A new handbook on direct action, a national day of action on inclusive education, and a call for healthcare professionals to boycott disability benefit assessments were among campaign ideas suggested by disabled activists at a national conference.
The National Disabled People’s Summit saw up to 200 Deaf and disabled activists discussing ways to coordinate the fight against austerity and “reinvigorate” the disabled people’s movement.
Sean McGovern, co-chair of the TUC’s disabled workers’ committee, who chaired the event, said disabled people had not “passively” accepted the attack on their rights and services over the last nine years.
He told the conference that the aim of the event was to bring together Deaf and disabled people from the trade union movement, Deaf and disabled people’s organisations, and grassroots campaigns to “find ways to better pool our knowledge and experiences” and organise joint campaigning.
He said: “We are trying to get together to build our resources together… and hopefully stop fighting battles separately.”
A key part of the event saw disabled people take part in workshops aimed at producing ideas for future campaigning across areas such as accessible transport, inclusive education, independent living and social security.
Other workshops discussed how to develop those campaigns, for example through direct action and protests, trade union organising, and using the law and media.