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News Archive

Sometimes we know we have seen some useful news or information, but can’t remember when or where. That is why GMCDP has created this ‘news and information archive’ page, so if you have seen something on our news page you can find it again.

You can find news items from 2014

Here

You can find news items from 2015

Here

Young disabled Student not provided transport to get to school

GMCDP’s Chairperson Joe Whittaker has written a response to Stockport Council regarding a young disabled man from Stockport who is being refused taxi transport to get to school. Ben Beech has been refused the support he needs to get to and from school from his local council. Because he lives within a three mile radius of the school, Stockport council have turned down his parents’ application for taxi transport and suggested ‘a number of alternative solutions’.

A recent letter from the council’s Special Educational Needs department said a ‘shortage’ in contractors makes it difficult to find a taxi for short journeys.

More at the Manchester Evening News here

 

Letter From GMCDP Chair, Joe Whittaker:

To Stockport Council

Re: Ben Beech

It is incredible that Ben Beech and his family are being subjected to such uncertainty about, the availability of support required from Stockport Council, in order that Ben can get to and from school.

The alternatives presented by Stockport corporate service manager, appear to be totally inadequate.

It is the responsibility of the authority to arrive at a solution and make the appropriate support available for Ben to attend school.

Why is it that this young disabled person is having his enthusiasm for the start of his new school, dampened because of some arbitrary distance of 3miles and an unwillingness, on the part of the authority to negotiate a contract with a taxi company?

The issue is about discrimination of Ben because of his physical impairment.

I would strongly suggest that the Corporate manager should listen to Ben, find a solution and stop adding to the oppression of this young disabled person.

Yours.
Joe Whittaker
Chairperson
GMCDP

 

National Audit Ofice are seeking feedback on benefit sanction harm

The National Audit Office (NAO) is undertaking a study to examine whether the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) is achieving value for money from its administration of benefit sanctions.

This includes how benefit sanctions fit with the intended aims and outcomes of the DWP’s wider working age employment policy, whether sanctions are being implemented in line with policy and whether use of sanctions is leading to the intended outcomes for claimants.Tell National Audit Office of benefit sanction harm

The deadline for evidence is Autumn 2016.For more information please visit here(GMCDP does not necessarily support or promote any organisation, individual or website mentioned in this post.) 

Equality Forum at GMCDP! Sport and Disabled People

Equality Forum at GMCDP!
 
This one looks like its going to be a corker! – event link at the the bottom
 
Sport and Disabled People
18th August 2016
 
We are pleased to announce that long-time disabled athlete, campaigner and sport enthusiast, Bernard Leach, will be speaking and stimulating debate at our next Equality Forum on 18 August.
 
During the summer of another Olympics / Paralympics, let’s discuss:
 
• Whether it’s possible for disabled people to enjoy sport without being seen as ‘super crips’.
 
• Can disabled people’s sport be mainstreamed? Or is ‘segregated inclusion’ all we can expect?
 
Bernard Leach says …
 
“I got involved in the disabled people’s movement through Manchester Disability Athletes which I was introduced to by Neville Strowger in 1980. The story about how that happened is in a recent R4 broadcast (Moss Side stories, 29 May 2016, you can hear it on http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/p03wnkf6).
 
In 1981 I went down to the national disability games at Stoke Mandeville with Neville and others from the MDA club. I represented the club in swimming and was later selected to swim for Great Britain in the internationals to be held later that year… To cut a long story short, I contacted the Anti Apartheid movement and publicly withdrew from the internationals as I found out that an Apartheid-based South African team was participating. Through that I became involved in the Disabled People’s Liberation Network, the Union of Physically Impaired Against Segregation (UPIAS) and the Disabled People Against Apartheid campaign. So that’s how I became involved in disability politics
 
More recently I have become interested in the politics of disability sport again, to see whether it had changed from what I saw as the patronising and autocratic set up that I found in 1981. I have found that there is still a lot bubbling under the surface with regards to elite disability sports and that it is certainly worth discussing to try and dig a little deeper into these issues, for example:
 
• The cyborgification of the paralympics.
 
• The costs of the technology (a custom built racing wheelchair can cost over £3000).
 
• The implied hierarchy of disabilities (with wheelchair athletes at the top).
 
• The dubious objectivity of classification systems.”
 
The venue may change depending on number of people attending. But it will always be in a wheelchair accessible building in the city centre, and with public transport links.
 
Please contact us to let us know you are coming and find out where the next Forum is being held.
 
This is a great opportunity for disabled people of all ages living in Manchester to come to debate and discuss topical issues important to disabled people.
 
Come along – suggest other topics to discuss.
 
This is your discussion time!
 
*Please let us know you are coming, so we are sure we have enough space.*
 
Contact Linda by phone 0161 636 7535 or email lmarsh@gmcdp.com letting us know your access requirements.
 
Forums will be held 6:00–8:30pm on the third Thursday of each month in Unit 4 at the Windrush Millennium Centre, 70 Alexandra Road, Moss Side, M13 7WD.
 

ROFA call to build a stronger disabled people’s alliance

From Disability News Service

A campaigning alliance has called for disabled people and their organisations to join its fight to use the UN disability convention to defend attacks on their rights by the UK government.

The Reclaiming Our Futures Alliance (ROFA) was holding its third national conference in the five years since it was founded by a small group of disabled people’s organisation (DPOs) and grassroots groups.

Last week’s conference (pictured) was attended by more than 50 representatives of DPOs and groups.

The conference heard that ROFA had campaigned over the last year on issues such as cuts to Access to Work; the impact of the closure of the Independent Living Fund; cuts to employment and support allowance and personal independence payment; proposals to legalise assisted suicide; and the government’s planned cuts and reforms to disabled students’ allowance.

Over the next year, ROFA will continue to campaign on welfare reform, independent living, disability hate crime, employment and education.

More here

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

A statement from GMCDP about the appointment of Penny Mordaunt MP

Statement about Penny Mordaunt

GMCDP is deeply concerned by the appointment of Penny Mordaunt MP as the new Minister for Disabled People

The Minister is a well known supporter of legalising Assisted Suicide , which is opposed by all leading Disabled People’s Organisations in the UK

At a time when disabled people are still facing huge cuts to their support, services and benefits, we need a minister that is willing to champion our right to live.

Concern over Mordaunt’s ‘troubling’ appointment as disability minister

From Disability News Service

Disabled activists say they are “deeply concerned” by the “troubling” decision to appoint an outspoken supporter of legalising assisted suicide as the new minister for disabled people.

Penny Mordaunt was appointed minister for disabled people, health and work, in the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) this week after the sacking of Justin Tomlinson.

In an expanded brief – and at the level of minister of state, rather than junior minister – she will have responsibility for a string of divisive policy areas, including employment and support allowance (ESA), the government’s Disability Confident employment campaign, and personal independence payment, as well as for cross-government disability issues.

But Mordaunt (pictured) is a long-term advocate for changing the law to allow assisted suicide, an issue that will cause deep concern among large parts of the disabled people’s movement.

In 2010 she was appointed to the Commission on Assisted Dying, which was criticised for its bias after it was set up by the pro-assisted suicide charity Dignity in Dying with money from author Terry Pratchett and River island founder Bernard Lewis, both supporters of legalisation, and chaired by the Labour peer Lord Falconer, also a supporter of legalisation.

Mordaunt, a former director of the charity Diabetes UK, made it clear on her appointment to the commission that she was in favour of changing the law to allow assisted suicide, telling her local newspaper in Portsmouth: “My personal view is that assisted dying should be allowed for the terminally-ill.”

More here

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

Seeking Young Disabled People For Dissertation Resarch

GMCDP has been asked to circulate this informaiton

My name is Kat Henshaw, I am a post-graduate student currently studying for an MSc Marketing (communications). I am currently seeking participants for a personal research project, anyone with a physical disability would be eligible to take part. The process would involve a one-to-one interview with myself at a time and place to suit you or over Skype. The interview should take no longer than 30 minutes.

As part of my degree I am undertaking a research project centred on the representation of Disability in Advertising; as i identify as a disabled person myself, this topic is close to my heart. More specifically I am investigating why, despite the improvements that have been made in social policy for those with disabilities as a result of the social model of disability, have these practices failed to infiltrate the media and advertising industry. For the most part, these industries continue to champion the medical model of disability, focusing on impairment and characterising disability as a personal tragedy or something to be avoided.

Examples of topics discussed throughout the interview are shown below:

What does disability mean in the 21st Century?

What are the consequences of the current representation of Disability throughout advertising?

How has the increased use of Social Media effected this?

What can companies do to improve the current situation?

I am looking to collect data over the next two weeks, if you would like to take part please contact me either by phone or e-mail.
Phone: 07969870727
E-mail: katherine_henshaw6@hotmail.com

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

Pubs that do not make themselves accessible for disabled people could face closure say The House of Lords. According to a new reportargues that local authorities should refuse to renew or grant licenses for pubs who, for example, use their accessible toilets as storage, who could be running the risk of legal action under the Equality Act 2010

More here

 

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

Government’s response to Equality Act report is ‘disgusting travesty’

From Disability News Service

The government’s response to a major House of Lords inquiry into the impact of the Equality Act on disabled people – in which it appears to have accepted just eight of 55 recommendations – has been branded a “wasted opportunity”.

The crossbench disabled peer Baroness [Jane] Campbell (pictured), who was a member of the committee that carried out the nine-month inquiry, said she was “bitterly disappointed and angry” with the government’s response.

Disabled campaigner Doug Paulley, who gave evidence to the committee, described the government’s response as a “disgusting, disingenuous travesty” which “offers absolutely nothing whatsoever and treats our experiences and evidence with complete contempt”.

The committee’s report concluded, when it was published in March, that the government was failing to protect disabled people from discrimination, and that laws designed to address disability discrimination across areas including access to public buildings, housing, public spaces and public transport were “not working in practice”.

It also said that government spending cuts were having “a hugely adverse effect on disabled people”.

More here

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

GMCDP wants to know what you think of us!

Could you please complete this survey for us. Its importnat to us to know what your views are on GMCDP’s work – and what we could be doing.

If you are a disabled person – we can offer you a free year’s membership at GMCDP. Please email us at info@gmcdp.com after you complete it

Link below

Thank you

Disability Stockport Diversity Day – Tuesday 2nd August

Disability Stockport are holding their annual Diversity Day in Stockport on Tuesday 2nd August. The event is held in Mersey Square (opposite the bus station) and runs from 10.30am-4pm. There will be stalls with information from different service providers. There will also be an open day at Disability Stockport (23 High Street, Stockport) with stalls, food and drink and handmade cards & crafts

Want to know more?

Tel: 0161 480 7248

or email: email@disabilitystockport.org.uk

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

 

 

Shadow chancellor backs calls to prosecute Iain Duncan Smith over WCA deaths

From Disability News Service

Labour’s shadow chancellor has called for Iain Duncan Smith to face criminal charges over allegations that his failure to address a coroner’s concerns about the “fitness for work” test led to the deaths of disabled benefit claimants.

John McDonnell (pictured) made the call during a speech to the TUC Disabled Workers Conference in London on Friday (19 May), and his backing was reportedly greeted with enthusiasm by the audience of disabled trade unionists.

The Scottish-based grassroots group Black Triangle, backed by many other disabled activists, has led calls for the former work and pensions secretary to face a criminal investigation for misconduct in public office following his apparent refusal in 2010 to address a coroner’s concerns about the safety of the discredited work capability assessment (WCA).

They want to hold Duncan Smith and his former employment minister Chris Grayling to account in court for their failure to improve the safety of the WCA, even though they were warned that it risked causing further deaths.

More here

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

 

PIP reassessments mean 35,000 will lose Motability vehicles in 2016

From Disability News Service

Disabled people are being forced to hand back their Motability vehicles at a rate of up to 700 a week because of the government’s austerity cuts and reforms to disability benefits, according to the organisation’s own figures.

Motability expects 35,000 vehicles to be handed back by disabled people during 2016 as a result of the government’s programme to reassess people for its new disability living costs benefit, personal independence payment (PIP).

And fewer than five per cent of those customers who will have to return their vehicles to Motability this year are likely to be able to re-join the scheme after they have gone through Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) and independent appeal processes, Motability believes.

The figures show that, of Motability customers reassessed for PIP so far, 44 per cent of them have lost their entitlement to the scheme and have had to hand their vehicle back.

More here

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

Lord Mayor of Manchester presents Manchester Community History Award to Young Disabled People’s Project

Josh recieves prize

 

GMCDP’s Josh Coy accepted the Manchester Community History award from Lord Mayor Carl Austin-Behan yesterday alongside Lorna Young from the Disabled Staff Group. Members of the Young Disabled People Taking Action project had developed The Accessibles comic which won this years Manchester Community History award. Councillor Tracey Rawlings gave a speech to the chamber describing the work that young disabled people from GMCDP had done to create The Accessibles.

BBC’s Gardner ‘wants normalisation’ for disabled people’

The BBC’s disabled security correspondent has spoken of his wish for a “normalisation of disability” in society.

Frank Gardner, who was giving the third annual Jack Ashley Memorial Lecture, said he would like to see “the sharp edges of difference” between disabled and non-disabled people “sand-papered down so people don’t make a big deal about it anymore”.

He said: “What I would like to see is the normalisation of disability, that people don’t look twice at somebody who’s blind or in a wheelchair… so they are 100 per cent part of mainstream society.”

Gardner (pictured when he featured on the BBC’s Who Do You Think You Are?) told the invited audience in the state rooms used by the speaker of the House of Commons, John Bercow, about many of the daily experiences of discrimination that have frustrated him since he became disabled 12 years ago.

He described his continuing frustration with the barriers he encounters with air travel, including the ground staff who often grab him by the shoulders without asking in order to “manoeuvre” him off a plane, and how he is frequently left alone waiting for assistance at the end of a flight, long after the other passengers have disembarked.

Gardner said that many of the problems he faced were due to the “attitude” of service-providers, and that there were “a lot of areas where life could be made easier without too much difficulty”.

He also spoke of his frustration at non-disabled people who use accessible toilets, and the abuse of accessible parking bays in central London by non-disabled drivers.

He said: “For me there might as well not be a single disabled parking spot in central London because I can never find them.

“They are used by people who are able-bodied… it’s bloody annoying.”

Gardner spoke also of how he became disabled, having been shot six times and left for dead by terrorists in Saudi Arabia in 2004, and how he then spent seven months in hospital and underwent 14 operations.

He said that two things particularly helped him avoid falling into a “vortex of self-pity and despair”: the advice of a Navy psychiatrist, who told him to worry about the things he could still do and not those he would not be able to do anymore, and a letter from his bosses at BBC News which promised that his position as security correspondent would still be his when he was ready to return to work.

The lecture was hosted by Disability Rights UK (DR UK), the all-party parliamentary disability group (APPDG) and the family of the late Lord [Jack] Ashley, the former deaf MP and peer who died four years ago after nearly half a century spent fighting in parliament for disability rights and equality, and who chaired the APPDG for more than 40 years.

More here

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

Manchester Manchester University seeks help with research on the Working Well programme

Manchester Metropolitan University is conducting research on Greater Manchester’s Working Well programme (see http://www.manchester.gov.uk/news/article/6854/new_scheme_will_get_5000_working_well_in_greater_manchester).
 
This programme provides health and wellbeing support as well as helping people get into work.
 
If you have taken part in the Working Well programme, Gavin Bailey at MMU would like to do a short interview with you. Contact 0161 247 3465 (leave a message) or g.bailey@mmu.ac.uk.
 
Participation will remain confidential: your name will not be recorded, and information will not be disclosed except as anonymised quotes.
 
(GMCDP does not necessarily support or promote any organisation, individual or website mentioned in this post.)

DPAC Manchester: National Day Of Action Against Sham PIP Assessments – Wednesday 13th July

From DPAC

Atos, Maximus and Capita are literally making a killing from conducting sham assessments which are seeing thousands of legitimate claimants having their benefits refused, their incomes slashed and their motability cars removed. Whilst the success rate at tribunal is high, it is taking up to 6 months or longer for cases to be heard – leaving disabled people struggling unecessarily. Medical ‘professionals’ usually trained at public expense are deserting the NHS in order to conduct these murderous sham assessments in return for higher rates of pay. We say that all assessments should be carried out by the treatment teams in the community, and that rather than pouring taxpayer money into the poverty pimp industry, the state should be properly funding the NHS and benefits should meet the needs of all that are eligible. It is time to step up the struggle and to demand that the corporate assessors #DoNoHarm.This day of action has been called jointly by MHRN, Disabled People Against Cuts (DPAC) and WinVisible – women with visible & invisible disabilities

Where?:

PIP Consultation Centre Units 1 & 2 The Brewery Yard Deva City Office Park Trinity Way Manchester M3 7BB (for Sat Nav M3 7BD)

When?:

Wednesday 13th July (12:00 – 15:00)

Facebook event here

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

 

‘Single theme’ decision of government’s Action Alliance ‘feels like a cop-out’

From Disability News Service

A disabled-led network set up by the minister for disabled people in 2012 to offer the government advice on the implementation of its disability policies has cut the areas it focuses on to just one “strategic theme”.

Esther McVey, then the minister for disabled people, promised when it was launched that the Disability Action Alliance (DAA) would “put disabled people at the heart of creating inclusive local communities and changing attitudes to disability”.

The precise role of the alliance was never laid out by McVey but it appeared originally to be aimed at advising the government on implementation of policy at local level, rather than advising on developing policy.

It was tasked with creating partnerships between disabled people’s organisations (DPOs), government departments and other public, private and third society organisations.

But DAA is no longer a government-led initiative, although it is still government-sponsored and has a representative of its Office for Disability Issues (ODI) on the steering group, and it has now announced that it will be focusing on just one strategic theme: disabled people’s leadership in public life, including volunteering and public appointments.

More here

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

Labour left without shadow minister for Disabled People after MP revolt

Labour are currently without a Shadow Minister for Disabled People after a mass resignation has meant that previous minister Debbie Abrahams has been moved to the role of Minister for Department of Work & Pensions.

Caroline Richardson, a Labour party member and a disabled campaigner with the Spartacus online network, said she believed the promotion of Abrahams would be good for disabled people.

She said: “Whilst I recognise the current situation within the Labour parliamentary party has resulted in some ministerial posts not currently being filled, I am confident that the promotion of Debbie Abrahams to the post of shadow secretary of state for work and pensions is exceptionally beneficial to disabled people.

“Debbie brings with her to the post the knowledge base of her previous post, including the people who worked with her in that specialism.”

She said that the disabled people who had built up contacts with Abrahams would continue to provide the evidence she needed to respond to the government’s planned green paper on employment support for disabled people.

More here

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

Brexit vote: Disabled people seek safe haven in Scotland

From Disability News Service

Hundreds or even thousands of disabled people are so alarmed by the idea of Britain leaving the European Union (EU) that they are considering moving to Scotland, information from disabled activists suggests.

One disabled campaigner has told Disability News Service (DNS) that she has been contacted personally by 70 disabled people who want to leave for Scotland in the wake of last week’s referendum result, in which Britain voted to leave the EU by a margin of 52 per cent to 48 per cent.

Pat Onions (pictured), co-founder of Pat’s Petition, who lives in Scotland, said disabled people had been in touch by text, phone, email and on Facebook.

She said: “Scotland wants to remain in the EU. They felt their human rights would be protected. They felt it was a safer country to live then England.

“They felt Tories would remain in power after Brexit even with a general election in the autumn [and that]no-one in England cares about people with disabilities anymore.”

She added: “Feelings amongst disabled people are running high. They are scared – more than before with such uncertainty. Scotland seems like a safe place to be.”

More here

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

Calling all comic creators!

Pictures of pages from The Accessibles

Are you 15 – 25 Years Old? Are you a Disabled Person?

Do you live in Manchester?

From 20 July, Greater Manchester Coalition of Disabled People is running a summer project to create a comic, working with artist Jim Medway.

The comic will be a story around hate crime. Looking at what hate crime is, and how we can tell people it’s wrong to be abusive and hostile to disabled people.

Last year we created our first comic – ‘The Accessibles’ – here’s what a couple of people said about being involved:

“The team spirit has been great, good how the comic book story has reflected our own personalities and ideas… I have learnt so much.”

“The workshops made us debate, reflect and consider things from different perspectives.”

If you are interested in finding out more, contact Linda by:

Phone 0161 636 7535

Email lmarsh@gmcdp.com

Mobile for texts 07508 537561

‘Alarming’ court decision on traffic lights ‘puts blind shoppers at risk’

From Disability News Service

A Paralympic goalball star has lost his legal case against a council that switched off the traffic lights in a busy shopping area – in order to create a “shared space” street design – leaving him and other blind and visually-impaired people unable to cross the road.

Simon Goodall, who represented ParalympicsGB at London 2012, argued that the decision by Reading council to turn off the lights in January 2015 had placed him and other disabled people at risk.

He had appealed to the high court this week against its refusal to order a judicial review of the council’s decision, but his appeal was rejected.

The courtroom had been packed with guide dog-users and other visually-impaired people, some of whom had travelled from Scotland.

Goodall’s bid to force the council to think again over the road layout in the centre of Reading had received backing from disability organisations including Berkshire Disabled People Against Cuts (DPAC), Berkshire Guide Dogs for the Blind, Berkshire Vision, Reading Mencap, Reading Arthritis Matters and a representative of Age UK, who all combined to produce a leaflet detailing their concerns.

The court hearing was attended by Lord [Chris] Holmes, himself a blind retired Paralympian and now disability commissioner for the Equality and Human Rights Commission.

More here

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

Crabb scrapped IDS’s white paper because he ‘didn’t like the look of it’

From Disability News Service

The new work and pensions secretary scrapped the disability and employment white paper prepared by his predecessor Iain Duncan Smith because he “didn’t like the look” of it, a Tory MP has told a parliamentary meeting.

The new work and pensions secretary Stephen Crabb (pictured) had previously said that he wanted to “take a step back” from previous government plans to publish a white paper that would have included “firm legislative proposals” on supporting disabled people into work.

But fellow Conservative MP Heidi Allen told the all-party parliamentary disability group that there had been “a little bit of cynicism” about why Crabb had decided to postpone the white paper when he took over from Duncan Smith in March.

Some MPs and campaigners had criticised the decision, claiming that it was “kicking the issue into the long grass” and complaining that ministers had previously “bought off their own rebels” with a promise to have firm proposals in place through the white paper by the summer.

That promise had been made after Tory backbench unease about plans to cut almost £30 a week from payments to new claimants placed in the work-related activity group of employment and support allowance.

More here

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

Disability Rights UK seek new Trustees

From Disability Rights UK

Are you passionate about equal participation for all disabled people? Do you have the skills to be a Trustee?

Can you help strengthen the voice of disabled people and support Disability Rights UK to continue to build the organisation and achieve greater impact and sustainability?

Then come and join us. We are disabled people leading change, working for “Equal Participation for All”. We are seeking three Trustees to join our board. Our elections take place on 7th November, successful candidates will then join the board on 1st January 2017 for a three year term.

To assist with our board’s skill balance we would particularly welcome applications from people with expertise in income generation, financial management and communications.

Our board is currently under represented by women and by people from black and minority ethnic communities, so we would welcome applicants from those groups.

We are always keen to receive applications from disabled people with a wide range of impairment experiences including: learning difficulties, mental health conditions, neuro-diversity, being Deaf, hearing impairments, visual impairments, physical impairments, long term health conditions.

If you would like to apply, click here

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

InfoShare event – Wednesday 13th June

Are you a disabled person living in Manchester? Or do you know a disabled person living in Manchester? Come and find out what organisations in Manchester have to offer to disabled people.

Organisations who will be there include: Breakthrough UK, Greater Sport, People First, Anxiety UK, Transport for Greater Manchester, The Deaf Centre, The Volunteer Centre, Local Offer (Children and Family Services), Disabled Living, LGBT Foundation, African Caribbean Mental Health Services, Mind, Self Help Services, Albert Kennedy Trust and Genie Networks.

Info-Share will be in the large hall at the Deaf Centre, Crawford House, at the corner of Booth Street East and Oxford Road.

Wednesday 13th June 2016 – 10:30am – 2:30pm

Facebook event page here

for more info contact

Phone: 0161 636 7535
Email: lmarsh@gmcdp.com
Mobile for texts: 07508 537561

Greater Manchester Coalition of Disabled People
Website: www.gmcdp.com
Facebook: www.facebook.com/gmcdp/
Twitter: @GMCDP

UK in breach of international human rights

From Centre for Welfare Rights:

The United Nations has confirmed that the UK’s Austerity policies breach the UK’s international human rights obligations.

The UN Committee on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights has expressed “serious concern” about the impact of regressive policies on the enjoyment of economic and social rights in a damning reporton the UK.

Based on evidence it received from Just Fair and other civil society groups, the Committee concludes that austerity measures and social security reform breach the UK’s international human rights obligations.

This was the Committee’s first review of the UK since 2009 and thus its first verdict on the Austerity policies pursued by successive governments since the financial crash. Over eight months the Committee conducted a dialogue with government officials, the UK human rights commissions and civil society groups.

In a wide ranging assessment, expressed in unusually strong terms, the Committee sets out the following findings:

  • Tax policies, including VAT increases and reductions in inheritance and corporation tax, have diminished the UK’s ability “to address persistent social inequality and to collect sufficient resources to achieve the full realization of economic, social and cultural rights”. The Committee recommends the UK adopt a “socially equitable” tax policy and the adoption of strict measures to tackle tax abuse, in particular by corporations and high-net-worth individuals.
  • Austerity measures introduced since 2010 are having a disproportionate adverse impact on the most marginalised and disadvantaged citizens including women, children, persons with disabilities, low-income families and those with two or more children. The Committee recommends that the UK reverse the cuts in social security benefits and reviews the use of sanctions.
  • The new ‘National Living Wage’ is not sufficient to ensure a decent standard of living and should be extended to under-25s. The UK should also take steps to reduce use of “zero hour contracts”, which disproportionately affect women.
  • Despite rising employment levels the Committee is concerned about the high number of low-paid jobs, especially in sectors such as cleaning and homecare.
  • The Committee urges the UK to take immediate measures to reduce the exceptionally high levels of homelessness, particularly in England and Northern Ireland, and highlights the high cost and poor quality of homes in the private rented sector and the lack of sufficient social housing.
  • The UK is not doing enough to reduce reliance on food banks.

More here

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

Dean Trust U-Turn on plans to ‘bus out’ disabled pupils

The Dean Trust accused of discriminating against disabled pupils has made a U-turn. The Trust was blasted by parents over plans to bus disabled pupils from the ‘outstanding’ Ashton-on-Mersey School to a worse performing secondary six miles away in Partington.

A legal challenge was launched by parents against the trust in a bid to reverse the decision. The trust has now scrapped its plans after securing additional funding from the Trafford Council.

More here

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

 

How Does The Brexit Vote Affect The Rights Of Disabled People?

From DPAC:

Fiona McGhie, Public Law expert at Irwin Mitchell, said: “The common law and legislation in the UK have provided rights and protections for people with disabilities.

“In addition both the EU and the UK have ratified the UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (CRPD) which guarantees equality of rights of disabled people before the law on issues such as health, education, employment, access to justice and independent living. The UK is also a signatory to the European Convention on Human Rights (ECHR) which prohibits discrimination on the grounds of disability (Article 14) and offers protection for people with disabilities through a number of the other articles. The Human Rights Act incorporates these rights into domestic legislation.

“The UK has developed a string of positive legislation for the protection of the rights of those with disabilities, most notably the Equality Act 2010. This Act consolidated a large amount of existing legislation (including those relating to other protected characteristics such as race, religion, gender and sexual orientation). This and previous legislation were introduced to ensure compliance with a number of EU equality directives.

“Membership of the EU offers a large degree of protection for people with disabilities because of its directives on equality. However, if that protection was removed by a vote to leave the EU, people with disabilities would still benefit from the CRPD and the ECHR. It is unlikely that Equality Act would be repealed should the UK leave the EU, as we would still need to comply with the other international conventions which we have ratified. However, people with disabilities would not benefit from any further directives or regulations that the EU issued on disability rights and would be reliant on domestic legislation and common law keeping pace with the advancement of the rights of people with disabilities.

“What Brexit would affect is the ability to potentially rely on the European Charter of Fundamental Rights (CFR) which in particular includes many wider social and economic rights, such as the rights to fair and just working conditions, to healthcare and to have personal data protected. If disabled people wished to try and strike down UK legislation as incompatible with rights under CFR under EU law – that avenue may not be available after the vote to leave.”

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

Commission launches new information on human rights

As part of their role to promote understanding of human rights, the Equality & Human Rights Commission has launched a new section on their website aimed at bringing human rights explaining how they work and the protections they offer. There is a very informative animation on the website explaining human rights in an aceessible way. More here

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

Imperial War Museum seeks your support

From Imperial War Museum:

Over at IWM North we’ve had some really exciting news. Our if:Volunteering for wellbeing programme has been shortlisted for the National Lottery Awards Best Health Project.

We’d really appreciate your support, as we have a fantastic opportunity to win. The project is clearly changing people’s lives and improving wellbeing, as you can see from the quotes below. It would be great if you could please share the text in red on your social media and internal comms pages/emails to get us off to a good start in the public vote.

Our friends at @IWMNorth & @McrMuseum have been nominated for a @LottoGoodCauses Award. Please vote for them here: http://www.lotterygoodcauses.org.uk/awards
About the project:if:Volunteering for Wellbeing is an exciting volunteer training and placement programme led by IWM North and Manchester Museum. The programme is supported by the Heritage Lottery Fund. The ten week training course uses the unique collections and spaces of IWM North, Manchester Museum or Museum of Science & Industry to develop communication, interpersonal, teamwork and customer service skills. Participants learn about their chosen Museum, volunteer roles and gain nationally recognised qualifications.
‘The programme has given me so much confidence, inspired my desire to learn and renewed my enthusiasm for life as a result.’ Volunteer 2014″Has the course changed my life? Yes and more. It has actually given me back my life, a life seemingly lost to lack of hope and depression”. Volunteer 2015Read more here – www.volunteeringforwellbeing.org.uk(GMCDP does not necessarily support or promote any organisation, individual or website mentioned in this post.)

First figures on ESA mandatory reconsideration ‘show it is just a delaying tactic’

From Disability News Service

Official figures suggest that a new appeal stage introduced for unsuccessful claimants has been little more than a delaying tactic aimed at reducing the number of disabled people claiming benefits, say campaigners.

The Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) has finally published statistics showing the impact of the process on claimants of the out-of-work disability benefit employment and support allowance (ESA).

Since October 2013, claimants of ESA and other benefits who want to dispute a decision made on their claim have had to ask DWP to reconsider the decision – a “mandatory reconsideration” (MR) – before they are allowed to lodge an appeal with the independent benefits tribunal system.

And now the first MR figures to be published by DWP show that only about 10 per cent of ESA claimants who appeal through the MR process are successful.

When MR was first introduced, DWP civil servants were overturning more than 40 per cent of ESA decisions.

But that figure has now fallen dramatically, and in the last year only 11 per cent of decisions have been “revised and allowed” – out of more than 10,000 MRs a month – with the proportion dropping even further in the first months of 2016.

For claimants who dispute being found fit for work, the success rate is even lower, although it is not possible to calculate from the figures published so far how it has changed since October 2013.

Campaigners and benefits experts have stressed that it is not possible to draw firm conclusions from the figures because it is not yet clear how many of those claimants turned down at the MR stage went on to be successful at a tribunal.

But they suggested that the figures show the MR stage is simply delaying the benefits process, and pushing disabled people already at risk of poverty into greater hardship.

More here

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

 

DPAC Manchester Manchester: National Day Of Action Against Sham PIP Assessments – Wed 13th July

From DPAC:

Atos, Maximus and Capita are literally making a killing from conducting sham assessments which are seeing thousands of legitimate claimants having their benefits refused, their incomes slashed and their motability cars removed. Whilst the success rate at tribunal is high, it is taking up to 6 months or longer for cases to be heard – leaving disabled people struggling unecessarily. Medical ‘professionals’ usually trained at public expense are deserting the NHS in order to conduct these murderous sham assessments in return for higher rates of pay. We say that all assessments should be carried out by the treatment teams in the community, and that rather than pouring taxpayer money into the poverty pimp industry, the state should be properly funding the NHS and benefits should meet the needs of all that are eligible. It is time to step up the struggle and to demand that the corporate assessors #DoNoHarm.This day of action has been called jointly by MHRN, Disabled People Against Cuts (DPAC) and WinVisible – women with visible & invisible disabilities

More here

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

Fifteen To One looking for contestants

TV’s iconic quiz show is back and they’re looking for you!

Fifteen To One, the classic quiz, is back for another series and looking for contestants.

Do you have what it takes to win the title of Fifteen To One ‘Grand Champion’ and a massive £40,000?

If so, apply to be a contestant now!

For an application email:
15to1apps@remedyproductions.tv

Are you up to the challenge?
Find us on Twitter: @15to1quiz

You can only apply once so please only send one completed application form. Successful applicants will be granted one audition only. All applicants must be 18 years or over and be legally resident in the UK. Terms and conditions apply.

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

Disabled man to sue NHS Trust over court order enforcing 3am removal from home

A disabled man says he plans to sue after a High Court judge gave medics permission to take him from home to hospital and authorised the use of force.

Aamir Mazhar, 25, who lives in Birmingham, says he aims to take legal action against health bosses who asked Mr Justice Mostyn to make the order – at an out-of-hours telephone hearing in the Family Division of the High Court.

He says the Birmingham Community Healthcare NHS Foundation Trust breached his human rights and deprived him of his liberty.

More here

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

 

 

New Opinion piece by Rupy Kaur about the recent news about the Dean Trust and Ashton-on-Mersey school

GMCDP member Rupy Kaur has written a great blog piece on her thoughts on recent decisions from the Dean Trust and the Ashton-on-Mersey (more on the subject here)

“Ashton on Mersey were trail blazers. Now they are setting the clock back.As a disabled student Ashton on Mersey delivered a great education for me. Now they are set to put up barriers for the next generation of disabled students.”

 I was born in the late ‘80s, an era where disability was kept out of the norm, and a disabled child attending a mainstream school was taboo. I started my early years at a “special needs” nursery called Rodney House, followed by a “special needs” primary school, Lancasterian. The reasoning for this was that I was born with cerebral palsy, and that, because I was disabled, special needs schools were the only kind that would accept me.

 Don’t get me wrong, special school had its perks in that I would receive physiotherapy every day, and occasional hydrotherapy. But that was it. I was not pushed academically, and I was bored. We did get workbooks that I completed with enthusiasm, and in some respects I thought I was a mini Einstein as I was so quick to finish them.

 

More here

 

 

Bus companies must give wheelchair users priority says human rights watchdog

Bus companies must give wheelchair users priority on vehicles and drop “first come, first served” policies for passengers, an official human rights watchdog will tell the supreme court.

Supporting a test case on the rights of disabled people, the Equality and Human Rights Commission (EHRC) will on Wednesday call for clearer policies to ensure wheelchairs users can travel more easily.

The case has been brought by Doug Paulley, a wheelchair user, who tried to board a FirstGroup bus from Wetherby to Leeds in February 2012. The wheelchair space was being used by a mother with a pushchair and a sleeping child. She rejected the driver’s request to move or fold the pushchair and so the driver told Paulley he could not board the bus.

Paulley sued the company for discrimination. In December 2014 the court of appeal decided that transport firms were not required to force one traveller to make way for another. Paulley is now challenging that decision at the UK’s highest court.

More here

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

DPAC – National Day of Action Against PIP

From DPAC:

Fightback

National Day of Action Against PIP

Wednesday 13th July 2016

#PIPFightBack

Personal Independence Payment (PIP) is the replacement for Disability Living Allowance (DLA).

Whilst DLA worked to provide support for the extra costs of being disabled, and the system worked well, the whole PIP system is rotten to the core.

The whole purpose of making the change from DLA to PIP is to remove people’s entitlements to the vital support which DLA provided to help enable disabled people to live a life on more even terms with non disabled people.

With the PIP assessment regime now in place, thousands of people have already lost out and reports of the shoddy nature of the assessments are growing every week. Whilst the success rate at tribunal is high, it is taking up to 6 months or longer for cases to be heard – leaving disabled people struggling

Atos and Capita are making a killing from conducting sham PIP assessments which are seeing thousands of legitimate claimants having their benefits refused, their incomes slashed and their motability cars removed.

More here

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

ESA survey

From DPAC:

An important survey on the experiences of applying for ESA to complete the survey go to: https://leeds.onlinesurveys.ac.uk/experiences-of-applying-f…

We have copied the first page here for more information

I am a PhD student at the University of Leeds who has personal experience of applying for Employment and Support Allowance and attending a Work Capability Assessment.

My research is looking at changes over time in the way the government defines ‘disability’ for the purposes of employment-related disability benefits, its relation to the economy, and how this definition compares with disabled people’s lived experiences.

As part of this research I am gathering people’s experiences of applying for Employment and Support Allowance and in particular the Work Capability Assessment and how well they feel this reflects and understands their lives.

If you have ever applied for Employment and Support Allowance (including if you are not currently recieving it) I would be very grateful if you could complete this short survey. All answers are confidential and anonymous. No information will be shared with any other individual or organsiation and when writing up my research I will ensure that no respondants can be identified. None of the questions are compulsory and you can save the survey to complete at a later time at any point.

I would really appreciate it if you could help with this research. Having been through the process of applying for ESA myself, I know it can be distressing to recall the experience so if at any point you are finding it very difficult to continue please don’t.

If you have any further questions please contact me at: ss10rm@leeds.ac.uk

Thank you very much for your time.

Survey link: https://leeds.onlinesurveys.ac.uk/experiences-of-applying-f…

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

LGBTQI Disabled People and Social Care Support survey

Are you lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer or intersex (LGBTQI), Disabled and organising some or all of your own social care?

Perhaps you are using a direct payment, a personal budget or your own money to pay for support workers or Personal Assistants (PAs)?

Do you live in England? If so we need your help.

Next-to-nothing is known about the use of social care support by disabled people from the LGBTQI community. That’s why four organisations are finding out more about your needs and experiences.

We will use what you tell us to raise awareness of the social care needs of LGBTQI Disabled people and to highlight examples of things that do and don’t work very well.

Please spare 20 minutes to help our research by completing this online survey available at: https://timmus.onlinesurveys.ac.uk/lgbtqi-survey

If you would like a paper copy of this survey or assistance in completing it, please contact Dr Heather Ottaway (heather.ottaway@bristol.ac.uk).

Thanks for your help with this important research. Please feel free to forward this email to any individual or group who may be interested or able to assist in spreading the word.

Professor David Abbott and Dr Heather Ottaway (University of Bristol), Dr Ju Gosling (Regard), Tom Morrison (Stonewall), Pete Fleischmann (SCIE)

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

 

Infoshare – Manchester Deaf Centre, Wednesday 13th July

Are you a disabled person?
Do you live in Manchester?
Come along and find out what is on offer!

On 13 July, from 10:30am to 2:30pm, Greater Manchester Coalition of Disabled People is holding an information sharing event.

Organisations offering support, services and resources for disabled people in Manchester will be there to tell you what they have on offer.

Info-Share will be in the large hall at the Deaf Centre, Crawford House, at the corner of Booth Street East and Oxford Road.

If you want to find out more, or come along, please let Linda know, so we can make the day comfortable and accessible for you.

Phone: 0161 636 7535
Email: lmarsh@gmcdp.com
Mobile for texts: 07508 537561

Facebook event page here

 

Equality Forum at GMCDP!

This is a great opportunity for disabled people of all ages living in Manchester to come to debate and discuss topical issues important to disabled people.

Come along – suggest other topics to discuss.

This is your discussion time!

This session: Europe – In or Out? Discuss this hot topic – the impact of staying in or leaving Europe may have on disabled people.

*Please let us know you are coming, so we are sure we have enough space.*

Contact Linda by phone 0161 636 7535 or email lmarsh@gmcdp.com letting us know your access requirements.

Forums will be held 6:00–8:30pm on the third Thursday of each month in Unit 4 at the Windrush Millennium Centre, 70 Alexandra Road, Moss Side, M13 7WD.
space!

Facebook group here

Independent Living Still a Postcode Lottery

The Independent Living Fund (ILF), which supported those with high support needs to live independently was closed by the government in 2015. Responsibility for former ILF recipients has now passed to local authorities, and central government has provided transition funding through until 2020.

At the end of March 2016 GMCDP submitted Freedom Of Information (FOI) requests to all 10 Greater Manchester authorities asking how they allocate the devolved ILF transition funding. Specifically we asked:

  1. 2015/16: Do you currently ring-fence the devolved ILF transition fund (e.g. Is the money currently used to maintain the care support packages of former ILF recipients)?
  1. 2016/20: Will you ring-fence the ILF transitions fund up to 2020 (e.g. Will the money be used to maintain the care support packages of former ILF recipients)?

Of the the 10 authorities, only 1 (Wigan) failed to reply.

Q1: Of the 9 authorities who responded 7 authorities (Manchester, Salford, Bolton, Tameside, Stockport, Trafford and Bury) confirmed that for 2015/16 ILF transition funding had been ring fenced to maintain the support of former ILF recipients. 1 authority (Oldham) said that the 2015/16 ILF transition funding had not been ring fenced to maintain the support of former ILF recipients and 1 local authority (Rochdale), failed to directly answer the question, although we suspect the answer is ‘no’.

Q2: In response to the second  question, of the 9 authorities that did respond, 2 authorities (Bolton and Tameside) gave an unequivocal ‘yes’ to continue ring-fencing the ILF transition funding to support former ILF recipients through until 2020 and 3 authorities (Stockport, Oldham and Trafford) gave an unequivocal ’no’. The remaining authorities did not directly answer the question, with 2 authorities (Manchester and Salford) saying they were awaiting further clarification from central government before making a decision, 1 authority (Bury) suggested that former ILF recipients funding is currently ring fenced but this would be reviewed on an annual basis, and 1 authority (Rochdale) suggesting that money would not be ring-fenced.

(For individual local authority responses, see appendix A )

Conclusions

It is clear from the responses received that independent living for former ILF recipients is a postcode lottery in Greater Manchester and that most of our local councils are refusing to use the government funding to support former ILF recipients.

Lorraine Gradwell, Co- Deputy Chair of GMCDP commented that “our FOI requests reveal that all our local authorities have separate plans for the transferred ILF funds, despite the fact that the Greater Manchester Combined Authority (GMCA) plan says ‘each locality is putting the money we have for health and social care into pooled budgets’.”

Brian Hilton, GMCDP Campaigns Officer and former ILF recipient said “this problem has been created by central government but many of the Greater Manchester authorities are also failing us, failing to support us and failing to inform us of what’s happening.”

Lorraine points out that the GMCA Plan – Taking Charge of our Health and Social Care states that ‘our plans are developed on co-design and collaboration’, “but the voices of ILF users have not been sought”.

Brian said that former ILF recipients are “fearful that the support offered by local authorities via Personal Budgets are increasingly about providing the bare minimum, so called clean and feed’, which is not Independent Living”.

More here

Job Vacancy at Trafford Centre for Independent Living – Health and Social Care Support Broker

From Trafford Centre for Independent Living

Do you understand social care and the Care Act?

Could you assist people to make the most of their health and social care budgets?

Are you passionate about supporting people to access high quality, person centred services?

Would you like to work as part of a great team, making a difference to people lives here in Trafford?

Health and Social Care Support Broker

£19,635 (35 hours per week), initially until 31/3/2018.

(Job share by agreement).

You’ll work with individuals and their families to develop, budget and implement their support plan, to meet agreed outcomes (health and social care) in a person centred way.

This includes providing information on other aspects of personalisation, and signposting to universal services, community resources, advice, advocacy and wellbeing services.

You’ll be passionate about empowering people to increase their independence and improve their wellbeing by identifying and building on their strengths, their circles of support and involvement in their communities.

This is a challenging but rewarding role, and we are looking for a broker who will be responsive to the diversity of the people we support.

We particularly welcome applications from disabled people with experience of health and wellbeing, or those with experience of empowering people with a disability and promoting choice and control.

 

How to apply:

Please complete our application form and equal opportunities monitoring form, and return them to hello@traffordcil.co.uk   or post them to us at

Trafford CIL,

Marshall House,

2 Park Avenue,

Sale,

Manchester,

M33 6HE.

Closing date for all applications is 9am on 13TH June 2016. 

Interviews will be the on 15th June in Trafford. 

To download the job pack, visit www.traffordcil.co.uk   and click on ‘About Us’, then ‘Work for Us’.

 

If you are interested in applying for this role and would value an informal conversation with our Advocacy and Brokerage Manager, Judy Sutherland, please contact her on 0161 850 0645.

 

If you have any difficulties downloading information or require additional support, please speak to our reception team – Janet Garrod or Sue Sandiford on 0161 850 0645.

Trafford CIL is committed to Equal Opportunities.  We welcome applications from all races, sexes and people with disabilities.  Our selection process is designed to select, promote and treat people on the basis of their merits and abilities within British Law.

This role is subject to DBS clearance, the cost of which will be met by Trafford CIL.

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

Job Vacancies at Manchester Mind

Manchester MIND have some new job vacancies. They are only able to accept applications on their own application form. Make sure you download the correct paperwork for any job you are interested in. They have plain text versions of all documents so please let them know if you require this – more details on the website here. Or contact yasp@manchestermind.org | 0161 221 3054

 

COUNSELLOR | £26,276 (pro rata) | 12 hours per week | Temporary post with funding secured until August 2017| Application deadline is 12pm midday on 6th June 2016

You can read more about this opportunity here  in the full advert and you can download all the application details here .

 

ADVICE TEAM LEADER | £27,924 (pro rata) | 17.5 hours a week | This is a permanent post with funding secured until 2021|Application deadline is 12pm midday on 6th June 2016

You can read more about this opportunity here in the full advert and you can download all the application details here

 

ADVISOR |£22,937 (pro rata) | 17.5 hours a week | This is a permanent post with funding secured until 2021| Application deadline is 12pm midday on 6th June 2016

You can read more about this opportunity here in the full advert and you can download all the application details here.

 

PARTICIPATION DEVELOPMENT WORKER | £16,998 (pro rata) | 17.5 hours a week |This is a temporary post for two years | Application deadline is 12pm midday on 6th June 2016

You can read more about this opportunity here  in the full advert and you can download all the application details here

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

 

Disabilty History by Disabled People – Manchester Central Library, 3rd of June 2016

Greater Manchester Coalition of Disabled People highlights 30 years of campaigning and activism by local disabled people at the Manchester Histories Festival on 3rd of June. Call in and chat to GMCDP staffand members and explore disability activism through our exhibitions, photos and publications. We are also proud to showcase ‘The Accessibles’ comic – developed by our young disabled people’s projects, which presents a time travelling tale focusing on Disability History In Manchester (and which recently won the Manchester Community History Award 2016)

When? Friday 3rd June 2016 (10.00am – 4:00pm)

Where? Manchester Central Library – Performance space 1

Facebook event page

Not Dead Yet protest at ‘Me Before You’ premiere

Campaigners from Not Dead Yet protested at the national premiere of the film Me Before You.  The film tells the story of a young man who becomes a disabled person after an accident and falls in love with his ‘carer’. They have a fantastic year together but despite her protests, he decides to end his life at Dignitas so she can ‘move on and he is no longer a burden to her’.

Not Dead Yet say that they are ‘deeply concerned to see yet another film which casts non-disabled people as disabled people and shows the lives of disabled people as not worth living.’

A group of activists from Not Dead Yet unfurled a banner condemning the film as a “disability snuff movie”, whilst cast members including Emilia Clarke, Jenna Coleman and Joanna Lumley arrived on the the red carpet at the London event for the film, based on the best-selling novel by British author Jojo Moyes.

Among the protesters was campaigner, Sian Vasey. She said: “I know the basic plot, which is that the male lead has an accident and becomes disabled, but after a year or so of time in quite a happy relationship then decides that he doesn’t want to be a burden and takes himself off to Dignitas to commit suicide.

More here

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

 

Welfare Action Gathering, Saturday 9th July

From Unite Community Manchester

Welfare Action Gathering, Saturday 9th July

On Saturday 9th July Boycott Workfare will be holding its 4th Welfare Action Gathering with Unite Community Manchester, and is inviting groups from across the country to join us. We will be coming together in the glorious city of Manchester to share ideas, tactics, tips and concerns about current and future attacks on Welfare. It will be a day of learning from each other and an opportunity to plan how to work together to continue to defend these fundamental rights.
Previous gatherings have seen a huge wealth of knowledge shared and have been a catalyst for further successes in the fightback. It is vital that at a time when there are continuing attempts to fundamentally undermine basic rights to welfare and a dignity of life, that those opposing these injustices come together in solidarity and support our sister struggles and exchange our expertise.
Looming particularly large is the shambolic Universal Credit, which is extending its ever harsher and complex rules over an increasing number of people: a bureaucratic beast, not even fully understood by those implementing it.
As we have seen with so many other schemes and laws, concerted effort by activist organisations can, and have been successful in ending unfair changes to welfare. DPACs role in defeating the attempts to cut disability benefits comes to mind as a recent example! And we have all seen the difference made to individual cases and legislation, by the knowledge and support activist organisations provide.
This Welfare Action Gathering offers a chance to celebrate these successes, share how they were achieved, and to focus our energies on the future struggles ahead. It also offers an opportunity to put faces to the names of people that you have been communicating with.
The day will be based around themed workshops and group discussions. Therefore if you have an idea for one of these sessions, or if there is something that you feel would be important to cover, please suggest it. Contact Liam at boycottworkfare@gmail. The broader the range of voices and ideas, the better.
Obviously, no-one (despite what the DWP believe) can work on a empty stomach, so free and tasty lunch, snacks and refreshments will be provided. Boycott Workfare also have a budget for paying for transport to and from the gathering, for those near and far, so please ask about this.

Saturday 9th July, The Mechanics’ Institute, 103 Princess St, Manchester M1 6DD. Starting and finishing times to be confirmed.
Come and join us for a day of information sharing, discussion, bonding, uniting and fun!

Contact Liam at boycottworkfare@gmail.com to register your interest.

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

Crabb hints at lengthy delays to manifesto pledge on disability jobs gap

From Disability News Service:

The new work and pensions secretary has suggested the government’s pledge to halve the disability employment gap will face lengthy delays, after he said he wanted to spend a “few years” testing how to achieve the target.

Stephen Crabb, who was appointed after the resignation of Iain Duncan Smith in March, was giving evidence for the first time to the Commons work and pensions select committee.

Tory ministers have repeatedly referred to their commitment to halving the gap of about 30 percentage points between the employment rates of disabled people (less than 50 per cent) and non-disabled people (about 80 per cent).

Halving the gap would mean finding jobs for more than one million more disabled people.

Last year’s general election manifesto said a Conservative government would “aim to halve the disability employment gap”, one of just eight mentions of the words “disabled” or “disability” in the 84-page document.

Labour MP Neil Coyle (pictured during the session), a former director of Disability Rights UK, asked Crabb what “milestones” he would use to measure the success of the “very welcome and ambitious manifesto commitment” to halve the disability employment gap, when the proportion of working-age disabled people in work had fallen over the last six years.

Disability Rights UK has stressed the importance of setting milestones, in its submission to the committee’s inquiry into halving the gap, pointing out that “interim targets could be expected to drive institutional change and it could be expected that the government would wish to know if it was on track”.

But Crabb said that rather than setting interim targets for narrowing the gap, he wanted instead to focus on what policies might prove successful.

He said that 150,000 more disabled people were in work in the last year, but if the number of non-disabled people in work had also risen “there is no closing of the gap”.

He said he did not think that setting out interim targets towards achieving the aim of halving the gap was “the more helpful approach”, and added: “The more helpful approach I think is testing what works and building the evidence base for how we do that and that’s what I want to spend the next few years really focusing on.”

He appeared then to criticise the approach of his predecessor as work and pensions secretary, by adding: “I don’t know that whatever has gone on before has really built a strong evidence base for supporting people with disabilities and health conditions into work.”

More here

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

After 20 years, Wheelchair taxi regulations will finally come into force

Taxi-drivers can no longer refuse to accept wheelchair-users, and will forbid them from charging them extra for a journey after a report by peers has brought in taxi regulations 20 years after they were first included in legislation.

Previous Conservative, Labour and coalition governments have refused to enforce the measures, since they were included in the Disability Discrimination Act 1995, and then incorporated into the Equality Act 2010.

More at Disability News Service

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

Job vacancy at GMCDP – Administrator

GMCDP Administrator

Hours: 21 per week

Salary: £19,110 per annum pro rata

GMCDP is recruiting an administrator to carry out general and financial administrative tasks. You will need experience of maintaining general office records, maintaining financial records, producing correspondence and servicing meetings.

You will be a key member of a busy and friendly staff team, working alongside GMCDP’s Manager and colleagues who deliver our vibrant and innovative projects.

For an application pack contact:

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

Phone: 0161 636 7534

Email: info@gmcdp.com

Mobile for texts: 07508 537561.

This post is only open to disabled people

CV’s will not be considered.

Closing date Monday 6th June at 4:00pm.

Job Vacancy at GMCDP – Shaping Our Inclusion Project Project Worker

Job Vacancy

Shaping our Inclusion Project

Project Worker

Thanks to 3 year funding from the Big Lottery, Greater Manchester Coalition of Disabled People is able to set up a new and exciting project supporting young disabled people in Greater Manchester. We are recruiting a project worker for this innovative project.

The project will give young disabled people opportunities to volunteer, gain new skills and experiences, influence the development of more inclusive services and become peer mentors and role models. It will raise awareness about independent living and the importance of young disabled people having choice and control over their lives. We want to improve and influence the attitudes and approaches towards young disabled people amongst professionals and service providers, employers and the wider public.

The project worker will go into schools, colleges, youth centres etc and speak directly to young disabled people about the barriers they face and how they can make a difference and enthuse them to take up the gauntlet of challenging inequalities, discrimination and economic marginalisation.

The project worker will have knowledge of the social model of disability and the barriers that young disabled people face. They will need to have good communication skills, understand the role of advocacy in supporting young disabled people and be able to support their full involvement in the project. We are looking for someone who has experience of working with people in empowering and inclusive ways, of using a range of methods to engage people through outreach and networking and of running events and developing resources in innovative and creative ways.

This post is only open to disabled people and subject to the relevant Disclosure and Barring Service check.

or contact:

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

Tel: 0161 636 7534 (voice or via type-talk)

E-mail info@gmcdp.com

Text (mobile phone): 07508 537561

CV’s will not be considered

Closing date is 6th June 2016 at 4:00pm.

Big lottery Fund logo

Job Opportunity: Enablement Team Information Co-ordinator/Trusted Assessor, Disabled Living Centre

Job Opportunity

Enablement Team Information Co-ordinator/Trusted Assessor

Disabled Living Centre, Worsley, Manchester

Full Time – 35 hours Salary: £20,000

Disabled Living is a Third Sector organisation providing impartial information and advice relating to equipment and services to disabled children, adults and older people, their families, carers and the health and social care professionals who support them.

We are looking to recruit an Information Co-ordinator/Trusted Assessor for our Enablement service. You will ensure the provision of an effective administrative support service to the Enablement Team and act as the first point of contact for all clients accessing Disabled Living’s Equipment helpline. You will certainly be able to work on your own initiative, have excellent interpersonal and communication skills, relevant computer skills including database management, the ability to collate and disseminate information and identify potential business opportunities. In addition, the ability to think ‘out of the box’ in order to contribute to the ongoing development of Disabled Living’s services. The appointed person will have a background in health or social care and have several years experience of working directly with people with a physical disability or older people. Training will be provided to enable the appointed person to further develop their skills in order to be confident and competent in the assessment of low level equipment and an accredited Trusted Assessor.

For further information contact Debra Evans, Chief Executive

Email: debra.evans@disabledliving.co.uk

Closing Date: Monday 23rd May 2016
Interview Date: Wednesday 1st June 2016

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

Greater Manchester Law Centre seek your views!

Greater Manchester Law Centre and Greater Manchester Unite Community Branch want to hear from people from Moss Side and surrounding areas on their views on what the local community needs. They offer free legal advice and representation.

They are holding a meeting at Windrush Millenium Centre(70 Alexander Rd, Manchester, M16 7WD) on:

Thursday May 19th (6.30pm-8.30pm)

Contact: info@gmlaw.org.uk

Twitter: https://twitter.com/gmlawcentre

Facebook: https://facebook.com/gmlawcentre

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

Shaping Your Inclusion – New young disabled people’s project from GMCDP!

Great News! Greater Manchester Coalition of Disabled People has a great new project for young disabled people

Shaping Our Inclusion

Thanks to 3 year funding from the Big Lottery, Greater Manchester Coalition of Disabled People is able to set up a new and exciting project supporting young disabled people in Greater Manchester.

The project will give young disabled people opportunities to volunteer, gain new skills and experiences, influence the development of more inclusive services and become peer mentors and role models. It will raise awareness about independent living and the importance of young disabled people having choice and control over their lives. We want to improve and influence the attitudes and approaches towards young disabled people amongst professionals and service providers, employers and the wider public.

More information soon!

Survey for Manchester Parks

From Manchester City Council

We know parks matter. People want to live near parks. They make us healthier and happier. They keep us active and encourage walking and bike rides. They reduce carbon pollution. They can help make Manchester a top-flight world city for business and tourism.

Things have improved over the last 10 years. Despite cuts we’ve continued to invest in parks. We want the next ten years to be better still for Manchester’s parks and we want your input. We want to know what you’d like to see in parks in future and how you would run and fund them.

Do our survey and help us find a fresh approach to keeping Manchester’s parks thriving and cared for over the next five-to-ten years.

Complete the short survey here: www.manchester.gov.uk/parksurvey

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

 

GMCDP uncovers Government’s failure to ring-fence ILF funding

The government’s failure to ring-fence the funding it is handing to local authorities following the closure of the Independent Living Fund (ILF) is leading to a “postcode lottery” of support for former ILF-recipients, according to research by Greater Manchester Coalition of Disabled People.

Information secured through freedom of information requests to Greater Manchester’s 10 local authorities has revealed that many councils are refusing to use the government funding to support the former ILF-recipients it was intended for.

ILF was funded by the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP), and by last year it was helping nearly 17,000 disabled people with the highest support needs to live independently.

But ministers decided it should be scrapped, promising instead that nine months’ worth of non-ring-fenced funding would be transferred to councils in England and to devolved governments in Wales and Scotland, to cover the period from its closure last summer to April 2016.

The minister for disabled people, Justin Tomlinson, then announced in February that the government would provide another four years of transition funding to local authorities in England in 2016-17 (£177 million), 2017-18 (£171 million), 2018-19 (£166 million) and 2019-20 (£161 million), but that the money would again not be ring-fenced.

GMCDP’s research has now revealed that some Greater Manchester councils have promised to spend the government’s money solely on former ILF-recipients, but others have refused to do so.

Of the 10 councils, only two have said categorically that they will ring-fence the money for former ILF-recipients, another appears to suggest that it will do so, and two are waiting for further information from the government before making a decision, but five have said they will not ring-fence the money.

Brian Hilton , GMCDP campaigns officer and a former ILF-recipient, said: “The government has abandoned former ILF-recipients, those with the highest support needs.

“They have closed the ILF, given the money to local authorities but provided no clear direction of how that money is to be used to ensure that former ILF-users’ support is maintained.

“So it’s a postcode lottery where some authorities are continuing to support former ILF-users, others say they won’t and some still have no idea what will happen.”

Brian, who has produced a short video (see below) explaining the situation facing former ILF-users in Greater Manchester and across the country, added: “The government is either lying or delusional when they say that the introduction of the Care Act will ensure that former ILF-users will be able to maintain choice and control over their lives.

“The support provided by local authorities via personal budgets is increasingly about providing the bare minimum, so-called ‘clean and feed’.

“Independent living is much more than this. It’s about having the support, not only to get out of bed, but to get out and be part of society, through leisure, through education, through work.”

Welfare Action Gathering, Saturday 9th July

From Unite Community Manchester

Welfare Action Gathering, Saturday 9th July

On Saturday 9th July Boycott Workfare will be holding its 4th Welfare Action Gathering with Unite Community Manchester, and is inviting groups from across the country to join us. We will be coming together in the glorious city of Manchester to share ideas, tactics, tips and concerns about current and future attacks on Welfare. It will be a day of learning from each other and an opportunity to plan how to work together to continue to defend these fundamental rights.
Previous gatherings have seen a huge wealth of knowledge shared and have been a catalyst for further successes in the fightback. It is vital that at a time when there are continuing attempts to fundamentally undermine basic rights to welfare and a dignity of life, that those opposing these injustices come together in solidarity and support our sister struggles and exchange our expertise.
Looming particularly large is the shambolic Universal Credit, which is extending its ever harsher and complex rules over an increasing number of people: a bureaucratic beast, not even fully understood by those implementing it.
As we have seen with so many other schemes and laws, concerted effort by activist organisations can, and have been successful in ending unfair changes to welfare. DPACs role in defeating the attempts to cut disability benefits comes to mind as a recent example! And we have all seen the difference made to individual cases and legislation, by the knowledge and support activist organisations provide.
This Welfare Action Gathering offers a chance to celebrate these successes, share how they were achieved, and to focus our energies on the future struggles ahead. It also offers an opportunity to put faces to the names of people that you have been communicating with.
The day will be based around themed workshops and group discussions. Therefore if you have an idea for one of these sessions, or if there is something that you feel would be important to cover, please suggest it. Contact Liam at boycottworkfare@gmail. The broader the range of voices and ideas, the better.
Obviously, no-one (despite what the DWP believe) can work on a empty stomach, so free and tasty lunch, snacks and refreshments will be provided. Boycott Workfare also have a budget for paying for transport to and from the gathering, for those near and far, so please ask about this.

Saturday 9th July, The Mechanics’ Institute, 103 Princess St, Manchester M1 6DD. Starting and finishing times to be confirmed.
Come and join us for a day of information sharing, discussion, bonding, uniting and fun!

Contact Liam at boycottworkfare@gmail.com to register your interest.

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

Crabb hints at lengthy delays to manifesto pledge on disability jobs gap

From Disability News Service:

The new work and pensions secretary has suggested the government’s pledge to halve the disability employment gap will face lengthy delays, after he said he wanted to spend a “few years” testing how to achieve the target.

Stephen Crabb, who was appointed after the resignation of Iain Duncan Smith in March, was giving evidence for the first time to the Commons work and pensions select committee.

Tory ministers have repeatedly referred to their commitment to halving the gap of about 30 percentage points between the employment rates of disabled people (less than 50 per cent) and non-disabled people (about 80 per cent).

Halving the gap would mean finding jobs for more than one million more disabled people.

Last year’s general election manifesto said a Conservative government would “aim to halve the disability employment gap”, one of just eight mentions of the words “disabled” or “disability” in the 84-page document.

Labour MP Neil Coyle (pictured during the session), a former director of Disability Rights UK, asked Crabb what “milestones” he would use to measure the success of the “very welcome and ambitious manifesto commitment” to halve the disability employment gap, when the proportion of working-age disabled people in work had fallen over the last six years.

Disability Rights UK has stressed the importance of setting milestones, in its submission to the committee’s inquiry into halving the gap, pointing out that “interim targets could be expected to drive institutional change and it could be expected that the government would wish to know if it was on track”.

But Crabb said that rather than setting interim targets for narrowing the gap, he wanted instead to focus on what policies might prove successful.

He said that 150,000 more disabled people were in work in the last year, but if the number of non-disabled people in work had also risen “there is no closing of the gap”.

He said he did not think that setting out interim targets towards achieving the aim of halving the gap was “the more helpful approach”, and added: “The more helpful approach I think is testing what works and building the evidence base for how we do that and that’s what I want to spend the next few years really focusing on.”

He appeared then to criticise the approach of his predecessor as work and pensions secretary, by adding: “I don’t know that whatever has gone on before has really built a strong evidence base for supporting people with disabilities and health conditions into work.”

More here

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

After 20 years, Wheelchair taxi regulations will finally come into force

Taxi-drivers can no longer refuse to accept wheelchair-users, and will forbid them from charging them extra for a journey after a report by peers has brought in taxi regulations 20 years after they were first included in legislation.

Previous Conservative, Labour and coalition governments have refused to enforce the measures, since they were included in the Disability Discrimination Act 1995, and then incorporated into the Equality Act 2010.

More at Disability News Service

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

Job vacancy at GMCDP – Administrator

GMCDP Administrator

Hours: 21 per week

Salary: £19,110 per annum pro rata

GMCDP is recruiting an administrator to carry out general and financial administrative tasks. You will need experience of maintaining general office records, maintaining financial records, producing correspondence and servicing meetings.

You will be a key member of a busy and friendly staff team, working alongside GMCDP’s Manager and colleagues who deliver our vibrant and innovative projects.

For an application pack contact:

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

Phone: 0161 636 7534

Email: info@gmcdp.com

Mobile for texts: 07508 537561.

This post is only open to disabled people

CV’s will not be considered.

Closing date Monday 6th June at 4:00pm.

Job Vacancy at GMCDP – Shaping Our Inclusion Project Project Worker

Job Vacancy

Shaping our Inclusion Project

Project Worker

Thanks to 3 year funding from the Big Lottery, Greater Manchester Coalition of Disabled People is able to set up a new and exciting project supporting young disabled people in Greater Manchester. We are recruiting a project worker for this innovative project.

The project will give young disabled people opportunities to volunteer, gain new skills and experiences, influence the development of more inclusive services and become peer mentors and role models. It will raise awareness about independent living and the importance of young disabled people having choice and control over their lives. We want to improve and influence the attitudes and approaches towards young disabled people amongst professionals and service providers, employers and the wider public.

The project worker will go into schools, colleges, youth centres etc and speak directly to young disabled people about the barriers they face and how they can make a difference and enthuse them to take up the gauntlet of challenging inequalities, discrimination and economic marginalisation.

The project worker will have knowledge of the social model of disability and the barriers that young disabled people face. They will need to have good communication skills, understand the role of advocacy in supporting young disabled people and be able to support their full involvement in the project. We are looking for someone who has experience of working with people in empowering and inclusive ways, of using a range of methods to engage people through outreach and networking and of running events and developing resources in innovative and creative ways.

This post is only open to disabled people and subject to the relevant Disclosure and Barring Service check.

or contact:

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

Tel: 0161 636 7534 (voice or via type-talk)

E-mail info@gmcdp.com

Text (mobile phone): 07508 537561

CV’s will not be considered

Closing date is 6th June 2016 at 4:00pm.

Big lottery Fund logo

Job Opportunity: Enablement Team Information Co-ordinator/Trusted Assessor, Disabled Living Centre

Job Opportunity

Enablement Team Information Co-ordinator/Trusted Assessor

Disabled Living Centre, Worsley, Manchester

Full Time – 35 hours Salary: £20,000

Disabled Living is a Third Sector organisation providing impartial information and advice relating to equipment and services to disabled children, adults and older people, their families, carers and the health and social care professionals who support them.

We are looking to recruit an Information Co-ordinator/Trusted Assessor for our Enablement service. You will ensure the provision of an effective administrative support service to the Enablement Team and act as the first point of contact for all clients accessing Disabled Living’s Equipment helpline. You will certainly be able to work on your own initiative, have excellent interpersonal and communication skills, relevant computer skills including database management, the ability to collate and disseminate information and identify potential business opportunities. In addition, the ability to think ‘out of the box’ in order to contribute to the ongoing development of Disabled Living’s services. The appointed person will have a background in health or social care and have several years experience of working directly with people with a physical disability or older people. Training will be provided to enable the appointed person to further develop their skills in order to be confident and competent in the assessment of low level equipment and an accredited Trusted Assessor.

For further information contact Debra Evans, Chief Executive

Email: debra.evans@disabledliving.co.uk

Closing Date: Monday 23rd May 2016
Interview Date: Wednesday 1st June 2016

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

Greater Manchester Law Centre seek your views!

Greater Manchester Law Centre and Greater Manchester Unite Community Branch want to hear from people from Moss Side and surrounding areas on their views on what the local community needs. They offer free legal advice and representation.

They are holding a meeting at Windrush Millenium Centre(70 Alexander Rd, Manchester, M16 7WD) on:

Thursday May 19th (6.30pm-8.30pm)

Contact: info@gmlaw.org.uk

Twitter: https://twitter.com/gmlawcentre

Facebook: https://facebook.com/gmlawcentre

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

Shaping Your Inclusion – New young disabled people’s project from GMCDP!

Great News! Greater Manchester Coalition of Disabled People has a great new project for young disabled people

Shaping Our Inclusion

Thanks to 3 year funding from the Big Lottery, Greater Manchester Coalition of Disabled People is able to set up a new and exciting project supporting young disabled people in Greater Manchester.

The project will give young disabled people opportunities to volunteer, gain new skills and experiences, influence the development of more inclusive services and become peer mentors and role models. It will raise awareness about independent living and the importance of young disabled people having choice and control over their lives. We want to improve and influence the attitudes and approaches towards young disabled people amongst professionals and service providers, employers and the wider public.

More information soon!

Survey for Manchester Parks

From Manchester City Council

We know parks matter. People want to live near parks. They make us healthier and happier. They keep us active and encourage walking and bike rides. They reduce carbon pollution. They can help make Manchester a top-flight world city for business and tourism.

Things have improved over the last 10 years. Despite cuts we’ve continued to invest in parks. We want the next ten years to be better still for Manchester’s parks and we want your input. We want to know what you’d like to see in parks in future and how you would run and fund them.

Do our survey and help us find a fresh approach to keeping Manchester’s parks thriving and cared for over the next five-to-ten years.

Complete the short survey here: www.manchester.gov.uk/parksurvey

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

 

GMCDP uncovers Government’s failure to ring-fence ILF funding

The government’s failure to ring-fence the funding it is handing to local authorities following the closure of the Independent Living Fund (ILF) is leading to a “postcode lottery” of support for former ILF-recipients, according to research by Greater Manchester Coalition of Disabled People.

Information secured through freedom of information requests to Greater Manchester’s 10 local authorities has revealed that many councils are refusing to use the government funding to support the former ILF-recipients it was intended for.

ILF was funded by the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP), and by last year it was helping nearly 17,000 disabled people with the highest support needs to live independently.

But ministers decided it should be scrapped, promising instead that nine months’ worth of non-ring-fenced funding would be transferred to councils in England and to devolved governments in Wales and Scotland, to cover the period from its closure last summer to April 2016.

The minister for disabled people, Justin Tomlinson, then announced in February that the government would provide another four years of transition funding to local authorities in England in 2016-17 (£177 million), 2017-18 (£171 million), 2018-19 (£166 million) and 2019-20 (£161 million), but that the money would again not be ring-fenced.

GMCDP’s research has now revealed that some Greater Manchester councils have promised to spend the government’s money solely on former ILF-recipients, but others have refused to do so.

Of the 10 councils, only two have said categorically that they will ring-fence the money for former ILF-recipients, another appears to suggest that it will do so, and two are waiting for further information from the government before making a decision, but five have said they will not ring-fence the money.

Brian Hilton , GMCDP campaigns officer and a former ILF-recipient, said: “The government has abandoned former ILF-recipients, those with the highest support needs.

“They have closed the ILF, given the money to local authorities but provided no clear direction of how that money is to be used to ensure that former ILF-users’ support is maintained.

“So it’s a postcode lottery where some authorities are continuing to support former ILF-users, others say they won’t and some still have no idea what will happen.”

Brian, who has produced a short video (see below) explaining the situation facing former ILF-users in Greater Manchester and across the country, added: “The government is either lying or delusional when they say that the introduction of the Care Act will ensure that former ILF-users will be able to maintain choice and control over their lives.

“The support provided by local authorities via personal budgets is increasingly about providing the bare minimum, so-called ‘clean and feed’.

“Independent living is much more than this. It’s about having the support, not only to get out of bed, but to get out and be part of society, through leisure, through education, through work.”

 

National Survivor User Network National Gathering in Birmingham – 8th June

The National Survivor User Network for mental health (NSUN) is inviting all members to join the team for its annual gathering to take place in Birmingham on 8 June 2016. The theme this year is ‘Thrive, Building for a better future’. The event will also see the launch of the Shaping Our Lives report ‘From mental illness to a social model of madness and distress’

Date: Wednesday 8th June 2016
Time: 10.30am – 4.30pm
Venue: BVSC Birmingham, B5 6DR

Contact: info@nsun.org.uk

More info here

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

Free one day conference exploring digital fabrication and disability – Friday 17 June, University of Salford

From Disability Rights UK (they may use words that we may not)

We are delighted to announce this collaborative event, during which we will share the findings of our AHRC Connected Communities project, ‘In the Making’, and celebrate the achievements of our ‘Fab Pioneers’ with a display of artwork, poems and 3D prints.

We are kindly supported by Ultimaker GB Ltd who will demonstrate their 3D printers, with experts on hand to offer detailed advice and guidance during their ‘show and tell’ sessions throughout the day.

10 am – 4 pm on Friday 17 June 2016

Digital Performance Lab, The University of Salford,

MediaCityUK Campus, Salford Quays, M50 2HE

A detailed programme will be published shortly, and will include demos, panels and interactive sessions on the following themes:

  • Independent living and liberating technology
  • Well-being
  • The democratisation of digital skills
  • Creative uses of digital fabrication
  • Makerspaces as third spaces

The event is free to attend but places are limited so please confirm your attendance by completing the form overleaf and returning it by post, or e-mailing the required information to the address indicated.

Further information: This project is organised by Disability Rights UK, and the Universities of Salford and Dundee. It is funded by the Arts and Humanities Research Council. 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 OR Philip Connolly at Disability Rights UK on: 0207 250 8192

Please also see our project website:

http://www.inthemaking.org.uk/

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

 

Channel 4 apprenticeships and work experience for disabled people

from Channel 4 website (they may use language that we wouldnt)

2016 is the Year of Disability at Channel 4.

It’s the year when it will broadcast the Paralympic Games in Rio and provide more on and off-screen opportunities for people with disabilities on our biggest shows and with our biggest suppliers.

Alongside this, it has ring-fenced 50% of places on its Apprenticeship and Work Experience programmes to support people with disabilities to get into the media industry, and start to build exciting careers.

Apprenticeship Programme
Work within a department at Channel 4’s offices in London, Manchester or Glasgow for 12 months

Study towards a NVQ Level 3 in Creative Media or Business Administration

Get paid an annual salary of £18,500

Make amazing connections to support your future career.

Successful applicants will start their roles at Channel 4 in October 2016.

More info here

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

Give Me A Reason To Live – At the Lowry 10th May

Give Me A Reason To Live

Claire Cunningham is one of the UK’s leading disabled dance artists and Give Me a Reason to Live is inspired by the depictions of disabled people in Medieval Painter Heironymous Bosch’s work and parallels with depictions of disabled people in some of the modern media; it asks us to consider our own, empathy, sympathy or apathy when faced with a body that is ‘different’ and is Claire’s memorial to the disabled victims of the Nazi Aktion T4 Euthanasia programme and the current disabled victims of recent ‘welfare reform’.

In a starkly beautiful work of transcendence and struggle,  Claire delves into the work of medieval painter Hieronymous Bosch, to explore religion, religious art, and the judgment of souls and bodies.

Powerfully physical, visually striking, and set to a mesmerising score, Give Me a Reason to Live invites us to consider our own empathy, sympathy or indifference, in a work of both generosity and brutal immediacy.

“There is so much heart and intellect, courage and integrity here: Cunningham pushes boundaries not just for disability rights, but for us all”  ★★★★★ The Herald

“an extraordinary performance piece to witness…”  Australian Stage

Booking information here

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

FREE one day conference exploring digital fabrication and disability

A FREE one day conference exploring digital fabrication and disability.

Egg Suite and Gallery, The University of Salford,

MediaCityUK Campus, Salford Quays, M50 2HE

We are delighted to announce this collaborative event, during which we will share the findings of our AHRC Connected Communities project, ‘In the Making’, and celebrate the achievements of our ‘Fab Pioneers’ with a display of artwork, poems and 3D prints.

We are kindly supported by Ultimaker GB Ltd who will demonstrate their 3D printers, with experts on hand to offer detailed advice and guidance during their ‘show and tell’ sessions throughout the day.

A detailed programme will be published shortly, and will include demos, panels and interactive sessions on the following themes:

  • Independent living and liberating technology
  • Well-being
  • The democratisation of digital skills
  • Creative uses of digital fabrication
  • Makerspaces as third spaces

The event is free to attend but places are limited so please confirm your attendance by completing the form overleaf and returning it by post, or e-mailing the required information to the address indicated.

Further information: This project is organised by Disability Rights UK, and

the Universities of Salford and Dundee. It is funded by the Arts and Humanities Research Council. 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 OR Philip Connolly at Disability Rights UK on: 0207 250 8192

Please also see our project website:

http://www.inthemaking.org.uk/

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

Inclusion London are seeking a call for evidence regarding personal budgets

Inclusion London are seeking a call for evidence regarding personal budgets.

‘Commissioning adult social care services through personal budgets and direct payments is an important way of giving care users more choice and control over their services. When implemented well they may improve users’ quality of life.

As such, the National Audit Office has undertaken to report on the Department of Health’s work in the area, to understand the effectiveness and value for money in terms of outcomes for users.

Local authorities spent £6.3 billion on long-term community care in 2014–15. Around 500,000 adults in England received personal budgets in 2014–15, varying between 10% and 100% of users across authorities. The Care Act made personal budgets mandatory for all eligible users from April 2015. Much of the positive evidence for personalising commissioning, however, is old or relates to subgroups of users.

In preparing the report, the NAO considered that there was a strong case for better use of existing surveys and evidence gathering, so the Department and its national partners can understand the relationship between the different ways to commission personalised services for users, and improvements in user outcomes.

Furthermore, the Department is extending personal budgets in healthcare and has an ambition that between 50,000 and 100,000 people will have a personal health budget by 2020.

More information about the inquiry is available at:http://www.parliament.uk/business/committees/committees-a-z/commons-select/public-accounts-committee/inquiries/parliament-2015/personal-budgets-social-care-15-16/

Please send Henrietta.doyle@inclusionlondon.org.uk your experiences regarding personal budgets to inform an Inclusion London response.’

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

Reclaiming Our Future Alliances’s conference call to Disabled People Organisations is next step towards international influence

From Disability News Service

A national conference is set to provide disabled people and their organisations across England with an opportunity to come together to discuss key disability rights issues, share their campaigning successes, and secure a collective voice on the international stage.

The Reclaiming Our Futures Alliance (ROFA) is set to take a sizeable step forward at its annual conference on 14 July when for the first time it elects a national steering group.

Tara Flood, chief executive of The Alliance for Inclusive Education (ALLFIE), one of ROFA’s founding members, said a vacuum had been created by the lack of a genuinely representative network of disabled people’s organisations (DPOs) since the demise of the UK Disabled People’s Council.

She said: “There is a need, in what is an extremely hostile time, for national, regional and local DPOs to come together to feel more united, and think about what we need to do together.”

The alliance plans to extend its influence internationally by applying to become England’s representative on the global organisation Disabled Peoples’ International, and to affiliate with other international organisations such as the European Network on Independent Living.

It is believed to be the first time there has been a network of DPOs representing the interests of disabled people in England, rather than the wider UK.

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

Tribunal rules DWP must release information from secret benefit deaths reviews

from Disability News Service

Disability News Service (DNS) has won its appeal against the Department for Work and Pensions’ refusal to publish information from 49 secret reviews it conducted into the deaths of benefit claimants.

The decision of the information rights tribunal to allow the DNS appeal means the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) should now be forced to hand over all of the information from the 49 “peer reviews” that does not directly relate to the people who died.

DWP has been given five weeks to agree with DNS which information it will release from the reviews, 22 of which took place in 2012-13, 16 in 2013-14, and 11 in 2014-15.

The information it releases will not include details of the circumstances of each death or even the summaries of the findings in each case, but DWP is now required to release most of the recommendations that were made by the authors of the reviews.

This should allow disabled campaigners to hold DWP to account over whether it has implemented changes to its procedures to avoid such deaths happening again.

More here

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

 

DPAC are supporting Plan C – Manchester’s Campaign for National Healthcare Demonstrations

Coinciding with the Junior Doctors strike on 26-27th April, they are calling for nationwide action targeting companies that profit from the privatization of healthcare. Facilitated by the Health & Social Care Act, private companies are running-down our health care system for a profit.The Tories are giving billions in public money to private companies – who dodge paying tax on their profits – whilst trying to force NHS staff andpatients to foot the bill.

Pickets and actions have been called in several cities so far including: Brighton, Leicester, Leeds, London, and Manchester. These actions range from tours of profiteers to blockading the London meeting ofthe CEOs of the largest profiteers.

Want to take action?
Join their actions or set up your own! They can help you publicise and plan your action so you won’t be alone.

www.pickettheprofiteers.org
facebook.com/pickettheprofiteers
@picketprofiteer

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

Capita faces fresh calls to be stripped of PIP contracts after documentary

From Disability News Service

One of the three outsourcing giants that assesses people for their eligibility for disability benefits is facing calls for it to be stripped of its contract, after revelations in a Channel 4 documentary.

The Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) is investigating concerns raised by this week’s Dispatches, which saw an experienced mental health nurse, Noel Finn, go undercover to train as a personal independence payment (PIP) assessor with Capita.

Footage he supplied from a hidden camera showed Capita’s chief medical officer, Dr Richard Peters, telling him during his training that the company needed its assessors “to be doing as many assessments a day as you can possibly manage”.

Peters, who has previously worked for Maximus, another of the three outsourcing companies, also told Finn to “forget your mental health background and park it to one side” when carrying out assessments.

Finn then spent several days gaining experience alongside paramedic and PIP assessor Alan Barham, who Capita colleagues described as “the best of the best” when it came to assessing claimants.

Finn’s undercover footage showed Barham admitting that he sometimes completed his assessment reports before even meeting the claimants, telling Finn that he could usually “completely dismiss” what he was told by PIP claimants, and making offensive comments about an overweight claimant who was unable to carry out her own personal care.

Barham, who also runs his own first aid training company, boasted that in the early days of Capita’s PIP contract in 2013, he and other assessors were earning up to £20,000 a month, at a time when DWP was trying to clear an embarrassing backlog of claims.

Barham said that at the time, Capita – which provides assessments on behalf of DWP across central England and Wales – paid £80 an assessment for the first eight assessments completed every week, then £160 for each of the next six, and £300 for each further assessment.

He told Finn: “We were flying through them because of that money.”

His manager was also seen telling Finn that posters advising claimants that they could record their assessments had been removed from the assessment centre’s public area.

The documentary was directed and produced by the disabled journalist Richard Butchins, who was responsible in 2012 for Dispatches revelations about the work capability assessment contractor Atos Healthcare.

Linda Burnip, a co-founder of Disabled People Against Cuts (DPAC), repeated DPAC’s call for Capita to be stripped of its contract.

She said: “It only goes to reinforce what we’ve always known which is that neither Capita nor Atos are carrying out accurate assessments for people.

“When Barham said he did the assessments before seeing the person being assessed, that upholds what many have said about the assessment reports bearing no resemblance to their conditions or needs.”

More here

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

Breakthrough UK Open Day – Wednesday 4th May

Breakthrough UK Open Day – Disability, employment & independence

Date: 4th May

Time: 10am – 2pm

Location: Levenshulme Inspire, Stockport Road, M19 3AR

Breakthrough UK are holding an open day, and you’re all invited.

This is your chance to get a taste of what Breakthrough’s all about, to meet staff and trustees, and see how you could benefit from all the different work that we do.

We’ll have discussion, information and advice on a variety of issues affecting disabled people’s independence and employment.

Workshops will run from 11am on:

  • Personal Budgets: managing your own support – what are personal budgets, who can get them, and how can they benefit you?
  • Manchester is changing quickly – how do local disabled people ensure their voices are heard?

Our Employment and Independence Advisers will be on hand with advice about increasing your independence, job searching, CV writing, and any other queries you might have. Plus information on local work, training and voluntary opportunities around Manchester.

Refreshments will be available to buy in the Inspire café.

The venue is fully accessible. If you require BSL interpreters, or have any other queries, please contact us on 0161 234 3950, or email admin@breakthrough-uk.co.uk.

For more info, see: www.breakthrough-uk.co.uk/#!latestnews/c1kv8/Post/3vkx47hxecA.text

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

Latest Disability Student Allowa reforms could leave disabled students without support

From Disability News Service

New government reforms to support for disabled university students are “rushed and reckless” and could lead to many young people being left without the assistance they need to complete their degrees, say campaigners and industry experts.

On Monday (18 April), the government is introducing a “quality assurance framework” (QAF), which sets out a series of new requirements for support workers for students claiming disabled students’ allowance (DSA).

These new requirements mean that many professional support workers will have to spend years securing new qualifications or achieving membership of professional bodies to work with new students, although they will be able to continue to work with students they are already supporting.

One provider of student support, Randstad, has accused the Department for Business Innovation and Skills (BIS) of “a reckless approach threatening the support system which students depend upon”.

The government’s reforms and cuts of nearly £30 million a year to DSA have been heavily criticised by disabled campaigners, who have described them as part of “a wider ideological attack on disabled people accessing education at any level”.

Universities and science minister Jo Johnson announced last December that – following a public consultation – many of the cuts to the DSA system would go ahead for new claimants starting courses after 1 September 2016.

But the latest changes affecting providers of support services to DSA claimants – which were not subject to a public consultation – have raised fresh fears.

In a submission to BIS, the Association of Non Medical Help Providers (ANMHP) said its members believed the new criteria were “not appropriate” and “not workable”.

Among the findings of a survey of its members, they found that 96 per cent of notetakers did not hold the relevant qualification, 93 per cent of specialist mentors for students with autism did not hold the relevant qualification, and 55 per cent of specialist mentors for students with mental health conditions did not hold the relevant professional membership.

More here

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

Extant’s production of The Chairs at The Lowry – April 15th & 16th

Extant’s unique casting of blind actors creates a new and exciting interpretation of this classic text.

An elderly couple welcome a procession of invisible guests to their isolated home – an uncertain space where anarchy, ageing and anxiety collide. Who is the mysterious orator they all await? And what will their world-changing message be?

Experimental sound design creates a dynamic, shared experience for sighted and visually impaired audiences.

More info here

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

 

Primary school’s exclusion of disabled pupils ‘an utter disgrace’

From Disability News Service

The government is refusing to act over claims that a primary school excluded up to 30 pupils – many of them disabled – to smooth its path to becoming a self-governing “academy”.

Nonsuch primary in Birmingham moved from local authority control to become an academy in January, but now faces allegations that it excluded pupils in order to improve its performance and so make the move to academy status easier.

At the time of its last Ofsted report, in 2012, the school (pictured) had just 193 children between the ages of four and 11, so it may have excluded more than 15 per cent of its students in a bid to become an academy.

The council has admitted that 90 per cent of fixed-term – temporary – exclusions from the school in the 2014-15 academic year were children with special educational needs (SEN).

More here

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

More than 85% of public tips on benefit ‘frauds’ are false

From The Observer:

More than 85% of fraud allegations made by the public over the last five years were false, according to figures obtained by the Observer.

A freedom of information request to the Department for Work and Pensions discloses that between 2010 and 2015 the government closed 1,041,219 alleged cases of benefit fraud put forward by the public. Insufficient or no evidence of fraud was discovered in 887,468 of these. In 2015 alone, of the 153,038 cases closed by the DWP’s Fraud and Error Service, 132,772 led to no action.

People can use an online form on the DWP website to anonymously report suspects, listing their eye colour, piercings, scars, tattoos and other details they deem relevant. Suspicions can also be logged through the DWP benefit fraud hotline.

More here

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

British Council Of Disabled People’s first newsletter now archived online

Mr Tony Baldwinson has scanned the first BCODP (British Council of Disabled People) Newsletter from May 1983. It is online in the form of a PDF and can be viewed here

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

 

Fallowfield woman raises awareness of the dangers of pavement cyclists

Sarah Livesay from Fallowfield has raised the issue of the growing numbers of cyclists riding on the pavement. Sarah has been knocked over by cyclists in the past and says that the situation is getting worse.

“I understand cycling is a good thing – but not when cyclists are being inconsiderate. I don’t think it’s being policed enough. I think there need to be more signs to make sure people stay in cycle lanes.”

More here

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

New project for young women who identify as lesbian and bisexual

Safer Person Project
 
The Safer Person Project equips young women with the skills and confidence to support friends – acknowledging that friends are often the first call for advice and support. We think that becoming safer people, creates safer spaces. The training will run for 6 weeks and will focus on different themes including relationships, family, gender, LGBT rights and mental health. Open to young, self defining lesbian and bisexual women.
 
The first session is 12th March, at 1-3pm at Sydney Street cafe.
 
Samantha.hallett@theproudtrust.org
 
(GMCDP does not necessarily support or promote any organisation, individual or website mentioned in this post.)

Manchester People First are holding a Women’s Event – Friday 11th March

Manchester People First are holding a Women’s Event on Friday 11th March (11pm – 3pm). This event is open to women who identify as learning disabled. The women only event is run by Emma Clegg and is an opportunity to talk about women’s health and social issues. The event will be catered.

 

For more information email mcrpeoplefirst@gmail.com

or call 0161 839 8700

 

Manchester People First

3 Broughton St

Manchester

M8 8RF

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

 

 

ALLFIE seeks call for evidence from young people

Alliance For Inclusive Education are seeking as many children and young people as possible to take part in a call for evidence, to gather a good picture of what they want from peer support in this area.

Peer support can be a variety of things – from helping a friend to discuss their problems, through buddying and befriending schemes, to 1:1 and group support sessions. It can happen face to face or be online. It’s about promoting emotional wellbeing as much as supporting those with problems. The responses from the call for evidence will be used to help develop models for peer support.

The call for evidence is available here.

They’ re also putting flash polls on their Twitter page @educationgovuk every week for four weeks. The call for evidence closes on 24 March.

There is also a call for evidence for professionals and parents here .

The email address for any queries about the call for evidence is: PeerSupport.consultation@education.gsi.gov.uk.

Peers inflict second government defeat on disability benefit cuts

The government plans to cut some disabled people’s benefits by £30 a week has been defeated in the House of Lords for a second time Peers voted by 286 to 219 to delay the cuts, pending an assessment of the impact on claimants.

In January the Lords voted to remove the cuts from the Welfare Reform Bill altogether, but they were later reinstated by MPs in a Commons vote. Ministers may try to overturn the fresh defeat at a later date.

A spokesman for the Department for Work and Pensions said: “The vote in the House of Lords is a routine part of the legislative process and next steps will be announced in due course.”

More here

 

Greater Manchester Law Centre

Greater Manchester Law Centre will soon be offering high quality, free legal advice for Greater Manchester. They are in the process of setting up and looking for volunteers.

To get involved email info@gmlaw.org.uk

The website is under construction presently – but will be up at www.gmlaw.org.uk

They have a Facebook page, which is up and running here

A Twitter account here @gmlawcentre

A blog here

Tumblr here

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

 

People History Museum to hold ‘Disabled Access’ day 12th March 2016

From People’s History Museum

On Disabled Access Day we invite you to come and have your say on how the People’s History Museum represents disability. The fight for disability rights is a key story in the history of ideas worth fighting for, and one that is currently underrepresented in the museum. We want to improve our collections and displays and ensure that they are representative, accurate and reflect community voices. Have you been involved in any campaigns? Do you have any objects or archive material that you’d like to show us? Or do you just want to make your voice heard over a brew and a biscuit? We’d love to hear from you! If you can’t make the event, but would like to get involved, then please contact exhibitions@phm.org.uk or call 0161 838 9190.

Suitable for adults and young people

Booking required via Eventbrite

Free (refreshments provided)

1.00pm – 3.00pm

Website here

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

Cloverleaf advocacy in Tameside

Cloverleaf Advocacy provide support to adults with physical and sensory impairments, older people, carers, people with mental health needs and people with learning disabilities as part of the generic advocacy service in which they provide for residents of Tameside. Cloverleaf also provides Independent NHS Complaints Advocacy support across Tameside.

An advocate can support you to find out information, speak to healthcare or social professionals, support you at meetings, and also support you to challenge a decision which you not agree with.

Cloverleaf also provides Independent Mental Health Advocacy (IMHA) support to residents of Tameside. If you have been detained under the Mental Health Act you are entitled to IMHA support. With consent your IMHA can talk to you in private, visit and talk to anybody involved in your medical care. The IMHA can also help you understand the Mental Health legislation and information about your medical treatment.

Cloverleaf website here

Telephone: 0161 207 0767
E-mail: tameside@cloverleaf-advocacy.co.uk
Website: www.cloverleaf-advocacy.co.uk

Address: Tameside Advocacy Service,
The Old Vicarage,
Manchester Road,
Ashton Under Lyne
OL7 0BA

Opening times: 09.00 – 17.00

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

Ambition for Ageing are setting up an equality board.

Ambition for Ageing is a new programme working in 26 wards across Greater Manchester (turn over for full list). It aims to make communities more age-friendly and improve older people’s quality of life. Over the next five years, local people (aged 50 and over) will get a chance to initiate all kinds of projects and activities, supported by Big Lottery funding, and to decide where investments in their areas should be made.

We are setting up an Equalities Board to bring together people whose experience of ageing differs in some way from the ‘majority’ in their area. This may be because you come from a particular cultural or ethnic background, have been through particular life events (e.g. unemployment, loss of a partner, a long-term health condition), or have experienced inequality and discrimination. By sharing your insights with us and giving us advice on how best to reach and involve people who are similar to you, you will help to ensure that every older resident in the target areas can benefit from Ambition for Ageing. You will also help us (the Ambition for Ageing team and the Programme Board) to make the right decisions for the programme as a whole.

We can’t say exactly what the Board will look like or how it will work, as we want you, our members, to decide this! One idea, however, is to have two groups:
1) a small formal group who meet regularly and make strategic decisions,
2) a much larger informal advisory group whose members will be kept informed and involved in ad hoc ‘task and finish’ groups around particular issues.

Whatever form the Board takes, you can join us even if you are unable to attend meetings in person, or have special access requirements. All members will receive the individual support, training or advice you need to carry out your role. This include travel expenses and other forms of reimbursement.

The first meeting of the Equalities Board will take place from 2pm to 4pm on 3rd March 2016, in central Manchester. But don’t worry if you can’t make this date – there will be plenty more!

If you are interested in joining the Ambition for Ageing Equalities Board or just want to find out more, please call Hannah or Valeska on 0345 330 3030 (ext. 310) or email us at AfA@lgbt.foundation. We look forward to hearing from you!

Ambition for Ageing Target Wards :

Bolton: Crompton, Halliwell, and Tonge with the Haulgh
Bury: Moorside, Radcliffe North, and St Mary’s
Manchester: Burnage, Moston, and Moss Side & Hulme
Oldham: Alexandra, Crompton, and Failsworth West
Rochdale: Central Rochdale, Smallbridge & Firgrove, and West Middleton
Salford: Broughton, Langworthy, and Weaste & Seedley
Tameside: Ashton Waterloo, Denton South, and Hyde Newton
Wigan: Atherton, Leigh West, and Pemberton

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

Council’s ‘disregard’ for Care Act triggers user-group complaint to CQC

From Community Care

Disability campaigners have reported Norfolk County Council to the Care Quality Commission for ‘disregarding’ its statutory duties under the Care Act 2014.

Equal Lives, which represents more than 50 user-led groups in the county, wants the regulator to investigate what it claims are ‘systemic’ failures in care and support planning.

The group says eligibility thresholds have been raised and care package reviews are being used to reduce, or completely withdraw, support for people regardless of need. It also claims the decision to remove ‘wellbeing’ payments for personal budget holders last year has had a “devastating impact” on service users’ lives.

Section 1 of the Care Act requires local authorities to promote wellbeing through their adult social care functions. The statutory guidance underpinning the act also says care package reviews “must not be used to arbitrarily reduce a care and support package”.

Equal Lives claims the local authority is breaching these duties and has submitted evidence from eight cases to the CQC.

The council told Community Care it “disputes any suggestion” of unlawful care but said it took the issues raised by Equal Lives “extremely seriously” and would review decision-making.

The CQC is considering the information received from Equal Lives. The watchdog has not inspected a local authority since 2010 but the Care Act allows the government to order it to do so in exceptional circumstances. The power has not been used since the act came into force last year.

More here

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

WCA Action Group meeting next tuesday

The WCA Action Groups next meeting is on the coming tuesday (23rd February 2016, 10am-12pm).

The meeting will be held on the 4th Floor of Church House again, 90 Deansgate, Manchester, M3 2GH.

More information here

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

Government agrees four more years of ILF transition cash for councils

The government has agreed to fund former users of the Independent Living Fund (ILF) in England for the next four years, following months of campaigning pressure from disabled activists. The minister for disabled people, Justin Tomlinson, passed on the news on  the 10th February to two former ILF-users at a meeting in his department.

The Department for Communities and Local Government (DCLG) yesterday published a six-week consultation on the plans – although it has so far failed to publicise the consultation – which describes the funding it proposes passing on to local authorities over the four years from April 2016.

ILF was funded by the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP), and when it closed on 30 June 2015 it was helping nearly 17,000 disabled people with the highest support needs to live independently.

But ministers decided it should be scrapped, promising instead that nine months’ worth of non-ring-fenced funding would be transferred through DCLG to councils in England and to devolved governments in Wales and Scotland, to cover the period until April 2016.

It has now agreed to extend that funding to English councils for another four years.

More at Disability News Service here

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

 

Manchester City Council release the draft Consultation on the All Age Disability Strategy

Manchester City Council have released the draft Consultation on the All Age Disability Strategy.

The draft All-age disability strategy has now been presented to Communities Scrutiny on 27 January and the consultation on the strategy/proposals are now live on the Council’s website until 18 March.

You can find the Strategy here

You can find the consultation questions here

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

 

 

 

New BBC programme seeks participants

From Wall to Wall Media –
 
We are hoping to find participants to take part in a TV show, where modern day people will live for 3 weeks as the Victorians did in 1870.
 
We are keen to represent a slice of modern Britain, with people from different backgrounds, ages, abilities, different family dynamics – such as single parent families, retired couples, as well as people with different trades – such as shop keepers, tailors etc.
 
Each person will have a different reason as to why they want to experience life in a Victorian slum – it could be a family connection such as their ancestors once lived in a slum, it could be a trade connection – that they own a shop in the modern day and want to know what it would be like to run a shop in a Victorian Slum, or it could simply be to compare then to now, what was better and what was worse. We hope it will mainly be about learning and gaining a personal experience.
We also want to reach out to people with disabilities who would be interested in exploring life in a different era and how their disability might be affected. There was a lot more disability in those days and there wasn’t the degree of medicines and curative medicines that there is today, meaning many childhood diseases weren’t treated like they are today. There also wasn’t the sophistication of the mobility equipment that there is today.
 
There was no welfare state and this had a big impact on how the Victorians lived for example, many people in the Victorian era lost limbs in industrial accidents, but prosthetic limbs were very expensive and weren’t as functional as they are now. To survive in the Victorian era, the best chance you had was to be a man at peak fitness, any man considered not to be at his peak then fell into the same bracket as women and the elderly – often earning little or no wage. This often meant that people with prosthetic limbs would sell them in desperate measures, in order to feed themselves or their family.
The above is just an example of some of the interesting facts about Victorian Slums, we know this experience is going to be hard for everyone but we also know it will be incredibly rewarding. We want to ensure everybody takes something away from their experience and that could be what they have learnt for the better and how it effects their life going forward.
 
The Series
We are taking a group of people back in time, to experience life as it was in the Victorian days, will be responsible for managing their own economy; mastering old trades and selling their wares in order to put food on the table.
 
The filming will take place from 28th march – 17th April, in London – but we are looking for people from all over the UK and Ireland.
 
Interested parties should contact casting@walltowall.co.uk
 
or call 020 3301 8685
 
(GMCDP does not necessarily support or promote any organisation, individual or website mentioned in this post.)

Public meeting by Manchester User’s Network

This public meeting by Manchester User’s Network will address:
Dysfunctional Mental Health Care System
Upsurge in deaths of the Mentally ill
Patients left to their own devices
Views of Service Users ignored (patients)
Managers making non clinical decisions on patients
(CPA assessments just a paper exercise)
What can our MPs do about this Crisis?
Chaired by Sarah Yiannoullou Managing Director, of the National Survivors Users Network, speakers will include Luciana Berger MP (Shadow Mental Health Minister) and Ivan Lewis MP (Considering to Challenge for Mayor of Greater Manchester).

Date & Time of Event:
25 February, 2016 – 13:30 to 15:30
Venue:
The John Tocher Room, The Mechanics Institute, 103 Princess Street, Manchester, M1 6DD
Patients, Carers and all members of the public are welcome to attend.
For further Information contact Alan Hartman, on 0161 492 0790 or Paul Reed on 0774 811 5989.

Motability cuts in PIP changes

45% of claimants who have a Motability car paid for via DLA will lose it when they are transferred to PIP according to Benefits And Work, because they fail to qualify for the enhanced rate of the PIP mobility component.

At the moment, claimants who lose their car in these circumstances get up to £2,000 from the charity to help with the purchase of a second hand vehicle. But such a small sum will not in any way make up for the loss of a specially adapted vehicle.

More here

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

Rica are running a survey about Wheelchair Sport

WheelPower is the national charity for wheelchair sport and is runninga  survey to find out what activities wheelchair users currently take part in, what you would like to try or do more of in the future.

There are five sections:
1. About you
2. Current participation in sport and physical activity
3. Future participation in sport and physical activity
4. Finding out about sport and physical activity
5. Contact details

The survey should take approximately 10-15 minutes to complete. Closing date Friday 6 May 2016
There’s a prize draw for a £100 voucher – sign up at the end of the survey.

The survey is available online here, in print and large print or answers can be taken over the phone. If you’d like the survey in an alternative format or have any questions, please contact:

Jo Holliday joannaholliday@rica.org.uk or 020 7427 2460.

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

The Government may be about to scrap one of its harshest disability benefit cuts

From the Independent

David Cameron has declined to answer whether the Government will go ahead with its £30-a-week cuts to key disability benefits – prompting hopes of a change in policy.

The Government was defeated in the House of Lords in late January over whether some disabled people claiming Employment and Support Allowance should get a lower rate.

New claimants in the so-called “Work Related Activity Group” (WRAG) would have been paid around £72 a week instead of £102, but peers rejected the proposals by 283 votes to 198.

Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn asked David Cameron to clarify the Government’s position at Prime Minister’s Questions today. Mr Corbyn noted that 2,300 cancer patients were currently in the group whose rate for new claimants would be cut.

David Cameron did not provide a direct answer to the question and instead emphasised that the proposed cut only applied to future claimants of the benefit.

Iain Duncan Smith, the Work and Pensions Secretary, watched the exchange from inside the Commons chamber with a distressed expression on his face.

More here

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

NHS seek response on mental health services for veterans

The NHS England engagement on mental health services for veterans is now live and the survey and supporting information can be accessed at: https://www.engage.england.nhs.uk/survey/veterans-mental-health-services

The deadline for responses is 5pm on 31 March 2016 and the NHS are particularly keen to hear from the following groups:

· Veterans who have or have had a mental health condition

· People who know veterans who they believe have or have had a mental health condition

· Service charities / support groups

· Mental health professionals involved in veterans’ mental health care

· CCGs.

The survey includes sets of tailored questions for each of the above audiences, however, NHS England welcomes views from anyone who has an interest in veterans’ mental health and people can choose which section they wish to complete.

A hard copy engagement document including a detachable survey and free post envelope has been produced, along with a leaflet and poster. A limited number of these are available and if you would like to place an order, please email ENGLAND.VMH-Engagementhub@nhs.net.

We have arranged for the engagement document to be translated in to Nepalese to enable the involvement of the ex-Gurkha community This will be circulated once available.

These documents form part of a toolkit to support local engagement, which includes:

· Engagement document

· Leaflet

· Poster

· Suggested newsletter articles, web copy and tweets

· Stakeholder briefing

· Discussion aid for engaging CCG colleagues

· Discussion aid for engaging patients / service users

· Email to patients / service users

· Press release (includes the press release that has been issued by the central NHS England team – please tailor for local use)

· Slide deck.

Please note that all of these documents will be available on Comms Link from Tuesday with the Nepalese engagement document to follow. They will continue to keep Comms Link updated with any additional documents that may be produced throughout the engagement.

All responses to the engagement will be reviewed and analysed to help inform a report that will be made available on the NHS England website and shared with interested groups. This will help to inform decisions on commissioning arrangements for future veterans’ mental health services.

If you have any questions or would like to find out more about the engagement, please email andreacollins1@nhs.net

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

FutureEverything Festival offering festival passes

FutureEverything, a digital arts, culture and innovation organisation based in Manchester are offering a bursary to attend their festival. They are offering 15 free full festival passes to those who otherwise wouldn’t be able to attend. They are particularly keen to offer places to those from lower economic backgrounds and under-represented groups who would benefit from FutureEverything’s events and networks. They want to make sure everyone has an opportunity to engage with our programme, experience new ideas and meet new people that gather around our festivals.

Deadline: Monday 8 February 2016

For more information, visit: futureeverything.org/news/futureeverything-2016-bursary/

email: natalie@futureeverything.org

or telephone: 0161 232 4600.

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

 

BSL Interpreted Shows At Contact

GMCDP has been sent the following information from Contact (Theatre) on Oxford Road about upcoming BSL interpreted performances.

“20 Stories High & Theatre Rites: The Broke N Beat Collective- BSL interpreted show Wed 24 Feb, 7:30pm. £13/7 conc. Over 13s.

Spend an evening with the collective; a raw, gritty, funny and moving gig that explores the hardships faced my young people in the UK today. Fusing beatboxing, b-boying, vocals, poetry and hip hop puppetry to creatively explore themes including young parenthood, bereavement, abuse and self-harm, the show focusses on what it is to be broken, but not beat. For more info please visit www.contactmcr.com/20storieshigh

Jamie Fletcher & Company: Dancing Bear- Thu 11 Feb, 8pm. £13/7 conc. Over 14s.

Conceived by director/musician Jamie fletcher, and writer/musician Beccy Owen, Dancing Bear features a multi-talented cast, exploring the personal stories of faith and sexuality, through live music, movement, drag and text. Pert-theatre, part-gig, with a heart full of furious compassion, candour and humour, Dancing Bear offers an unflinching look at the often desperate balancing act between personal integrity, social & cultural acceptance, and spiritual peace. For more info please visit www.contactmcr.com/dancingbear

Bryony Kimmings and Tim Grayburn: Fake It ‘Til You Make It- BSL Interpreted show Thur 10 Mar, 8pm. £15/10 conc. Over 14s.

The international hit show about clinical depression and men. A wickedly-warming, brutally honest and heart-breaking show about the wonders and pitfalls of the human brain, being in love, and what it takes to be a ‘real man’. For more info please visit www.contactmcr.com/fakeit

We offer concessions for under 18s, students, senior citizens, unwaged and disabled audience members.

We also have two group booking offers:

Book 6 tickets for a show and get £1 off each ticket

Book 10 tickets for a show and get the 11th ticket free”

For more information, go to the website:

http://contactmcr.com/

(Posted 3 February 2016.)

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

Wheelchair user asked to leave cinema, told that she was a fire hazard

Cecilia Turk was asked to leave Cineworld in Fareham on the grounds that she was considered to be a ‘fire hazard’. Ms Turk was asked to leave 30 minutes into the showing of the film that she was there to see. After 15 minutes of being in the wheelchair bay, she moved to the aisle as she was in discomfort. 15 minutes later, staff approached Ms Turk’s personal assistant and told them to leave, stating that they were a fire risk.

A spokeswoman for the cinema group said they were making changes to their nine screens.

‘We were really sorry to hear that Ms Turk wasn’t happy with her experience at our cinema and we have been in regular contact to apologise and address her concerns,’ she said.

‘We take matters of equal access very seriously. We have made changes so that all screens are fully accessible.’

More from the Metro here

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

Information About PIP Assessment Centres

The benefitsandwork.co.uk website is seeking information about PIP assessment centres around the country. The information gathered is being shared on their website with other people attending assessments at the centres.

The type of information being sought is: distance from the nearest bus stop, whether the centre is wheelchair accessible, whether there are accessible toilets, and more. Comments are not wanted about assessment centre staff.

To find out more, go to the benefitsandwork.co.uk webpages:

You reveal the truth about PIP assessment centres

and

PIP Assessment Centres

(Posted 3 February 2016.)

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

E-Learning Course On ‘Reasonable Adjustment’ In Education

The Equality and Human Rights Commission is developing an e-learning course for teachers to more fully understand how ‘reasonable adjustment’ can be accommodated in education.

Teachers can register their interest for the forthcoming course at:

Register your interest now in a new e-learning course for teachers | Equality and Human Rights Commission

Teachers may also be interested in other organisations which promote inclusion of disabled children and adults in education. Find more information at:

Alliance for Inclusive Education (ALLFIE)

Centre for Studies on Inclusion in Education

World of Inclusion

(Posted 3 February 2016.)

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

Welfare Reforms and Mental Health Conference

The Mental Health Resistance Network and Alliance for Counselling and Psychotherapy are organising this conference on Saturday 5 March in London.

It is a conference for activists, campaigners and professionals. There will be workshops on recent, current and future campaigns around welfare to work policies, including: Work Capability Assessments; conditionality and sanctioning; workfare; DWP employment advisors in GP surgeries, food banks, libraries; IAPT therapists and well-being hubs in Jobcentres; psychological coercion and enforced treatments. There will also be a workshop on direct action.

The conference is free, but donations will be welcomed on the day to cover costs.

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

Welfare Reforms and Mental Health – Resisting Sanctions, Assessments and Psychological Coercion

(Posted 2 February 2016.)

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

Update On Bedroom Tax Cases

On 27 January, the Court of Appeal decided against the government when it announced that the bedroom tax (spare room subsidy) is discriminatory in two cases, one taken by the parents of a disabled child and one by a woman who has experienced domestic abuse.

The Government has since announced that it will be challenging the decision.

You can find more information in the following places:

The court ruling is at:

Courts and Tribunals Judiciary | Susan Rutherford and others -v- Secretary of State for Work & Pensions and A -v- Secretary of State for Work & Pensions

and the Disabled People Against Cuts webpage:

Important Update About Bedroom Tax Victory

(Posted 1 February 2016.)

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

Manchester City Fans Verbally Abuse Disabled Man And Boy

The Liverpool Echo reported last week that a 22 year old young disabled man attending the Capital One cup semi-final match at the Manchester City Etihad Stadium was verbally abused by Manchester City fans while trying to leave the match, and was placed in a fenced-off section by security until the situation calmed down.

This has been linked with another reported incident at the same match when an 8 year old Everton fan, whose seat in the area for disabled fans was in the home section, was told by nearby City fans that he should have been drowned at birth.

Both articles are on the Liverpool Echo webpages:

http://www.liverpoolecho.co.uk/news/liverpool-news/disabled-everton-fan-traumatised-after-10810609#ICID=FB-Liv-main

and

http://www.liverpoolecho.co.uk/news/liverpool-news/disabled-eight-year-old-everton-10809157

Searches have not been able to locate any reports of action being taken either by the football authorities or police to address these two incidents, but GMCDP staff hope to find such reports being released in the near future.

For those of you interested in making football and other stadia more accessible to disabled people, see:

Level Playing Field

(Posted 1 February 2016.)

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

Protest Against Job Coaches In GP Surgeries

On 4 March, organisations including Disabled People Against Cuts, Boycott Against Workfare and Mental Health Resistance Network are holding a protest outside a GP surgery in London.

The protest is against Maximus Job Coaches being placed in GP surgeries.

For more information, go to the DPAC webpage:

Protest vs Job Coaches in GP Surgeries: DPAC

Or see the event Facebook webpage:

Surgeries for treatment, job centres for jobs

(Posted 1 February 2016.)

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

Personal Health Budgets – Workshop in Dukinfield

Personal Health Budgets Workshop on Monday 1 February 2016
From 9.30 a.m. to 1.00 p.m. followed by lunch

St John’s Church Hall, Vicarage Drive, Dukinfield, SK16 5HZ

There will be presentations about what personal health budgets are, what is happening in other parts of the country and how personal health budgets have helped people improve their health.

This will be followed by discussions to share ideas and what we need to do to be able to offer personal health budgets in Tameside and Glossop.

Next steps – How you can be involved in the ongoing development of personal health budgets

To book a place please contact Catherine Cane tel: 0161 304 5417 or email catherine.cane@nhs.net with the following information:

Name
Email address or telephone number
Details of whether you are a Disabled Person or a Carer?
Name of the organisation you represent/work for
Any special dietary requirements
If you require transport to the workshop please contact Catherine Cane on the email address above.

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

DWP set to repeat ILF blueprint by transferring AA cash to councils

from Disability News Service

The government has announced proposals to end all new attendance allowance claims and transfer the savings to councils, but says its plans do not include scrapping disability living allowance for older people.

The provisional local government finance settlement for 2016-17 includes plans to abolish attendance allowance (AA) for new claimants, and pass the funding to local authorities in England and Wales to help them “support older people with care needs” through their adult social care systems.

AA is paid to over-65s who need significant levels of supervision or help, with a lower rate of £55.10 a week and a higher weekly rate of £82.30, and is designed for those who acquire those support needs after turning 65.

Those who are already claiming disability living allowance (DLA) or its working-age replacement personal independence payment (PIP) when they turn 65 continue to claim that benefit, rather than AA, and are not currently affected by the proposals.

The Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) insisted that its planned changes to AA – which are subject to consultation – will not apply to existing AA claimants, although more details of its plans will be revealed when it publishes a consultation document in the new year.

But there are likely to be fears that abolishing AA for new claimants will eventually be followed by scrapping it completely, and possibly even extending this to over-65s claiming DLA and PIP, following the blueprint created by the coalition and Conservative governments for closing the Independent Living Fund (ILF).

ILF was temporarily closed to new members in 2010, before that decision was made permanent the following year.

Another 12 months later, ministers took the decision to scrap ILF completely and pass the non-ring-fenced funding to local authorities. The fund finally closed on 30 June 2015.

The AA proposals were announced quietly just a few days before Christmas, so there has been little reaction so far from disabled activists and user-led organisations.

more here

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

The Solid Life of Sugar Water – accessible performances at Royal Exchange

Caption for 'The Solid Life of Sugar Water'

From Tue 9 – Sat 13 Feb, Graeae Theatre Company will be visiting Royal Exchange Manchester with The Solid Life of Sugar Water by Jack Thorne (writer of Skins, Shameless, This is England, The Last Panthers). All performances will creatively integrate audio description and captioning and will therefore be accessible to blind/ visually impaired audiences and Deaf audiences. The cast is a disabled actor and a Deaf actress, and the Royal Exchange is fully accessible.

Following unanimous acclaim at the 2015 Edinburgh Festival Fringe, picking up the Euan’s Guide Award for Most Accessible Production and collecting fifteen 4-star reviews and two 5-star reviews, we are delighted that Graeae and Theatre Royal Plymouth’s production will be touring nationally from 20 January 2016. All performances include audio description and creative captioning, and all venues are fully accessible.

“It had been a while. I was really nervous. I mean, it’s not like riding a bike. Sex. It’s far more complicated.”

Phil and Alice are in love. Phil and Alice are healing wounds. Phil and Alice are desperate to communicate.

Candid, uninhibited and visceral, this new play from the award-winning Jack Thorne is an intimate, tender portrait of loss, hurt and recovery.

The Solid Life of Sugar Water received unanimous acclaim from critics and audiences alike at the 2015 Edinburgh Festival Fringe, with The Times calling it “startlingly good”.

4-stars The Guardian, The Times, The Telegraph, Sunday Times, FT, Time Out

Jack Thorne’s previous credits include Let the Right One In and Hope for the stage, as well as television dramas Glue, Skins, Shameless and This is England. His new play Harry Potter and the Cursed Child will open in the West End in 2016.

“Forceful, thrilling, stunning” Daily Telegraph

All performances include audio description and creative captioning.

Graeae is a force for change in world class theatre, putting Deaf and disabled actors centre-stage and building ‘aesthetics of access’ into all productions.

More information about Graeae here

#SugarWater

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

Scorpio -Spooky!

Spooky

Whilst LieDS continues his crusade to demonise disabled people I was amazed to see that across the pond John Brennan, Director of the CIA, chose the 25th anniversary of the Americans with Disabilities Act to celebrate the contribution that disabled people have made to the world of espionage.
It’s pretty rare for any intelligence agency to reveal details of their recruitment practices but the CIA was proud to disclose that disabled people are employed across the organisation in a wide-range of roles.
I wonder if there are any disabled people employed in our equivalent, the Security Intelligence Service (or MI6 as it is more commonly known), and if our Government is as proud.
I suppose I could reveal that I am, in fact, a serving Officer, but then I would have to kill you.

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