Jun 052019

Saturday 3rd August – for more info and to book a place go to: https://www.eventbrite.com/e/crippled-austerity-and-the-demonization-of-disabled-people-launch-for-frances-ryans-new-book-tickets-62955660074

Frances Ryan discusses her searing exposé of austerity’s impact on disabled people, alongside Guardian columnist Aditya Chakrabortty and Paul Atherton, who is referred to in the Housing Chapter and has been homeless for ten years.

In austerity Britain, disabled people have become the favourite target. From social care to the benefits system, politicians and the media alike have made the case that Britain’s 12 million disabled people are a drain on the public purse. In this event, Frances Ryan exposes the disturbing reality, telling the story of those most affected by this devastating regime. She talks about a paralysed man forced to crawl down the stairs because the council wouldn’t provide accessible housing; a malnourished woman sleeping in her wheelchair; and a young girl with bipolar forced to turn to sex work to survive.

Through these personal stories, Ryan charts how in recent years the public attitude towards disabled people has transformed from compassion to contempt: from society’s ‘most vulnerable’ to benefit cheats. Crippled is a damning indictment of a safety net gone wrong, and a passionate demand for an end to austerity measures hitting those most in need.

Disabled People Against Cuts will be hosting an afternoon with Frances Ryan. Introduced by Guardian columnist Aditya Chakrabortty, Ryan will be joined by a guest panel to discuss her book Crippled.
Please note that Frances Ryan is unable to travel at this time so will be appearing via a live link. There will be copies of the book available to buy and breastplates ready signed by Frances.

Access information: the venue is wheelchair accessible. For those unable to attend in person the event will be filmed with thanks to @imajsaclaimant.

Supported by Disabled People Against Cuts, Unite the Union and the People’s Assembly.


Aug 262018

 DWP facing court over claimant’s universal credit ‘fit for work injustice’

A disabled man who was unfairly found “fit for work”, and then saw his benefits slashed by almost £180 per month after he was forced onto the government’s new universal credit benefit system, is seeking justice in the high court.

It is the latest in a series of legal cases that have been taken on behalf of disabled benefit claimants against DWP, as a result of a series of welfare reforms introduced under successive Conservative and Conservative-led governments.

The man, known as IM for legal reasons, had been claiming employment and support allowance (ESA), but after undergoing a work capability assessment he was told in March last year that he was no longer eligible for ESA.

His jobcentre advised him to claim universal credit instead, which he did, but he also successfully appealed against the decision to find him fit for work.

Although the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) now accepts that he was unfairly found fit for work and that he has limited capability for work-related activity – the equivalent of being in the ESA support group – he has been treated as a new universal credit claimant.

As a new claimant, he is not entitled to the severe disability premium (SDP) he previously received as a top-up to ESA.

If draft regulations become law, he may be entitled to the partial compensation of £80 a month agreed by work and pensions secretary Esther McVey for those who lost entitlement to SDP when they were forced to move onto universal credit.*

IM’s judicial review case has been taken by the Child Poverty Action Group (CPAG), which has described DWP’s policy as “irrational” and discriminatory.

It has secured permission for a judicial review of the failure to provide IM with transitional protection after his move to universal credit, or, alternatively, the refusal to allow him to return to ESA.

CPAG is taking a similar legal action on behalf of TD, a single mother with a disabled child, which will be heard by the high court alongside IM’s case.

TD gave up her job to become a full-time carer but had her income support terminated when her child’s disability living allowance (DLA) was about to end and before it could be renewed.

She was also told by the jobcentre to claim universal credit, which she did.

Despite DWP eventually admitting that there had been a mistake, TD is now receiving almost £140 a month less under universal credit than she did when receiving income support.

The two cases are expected to be heard together in the high court early next year.

Disabled People Against Cuts (DPAC) welcomed the judicial review and warned that if it was not successful, many other disabled people would be affected in a similar way.

DPAC said DWP was clearly engaged in “another cost-saving exercise”.

A DPAC spokesperson said: “Financially, the incentive for DWP is to find as many claimants as possible fit for work.

“Even if the decision is overturned, DWP is saving money by transferring claimants to universal credit.

“This is clearly just more evidence that universal credit is beyond being fixed.

“People already living on poverty-level social security payments are simply and randomly being thrown even further into destitution.”

Claire Glasman, from the campaigning organisation WinVisible – which supports disabled women – said: “Families are being devastated by abolition of income support, which is some recognition of caring work.

“We are contacted by stressed out mothers at their wits’ end when their children’s DLA and their carer benefits are threatened by the brutal personal independence payment [which is replacing working-age DLA]and universal credit system.”

A DWP spokeswoman said: “We are not able to comment on an ongoing legal case.”

23 August 2018 From Disability News Service


 Posted by at 18:20
Jun 082018


There has been some significant changes announced by the government concerning Universal Credit.  In a parliamentary statement yesterday Esther McVile says that the government intends to make the following changes-

The timetable for managed migration has been extended by 1 year.  It is now due to run from July 2019 – March 2023. Yet another delay on top of the years and many, many millions of pounds it has already taken

And transitional protection and the severe disability premium- some good news ahead of the court verdict which is expected shortly.

The Government has already made a commitment that anyone who is moved to Universal Credit without a change of circumstance will not lose out in cash terms. Transitional protection will be provided to eligible claimants to safeguard their existing benefit entitlement until their circumstances change.

Today I am announcing four additions to these rules to ensure that Universal Credit supports people into work, protects vulnerable claimants and is targeted at those who need it.

“In order to support the transition for those individuals who live alone with substantial care needs and receive the Severe Disability Premium, we are changing the system so that these claimants will not be moved to Universal Credit until they qualify for transitional protection. In addition, we will provide both an on-going payment to claimants who have already lost this Premium as a consequence of moving to Universal Credit and an additional payment to cover the period since they moved.

Second, we will increase the incentives for parents to take short-term or temporary work and increase their earnings by ensuring that the award of, or increase in, support for childcare costs will not erode transitional protection.

Third, we propose to re-award claimants’ transitional protection that has ceased owing to short-term increases in earnings within an assessment period, if they make a new claim to UC within three months of when they received the additional payment.

Finally, individuals with capital in excess of £16,000 are not eligible for Universal Credit. However, for Tax Credit claimants in this situation, we will now disregard any capital in excess of £16,000 for 12 months from the point at which they are moved to Universal Credit. Normal benefit rules apply after this time in order to strike the right balance between keeping incentives for saving and asking people to support themselves.”

The above changes will be brought in by new regulations in the Autumn (Universal Credit Managed Migration and Transitional Protection Regulations).

 Posted by at 21:29
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


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


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.



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


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



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


More info

 Posted by at 16:26
Jun 212017

Did you know the DWP had a policy which says they can communicate with Disabled people via email, if a person needs this as an access requirement.  We often hear that in reality you have to fight hard to get them to agree to use an email.  We need to change this.

Inclusion London is working with lawyers to challenge the DWP’s failure to communicate with Disabled people in an accessible way.

You can support this challenge by sharing you experience with us.

If you have asked the DWP to send their letters to you via email instead of post, tell us what happened then.  The more people we hear from, the stronger out challenge will be.

Email Svetlana at Svetlana.kotova@inclusionlondon.org.uk

 Posted by at 19:27
Apr 042017

‘The Work Capability Assessment’ is a 30 minute presentation about the WCA, released by DPAC.

The Work Capability Assessment (WCA) is the primary assessment for Employment and Support Allowance, the main social security payment for disabled people and those with a long term health condition. In this documentary advocates, lawyers and claimants outline the fundamental problems with the WCA, and the adverse effects it can have on claimants. They show how the WCA not only fails disabled people, but fails on the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) terms; it can worsen people’s health and does not help them return to work. The WCA is carried out by private companies (initially Atos now Maximus). Although some assessments can be carried out smoothly and professionally, others are in buildings that do not have disabled access, require people in pain to sit for hours on hard chairs, and are carried out by assessors who can be rude, and even cruel.

We would like to thank everyone who volunteered their time to talk about the WCA. Some people have requested anonymity, therefore we have either a) used their voice only or b) got actors to record what they said (a lot of claimants are scared of the DWP).

It can be viewed on youtube:

and is available for viewing and download on Vimeo

The Work Capability Assessment from DPAC on Vimeo.


Please share this far and wide!

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.



Wed 22 February 2017

18:00 – 21:00 GMT

Add to Calendar


The Goldstein Lecture Theatre

Alan Berry Room

Coventry University, Jordan




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 052017

If anyone is willing to help with either of these requests please contact the relevant person directly.

Loss of Motability Vehicles 

I’m a TV producer based in Southampton looking into PIP and Motability.  I’m looking for someone to film who is having to hand back a car and would like to speak to people who might be affected by this especially anyone willing to be filmed when their car is removed.

Feel free to circulate this email.

Jane Goddard

Assistant Editor Inside Out South


BBC South, Havelock Road, Southampton, SO14 7PU – 07740 732402

Removal of Benefits from people

My name is Jemma and I am a Producer making a BBC Three documentary with Stephen Manderson, also known as Professor Green, exploring the issue of families raising children with low incomes across the UK. I came across your campaign group in my research and I am hoping you may be able to help. Stephen Manderson, grew up in Hackney and is an award winning rap artist and documentary filmmaker. The film we are making follows on from the success of his recent BBC Three documentaries: ‘Suicide and Me’ about his personal experience of losing his father to suicide and ‘Hidden and Homeless’. In this new documentary, Professor Green will set out to understand the experience of families facing hardship in the UK. As an important part of Stephen’s journey we would like to speak to families with children who feel their benefits status or payments shifted at a time when they were unwell or vulnerable. I completely appreciate the sensitivities around this area as many have lost loved ones which is heart breaking and I understand even more so where they feel they have been let down by the benefits system. I would like to open up a conversation with you at DPAC to see if you may be able to help us reach out to families who might be open to having an initial chat about their experiences with the DWP? If you would like any further information please do not hesitate to contact me on the below numbers or via email. I very much look forward to hearing from you.

Jemma Gander Producer The Garden One America Street London SE1 0NE T: +44 (0) 20 7620 6734 F: +44 (0) 20 7620 6724 M: + 44 (0) 784 000 3976 E: jemma.gander@thegardenproductions.tv

 Posted by at 14:55
Jan 022017
My name is Helen and I am a Trainee Clinical Psychologist from Lancaster University. I am conducting research as part of my doctoral thesis about the psychological impact of benefits sanctions following the Work Capability Assessment process and what impact this had, if any, on peoples’ mental health and outlook. I’m involved with Pyschs Against Austerity who DPAC and MHRN both work closely with.

If you have a diagnosed mental health condition? Have you experienced the Work Capability Assessment? Have your benefits been sanctioned because of this assessment? .

The purpose of this research is to understand the psychological impact of benefits sanctions following the Work Capability Assessment process and what impact this had, if any, on your mental health and outlook. If you would like to take part in the study, you would be invited to be interviewed to discuss these experiences for around one hour. . It would be useful for this to be in the North West but I am willing to travel if necessary. I can also help with any travel costs people have up to £20.

If you would like to take part or would like more information, please email the principal researcher, Helen McGauley, email h.mcgauley@lancaster.ac.uk Please share this with anyone else who you think might be interested in taking part. Thanking you in advance, Helen McGauley

 Posted by at 16:57
Nov 202016

On 17th November the House passed a cross party motion to delay and review the proposed implementation of the ESA Cut of £29/week to new claimants of the ESA Work Related Activity Group.


Disabled People Against Cuts are campaigning to have this cut cancelled but today we are asking you as MPs to lobby the Chancellor to postpone the proposed ESA cut until we know the details of the support on offer, and whether this support compensates adequately the loss of £29 per week for claimants in the WRAG.


Please consider the following points


  • The ESA cut is worth £450m per year[i]. The employment support for claimants in the WRAG is only £60 to £100 million a year[ii] while the Work Programme received £500-£600 million each year[iii]. This represents a huge reduction in support for disabled people to gain work.
  • This employment support will not benefit claimants who cannot and will not be able to work who are misplaced into the WRAG. These are people with progressive illnesses (1/3 of these claimants are initially placed in the WRAG)[iv], claimants given a 2 year+ prognosis (defined by DWP as unlikely to work again)[v], or claimants wrongly placed in the WRAG, who after Mandatory Reconsiderations or appeals move onto the Support Group[vi].
  • This same group of claimants will not benefit from the flexible support fund, a discretionary fund, which provides local support for costs, related to getting into work, such as travel to and from training and travel costs when in work, for the reasons mentioned above.
  • Extension of hardship fund to new groups. The hardship fund is notoriously hard to access, because of very strict eligibility rules (claimants have to be almost destitute to be entitled), and the payments are also modest, discretionary, and of a temporary nature. Most importantly, payments will become recoverable under Universal Credit, driving more claimants into debt[vii]. Evidence also shows that these payments are not advertised by jobcentres and that their take-up is very low[viii]
  • Deals with third parties to help with expenditure not directly related to employment: broadband costs, phone charges, energy costs and insurance. That could be the only scheme likely to benefit the type of claimants we mentioned.

The Minister for Disabled People has given assurance that these schemes will fully compensate for the loss of the payments for new claimants[ix], but because of the flaws in the Work Capability Assessment, the claimants in the WRAG who need the most support because they are unable to work, and have no prospect of moving into work ever again will be the most severely penalised.

            We already know that a third of ESA recipients are running a budget deficit[x], and that 49% of disabled people rely on credit cards or loans to pay for everyday items such as food and clothing[xi]. This ESA cut is the last thing they need.


[i] https://medium.com/citizens-advice/halving-the-disability-employment-gap-22e3a588487f#.iuymk8dhu


[ii] http://researchbriefings.files.parliament.uk/documents/CBP-7649/CBP-7649.pdf


[iii] http://www.learningandwork.org.uk/our-thinking/news/dwp-employment-programme-funding-set-80-cut


[iv] https://www.theyworkforyou.com/wrans/?id=2016-03-21.31811.h&s=speaker%3A24778#g31811.r0


[v] http://www.publications.parliament.uk/pa/cm201415/cmselect/cmworpen/302/30206.htm


[vi] https://www.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/498130/3703-2015.pdf


[vii] https://www.turn2us.org.uk/Benefit-guides/Hardship-Payment/Hardship-Payments-of-Universal-Credit#guide-content


[viii] https://www.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/256044/jsa-sanctions-independent-review.pdf


[ix] https://www.theyworkforyou.com/debates/?id=2016-11-17b.413.0&s=speaker%3A24938#g463.3


[x] https://www.theyworkforyou.com/debates/?id=2016-11-17b.413.0&s=speaker%3A24938#g463.3


[xi] http://www.scope.org.uk/Scope/media/Documents/Publication%20Directory/Credit-and-Debt.pdf?ext=.pdf


 Posted by at 18:19
Oct 312016

Wanted - Damien Green - For Crimes Against Disabled PeopleToday Damien Green announced a consultation into the Work Capability Assessment a toxic and lethal test of disabled peoples’ ability to work. DPAC have consistently called for this to be completely scrapped as in spite of numerous attempts to reform the tick box computer tests they are still not fit for purpose. How many times do you keep trying to fix the unfixable?

It comes as no surprise either that Disability Charities welcome the changes which are being consulted on – why wouldn’t they after all there’s likely to be lots of financial pickings for them from the further misery of disabled claimants. Already Tom Pollard previously Campaign and Policy Manager for MIND has taken his thirty pieces of silver and moved to work for the DWP.

Overview and what these changes might mean

Now like Lord Freud the banker who wrote the guidelines for welfare reform for New Labour in 3 weeks and without any previous experience of our social security system Damien Green today has said “In the long run there is nothing more expensive than saying to someone, ‘Here’s a benefit you can have for the rest of your life…” Not that I’m sure what he means by that since this does not happen and disabled people face continuous repeat assessments to ensure they haven’t grown back any limbs or had a miraculous cure.

The consultation announced today places an emphasis on getting all disabled people back into work as fast as possible on the false assumption that working in a zero hours or low paid dead end jobs may somehow improve people’s health outcomes. Green seems to particularly single out forcing people with Mental Health and Musculoskeletal conditions back into work as fast as possible for as long as possible. Musculoskeletal conditions include osteoarthritis, rheumatoid arthritis and fibromyalgia.

This is against a background of massive cuts to MH services to help those with a MH condition receive the support they need. Added to which there are caps to the Access to Work budget , social care funding has been slashed, to access train services in many cases disabled people have to book 24 or 48 hours in advance, Disabled Students’ Allowance has been cut making it more difficult if not impossible for young disabled people to gain qualifications, and people are being forced to give up work as they lose entitlement to PIP and their Motability vehicles are taken away.

Further between 2011 and 2015 the number of Jobcentres employing a full-time advisor to help disabled people navigate the support system and find employment fell by over 60 per cent from 226 to just 90, with reductions in every recorded year.

Does Damien really not understand that without the right support services in place disabled people even if they want to cannot work? Is it really too complex for politicians to grasp that support services must be available to allow disabled people to work if they want to and feel able to. Do they really not understand that for some disabled people working is not and never will be an option?

And what of employers?  of course they’re queuing up to retain and employ disabled people and all workplaces are accessible as we all know. The much lauded Disability Confident campaign resulted in a whopping 40 private firms signing up in 3 years.

But not just Damien also Jeremy Hunt, the much trusted health secretary also suggests getting people back to work had major health benefits. He is reported to say that as it cost £7bn a year to treat long-term health conditions that kept people out of work, and employment could be a part of recovery.

Duncan Selbie, chief executive of Public Health England, said “People in work generally have better health.” Something that I would have thought is obvious as people not in work often have long term health conditions or impairments which prevent them from working. Thus an utterly meaningless statement if ever I’ve heard one.

One particularly worrying statement is “No one wants a system where people are written off and forced to spend long periods of time on benefits when, actually, with the right support they could be getting back into work.” Which we feel means they plan to scrap the Support group.

This would certainly fit in with the announcement on October 1st when Damien Green announced there would be an end to repeat WCA assessments for people with permanent or progressive conditions. There was little detail on the announcement with more questions being raised that answers given (such as which conditions would be excluded from repeat assessments) The DWP promised to release guidelines to clarify exactly what this change means – to date no such clarification has appeared.

My Challenge to Damien Green and why these proposals are a crock of  ****

Dear Damien find an employer for this person. I know having to work as well as survive will help her wellbeing. Please note Damien at the moment she has no money to feed herself or her family due to the barbaric and flawed WCA assessment.

“I am writing this email as I feel desperate and alone after I had a phone call today saying I scored 0 points on my esa assessment. I don’t know where to turn or what to do.

I will start from the beginning. From being young I have had hip disabilities and went through many many operations between the ages of 12 and 19. In my early twenties I broke my left hip 4 times. Also in my early 20’s my spine started to deteriorate and to date I have had 3 emergency operations to try to correct this. During one operation I was left with that much damage and scar tissue I have loss of feeling and severe foot drop in my left foot.

Due to my hip problems I have arthritis in both hips and I am awaiting hip replacements in both hips. Due to my left femur being broken 4 times it is no longer straight meaning the hip replacement surgery will be very difficult which is why my surgeon is trying to leave it as long as possible as the surgery could end very badly.

I have suffered with chronic pain all my life but have always worked until earlier this year when I had my contract ended by work as I was no longer fit to do my job due to my disabilities. This is when I started claiming ESA.

Recently I have had major changes to my health leaving me doubly incontinent. I have to self catheterise twice daily. I am experiencing that much pain I am taking copious amounts of medication including morphine every 3 hours. My mobility is very restricted and my partner has had to give up work to care for me. I can’t cook, clean, go to the shop. My emotional and mental health is suffering terribly and I am on anti depressant medication.

I attended my ESA assessment last week and the decision maker telephoned me today telling me that I had not scored any points at all during the assessment and my benefits have been stopped.

Because my partner has come out of work our tax credits claim was ended and we have had to re apply meaning we are not receiving any money from tax credits at the moment. The only money we had support us and our two children was the ESA payments of £72 per week and £36 per week child benefit.

When the advisor phoned me with the news today I broke down in the phone. I feel as though I am on the verge of a nervous breakdown. I can not go to work as I am too unwell. I spend a lot of my time feeling sleepy and not with it due to my medication, I can not control my bowels, I am in constant severe pain, my mobility is limited, my bladder does not empty itself so I have to self catheterise, I have short term memory loss and confusion due to medication, the list is endless. As the rent is now not being paid and with our previous arrears which I was paying off before this I am terrified my kids are going to lose their home. I can’t put food in the cupboards, gas and electric on. I feel hopeless and desperate.

I don’t know how this works. I have always worked I am not trying to get anything under false pretences. If I could work I would. I have lost my independence and I feel that the DWP are taking away my dignity along with it by making me beg to be able to live.

I am unsure why I have sent you this email but I don’t know where to turn. I am so sorry if this makes no sense. ”
What you can do

Write or email Damien to let him know what you think

ministers@dwp.gsi.gov.uk or Caxton House, 12, Tothill Street, London,SW1H

also please respond to the consulation

Full consultation here


take part in consultation here





 Posted by at 18:51
Sep 192016

Contact a Family have advised the following for anyone who has a disabled child or is a carer for an older adult. We think this advice should also apply to anyone who might qualify for PIP and who hasn’t yet claimed.


Over the next ten days the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) will write to all those families who are going to be affected by changes to the household benefit cap in November. These letters will be sent out between 19 and 29 September.

The good news is you are exempt from the benefit cap if you have a dependent child who is on either Disability Living Allowance (DLA) or Personal Independence Payment (PIP)

If you have a disabled child but haven’t claimed DLA/PIP for them yet, think about doing so now. Getting an award of DLA or PIP at any rate will mean you don’t have to worry about the benefit cap hitting your family.

If you are disabled and think you may qualify even for the lowest rates of PIP please apply now.
What is the household benefit cap?

The household benefit cap limits the total amount of benefits that an out of work family can receive. At the moment the cap is £500 a week for lone parents and couples.

However, from 7 Nov 2016 the government intends to lower this figure to £442 in London and to £384.62 elsewhere for couples and single parents with children living with them. For single people without children the cap will limit overall weekly payments to £296.35 in London and £256.69 outside Greater London.

An extra 88,000 households are expected to be affected by this lower cap. If your benefit income is above the cap then the excess amount is cut from your housing benefit, or from your Universal Credit if you get this instead. The cap is lower for single people without children.

Are families with disabled children exempt from the household benefit cap?

All families with a dependent child on DLA or PIP are exempt from the cap. It doesn’t matter what rate of DLA or PIP your child gets – even if they only get the lowest rate you will still be exempt from the cap.

Am I still protected from the cap if my son or daughter stops being treated as a dependent child?

If a disabled child aged 16 or above either leaves education, turns 20 or claims certain benefits such as Employment and Support Allowance, they stop being treated as a dependent. This means that their parent may then lose their exemption from the benefit cap.

However, the government has said in the autumn it will change the benefit cap rules so that you are also exempt if you are entitled to Carer’s Allowance or get a carer element in your Universal Credit. These changes to the rules for carers will help some parents who care for a disabled young person to remain exempt from the cap despite their child no longer being a dependent. These changes for carers have already been introduced in Northern Ireland.

Benefits included in the cap

The cap applies to the total amount people in your household (you, your partner and any children living with you) get from the following benefits:

Payments towards carer’s costs in Universal Credit won’t be affected by the benefit cap from autumn 2016.

Benefits that aren’t included

You’re not affected by the cap if anyone in your household qualifies for Working Tax Credit or gets any of the following benefits:

If you have adult children or non-dependants living with you and they qualify for any of these benefits, you may be affected by the cap. This is because they’re not usually included in your household.



 Posted by at 20:45
Jan 292016

Following the winning of two Bedroom Tax cases this week by the grandparents of a young disabled man and the survivor of domestic violence in the Court of Appeal the government announced within hours that it intended to appeal against this decision and has allocated an unlimited amount of our money to defend their totally unjust policies.

You can read the full  so-called justification for this from the so-called minister for disabled people, Justin Torysnake in this link here
Under-occupancy Penalty (28 Jan 2016)
“Justin Tomlinson: We are not ignoring the ruling; we are appealing it.
We are doing that because we feel that discretionary housing payment is
the correct way to do it. Reforms take time to come in, as I said
earlier. *Housing benefit* cost £24.4 billion this year. Had we not
brought in reforms, every single one of which was opposed by the Labour
party, it would have cost £26 billion this year.”…..


Until this appeal has been heard in the Supreme Court anyone currently appealing against a bedroom tax decision will have their appeal ‘parked’ pending the outcome however in the meantime the government has produced new guidance for anyone affected specifying that their extra costs should be met from a Discretionary Housing Payment.

Bulletin for HB staff HB U1/2016, effective from 28 January 2016

The important point is that this states very clearly that any additional costs incurred in meeting disability related housing needs should be met by a DHP. The bulletin states -:

Court of Appeal judicial review decision concerning the maximum rent (social sector)

  1. Yesterday the judgment of the Court of Appeal was handed down in the joined judicial review cases R v. Secretary of State for Work & Pensions, ex parte Rutherford and R v. Secretary of State for Work & Pensions, ex parte A. The full judgment is available at: http://www.bailii.org/ew/cases/EWCA/Civ/2016/29.html


  1. The Court has found that the claimants have suffered discrimination contrary to A14 of the European Convention on Human Rights. However, the Court of Appeal repeated the finding at first instance that the Secretary of State had complied with the Public Sector Equality Duty.


  1. The Court has granted the Secretary of State permission to appeal the decision to the Supreme Court, and it is the Secretary of State’s intention to appeal.


  1. No action needs to be taken by local authorities following this judgment. It has not changed the applicability of the maximum rent (social sector) provisions and no action should be taken to re-assess the Housing Benefit (HB) of claimants in the appellants’ situation.


  1. The Department remains of the view that Discretionary Housing Payments (DHPs) are the appropriate means of protecting HB claimants in the appellants’ circumstances.


  1. Provided below are some Q&A to enable you to respond to any enquiries you might receive.




  1. Is the government going to appeal?


  1. The Court of Appeal granted permission to appeal and it is the government’s intention to appeal.


  1. What does this mean for claimants with panic rooms or a disabled child who requires overnight care?


  1. The maximum rent (social sector) must continue to be applied to all claimants as before yesterday’s judgment.


  1. As a local authority should we continue to apply the maximum rent (social sector) in these cases?


  1. Yes, the legislation underpinning the size criteria remains in force. DHPs remain the appropriate mechanism for providing support where there is an under-occupancy deduction because of a panic room or a bedroom used to accommodate an overnight carer for a disabled child.


Applying for and Being refused a DHP

We know that although DHPs should be being made to people this is yet another post-code lottery and whether or not you get one and how long it is for varies from one LA to another.

We know that some LAs take DLA into account as available income when they should not do so.

You can’t appeal against being refused a DHP but you can still challenge it being refused through a Judicial Review. DPAC would encourage anyone who is refused a DHP to seek legal advice with regard to making a legal challenge against being refused and also they should apply again. (It is possible to have more than one JR against refusals at the same time).


Why discretionary DHPs are not an adequate replacement for rights

Disabled people need Rights not Charity or Discretionary Payments and access to this right was proven in a previous case relating to Local Housing Payments using right enshrined in article 14 of the European Convention of Human Rights. In particular the arguments used by the solicitor representing Trengrove vs Walsall Metropolitan Borough Council are particularly relevant in arguing this.











 Posted by at 20:05
Jan 212016

We need people who would be willing to speak to the press who are in ESA WRAG about the £30 a week cut to funding which is being proposed and how this would affect you.


We also need to have anyone living in Supported Housing who will be affected by the cuts to Housing Benefit and the amount allowed being restricted to LHA rates.


If you would be willing to help with either of these things please email us at mail@dpac.uk.net


 Posted by at 19:44
Jun 132015

Ref: ESA50 forms


Dear Maximus,

DPAC has become aware of a number of serious issues in relation to the ESA50 form.  In fact, the evidence received seems so extreme as to be almost unbelievable but a pattern has started to emerge.

For example, this month, a benefit claimant has been refused ESA (and a mandatory reconsideration upheld the decision), based on an assessment, but also based on an ESA50 form which 2 years earlier contributed to the same decision. But 2 years ago, the ESA decision was found to be flawed and overturned by a tribunal. Still, the same ESA50 form was used again this time by Maximus and the claimant has for a second time appealed the decision. But of course, this time, he has had to wait for the Mandatory Reconsideration outcome on no income before being allowed to lodge an appeal.

Another claimant was awarded ESA 2 years ago on the basis of the ESA50 he submitted, and was not required to undergo a face to face Work Capability Assesssment. But this month he has been asked to attend a WCA with Maximus without having to submit a new ESA50.  So assuming that Maximus is again using the same earlier ESA50 form to assess his capability for work, it should lead to the same conclusion that a face to face WCA is not needed to decide that he is entitled to ESA.

This does not make sense, and disabled people deserve much better than this.

While Maximus has shown itself to be fairly accomodating and prepared to accept more recent ESA50s and a reasonable deadline for completing the form when requested by claimants, that is just not good enough. Claimants should not have to argue their individual case in order that Maximus fulfill their contractual requirement for the issuing of ESA50 forms, nor should they have to negotiate a deadline for completing and submitting the form when DWP has decided that 4 weeks are necessary to do so.

The WCA is desperately flawed and badly failing many claimants, as shown by the recent story of a woman who was found fit for work although she has Parkinsons disease and a brain tumour, http://www.mirror.co.uk/news/uk-news/woman-parkinsons-brain-tumour-ruled-5822041, which is why DPAC has repeatedly called for it to be scrapped, but in the meantime claimants deserve to be treated fairly, consistently and lawfully in their dealings with Maximus.

DWP’s argument for reassessing claimants endlessly is that medical conditions can vary, which makes the re-use of a 2 year old form unjustifiable, and this has been criticised by tribunals which have had to decide on these cases.  Likewise, claimants who are given less than 4 weeks to complete their ESA50 forms are placed at a substantial disavantage compared to claimants who benefited from 4 weeks to do so.

DPAC is demanding that Maximus and DWP ensure that every claimant is issued with an ESA50 before each WCA and is given 4 weeks to submit it. DPAC is also demanding that Maximus require claimants to attend a face to face Work Capability Assessment only after consideration of a recent or up-to-date ESA50

Anything less would be unacceptable and probably unlawful.

We look forward to your comments,

Yours sincerely

Disabled People against Cuts (DPAC)

 Posted by at 15:41

Jun 092015

In an article published on 5th June the Daily Mail reported that two sign language interpreters had defrauded the Department of Work and Pensions

(DWP) via the Access to Work scheme.


The story misrepresents the hundreds of professionals who provide an essential service and take an average of seven years to train.

The National Union of British Sign Language Interpreters (NUBSLI) have checked the names of the individuals involved and can confirm that neither of the two individuals being charged were members. Whilst we believe Angela Poole may have been registered as a British Sign Language (BSL)/English interpreter, George Taylor was not.

Prior to any allegations of fraud being made, BSL/English Interpreters/translators have been calling for Access to Work to improve their processes and communicate how both professionals and Deaf people could safeguard against fraud. These concerns were raised due to the large numbers of unregulated agencies being used by the DWP.  The DWPs failure to monitor agencies is clear. Whilst NUBSLI remain outraged by the behaviour of the two individuals involved, important questions need to be asked of the DWP.

The #ScrapTheFramework campaign (http://www.nubsli.com/our-work/scrap-the-framework.php) was recently established to oppose the governments bid to establish a national framework for interpreting and translating. The initial drafts of the framework did not provide adequate safeguarding or a requirement for interpreters to be registered. Agencies have the potential to use unqualified people and charge extortionate amounts whilst driving down the fees paid to properly regulated qualified interpreters and translators.

The article in the Daily Mail was a direct attack on both BSL/English interpreters/translators and members of the Deaf community. With the government pushing ahead with caps and changes to the Access to Work scheme that will see Deaf and disabled people struggle to keep their jobs (for more information go to: https://stopchanges2atw.wordpress.com), and the Crown Commercial Services are trying to establish a framework to drive down interpreters fees, the timing of this article is no coincidence.

NUBSLI will be meeting the new Minister in July to explain more about the BSL/English interpreting profession and the importance of only using registered fully qualified or trainee interpreters. They will also take the opportunity to remind government rely on BSL interpreters to fulfil their basic statutory duties to Deaf BSL users.


 Posted by at 20:46
May 112015

Secret Changes to Motability Grant Making Conditions – People needed for Legal Challenge

Motability have introduced changes to their grant making conditions discriminating against disabled people with the highest support needs who are unable to work for a minimum of 12 hours a week, carry out at least 12 hours voluntary work (which apparently can’t be internet based but has to be outside the home and doesn’t include travelling time), are not in education for at least 12 hours a week and who need specialised adaptations to transfer to drive or drive-from-wheelchair vehicles.

These changes have not been made publicly known or advertised to current customers in any way about who is eligible for a grant and the changes were made without any consultation.

We understand these changes were made from June 1st this year but customers are only being told about them when they enquire about a grant for a replacement vehicle.

The impact of these changes which affects those with the highest and most costly needs are potentially life-changing. It could well prevent people having contact with family (let alone friends) if they live in a rural area with little or no transport, it means anyone who can only travel with equipment like hoists. Oxygen cylinders and other bulky items won’t be able to go anywhere. It also ignores the fact that with other cuts to services people will not be able to ensure they have the physical support from someone else to drive them.

We have sought legal advice to see whether these changes can be challenged as discriminatory and now need to hear from anyone who is or would be affected by these changes in the near future and who would qualify for legal aid. In particular we want to hear from anyone who currently does not have a vehicle and has been refused the right to apply for grant funding.

If you think you might be affected by these changes and are willing to consider taking legal action then please contact us at  mail@dpac.uk.net



 Posted by at 20:33
Apr 132015

Remember you need to be registered to vote by April 20th.Click here for link to register

If you need a postal vote then this needs to be with your local electoral office by 21st April. You must be registered first click here for link on postal vote form

Also dont forget the DPAC revenge tour -here’s another chance to let them know what you think of them from Mcvey to IDS-please let us know if you’re arranging anything. See links on Facebook

 General Revenge Tour

Ditch the Witch

IDS the Butcher of Benefits must go

For another change sign our petition because: disabled people have had enough……every sign-up sends an email to IDS . Click here for link

Picture with campaiging banners, with the text "Disabled People have had enough"

DPAC does not support any political party-but we certainly dont support the Tories -lets make sure they’re not allowed back just because some of us didnt vote! Oh and remember a vote for UKIP is a vote for the Tories

Who 2 Vote 4 Logo

Here are some pictures from the launch of the Operation Disabled Vote London Bus Launch which took place in Brixton and Croydon on Monday 13th April.

Sabina Lahur at the information table operation disabled vote brixton.

Sabina Lahur at the information table operation disabled vote brixton.Sabina Lahur at the information table operation disabled vote brixton.

(left to right) Sabina Lahur, Paula Peters, Sandra Albery and Sean McGovern at the information table for operation disabled vote outside the operation disabled vote bus, Brixton launch)

(left to right) Sabina Lahur, Paula Peters, Sandra Albery and Sean McGovern at the information table for operation disabled vote outside the operation disabled vote bus, Brixton launch)

Sabina lahur and Paula Peters (holding a easy read version of the voter registration form at the operation disabled vote information table Brixton launch)

Sabina lahur and Paula Peters (holding a easy read version of the voter registration form at the operation disabled vote information table Brixton launch)

Staff members from People First (Brixton) left to right, Andrew Lee, Ray Johnson, Amy (Campaign and Policy officer for People First) and Stephen Asleford at the launch of Operation Disabled Vote.

Staff members from People First (Brixton) left to right, Andrew Lee, Ray Johnson, Amy (Campaign and Policy officer for People First) and Stephen Asleford at the launch of Operation Disabled Vote.

Group photo outside the Operation Disabled Vote bus at Brixton.

Group photo outside the Operation Disabled Vote bus at Brixton.

Ellen Clifford and Sabina Lahur at the information table on the Operation Disabled Vote bus launch in Brixton.

Ellen Clifford and Sabina Lahur at the information table on the Operation Disabled Vote bus launch in Brixton.

Stephen Asleford sitting in the Operation Disabled Vote bus.

Stephen Asleford sitting in the Operation Disabled Vote bus.

Roger Lewis at the launch of Operation Disabled Vote bus launch in Brixton.

Roger Lewis at the launch of Operation Disabled Vote bus launch in Brixton.

Mar 252015

A complaint to the United Nations was today launched on behalf of disabled people in the UK whose rights have been breached by the closure of the Independent Living Fund (ILF). The ILF, which is the subject of an on-going and desperate battle between disabled people and the Department for Work and Pensions (1), is high on the priority list for disabled people deciding how to vote at the forthcoming election. The complaint brought by Inclusion London (2) on behalf of two disabled women, Nicky Baker and Dr Melanie Wilson Jones, alleges that the government has violated Articles 17, 19, 20, 30 and 31 of the United Nations Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (UNCRPD), ratified by the UK in 2009 (3).

The Independent Living Fund was set up in 1988 to support disabled people with high support needs to live in the community when the alternative was residential care. Since then it has helped thousands to live active and full lives, contributing to their communities and participating in education, employment and volunteering, family and social life. It is an effective way to provide support with both low cost overheads and extremely high user satisfaction rates (4).

On 13 December 2010 without any consultation or impact assessment, it was announced that the ILF would be closed permanently to new applicants. A ministerial statement was made referring to “informal consultation with disability organisations” but there is no record of this consultation (5). Since then, disabled people who missed out on the Fund have been left without the support they need to take part in day to day life and disabled people’s life chances have dramatically fallen. Meanwhile the government has failed to monitor the impact of the closure.

Nicky Baker, age 30, is a qualified auditor working within a disabled people’s organisation as well as studying part time for a degree. Although eligible for support from the ILF, the Fund was closed the day after she telephoned for an application form. The social care package she receives from her Local Authority does not provide the support she needs to live an independent life, for example to go on dates with her boyfriend without having her parents there or to take part in sufficient training for the high level of powerchair football she reached.

Dr Melanie Wilson Jones received a substantial amount of support including from the ILF after sustaining a brain injury. She made such progress that her needs decreased and thus her support was reduced. However following a road traffic accident in 2011 she sustained a further brain injury requiring someone to be with her constantly. Now unable to get support from the ILF, she is reliant on her husband who works full time and her 16 year old daughter to make up the extra hours of support she needs for evenings and weekends.

Linda Burnip, co-founder of Disabled People Against Cuts, who are supporting the challenge, said: “It is the pooling of resources and collective solidarity that has allowed this to happen. We’re grateful to DPAC supporters for their financial support towards travel costs, to the solicitor and barrister who gave their time pro bono, to Inclusion London for their staffing resources and of course to the two disabled women willing to put themselves forward to make a complaint on an issue that affects all disabled people in the UK. Without all of these factors this could never have been brought to fruition.”

Tracey Lazard, CEO of Inclusion London, who authored the complaint said, “The closure of the Independent Living Fund signals the end of independent living for disabled people. It took many years for disabled people to fight their way out of the institutions and to have the same chances as anyone else to live in the community alongside family and friends. At the current time Local Authorities are simply not able to provide the level of social care support required to uphold disabled people’s fundamental human rights”.

Sophie Partridge, a current ILF recipient, said: “The ILF has played a huge part in supporting me to have equal access to an independent adult life and a level playing field alongside non-disabled people. Without the ILF being re-opened to new applicants, I worry that young disabled people will never get the same life chances as I have had.”

Solicitor Louise Whitfield, from law firm Deighton Pearce Glynn, who is representing the complainants said: “From a legal perspective, I cannot see how the UK Government can justify closing the ILF to new applicants with no consultation or consideration of the rights protected under the UN Convention. Under Article 19, those rights include the fundamental right to independent living which has clearly been breached by this decision and I hope that the UN Committee takes appropriate action to recognise these very significant breaches”.

For more information or to speak to either the complainants or other disabled people affected by the closure of the ILF contact: ellen.clifford@inclusionlondon.co.uk or call 07505144371.

Notes for editors:

1) The future of the ILF has been the subject of two legal challenges: the first was won by disabled claimants at the Court of Appeal in November 2013 and the second was lost in the High Court in December 2014. There have been continued protests and direct actions led by disabled people and their supporters since 2010, including in June 2014 the attempted occupation of the grounds of Westminster Abbey.

2) Inclusion London is a pan impairment pan London Deaf and Disabled People’s Organisation (DDPO) which provides policy, campaigning and capacity building support for London DDPOs. Inclusion London promotes disability equality and has been working with the disabled people led campaign Disabled People Against cuts to support ILF recipients in the campaign to keep the ILF open.

3) The UK is signed up to the UNCRPD Optional Protocol. This means that individuals can take complaints to the UN disability committee for breach of the UNCRPD if all domestic avenues have been exhausted. If the committee find the complaint admissible, they will investigate. and produce a set of recommendations for the State in question. One previous complaint was made to the UN disability committee but found inadmissible as the incidents in question which related to employment discrimination occurred before the UK ratified the convention. For more information about the UNCRPD: http://www.un.org/disabilities/default.asp?id=150

For more information about previous uses of the Optional Protocol: http://tbinternet.ohchr.org/_layouts/treatybodyexternal/TBSearch.aspx?Lang=en&TreatyID=4&DocTypeCategoryID=6



 Posted by at 21:42
Mar 062015

Hallo dear DPAC members

As an occasional reader of your blog and website I am writing from New Zealand. There have been developments here that may be of some interest to you in the UK also. We have had major, some will say draconian, welfare reforms here in mid 2013, which also affect many disabled people on benefits. So far we have not had quite the same level of pressures put on persons with serious, longer term sickness and with physical and mental impairments as the DWP and their assessor ATOS put onto persons with the same conditions in the UK. But as the “reforms” are kind of “evolving”, and gradually being implemented, I fear that we are heading down a very similar path as has been followed in Great Britain.

So your former Provider of assessments ATOS will be replaced by US
 corporate MAXIMUS, while the WCA (Work Capability Assessment) remains little changed. That means there are likely to be little if any “improvements” coming to the disabled people already harassed with work capability assessments and the continued “tightening” of the welfare system in the UK.


We have here in New Zealand also had a few of the dubious, obviously hand-picked and biased UK “experts” – using a perverted version of the “bio psycho social model” approach – come here to “advise” our government on “welfare reforms”. One was Professor Mansel Aylward, who has visited here a few times now, and another was Dame Carol Black. There is also a “President” of the so-called AFOEM (Australasian Faculty of Occupational and Environmental Medicine), by the name of Dr David Beaumont, who once worked for ATOS in the UK, and he has helped introduce Aylward’s theoretical teachings and approaches, that have now been widely accepted and adopted by the medical professional organisations for Australia and New Zealand “google” AFOEM and RCAP). Like in the UK attempts are made to tie in and put “expectations” onto doctors and other health professionals, to cooperate, and deliver the results the welfare agencies and governments here want.

The New Zealand and Australian governments seem both hell-bent to put more pressure on chronically ill and disabled people to get them into whatever kinds of jobs, while there are few suitable employment opportunities, and while employers are not by law expected to employ disabled, and to provide truly suitable work places and conditions. The focus is clearly on cost savings, and on reducing welfare numbers, and all else is more or less window dressing, to make the “reforms” look acceptable.


Hence a similar approach to the one used in the UK is applied here now, but in a slightly different way, where they are trying to avoid some “mistakes” that were clearly made in the UK. Nevertheless, we are in New Zealand faced with a very bizarre work ability assessment approach, which allows the assessors and the case managers of “Work and Income” (our equivalent to the DWP) endless DISCRETION. The last Reviewer of the DWP’s WCA now appears very interested in how New Zealand has “reformed” welfare and uses work ability assessments.


But this should send warning signals to disabled people and others that may be affected in the UK. By looking more closely at what they have so far done in  New Zealand, it can hardly be useful for the UK as a “model” to follow. The New Zealand department “Work and Income” is as part of the Ministry of Social Development (MSD) actually conducting experiments with disabled people , trying out various assessment and job referral approaches, now increasingly provided by outsourced providers. 

There is little legal certainty and consistency in the system here, and this makes it very difficult for affected “clients” to challenge decisions, and to ensure they get a fair and reasonable treatment, that can also be based on clear legal and medical scientific guidelines.

So perhaps have a look at the information I can offer via the links below.

Read some of the following about this:





Also of interest:






(see the other parts published via that small blog offering a huge amount of useful information about what is going on here, and how it is linked to what has been, and is being done in the UK)

Keep up the good work with your movement, despite of times being very hard and challenging.

Best wishes


New Zealand

 Posted by at 21:27
Mar 042015

From 1st March Maximus took over the contract for carrying out the notorious Work Capability Assessment.

Disabled campaigners and our supporters are clear that simply altering the provider will fail to correct the gross injustice that the WCA represents. This is an assessment that seeks to redefine who is and is not disabled in order to push the most disadvantaged members of society off benefits while lining the pockets of the private sector with public money.

Maximus, a company with a history of disability discrimination and improper practices, will be paid more than double what Atos was for the contract. Meanwhile very little will have changed: Maximus will be using the same buildings, many of which are not accessible to disabled people, assessment staff will still not necessarily have any knowledge of the conditions they are evaluating, and, most significantly, the fundamental flaws of the assessment which tests functionality as opposed to employability will continue.

The only way to ensure a fair and just social security system is to scrap the Work Capability Assessment and bring benefit tests back within the public sector.

Mark Serwotka, General Secretary, PCS Union
John McDonnell MP
Paula Peters, National Steering Committee, Disabled People Against Cuts
Ellen Clifford, Inclusion London
Jane Aitchison, PCS, Joint National Secretary Unite the Resistance
Katy Clark MP
Ian Hodson, National President, Bakers Food and Allied Workers Union
Mick Carney, National President, Transport Salaried Staffs’ Association
Sean McGovern, TUC GC Councillor for Disabled Members
Siobhan Endead, National Officer for Equalities, Unite the Union
Linda Burnip, Disabled People against Cuts
Debbie Jolly, Disabled People against Cuts
Andy Greene, Disabled People against Cuts
Roger Lewis, Disabled People against Cuts
Anita Bellows, Disabled People against Cuts
Bob Ellard, Disabled People against Cuts
Denise McKenna, Mental Health Resistance Network
Jane Bence, New Approach
John McArdle, Co-Founder Black Triangle Campaign (Edinburgh)
David Churchley, Co-Founder Black Triangle (Glasgow)
Dr Stephen Carty GP,  Member and Medical Adviser Black Triangle
Steven Preece, Welfare Weekly Editor
Johnny Void, Johnny Void blog
Carole Ford, WOWcampaign
Laura Stringhetti, WOWcampaign
Michelle Maher, WOWcampaign
Ian Jones, WOWcampaign
Frances Kelly, CarerWatch
Rick Burgess, NewApproach
Eleanor Lisney, Sisters of Frida
Mark Harrison, Equal Lives
Sarah Hatch, South East London People’s Assembly
Amanda Nelson, South East London People’s Assembly
Pat Onions, Pat’s Petition
Anne Pridmore, Being the Boss

 Posted by at 20:47
Mar 042015

Dear Francis Maude MP,

The new national framework for interpreting and translation will affect interpreters (spoken language, Deafblind and British Sign Language), translators (foreign language, British Sign Language, Deaf translators) speech-to-text reporters, lip speakers, and note takers.


In the interpreting community we have already experienced privatisation in the courts with the Ministry of Justice framework being run by Capita. Despite this being a failure and criticised heavily in an independent review, Crown Commercial Services look set on widening privatisation of interpreting to cover every publicly funded service in the UK. The intended outcomes of the framework agreement – both to save money and ensure quality provision – cannot possibly be achieved.


Following on from the disastrous consequences of changes made to Access to Work, the employment support programme for Deaf and disabled people, as well as issues of unqualified people being used as interpreters, the BSL interpreting profession is in a state of decline. Almost half of all NRCPD registered interpreters responded to a survey by he National Union of British Sign Language Interpreters (NUBSLI) recently. The results showed that 48% of respondents are thinking about leaving the profession. A considerably depleted workforce would, as in any market, drive fees upwards.


To de-professionalise the industry would have detrimental effect on the Deaf community and set access levels back to those last seen twenty plus years ago. The consequences of a framework which covers areas such as health, mental health, social services including child protection and other safeguarding areas could be catastrophic. Without qualified interpreters, clinicians and other professionals cannot complete their work safely. The risks to the Deaf community are unimaginable. We could, without exaggeration, be talking about loss of life and liberty.


We therefore request that this work ceases and alternative solutions a sought with the full consultation of the experts in this sector: the Deaf community and BSL interpreters.


Signed by:


Len McCluskey – General Secretary, Unite the Union

Teresa Pearce MP
Jennifer Smith – Chair, National Union of British Sign Language Interpreters (NUBSLI)

Linda Burnip – Co-Founder, Disabled People Against Cuts

Dr Terry Riley OBE – Chair, British Deaf Association (BDA)

Jenny Sealey MBE – CEO/Artistic Director Graeae Theatre Company

Nicky Evans – Stop Changes To Access To Work Campaign

Geraldine O’Halloran – Inclusion London

John McDonnell MP

Ronnie Draper – General Secretary, Bakers’ Food and Allied Workers Union

Grahame Morris MP

Michael Meacher MP

Sir Gerald Kaufman MP

Rosie Cooper MP

Richard Wilson OBE – Graeae Patron

Dame Harriet Walter DBE – Actor/Graeae Patron

Ian Hodson – National President, Bakers’, Food and Allied Workers Union

Jane Aitchison – Joint National Secretary, Unite the Resistance

Mandy Brown – UCU NEC, Branch Secretary Lambeth College

Helen Davies – Branch Chair Barnet UNISON and Social Worker

Sean Vernell – UCU

Roger Lewis – Lambeth Unison Equalities Officer (PC)

Tim O’Dell –  UNISON
Mark Dunk – Unite the Resistance

Lesley Weatherson – Association of Lipspeakers

Vikki Bridson-Vice – Steering Committee, Visual Language Professionals

Alison Bryan – Chair, Deaf Access Cymru

Georgina Sullivan  – Association of Notetaking Professionals

Julia Jacobie – AVSTTR

Eileen R. Ford and Amelia Naranjo – National Union of Professional Interpreters and Translators (NUPIT)

Debbie Jolly – Co-Founder, Disabled People Against Cuts

Paula Peters – Chair, Bromley Disabled People against Cuts

Ellen Clifford – Lewisham Disabled People Against Cuts

Bob Ellard – National Steering Committee, Disabled People Against Cuts

Roger Lewis, National Steering Committee, Disabled People Against Cuts

Anita Bellows – National Steering committee, Disabled People Against Cuts

Peter Llewellyn-Jones            Programme Director, postgraduate programmes in Interpreting and Translation Studies

Wes Mehaffy                          BSL/English Interpreter
Martin Fox-Roberts                 BSL/English Interpreter
Jennifer Smith                        BSL/English Interpreter
Mariella Reina                         BSL/English Interpreter
Susan Billam
Gary Northfield
Clare Vinton                            BSL/English Interpreter
Roma Parrick                         BSL/English Interpreter
Maria Munro                           BSL/English Interpreter
Adele Ward                             BSL/English Interpreter
Bridget Bree                            BSL/English Interpreter
Philip Bird
Rachel O’Neill                         Lecturer
Gloria Ogborn                         BSL/English Interpreter
Donna West                            Trainee BSL/English Interpreter
Ali Hetherington                      BSL/English Interpreter
Paula Fye                                BSL and Deafblind Manual Interpreter
Adama Fye
Jenny North
Mike North                             Deafblind Manual Interpreter
Ron Langridge
Cathy Davey                           Clinical Supervisor MBACP SEN Accredited
Alison Gilchrist                        BSL/English Interpreter
Jennifer Dodds                       BSL/English Interpreter (Deaf)
Gráinne Sheehan                    BSL/English Interpreter and Deafblind Manual Interpreter
James Banks                          BSL/English Interpreter
Van Holtom                             BSL/English Interpreter
Simon Bristoll                          BSL/English Interpreter
Nicky Glegg
Louise Bodycombe                 BSL/English Interpreter
Ivan Osborne                          BSL/English Interpreter
Veronica Nanson                    BSL/English Interpreter
Claire Dodds                           BSL/English interpreter
Elizabeth Mercer                     BSL/English Interpreter
Diana Coada                           Court interpreter (DPSI)
Louise Gough                          Translator (MITI)
Dr Zuzana Windle                   Legal interpreter
Hannah Watson                      BSL/English Interpreter
Dr Dimitra Kalantzi                  Translator (AITI)
Philippe Muriel (MCIL)            French Interpreter (DPSI) & Translator (Dip Trans) – Interpreter Trainer
Christopher Windle
Sarah Powell                           Clinical Psychologist
Elvire Roberts                         BSL/English Interpreter
Sue Leschen                           Legal and commercial French Interpreter
Ségolène Neilson                    Legal (DPSI), medical and business interpreter and translator
Rami  Kohli                             Legal (DPSI) Interpreter
Parvin Lackschewitz-Martin   Legal interpreter NRPSI (BA Honours in languages)
Mihaela Patrascu                    Legal interpreter DPSI DPI RPSI MCIL
Emma Lipton                          Trainee BSL/English Interpreter
Laura Orsini                            Interpreter (NRPSI) and translator
Irina Norton                             Conference and Public Service Interpreter/translator
Sarah Martin                           Trainee interpreter
Eileen Ford
Yasemin Kafali                        Legal interpreter (NRPSI)
Mark West                              BSL/English Interpreter
Rebecca Hinks                       BSL/English interpreter
Forrai Éva                               Legal Interpreter, Hungarian, NRPSI, Met Police
Dione Deans                           BSL/English Interpreter

Sami Thorpe                           Trainee BSL/English Interpreter

Manzoor Ahmed Khan            Legal interpreter

Rita Layden                             BSL/English Interpreter

Daniel Alun Roberts                BSL/English Interpreter

Celia Hulme                            Knowledge Transfer Partnership (KTP) Associate

Benjamin Silifant

Gillian Laird

Hazel Flynn                             Clinical Management Lead – Snr Accred BACP

Bibi Lacey-Davidson               BSL/English Interpreter

Tom Mould                              BSL/English Interpreter

Kate Outhwaite                       BSL/English Interpreter

Barbara Coll

Bryony Coombe                     Medical Underwriter

Cathryn McShane                  BSL/English Interpreter

Tawatchai Brome Brito           Interpreter Coordinator

David Phippard                       BSL/English Interpreter

Colette Phippard                     BSL/English Interpreter

Craig Brown                            BSL/Auslan/English Interpreter

Heidi K. Robertson                  Creative Freelancer

Anne-Françoise Boreland       French Interpreter (DPSI) and Translator

Ann Devaney                          BSL/English Interpreter

Emma De Casse                    Trainee BSL/English Interpreter

Jackie Dennis                                     BSL/English Interpreter

Anthony Evans                       BSL/English Interpreter

Caroline Ridley                       Community Occupational Therapist working in Deafness/Mental Health

Mimi McQuaid                        Legal Interpreter (NRPSI)

Philip Wyatt                             Psychologist Therapist

Karen Parker                                      Teacher/Trainer Freelancer

Liz Wyatt                                 BSL/English Interpreter

Freya Hill                                 Communications Assistant
Yvonne MacAnara                  BSL/English Interpreter

Jenny Guppy                          Teacher of the Deaf

Julia Lord CPsychol                Chartered Counselling Psychologist

Julie Whitaker                         Speech-to-Text Reporter

Rob Troy                                 BSL/English Interpreter

Sahara DeVille                        Counsellor

Mary Altabev                          Interpreter/Translator NRPSI

Mark Oulton

Stephen Menton                     BSL/English Interpreter

Beverley Haslam                    BSL/English Interpreter

Stephen Hudson                     BSL/English Interpreter

Josie Fray                               Trainee BSL / English Interpreter, Social Worker

Caroline Corrigan                    BSL/English Interpreter

Parminder Kaur                      Legal interpreter NRPSI

Agata McCrindle                     Legal Interpreter NRPSI MITI MCIL APCI

John Donald                            Senior Psychological Wellbeing Practitioner

Amanda Bavin                        STT Reporter

Cristina Santos                        RPSI 13999

Norah Griffiths                        Trainee BSL/English Interpreter

Eszter Fejes                            RPSI 15008

Mary Brumby                          BSL/English Interpreter

Rachael Veazey                     BSL/English Interpreter

Valerie Hall                              Registered BSL/English Interpreter

Karla Hannigan                       BSL/English Interpreter

Vikki Bridson-Vice                  BSL/English Interpreter

Carol Spencer                         BSL/English Interpreter

Sarah Spencer

Emma Phillips                         BSL/English Interpreter

Jason Sharpe

Nicola Williams                       BSL/English Interpreter

Norman Thompson                 Retired

Laura Davies                           BSL/English Interpreter

Lynn Shannon                         Service Manager

Dr Nadia Hussein                    Arabic Language Legal Interpreter

Annie Brotherton                     BSL/English Interpreter

Thomas Giddens                    Freelancer

Kate Adams                            Trainee Sign Language Interpreter

Diana Hubbard                        Legal Interpreter (NRPSI)

Omoyele Thomas                   Registered BSL/English Interpreter

Paul Bargery                           BSL/English Interpreter

Vicky Pannell                          BSL/English Interpreter

Deborah Haly

Louise Tingay                          BSL/English Interpreter

Catherine Hare-Cockburn      Deaf employee

Ian Cockburn                          Deaf BSL user

Tracey Hurrell                         BSL/English Interpreter

Jude Mahon                            BSL/English interpreter

Lucy Slater                              BSL/English Interpreter

Lee Douthwaite

Jayne Cooke                          BSL/English Interpreter

Barry Davey

Jason Bell                               BSL/English Interpreter

Isobel Higgins                          BSL/English Interpreter

Tracey M Robinson                Registered Manager

Philip Cowood                         Legal interpreter

Elizabeth Smith                       BSL/English Interpreter

Alison Green                           BSL/English Interpreter

Anne Richardson                    BSL/ English Interpreter

Rosanna Harrison                   BSL/English Interpreter

Tina Holmes                            BSL/English Interpreter

Rose Nest                               BSL/English interpreter

Heidi Watson                           BSL/English Interpreter

Jo Haywood                            Communications Manager

Tracey Strathdee                    BSL/English Interpreter

Edward Richards                    Deaf person and Managing Director CED

Natalya Dell                            Deaf person and Disabled Students’ Adviser

Naomi Bottrill

Rezene Woldeyesus

Andrea Spoczynski                 BSL/English Interpreter

Debra Robins                          BSL/English Interpreter

Susan Prosser                        Trainee BSL/English Interpreter

Averil Dobson                                     BSL/English Interpreter

Kerry Bromley

Jean Smith                              Deaf BSL User

Robert Smith                           Deaf BSL User

Darren Smith

Beatrice Goutfer, MA             Legal translator and interpreter

Eva Gil                                    English Translator

Judith Hillary                           Trainee Sign Language Interpreter

Holly Davies                            Freelance Translator and Interpreter (ES-EN)

Kate Boddy                             BSL / English Interpreter

Linda Day                                BSL/ASL Interpreter

Emily Davenport

Kerry Lover                             BSL/English Interpreter

Yve Coffey                             BSL/English Interpreter

Clare Nelder                            Deaf Teacher of the Deaf

Klasiena Slaney                      Legal Interpreter (NRPSI)

Tracey Cade                           BSL/English Interpreter

Rebekah Reynolds                 HR & Payroll Coordinator

Michelle Barnes                      BSL/English Interpreter

Melanie Pendrick-Wright        BSL/English Interpreter

Zakir Hossain                          Bengali & Sylheti interpreter

Ahmad Abed                           Interpreter

Nicole Gelister                        French Legal Interpreter NR 11393

Alena Linhartova                     Czech/Slovak/English Interpreter

Daniel Pageon                        Fellow of the ITI and CIoL

Callie Tremlett                         BSL Interpreter

Jasmine Killen                         Interpreter

Cath Whitehead                      Director Co.Sign Partners in Communication Ltd

Lucy Cotton                            BSL/English interpreter

Nobuko Primarolo

Carol Kyle                               BSL/English Interpreter

Aisha Maniar                           Freelance Translator

Kay McCrea                           BSL/English Interpreter

Aurora Matilde                        Humarán / Legal Translator

Jurate Clarke                          Lithuanian/English interpreter

Vera Tymchyshyn                  Teacher/Interpreter

Ray Williams                           BSL/English Interpreter

Jana Kohl                                German Legal Translator and Interpreter

Linda Staines                          BSL/English Interpreter

Philippa Merricks                    Deafway Animateur

Emma McGowan                   Deaf person

Peter Mackriell                        Counsellor working with Deaf people

Linda Duncan                          BSL/English Interpreter

Danny Stubbs

Shwan Hawrami                     NRPSI

Kathryn Sykes                        Speech to Text Reporter

Paula Cox                               BSL/English Interpreter

Samantha Kenward                Communications Researcher

Ligia Xavier                             Legal Interpreter

Liz Macartney                         BSL/English Interpreter

Jana Sefcikova                       Czech & Slovak Interpreter

Chris Bojas                              Psychological Wellbeing Practitioner

Sally Reynolds

Elizabeth Bojas

Peter Horvath Slovak             Czech to English Interpreter

Alison Miller

Oliver Westbury                      Deaf, Web Developer

Hamid Alemi                           English Interpreter

Quoc Lu                                  Deaf worker

Minna Saari

Hamid Alemi                           English Interpreter

Andrew Jordan                       BSL User

Redmond Kaye

Siobhan Hutton                       BSL/English Interpreter

MartIn Glover                          Architect

Andrew Hesselwood               BSL/English Interpreter

Jean Pateras                           Spanish interpreter

Lisa Godden                            BSL/English Interpreter

Nikki Champagnie-Harris       BSL/English Interpreter

Sarah Lucas                            BSL/English Interpreter

Jody Weaver                          BSL interpreter

Elizabeth Thomas                   BSL/English Interpreter

Colin Ayres                             BSL and Deaf Awareness Tutor

Michael Wells                          French/English Interpreter

Mohammed Akbar Khan        Interpreter

Linda Ofori

Michaela Gomolova               Czech Interpreter

Claude Salam                         French legal interpreter translator

Wendy Callaghan                   Counsellor

Monia D’Agostino                    Trainee Sign Language Interpreter

Ben LeGrys                             Registered BSL/English Interpreter

Brigitte Berkaine

Tessa Longbottom                  Communication Support Worker

Stuart Wilson                           BSL/Highways Engineer

Debbie John                            BSL/English Interpreter

Mark Hetherington                  BSL/English Interpreter

Doris Moreton                         BSL/Interpreter

Jenny Moreton                        Grandparents Deaf

Tina Davies

Rianne Eimers                        Manager Healthwatch Kingston upon Thames

Therese Lane

Robert Foulkes                       BSL/English

Caroline Alexander

Katrina Foulkes

George McGowan                  BSL Tutor

Julie Lenton                             BSL/English Interpreter

Christine Rowlands                 Spanish interpreter

Brett Best                                BSL/English Interpreter

Yvonne Carolan                      Psychological Therapist

  1. Karamyar                       Public service interpreter

Robert Gould

Kate Menzies

Asher Woodman-Worrell

Marie Dimond                         BSL/English Interpreter

William Towning                      Communications Manager, Leeds Society for Deaf and Blind People

Craig Bartlett

Ian Macdonald                        Legal interpreter MA FCIL NRPSI

Katalin Galuska                       Hungarian interpreter

Alison Barker-Mears

Samantha Riddle                    BSL/English Interpreter

Vicki Wan Slattery                  BSL/English Interpreter

Carl Slattery

Rosa Slater

Jordan Smith

Sophie Bailey                          French interpreter

Natalie Day

Michael Rudd                          BSL/English Interpreter

Maureen Hetherington            Human Rights

Dayna Winer

Emma Llewellyn                     BSL/ English Interpreter

Jo Cumberlidge                      BSL/English interpreter

Debbie Snodgrass                  BSL/English Interpreter

Elizabeth Oliver                       BSL/English Interpreter

Marie Vickers

Pamela Byles                          BSL/English Interpreter

Tina Little                                 BSL/English Interpreter

Sue Goman                            BSL/English Interpreter

Angela Walker                        BSL/English Interpreter

C M Roughley                         BSL/English Interpreter

Edith Garraway                       Interpreter

Leah Jewiss                            BSL/English Interpreter

Linda Slater                             BSL/English Interpreter

Jane Allighan                          BSL/English Interpreter

Lorraine Elliott                         BSL/English Interpreter and A1 assessor

Joseph Taylor                         BSL/English Interpreter

Kevin Smith                            BSL Interpreter

Karl Appleton                          College Lecturer

Judith Renshaw                      BSL/English Interpreter

Abigail Phillis                           Teacher

Elaine Wooding                       Deaf employee

Scott Wooding                        Deaf employee

Thomas Wooding                    Deaf employee

Paul Wooding                          Deaf person

Zoe Bevans                             BSL/English Interpreter

Clare Cotton                            BSL/English Interpreter

Nadine Taylor                         BSL/English Interpreter

Selina Rehman                       Deaf BSL User

Clare Chilton

Louise McDermott                  SignHealth Coordinator

Lizzie Wharton                        BSL Interpreter Lipspeaker

Jane Allighan                          BSL/English Interpreter

Anne Rudkin                           BSL/English Interpreter

Linzi Weatherson                    Lipspeaker

Rachel Tipping                        BSL/English Interpreter

Paul Doddridge                       Principal

Diana A Barimore                   Lipspeaker

Alexandra Calce                     BSL/ English interpreter

Paul Arnold                             Registered BSL interpreter

Timothy Hanley                      Deaf Graphic Designer

Elizabeth Oliver                       BSL/English Interpreter

Caroline Ryan                         BSL/English Interpreter

Emma Ferguson-Coleman     Alzheimer’s Society Doctoral Research Fellow

Paul Ntulila                              Administrator and Trainee Trainer

Lina Kankeviciute                   Interpreter Services Coordinator

Bogumila Kolbus LLB             RPSI Polish Interpreter

Victoria Kolbus                        Polish interpreter

Elizabeth Watson

Clare Cotton                            BSL/English Interpreter

Julie Hornsby                          BSL interpreter

Karen Houlihan                       BSL/English Interpreter

Neziha Kaya                           NRPSI

Theresa McWhirter                 BSL/English Interpreter

Karen Whitehouse                  BSL/English interpreter

Daryl Jackson                         Relay Interpreter/Translator

Melanie Barr                           Support worker for the Deafblind

Alan Craggs

Paul O’Donoghue                   Deaf Person

Margaret Gray                        BSL / English interpreter

Richard Harrington

Lauren Harris                          BSL student (Level 6)

Debora Chobanian                  Portuguese Interpreter

Kate Collier                             BSL/English Interpreter

Louise Polo                             BSL Student

Elzbieta Okurowska                RPSI Polish Interpreter

Helen Coleman                       University Lecturer

Rob Bethel                              Reception Extraordinaire

Robert Arthur                          NHS

John Clawson                         NHS

Andrei Yellisiev                       Healthcare

Sarah Keeley                          Nurse

J Barnes-Jones                       BSL Teacher

Ian Bradley

Carol Dalchow                        BSL/English Interpreter

Jo Cumberlidge                      BSL/English interpreter

Paula Peters                           Disabled People Against Cuts

Judith Thompson                    BSL/English Interpreter

Tracey Tyer                            BSL/English Interpreter

Ian Bradley

Daryl McMullan                      Trainee BSL/English interpreter

Sophie Bailey                          Legal interpreter

Kevin Walsh

Geraldine O’Halloran

Philip Ardagh                           Children’s author

Richard Burke                         Civil Engineer

Kristiaan Dekesel                    Principal Lecturer Interpreting (BSL/English)

Yvonne Barrett                        Art Therapist

Wayne Goertzen                     Level 6 BSL CSW

Alan.L.Hale                             BSL Teacher

Michelle Teasdale                   BSL Coordinator

Dr Annabella Dyer                  Clinical Psychologist

Layne Whittaker

David Whittaker

Sean McCafferty                    Business Development Manager

Paul Hollingdrake                    Trainee Sign Language Interpreter

Kath Keogan                           BSL/English Interpreter

Linda McCanna                      Communication support worker

Helen Jackson                        BSL/English Interpreter
Linda English
l Westley BSL
Evelyn Davenport                   BSL/English Interpreter
Mike Reed Trainee                 BSL/English Interpreter
John McDonnell MP
Joanna Wanmer                     Community Involvement Officer working with Sensory Impaired People
Samir Dawlatly GP
Hester MacAnara                   Director of Business Development
Wan Yeung
Jason Vessey                         Deaf BSL User
Ann Cashmore
Dean Granger
Lauren Kelly
Milly Kan                                 Tax Consultant
Erica Tyler-Chamberlain        Teacher
Karen Reissmann
Karyn Yeomans                      Asda Manager
Gloria Ogborn
John Ogborn
Kevin Ogborn

Grahame Morris MP
Maria Beswick
Debra Keyser
Jayne Skidmore                     Teacher
Antonia Ryan                          Trade Unionist

Elizabeth Hansford                 BSL/English Interpreter
Dr David Morrison                  Editor
W Leung Msc                          Occupational Health and Safety
Marie Simpson
Rachael Hayes                       Deaf Service Consultant
Darren Smith

Kay Davies
Zoe Davies
Mark Davies
Michael Hughes

Miranda Ross

Jane Rycroft                           BSL Interpreter

Ian Smith
Susan Davison
Alan Davison                           BSL Lecturer
Alexandra Sanderson

Helen Dunipace BA PG Dip

David Clifford                          BSL/English Interpreter
Tracey Pycroft                        BSL/English Interpreter
Amanda Kirk                           Communication Support Worker

Sue Herring                             BSL/English Interpreter

Rosemary Pell                        BSL/English Interpreter

Lisa Brailsford                         BSL/ENGLISH interpreter

Linda Doddridge                     Retired Deaf training manager

Ian Gouldstone

Karen Williams                        Company Director

Anna Baker                             BSL/English Interpreter

Barbara Smith
John Dunipace                        BSL/English Interpreter
Alice Elliott                              Eye Clinic Liaison Officer
Maureen Saville                      Registered Qualified BSL/English Interpreter
Rekha NARULA                     Interpreter & Translator
Adrian Jegeni                          NRPSI Albanian Interpreter
Aqil Minhas                             APCI/Urdu Interpreter
Maria Bartosova
Ian McGarr
V.G. Hine                                Russian interpreter
Renata Littlehales                   Pol-Eng Interpreter
Gunita King                             Latvian interpreter
John Newton                           Czech-English interpreter

Patrick Schunemann              NRPSI Interpreter
Michael Holland                      Primary school teacher
Yvonne Freiherr-Fenton         BSL/English Interpreter
Richard McEwan                    UCU FE Vice Chair/ Teacher
Stanley Beecham                   Legal Interpreter

Jonathan Slack
Nicola Rothwell                       Trainee Interpreter
M Miah                                    Lecturer

Angela Heffernan                   ESOL teacher
Tony Barlow                            BSL/English Employment Advisor

Billie Loebner                          Teacher/UCU member
Kamal Omer                           Arabic/English Interpreter/Translator
Joy Tucker                              BSL communication support
Mairead McKenna
Ian Crosson                             Lecturer

Susan Bloomfield                    Deaf BSL user
Sara Tomlinson
Ruth Peaker                            BSL/English Interpreter
Mike Christie                           Director

Katrina Mayfield                      Interpreter

Maria Parker                           BSL/English Interpreter

Meera Modi
Jai Jobanputra

Iain Case                                 BSL/English Interpreter

Louise Culver                          BSL/English Interpreter

Rachel Evans                         Student Interpreter

Jaishree Gohil                         RPSI/Gujarati Interpreter
María López García                Certified Translator, AITI
Charlene Spires
Mary Bennion                         Electronic notetaker for Deaf/disabled people

Mirela Watson                         Freelance Conference and PSI Interpreter
Liz Stott                                   Speech and Language Therapist
Moira Hall                                Administrator

Janice Connolly                      Deaf health champions volunteer coordinator

Steven Delaney-Cain             BSL/English Interpreter

Kathleen Hoare

Sarah Hannett                         BSL user/ advocate
Sam                                        Taxi Driver
Ann McKenna                         Tutor BSL
Edward Melvin                        CAD
Lisa Kelly                                 Notetaker
Samantha Allen                      BSL Project Worker

Liviu Coroianu DPI                  DPSI Criminal Justice Language Practitioner

Karen Lawson                         BSL/English Interpreter

Anne Coghlan                         Support worker with deaf/blind people

Joan Minett
Naomi Sanders                       Community Service team manager from Merseyside Society for Deaf People

Ian Maguire
Jonathon Jay                         Financial Paraplanner (son of deaf mother)
Nicola Fitzpatrick                    Trainee BSL/English interpreter
Abi Delaney

Michae Sadowski                   BSL user and BSL tutor

Haydon Littlewood                  Firefighter

Denise Griffiths
Amy Hyland                            Engagement worker
Danielle Russell                      Psychological Therapist
Sophie Gee                             Nurse
Christopher Russell                 Support Worker
Peter Martin                            Project Manager
Rebecca Griffiths
Kirsty Delaney-Cain
Jenna Johnson
Amie Johnson                         Outreach Worker
Kenneth Delaney                    Shop Manager Retired
Daniela Richards
Samantha scarr
Ruth Turner                             Advocate for Deaf people
Jamie little                               Support worker
Jocelyn Wilson
Sarah Guinness
Kevin Guinness
Rhiannon Quayle
Jessica Latham
Melanie Leece
Helen Delaney                        Mother of deaf daughter
Terry Delaney
Miss Dawn Dignam                Community services team manager for deaf/Deafblind
Joanna Endersby                    CSW
Joanne Burns                          BSL/English Interpreter
Lindsey Ryman

Margaret Williams                   Retired
Ann Potterton                          Management Consultant
Jacqueline Scott
Liam Poland
Susan Johnson
Chris Pang
Connie McCalla
Matthew McCalla
Inese Vimere                           Latvian Interpreter
Solah Bowden
Mike Delaney
Gemma Brodrick
Lindsey Tarry
Ann Ewart
Lynne O’Brien
Patricia O’Brien
Patrick O’Brien
siobhan keeble
Leonie grey

Patricia Clarke                        Support worker

Nick Beese                             Senior User Experience Designer
Lilli Beese                                Deaf Interpreter and Student Penny Clark

Samantha Clare
Heather Andrews
Lyn Ealey                                Community Support Worker/Deaf Employee
Gertrude Robinson                 Community Support Worker/Deaf Employee
Chris Curran                           BSL Interpreter

Sally Clelland                          BSL

Vikki Heywood CBE
Dayna Winer
Amelia Naranjo                       Interpreter/Translator (NRPSI)
Dionne Thomas                      BSL/English Interpreter
Caroline Barnes                      BSL/English interpreter
Sally Gillespie                         BSL/English interpreter
Frances Lewin                        BSL/English interpreter
Audrey Simmons                    Sign language interpreter
Steven Barrell
Meg Minion                             Trainee BSL/English Interpreter
Gail Carter                              Advisor
David Bradshaw                     BSL interpreter
Leo John
Dominic John
Penny Celiz
Julie Doyle                              BSL/English interpreter RSLI
Jenny Pestell                          Freelance BSL/Eng interpreter
Lynne Bateman                      Registered Sign Language Interpreter
Joanna McCaul

 Posted by at 19:56
Feb 172015

We know that IDS’ Universal Credit has been a disaster in wasted costs and scrapped IT. The hallowed tax payer ( i.e poor people not the wealthy who have a set of schemes to avoid tax) have footed the bill for this.

We know that lives have been destroyed, people left without cash, mounting rent arrears, and have lost their homes too- the system is not fit for purpose.

Channel 4 are now doing a program on Universal Credit and how it has affected those it was supposed to help. Please let them know your experiences to give this destructive folly and its impacts a public airing.

Contact: Sarah Hay

email: sarah.hey@ninelivesmedia.co.uk

Tel: 0161 832 2007 or mobile 07976 413 823

Jan 292015

Legal Challenge re-PIP claims

We are aware that many disabled people are having problems with the way the new Personal Independence Payment (PIP) system works, and many people are having to wait a really long time for an assessment or decision. We know some people are waiting months, which is unacceptable.

If you are planning to apply for PIP, or have applied and are currently waiting for an assessment or decision, we can put you in touch with some solicitors who may be able to provide you with some free assistance which may speed up your claim where there is a delay. If you would like to find out about this please email us at mail@dpac.uk.net

Legal Challenge re- Sanctions

We are also looking for  ESA claimants who have been sanctioned, or threatened with a sanction, because they have not been able to undertake work related activity for some reason which is connected with their disability. For example, the claimant cannot attend training because their mental health problem prevents them from travelling or from working in a group of people they do not know. In such a case, we could argue that the DWP should make reasonable adjustments such as providing them with training via the internet or providing them with means of travel to training as appropriate.

The best time for a case to start is probably at the point when a sanction has been threatened and before it is imposed, but get in touch if your benefit has been reduced as well.

We also hope that the question of the lawfulness of sanctions can be looked at as well but need some individual cases first.

If you are interested in getting involved with either of these cases please contact us at mail@dpac.uk.net


 Posted by at 13:08
Jan 282015

While Labour profess to support fully the right to live independently for disabled people we are now in a situation following plans to close the Independent Living Fund where England is left as the only UK country which will not have it’s own form of a fund to continue to support the additional funding requirements of those who have high support needs.

For any political party to say they want disabled people to have the same rights, choices and chances as any other citizen rings hollow without a commitment to keep in place even if on a temporary basis the funding necessary for this to happen.

The Labour Party’s official response to many people who have contacted them with regard to supporting keeping the ILF open has outlined a number of points which we would like to address.

1) The “inconsistencies” in delivery which you mention were the result of unequal take up between different local authorities  and was symptomatic of the failings of local authority administered social care support. As a national model of service delivery the ILF is far more successful and cost effective than local authority administered social care. The latest ILF annual report records a user satisfaction rating of 97%. Overheads for the ILF come in at just 2 % of the budget in comparison with an average of 16% for local authorities. It is in fact a model of service delivery that should be built upon rather than shut down. We understand that provisions in the Care Act are aimed at reducing inconsistencies between local authorities, nevertheless the inconsistencies you cite as a problem of the ILF are many times worse in the current system upon which ILF users will now be solely reliant as a result of the closure.

2) You also state that ‘ we understand the Fund is already being wound down, and staff numbers are already reducing’. This maybe correct but it is equally the case that there is very little being done in terms of winding down the ILF that could not very quickly be undone, even after actual closure of the ILF. This information has been provided by ILF staff and a former strategic director at ILF and  has been shared with Labour’s shadow DWP team by PCS union and others. This means that if a Labour government were to be elected in May 2015 it will very much be Labour’s decision to go ahead with closure in June.

3) In turn that brings us onto the fact that should Labour be elected to government next May it is they who will be in power and responsible for the UK’s failure to protect disabled people’s human rights under the UNCRPD, and it is they who will be deemed responsible for the continuing grave and systematic violation of those rights when the UN investigation into the UK takes place after the election. We believe this would cause unnecessary and easily avoidable  embarrassment to a newly elected labour government with international repercussions.

Whilst we welcome Labour’s goal of trying to ensure in the longer term that those currently supported by the Independent Living Fund can realise rights to live independently and with dignity, the ‘whole person care’ through which Labour intends to deliver on this goal is at this stage only a proposal and any benefits resulting from it are a long way off. Moreover, as respected experts in the field such as Professor Pat Thane have pointed out, the current system is simply not functioning at the necessary level. Relying on the integration of health and social care as a solution to the crisis in social care is thus an irresponsible gamble to take with people’s lives.

Since the closure to new applicants in December 2010 disabled people who missed out on the ILF have suffered dramatically worse outcomes than existing ILF recipients with equivalent support needs. We have provided Kate Green with a number of case studies showing the reality of independent living for disabled people who would have been eligible for ILF but are now only receiving LA social care support. We are not just talking about disabled people no longer being able to go to work, or ever have a holiday or go to university, we are talking about people unable to leave their homes, left without access to food or water, unable to wash more than a couple of times per week.

Whilst the intention of issuing guidelines to local authorities is well meaning, it is unrealistic within the current climate to see these securing the futures of existing ILF recipients. Cash strapped local authorities are very aware of the dangers of setting precedents for providing levels and types of social care support to some individuals and not for others. An LA could easily consider itself to have more to risk by following than not following the guidelines. In order to ensure equity between all adult service users they may well feel they have no choice but to level down.

In the short term we are asking that the ILF be retained as the only way to realistically guarantee protection for existing recipients. Disabled people are aware that this is not a big ask: the ILF represents a relatively small amount of money; the ILF will not be wound down beyond easy repair before May 2015.

The alternative is that disabled people’s right to independent living will be wiped out, potentially for generations. Once a people lose choice and control over their lives, disempowerment sets in and rights that have been smashed aside over-night can only be won back over a long and hard road.

As it stands, if Labour are elected in May 2015, the final nail in the coffin of disabled people’s right to independent living as it currently exists will be hammered in under a Labour government. It does not have to be like this. The Labour Party has a golden opportunity to make a principled stand in support of disabled people and our rights to equality, inclusion and equality by supporting the continuation of ILF. Disabled people are mobilizing and campaigning across the UK, through initiatives like Operation Disabled Vote. A  principled stand by Labour on the ILF ahead of the General Election would be welcomed by the 12.2 million disabled people in the UK, our families, friends and supporters.

What you can do to help

We’re therefore asking people to email or tweet to Labour to say that England must not be the only UK country without an Independent Living Fund and that we know and have shown them the evidence that it is not too late to keep an ILF in England as well as in other UK countries. If Labour want disabled people’s votes then they must give an assurance that in the short term at least they will keep the ILF open until such time as something better can be put in place.

You can email Iain McNicoll, general secretary of the Labour Party at onenationpolitics@labour.org.uk

Ed Miliband at ed.miliband.mp@parliament.uk

And Kate Green at kate.green.2nd@parliament.uk

Or you can tweet them @IainMcnicol



Please also contact your Prospective Parliamentary Candidates and let us know what replies you get.





 Posted by at 20:53