Feb 072017
 

Update: Following interventions from several DPOs including DPAC, DRUK has agreed to recall and amend their report and we will be examining the changes closely. Watch this space……..


DPAC have previously had a few skirmishes with the hilariously named Disability Rights UK. DRUK are one of the big corporate disability charities that collect money from the public under the guise of championing disabled people.

To start with, our problem with charity for disabled people is we think it shouldn’t be necessary at all- we need equal rights, not charity handouts. DPAC’s slogan is “Rights Not Charity”.

But our particular problem with DRUK, is they advertise themselves as a charity for disability rights, while also taking money from this government with it’s horrendous welfare reforms, cuts to social care and attacks on just about every sphere of disabled people’s lives. DRUK also take money from private companies like Maximus to deliver “Disability Awareness Training” to its WCA assessors. And yet these people claim to stand up for disabled people’s rights?

You can see some examples of our previous battles with DRUK at the end of this post.

But this time they really have taken the biscuit. They’ve not only taken the biscuit, they’ve dunked it in our coffee, dropped the soggy bit on the carpet, taken another biscuit, and scoffed it.

To explain:

DRUK are one of the lead organisations who have been paid by the government to do a report on the state of disabled people’s lives in the UK. This report is going to be submitted to the UN disability committee later this year. Its something called the “Shadow Report”.

Basically Britain signed up to the UN treaty called the UN Charter for Rights of Persons with Disabilities, and every few years the government gets reviewed by the UN on progress towards implementing the treaty. So the government submits a report about that and it also pays non-government organisations to submit a Shadow Report to give their side of the story.

Its meant to prevent the government just giving a glossy everything’s fine report, and its meant to give a critical counter-balance to that as well.

So the government gave a wad of dosh to the Equality and Human Rights commission, who skim some off the top and gave a smaller wad of dosh to DRUK, Inclusion Scotland and Disability Wales to write a shadow report.

The shadow report from DRUK & Co got released at the end of January and we had a look at it. OK its critical of the government in many areas, but one of the first things we looked at was what they said about one of the most important issues facing disabled people right now, the deaths of benefit claimants due to welfare reforms.

We looked, we searched – and the report contained nothing about it at all.

John Pring’s Disability News Service also picked this up and published this article about it: UN report failure on benefit deaths by national DPOs ‘is extreme insult to activists’

And then after asking around and doing a little digging, we discovered that the submission made by Inclusion Scotland to go into the report DID include evidence of deaths of claimants due welfare reform.

So we naturally wanted to know what happened to the vital evidence that was submitted by Inclusion Scotland but didn’t appear in the final report.

The answer came back that the evidence about claimant deaths had “accidentally been edited out” during final changes to the report. To say that we at DPAC were angry about this is an understatement.

We have written to Liz Sayce, CEO of DRUK to demand that they recall their report and put Inclusion Scotland’s evidence back into the report, here is the email we sent yesterday:

Dear Liz,

While we agree that DRUK should make the final decision about what is included in their CRPD shadow submission, like Inclusion Scotland DPAC are also very concerned that during editing of DRUK’s shadow report a vital section relating to claimant deaths and links between those and WCAs was omitted.

While we understand this was accidental and are sure you would never intentionally be so offensive to the memory of thousands of deceased disabled people we feel nevertheless that it is essential you recall the version of this report that was submitted in error and re-submit it with the additional information on the horrific impact on social security claimants the UK government’s welfare reforms to date has had on social security claimants.

 

Yours sincerely,

Linda Burnip

On behalf of DPAC Steering Group

This morning we had a reply,

Dear Linda

Thank you very much for your email. We support the inquiry done last year and the Committee’s conclusions and are acutely aware of the impact of sanctions and cuts on disabled people. Our shadow report is a joint report from Disability Wales, Inclusion Scotland and Disability Rights UK so Rhian from Disability Wales, Sally from Inclusion Scotland and I are agreeing ‎next steps and will get back to you asap. 

 

‎Best wishes

 

Liz

 Liz Sayce OBE

CEO Disability Rights UK

We’ll keep you posted on what they decide, but if you want to tell DRUK to recall their Shadow Report and include information about claimant deaths, you can tweet them on @DisRightsUK or email them at enquiries@disabilityrightsuk.org


Some of DPAC’s previous run-ins with DRUK

 

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 Posted by at 13:21

  4 Responses to “Tell DRUK to recall their Shadow Report *Updated”

  1. Disabled people have always been a commodity! They are bought and sold to employment training institutions, as volunteers. We have become a tick box exercise so that other ‘workers’ can train us about nothing. They attend college courses, they have day centres (if they even exist anymore), we are treated as if we are not human. They tend to forget that many individuals acquire an impairment or health condition as they get older.

    If you are not rich then a disabled person makes a disabled family, struggling to keep body and soul together. Health insurance would not make a difference as most people would not be able to afford health insurance.

    The polity is to incorporate ‘charities’ such as Disability Rights UK who feel as if they are part of the corridors of power. It is the same as a Black man/woman or a Latino voting for Donald Trump. How can anybody support the Government that denies us the right to exist at all.

    Disabled people are dying a death everyday even if they manage not to kill themselves. The oppression that we face in our daily lives is sometimes internalised leading to depression, feelings of lack of dignity, self esteem with no choice and control over our own lives!

    Best wishes to all

  2. Hi Dean, I couldn’t agree more with your views. The rnib are closing 3 holiday hotels because they can’t afford to upgrade them to a decent standard. Yet they have multi millions in profit. Charity’s are run like a business nowadays. What puzzles me is that the report on “Deaths due to Benefit cuts” by Inclusion Scotland was accidentally left out of the report. It will be interesting to see if that section of the report is going to now be revised and presented to the un? I will certainly be contacting DRUK and expressing my concern at this very important piece of evidence be included in a re-drawn report to the un. There should clearly be an independent organisation not connected to the uk government in any way to carry out an in depth report. Telling the truth about disabled people and their daily lives in the uk. An independent charity that doesn’t rely on financial support from the government. An organisation like dpac. I wonder if there are any references in the DRUK report to the upcoming danger facing severly disabled people being incarcerated into care homes because the cost of their care exceeds local authority budgets. This is a highly important Human Rights issue and one that could see thousands of disabled people put in situations where their quality of life will be diminished greatly. I am not referring to the fantastic job carers and staff in the majority of these care homes do. It is the fact these disabled people will be removed from familiar surroundings, family and friends. To be placed in a care home with people who have a variety of health issues. The additional strain on the care homes has already been highlighted to the government. Who once again are denying there is a problem. Add to that the changes to the appeal procedure in the benefits system which will reduce the amount of claiments winning their appeals. The appeal procedure should be fair and unbiast. The new system is far from being fair or anything like it. It is stacked in the governments favour. The procedure is deliberately being designed to reduce the amount of claiments winning their appeal and nothing else.f

  3. Why.are so many of the people involved in charity so dodgy? It seems that many charities are becoming confused in thinking that they are businesses. And are looking at the people they are supposed to be helping as some sort of commodity.I feel suspicious of anyone asking for money since the Cameron ‘big society’ roll out of the last government. It’s good to read stuff from sites like DPAC, at least there is a sense of honesty about the info they are putting out. I care for a long term mentally ill person, and we feel so vulnerable at the hands of the state.D.K.C

    • I fear that you are right Dean with your suggestion that charities up and down the country have made a decision not to bite the hand that feeds them be that a local authority or some sort of funding direct from Government.
      In a weak moment i might wonder if it has more to do with disabled people finally getting a foothold on some sort of employment ladder and then fearing the consequences if they choose not to shit on their fellow man (or woman). Maybe people start out with good intentions but are drawn in by new found purpose and pleasure that being part of an organisation can bring.I fear that i may be getting into murky water here with ill thought out ideas. At the end of the day we need those people in situations of influence to get on and make a meaningful difference to the lives of people with disabilities but not forget about all those people who are also in receipt of benefits whose lives are also being destroyed by the draconian reductions in financial support and rights.
      It’s sometimes hard to image what is going on with people who get out of bed in the morning with a view to making people, often in a tough place to start with, to making people’s lives really hard to the point where they are actually killing themselves. Its got to be a fine line between hanging in there in the land of hope or not!
      Wishing you well. Merv.

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