Nov 242011
 

First of all, I have to say that I would have expected a conference about tackling disability poverty to have included some claimants who actually experience disability poverty however by charging unwaged people £10 to attend this, in spite of the fact that Disability Alliance got the venue free, claimants were by and large excluded from discussions about how to tackle disability poverty.

There were a number of further access issues for disabled people too no blue badge parking nearby, no accessible tube stations nearby, a start time that was so early people couldn’t use their freedom passes on busses and anyone coming from outside London had to pay peak rate fares.

Several disabled claimants tried to get into the event on the day but were refused entry even though they offered to pay. I was on the list though so was able to get into the conference. Access inside could have been much better too, and there was no dedicated accessible toilets and no space to sit anywhere other than right at the back if you were a wheelchair user.

The vast majority of those present weren’t disabled people but professionals who speak for us. Of those disabled people who were there most expressed grave concerns about the nature and organisation of the new organisation DRUK – Disability Rights UK which will consist of  an amalgamation of NCIL, RADAR and Disability Alliance.

ATOS doctors gave an unconvincing talk about how nice ATOS really are, and then we were treated to a fleeting visit from Maria Miller, the minister for disabled people. There were attempts to stagemanage this part of the programme and Liz Sayce looked decidedly uncomfortable at some of the questions us more ungrateful disabled people asked. Miller spouted the usual Condem rhetoric about how much better off disabled people will be with Universal Credit, with no care and support funding, no ILF and how grateful we should all be for all the extra money the Condems have put into disability related matters.  You can listen to her below if you can bear to.

Click the link here to read John Pring’s article about the conference: http://blacktrianglecampaign.org/2011/11/28/miller-and-atos-face-angry-heckling-at-disability-poverty-conference/   News source: www.disabilitynewsservice.com

transcript of Maria Miller’s speech

These videos have now been put up by Disability Alliance has been edited to exclude some disabled claimants calling her a “murderer” as she left and has cut out my response to her claims that disabled people need not be afraid of change when I said it wasn’t change people were afraid of it was being trapped in their own homes with no care funding, and another person saying people were afraid of being pushed further into poverty.

report by Linda Burnip

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Questions to Maria Miller (Part One – with Linda’s question sorry no transcripts provided)

Part 2

Part 3


Link to Report from Disability Alliance

Jul 282011
 

DPAC notes with interest the news reported by John Pring that disabled people’s organisations (DPOs) are to boycott a review, set up by Leonard Cheshire Disability (LCD) and Mencap,  into one of the most controversial parts of the government’s welfare reform bill.

The two big disability charities, announced this week that they were launching a new “independent review” into how the mobility needs of people living in residential care are met and funded.

The bill currently gives the government powers to stop paying the mobility element of the new personal independence payment – which is set to replace disability living allowance – to people in state-funded residential homes.

Given that the review will be led by  “crossbench peer Lord [Colin] Low, former chair of RNIB and now its vice-president and also president of Disability Alliance with other members of the review’s “steering group” include a  disabled resident of a Leonard Cheshire residential home, the governor of a special school, a local government expert, the director of a think-tank, and an expert in care provision”, it is not surprising that DPOs should raise concerns about the independence of the charities’ new review.

The question is posed as to why no user-led organisations were told about it or asked to take part.

Jaspal Dhani, CEO of UKDPC  said he was concerned that the review could be used to promote the need for residential services rather than disabled people’s right to live in the community.

Mark Harrison, chief executive of Norfolk Coalition of Disabled People, said he was “angry” with the decision to set up the review, which he said was “typical behaviour from two disability charities that are for disabled people, not of disabled people”.

He said the two charities had yet again “violated” the disability movement’s principle of “nothing about us without us”.

Sue Bott, director of the National Centre for Independent Living (NCIL), said NCIL would also not be taking part, while she was “struggling to see what this independent review will achieve other than to try and raise the profile of the two organisations involved”.

DPAC would like to point out although we understood the need for disabled people to march with the big charities at the Hardest Hit rally, we had grave reservations about their (big charities’)  motives for organising the event, it looks like we might be confirmed in our suspicions.

Source: http://www.disabilitylib.org.uk/component/content/article/1-latest-news/597-dpos-boycott-charities-independent-review-of-mobility-needs