• Michelle Horrocks, Bolton Council and Jon Lord, Bolton at Home, who will give a presentation about Housing in Bolton;
• Tony Stephenson, who will speak about the current projects of Emmaus;
• The latest news on Funding and Training Opportunities from Helen Tomlinson;
• Update from the Vision Partnership and selection of Voluntary Sector Representative.

If you have any queries, please contact Jackie Gildert on 01204 546020 or
Email: jackie@boltoncvs.org.uk.

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

Work Capability Assessment Action Group meeting – Tuesday 12th May

The next Work Capability Assessment Action Group meeting will be held on Tuesday 12 May 10am-12pm
Church House, (5th Floor), 90 Deansgate, Manchester, M3 2GH
An alliance of organisations and individuals who campaign to reform or replace Work Capability Assessments
All welcome – please let them now on comms@wcaactiongroup.org.uk first.
You can find lots more useful information about the group & the excellent work they are doing at:http://www.wcaactiongroup.org.uk/

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

 

Centre for Welfare Reform report on disabled people and cuts

The Centre for Welfare Reform have published a new report that demonstrates the effects of governmenst spending cuts have directly affected disabled people’s lives.

It can be read here

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

New Report Published by ADWUK

ADWUK have worked with a group of Disabled People’s Organisations to produce a report on the Government’s Access to Work programme. The report contains recommendations on how to improve the programme and calls on all political parties to commit to doubling the numbers using Access to Work in 3 years.

The report can be found here

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

 

 

Young Disabled Women’s Group

Young Disabled Women's Group

Young Disabled Women’s Group held monthly at GMCDP’s office. The group is for young disabled women based in Manchester (15-25yrs). This week the group is looking at everyday sexism – and some of campaigns by women’s groups If you would like to come and get involved.

The group meets monthly on the first Saturday of the month. The next meeting is Saturday 2nd May 2015, from 10am-12pm

Please contact Greater Manchester Coalition of Disabled People’s office on 0161 636 7534 or email to: info@gmcdp.com

Stockport Advice and Information for Life (SAIL) is now online

SAIL is a new service in Stockport that offers information and advice

Their website is up here

www.sailadvice.org.uk

For more information email: info@sailadvice.org.uk

Stockport Advice and Informaition for Life (SAIL) is a partnership of 9 local organisations in Stockport

  • Stockport District Citizens Advice Bureau
  • Stockport Metropolitan Borough Council
  • Age UK Stockport
  • Disability Stockport
  • Stockport FLAG
  • Signpost Stockport for Carers
  • Stockport and District Mind
  • Stockport without Abuse

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

Signed performance of Woman In Black at the Lowry

The Woman in Black is a gripping theatrical exploration of terror, ‘a masterpiece’ (The Guardian), thrilling audiences of all ages with its unique blend of suspense, drama and bold stagecraft.Everybody in the theatre can hear you scream!Now celebrating 25 years in the West End, The Woman in Black is ‘a marvellous exercise in tension, spun from perfectly paced storytelling’ (the independent) that has enthralled over 7 million people since its original debut.Signed performance Thursday 30th April 7.30pm
28 April 2015 to 2 May 2015 7.30pm, Wed, Thur & Sat 2pm£21 – £29 (includes £2 booking fee)How to book:Tickets are bookable online via www.thelowry.com
Alternatively, please visit us in person or contact box office by:
Telephone: 0843 208 6000
Fax: 0161 876 2001
Email: info@thelowry.com(GMCDP does not necessarily support or promote any organisation, individual or website in this post.)

NSUN Members Mental Health Manifesto

With the general election approaching on the 7th May, NSUN has produced a Members’ Manifesto setting out what the next government should do based on what our members have told NSUN. Read the full Manifesto here.

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

Shaping Our Lives conference in York – with £50 involvement payment

Last year Shaping Our Lives was supported by the Joseph Rowntree Foundation to hold a discussion with disabled people about disability policy and issues raised in the 2011 Viewpoint report by Jenny Morris.

Shaping Our Lives want to know if the issues and challenges for disabled people had changed since the report was published.

They found that disabled people were very concerned about government rhetoric and policy undermining the welfare state and the real meaning of Independent Living for disabled people; the devaluing of diversity and the contribution it can make; cuts to collective services and increasing barriers to employment. You can read the notes from this meeting here, copy and paste into browser (http://www.shapingourlives.org.uk/ourpubs.html#Rethinking ).

After the discussion, people asked if there could be more debate on how the disabled people’s movement could help to put right some of their concerns and reflect the values of disabled people. So Shaping Our Lives is having another meeting to look at:
• Effective campaigning around issues such as welfare reform and unemployment.
• Taking control of our language and redefining what Independent Living means for disabled people now and in the future.
• Promoting the contribution of disabled people in society and building strength through solidarity.

This event is FREE and reasonable travel and support costs will be funded. They are also offering an involvement payment of £50.

Who should attend?
This event is for people with lived experience as disabled people and service users and who want to see positive changes in society.

What to do next?
There are limited places at this meeting so please save your place by e mailing us. ( see below)

Shaping Our Lives

For inquiries please contact: Eamon Andrews at e mail below

or on 07852 727149
Link: eamon@shapingourlives.org.uk

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

New BAME LGBT youth worker in post

LGBT North West have a new youth worker in post. Chloe Cousins says the role will seek to support BAME (Black, Asian and Minority Ethnic) LGBT (Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transexual)  young people in the following ways:

* 1-2-1 support for young people
* Developing self-esteem, confidence and positive self image
* Development of an online space for BAME LGBT young people
* Development of a physical group and meeting space for BAME LGBT young people
* Project and issue based work
* Raising the awareness of peers about LGBT issues and experiences
* Encouraging peers to create safe and inclusive spaces where LGBT people can feel safe to be themselves
* Advocacy in BAME and faith based communities on behalf of BAME LGBT young people and raising awareness to issues and experiences of BAME LGBT people

Support is available for young people in Manchester and Greater Manchester.

Please contact Chloe on  chloe@lgbtynw.org.uk to discuss how this role can support young people within your organisations, projects, schools and colleges.

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

Manchester Airport guide to facilities for disabled people

Manchester Airport have developed a guide for their facilities for disabled people

They can be accessed by following this link

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

Spectrum C.I.L’s disabled people’s manifesto

In the lead up to this year’s General Election on 7th May, SPECTRUM has been working with their sister organisations across the South East of the UK to develop a Manifesto focused on the needs and aspirations of Disabled People.

You can view the priority copy of this Disability Manifesto, by clicking www.SpectrumCIL.co.uk

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

Instructability – free Gym Instructor course for disabled people

Instructability is a free Gym Instructor course starts in April 2015 at the Manchester Aquatics Centre, Manchester.  Applications are open to all disabled people. Applicants must be able to commit to all training and a 12 weeks placement

For more information, visit the website here

http://www.instructability.org.uk/

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

New factsheet on Voting In Elections

GMCDP has written a new factsheet about Voting In Elections.

Available here

WCA Action Group – Information shared at/after last week’s meeting

Petition – Reform the Cruel Sanctions Regime

https://campaign.goingtowork.org.uk/petitions/reform-the-cruel-sanctions-regime

Housing Crisis Art Gallery mentioned in the meeting

http://www.langdalegallery.uk/

New Approach Abolish & Replace the WCA

http://newapproachuk.org

Assessing the Assessors

http://www.centreforwelfarereform.org/library/by-date/assessing-the-assessors.html

Manchester DPAC email: manchesterdpac@gmail.com

Manchester DPAC Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/groups/MDPAC/

Lobby/meeting in advance of General Election with Kate Green Shadow Minister for Disabled people TBA last half of April in Urmston.

WTUC Sack Esther McVey May 1st: Transport can be arranged.
The Wirral TUC sack Esther McVey CAMPAIGN is doing a special campaign day on May Day May 1st, in west Wirral and in the evening we are trying to hold
a social in the evening and John SCOTT the comedian from Newcastle has agreed to do a spot & comedian Laurence Clark and we are in discussions with EQUITY.
Alec McFadden alec_stuc@hotmail.com
Secretary Wirral TUC

Ceasefire: Now supported by the anti-austerity alliance: SNP, Plaid Cymru, Green Party.
Groups from across the whole spectrum of disability campaigning have come together to call for a CEASEFIRE – until this is sorted out.
We call for an immediate truce during which the following practices are ended, while a new programme is co-produced with disabled people and carers – STOP * the use of sanctions * timing people out * means testing * bedroom tax for disabled people * repeated assessments We also suggest that – * anyone can use the current Work Programme – but only on an opt-in basis and without sanctions

http://carerwatch.com/emergency-call-for-ceasefire-in-welfare-reforms-2/
http://ntn.al/bd1

Black Triangle: Regs 29 & 35
The doctors’ union has finally agreed to tell every GP in the country about two regulations that campaigners believe could protect disabled people facing the controversial “fitness for work” test. Activists have been trying since August 2012 to persuade the British Medical Association (BMA) to inform GPs about the regulations, part of the rules that shape the work capability assessment (WCA), which tests eligibility for employment and support allowance (ESA). The grassroots, user-led group Black Triangle (BT) believes that many GPs are still not aware of the regulations. The rules state that a claimant should not be found fit for work (regulation 29), or placed in the ESA work-related activity group (regulation 35), if such a decision would pose “a substantial risk” to their “mental or physical health”.
http://www.disabilitynewsservice.com/doctors-union-finally-agrees-to-spread-the-word-on-life-saving-wca-rules/
http://wp.me/p1B02C-mdg

Mental Health Resistance Network (MHRN) Facebook

https://www.facebook.com/pages/Mental-Health-Resistance-Network/479666938752033?ref=ts&fref=ts

Recent victory & controversial Judge spying on activists (with DWP help?)

http://www.disabilitynewsservice.com/activist-felt-violated-after-judge-used-google-to-compile-dossier/

Maximus
Documentary about their activities in Australia https://youtu.be/KM7bkPIRZQ4
Humiliation for them in UK http://www.disabilitynewsservice.com/humiliation-greets-maximus-in-first-week-of-wca-delivery/
Moving On & Security for Activists https://youtu.be/KM7bkPIRZQ4

Stockport Council Seek Your Views On Preventative Commissioning

To help us plan services and support that are a good match with what people in Stockport need, Stockport Council and NHS Stockport CCG are welcoming comments, ideas and feedback on the following themes:

– Ageing healthily and well
– Carers’ health and wellbeing
– Quality of life for people with a disability

Follow the link to go to the survey

https://stockport-haveyoursay.citizenspace.com/commissioning/preventative-commissioning

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

Enil Assess Progress Towards Independent Living in the European Union

Enil have released a press release  that considers the action taken by the European Union to implement the rights of people with disabilities under Article 19 (living independently and being included in the community) of the UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities. It seeks to provide the Committee on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities with information that will be of assistance when assessing the extent to which the EU has complied with its obligations under Article 19.

For more information, visit the site

http://www.enil.eu/recommended-readings-2/enil-eccl-shadow-report-on-the-implementation-of-article-19-of-the-un-crpd-in-the-eu/

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

Research into benefit sanctions

New research aims to understand the effectiveness of benefit sanctions for different groups of people accessing the welfare system. Independent researchers from six UK universities are looking for people to take part.

Find out more at welfareconditionality.ac.uk or contact Katy Jones on 0161 295 5078

or by email – k.e.jones@salford.ac.uk

 

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

New production of Blood Wedding with creative BSL interpretation

Picture for Blood Wedding

This spring, there is a new version of Lorca’s Blood Wedding touring across the UK, directed by Jenny Sealey MBE. The show will be visiting the Liverpool Everyman from 21 – 25 April. As with all Graeae shows, all performances will use a creative combination of BSL interpretation, captioning and audio description, and a cast made up of Deaf and disabled actors as well as non-disabled actors.

David Ireland’s radical new take on Lorca’s play re-fuels this classic story with a contemporary twist. Jenny Sealey and David Ireland push this tale of searing lust, love and rebellion to its limits. When young lovers are overrun with passion, infatuation and defiance – the consequences are explosive.
Blood Wedding includes a creative combination of BSL interpretation, captioning and audio description. The play contains scenes of an adult and sexual nature and strong languag
e.

Tour dates (click on name of venue to visit their website and book tickets):

Dundee Rep
Wed 4 March – Sat 14 March

Derby Theatre
Tue 17 March – Sat 28 March

Beacon Arts Centre, Greenock
Wed 1 April – Fri 3 April

Traverse Theatre, Edinburgh
Wed 8 April – Sat 11 April

New Wolsey Theatre, Ipswich
Tue 14 April – Thu 16 April

Liverpool Everyman
Tue 21 April – Sat 25 April

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

Motability Big Event In Manchester

On Friday 8 and Saturday 9 May, Motability are holding an event at Event City in Manchester.

It is showcasing the vehicles, adaptions, scooters and power chairs available through the Motability scheme.

The event is free, and publicity says:

  • “It’s the UK’s largest display of vehicles available on the Motability Scheme
  • Motability advisors and adaptation specialists on hand to answer questions
  • Free entry and freee parking
  • Test drives available in a range of automatic cars fitted with popular driving adaptations
  • free kids entertainment, a free cup of tea or coffee and a free prize draw to win a iPad mini”

For more information about the event go to:

The Big Event

(Posted 26 March 2015.)

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

Report On Affect Of Council Cuts

The Joseph Rowntree Foundation has produced a report on the extent and affect of local council cuts around the UK. It will be no surprise to many working in the voluntary sector that the report shows those least able to deal with reduction in or closure in services are those most affected.

Find the report at:

The cost of the cuts: the impact on local government and poorer communities

(Posted 25 March 2015.)
(GMCDP does not necessarily support or promote any organisation, individual or website mentioned in this post.)

Hurray! Scorpio is back!

Maximus – a liar and a thief?

“St Maximus the Confessor was born in c580. He was a controversial theologian who had his tongue cut out and his right hand chopped off. Now in some cultures this would have identified him as a liar and a thief. Maximus, however, was neither. His punishment was for what the authorities believed to have been repeated blasphemy.

“Maximus Inc the company that has replaced (couldn’t give) Atos in delivering the Work Capability Assessment shares a history of controversy with its sainted namesake.

“The company with the motto ‘our commitment to serving people is boundless’ has a somewhat chequered history, especially when it comes to telling the truth…”

Read more at:

http://scorpiothesting.com/

Scorpio has written pithy and edgy comment about current disability issues in the Coalition magazine for the last twenty years.

Now, with modern technology, Scorpio can share his musings, anger and insightfulness at the press of a button, rather than waiting for the Coalition magazine to give him a platform.

Each week, during April 2015, Scorpio has promised to give us his views on a current topic … so watch

this space …

and keep coming back!

(Posted 24 March 2015.)

Question Over Payment Of Care Costs In Tameside

Over the weekend, the BBC reported a case from Tameside in which the Local Government Ombudsman (LGO) has questioned Tameside’s policy relating to charging for ‘care’ services.

Tony Cryer took his case to the Ombudsman after Tameside said his mother would have to move if contributions were not made to the cost of her care. As Age UK said her health would be affected by moving, Tony Cryer paid an extra £88 a week during the year before his Mother died.

Tameside Council have not acted upon the Ombudsman’s recommendations to pay back the money and review over 100 more cases.

You can see the story at:

Tameside Council at fault for ignoring Ombudsman’s advice: BBC News

(Posted 24 March 2015.)
(GMCDP does not necessarily support or promote any organisation, individual or website mentioned in this post.)

Campaign Resource On Benefit Sanctions

Church Action on Poverty have produced information and resources for people who wish to raise this issue with their MP or to campaign in other ways.

To find the resources, go to:

Act – Church Action On Poverty

(Posted 24 March 2015.)
(GMCDP does not necessarily support or promote any organisation, individual or website mentioned in this post.)

Maximus Work Programme – Experiences Sought

Disabled People Against Cuts (DPAC) are looking for people who has experienced Maximus as the provider of a work programme they have been on. They would like people to contact them to let them know what the experience was like.

Find out more on the DPAC webpage:

Call out for your experiences of Maximus and the work programme

(Posted 3 February 2014.)

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

New Guidance For Public Sector Equality Duty Compliance

The Equality and Human Rights Commission (EHRC) has written new guidelines for public sector organisations; which must meet expectations under the Public Sector Equality Duty (PSED).

The PSED intends to make sure that public sector organisations – that is local authorities, the NHS and police – consider how their plans will affect people with protected characteristics.

Protected characteristics are: “the grounds upon which discrimination is unlawful. The characteristics are: age, disability, gender reassignment, marriage and civil partnership, pregnancy and maternity, race, religion or belief, sex and sexual orientation.”

To find out more about the guidance, go to the EHRC webpage:

Monitoring and Enforcement

(Posted 3 February 2014.)

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

New Poverty Monitor Resource Launched

The Greater Manchester Poverty Action Group has launched this new resource. The Monitor measures poverty throughout Greater Manchester and shows the experiences of Greater Manchester residents living below the poverty line.

The Monitor has a set of interactive charts and maps. It also has a report giving details of living with poverty from the perspectives of people affected by poverty.

Results show that Greater Manchester is behind England, and more specifically the North West, in terms of poverty. The belief that a job is the quickest way to come out of poverty is also questioned by the evidence. Figures show there is a noticeable difference in economic growth across Greater Manchester districts.

Find the Monitor on the Greater Manchester Poverty Action Group webpage:

Poverty in Greater Manchester – November 2014

(Posted 3 February 2014.)

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

 

Potentially Dangerous Amendment To Bill For Disabled Women

It has come to GMCDP’s attention that the new Serious Crime Bill, which criminalises more aspects of domestic violence, including “coercive control”, may not apply as strongly to disabled people experiencing this abuse.  The Bill makes it illegal to exert financial, emotional or psychological control, so could include a very wide range of abusive situations.

An amendment has been introduced by the government which allows a partner who is also classed as a ‘carer’ to say they were acting in their partner’s ‘best interests’ as a defence. The defence hangs on 2 tests: (1.) if the defendant believes they were acting in their partner’s “best interest” and (2.) if the defendant’s behaviour was “in all the circumstances reasonable.”

There is much research which shows that disabled people, and disabled women in particular, face a higher risk of experiencing abuse than non-disabled women and men.

Although not written in language GMCDP would condone, for more detail, see the Guardian newspaper article:

Women with disability excluded from domestic abuse law, say campaigners

or see the following blog from a law firm:

Domestic abuse exemption for partners of disabled women

(Posted 3 February 2014.)

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

Launch of 4PI National Involvement Standards

At their AGM on 29 January, the National Service User Network (NSUN) launched the 4PI National Standards for Service User Involvement, developed by the National Involvement Partnership (NIP).

NIP supports service users and carers to get involved in the planning, delivery and evaluation of the services and support they use for their mental health and wellbeing. It is funded by the Department of Health

NSUN leads the Partnership, which includes Social Perspectives Network and Afiya Trust. NIP was formed as part of the contract to provide Service User and Carer Involvement to the work of theNational Mental Health Development Unit (NMHDU), which was closed due to funding cuts in 2012. Since when, NIP has been developing as an independent entity.

NIP drew up the basic principles which were launched last week, to “encourage people to think of involvement in terms of purpose, presence, process and impact (4PI)” – published as the 4PI National Involvement Standards.

For more information, go to:

National Involvement Partnership

(Posted 3 February 2015.)

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

New ‘Access Card’

A social enterprise run by disabled people – Nimbus – has set up a scheme enabling disabled people to have a card which discretely informs venues of their access requirements.

A disabled person pays £15 for a card which is valid for 3 years. The card is gained by having an assessment to establish access requirements according to guidance under the Equality Act.

A number of venues have already joined the scheme, including: Capital FM Arena, Barclay Card Arena and Genting Arena in Birmingham, The SSE Arena Wembley, Download Festival, IPRO Stadium, Nottingham Forest’s City Ground all O2 Academies and Glastonbury Festival.

The idea behind the scheme seems to be firstly, to enable disabled people to book tickets and have their access requirements met more easily, without having to give details of impairment every time they book, and secondly, to prevent mis-use to concessions by non-disabled people.

To find out more, go to:

Credability – Access Card

(Posted 27 January 2015.)

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

Survey of Extra Costs Faced By Disabled People and Families

The part of the charity Scope known as

The Extra Costs Commission

Has set up a survey to find out the spending/shopping habits of disabled people and families with disabled people in them. The survey says it is to find ways to reduce extra costs incurred.

You can find the survey at:

Extra Costs Survey

(Posted 27 January 2015.)

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

‘Like’ us on Facebook

Greater Manchester Coalition of Disabled People now has a Facebook page

‘Like’ us here

Urgent Call for Evidence From Westminster Protest in June 2014

Disabled People Against Cuts is asking people to come forward with evidence of what happened at the protest against the closure of the Independent Living Fund on 28 June 2014, at Westminster Abbey.

The DPAC website says:

“There is an urgent need to speak to people who were at the Westminster Abbey action on 28th June last year, and did any of the following:

  • Took notes on the day (particularly if they cover both before police came, and afterwards);
  • Were asked to give any kind of formal statement (this could include any stop and search, or being required to give details such as name and address) by police;
  • Have still or video images of the event (again, particularly if these cover both before and after police came);
  • If you were refused passage through the police cordon (particularly what reasons were given for this by police).

If any of these apply to you, please get in touch by emailing – mail@dpac.uk.net

(Posted 26 January 2015.)

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

2 March –Protest In Manchester Against Maximus

Maximus is the company which is taking over some of the contracts to assess applicants for Employment and Support Allowance and Personal Independence Payments.

Disabled People Against Cuts has called for a national day of action against Maximus on 2 March.

Details from the organisers of the protest in Manchester are:

“There will be a demonstration against Maximus and the Work Capability Assessment on Monday 2nd March 2015 from 12pm at Albert Bridge House, Bridge Street, Manchester, M60 9AT

The meeting point is St Mary’s Parsonage (the road/square off Bridge St on the Manchester side of Albert Bridge House),

Facebook event at:

https://www.facebook.com/events/346833825508275

(Posted 26 January 2015.)

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

Neville Strowger – Celebration Of His Life

There will be a Celebration of Neville’s life on Wednesday 28th January at 11:30am.

The Celebration will be in the Banqueting Suite on the 2nd floor of Leigh Sports Village. There are two lifts to the 2nd floor. The service at the crematorium is for family only. Neville’s family have asked for no flowers.

The full address and directions are on the GMCDP webpage:

Details of Neville’s Celebration

(Posted 26 January 2015.)

New, Exciting project At GMCDP

GMCDP is setting up a project to work with young disabled people across Greater Manchester aged 18-30.

The project will offer volunteering opportunities within the areas of GMCDP’s work and organisation which are of interest to those involved in the project.

We want young disabled people who are interested in getting involved in the project to contact us.

You can contact Louise, who is co-ordinating the project, by:

Phone 0161 636 7534

mobile for texts 07508 537561

Email LHollingworth@gmcdp.com

A steering group of young disabled people is overseeing and leading the project; and ensuring all aspects agreed by the sub-group are delivered.

The project is being funded by a legacy left to GMCDP by Kevin Hyett, a founder member and treasurer of GMCDP, who passed away in March 2004. A subgroup of Kevin’s friends was established to advise GMCDP’s Executive Council on how the fund could be used in line with Kevin’s interests; and this project is the outcome.

(Posted 26 January 2015.)

 

Consultation on Future of Major Trauma Services in Greater Manchester

A consultation session is being held on

Tuesday 3rd March, 10am – 3pm,

at the Greater Manchester Fire and Rescue Service Training Centre, Cassidy Close, Manchester. M4 5HU

The event is organised by the North of England Specialist Commissioning Team. It is to seek the views of people who have experienced major trauma, their families, and services that support people who have experienced major trauma (e.g. serious injury from head injuries, traffic accident, gun-shot wounds).

For more information about the proposals for Major Trauma services in the future, go to:

http://bestcaregm.nhs.uk/majortrauma

For more information about the event, contact Michelle Davies michelle.davies9@nhs.net

(Posted 21 January 2015.)
(GMCDP does not necessarily support or promote any organisation, individual or website mentioned in this post.)

Updated Guide on Personal Independence Payment Available

The benefitsandwork.co.uk website have updated their guidance on claiming Personal Independence Payment (PIP).

The guide includes information about dealing with:

  • The increase in the use of Employment and Support Allowance assessments for PIP claims and vice versa.
  • Phone calls replacing face to face assessments.
  • Decision-makers no longer calling unsuccessful claimants.
  • And more.

If you are thinking of applying, or in the process of applying for PIP, contact the GMCDP office and we can support you to obtain a copy of the guide. Please phone 0161 636 7533 (information line) or emailinfo@gmcdp.com .

(Posted 16 January 2014.)
(GMCDP does not necessarily support or promote any organisation, individual or website mentioned in this post.)

New Guidance for Choice of Mental Health Services

As of April 2014, patients of mental health services have had the same right to choose which service to use as those using physical health services.

The NHS has produced new guidance for professionals, GPs and health commissioners supporting patients to choose which service to use.

This guidance is available at:

As soon as GMCDP finds guidance for patients we will put a link to it on this website.

(Posted 16 January 2014.)
(GMCDP does not necessarily support or promote any organisation, individual or website mentioned in this post.)

Celebrating 30 Years Of GMCDP

To celebrate GMCDP’s 30th anniversary this year, Martin Pagel is producing a book telling the story of GMCDP by looking at the changes GMCDP has made in people’s lives.

Martin is interested in the influence GMCDP has had on all areas of people’s lives, but particular themes may be: access, independence, employment, training, personal development, peer support, relationships … sex, drugs and rock and roll!

So, why not spend the time stuck in with bad weather in January and February reminiscing, writing or drawing your memories, dig out old photos, write a poem or any other way you want to share your story (which can go in a book).

(Posted 16 January 2015.)

Hate Crime Awareness Week in Manchester

Manchester Hate Crime Awareness Week is from 26 January to 7 February 2015.

To find out more, go to:

Hate Crime Week 26 January – 7 February 2015

To find out more about hate crime and reporting hate crime, go to:

Stop Hate UK

Disability Hate Crime – Report It – True Vision

Crown Prosecution Service Disability Hate Crime Action Plan

disabilityhatecrime.org.uk

(Posted 15 January 2015.)
(GMCDP does not necessarily support or promote any organisation, individual or website mentioned in this post.)

Tameside Diversity Festival

From Monday 19 to Sunday 25 January, Tameside is holding its first Diversity Festival to coincide with Hate crime Awareness Week 2015. There will be events across the district celebrating the diverse communities living in Tameside.

For more information, go to:

Tameside Diversity Festival 2015

(Posted 15 January 2015.)
(GMCDP does not necessarily support or promote any organisation, individual or website mentioned in this post.)

Mental Health and the Equality Act

The National Survivor User Network (NSUN) is raising awareness of how people experiencing mental distress / ill health are covered by the Equality Act.

NSUN are directing people to a brief explanation, with links to more information, on the gov.uk webpage:

When a mental health condition becomes a disability 

Note: GMCDP would not use the word ‘disability’ in this context. GMCDP would say that the word ‘impairment’ is applicable here; as ‘disability’ means the barriers and discrimination disabled people face in society.

(Posted 15 January 2014.)
(GMCDP does not necessarily support or promote any organisation, individual or website mentioned in this post.)

Not Dead Yet Protest – 16 January

Don’t forget, this Friday, Not Dead Yet UK and Care Not Killing have organised a protest outside the House of Lords (see below for details).

As many people cannot make it to London on this day, the protest will partly consist of 80 placards of people’s pictures and their comments.

To find out more, go to:

Not Dead Yet UK News

(Posted 14 January 2015.)
(GMCDP does not necessarily support or promote any organisation, individual or website mentioned in this post.)

Benefits and Work Website Survey

Benefitsandwork.co.uk is asking benefit claimants to complete their short survey.

The survey covers 2 questions:

“whether, as a claimant or carer, you think life has got better or worse under the Coalition.”

“whether you voted in the last election and whether you plan to vote in the upcoming one – and why?”

The survey is anonymous. Results will be in the next benefitsandwork.co.uk newsletter.

Find the survey at:

General Election Survey

(Posted 14 January 2014.)
(GMCDP does not necessarily support or promote any organisation, individual or website mentioned in this post.)

Experiences Sought for Campaign to Improve Acute Mental Health Care

Hannah MacDonald, with the support of the National User Survivor Network (NSUN) is gathering evidence to present to policy-makers and commissioners.

She aims to promote the improvement of acute crisis care in acute in-patient wards.

Hannah is asking people either to complete a survey or send her your story.

For more information, link to the survey and Hannah’s contact, go to:

Members’ Board: NSUN

(Posted 14 January 2014.)
(GMCDP does not necessarily support or promote any organisation, individual or website mentioned in this post.)

Sad News

Many people will already know that Neville Strowger, one of the founder members of GMCDP, died unexpectedly on 7 January.

Our thoughts are with Neville’s wife, Dorothy,, and his children and grandchildren, as well as the many friends who Neville was dear to.

There is a tribute to Neville on the GMCDP website at:

Neville Strowger – An Appreciation

If you would like to add your memories and tributes, please email to: info@gmcdp.com or ring 0161 636 7533 and ask to speak to Linda.

(Posted 13 January 2015.)

Don’t Forget! Have Your Say on Manchester City Council’s Budget

Manchester City Council has launched the main consultation on their 2015-17 budget options, plus a number of individual consultations on some parts of the budget.

Manchester Community Central has produced a briefing paper about the expected cuts to voluntary sector services (included in Consultation 2 listed below). The briefing paper is at:

Briefing No 1 on voluntary sector cuts in Manchester

The deadline for the consultation on budgets for services provided by the Children and Families directorate is Monday 26 January.

This includes:

  • voluntary and community sector (general and adult social care funding),
  • mental health,
  • youth and play,
  • children and young people,
  • homelessness and housing-related support,
  • drug and alcohol services,
  • wellbeing services, and
  • sexual health services.

The deadline for comments on the main consultation is Wednesday 18 February 2015.

To find out more and give your views, go to the Manchester City Council webpage:

Budget 2015/17

(Posted 6 January 2015.)

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

Not Dead Yet Lobby – Friday 16 January 2015

The Falconer Assisted Dying Bill is having a second day in committee in the House of Lords on Friday 16 January. This means the Bill will be discussed and amended before going to a third stage vote in the Lords.

Not Dead Yet campaigners have told GMCDP it is felt that there is not enough time left in this Parliament for the Bill to go through the Lords, the commons, and then be passed.  However it is felt that it will be introduced early in the next government and it will then have the time to get passed. Not Dead Yet will be there at each stage to protest against the Bill.

A protest is being organised from 10:00am – 12:00pm, in Old Palace Yard, opposite Parliament (SW1A 0AA)

There will be 80 banners from disabled people from all over the UK. Their pictures and words will be held aloft, opposite the Lords, to remind them that there is substantial opposition to the Bill.

For more information, go to the Care Not Killing webpage:

Falconer Bill in Committee

(Posted 12 January 2014.)

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

2 March – Day of Action Against Maximus

Disabled People Against Cuts are calling for a national day of action against Maximus on 2 March. Maximus is the firm taking over Work Capability Assessments from Atos.

Disabled People Against Cuts are asking people all around the country to organise protests outside Maximus offices.

For more information, and links to find Maximus offices, go to:

Disabled claimants welcome to Maximus: March 2, everywhere

(Posted 12 January 2014.)

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

‘Election looming – Fight now for Legal Aid and Advice’

This event is on Saturday 7 February 2015, 10:30am – 3:00pm at: The Mechanics Institute, 103 Princess Street, Manchester M1 6DD.

Justice Alliance North is organising this FREE event to bring together everyone willing to help fight the cuts in funding for legal aid and advice in the run up to the General Election.

The event is for people to get together to plan for:

  • targeted lobbying of election candidates, MPs and councillors, to stop and reverse the cuts;
  • organising campaign actions and publicity;
  • getting more public support for comprehensive publicly funded legal advice and representation services.

Also to share updates and information on issues: domestic violence, welfare reform, poverty, mental health, disability, immigration, judicial reviews, criminal legal aid, and what actions to take to fight for advice in these areas.

The Mechanics Institute is wheelchair accessible.

Let organisers know about any specific access and support needs, or any difficulty with travel costs.

Book a place in advance by emailing:

northernsavejustice@gmail.com

(Posted 12 January 2014.)

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

New Under 30s Group in Stockport

This new group is for people living in Stockport who are 18 – 30 years old and experiencing mental health issues.

The group offers support around mental health issues in a safe, and often fun, environment.

The group meets on Tuesdays between 3.00 – 5.00pm at SPARC (Stockport Progress and Recovery Centre).

You need to contact Judith before going to the group. You can contact Judith by:

Phone 0161 429 9744

Mobile 07440 728640

(Posted 12 January 2014.)

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

Campaign to Save the Independent Living Fund Continues

Many disabled people met in London yesterday to protest against the closure of the Independent Living Fund in June this year.

Katie Cragg, Assistant Project Worker in the Including Young Disabled People Project at GMCDP said:

“It was a fantastic atmosphere; and great to show our dissatisfaction with cuts to the Independent Living Fund by getting together and blocking Whitehall”.

You can see a video on the Channel 4 website at:

Disability protesters campaign over funding cuts video

(Posted 7 January 2014.)

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

Survey – What Disabled People Want From Sports Stadia

The Department of Work and Pensions has set up a survey to find out what disabled people’s experiences are of spectator sports.

Find the survey at:

Disabled People’s experiences of spectator sports

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

New Human Rights Resource for Young People

The Equality and Human Rights Commission has a new website for young people. It describes children’s and young people’s rights under the Convention on the Rights of the Child.

To find out more, go to:

Young People’s Rights and the CRC

(Posted 6 January 2015.)
(GMCDP does not necessarily support or promote any organisation, individual or website mentioned in this post.)

Campaign Against Falconer Bill Continues

The Assisted Dying Bill tabled by Lord Falconer continues its way through the House of Lords in 2015.

On 16 January the Committee Stage will press on, in which the Bill is debated line by line.

Care Not Killing and Not Dead Yet UK and many disabled and non-disabled people are continueing their campaign against the Bill, which includes an action on that day.

GMCDP will let you know more about the action as soon as we know.

For background on the Bill, go to the Care Not Killing web page:

Falconer Bill in Committee

(Posted 6 January 2015.)
(GMCDP does not necessarily support or promote any organisation, individual or website mentioned in this post.)

Join in GMCDP’s 30th Anniversary!

To celebrate GMCDP’s 30th anniversary this year, Martin Pagel is producing a book, telling the story of GMCDP by looking at the changes GMCDP has made in people’s lives.

Martin is interested in the influence GMCDP has had on all areas of people’s lives, but particular themes may be: access, independence, employment, training, personal development, peer support, relationships … and as Martin says … “sex, drugs and rock and roll!”

So, over the next couple of months when the weather is dismal, spend some time reminiscing, writing or drawing your memories, dig out old photos, write a poem or any other way you want to share your story to go in Martin’s book.

You can choose to not to have your name if the book if you prefer.

Send your contributions to the GMCDP office and they will be forwarded to Martin.

email: lmarsh@gmcdp.com

Post to: GMCDP, Unit 4, Windrush Millennium Centre, Moss Side, Manchester. M16 7WD.

(Posted 6 January 2015.)