Sign in support of the campaign now!
Email Henrietta.firstname.lastname@example.org with the name of your organisation or as an individual.
Ultimate aim of the campaign
Motability agrees to reverse the changes to eligibility criteria for Motability’s Special Vehicles Fund for Drive-from-Wheelchair/Internal Transfer (DFW/IT) vehicles used by disabled people with complex needs.
· Motability agrees to conduct a formal public consultation on the changes, including a face to face meeting with current grant users. Until this consultation is concluded and a consultation response report publicly published the changes should be immediately reversed.
· Motability agrees to publishes their equality impact assessment of the changes
· Motability agrees to publish clear and full information about the changes on their website.
Why the need for the campaign?
Motability has changed the eligibility criteria for their Special Vehicles Fund (SVF) for Drive-from-Wheelchair/Internal Transfer (DFW/IT) vehicles used by disabled people with complex needs. We believe these changes could destroy the ability to live independently and be included in the community of those affected.
What are the changes?
From June 2014 ‘a usage test’ was introduced by Motability regarding DFW/IT vehicles. This test applies to those applying to the SVF first time and current users when renewing their contract (see statement provided by Motability attached). Below is information on how the changes are being implemented in practice.
Current users are telephoned some months in advance of the renewal date of their contract and asked if the vehicle is to support ‘substantive employment, education, volunteer working or to enable the disabled driver to provide vital and sole care to another, for example, a school-age child or children or a disabled loved one who resides with the disabled person.’ About 12 hours a week seems to be considered ‘substantive’. It appears that those that do not fulfil this criterion are no longer eligible for a vehicle.
We are very concerned that disabled people who rely on access to such vehicles will no longer be eligible for grants from the scheme and therefore unable to replace vehicles, which are essential to their independence. These vehicles are often used by disabled people with the highest support needs, who for a range of reasons relating to their impairments, are unable to access public transport because it unavailable or not possible because of pain levels or the need to carry equipment such as hoists or oxygen or a particularly large vehicle as illustrated in the case study below:
Because of the specialised seating on my wheelchair, it is too large to travel on bus. Only 3 weeks ago I couldn’t go to hospital Emergency A&E because the ambulances can’t take me! I was severely dehydrated, they ended up sending a doctor to my home and doing 48-hour IV just because I couldn’t go to hospital.
There is NO way I am every going to be employed which is depressing enough, I can’t get voluntary work because I can’t even go and see anyone to consider it (no transport!). I really am so depressed over these changes.
These new changes mean I am confined to the distance of my own wheelchair with no access to public transport, and no access to Motability.
The independence given to disabled people to drive their own vehicle often means they can become involved in their community and do voluntary activities. Without a DFW/IT vehicle many disabled people will be excluded from visits to families and friends and will be unable to take part in any aspects of social, religious, community, wellbeing activities and political life. In addition these changes will prevent disabled people getting into education, obtaining employment or volunteering unless already involved in these activities and therefore will never fulfil the new criteria for a DFW/IT vehicle.
Motability did not conduct a consultation before implementing these changes and as far as we are aware they did not carry out an Equality Impact Assessment regarding the impact of the change, also there was no public announcement or any information published concerning the changes. Disabled people only become aware when asked the questions on the telephone. There is still only limited information given by Motability at: http://www.motability.co.uk/understanding-the-scheme/financial-help/eligibility-for-financial-help
Motability administers government funds, yet they seem to be ignoring the Equality act and the UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with disabilities, which states the duty to facilitate:
· ‘the personal mobility of persons with disabilities in the manner and at the time of their choice’
· access to ‘quality mobility aids’
· disabled people’s right to ‘full inclusion and participation in the community’.
Disabled people’s organisations are acting together with other voluntary sector organisations to ask Motability to reverses the changes to the eligibility criteria for the SVF for DFW/IT vehicles.
What can you do?
· Sign in support of the campaign by emailing Henrietta.email@example.com
· Sign the petition at: https://www.change.org/p/stop-unfair-and-secret-changes-to-motability-grants#petition-letter 2,500 people signed in the first 3 weeks!
· Promote petition, email, Facebook, Twitter etc.
· Send letter of protest and case examples to Motability.
· Survey members on their experiences of Motability reviews
· Contact your local MP, and relevant Ministers
Join the coalition of disabled people’s organisations and voluntary sector organisations supporting the aims of the campaign above, to do this please email Henrietta.firstname.lastname@example.org with the name of your organisation.
Please forward this email to your contacts.
Mobile: 07703 715091
Direct line (Wednesday’s only) 020 7036 6033
Office Tel: 020 7237 3181, SMS: 0771 839 4687