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Disability Rights UK: United Nations Convention On The rights of People With Disabilities

From Disability Rights UK

We want to hear from disabled people and people with long-term health conditions about how you think the UK is doing in upholding our rights under the UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (UNCRPD).

In 2017 the UN Committee on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities will conduct its first examination of the UK, looking at the steps it has taken to implement the UNCRPD. The Committee, the majority of whom are disabled people, is a body of experts, nominated and elected by governments.

 

The examination will look at the UK performance across all of the provisions of the Convention, which include:

·      Living independently and being included in the community

·      Personal mobility

·      Access to information

·      Respect for privacy and for home and family

·      Inclusive education

·      Health

·      Work and employment

·      Adequate standard of living

·      Participation in public life

·      Participation in culture leisure and sport

 

 

Disability Rights UK (DR UK) are holding 7 half day events across England. There is no charge but places are limited so don’t delay, book today!

As well as the Government giving their view, disabled people and our organisations can prepare and submit shadow or parallel reports, offering an independent account of the national situation from our point of view. The Equality & Human Rights Commission (EHRC) has funded DR UK and Disability Wales to produce such a report.

We need to hear from you! 2016 Dates and Venues

 

For more information or to book your place, please email Nick Ash at events@disabilityrightsuk.org

All venues are accessible, however please let us know of any access needs you may have in advance.

Important consultation on a replacement for ESA

From Spartacus Network

ESA needs replacing; there is little disagreement about that. What has not yet been proposed is a system to replace it. Such a system should be designed primarily by the sick and disabled people who will depend upon it.

This is what Ekklesia is proposing to do. In its initial survey, Ekklesia asked respondents about what support they needed in order to be able to work (if work were possible at all) and how the assessment process should occur. The results of this survey have been published in two reports. The first focusses on the support that sick and disabled people say that they need if they are to be able to work. The second report presents a proposal for a new assessment and support process, again based upon the responses to the survey. But there is more work to do.

Ekklesia are asking people to respond to their initial proposal with comments and critique. Their second report is also a consultation document, asking for responses to the proposed system and principles. Twelve weeks have been given to respond to this consultation, which is running from 9th August to 31st October 2016. Ekklesia are particularly keen for responses from people with sensory impairments, spinal or limb injuries, learning disabilities and autism spectrum disorders as these groups were under-represented in the initial survey. However, chronic physical and mental illness continue to be central to the design of a suitable assessment process, especially given their traditional under-assessment in income-replacement and extra-cost benefits.

You can find the first report here, and the second (consultation) report here.

You can respond to the report by emailing your response to ekklesiasurvey@gmail.com or by posting it to Ekklesia Survey c/o Simon Barrow 3/3 Kirk St, Edinburgh, EH6 5EX.
If you prefer, for simplicity, you can answer the consultation questions using a scale of Strongly Disagree / Disagree / Neither Agree nor Disagree / Agree / Strongly Agree.

The report by Ekklesia shows that the government is badly failing its sick and disabled citizens. The government claimed that the Incapacity Benefit system abandoned disabled people to a life on benefits. Yet we are far more abandoned by ESA. Under IB we were given the freedom to live and manage their lives; on ESA WRAG or JSA we are mandated to activities beyond our capabilities without the support we would need to be able to undertake them.

Without this support, any attempts to get us into work are simply doomed to fail. It is a waste of the government’s resources to put money into a scheme that cannot work, and a waste of our health, energy and capacity for social inclusion. The government cannot have it both ways; it cannot refuse to pay the cost of employment support and simultaneously insist that we ‘prepare for’ work that we will never find.

The principles that Ekklesia propose allows the government to make the choice of whether to fully support someone to work, or to support them in a life of independence and social inclusion outside of the workplace. By basing the decision upon what support is needed for an individual to work, we ensure that the decision on capacity for work is tied in to both what support an employer can provide, and what the government is providing. We end the farcical situation where individuals are told by the DWP’s mechanistic system that they are fit for work, when the assessor and employment support worker know that the individual is demonstrably unfit for work. And we ensure that no-one is asked to work before the government has made it possible for them to do so.

Based on the results from the respondents to Ekklesia’s survey, Ekklesia have proposed, as a starting point for this consultation, that a new assessment process should include the following features:

  • Medical evidence should be provided for all individuals; this is a more efficient way to get an accurate medical opinion than having to employ medics who are not involved in the individual’s care.
  • The assessment should be in the format of a discussion taking place over several meetings.
  • Claimants should have the opportunity to comment on the assessor’s report before a decision is made.
  • The assessor should also be the one who makes the decision on fitness for work.
  • Reassessment need only occur for those not in regular contact with a caseworker, and should be light-touch in recognition that these are the people who are least likely to become fit for work.

The criteria of fitness for work should be based on the following:

  • The decision of capacity for work should include labour market competitiveness.
  • The assessment should consider the overall capacity for work, including the need to work at a slower pace or have breaks from work, rather than focussing on isolated activities.
  • The assessment should give direct consideration to the skills that the individual has and whether or not these can be used given the claimant’s health condition.
  • A decision of fit for work should be based upon the ability to identify jobs that that individual could perform.
  • If an individual needs particular forms of support to be able to work, that individual is considered unfit for work unless and until that support is provided.

The underlying policy position, principles and assumptions should recognise that:

  • Individuals contribute to society in a number of ways other than paid work, and the value of these contributions should be recognised.
  • The social security system needs to protect those whose health and quality of life is at risk of being damaged by requirements to engage in work or work-related activity.
  • Voluntary work should be encouraged as a valuable contribution to society and as an acceptable activity for people with chronic illness who claim sickness benefits.
  • The basic rate of benefit should be set at a level that is adequate for long-term living including social participation in society.
  • Sanctions and conditionality are detrimental to health, well-being and financial security. They should not be used for people with chronic illness. Instead, a system of top-ups (above a liveable base-level benefit) could be acceptable to compensate individuals for engagement in activity.
  • A range of areas not well captured by the WCA are key to the understanding and assessment of capacity for work. These include mental health, varying or unpredictable capacity for work, and the accumulation of incapacity from multiple origins.
  • Capacity for work is impacted by the provision of support in areas of life outside of the individual workplace. These can include health care, personal assistance, home help, caring responsibilities, commuting and regulation of the labour market to promote more and better quality jobs.
  • People with chronic illness need a wide range of support if they are to be able to work.
  • People with chronic illness may benefit from re-training, particularly where re-training may allow the individual to use remaining health capacity better or compensate for loss of capacity in a previously trained area.
  • Employers may be reluctant to employ people with chronic illness due to founded or unfounded concerns of associated costs. Employers may need practical advice, support and/or financial assistance to make it viable for them to take on an employee where the any associated costs are uncertain.
  • There is a mismatch between what employers mean and can manage when they refer to flexible working, and what people with chronic illness mean and need when they refer to flexible working.
  • There is a difference between an individual being ‘capable’ of work (which could include working for small units of time at irregular intervals, spread out over a longer period), and an individual being employable or being able to find or sustain work.

You can find the first report here, and the second (consultation) report here. You can respond to the report by emailing your response to ekklesiasurvey@gmail.com or by posting it to Ekklesia Survey c/o Simon Barrow 3/3 Kirk St, Edinburgh, EH6 5EX.
If you prefer, for simplicity, you can answer the consultation questions using a scale of Strongly Disagree / Disagree / Neither Agree nor Disagree / Agree / Strongly Agree.
The consultation is running from 9th August to 31st October 2016.

Original article here

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

DPAC will use Paralympics to highlight austerity impact in week of action

From Disability News Service

Disabled activists are to hold a week of action to coincide with the start of the Rio 2016 Paralympics, in a bid to highlight the impact of austerity-driven cuts on disability rights.

Disabled People Against Cuts (DPAC) hopes to use the publicity generated by the Rio Paralympics to draw attention to the “disproportionate impact of austerity” on disabled people.

DPAC plans to use the public interest generated by the games in the same way it did four years ago, when five days of protests focused on the hypocrisy of IT giant Atos sponsoring London 2012 at a time when it was causing “harm and suffering” to disabled people through its contract to assess claimants of out-of-work disability benefits.

Ellen Clifford, a member of DPAC’s steering group, said that next month’s week of action would “draw attention to the cumulative impact of the cuts on disabled people that are taking disabled people’s rights back decades with attacks in every area of our lives from education to independent living to employment to income”.

She pointed out that the UK has become the first country to be investigated for grave and systematic violations of the UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities because of the cuts and “the ideological attacks waged by the Tory government”.

More here

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

 

Inclusive education vital for all, including disabled people– UN experts

From The United Nations Human Rights
The United Nations have just published a statement strengthening the shared understanding about Article 24 of the UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities, which is the Right to Inclusive Education.
GENEVA (1 September 2016) – Inclusive education is central to achieving high quality education for all learners, including those with disabilities, and for the development of inclusive, peaceful and fair societies, UN human rights experts have said in authoritative new guidelines on the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities.
 
“Millions of persons with disabilities are denied an education, and for many more, education is available only in settings where they are isolated from their peers,” the experts from the Committee on the Rights of the Persons with Disabilities say in the guidelines*, officially termed a General Comment, published today.
 
Education of persons with disabilities is often poor quality, sets low expectations and limits learners’ opportunities, the Committee notes. By contrast, a truly inclusive learning environment values the contribution and potential of persons with disabilities, and equips them with essential life, language and social skills.
 
“The right to inclusive education means transforming culture, policy and practice in all formal and informal educational environments to ensure education is for all learners,” said CRPD Chairperson Maria Soledad Cisternas Reyes. “Inclusive education is important not only for persons with disabilities but the societies they live in, as it helps to combat discrimination, and to promote diversity and participation.”
 
The General Comment provides guidance for the 166 States that have ratified the Convention on meeting their obligations under Article 24, under which “States Parties shall ensure an inclusive education system at all levels and life-long learning.”
 
“Placing students with disabilities in mainstream classes without accompanying structural changes to, for example, organisation, curriculum and teaching and learning strategies, does not constitute inclusion,” the document states.
 
Rather inclusive education “focuses on the full and effective participation, accessibility, attendance and achievement of all students, especially those who, for different reasons, are excluded or at risk of being marginalized.”
 
It means the entire education system, whether State-run or private, must be accessible, including buildings, information and communication, education materials, teaching methods, assessment, language and support services, school transport, water and sanitation facilities at schools, school cafeterias and recreational spaces.
 
“Enabling inclusive education requires an in-depth transformation of education systems in legislation, policy and the way education is financed, administered, designed, taught and monitored. We hope our General Comment will guide and aid States toward achieving this goal,” said Ms. Cisternas Reyes
 
(GMCDP does not necessarily support or promote any organisation, individual or website mentioned in this post.)

Assisted Suicide: The Musical | DaDaFest

Assisted Suicide: The MusicalDisabled activist, actor and comedian Liz Carr has chosen the spectacular world of musical theatre as the backdrop to exploring the complex and controversial subject of assisted suicide in her new show Assisted Suicide: The Musical.

On 11 September 2015, MPs voted overwhelmingly against legalising assisted suicide. Opinion polls would have you believe that the majority of the UK population believe it’s a humane choice to legalise assisted suicide for terminally ill or disabled people, but Liz Carr and many other disabled people disagree.

 

Confronting the lack of creative work exploring this most topical taboo, she is joined by director Mark Whitelaw (Duckie, Ursula Martinez, New Art Club), composer Ian Hill (Duckie) and a cast of performers to express an important and often unheard perspective through the medium of musical theatre.

More info here

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

DPAC Conference 10th Sept London

From DPAC

Join us for a DPAC  conference on ‘Disabled Peoples’ Resistance: building beyond borders’ for discussion and film.

John Clarke of Ontario Coalition Against Poverty

John Clarke of Ontario Coalition Against Poverty

This exciting event brings together influential disabled people’s campaigners from around the world into one place for a discussion on how to take the fight for disabled people’s rights forward

The brilliant John Clarke joins us from Ontario Coalition Against Poverty (OCAP) in Canada to present:  ‘Stop the War on the Poor! Resisting Austerity in Ontario’  and the workshop: ‘ is basic income a cynical promise of jam tomorrow to extend austerity?

John McDonnell MP

John McDonnell MP

Speakers include:  Catriona Kenny (Ireland), Antonios Rellas and Athanasios Papantonopoulos (Greece), Kapka Panayotova (Bulgaria)  and The ak MoB (Germany)

With a guest appearance by John McDonnell MP,  Shadow Chancellor

Booking essential: please email: mail@dpac.uk.net

we may be able to help with travel for DPAC members if you email us

Website here

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

DR UK is hosting 7 half day UNCRPD engagement events around England

From Disability Rights UK

UNCRPD Engagement Events | Disability Rights UK

DR UK is hosting 7 half day engagement events around England

Where: Birmingham, Leeds, Manchester, Southampton, Plymouth, Newcastle and London

When: The events take place around England, starting on 14th September 2016 in Birmingham and ending on 5th October 2016 in London

We are holding a series of free events around England (and Disability Wales is holding events in Wales), in which all people living with health conditions/disability can influence the Shadow Report that we will be writing to inform the UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities Committee.

In 2017 the UN Committee on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities will conduct its first examination of the UK, looking at the steps it has taken to implement the UNCRPD. The Committee, the majority of whom are disabled people, is a body of experts, nominated and elected by governments.

We want to hear from disabled people and people with long-term health conditions about how you think the UK is doing in upholding our rights under the UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (UNCRPD).

For more information, download our flier in Word or PDF format

All venues are accessible, however please let us know of any access needs you may have in advance.

If you wish to attend and strengthen the voice of disabled people, please contact Events@disabilityrightsuk.org

Events in Wales and Scotland

Our partners Disability Wales and Inclusion Scotland will be running these events.

Click the links to find out more infomation for events in Wales and Scotland

More information on the UN convention

See the Equality and Human Rights Commission Guide – The United Nations Convention on the Rights of People with Disabilities: What does it mean for you?

Website here

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

The Women and Equalities Committee has launched an inquiry into the accessibility of our homes, buildings and public spaces.

From Disability UK

The Women and Equalities Committee has launched an inquiry into the accessibility of our homes, buildings and public spaces.

Committee Chair Maria Miller MP said:

“This area raises some interesting questions, and there is a great deal of scope for innovation. For example: how can building information modelling and modern methods of construction, contribute to making environments more accessible and inclusive? How can we deliver greater accessibility and inclusivity alongside more age-friendly towns and cities, including liaison with the NHS? To what extent do shared space schemes in roads and highways cause barriers for disabled people and how can these be resolved?

We need to ensure that buildings and public spaces are as accessible and inclusive as possible, and that communities can fully engage with the process of decision making that shapes the accessibility of the built environment.”

The Women and Equalities Committee are inviting written evidence that focuses on one or more of the following issues:

  • Government policy on and current provision of accessible properties (including homes and commercial premises);
  • the effectiveness of UK legislation, policies and standards on accessibility in the built environment;
  • design and management of the public realm;
  • the role of designers, architects and built environment specialists in ensuring accessibility and inclusivity; and
  • local involvement in decision-making.

The deadline for written submissions is Wednesday 12 October 2016.

For more information see here

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

Tommorow! Equality Forum at GMCDP! The Paralympics: empowering disabled people or reinforcing stereotypes of the Supercrip?

The Paralympics: empowering disabled people or reinforcing stereotypes of the Supercrip?
Equality Forum at GMCDP!
18th August 2016
This one looks like its going to be a corker! – event link at the the bottom
 
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.
 


DPAC will use Paralympics to highlight austerity impact in week of action

From Disability News Service

Disabled activists are to hold a week of action to coincide with the start of the Rio 2016 Paralympics, in a bid to highlight the impact of austerity-driven cuts on disability rights.

Disabled People Against Cuts (DPAC) hopes to use the publicity generated by the Rio Paralympics to draw attention to the “disproportionate impact of austerity” on disabled people.

DPAC plans to use the public interest generated by the games in the same way it did four years ago, when five days of protests focused on the hypocrisy of IT giant Atos sponsoring London 2012 at a time when it was causing “harm and suffering” to disabled people through its contract to assess claimants of out-of-work disability benefits.

Ellen Clifford, a member of DPAC’s steering group, said that next month’s week of action would “draw attention to the cumulative impact of the cuts on disabled people that are taking disabled people’s rights back decades with attacks in every area of our lives from education to independent living to employment to income”.

She pointed out that the UK has become the first country to be investigated for grave and systematic violations of the UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities because of the cuts and “the ideological attacks waged by the Tory government”.

Clifford said: “Whilst we will not be protesting the games themselves we will be using this opportunity to raise awareness of the increasing number of disabled people whose access not only to sport and recreation but also to basic human rights to eat, drink and use the toilet are being taken away as a result of the cuts.”

Linda Burnip, a DPAC co-founder, said the Rights Not Games week of action was not intended to oppose the games or criticise British Paralympians, but to highlight the contrast in funding for the Paralympics with the cuts in disabled people’s support in the UK.

Atos will play a major role in next month’s Paralympic Games, just as it did in London, as the “worldwide information technology partner” for both the Olympic and Paralympic Games in Rio.

Although Atos eventually pulled out of the contract to carry out work capability assessments, as a result of a sustained campaign from DPAC and other disabled activists, it now carries out assessments for personal independence payment, another source of huge concern for campaigners.

Burnip said the continuing sponsorship of the Paralympics by Atos was “offensive”, and added: “We want to compare the costs of the Paralympics to the amount that disabled people have to live on.

“Once every four years, disabled people, disabled athletes, become wonderful beings, inspirational, brave, all that sort of stuff, but in between times they are having their [Motability] cars taken off them because they don’t qualify for PIP anymore.

“It’s probably the only time that there is anything positive about disabled people. The rest of the time people are deemed to be scroungers and a burden.

“We want disabled people’s lives to be taken more notice of, and we want changes to legislation that will make that happen.”

DPAC’s week of action will include an exhibition of work by disabled artists; a lobby of parliament on Monday 5 September, the day MPs return from their summer recess, which will call for a legal right to independent living; and the launch of a report evaluating the impact of the closure of the Independent Living Fund, a year after it was shut down by the government.

A national day of action will take place on 6 September, with a protest in London the following day that will call for an end to deaths linked to flaws in the benefits system and draw attention to the failure of successive governments to make that system safe.

An online action will coincide with the Rio Paralympics opening ceremony from midnight UK time on Thursday 8 September.

The week will end with an international conference in north London on 10 September, with speakers attending from Greece and Canada, and others from Ireland and Germany taking part via Skype, on how to “collectivise our opposition to the impact of austerity on disabled people”.

More here

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

Government ‘could have saved £48 billion on social care’ with full funding of DFGs

From Disability News Service

The government could have saved nearly £48 billion in social care costs over five years if it had funded all the work needed to make disabled people’s homes more accessible, according to a new user-led campaigning website.

The calculations have been made by Fleur Perry, editor of Disability United, a website that aims to campaign on key issues affecting disabled people, such as housing, social care, jobs and transport.

Perry made the calculations after finding a reference to research carried out by Isle of Wight Council (see pages 16-18).

The council concluded that for every £1 invested in the disabled facilities grants (DFG) scheme, a council could save more than £7 in social care costs over the next five years.

Perry then found Department for Communities and Local Government research from 2011, which concluded that “the total amount required to cover [DFG] grants for all of those who are theoretically eligible under the current rules” in England was £1.9 billion.

Over the last five years, annual spending by central government on DFGs has ranged from just £180,000 to £220,000.

More here

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

 

Equality Forum at GMCDP: The Paralympics: empowering disabled people or reinforcing stereotypes of the Supercrip?

The Paralympics: empowering disabled people or reinforcing stereotypes of the Supercrip?
Equality Forum at GMCDP!
18th August 2016
This one looks like its going to be a corker! – event link at the the bottom
 
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.
 


 
 
 

 

Grain is looking for a social media apprentice

Are you a Facebook Fanatic, Tweetaholic or Instagram addict?

Well, imagine getting paid for doing the stuff you love.

Grain is looking for a bright, creative and enthusiastic social media apprentice to join its team in Manchester while studying for a City and Guilds social media apprenticeship from The Juice Academy.

Note: The Juice Academy will recruit a number of apprentices to start in October and while you’re applying for the Grain job, you may be placed in a different, equally exciting role in a different company as part of the programme.

With creativity at the heart of everything it does, Grain a Manchester marketing agency, working across digital channels to help businesses grow through brand awareness and customer acquisition.

Grain has four solid brand values; accountability, holistic thinking, playfulness and growth.

This is a great opportunity to get some real on-the-job training, a recognised qualification and be job-ready at the end of it all. Oh, and did we mention you get paid £11,500 for all your hard work?

Digital marketing is one of the fastest growing sectors in the UK, so prospects upon completion are very promising.

If you have 5 A-Cs at GCSE including English and Maths or equivalent we want to hear from you.

To apply, visit www.juiceacademy.co.uk/apply-now/apprentice-apply

Deadline for entries: 14th October 2016

Shortlisted candidates will be invited to attend a selection day on 20th October where the lucky apprentices will be chosen. If you are selected you will be expected to start your apprenticeship on the 21st October please mark clearly on your application if you will be unavailable to start on this date and we will consider you for future selection days.

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

APPG evidence session on halving disability employment gap

From Disability Rights UK

 

The APPG inquiry into the Government’s manifesto commitment to halving the disability employment gap is set to hold an evidence session in public on August 12th from 11 am to 1 pm and 2 pm to 4pm at Somerset House, off the Strand in London.

The sessions will be chaired by two leading officers of the APPG on Disability – Baroness Hollins and Baroness Uddin.

The inquiry is distinct from other inquiries in that it is looking at policy responses that are pan disability. It is not focused upon current welfare to work programmes or benefits but how disabled people can be co-creators of opportunities that have a bearing on their prospects of working (where appropriate and where they wish to) e.g. accessing Government research and development grants, support loans for business start up, support for  self-employment, benefiting from responsible procurement policies and helpful business networks.

It will also examine how growth sectors of the economy can ensure new job opportunities benefit disabled people.

Philip Connolly, Disability Rights UK Policy Manager urges everyone with an interest to come and hear the proceedings and where they have insights helpful to the inquiry to make these known.

“The aim is to move beyond a critique of the inadequacy of current programmes like the Work Programme to the creation of a template or blueprint of how the Government will implement its manifesto commitment. Many disabled people have submitted evidence and they and others will attend to provide further information and insights that will will go on to inform a report from the APPG members to key decision makers within Government and beyond.”

Those wishing to attend or submit evidence are asked to do so via the email address appginquiry@disabilityrightsuk.org

More here

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

Disability Arts Online awarded Elevate Funding

Disability Arts Online (DAO) have been awarded £150,000 over three years through the Arts Council’s Elevate programme, designed to strengthen the resilience of art organisations which are not receiving National Portfolio funding in the period 2015–18, but which demonstrate that they make a significant contribution to the Creative Case for Diversity.

The award will be used to invest in organisational development by increasing staff capacity and facilitating partnership, business and board development to allow a period of stability that will make the organisation sustainable in the long-term.

Activity will focus on establishing an arts consultancy and training service specialising in disability and diversity. This will generate new revenue streams whilst allowing DAO to develop NPO partnerships, leading to new opportunities for diverse artists including co-commissions for Viewfinder, which build on their current Grants for the Arts project.

The core focus of DAO’s work is critique, debate, promotion and education/participation projects to further the professional and creative output of disabled artists and writers. At the heart of DAO’s bid to Elevate are proposals for partnerships with a number of Arts Council National Portfolio Organisations including: a-n The Artists Information Company, Farnham Maltings, Bournemouth Symphony Orchestra and Nuffield Theatre. Funding will also enable us to build on existing relationships with the iF Platform produced by Stopgap, Unlimited produced by Shape and ArtsAdmin, Outside In founded by Pallant House Gallery and New Writing South.

More here

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

PIP: second independent review call for evidence

From Disability Rights UK

The Department for Work and Pensions has appointed Paul Gray CB to undertake the second independent review of the Personal Independence Payment (PIP) assessment.

The review includes all stages of the PIP process, with a particular focus on the use of further evidence in the claim process, data sharing and the claimant experience.

View consultation

Paul Gray will use evidence from this review to inform his report to the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, which will be laid before Parliament by April 2017.

This consultation closes 16 September 2016 5:00pm

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

Maximus company ‘lied’ about user-involvement in inspection contracts

From Disability News Service

A company controlled by the US outsourcing giant Maximus apparently lied when it promised that user-led organisations would help it deliver a vital part of the care watchdog’s inspection programme.

Late last year, Remploy – the disability employment business formerly owned by the government but now mostly owned by the scandal-hit US company Maximus – was awarded three of four regional contracts to run the Care Quality Commission’s Experts by Experience programme.

Under the programme – which will cost nearly £6 million in 2016-17 – people with experiences of using services, including many disabled people, accompany CQC inspectors on their visits to services such as residential homes, hospitals and home care agencies across England.

More here

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

 

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.)