Defend Independent Living: Save the Independent Living Fund!
We are opposed to the closure of the Independent Living Fund – a national fund that enables disabled people with the highest support needs to live independently in the community
Without the ILF disabled people with the highest support needs will lose essential support – local authorities cannot provide disabled people with the same level or type of support as the ILF and some people who get support from the Independent Living Fund now are not eligible for support from local authorities at all
Disabled people with high support needs are most at risk of losing their independence and those risks are greater now than at any time since the ILF started due to the disproportionate impact of different austerity measures on disabled people
Disabled people will be forced into residential care against their wishes, losing choice and control over their lives
Closure of the Fund breaches the human rights of disabled people as enshrined in the United Nations Convention for the Rights of People with Disabilities:
– Article 19 – right to independent living
– Article 28 – the right to an adequate standard of living and protection
Closure of the ILF will cost jobs:
– Thousands of Personal Assistants employed through the ILF will lose their jobs
– Disabled people will not have the support they need to be part of the community and to take up training, education and employment
– Staff employed by the ILF will lose their jobs
The ILF is an effective and efficient way of providing support to disabled people with complex and high support needs:
We are calling for investment and expansion of the ILF that will provide:
– State protection for the rights of disabled people with complex and high support needs to be supported to live independent lives
– Expert independent living support based on the genuine independence, proper participation in society, and fulfillment of aspirations of disabled people.
– A national model of support that does not vary depending on where you live
– Support that is free at the point of need
Write to your MP
I am writing to urge you to defend disabled people’s right to independent
living which is under threat from the closure of the Independent Living Fund
(ILF), a source of essential support enabling disabled people with the highest
support needs to live in the community.
The closure of the ILF will mean for me….
On 18th December 2012 the government announced its decision to
permanently close the ILF following its closure to new applicants since
December 2010. The announcement followed a consultation that was flawed
and which ignored the overwhelming opposition to the closure from disabled
people and disabled people’s organisations as well as other organisations
and Local Authorities.
Government plans to merge the ILF with mainstream care and support will
result in a greatly reduced quality of life for disabled people and for some
will mean being forced into residential care against their wishes. This will
prevent disabled people from full inclusion and participation in the community,
as anticipated by Article 19 of the Convention on the Rights of Persons with
The Government’s decision not to put in place any ring-fencing for the
support for current ILF recipients when responsibilities are transferred to
local authorities and devolved administrations will inevitably lead to a loss of
support as many local authorities have stated in their consultation responses.
The ILF is needed to protect adults in the UK who are most at risk of losing
their independence. Those risks are greater now than at any time since the
ILF started, and there is clear evidence that without that protection being
continued on a national basis disabled people with high support needs will
lose their ability to work, to live in the community rather than in institutions,
and to be part of society or even carry out family roles. With the ILF already
shut to new applicants it is clear this is the consequence of closure of the
The closure is a false economy, making relatively small savings through
reducing support while at the same time making people dependent and
The ILF has proved effective in meeting independent living needs at a
national level and at a time when disabled people are being affected
disproportionately by many different austerity measures, the protection
provided by the ILF needs of this group nationally needs to be strengthened
I ask you to sign Early Day Motion 651 and to call on the Government to
review this regressive step and to look instead at ways of expanding the
Independent Living Fund to provide needs-based support to all disabled
people in the UK who require it.
In order to protect disabled people’s right to live with choice and control over
their lives and with dignity we need the Independent Living Fund.
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Organised by Disabled People against Cuts (DPAC), Right to Work, Labour Representation Committee
Over 800 people came together on Saturday 12th in London to talk about the cuts and the way forward for the TUC march on the 26th March. Disabled people were there and the stage sported a big DPAC banner in the middle. The day was videoed and the DPAC workshop was also videoed. The report of the day overall will be elsewhere. Here we look at the great turnout by disabled people and celebrate the central place we had in this day.
The morning open floor brought great comments from some disabled participants, including, Richard Rieser, Adrian Whyatt and Sasha Callaghan on the effect of the cuts for disabled people, including the human rights abuses and the closure of poverty pimps ATOS offices across Scotland on the national day of protest against cuts.
The DPAC workshop was held in the afternoon. It was great to see so many people at this with 50 or 60 people, some attendees from as far as Scotland. Speakers on the panel were Richard Rieser, Debbie Jolly, Sue Bott and Kevin Caulfield. The workshop was chaired by Eleanor Lisney. There were many comments and questions at the workshop, these included:
We are being sent back to Victorian times: we should all be involved in local anti-cuts groups, emulate DAN protests, disabled people need to be at front of things and be united
We are incensed by the coverage in newspapers against disabled people
Need to make sure we include Deaf people and those with invisible disabilities, but not impairment based- we cannot go back to arguing about impairments- we must all fight together, must be inclusive
Mental health resistance network couldn’t all get to London today but want to support and be included: facing difficult times being given ‘talking treatment’ but they (the government) concentrate on getting us ‘well’, but they just want to get us into work
Participant remembers Richard speaking at European Social Forum; there are many more people here and comments that Sasha did a brilliant job when speaking this morning about ATOS
We need to come together and find common ground, not just disabled people but across the board. We all need to fully support the campaign and get the trade unions behind this too
There are not many disabled millionaires and certainly none at the convention. This is an attack on working class people. We need to get joint campaigns with all anti-cuts campaigns. Disabled people need to link up, need to unite: Every single local group should make contacts with disability groups in the area
We need to stop people from the Charity sector taking over: Rights not Charity
Issues were raised with the dropping off of people from buses at Wembly for the 26th March TUC London march. Right to Work have sent a statement to Brendan Barber not to drop in Wembley because of access issues and cost of getting to central London for the march. Disabled people need to email too.
John McArdle of Black triangle reminded us of the story of Paul Reekie.
It was noted that sometimes people aren’t getting messages re demos and protests, but also that the police always seem to know where we are going to be.
It was suggested that a boycott of newspapers following the government line and producing rhetoric on disabled people as scroungers are boycotted including the Scottish Mail, Daily Mail and others.
A video of the workshop will be available soon
The afternoon was made up of invited speakers, feedback from the workshops and debate. The highlight of the afternoon was Liz Carr’s speech which received a standing ovation from the audience.
A full list of actions proposed by Disabled People against Cuts and accepted by the Peoples’ Convention
The protest on 26th March needs to be fully accessible with disabled people involved in the planning. There needs to be representation of disabled people with and without visible impairments on the platform.
We propose a day of national demonstrations against ATOS.
We propose a month of action over the month of July to coincide with the second anniversary of the signing of the UN Convention.
We propose that every local anti-cuts movement has an autonomous disabled people’s sub group.
We propose support for UKDPC’s day of disabled people’s protest proposed for 11th May.(to be confirmed)
We propose that we speak to our colleagues at Unison about how the cuts are being implemented.
We are very happy that Disabled comedian and activist Liz Carr will be speaking at the People’s Convention on Saturday February 12th at the Friend’s Meeting House opposite Euston Station in London.
We are also running a workshop in the afternoon ‘At the Forefront of Resistance’
This workshop’s panel –
Sue Bott, Director of National Centre for Independent Living
A disabled person with visual impairment from birth, Sue has been active in the disability movement in the UK for many years.
Richard Reiser, co ordinator for UK Disability History Month
Richard is an expert disabled international equality trainer, consultant and teacher.
Kevin Caulfield, Chair of Hammersmith & Fulham Coalition Against Community Care Cuts (HAFCAC)
Kevin is an active campaigner for all disabled people’s rights to equality and equal citizenship from a social model perspective at a local, regional and national level.
We would like as many disabled people as possible to come to this to tell us what you think. It starts at 10.30- 5 pm but the afternoon workshop if anyone is unable to come for the whole day should start at 2pm. Please support us.
The venue is Friends Meeting house near Euston Station. You need to book tickets from www.righttowork.org.uk £2 unwaged £5 waged to cover the costs of putting on the conference.
BSL We have requested for BSL interpreters. tbc.
Easy Read worker will be available at workshop.
Lunch is NOT provided – there is a vegetarian cafe en site at the venue. Eateries and food available at Euston Station including Nandos, Harry Ramsden Fish and Chips, and Marks and Spencers.