Posts Tagged ‘dpac’

#SaveILF Campaign Goes to Parliament, Tues 6th Jan (and online)

5 January 2015

Join us for a Mass Action to save the ILF, Tuesday, January 6th 1.30pm for 2pm start. House of Commons, SWIA 0AA

OR

Join us Online. We have prepared a webpage with tweets on that you can use, or you can tweet your own messages to:

  • Tories:  @Mark_J_Harper, @David_Cameron, @EstherMcVeyMP, @JoJohnsonMP who closed the ILF (IDS is too much a coward to have a twitter account)
  • Labour: @Ed_Miliband, @KateGreenSU, @RachelReevesMP who have (so far) chosen not to save the Independent Living Fund

 

For full detail see DPAC website here

 

 

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July 4th DPAC Independent Living Day -party and picnic, London and around the country

4 June 2014

Received from DPAC

DPAC is delighted to extend an open invitation to celebrate Independent Living Day with us on the 4th of July at the ‘Independent Living Tea Party ‘.

DPAC

The party will begin at 2pm at the DWP, Caxton House in Tothill Street SW1. There will be fun & games, and entertainment; and of course, some civil disobedience.

We have come a long way since the demand for Independent Living was first made nearly 50 years ago. Then, as now, IL was our solution for how society supports disabled people to take our place as equals. For how society addresses inaccessible institutions, structures and process it created, which do more to disable people than their impairments ever could.

There are many strands of Independent Living, and all are under threat. Cuts to:

  • Support funding – such Social Care, the ILF & Disabled Students Allowance;
  • Education – in areas like the wholesale destruction of SEN Statements and the continued segregation of disabled children into ‘special’ schools;
  • Transport – the withdrawal of Taxi-cards, freedom passes and the halting of planned works to make infrastructure more accessible, amongst a host of other cuts combine to make disabled people second-class citizens in society.

But we have fought this fight before – and won. Our Disabled Peoples Organisations, legal gains and the policy victories we have won previously are testament to the (more…)

*Reclaiming Our Futures* – Week of Action

13 August 2013

Received from –

Disabled People Against Cuts,

Black Triangle,

Mental Health Resistance Network

and the WOW petition bring you:

*Reclaiming Our Futures*

Join this year’s week of action to protest against austerity, fight for our rights and celebrate disabled people

enough

Our rights are being stripped away day by day, by the neo-liberal policies being imposed on us all by the Condems, leaving us without much hope for our futures – or our children’s.
We have been here before. Our history is littered with examples of how our community has come together when under attack to fight – and win. From the early campaigns of NLBDP (National League of Blind and Disabled People) through to the founding and manifesto of UPIAS (Union of the Physically Impaired Against Segregation) and on to DAN (Direct Action Network)- Now we have DPAC leading direct action and a host of other key grass root campaigns working towards reclaiming our rights and futures.

We have fought our corner over 3 centuries. And those fights have brought victories; the Independent Living Movement, our early CILs (Centres for Independent Living) and early active DPO’s (Disabled Peoples Organisations) and the significant rights for disabled people (which are now under attack).  They represent big victories, brought about by mobilizing in our communities around our common cause – and having the will and determination to see our demands met without compromising our rights. We have consistently united in anger and celebration.

DPAC Reclaiming our Futures Action

This Autumn, we are asking our community to come together in anger, and celebration again – and to unite around our demands.

We will be launching the UK Disabled People’s Manifesto setting out our vision of how the resources, structures and institutions of our society today can be re-designed to empower disabled people to take part in life on our terms. Disabled people are, and always will be, the experts on our lives and our self-determination. It will be a vision and practical plan that we can take forward in our communities, workplaces and lives to reclaim our futures.

In the build up to the manifesto launch, DPAC is (more…)

Is the government prepared to take action? Carers Week report

14 June 2013

Carers Week logoWhen the invite came to attend a speed-networking event in Parliament with MPs I initially said no. Doing a return trip from the North East in same day is not ideal, early start and extremely late arrival home, all for a 2-hour event. However, I have always said that apart from our own MPs, those of us in the North East don’t get much opportunity to meet with other politicians, so I changed my mind and said ‘yes’.  I am now glad I did so, and appreciate the opportunity given by CarersUK and CarersWeek.

The train journey down started really well with an unexpected turn of events. A young man sat a few seats from me and I recognised him as Chris Ramsey, stand-up comedian and actor from South Shields. Those that know me will not be surprised at my next actions, which was to start tweeting him. As most people travelling were using phones, he was unaware who was relating to his twitter  followers what he was doing. Once I identified myself we spoke a little while. Talk about Big Brother is watching. Thanks for the laugh Chris, you were a good sport.

After this light relief it was over to Westminster for the event. I was met by Carers Week staff and introduced to others from various organisations, including Age UK and Carers Trust. Then it was to business.

As a Carers UK member my companions were Emily Holzhausen, Director of Policy, and Chloe Wright, Senior Policy Officer. They took turns to sit with me. Also helping oversee the event was Steve McIntosh.

It was explained how the event would unfold. As MPs arrived they would be guided to tables to speak with carers, how long for was unsure, depending on if they had any other appointments they needed to attend.

I had no worries about speed networking. Those that know Geordies will know we talk fast. My main concern was how much ground could be covered when the issues surrounding carers are many. It was not just about my family’s’ circumstances, but many others out there too, struggling to cope on a daily basis.

We managed to see 8 MPs, names as follows –

Carers Week blogIan Mearns  Lab
Guy Opperman  Con
Norman Lamb  LibDem
Peter Aldous  Con
Sheila Gilmore   Lab
Grahame Morris   Lab
Stewart Jackson  Con
Caroline Lucas   Green

As well as outlining how caring has impacted on my family, other issues discussed were as follows.

1.    The issue of the Children and Families Bill and the lack of parent carer rights in it, and the concern that they would be left behind. We also talked about when the Care Bill comes to the House of Commons, to stop carers from being charged for their own services and to put an amendment, which would prevent family and friends’ support being taken for, granted.

2.    We discussed the impact of welfare reform on carers, in particular the bedroom tax

3.    The benefits system, which causes huge difficulties in trying to juggle work and care.

4.    Lack of services that are right for the people we care for, e.g. lack of dementia services and support for younger people.

5.    Lack of investment locally in carers’ support e.g. carer’s dementia work.

6.    Concerns about cuts to services and reassessments of severely disabled people and the impact on the caring support and family

7.    Concerned about the cumulative impact of different changes and cuts that are hitting families hard.

8.    Problems surrounding Employment Support Allowance process

9.    Impact on disabled people, as well as carers, re closure of Independent Living Fund.

10.   Advice and information being hard to come by but being vital.

11.  Importance of strong local advocates within local carers’ organisations.

12.  The level of Carer’s Allowance and the failure of this Government and the last Government to reform this benefit.

With thanks to Ian Mearns, Grahame Morris and Guy Opperman for the North East presence, to Norman Lamb who stayed longer than intended and was late for his next appt, and remaining MPs for the interest they showed, and the many questions asked.

Journey back took several hours and it was past midnight when I got home, extremely tired but an enjoyable day.

So, following on from the Carers Week theme of ‘I’m Prepared to Care’ – my question would be – What next?

Many of us have already been caring for as long as we can remember. Governments past and present have failed to fully address many of the carer issues.

We need action now

Give us the tools to assist us in our caring roles. It may be finances, respite, services, equipment, understanding from employers etc. Investing in us now can only strengthen the foundation we provide that prop up both NHS and Social Services.

We are ‘prepared to care’ 

 Is the government prepared to take ACTION?

Rosemary

Carers UK blog

Update on Independent Living Fund campaign

30 May 2013

Received from Inclusion London :-

Hi all,

1)   Below is an update from the solicitors:

The five clients represented by Deighton Pierce Glynn and Scott-Moncrieff & Associates filed papers in the Court of Appeal on 14 May 2013 to start the process of appealing the decision by the judge in the ILF judicial review.  The first stage is for a single judge to consider the application for permission to appeal; this usually takes six to eight weeks.  If this is refused, there is sometimes the possibility to re-apply for permission at an oral hearing.  If permission is granted, sometimes it is only granted on some of the grounds argued.

The legal arguments raised by the clients are that the judge did not explain his ruling properly, there was no evidence the minister had met the public sector equality duty and no evidence that the consultation had been open and candid, as required by law.  The appeal also argues that the judge was wrong to rely on the White Paper (the proposed social care bill) becoming law, as part of his reasoning.  The appeal is limited to what was wrong legally with the judgment in the judicial review; it cannot bring in new evidence or new legal arguments.

If permission is granted, on any or all of the grounds, the court has been asked to have the appeal hearing itself by the end of October 2013.  The judge should have decided whether to give the clients permission to appeal by mid-July and at the same time have decided how quickly the case will be heard; another update will be provided after that.”

2)   Inclusion London and DPAC have been contacted back by Anne McGuire and the Association of Directors of Adult Social Services for meetings following our letters

3)   Questions were asked within the House of Lords about future funding for ILF users and the response was that nothing is known until the spending review: http://jennymorrisnet.blogspot.co.uk/

4)   Kate has done some more filming and we are planning a film screening to highlight the impact of the closure of the ILF on 25th June, the eve of the spending review, in partnership with Shape Arts with performances from Sophie and Penny. We have no budget for travel but if any member of this group would like to attend please let me know as places will need to be reserved.

5)   The Care Bill has begun its journey through Parliament. This is very relevant for the ILF. The All Party Parliamentary Groups on Local Government and Disability published their report last week from their joint inquiry into social care (Promoting Independence, Preventing Crisis). Lords like Jane Campbell think this has great potential (http://disabilitynewsservice.com/2013/05/care-bill-is-culmination-of-25-years-campaigning-for-independent-living/) but without funding for social care campaigners don’t see how it can be. The Inclusion London Policy and Campaigns Forum have asked for Inclusion London to work on a campaigns strategy around the care Bill and for us to set up a meeting with Lords about it.

6)   We have put out a call out for information and evidence to show how the closure of the ILF to new applicants has already impacted on disabled people. I think this is going to be really important when making our arguments for the above. If anyone has information to share on this please get in touch.

Best wishes,
Ellen Clifford

Campaigns and Communications Officer
Inclusion London

ellen.clifford@inclusionlondon.co.uk

 

 

 

Ellen Clifford talks to Real Fare on Welfare Reform and Protest

30 May 2013

Received from Disabled People Against Cuts

 

“The government have managed to get away with causing misery…and there hasn’t been an outcry because they’ve wrapped it up in all this language of reform”

 

read in full here

Unable to apply for Independent Living Fund – Barry and Natassia’s stories

13 March 2013

After a long wait the day for the court hearing re Independent Living Fund is now here. Full details about the hearing and vigil can be found here.

There will also be an interview shown on Ch4 news at 7pm March 13th.

Please show your support throughout the afternoon by sharing these details as wide as possible. A few attending will hopefully be tweeting using hashtag  #ILF

I am Barry McDonald, I am 28 years old. I am a wheelchair user. I enjoy watching football and going out to the pub with my friends. I do a lot of volunteering around sports and improving services for Deaf and disabled people. I am ambitious as I have life goals I want to achieve: to be in a long term paid job, to move out on my own and to be in a position where I can be actively involved in doing all I can to improve services provided for disabled people and working towards a world that can one day be fully accessible for all.

I can’t do these things on the level of support I get from my local authority. I receive 45 minutes of social care per day for personal care. I receive nothing for domestic, social or leisure activities because my local authority will only fund support for basic personal care needs.

As a young person the hardest thing I find is not being able to (more…)

What the closure of the Independent Living Fund means – Jenny’s story

12 March 2013

Please see full campaign details on DPAC website here

 

Jenny’s Story

 

Before I was referred for funding from the Independent Living Fund I lived without having my most basic needs met, spending hours unable to have a drink or go the toilet, without dignity and without any quality of life, existing between TV and hospital.

I received a package of 4 hours a day, one hour for getting me up, showered and breakfasted, one hour for house work and lunch, one hour for supper and one hour to do the “put to bed”. In between times I couldn’t get a drink or use the toilet- let alone do anything meaningful with my life. I even had one of the care workers bring her husband or (male) neighbour along as she was unable to get me in and out the bath by herself! I thought this was normal! I whiled away my days watching TV or falling asleep due to boredom. I used to be got up at 9 and put to bed at 9. I couldn’t even do shopping as it was quicker for the care worker to do it alone. I spent weeks at a time in hospital going from one health crisis to the next.

A chance meeting with a social care researcher led to me hearing of disabled people using “indirect” budgets to employ their own PAs. I was reassessed and awarded a 24/7 package partly funded by the ILF. I recruited a team of PAs who enabled me to actually have a life!

Through support from the Independent living Fund I have been enabled to go back to University and to enter employment, firstly through casual work as an “expert by experience” for the Care Quality Commission and to then go on to get my first full-time job in 20 years (as a Personal Budget Coordinator – the job of my dreams and my hobby to boot!).

I am paying into the system in 2 ways – as a Trustee of a charity – and as an economically active tax payer, thanks to my paid work. Additionally, 7 other people are economically active through their employment as my Personal Assistants.

In terms of saving money to the state you can also count on the fingers of one hand the number of hospital stays I have had since receiving ILF funding – and all but one of those stays were planned.

My ILF pays for a quarter of my care package – essentially 42 hours a week- and roughly the same amount of time that I spend at work, in education or taking part in leisure activities.

I can’t bear to think of a return to life without these opportunities.

Unfortunately in my job I see many people who are suffering the dreary lifestyle that I had once had as they have missed the chance to apply for ILF funding. One client says that she feels she is treated “worse than a dog – at least dogs get taken for a walk every day” – as she spends all but a couple of hours a week in bed. She doesn’t have a package flexible enough to have someone around to help her back to bed when her muscles no longer allow her to maintain her position in her wheelchair. The hour that she can spend in her chair, while the care worker is doing housework, she drives from room to room like a caged animal “just to make sure the other rooms are still there”!

I have no doubt that ILF funding would have made her life much, much better.

I am worried for the day that my 42 hours funded by the ILF disappear and I resort to driving from room to room, no longer able to pay for the support I need to lead the meaningful life I currently enjoy thanks to the ILF.

 

Independent Living Fund – Anthony and Davids story

10 March 2013

Many testimonies have been shared over the last few weeks about the impact the closure of the Independent Living Fund will have on peoples lives. The hearing is  Wednesday March 13th .

Anthony and David’s story

I am an advocate for my brother Anthony who has severe learning disabilities, autism and bi-polar. As a result of maladministration by Bradford council, when my brother went into supported accommodation in June 2001 he lost his support from the Independent Living Fund. This experience demonstrated brutally the difference between life with and without the ILF and the limitations of Local Authority care packages.

For the six years my brother went without ILF funding his life ceased. After returning from daycare at 3.30pm he did not go out again until the following morning at 8.30 back to daycare. His social life disappeared, no longer could he access the community, you could forget the days out or the occasional visits to the seaside. To my brother, a short walk down the road with his coat and shoes on can make his day seem so much more yet without the ILF he couldn’t step out of the four walls he was imprisoned in.

Although the local Council was made aware of what position they had put my brother in they refused to fund or help in anyway, continually stipulating they did not have the resources.

The ILF may well have certain flaws but the biggest flaw or mistake would be to transfer full responsibility for meeting social care and support needs Local Authorities. The lives of people without a voice, like my brother, will be ruined.

For further details please contact DPAC here   or  Inclusion London here

DAY 7 – Independent Living Fund, Kathys story

7 March 2013

Kathy’s  Story

Without a Personal Assistant my quality of life would be greatly diminished.  I suffer from clinical depression, and become very lethargic and inclined to withdraw into myself and miss meals, if alone for long periods and unable to get out.  My deaf blindness makes me feel very isolated and I am unable to deal with paperwork mail and form filling without assistance.

Having a PA helps me to access local services such as Doctor’s, Dentists and hospital appointments, also to the bank and library. It enables me to take exercise like swimming; or shopping for food,  and clothes as one needs to be told what is there in order to make  choices.  I need someone to guide me to a place:  to get drinks and find toilets: to interpret what is being said in noisy environments or if people have accents.

I need assistance to make phone calls because of dexterity problems as well as not being able to hear.

I want to participate in meetings, and also be enabled to socialize with friends or other groups

I have little useful sight which is blurred, so it is not safe to go out alone to avoid hazards which I don’t see, both inside and out and to prevent falling, because my balance is poor, so I use an assisted wheelchair and sometimes a walking stick with support from my PA.

My PA also assists with meal,  personal care and domestic chores, with choosing clothes which match and saying if they are stained.

It is important to me to gain knowledge which involves reading study material and visiting places of interest; the theatre or cinema.  I feel it is important to stimulate my brain, as my short-term memory sometimes lets me down and I can’t remember where things are and occasionally need reminding of things I need to do.

This overview is by no means exhaustive, but shows the importance of PA’s in all aspects of my life.  I have suffered from mental illness and dread slipping into that downward spiral of self neglect and deeper depression.

Please allow me to keep my PA’s and lead a more balanced and fulfilled life than would be possible without their support.  In order to have this I need financial assistance, which has been possible through the ILF. Those who administer the service have an understanding of the needs of participants whereas other agencies may not.

Also with the government cut backs, there is no guarantee that necessary funding will be available from Local Authorities.

Further information of court hearing can be found here

 

 


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