Jul 212018
 

 

Our Festival of  Resistance highlighting the hypocricy of the UK and Kenyan governments hosting a Global Disability Summit kicks off in ernest today/Saturday as our overseas activists arrive in the UK to join in with our fun.

On Sunday we are holding our own global summit which is very over subscribed with guest speakers including -:

Rose Achayo from the National Union of Women with Disabilities of Uganda (who will be talking about the particular barriers disabled women in Uganda face, the work of her organisation including its work with disabled refugees)

John Clarke from Ontario Coalition against Poverty (who shares DPAC’s concerns over universal basic income as a proposed solution to the future of social security)

Antonios Rellas from a disabled campaign group called Zero Tolerance in Greece (who campaigns against institutionalisation of disabled people and recently testified against Golden Dawn). https://dpac.uk.net/2016/09/greeces-shocking-secretthe-work-of-zero-tolerance/

Bolivian campaigners who were involved in this: https://www.theguardian. com/news/2017/may/05/the- fight-disability-rights- protestors-in-bolivia-on-the- barricades

And successfully forced their government to introduce disability payments for people. Although not yet at a high enough rate to enable an adequate standard of living.

We will be live streaming this conference using our facebook page https://www.facebook.com/disabledpeopleagainstcuts/

And tweeting with the hashtag #Disability&Resistance

Unlike the summit arranged by DfID we will not be having anyone from any large corporations hyping expensive equipment which is beyond the reach of many disabled people to fund.

On Monday and Tuesday follow us on twitter @dis_ppl_protest and please use  hashtags #NowIsTheTime and #disability summit

Tweet to any or all of the following saying why the UK government is unfit to host a disability summit.

@DFID_UK

@IDA_Forum_CRPD  gate keepers for who was allowed to come to the summit, to be kind possibly due to ignorance of the UK violation of disabled people’s rights.

Speakers at Tuesday’s summit event

@SophMorgan a disabled model

@Lenin  Lenin Moreno (president of Ecuador)

@gabimichetti  (vice president of Argentina)

More to follow shortly re-tweets.

And remember watch out for any surprise events happening in the very near future after all no-one ever knows quite where and when DPAC will pop up unexpectedly.

 Posted by at 12:55
Jul 202018
 

To:

Lenin Moreno, President of Ecuador

Gabriela Michetti, Vice President of Argentina

Sophie Morgan

20 July 2018

We are writing this open letter to you on behalf of Deaf and Disabled people across the UK concerning your involvement in the global disability summit being co-hosted by the UK government in London on 23 and 24 July.

We are strongly in favour of international support that improves the lives of Deaf and Disabled people across the world and welcome co-operation between States that lead to stronger human rights laws and protections. We particularly support the building of international solidarity and links directly between Deaf and Disabled People, our organisations and campaigns.

However, we have the following concerns regarding the July summit:

  • The role of the UK government in co-hosting the event. Following an unprecedented investigation carried out by the UN disability committee under the United Nations Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (UN CRPD), the UK was found responsible for grave and systematic violations of Disabled people’s rights due to welfare reform. The findings of their investigation, published in November 2016, were and continue to be entirely dismissed by the UK government. In August 2017 the UK government was routinely examined under the UN CRPD and again the UN disability committee expressed their deep concerns regarding the UK government’s failure to understand the Convention, the impact of their policies and failure to recognise them. Again the UK government said they disagreed with the findings of the Committee. The involvement of the UK government in co-hosting the summit therefore undermines any aims of the summit linked to strengthening Deaf and Disabled people’s rights under the UN CRPD. Instead it provides a platform for them to showcase to other States how it is possible to get away with ignoring those rights when it comes to your own citizens.

 

  • The UK government’s use of its international work to cynically deflect from criticisms of their disability record in the UK. On a number of occasions when government ministers have been criticised for implementing policies with an adverse impact on Deaf and Disabled people, they have cited the poorer conditions of Disabled people in other countries. This represents a misunderstanding of the UN CRPD which is about the progressive realisation of rights. The UN disability committee have such concern about the situation in the UK because it represents a serious and dramatic retrogression of rights, described by the Chair as a ‘human catastrophe’. In deflecting attention from their record in the UK, the Government clearly intend to more easily continue their punitive policies targeted at Disabled people and the poorest members of society. There is now overwhelming evidence, evidence which the UN disability committee considered, that prove the brutal impacts of these policies. It would be a betrayal to all those suffering under them not to raise concerns about attempts such as use of the global summit to divert attention and opposition to those policies.

 

  • The suitability of the Government of Kenya as co-hosts given their abuse of the rights of LGBTQI+ people, many of whom develop lifelong impairments as a result. LGBTQI+ people in Kenya are routinely banished from their families, denied work and accommodation, imprisoned and persecuted. They face severe barriers to forming and maintaining relationships and to living as a couple, the ‘Right to Family Life’ that every human is promised. This results in widespread damage to their mental and physical health, creating impairments where none previously existed. This is reflected in the high level of asylum applications to the UK from LGBTQI+ asylum seekers from African countries. Despite their experiences, the majority are then refused asylum in the UK and forcibly returned home, where many disappear or are murdered. Just this April, President Kenyatta said that LGBT rights are “not acceptable” and not “an issue of human rights”. The Kenyan Government has also claimed this is a non-issue for Kenyans, and no doubt would argue that it has nothing to do with the Summit. However, if you are Kenyan or Ugandan and are lesbian, gay, bisexual, trans, queer or intersex, it is an issue that completely dominates and dictates your life. For many Disabled people from Kenya, it is the reason they developed an impairment in the first place. Under the UN CRPD, the Kenyan government also has an obligation to protect the rights of disabled people who are LGBTQI+.

We appreciate that you may not have had this information when you agreed to involvement in the summit and would be happy to meet to discuss our concerns. Please do not hesitate to contact us with any questions or for further information.

 

Yours sincerely,

Disabled People Against Cuts

Sisters of Frida

Alliance for Inclusive Education

Inclusion London

Mental Health Resistance Network

Reclaiming Our Futures Alliance

Recovery in the Bin

 

 

 

 Posted by at 20:12
Jul 192018
 

Next week DfID will be jointly hosting a Disability Summit with the Kenyan government. While we fully support all and any initiaitives to improve the lives and circumstances of disabled people in other countries we can only say that the UK government’s choice of partner for this summit seems shameful and inapprpriate. Of course there is nothing new in that and no-one who has endured the never ending attacks against disabled people’s human rights in the UK will be surprised.

You can see more about the summit

https://www.gov.uk/government/ news/uk-government-to-host-its -first-ever-global-disability- summit [NB this announcement came out the same day as they snuck out the much criticised and long awaited command paper “Improving Lives” through which conditionality was extended to all groups of disabled people]

And here:

https://www.gov.uk/government/ topical-events/global-disabili ty-summit-2018

So what of their partner country Kenya?

The Government of Kenya criminalises and persecutes LGBTQI+ Disabled people

It is hard to imagine a less suitable partner to co-host a Global Disability Summit than the Government of Kenya — apart from its neighbor, Uganda. It is illegal to be gay in both countries, and as a result many LGBTQI+ people develop lifelong impairments.

LGBTQI+ people in Kenya are routinely banished from their families, denied work and accommodation, imprisoned and persecuted. They face severe barriers to forming and maintaining relationships and to living as a couple, the ‘Right to Family Life’ that every human is promised. This results in widespread damage to their mental and physical health, creating impairments where none previously existed.

This is reflected in the high level of asylum applications to the UK from LGBTQI+ asylum seekers from African countries. Despite their experiences, the majority are then refused asylum in the UK and forcibly returned home, where many disappear or are murdered.

Just this April, President Kenyatta said that LGBT rights are “not acceptable” and not “an issue of human rights”. The Kenyan Government has also claimed this is a non-issue for Kenyans, and no doubt would argue that it has nothing to do with the Summit.

However, if you are Kenyan or Ugandan and are lesbian, gay, bisexual, trans, queer or intersex, it is an issue that completely dominates and dictates your life. For many Disabled people from Kenya, it is the reason they developed an impairment in the first place.

Regard, the UK’s LGBTQI+ Disabled People’s Organisation, says: “The involvement of the Government of Kenya discredits any debate that takes place at the Summit. Whatever the political reasons for involving Kenya in co-hosting the Summit, the rights and welfare of Disabled people seem to have had very little to do with it.”

 

 Posted by at 18:54
Jun 182018
 

DfID and DPAC Global Summits

In response to the UN disability committee findings and criticism of their record on disability rights, the Tories have been using international comparisons. The previous Minister for Disabled People used her time up in a debate on the UN CRPD that the SNP had tabled talking about how when she was in the navy she had liberated all these poor starving neglected disabled orphans from “the socialist republic of Romania.”

The implication is always that disabled people in the UK are over-privileged and should be grateful for what we get here. This shows a misunderstanding of the UN Convention as a progressive tool for rights implementation.

The same day as a much criticised government strategy on disability, health and work was published, the previous Minister for Disabled People, Penny Morduant, made an announcement in her new role as Minister for International Development that the UK would be holding a global summit on disability at the end of July 2018. This has proved a very popular initiative with international organisations falling over themselves to be involved and the Tories are using it to its maximum to validate their self-proclaimed status as “world leaders in disability”.

https://www.gov.uk/government/news/uk-government-to-host-its-first-ever-global-disability-summit

It is also linked to a 27m international disability development support programme and you can see from the announcement about the focus on technology companies (and opening up new markets).

We obviously support better rights for all disabled people regardless of where they live but cannot let the Tories continue to pass themselves off as world leaders in disability rights when they have been found guilty of the grave and systematic violation of those rights and their policies have been called a ‘human catastrophe’ by the UN Disability Committee.

Therefore we will be holding our own summit on Sunday, July 22nd with input from disabled activists from the global South. This will be near the Olympic Park although the venue is still to be confirmed.

On July 24th the actual day of the summit please join us for some on-line activism.

Further details to follow shortly.

 

 

 

 

 Posted by at 18:49
Apr 042018
 

As we’re being asked more and more often to endorse candidates standing for various political positions we feel that it is important to re-iterate that DPAC remains completely independent from supporting any particular political party.

Nor can we guarantee to endorse someone just because they are a disabled person – after all some disabled people vote Tory or even UKIP and we could not under any circumstances endorse anyone who supported such policies. However we will consider endorsing people seeking office in any other reputable political parties.

We will only be able to support candidates who contribute to DPAC’s aims and are prepared to support #StopandScrap Universal Credit and our manifesto demands from politicians.

Overall this means that while we might endorse someone to stand for a political party that does not in any way negate our independence or our right to criticise that party and its policies when ever we deem it necessary.

 

 Posted by at 18:00
Mar 252018
 

All over Britain we’re holding locally based protests against universal credit to support the DPAC demonstration in London. Obviously everyone can’t get to London so this is going to open up the event and make it easier for more people to access and take part.

Sheffield

Anyone is welcome to come and speak at the demo, just inbox the DPAC Sheffield page or email DPACsheffield@gmail.com
So far we have: Labour sheffield, Women’s lives matter campaign Yorkshire, Sheffield Green party, Momentum Sheffield disability officer, and DPAC.

Birmingham

Meet New Street, Time to be confirmed

Brighton

Information table 10.30am Meet at the Clock Tower

Ceredigion

We will be outside Cardigan job centre on the 18th at 11.00

Edinburgh

Edinburgh Coalition Against Poverty
STOP AND SCRAP UNIVERSAL CREDIT – DAY OF ACTION WED 18 APRIL
High Riggs jobcentre 12.30
Leicester
Wednesday 18th April, 12- 2 pm at the Clocktower, Unite Community and friends supporting DPAC.

Manchester

St.Peters Square, 13.00-15.00 joining together with Greater Manchester Law Centre and Acorn Tenants Union to say no to evictions

Norwich

12.30-14.00

Meet City Hall steps from 12.15 pm

Truro 

11am – 13.00 pm April 18th Lemon Quay 

https://www.facebook.com/events/1638152956261713/

York

The York Unite Community Branch  is supporting the Disabled People Against Cuts national day of action against Universal Credit by holding a gathering on and adjacent to the footpath outside The Jobcentre Plus (one of our local Department of Work and Pensions buildings), 11-17 Monkgate, York YO31 7JZ  between 10 and 12 on Wednesday April 18th 2018.

 Posted by at 15:29
Mar 192018
 

 

March 15th

Stroud, Rising Up! organised an action in solidarity with Disabled People Against Cuts this week. Read the Stroud News and Journal report: “Protesters spray ‘human rights abuse’ on Stroud Job Centre” http://www.stroudnewsandjournal.co.uk/news/16090675.

“Campaigners said that this afternoon’s action was intended to show the disgust at what the group sees as the latest attack on the social security of people living in the UK.”

“Simon Bramwell who took part in this afternoon’s protest said “We spoke to people on the streets and there was much support for our action, including from claimants who are deeply affected by Universal Credit.

“One woman told us she was about to get evicted as a result of the policy and another man said delays in his payments and left him struggling to make ends meet.

Watch a live-streamed video of the Jobcentre protest on via Rising Up!’s facebook page.

https://www.facebook.com/RisingUpUK/videos/412214735885083/?hc_ref=ARSUH4Pk9Acg_o9Nq9wyoM-K5mAn4oCtIjhMJY2T8rF-JbUOTqbhyK6zpSSgKFmHEfA

 

 

17 March  Ceridigion/Cardigan

A group of members and supporters of Disabled People Against the Cuts (DPAC) Ceredigion were on the streets again today, talking to passers by, leafleting, collecting petition signatures and bearing witness to the cruel injustices being imposed on the vulnerable people in our communities by the cruel Westminster Tory Government in the name of ‘austerity’.

The slogan was STOP The Rollout of Universal Credit. The Rollout of Universal Credit is due in Ceredigion later this year.

Organised by DPAC Ceredigion with the support of the Ceredigion Peoples’ Assembly.
More actions are planned.

for pictures and videos see facebook

https://www.facebook.com/groups/1853022925010117/?ref=bookmarks

 

 

 

 Posted by at 18:02
Feb 272018
 

Press release:
Disability rights coalition calls for talks with prime minister over ‘human catastrophe’.

A coalition of Disabled people’s organisations has today written to the Prime Minister urging her to meet with them to discuss the deteriorating quality of life experienced by millions of disabled people in the UK.

The call comes exactly six months since the United Nations’ damning report on the UK Government’s implementation of the Convention on the Rights of People with Disabilities (CRPD).

The report, published last August, made a number of recommendations but disabled people’ organisations which gave evidence to the UN say that the Government is not taking the urgent action required

The coalition has highlighted five areas of particular concern:

  1. The failure to fully implement the 2010 Equality Act.
  2. The lack of joined up working across the 4 nations of the UK.
  3. The lack of resources to ensure disabled people’s right to independent living  and inclusion in their communities.
  4. The continuing gap in employment opportunities for disabled people.
  5. The right of disabled people to an adequate standard of living and social protection.

Tracey Lazard, CEO of Inclusion London and Reclaiming Our Futures Alliance member, said:

“6 months on from the UN Disability Committee’s damning verdict on this Government failure to protect and progress Disabled people’s rights, things continue to get worse not better for Disabled people . The Government appears to be maintaining its position of blanket denial that there is anything wrong, dismissing our lived experience, the UN findings and failing to act on any of the recommendations put forward in the Committee’s Concluding Observations. This state of affairs cannot continue . Disabled people’s organisations from across the UK are calling on the Government to recognise the very serious concerns identified by the UN Disability Committee and to use the Concluding Observations as an opportunity to begin working with, not against Disabled people, so we can get our rights, inclusion and equality back on track.”

The coalition members include:

Disability Rights UK; Inclusion Scotland; Disability Wales;  Disability Action Northern Ireland; Reclaiming Our Futures Alliance; Disabled People Against Cuts; Black Triangle; Alliance for Inclusive Education; British Deaf Association; People First, National Mental Health System Service Users Network; UK Disabled People’s Council; Equal Lives; Inclusion London.

–ENDS–

Contact:

Tracey Lazard, tracey.lazard@inclusionlondon.org.uk, 020 7237 3181

Notes to editor:

Text of letter to the Prime Minister is as follows:

Rt. Hon Theresa May M.P.
Office of the Prime Minister
10 Downing Street
London SW1A 2AA

28th February 2018

Dear Prime Minister

United Nations Convention on the Rights of People with Disabilities

We are a coalition of disabled people’s organisations, led and controlled by disabled people, who, following our participation in the UN’s examination of the implementation of the Convention on the Rights of People with Disabilities (CRPD) have come together to promote the Convention.

We are writing to draw your attention to the fact that the examination by the U.N. of the U.K.’s implementation of the CRPD was concluded in Geneva six months ago and that, to date, there appears to have been no response from HM Government. In its Concluding Observations, a number of areas for action were identified.

Among these, the UNCRPD committee particularly highlighted five significant areas of concern:

  1. the many gaps in safeguards and rights for disabled people including unimplemented sections of the Equality Act 2010, the lack of resources to ensure the Equality Act is implemented, and the need to enshrine the CRPD into U.K. law as we leave the E.U.
  2. the lack of joined up working between the four nations of the U.K. and the need for a fully resourced action plan to implement the CRPD across the U.K.
  3. our right to independent living and to be included in the community.
  4. our right to employment and
  5. our right to an adequate standard of living and social protection.

Further the U.N. committee recognised that the U.K. has previously been seen as a leader on disability rights by many countries around the world and therefore has a ‘special obligation’ to set world leading standards on the treatment of disabled people and their inclusion in society.  Sadly, the committee concluded that the UK’s leading position has been lost.

We note that during the two-day hearing in Geneva, 23 and 24th August, the U.K. Government delegation gave a commitment to continuing the dialogue on how disabled people’s rights can be realised in the U.K. and specifically how engagement might be improved.  In the spirit of Article 4.3 of the Convention, general obligations involvement of disabled people and their representative organisations we are willing, and indeed expect, to work with you on progressing disabled people’s rights across the whole spectrum covered by the Convention from access through to being included in the community and being able to realise our ambitions and potential.

We should therefore like to request a meeting with you and your officials to discuss:

  1. How government is implementing the UNCRPD committee’s concluding observations, and
  2. How Government plans to work with organisations led by disabled people monitoring and implementing the Convention.

We trust that the Government will embrace the need to be more proactive in promoting and implementing disabled people’s rights and inclusion in society. We look forward to hearing from you further and working with government on an action plan to complete the implementation of the rights of disabled people detailed in the CRPD which was ratified by the U.K. in 2009.  Our expectation is that the U.K. will once again be seen as a leader in implementing the human rights of disabled people by all countries across the world.

Your faithfully

Kamran Mallick – CEO Disability Rights UK

Dr Sally Witcher OBE – CEO Inclusion Scotland

Rhian Davies – CEO Disability Wales

Patrick Malone – Disability Action Northern Ireland

Eleanor Lisney – Reclaiming Our Futures Alliance

Dr Terry Riley – British Deaf Association

Tracey Lazard – CEO Inclusion London

Linda Burnip – Disabled People Against Cuts

John McArdle – Black Triangle

Tara Flood – CEO Alliance for Inclusive Education

Anne Novis – UK Disabled People’s Council

Mark Harrison – CEO Equal Lives

Dorothy Gould – National mental health system Survivor Users Network

Andrew Lee – CEO People First

 Press release:
Disability rights coalition calls for talks with prime minister over ‘human catastrophe’.

A coalition of Disabled people’s organisations has today written to the Prime Minister urging her to meet with them to discuss the deteriorating quality of life experienced by millions of disabled people in the UK.

The call comes exactly six months since the United Nations’ damning report on the UK Government’s implementation of the Convention on the Rights of People with Disabilities (CRPD).

The report, published last August, made a number of recommendations but disabled people’ organisations which gave evidence to the UN say that the Government is not taking the urgent action required

The coalition has highlighted five areas of particular concern:

  1. The failure to fully implement the 2010 Equality Act.
  2. The lack of joined up working across the 4 nations of the UK.
  3. The lack of resources to ensure disabled people’s right to independent living  and inclusion in their communities.
  4. The continuing gap in employment opportunities for disabled people.
  5. The right of disabled people to an adequate standard of living and social protection.

Tracey Lazard, CEO of Inclusion London and Reclaiming Our Futures Alliance member, said:

“6 months on from the UN Disability Committee’s damning verdict on this Government failure to protect and progress Disabled people’s rights, things continue to get worse not better for Disabled people . The Government appears to be maintaining its position of blanket denial that there is anything wrong, dismissing our lived experience, the UN findings and failing to act on any of the recommendations put forward in the Committee’s Concluding Observations. This state of affairs cannot continue . Disabled people’s organisations from across the UK are calling on the Government to recognise the very serious concerns identified by the UN Disability Committee and to use the Concluding Observations as an opportunity to begin working with, not against Disabled people, so we can get our rights, inclusion and equality back on track.”

The coalition members include:

Disability Rights UK; Inclusion Scotland; Disability Wales;  Disability Action Northern Ireland; Reclaiming Our Futures Alliance; Disabled People Against Cuts; Black Triangle; Alliance for Inclusive Education; British Deaf Association; People First, National Mental Health System Service Users Network; UK Disabled People’s Council; Equal Lives; Inclusion London.

–ENDS–

Contact:

Tracey Lazard, tracey.lazard@inclusionlondon.org.uk, 020 7237 3181

Notes to editor:

Text of letter to the Prime Minister is as follows:

Rt. Hon Theresa May M.P.
Office of the Prime Minister
10 Downing Street
London SW1A 2AA

28th February 2018

Dear Prime Minister

United Nations Convention on the Rights of People with Disabilities

We are a coalition of disabled people’s organisations, led and controlled by disabled people, who, following our participation in the UN’s examination of the implementation of the Convention on the Rights of People with Disabilities (CRPD) have come together to promote the Convention.

We are writing to draw your attention to the fact that the examination by the U.N. of the U.K.’s implementation of the CRPD was concluded in Geneva six months ago and that, to date, there appears to have been no response from HM Government. In its Concluding Observations, a number of areas for action were identified.

Among these, the UNCRPD committee particularly highlighted five significant areas of concern:

  1. the many gaps in safeguards and rights for disabled people including unimplemented sections of the Equality Act 2010, the lack of resources to ensure the Equality Act is implemented, and the need to enshrine the CRPD into U.K. law as we leave the E.U.
  2. the lack of joined up working between the four nations of the U.K. and the need for a fully resourced action plan to implement the CRPD across the U.K.
  3. our right to independent living and to be included in the community.
  4. our right to employment and
  5. our right to an adequate standard of living and social protection.

Further the U.N. committee recognised that the U.K. has previously been seen as a leader on disability rights by many countries around the world and therefore has a ‘special obligation’ to set world leading standards on the treatment of disabled people and their inclusion in society.  Sadly, the committee concluded that the UK’s leading position has been lost.

We note that during the two-day hearing in Geneva, 23 and 24th August, the U.K. Government delegation gave a commitment to continuing the dialogue on how disabled people’s rights can be realised in the U.K. and specifically how engagement might be improved.  In the spirit of Article 4.3 of the Convention, general obligations involvement of disabled people and their representative organisations we are willing, and indeed expect, to work with you on progressing disabled people’s rights across the whole spectrum covered by the Convention from access through to being included in the community and being able to realise our ambitions and potential.

We should therefore like to request a meeting with you and your officials to discuss:

  1. How government is implementing the UNCRPD committee’s concluding observations, and
  2. How Government plans to work with organisations led by disabled people monitoring and implementing the Convention.

We trust that the Government will embrace the need to be more proactive in promoting and implementing disabled people’s rights and inclusion in society. We look forward to hearing from you further and working with government on an action plan to complete the implementation of the rights of disabled people detailed in the CRPD which was ratified by the U.K. in 2009.  Our expectation is that the U.K. will once again be seen as a leader in implementing the human rights of disabled people by all countries across the world.

Your faithfully

Tracey Lazard – CEO Inclusion London

Linda Burnip – Disabled People Against Cuts

John McArdle – Black Triangle

Tara Flood – CEO Alliance for Inclusive Education

Anne Novis – UK Disabled People’s Council

Mark Harrison – CEO Equal Lives

Andrew Lee – CEO People First

And others

 

 Posted by at 20:26
Feb 252018
 

for anyone who can’t get to a protest please email your MP fromThursday March 1st onwards. A template letter is below. Even if you can get to a protest you may also want to email your MP.

 

Dear MP name,

Universal Credit is the punishing regime due to be more widely imposed on people with low incomes both those in and out of work.

UC has too many flaws to be simply paused and fixed – it must be stopped and scrapped.

Universal Credit is an economic and political disaster bringing further distress and impoverishment to those forced to endure it.  To date at least £15.8 billion has been wasted on its implementation although only £1 billion is likely to be saved by 2020.

Seven million households will be affected, including over one million low paid part-time workers. For the first time ever people in work could face being sanctioned (having their benefits stopped) if they don’t prove to the job centre that they’re searching for better paid work or more hours. Pensioner couples will also be affected if one of them is under pension age.

No civilized Government should impose this on its citizens and no opposition party should want to simply pause and fix it.

Areas already subjected to UC have reported serious hardship with visits to food banks soaring along with rates of people sanctioned and left without any income for 3 months or more.

Just some of the many problems with UC are listed below.

General Problems

  • UC is based entirely on conditionality for those both in and out of work. Failure to meet these conditions can lead to the imposition of cumulative sanctions which could last 3 years.
  • Everyone will have to accept the Claimant Commitment and log in daily to Universal Job match account and complete your to do list and journal. There is harsh conditionality within Universal Credit such as 35 hour per week job searches.
  • Even with the changes brought in at the end of last year claimants face a 5 week wait which in many cases seems to be 3 months or longer for their first payment.
  • Loss of Mortgage interest payments which will now mean people have to take out a second loan if they are buying a home.
  • Hardship Loans are repayable meaning the full amount of money someone is entitled to isn’t paid for months as 40% of their entitlement can be taken away to repay a loan.
  • With UC, housing benefit isn’t paid straight to the landlord but to the claimant who may be in need of money to use in an emergency. In pilot areas this has resulted in up to 60% of claimants going into rent arrears.
  • Letting agents are already refusing to rent to anyone claiming UC.

 

For Disabled People

  • UC is claimed and managed entirely digitally which is difficult or impossible for many disabled people. Any mistakes on the form will likely lead to loss of benefit or a claim being disallowed.
  • Health and Work conversations are mandatory and any failure to attend will lead to your claim being closed.
  • People in part time work could be forced to give up work that suits their Disability or family life in order to take up worse paid full time work or risk sanctions,.
  • UC brings in the loss of Severe and Enhanced Disability Premiums which mean single disabled people lose around £2,000 per annum and a disabled couple over £4,000 per annum.

Coercion of Mental Health claimants.

  • As part of the Health and Work Programme we are seeing the use of the DWP nudge unit and psycho compulsion. This effectively means the introduction of forced treatment through the use of IAPT therapists based in job centres. If claimants don’t take the treatment prescribed they face being sanctioned.

Loss of Womens’ Rights

  • Changes to benefit payments will make women financially dependent on men trapping many in endless domestic violence.
  • The appalling Tax Credit ‘rape clause’ means that women can only get Child Tax Credit payments for their first two children unless they can prove they were raped. This involves filling out a detailed 45 page form about being raped..

For those in work, self-employed or on zero hours contracts

  • Even those in work will be expected to look for more hours up to 48 hours a week so you are not reliant on state support or face Sanctions for failing to comply. Warning- if your earnings exceed qualifying levels in a month they can close your claim and your online history will be erased when they close your claim down without warning. Make copies of all your actions to copy into your Journal or To Do List so you have evidenced back up files. To get this reinstated can take 8 months without money.
  • Going on Holiday? Think Again- If you fail to do your job match account even over Christmas and other bank holidays you will have your money stopped and you must always be available for interviews.
  • For every £1 earned Universal Credit takes away 63p meaning people are working for 37p for every pound earned per hour.
  • Self employed people will have to submit their monthly, instead of annual, income before any UC payment, including for housing costs, will be made for that month causing untold chaos and hardship. If they earn too much in any month their claim will be closed and they’ll have to start all over again.

As your constituent I am asking you to support scrapping Universal Credit.

 

Yours sincerely,

Xxxxxxx

address

 Posted by at 20:44
Feb 132018
 

If you’re planning a local action around March 1st please let us know.

UC Day of Action local protests

Brighton– March 1st Clock Tower, Brighton, 10.30 am – 1pm information handout.

Facebook Event Link:  https://www.facebook.com/events/327263861014031/

 

Bristol – March 1st at Broadmead Shopping Centre 12 – 2 pm all meeting up in the middle. Please wear black if possible.

Facebook Event Link:  https://www.facebook.com/events/1575085919265099/

 

Ceredigion – March 3rd 11am – 1pm Guildhall, Cardigan, SA43 1JL

https://www.facebook.com/events/1725015990888709/

Chester- March 1st 12-2pm Job Centre Plus, City Road, Chester, CH1 3AQ

Facebook event Link: https://www.facebook.com/events/177236042877566/

Derbyshire –  Online Event: 1-2pm

Facebook Event Link: https://www.facebook.com/events/1570832732972130/

 

Dundee-  March 1st 12-2 pm Job Centre Plus, Wellgate, DD1 2DB

 

Edinburgh
Thurs 1st March  1pm (till approx 2.30pm)
Leith Jobcentre, 199 Commercial St, Edinburgh EH6 6JF

Edinburgh action called by Edinburgh Coalition Against Poverty – grass-roots anti-austerity and disability rights groups invited to participate with their banners and stalls.

https://www.facebook.com/events/437482893334245/

 

Falmouth – March 1st 8-11am at Penryn Jobcentre, Penmarin House, Commercial Rd, Penryn TR10 8SB

https://www.facebook.com/events/560750934288894/

Leamington Spa Job Centre 58 Brandon Parade, CV32 meet noon

London (central action) –  11 am until 2pm.  House of Parliament, Westminster. Meet for 11 am outside visitor’s entrance to House of Commons

Facebook Event Link: https://www.facebook.com/events/323792051472634/

London, Kentish Town – 1-2pm outside Kentish Town Job Centre

https://www.facebook.com/events/2060011490902572/

 

Manchester- March 1st at 13:00–15:00

Norwich – Norwich City Hall 12.30 – 2pm

Facebook Event Link:  https://www.facebook.com/events/217086858848908/

 

Sheffield–  12 noon until 1 pm.  Sheffield City Hall, Bakers Pool, Sheffield, S1 2JA.

Facebook Event Link:  https://www.facebook.com/events/1756747394635182/

 

York – March 1st 10am -12pm Monkgate, York

https://www.facebook.com/events/1609285995821063/

More info
https://dpac.uk.net/2018/01/national-day-of-action-to-stopandscrap-universal-credit-march-1st/
https://dpac.uk.net/2018/01/dpac-position-statement-and-motion-for-union-branches-on-universal-credit/

 Posted by at 16:26
Jan 132018
 

Whatever happened to free speech and freedom of opinion? It seems that this is something Tory MPs don’t believe in especially when it is a disabled person exercising those rights.

Mick Hardy, a veteran disability rights campaigner from Norfolk, is being taken to court for shouting at Chloe Smith MP at the Norwich Pride Parade 2017 where she gave a speech. What exactly could Mick have said that would lead him to be charged with allegedly inciting public disorder and threatening behaviour ? What could he possibly have shouted at the Tory scumbag that would lead her to take him to court?

You might have guessed but if not Mick shouted “Chloe Smith you’re a fucking little Nazi.” Surely for any MP being heckled like this is just part of the job- and for a Tory MP being called a Nazi must be par for the course. And of course Chloe Smith is little about the same height as me so it can’t be that word she took offence at.

Mick is not online. Mick has both physical and mental health conditions. Chloe Smith knows who Mick is because he stood against her as the Disabled And Not Dead Yet Party candidate at the 2015 general election.

Mick says ‘this is a very stressful time and he wants to thank everyone from the bottom of his heart for all their support. He refuses to be intimidated because he is only highlighting what is happening to those most vulnerable to Tory cuts in society! Solidarity.’

120,000 people have died because of ‘economic murder’ inflicted by Chloe Smith and her party as reported in The British Medical Journal. If we leave the system unchanged until 2020 then 200,000 people will have died because of Tory policies. Mick says “When are we allowed to mention the Nazis? How do we make them stop if we don’t protest?”

The treatment of disabled people under this government has been described as a ‘Human Catastrophe’ by the United Nations.

If people living nearby want to come to court to support Mick come at 9am on the 9th February to Norwich courts. BBC will be there.
It gave Mick a great lift to know people are talking about his case and offering support.

Depending on the outcome of this totally vacuous case we may need to help crowdfund for Mick’s court costs all because he exercised his right to free speech.

Mind and DPAC protest at the Transforming Mental Health Contract

Solidarity Mick from all at DPAC.

 

 

 Posted by at 13:49
Oct 132017
 

National Disabled People’s Summit

Saturday 4 November 2017; 11am – 4.30pm

NUT headquarters, Hamilton House, Mabledon Place, Kings Cross, London WC1H 9BD

Since 2010 Disabled people have been subject to brutal attacks in every area of our lives caused by the disproportionate impact of austerity measures and the dismantling of the welfare system. In August the United Nations disability committee publicly declared that they are now more worried about the UK than any other country in the entire history of the committee and that UK Government “social cuts” have led to “human catastrophe”. This followed publication at the end of last year of the Committee’s investigation into the UK which found evidence of “grave and systematic violations” of Disabled people’s rights due to welfare reform.

Yet the Tory Government continues to deny there is a problem.

This summit will bring together Deaf and Disabled people from the trade union movement, Deaf and Disabled People’s Organisations and grassroots campaigns to explore how we can more effectively co-ordinate our resistance and organise joint campaigning in identified areas.

The event will be largely workshop based with the aim of each workshop to come up with and agree a campaigns plan that participants will go away and work together to put into action. The idea of the Summit is to inspire concrete activity that will lead to real change.

Workshops: (choose one per session)

Session 1 – Campaign priorities

  • Independent Living
  • Social security
  • Accessible transport
  • Inclusive education
  • Mental health
  • Employment

Session 2 – Organising

  • Protest and direct action
  • Legal challenges/ using the law
  • Art and protest
  • Using the media
  • Intersectionality
  • Trade union organising

The venue is wheelchair accessible, BSL interpretation will be provided and there will be a quiet room. Lunch will be provided (with thanks to the National Education Union). Please book via: https://www.eventbrite.co.uk/e/national-disabled-peoples-summit-tickets-38706991654

If you are unable to attend in person, we will be livestreaming the plenary. For more information or if you have any access queries please contact: ellen.morrison@inclusionlondon.org.uk

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 Posted by at 17:38
Oct 022017
 

At the People’s Assembly march in Manchester having allowed people into the official protest area at the Tory party Conference yesterday the police then proceeded to kettle them. DPAC activists then blocked a tram line in protest at what they saw as an unfair move by the scores of extra police who had been drafted into Manchester to protect the Tories.

 

Sadly the police in Manchester reacted rather aggressively to this and 2 disabled people were arrested and a veteran activist in his 80s was left badly bruised by being man-handled by them.

http://www.salfordstar.com/article.asp?id=4131

 

https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/amp/uk-politics-41462576

Image may contain: 2 people, people standing, child and outdoor

Image may contain: 5 people, people standing and outdoor

Rick burgess of Manchester DPAC said “DAN (Direct Action Network) veteran & MDPAC member Dennis Queen has been charged with Public Nuisance after their arrest yesterday. We reject utterly the heavy handed policing and targeting of disabled people, all to protect a government found guilty of Grave & Systemic human rights abuses. If there are any arrests to be made it is of the Conservative party government over their democide of disabled people. Whatever costs Dennis incurs we pledge to meet with a crowdfunding drive. Our community shall not be victimised like this.”

Another member Sharon Hooley has been cautioned by police for protesting yesterday. Rick said “Full respect and support for her brave stand in defiance of quisling security forces protecting an unlawful government.” At one stage Sharon another wheelchair user was surrounded by 13 police officers.

 

https://www.facebook.com/photo.php?fbid=10155721308715489&set=gm.1831546200399434&type=3&theater&ifg=1

 

 

 

Sep 252017
 

Disabled People Against Cuts and Black Triangle Campaign are horrified to find that so-called Labour MP and Chair of the Work and Pensions Select Committee Frank Field has put forward the suggestion that disabled people do not deserve to earn the living wage and argues that they are less productive than non-disabled people. These comments have been published in a set of essays in Learning and Work.

http://www.learningandwork.org.uk/wp-content/uploads/2017/09/LW-Opp-for-All-FINAL.pdf

 

“One idea that has been mooted is to grant a specific

exemption to the National Living Wage to those whose

disabilities are deemed so severe that they will never

be capable of enough output to warrant payment of

the minimum wage, but who might nevertheless enjoy

significant wellbeing gains from involvement in an

appropriate workplace environment.”

Mr Field goes on to say that some disabled people might benefit from this as it would make them more attractive to employers in spite of the obvious potential for exploitation this would entail. We have news for Frank we do not wish to be paid less than non-disabled people for the same work and we are not happy to be exploited by anyone.

Both disability groups are calling for Frank Field to resign or be sacked from his role as Chair and have approached Jeremy Corbyn to insist that Field immediately withdraws this highly offensive comment. To date we’ve had no reply but will be following this up again after the Labour Party Conference has ended.

If this is allowed to pass unchecked by the Labour leadership people will then be entitled to ask whether the party really has fundamentally moved on since it introduced the catastrophic Work Capability Assessment regime under the last New Labour Government.

A DPAC spokesperson said “ This is more or less exactly what Lord Freud suggested about 3 years ago but to find the same offensive idea being pedalled by a Labour MP supposedly opposed to the abuse of disabled people’s human rights is somehow even more offensive. Frank Field’s comments are nothing short of disgraceful.”

How can Labour hope to be trusted as true champions of disability rights when they are represented on a key committee by someone with such retrogressive, Victorian views?

John McArdle from Black Triangle said “Field must now be publicly censured by the Labour Party. The suggestion that disabled people’s labour is worth less than that of other people and the Tory-set minimum – let alone a ‘living wage’ – is an affront not only  to the human dignity of every disabled person in the U.K. and is a stark betrayal of the values of fairness and equality upon which the party was founded. “

Labour still has a mountain to climb before it can convince the majority of disabled people and their friends, families and colleagues that they have truly changed. If they wish to convince us that they are now firmly set upon reversing all these barbaric, deadly cuts to our support and intend to fully comply with the spirit and the letter of the UNCRPD then they must act now to impose party discipline on Field in keeping with their stated intention. As stated elsewhere, we require Labour to now wage war with the Tory Party in defence of our human rights in order to win the next general election by the landslide it deserves. Tolerating the views of frontline Labour politicians whose views are more in accord with Tory politicians than ordinary Labour members and supporters is no longer acceptable and that uncompromising message needs to go out, loud and clear.

You can read Frank’s even more offensive response here https://www.disabilitynewsservice.com/labour-mp-told-to-quit-influential-post-after-offensive-minimum-wage-call/

And many thanks to John Pring from Disability News Service for alerting us to this.

Please let Frank Field know what you think about this idea

You can email using this contact form http://www.frankfield.co.uk/contact/contact-information.aspx

or tweet to him

@frankfieldteam

 

 

 

 

 Posted by at 15:33
Aug 012017
 

 

The Chronic Illness Inclusion Project is a new research project aiming to capture the views, needs and aspirations of people with chronic illness. Sign up to get involved. In the longer term our ambition is to grow into a user-led organisation.

new project aims to give a voice to people with chronic illnesses that get overlooked and misunderstood by the systems that should be supporting us.

The Chronic Illness Inclusion Project is a research project aiming to capture the views, needs and aspirations of people with chronic illness. It is part of the DRILL programme of user-led research and is supported by the Centre for Welfare Reform. You can sign up to find out more and get involved here

As a sufferer of chronic ill health, I fully support the Chronic Illness Inclusion Project. People with chronic ill health are forgotten by governments when designing policies and never mentioned. We are often hidden by the umbrella term of ‘disabled’. The impacts of chronic ill health are wide ranging, from severe fatigue and cognitive problems, to days spent in lots of pain. The effects have a huge impact on the day to day functioning of a person. Many spend long hours unable to sleep or sleeping for long hours out of sheer exhaustion. You really cannot grasp those impacts unless you are affected by chronic illness. It’s not just the physical issues, you have to store that energy up to even have a shower or even go out for the day and plan well in advance, only to spend the next few days paying the price for small bit of enjoyment. It is time our voices were heard too, instead of our voices being alone in the wilderness. It can be very isolating. I urge people to join and support this campaign.”

– Gail Ward, Disability Campaigner DPAC NE/Black Triangle Campaign

We are inviting people to sign up to our mailing list where we can keep you up to date with activities and opportunities to get involved. Currently we’re planning an online discussion forum for people who are interested in having in-depth discussions about the social and political aspects of living with chronic illness. But in the longer term our ambition is to grow into a user-led organisation. How this happens could be up to you!

It will take time because we are two people with chronic illness working very part time hours. But this is a lottery-funded project where numbers count so by joining us you can help to show what a large and overlooked group we are.

Find out more by signing up to the mailing list

Thanks,

Catherine Hale and Jenny Lyus.

Jul 032017
 

2017 DPAC Week of Action #SummerofDiscontent #NotOneMoreDay #CutsKill

Friday 14th July – Opening ceremony – from 6pm

As the World Para Athletics kick off in London, join us at Queens Elizabeth Olympics Park for our own 2017 DPAC week of action opening ceremony. While Atos continue to be a partner of the IPC, disabled people’s participation in sport and physical activity is declining as a direct result of cuts. Please come to help leaflet those going in to watch the Athletics about the impact of the cuts and how they can get involved in supporting DPAC to fight back.

Meet Stratford station tube at 6pm.

For information on getting to the Park: http://www.queenelizabetholympicpark.co.uk/the-park/plan-your-visit/getting-here

For more information about the World Para Athletics or to purchase tickets to attend the events go to: http://www.paraathleticschampionships.com/

 

Sunday 16th July – Carnival Against Cuts

Join DPAC on the Fair Funding for All Schools Carnival Against Cuts. Education cuts are taking learning support away from Disabled pupils and undermining the right to inclusive education.

  • Assemble Victoria Embankment at midday
  • Rally at Parliament Square30pm
  • Family fun, picnics, art, songs, kids’ entertainment and speakers.

Please sign and share the petition: https://www.change.org/p/stop-school-funding-cuts-all-our-children-deserve-a-great-education

For more information and campaigns resources go to: http://www.fairfundingforallschools.org/

 

Tuesday 18th July – National Day of Action

This is the day for local DPAC groups and supporters to organise your own actions on local issues that are most important to you. It could be a protest outside a benefit assessment centre, against the closure of a local JobCentre or library or at the Town Hall to oppose cuts to social care – the choice is yours. Don’t forget to tell the local media and please send us details to help publicise your action.

 

Wednesday 19th July – Lobby of Parliament for Independent Living

The crisis in social care keeps hitting the headlines but the focus is often dominated by older people’s care instead of violations to Disabled people’s right to independent living. Theresa May has promised a consultation on social care later in the year but Disabled people battling cuts to essential daily support need concrete action now. At the last Prime Minister’s Questions before the Summer recess, DPAC independent living campaigners will lobby our MPs to defend our rights to dignity and choice.

Assemble outside House of Commons entrance from 11am.

We are also asking Disabled people to write to their MPs about their experiences of social care cuts and the detrimental impact on our lives.

Thursday 20th July – Turn Up and Go protest

Driver Only Operated trains, the removal of guards from trains and rail staff from stations threaten Disabled people’s freedom to travel. On 10th July DPAC campaigners will be joining RMT staff on their picket lines as they take industrial action to defend our right to access public transport.

On 20th July we are inviting Disabled people to travel together en masse to the Department for Transport’s headquarters in London to deliver a petition demanding out right to ride.

Assemble outside the Department for Transport at 2pm. Department for Transport
Great Minster House ,33 Horseferry Road ,London,W1P 4DR

Please sign and share the petition: https://www.change.org/p/department-for-transport-disabled-people-demand-guards-on-trains

Friday 21st July – Anti-Atos protest

For our final day of action, DPAC will be returning to Atos HQ after a long absence. They no longer hold the contract to run the Work Capability Assessment but they continue to ruin the lives of disabled people through their contract to carry our PIP Assessments, notorious for assessment reports riddled with lies and inaccuracies.

Assemble 12.30 pm outside their offices at 4, Triton Square, Regent’s Place, London, NW1 3HG

Bring rugs, food and noise and let’s party.

 Posted by at 16:23
Jun 092017
 

In spite of all the efforts we’ve made over the past few weeks sadly we haven’t all woken up to a Tory-free Britain but the Tories have sustained considerable damage and if May had any morals she would be resigning.

 

Of course we all know Tories don’t have any morals so she’s not.

 

The only way that the Tories can form a government however is to resort in pure desperation to forming an alliance with the Democratic Unionist Party (DUP) the Northern Ireland equivalent of the nasty party.

The DUP sound delightful and they are ant-abortion and women’s rights, anti-LBGT rights and like Trump are climate change deniers. Just what any Tory would want as allies.

http://www.mirror.co.uk/news/politics/who-are-the-dup-10589910

They also seem to have laundered dirty money for the Saudis and been involved in covering up the Kincora child abuse scandal. Mind as they’re all Christians so I’m sure things will be fine.

 

Key Tory ministers are also going, going, gone and in at least 2 of those instances DPAC supporters have been very active and vocal in campaigning to get rid of them. Ben Gummer, Jen Ellison, Simon Kirby and Gavin Barwell have packed their bags and won’t be returning to parliament any time soon. Amber Rudd’s majority has been slashed to a mere 346. Even better news is that in Pembrokeshire Crabb’s majority fell to a mere 314 votes. In Canterbury too a Tory stronghold for over 90 years the Tories were booted out. Their wobbly attempt to seek a larger majority to reinforce their strong and stable governance lies in tatters and there is no doubt at all that they are the laughing stock of Europe.

 

With your help we targeted 50 of the most marginal seats using facebook adverts which we’ll be analysing the use of more fully when time permits. However a quick glance this morning shows that Labour won in Brighton Kemptown, (our Miriam is also chair of the Labour Party there) Croydon Central, Warwick and Leamington, Ipswich, Keighley, Plymouth Sutton and Devonport, Cardiff North, Wrexham and the Fib Dems in Eastbourne. Just a few of the seats we have targeted with our adverts.

 

We are organising a week of action between July 14th– 23rd with final dates to be confirmed. If anyone wants to help with this or has any ideas they’d like to put forward about what we should do please email us as always at mail@dpac.uk.net

 

The Tory-free Britain we all dreamed of may not have happened just yet but we hope that the mass movement for change is something that will keep on growing and nor fizzle out. DPAC will certainly be hoping to help keep this amazing movement growing and hope locally you can all get involved and help to support that.

 

Solidarity everyone and the fight goes on #WeFightOn

 

 Posted by at 12:36
May 052017
 

DPAC Lock Up Your Wheelchairs Logo Do you want to share and develop your skills around organising with other disabled people in your area?

Do you want to learn new skills?

If you’re interested then come and join DPAC Disabled People Against Cutson the ‘Lock Up Your Wheelchairs Tour’ in Leeds and other venues around the country.

DPAC has been at the fore-front of street resistance to austerity since their formation in 2010.

Disabled people have led the fight against welfare reforms. Remploy closure, closure of the Independent Living Fund, Atos, Maximus and many, many more issues.

Now DPAC are undertaking a visit to places around the country to hear from local people what the issues and campaign priorities are locally; and to work with local disabled people and their allies in sharing and developing campaign skills.

To address these the one-day workshops will cover areas such as:Planning & carrying out Direct Action which is inclusive & accessible for all.

Media Skills – Messaging, Press Releases, Doing Interviews

Legal Advice – Knowing Your Rights

Keeping Safe & Secure

Banner/Prop Making

Other area specific issues identified by local disabled people

  1. i) we need to confirm venues (Think DPO’s, trade unions buildings,

community centres etc). So the questions are:

 

  1. ii) do you have access to an accessible space for around 20-25 people

that we can use for a whole day – for free?

 

iii) do you know where such a venue might be locally (either free or

cheap)?

  1. iv) can you contact them with a view to getting a date and/or ?
  2. v) if not,

but you want to take part and have no capacity to sort venue, let us

know.

If you are a local disabled person, or non disabled ally and you would like

to attend the tour email us at mail@dpac.uk.net

 

Please also let us know if you have any specific access requirements or

questions.

These sessions will also need some volunteer support on the day from

local allies. Local activist groups, i.e. Antifa etc, BSL interpreters, PAs.

A poster with all dates confirmed and venues will be released soon.

Places on all can be booked via mail@dpac.uk.net

 

Greater Manchester 6th may

Chesterfield 20th may

Norwich June 3rd

Leeds 1st July

at 10.30 am

 

Glasgow 29th July

South London – to be confirmed

 Posted by at 20:38
Apr 262017
 

In 2016, despite opposition from campaigners, peers, charities and even Conservative MPs, the government voted to slash Employment and Support Allowance (ESA) by £30 a week for people in the Work-Related Activity Group (WRAG). The DWP claimed (as ever) that this would give people an ‘incentive’ to return to work, (but failed to supply any supporting evidence). Conservative MP, Heidi Allen MP argued “I do not believe mentoring and support alone will heat the home of someone recovering from chemotherapy, nor help out the man with Parkinson’s who needs a little bit of extra help.”

The WCA is an unreliable tick box exercise, driven by targets, and was ultimately designed to deny genuine claimants social security. Consequently severely disabled people end up in the WRAG, including Paul Mickleburgh, a man who has had 14 heart attacks.

People can find out how their MP voted here (note: only Tory MPs voted in favour of this). If you are unsure who your MP is you can use this website. Campaigner Rachael Swindon, has created memes of (almost) all the MPs who voted for this draconian cut. Here is an example:

(Description; on the right there is a photograph of MP Daniel Kawczynski. Text on the left reads: Daniel Kawczynski: Tory MP for Shrewsbury, Daniel on claming expenses: “I am always intrigued by the fascination with MPs’ expenses,” he said. “I just don’t understand what the story is”. The story here is simple Daniel,  you claimed £174,473.29 in one year BUT still voted to cut ESA for his sick and disabled constituents.)

Rachael’s memes highlight the hypocrisy of MPs, and how out of touch they are with their constituents; with her permission we have uploaded them to our google drive account (they are arranged by surname, in alphabetical order). Please name and shame your MP on social media (or even use them for posters). The war on social security must be an issue in the upcoming General Election. Some MPs on this list (such as Byron Davies) have wafer-thin majorities, and can easily be ousted from the Commons. (Please let us know if your MP is not included, and we’ll see what we can do).

Mar 172017
 

Thanks to everyone who contacted us about this possible challenge. The solicitors have spoken initially to a number of people and are now able to try to seek a barrister’s opinion. If you haven’t been contacted yet then it may be after that opinion is available that you may be for witness statements to add to the case.

We’ll keep everyone informed of what’s happening as soon as we can.

 Posted by at 20:56
Feb 132017
 

Unite Community (Coventry and Warwickshire Branch) along with co-sponsor UCU and supporting organisations Peoples Assembly and Coventry Recovery Centre will be screening the film I Daniel Blake.

Our aim is to raise awareness of the sanctions regime in the benefits system and to highlight the desperation and indignity that this imposes on thousands of people in Britain today.

The theatre will open at 18.00 and we advise that you be seated by 18.05 The film will start at 18.15 and lasts for 1 hour 40 minutes.

After the film there will be a question and answer session in the theatre led by the director of the film Ken Loach, which everyone watching the film is invited to. The Q&A session will last approximately 1 hour.

 

DATE AND TIME

Wed 22 February 2017

18:00 – 21:00 GMT

Add to Calendar

LOCATION

The Goldstein Lecture Theatre

Alan Berry Room

Coventry University, Jordan

Coventry

CV1 5FB

 

There are limited numbers of tickets available. To book tickets  and advise on access needs please email us at mail@dpac.uk.net

 Posted by at 19:50
Jan 132017
 

A brief look at Stephen Duckworth’s career. He’s being nominated for another honour and details of where to send any recommendations re-Stephen’s honour are at the end of this outline of his work with New Deal for disabled people, Serco, Capita and now the Shaw Trust. He is also an advisor for the new Work and Health unit. Please feel free to respond as you see fit.

Articles

Why Britain should expect more from the disabled for their own good, by the paralysed doctor in charge of assessing benefits claims

Read more: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2415778/Paralysed-Dr-Stephen-Duckworth-Why-Britain-expect-disabled-good.html#ixzz4VgCc7zkV

Stephen Duckworth: ‘The new disability benefit is enabling’.  The new head of Capita’s personal independence payments says disabled people must be central to the process

https://www.theguardian.com/society/2013/mar/05/stephen-duckworth-new-disability-benefit

 


Stephen Duckworth OBE, PhD, MSc, LRCP, MRCS, FDSRCS

Berkeley House, Rectory Hill, West Tytherley, Salisbury, Wiltshire SP5 1NF

Profile

Results orientated and innovative strategic thinker with sound independent judgement.  Leader with exceptional interpersonal skills combined with the ability and a willingness to influence, challenge and probe.  Keen analytical mind that revels in new concepts. Strong national and international connections with the UN, WHO, International Labour Organisation, World Bank and International Disability Alliance. Personal values driven by integrity and ethical standards combined with a strong sense of fun. 

Shaw Trust

2015 –            Shaw Trust: Chair, Programme Board – Rehabilitation International Global Congress on Disability and Inclusion, Edinburgh 2016. This attracted over 1000 people from 68 countries with 200 speakers and 7 Ministers. Currently working with Ministers in China and India having previously developed a new approach to disruptive innovation that has now become known as frugal innovation allowing ideas from low income countries to be adopted by higher income countries. 

Capita plc

2014 –            Capita, Director – Disability Assessment Services

2012 – 2014  Managing Director – Health & Disability Assessment Service covering  Wales, the Midlands and Northern Ireland with job based in London

Serco plc

2012–2012    Strategic Development Director – responsible for the company’s relationship with the Heart of Government.

2011-2012     Director, Serco Institute that aims to foster the development of sustainable public service markets through an outward-facing programme of research and communication.

2010-2011     Strategic Development Director, Serco Welfare to Work, supporting a 45 strong business development team to secure £210 million of business (Work Programme) to help disadvantaged people return to work.

2009-2010     Director West Midlands Flexible New Deal, Welfare to Work. Responsible for £20 million annual contract supporting over 5,000 long-term unemployed jobseekers to return to sustainable employment.

Non-Executive Positions

  • Adviser to the Minister for Disabled People supporting the establishment of the Joint Work and Health Unit (2016 – ongoing)
  • Association Member BUPA (2015 – ongoing)
  • Commissioner – Commission on Assisted Dying Chaired by Lord Faulkner (2010 – 2011)
  • Board Member Olympic Delivery Authority £9.2 billion budget Board Champion for Equality and Diversity, Chair Health, Safety and Environment Committee (2006 – 2012).
  • Board Member National Quality Board Chaired by David Nicholson DoH (2009 – 2010).
  • NED Business Link in London (2009-2010)
  • External Member – Disability Equality Delivery Board Chaired by Sue Owen, Director General, DWP working across government departments to achieve Equality for Disabled People by 2025 (2009 – 2012)
  • Adviser to the Secretary of the State, Minister for Welfare Reform and Minister for Disabled People (2005-7) to initiate the restructuring of the employment service provision for disabled people.
  • NED – Route2Mobility Ltd a FSA regulated company providing ethical finance to disabled customers (2003 -2009).
  • Member of the Council of the University of Southampton (1999-2007)

1999-2004     Initiated and designed and Award Winning New Deal for Disabled People return to work programme – The Gateway Partnership and developed a Project Lead Recruitment Process in partnership with the Employers Forum on Disability and Centrica. Continue to lead organic growth to establish a business with a turnover in excess of £2 million.

 

 

Honours Research <honours.research2017@gmail.com>

Subject: Stephen DuckworthDear Colleague

You may know Stephen Duckworth quite well or may have only met him once. More about his background is in the attached CV – the incredible thing is that he broke his neck in a rugby accident aged 21 and is more or less completely paralysed.

I have been commissioned to gather supporting evidence about his suitability for a higher Honour’s Award. In 1994 at 34 years of age he became an Officer of the Order of the British Empire and was presented with his OBE by the Queen. Subject to other information gathered he will be considered for a CBE or Knighthood.

Please treat this email strictly confidentially as neither he nor his immediate family know about this approach to you. I have managed to track down your address through a former secretary and hope you do not mind me contacting you. The application is being sponsored by a member of the House of Lords

I am attaching the template for a letter of support that should make your life much easier to complete and send back to me as an attachment to an email. I hope you won’t mind spending a few minutes to do this over the festive season. The awards process generally takes 12-18 months so I would appreciate you replying as soon as possible.

I have been advised that he recently organised an International World Conference on disability and rehabilitation and is hoping to be supporting projects in China, India and Africa over the next few years. If you feel he deserves the higher award then I would be grateful if you could emphasise his national and international activities as this will prove to be very helpful.

Many thanks indeed in anticipation of a positive response. I hope that you will be able to get back to me early in the New Year or at the very latest by the end of January 2017.

Lisa Coleman

Research Assistant

Independent Honours Research

For Further Information

The Honours System https://www.gov.uk/hono urs/types-of-honours-and-award s

 

 

 

 Posted by at 21:05
Jan 132017
 

reblogged from Transport for All (mostly)

Wheelchair-user Doug Paulley had successfully sued First Bus Group in 2013 after he had been denied access to one of their buses because a bus driver didn’t enforce priority in the wheelchair space and a buggy owner refused to make room for him. But this decision was overturned by the Appeal Court in November 2014. The Supreme Court will now give their verdict on Wednesday.

After months of waiting, the judgment in Doug Paulley’s case vs First Bus Group is finally to be handed down at the Supreme Court next Wednesday January 18th at 9.45am. 

As you may know their decision could have wide implications for wheelchair and mobility scooter users who want to travel by bus in the UK. If the original verdict in Mr Paulley’s favour is upheld by the Supreme Court, then the requirement in law to give a wheelchair/mobility scooter user access to the wheelchair space will be absolutely undeniable, and all bus companies will have to enforce it. This is the reason why Transport for All has supported Doug from the beginning.

On this day, we would like to gather with as many Disabled and older people as possible to show First Bus Group that disabled people everywhere are standing up for our right to ride.
Join us to show our support for Doug Paulley on this historic day.

 

WHEN: 9am, Wednesday 18th January 2017
WHERE: In front of the Supreme Court 
(nearest accessible Tube station is Westminster. Buses: 148, 211).

 

Please email Raphael if you would like to join the rally:

raphael@transportforall.org.uk

Please note that at 9.45am, one of the Justices will deliver a brief summary of the Court’s decision lasting around five minutes. Due to the appalling access at the High Court the number of spaces for wheelchair users is unfortunately very limited. On top of the space booked for people who’ve got a close connection to this case, there are an extra 6 places available which will be allocated via ballot by the Supreme Court .

 Posted by at 16:14
Nov 102016
 

It is with great sadness that we have to tell you one of our co-founders, Debbie Jolly has died following a short hospital stay. As disabled people everywhere we’ve lost a friend and advocate and a fighter for our movement.

Debbie has played a hugely influential part in the development of DPAC since 2010 and she and I have worked together virtually every day since dealing with the day-to-day things that needed to be done to make DPAC the successful campaign group we have become.

Debbie was one of the main people involved in initiating the UN inquiry into the UK’s grave and systematic violation of disabled people’s human rights which will be a lasting testimony to her life and work.

Debbie was a warrior and tireless campaigner for disabled people’s human rights and most of all she never wanted to be hailed as a heroine or praised by others for the work that she did.

All of the steering group and our allies from Black Triangle campaign are in deep shock and I have felt very lost in the past few weeks without Debbie to support me and be by my side. Many thanks to those who have responded to my requests for help during this time.

However we know Debbie would want us to gather ourselves together and fight on so we are asking that people join us in her memory to protest next Wednesday, November 16th at parliament. Meet Old Palace Yard at 5.30 pm highlight the damning findings of the UN report.

We will also now use all means at our disposal to toxify the Tory “brand” so thoroughly that they will be remembered for generations as the party that perpetrated grave and systematic violations of disabled people’s human and civil rights and we will not rest until this government is no more than a terrible part of our history.

Linda and all of the DPAC steering group

 

 Posted by at 13:27
Oct 212016
 

As some of you will know there were changes in Blue Badge entitlement as a result of the introduction of PIP which meant that anyone who could walk regardless of other impairments such as Autism, MH or visual impairment were no longer able to qualify for a Blue Badge.

This change affected one of our supporters whose son had previously been entitled to a Blue Badge for around 30 years and the Local Authority involved refused to renew their badge when it ran out earlier this year. The result of that has been that the person became virtually housebound as he frequently had meltdowns and his PAs needed to be able to get him into the car quickly.

We referred this person to one of the solicitors we often work with Louise Whitfield of Deighton Pierce Glynn and we are delighted to report a very successful outcome.

Not only have the Local Authority backed down and renewed the Blue Badge but even without the case having to go to court The Department for Transport have agreed to carry out a review of the entire Blue Badge policy and its approach towards people with “non-physical disabilities.

The DfT have said: “I can confirm that the review process has now begun internally. The Department’s Blue Badge policy team is undertaking the review. They intend to involve the Department for Work & Pensions, Department for Health, lawyers, local authorities, DPTAC, disability organisations and mental health experts.  

They will look at how the scheme works for people with non-physical disabilities, with a view to ensuring that equalities issues are addressed and that the scheme continues to be sustainable for disabled people. Following the initial work, a public consultation is likely. Local authorities are also likely to need fresh guidance. It is not possible to give timescales at this stage but further information on the review will be provided in due course.”

 

 

 Posted by at 20:38