Payday loans

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

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Rail access improvements funding halved and delayed

From Disability News Service
Funding for the government’s main programme to improve access at rail stations is set to be nearly halved over the next four years, with up to 20 access improvement schemes likely to be postponed.The delays were hidden on page 138 of a 172-page report by Sir Peter Hendy (pictured), the new chair of Network Rail, which contains his detailed recommendations to the government for “replanning” Network Rail’s investment programme for 2014-19 across England and Wales.

The report, published in January and amended last month, states that funding for the Access for All station improvement programme should be cut from £102 million to £55 million (in addition to another £32 million carried over from uncompleted work in 2009-14).

A consultation on the Hendy report – commissioned because some of Network Rail’s huge improvement programme had fallen behind schedule and over budget – has now finished, and the government is due to respond later this year.

The government had already cut the budget for the Access for All programme from £370 million over its first 10 years to just £103 million over the next four.

The rest of the funding originally allocated for 2014-19 – and the uncompleted projects – will now be carried over to 2019-24, but with no guarantee that it will not be used to disguise lower spending on access improvements in future years.

More here

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The Reunion: Disability Campaigners programme on BBC iPlayer

BBC have shown a documentary reuniting five people who experienced a long and bitter struggle for historic disability discrimination rights.

‘Kept apart from other children in stiflingly boring special schools, hidden away in institutions or trapped and powerless in family homes, this was normal life for millions of disabled people in Britain in the 1960s and 1970s.

Routinely turned away from cafes for “putting other customers off” and cinemas for being “a fire hazard”, cruel names and insensitive questions were a regular indignity.

In 1979 a Government report found that discrimination against disabled people was as bad as that relating to race or gender. The reportt highlighted the case of a draughtsman whose job offer was withdrawn because he had a prosthetic leg.

In the 1980s, a new generation of disabled people started challenging society and the Government, saying it was society that prevented them from actively participating in a fuller working and social life.

When letters and peaceful campaigning failed, demonstrators upped the ante, chaining themselves to buses and bringing Whitehall to a standstill. The campaign split friendships and loyalties and left many bitterly disappointed.

Joining Sue around the table to look back on what was dubbed “the last civil rights movement” are Baroness Jane Campbell who was arrested during campaigning; Sir Bert Massie who was accused of being an “Uncle Tom” when he started working with the Government; Peter White who, as the BBC’s Disability Correspondent, had a front row seat on the campaign; Lord Hague who steered the Disability Discrimination Act through Parliament; and Adam Thomas who met his wife while chained to a bus!’

Link here

Full transcript here

Disability Benefits Assessment System Has ‘Serious Failings’

An influential committe of MPs has found that the disability benefits assessments system has ‘serious failings’, with concerns about the quality and cost of the controversial tests

Benefit claimants were not receiving an “acceptable level of service” and the cost to the taxpayer of paying private firms to carry out the assessments was set to double to £579 million in 2016-17, the Public Accounts Committee said.

Subsidiaries of Maximus are responsible for the Employment and Support Allowance (ESA) and Fit for Work service, while Atos and Capita carry out Personal Independence Payment (PIP).

More here

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Soldiers jailed after beating up two disabled teenagers

Soldiers who beat up two disabled teenagers “for entertainment” have been jailed for more than 15 years.

Jason Ferguson, 18, and John Ward, 19, targeted the disabled teenagers and taunted them with jibes of “spastic” and “mongol”.

The two disabled teenagers, a 16-year-old deaf boy with autism and his 18-year-old autistic friend, met the pair on a night out near their Army base and initially believed the soldiers were being friendly, a court heard.

The soldiers were on a night out from their Army camp at Sennybridge in the Brecon Beacons when they saw the “vulnerable” pair walking home together.

A court heard they began targeting the pair for verbal abuse filming the insults on one of their phones. The court heard then soldiers then took one of their mobile phones to lead them into the alley.

More here

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Disabled People Storm Parliament!

Dozens of people from Disabled People Against Cuts, Winvisible and other groups protesting against disability benefit cuts have occupied the central lobby in parliament.

The protesters said they were lobbying MPs to scrap cuts to the employment and support allowance and to ensure the proposed budget changes to the personal independence payment would not be introduced.

More at here

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PhD student seeks experiences of clinical procedures

Has your child ever had a clinical procedure such as a blood test?

A learning disabilities nurse and PhD student from Edge Hill University is doing a study to find out about the experiences of families with a child or young person who has a mild to moderate learning disability and has undergone clinical procedures such as blood tests, scans and examinations in hospital and other places.

If you and/or your child would be willing to tell him about your experiences and would like further information, then please contact him by email: Cigang@edgehill.ac.uk or by phone call or text message on either his work mobile phone: 07932477830 or his office landline: 01695 654313.

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

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