Apr 272014
 

David Greene, a cartoonist for Private Eye, has been drawing a series of cartoons depicting the impact of welfare reforms through illustrated case studies. These have been appearing in both English and French editions of Private Eye magazine.

They clearly highlight the absurdity of, and hardship caused by the reforms and do not disparage the claimants whose lives they are based on.

He would like talk to 2 or 3 disabled people who are having to pay the bedroom tax, which will be the subject of his next cartoon,  and he would visit them in their own homes.

If you would like to to talk to David please email us mail@dpac.uk.net and we will pass on your details to him.

 

 Posted by at 22:06
Apr 272014
 

Reblogged from http://www.opendemocracy.net/ournhs/steve-sweeney/patients-occupy-threatened-mental-health-clinic-some-signs-of-victory hope that

A seven-week occupation of a Cambridge NHS mental health clinic in Britain threatened with closure is having more success than past campaigning – is this the way forward?

Service users of a Cambridge NHS mental health clinic, ‘Lifeworks’, have been occupying its Tenison Road building for nearly 8 weeks, in a defiant battle to stop its closure.

Messages of support can be sent to savelifeworks[at]mail.com and the petition can be signed online.

The service has been offering vital support for those with Personality Disorder and Borderline Personality Disorder for the past 12 years. But the Cambridgeshire and Peterborough Foundation Trust now plans to close it as part of a wider service redesign.

According to both NHS England and local MP Julian Huppert “the health system in Cambridgeshire is one of the worst funded in the country” but its trust is facing a further £6.5 million budget cut next year.

The occupiers won an important victory earlier this month when local councillors asked the mental health trust to reopen Lifeworks while they consult users, something which they had previously failed to do.

Mental health services across Cambridgeshire have already been hit hard by years of cuts. Seven years ago swathes of mental health beds and wards across the county were closed down, including beds, wards, rehab units, a therapeutic community, community services and day centres. 27 Consultant Psychiatrists wrote condemning the cuts. Health workers, and users groups campaigned hard. But the Trust pressed ahead with the cuts and imposed a ‘gagging order’ to prevent staff talking to the media.

The fight to defend the remaining NHS mental health services in Cambridge has now stepped up to new levels of resistance.

If Lifeworks closes, there will be little left to support its users. Other remaining local organisations have said they do not have the capacity to support any more users.

The Foundation Trust says that service users will be offered a new ‘GP-led pathway’ – but according to service users, only 1 out of 10 current Lifeworks users will get a referral to this new ‘pathway’.

And even those lucky enough to be referred will only get it for 18-24 months. Most users state that their condition is lifelong, not time limited.

Further cuts loom. There are plans to close Art and Music Therapy and other services in Cambridgeshire. There is very little evidence that these closures are ‘clinically led’.

Most of the service users GPs are not even aware the cuts are happening til they hear it from their own patients. This is a long way from GPs being put ‘at the centre of decicion making’ as the government claimed its 2012 ‘reforms’ did.

Mental health trusts across the country face a crisis. They are being forced to make around 20% more savings in next years budget than hospitals and other parts of the health service.

In Cambridgeshire, disastrously over-priced Private Finance Initiative projects have diverted money away from mental health and community care

The fightback has been largely led by women, who make up around 95% of those who use Lifeworks.

Initially planned as a ‘2 hour sit-in’, the occupation has been going strong for the past 7 weeks with no signs of ending. The decision to occupy was taken after service users were sent a generic letter advising of the closure.

Ann Robinson said ‘We were told that Lifeworks was for life, hence the name. We are really angry that nobody bothered to speak to us about the cuts and that they have not consulted with service users, carers or even GPs. Mine did not even know about the closure until I told them and it is them that we are supposed to be referred back to.”

Chair of Scrutiny Cllr Killian Bourke said:

“The proper consultation with service users has simply not taken place. The consultation that did take place was extremely high level and made no specific mention of closing Lifeworks. Services users only learned about the closure of the service four weeks ago, that is why they have staged a sit-in.

This clearly isn’t good enough. The Health Act requires commissioners and providers to ensure that service users are properly involved in decisions about the planning and provision of services. Therefore I am urging the Mental Health Trust to stop the closure of Lifeworks while we get to the bottom of this and service users are consulted.”

Another service user explained that Lifeworks saved her life. She told how she had been “in a mess”, with no contact or support from mental health services. Lifeworks offered her a ‘lifeline”, including crisis management clinics and other sources of vital support.

She fears that the closure of Lifeworks will leave her vulnerable and isolated. She has already had her benefits cut, including through the ‘bedroom tax’. Many of the other services she used have now gone. She described Lifeworks as being all she has got left.

Similar stories are heard from many other service users.

Under pressure from service users, supporters and Councillors, the Trust has admitted “we could have done more to engage with service users”. It says it is “now planning to have further discussions with all those affected. All options over the future of Lifeworks remain open.”

But they have added

“These discussions cannot take place however until the people who are occupying Tenison Road have vacated the building.”

Users remain defiant.

“We will not be ending the occupation until we have assurances about the long-term future of Lifeworks,” says Ann Robinson.

The occupation has received wide community support, with demonstrations and petitions organised by trade unionists, health workers, charities and community groups.

The occupiers have had to teach themselves to navigate the bureaucratic tangle of Scrutiny Committees, Clinical Commissioning Groups and the like. They have bravely stated their case in meetings in their to attempt to stop cuts and hold those responsible to account.

And they are refusing to be intimidated, despite having been sent letters accusing them of “criminal” behaviour. The Trust also sent in five men to confront two female service users who were alone in the building at that time.

The women say the Trust seems more concerned with the building than with their health and well-being through this difficult and stressful time.

Health bosses are clearly rattled. Medical director of the Trust Chess Denman accused the council of a “hostile and personal attack” for asking tough questions at the scrutiny committee on the decision to close Lifework

The scrutiny committee has demanded that the Trust make them aware of any future planned service changes and has established a working group to scrutinise and address the lack of consultation.

It has asked that the Trust reopen Lifeworks while this process is carried out.

The women occupying Lifeworks have achieved more for mental health services in Cambridgeshire than anybody else has done for decades.

The occupation continues. Messages of support can be sent to savelifeworks[at]mail.com and the petition can be signed online.

 Posted by at 18:03
Apr 272014
 

DPAC Save ILF Twitter

To use this as your twitter or facebook picture:

1.Right click and chose ‘save as’ save in a folder of your choosing

2.upload as facebook or twitter profile pic or just post this link http://www.internaldpac.org.uk/DPACClone/2014/04/support-the-saveilf-campaign-by-using-this-twitter-or-facebook-picture/

to post image direct to FB or twitter account for share/RTing

There are plenty of other ways to take part in the Save the ILF Campaign:




An Important Request on ILF from Mary Laver http://shar.es/BjyqK #SaveILF #ILF




What the Closure of the #ILF means to disabled people -Mary’s story http://campaigndpac.wordpress.com/2013/03/07/what-the-closure-of-the-independent-living-fund-means-to-disabled-people-mars-story-2/ #SaveILF #ILF




What the Closure of the #ILF means to disabled people – Justine’s story http://campaigndpac.wordpress.com/2013/03/07/what-the-closure-of-the-independent-living-fund-means-to-disabled-people-justines-story/ #SaveILF #ILF




What the Closure of the #ILF means to disabled people – John, Paul and Evonne’s story http://campaigndpac.wordpress.com/2013/03/07/what-the-closure-of-the-independent-living-fund-means-to-disabled-people-john-paul-and-evonnes-story/ #SaveILF #ILF




What the Closure of the #ILF means to disabled people – Roxy’s story http://campaigndpac.wordpress.com/2013/03/07/what-the-closure-of-the-independent-living-fund-means-to-disabled-people-oxys-story/ #SaveILF #ILF




What the Closure of the #ILF means to disabled people – Kathy’s story http://campaigndpac.wordpress.com/2013/03/07/what-the-closure-of-the-independent-living-fund-means-to-disabled-people-kathys-story/ #SaveILF #ILF




What the Closure of ILF means to disabled people – Richard’s story http://www.dpac.uk.net/2013/03/what-the-closure-of-ilf-means-to-me-richards-story/ #SaveILF #ILF




What the Closure of ILF means to disabled people – Penny’s story http://www.dpac.uk.net/2013/03/what-the-closure-of-ilf-means-to-me-pennys-story/ #SaveILF #ILF




What the Closure of ILF means to disabled people – Anthony and David’s story http://www.dpac.uk.net/2013/03/what-the-closure-of-ilf-means-to-disabled-people-anthony-and-davids-story/ #SaveILF #ILF




What the Closure of ILF means to disabled people – Kevin’s story http://www.dpac.uk.net/2013/03/what-the-closure-of-ilf-means-to-disabled-people-kevins-story/ #SaveILF #ILF




Second Closure of #ILF and our analysis of the equality analysis by DWP http://shar.es/Bm4hM #SaveILF #ILF




DPAC statement on government announcement on closure of the #ILF http://shar.es/BHRcl #SaveILF #ILF




How the closure of the ILF will affect lives http://www.internaldpac.org.uk/DPACClone/independent-living-fund/#sthash.dLgkwYIe.dpbs #SaveILF #ILF




What Local Authorities said about the Closure of ILF http://www.dpac.uk.net/2013/02/what-local-authorities-said-about-the-closure-of-ilf/ #SaveILF #ILF




A Nasty Cut people affected by the closure of the #ILF http://www.dpac.uk.net/2013/02/a-nasty-cut-people-affected-by-the-closure-of-the-independent-l5142/ #SaveILF #ILF




Second Closure of Independent Living Fund and our analysis of the equality analysis by DWP http://shar.es/BjygQ #SaveILF #ILF


There are many more tweets that you can use here: http://dftr.org.uk/SaveILF

The “Save The Independent Living Fund” postcard campaign is supported by GMCDP, ALLFIE, DPAC, Inclusion London and Equal Lives.

 

 

 Posted by at 17:47
Apr 272014
 

Please support Obi and team to continue live-streaming direct actions and events for #dpac, #ukuncut and others. Live-streaming is important for disabled people that cannot always get to events and protests because none of us should be left out of our fight for our rights

It is also important in these times ruled by the right-wing press to get a record of our news and events-its time to fight back and ensure that our voices and protests are heard, recorded, documented and visualised -live-streaming does that- lets support it to continue the  real and uncensored news is seen and heard! Please donate if you can at http://www.gofundme.com/8nzi68

see some of the events live streamed for DPAC

JohnMcDonnell MP Praises DPAC at DPAC conference April 2014

August 5, 2012 Akira: update on ATOS. Paralympics sponsor

August 29, 2012 #ATOS #REMPLOY #ParaOlympics #2012 #Protest by previous gold medal winners

August 31, 2012 #ONN #OLSX covering anti #ATOS #ATOSkills #dpac event at Triton Square, Camden

October 28, 2012 Akira and experiencing Public Transport for a Wheelchair user.

September 3, 2013 DPAC AND BLACK TRIANGLE DIRECT ACTION. BBC PORTLAND PLACE, LONDON

September 5, 2013 DPAC FREEDOM DRIVE.

June 4, 2013 DPAC Bromley Benefit Justice second Meeting

September 26, 2013 10,000 Cuts and Counting

October 5, 2013 SOLIDARITY ACTION WITH UKUNCUT AND DPAC #ROADBLOCKS4JUSTICE

Oct 20, 2013 The DPAC action in Marble Arch . TUC March 2012.

September 28, 2013 DPAC DIRECT ACTION: 10,000 CUTS AND COUNTING. SCRAP ATOS

@Obi_Live
@OccupyNN

https://twitter.com/Obi_Live
https://twitter.com/OccupyTTIP
occupylondon@lists.riseup.net

 

Apr 252014
 

For the first time in 16 years Starbucks UK (who STILL don’t pay their tax!) saw their sales fall last year after occupations, direct action and boycotts all over the UK.  Click on the link for more details: http://news.sky.com/story/1249095/starbucks-sales-fall-for-first-time-in-16-years

November 2012 saw Uncutters occupy over 40 Starbucks stores to say NO to cuts whilst Starbucks doesn’t pay a penny of tax.   Click the link to see a video of what happened in Sheffield: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=i1sCKRvSwSQ

Their pride and their sales might have been hit but until Osborne and his cronies stop tax avoidance then stop the cuts WE WON’T STOP!

See you on the streets of Sheffield soon…
 
P.S Don’t forget The Freedom Ride 5 on Monday 28 April as featured on BBC Look North

sheffield

source: Sheffield Uncut

Apr 252014
 

Please save the independent living fund!

I got up this morning, brushed my teeth, showered, ate breakfast, got dressed, checked my e mails, went to work, had lunch with colleagues, met with friends on the way home from work, popped in on my mum to see she was alright before coming home to do a couple of hours work on my open university degree before bed. I was able to do all this because of the money from the Independent Living Fund that helps pay my Personal Assistant to support me to do the things I can’t manage to do directly because I have a condition that means my hands do not work and I get around using a wheelchair” – ILF recipient.

The money from the independent living fund helps pay for a personal assistant, and enables disabled people who need support to have a quality of life to do the same things everyone else can do. Live.

The government says “ILF recipients will be reassessed by their local authority, and will be funded by the local authority” The money given to the local authority to meet a disabled person’s support needs will not be ring fenced. The local authority can spend that money meant for disabled people and their support needs on other resources. Disabled people who need the support fear less or no support at all and then being placed into residential care, far from friends and family.

Imagine this; your local authority has cut your support needs. You would have to rely on the local pop in service from carers you do not know, to keep you clean, warm up a meal in the microwave, and convenient at the time for the carer but not a convenient time for you. If you need night care, you would then be forced to wear incontinence pads or even worse cathertised.

You would then be only able to shower once a week, have no social life, have to perhaps use a hoist and then excluded from every day activities outside, forced to give up your pet if you had one, no garden, forced into isolation, having to sack the personal assistant you relied on for many years with no redundancy for them.

Now you are thinking you do not want to go on anymore. Its how do I go on like this with little support? Due to the lack of support you are now isolated at home cut off from society and from friends and family and as the lack of support means no independence, no social life, can’t work, no quality of life, it would make anyone feel down, and even depressed. It’s awful to contemplate isn’t it?

Disabled people want rights. Rights to live independently in the community, to have our support needs met, so we can have a quality of life, and do the same things as everyone else does. Live.

Society forgets that we are human beings, people, we are mothers, fathers, brothers, sisters, friends, neighbours, colleagues, but society sees the impairment, not the person we happen to be. We are judged, discriminated against, and called a drain to society. Well, we are not!

People can be born with an impairment, or at some point in their lives can even be struck down with a devastating illness, hit by a car, lose your mobility need to use a wheelchair to get around, have a breakdown, could lose your job and need to claim benefits to live. The social security system was put in place to protect those who needed the support, who may be too ill to work. You need the support every day to carry out the simplest of tasks. Life is unexpected, it’s cruel and its tough, it can change in a flicker of an eye lash, and it can happen to YOU.

Life is really hard living as a disabled person every day. Trying to manage life with all the same worries as non disabled people. Money, keeping a job, family life, health issues, how to get around using public transport. It’s bloody tough.

The independent living fund gave people with severe impairments the support needed to live life as we chose, so we could work, go shopping, feel part of society, a human being. A non disabled person is not used to thinking about how they would go to the toilet, get in and out of their home, get to work but we need to plan all those things in advance and ensure we have the support to do them.” -ILF recipient.

Our demand is to keep the independent living fund open, open it up to new claimants and open up independent living to all disabled people so we can keep our independence, and with support, have a quality of life and live.

All I ask of you is for your help. Help us save the independent living fund from closing on 30th June 2015. As disabled people, we want rights to live independently as possible, having a quality of life despite what we battle with every day with our disabilities and illnesses.

Why? Because we’re worth it! We are human beings and we want to be treated as such, not the stock the government and great swathes of society think we are. We are worth it! Help us keep the independent living fund open and help us in the fight for our rights so we can have a quality of life living in society as best as we can.

by Paula Peters

Take part in the Save the ILF Campaign:




An Important Request on ILF from Mary Laver http://shar.es/BjyqK #SaveILF #ILF




What the Closure of the #ILF means to disabled people -Mary’s story http://campaigndpac.wordpress.com/2013/03/07/what-the-closure-of-the-independent-living-fund-means-to-disabled-people-mars-story-2/ #SaveILF #ILF




What the Closure of the #ILF means to disabled people – Justine’s story http://campaigndpac.wordpress.com/2013/03/07/what-the-closure-of-the-independent-living-fund-means-to-disabled-people-justines-story/ #SaveILF #ILF




What the Closure of the #ILF means to disabled people – John, Paul and Evonne’s story http://campaigndpac.wordpress.com/2013/03/07/what-the-closure-of-the-independent-living-fund-means-to-disabled-people-john-paul-and-evonnes-story/ #SaveILF #ILF




What the Closure of the #ILF means to disabled people – Roxy’s story http://campaigndpac.wordpress.com/2013/03/07/what-the-closure-of-the-independent-living-fund-means-to-disabled-people-oxys-story/ #SaveILF #ILF




What the Closure of the #ILF means to disabled people – Kathy’s story http://campaigndpac.wordpress.com/2013/03/07/what-the-closure-of-the-independent-living-fund-means-to-disabled-people-kathys-story/ #SaveILF #ILF




What the Closure of ILF means to disabled people – Richard’s story http://www.dpac.uk.net/2013/03/what-the-closure-of-ilf-means-to-me-richards-story/ #SaveILF #ILF




What the Closure of ILF means to disabled people – Penny’s story http://www.dpac.uk.net/2013/03/what-the-closure-of-ilf-means-to-me-pennys-story/ #SaveILF #ILF




What the Closure of ILF means to disabled people – Anthony and David’s story http://www.dpac.uk.net/2013/03/what-the-closure-of-ilf-means-to-disabled-people-anthony-and-davids-story/ #SaveILF #ILF




What the Closure of ILF means to disabled people – Kevin’s story http://www.dpac.uk.net/2013/03/what-the-closure-of-ilf-means-to-disabled-people-kevins-story/ #SaveILF #ILF




Second Closure of #ILF and our analysis of the equality analysis by DWP http://shar.es/Bm4hM #SaveILF #ILF




DPAC statement on government announcement on closure of the #ILF http://shar.es/BHRcl #SaveILF #ILF




How the closure of the ILF will affect lives http://www.internaldpac.org.uk/DPACClone/independent-living-fund/#sthash.dLgkwYIe.dpbs #SaveILF #ILF




What Local Authorities said about the Closure of ILF http://www.dpac.uk.net/2013/02/what-local-authorities-said-about-the-closure-of-ilf/ #SaveILF #ILF




A Nasty Cut people affected by the closure of the #ILF http://www.dpac.uk.net/2013/02/a-nasty-cut-people-affected-by-the-closure-of-the-independent-l5142/ #SaveILF #ILF




Second Closure of Independent Living Fund and our analysis of the equality analysis by DWP http://shar.es/BjygQ #SaveILF #ILF


There are many more tweets that you can use here: http://dftr.org.uk/SaveILF

The “Save The Independent Living Fund” postcard campaign is supported by GMCDP, ALLFIE, DPAC, Inclusion London and Equal Lives.

 

 

 Posted by at 16:13
Apr 242014
 

We Own it logo

How do you feel about billions of pounds of public money (your money) being handed to Serco? Serco gets paid to run public services even though it is under criminal investigation by the Serious Fraud Office for defrauding the taxpayer. The company has hired Winston Churchill’s grandson (Rupert Soames) as new chief executive to try to repair its shattered reputation.

If you’re sick of Serco (and other outsourcing companies), we’d love to see you at our first action ever, outside Serco’s AGM on Thursday 8th May. Let’s tell Serco they can’t paper over the cracks. Outsourcing is failing the public. The government needs to give Serco and other dodgy dealers the boot. We’re calling for all parties to give you a better deal by signing up to our Public Service Users Bill (we blogged about how this could happen yesterday on Left Foot Forward).

Join us at Serco’s AGM:
10.30am – 11.30am, Thursday 8th May
Outside the offices of Clifford Chance LLP, 10 Upper Bank Street, London E14 5JJ

Sign up to the event on facebook or reply to this email to let us know you’re coming.
If you can’t make it (we know it’s difficult on a weekday), please help spread the word! Share this picture on facebook or twitter (#SickofSerco), or share this blog with family and friends.

serco

We are also delighted to support Fuel Poverty Action’s protest at the British Gas AGM on Monday 12th May – ‘Bin British Gas: Put Power in Public Hands’. We want to see affordable, democratic, sustainable energy – people before profit. Sign up to join the event on facebook and tweet #BinBritishGas.

It would be great to see you at one of these actions! If you can’t make it but you’d like to help out, perhaps you could spread the word or consider signing up to be one in a thousand?

Many thanks for your support

From Weownit.org.uk

Apr 212014
 

DPAC would like to thank everyone for making last week’s (April 12 2014) National Conference such a huge success. There was a huge turnout with over 150 disabled activists from all over the UK including many new DPAC members attending, but just as important there were hundreds of members and supporters beyond the venue taking part through social media – watching the video live-stream, tweeting and sharing comments, views and sending messages of support. This was fantastic work by everyone and a truly inspiring collective effort.

DSC_1030 con

Here’s a brief outline of how it went.

Programme
The day was timetabled into sections beginning with practical reports and voting on policy motions. This was followed by two workshop sessions and then a closing session for everyone to feedback on the day. Four workshops were available to choose from in each Workshop session. Detailed reports on these will follow later.

John McDonnell MP, a longstanding friend and supporter of DPAC, gave a rousing opening speech to encourage everyone and remind us of the victories achieved so far. He congratulated disabled people and DPAC for fighting back, along with our sister organisation Black Triangle and WoW Petition initiators

As he finished he mentioned his own recent health condition which he said he felt brought him closer to our movement. Ellen reacted quickly by giving him a DPAC t-shirt and declaring him a full DPAC member to instant applause and cheers.

photo1jm tshirt

Finances
The Finance Report showed a healthy state of affairs for the time being thanks to individual donations, t-shirt and badge sales plus grants from the Edge Fund, the Network for Social Change, Trust for London  and the Andrew Wainwright Trust. More fund-raising is necessary going forward.

Motions
1. Government Honours
This proposed that any future candidates for the DPAC Steering Group could thwart the network and collective ethos of DPAC if they had received a national honour like an OBE or MBE. The ‘BE’ refers to the imperialist British Empire which is still celebrated despite what we know of the suffering and oppression this caused. The motion conversations also suggested that any media attention would be focused on those with honours and titles, rather than on the collective network ethos that DPAC ascribes to. The motion was put forward as a rejecting of this possibility and that of the honours system more generally. This was defeated.

2. Discrimination
This motion stated DPAC opposition to discrimination on the grounds of gender, sexuality, age, faith, disability, ethnicity or status. It also empowered the Steering Group to terminate the membership of anyone who supported a party which holds discriminatory policies, like UKIP. This motion passed based on an appeals process being put in place

3. Steering Group Size
This motion sought to expand the Steering Group from 8 members to 12 in order to respond to increased activity and maintain a broad, diverse and inclusive profile. This was passed.

Steering Group
There were 11 nominees for the Steering Group. Conference took a vote on whether to vote for accepting all 11 nominees, or vote for them one by one. Conference voted to accept all 11 nominees. The new steering group are currently reviewing co-opted places and will get back to the additional people that applied past the deadline as soon as possible

Steering Group:
Andy Greene
Bob Ellard
Ciara Doyle
Conan Doyle
Debbie Jolly
Eleanor Firman
Ellen Clifford
Linda Burnip
Paula Peters
Roger Lewis
Sabina Lahur

It was highlighted that the working groups are important in taking DPAC forward. The co-chair said she hoped those who did not stand for the Steering Group but were still interested in getting involved would join these as soon as possible.

Finally, a big thank you to the Conference Organising group and Workshop leaders who worked so hard to make this wonderful event a reality.

Links to videos from the day are here with thanks to Occupy for live streaming on the day to make the conference inclusive to all are here

Links to pictures can be found on DPAC flicker here
Thanks to Pete Riches, Szucs Gabriella and Rob Peters

The powerpoint on highlights of the last year can be found DPAC Report
A link to 2013 and some of the things DPAC did is here

See you on the streets!

DPAC www.dpac.uk.net
Twitter: Dis_ppl_protest
Also find us on Facebook with a group and open page under ‘Disabled People against Cuts’

contact: mail@dpac.uk.net

 

Apr 192014
 

“You have to love your own baby becos everone says they are a nusance”

 Sally age 8

I have come to recognise another truism! – If you are a parent of a disabled child. The school will give whatever support, you believe, is necessary for your child – as long as it matches with what the school is prepared to offer.If you want something different ,You! “The parent”  who is typically the mother, become “A problem” . The more articulate you are the more you are seen as “bloody awkward”.Colourful labelsgrow, the more you persist : “too pushy”, “in denial”, “neurotic”, “deranged”,”obsessed”, “too emotional”, “irrational” “naive” are a few of the polite names given to parents.

 

The rhetoric from schools and education authorities promoting partnership, between parents and professionals is common. This laudable aim, if realised,could save a great deal of pain and heartache for all concerned. The ultimate goal for most parents is for their child to feel safe welcomed and a belonging to the school. This is “gold dust” one parent said. Initially parents will “bend over backwards” to keep on the “good side of school” they are motivated by the desire to make this goal a reality for their child to experience. However, because there currently exists an unequal distribution of power and authority between parents and professionals the potential for “partnership” is only likely to happen when parents conforms to the plans of professionals.

 

After twenty five years being with parents advocating for their disabled child, I have not met a parent who had wanted conflict with the school. It is however, the professional who has the responsibility to change what they are doing to ensure the child can feel safe welcome and belongs to the school.A consequence of seeing the parent as a problem is that it is a distraction from supporting the child. There is a shift to devaluing and marginalising the parent ,which generates a struggle that can continue for weeks, months and sometimes years.

 

One mother said:

 

“They (the professionals) made me a monster. At first, I was totally compliant with everything they told me about my son. I would have balanced on my head if they wanted me to . Then I realised they lied to me and started bullying me- now professionals are having to manage the monster they created.”

 

The very act of questioning the practice of a school or an authority by a parent can result in unleashing of an assault that can leave the parent exhausted. The struggle increases if the parent challenges more than one statutory service and therefore multiple professionals. Such a position can overwhelm parents, with formal letters, procedures , phone calls ,e-mails, and now texts. The communications often contains implied threats or advice encouraging the parent to simply accept that which is being offered by professionals, even when they know this will go against what the parents believe is not in the interests of their child.

 

Does this mean that parents are always right and professionals wrong about a child’s support requirements? Such an assertion would be absurd. However, when a parent lacks confidence in the support provided by the school or when they are unable to influence the schooling experience for their child,when parents  witness their child is disrespected, denied important opportunities, with no friendships the parent is likely to be propelled into demanding change. When a parent is forced to take such an exposed yet principled position, they will be subject to scrutiny and interrogation, by a number of professionals who will hold a different position, at a case conference or annual review. Whilst such formal settings are routine for professionals for parents they can be traumatic.

If individual professionals were subjected to the same degree of scrutiny and interrogation before a panel of critical parents they would, quite rightly, be calling upon their professional associations to represent their position.

 

The professional in a protracted dispute with a parent will have access to supports throughout the process : they have time away from work, they can hand over to another colleagues, they can have someone to type letters,make phone calls, arrange meetings, they get travelling expenses, they get time off in lieu if they work beyond contracted hours, they can even move to another job whilst in the middle of a serious dispute with a family, and they receive a salary- Professionals have protection from a school or system culture, where professionals will protect each otherkeeping internal disagreements behind closed doors, allowing them to present a united front.No such accommodations are available to parents engaged in the same protracted dispute not of their initiation. When the professional decision is made it becomes bizarrely impenetrable. Parents are patronisingly encouraged to follow the ” Complaints Procedures” if they are “‘unhappy” with the decision. This would be another professional procedure that can take months, with little expectation of changing the original decision.

 

Being a parent who is knowledgeable about the education system,aware of legislation and particular policies, is not a  guarantee that your child will get the support you believe to be  appropriate for your child. Being the “Parent” you can be positioned so that your contributions are devalued if they differs from professionals ” in charge” because it is they who the system invests the authority. A mother of a disabled child, who was extremely knowledgeable and articulate about the complexities of her child’s support requirements, she was aware of different teaching methods,  how to differentiate curriculum, adapt resourcesfor particular children. This woman wasfamiliar with the range of external agencies able to enhance the support available in school. In addition she was familiar with internal workings of thelocal education authority, where her child attended school. This mother started her professional career as a teacher in the same authority, served eight years as a special educational needs co-ordinator(SENCO), followed by seven years as a deputy head teacher, finally taking on the roleof education advisor. But now she was positioned as a “parent” again she was asking for something different from that which the school was prepared to offer. She was described as being “too involved” and “too emotional” and no longer “objective” This mother was forced into a conflict with the professionals, from the authority she had served as a senior educationist.

 

How can such exhausting disputes be minimised? Professionals have to learn to listen and listen then listen again first to the child and the parent advocating for their child.

 

The professionals will have had training, they may well have many qualifications, they can have much knowledge about a particular impairment and yet know nothing about the support requirements of Heathar who may have that particular impairment. Professionals can only support Heathar effectively if they are able to develop a relationship with Heathar. The parent, advocating for their child can be a valuable introduction to Heathar.

 

If professionals ask questions, to which they don’t already assume the answer they are more likely to develop a meaningful understanding with the child and learn about the child. When  a person is genuinely listened too, good relationship happen. This is far more likely to lead to the parent having confidence in the actions of the professionals who are there to serve their child. Professional can also build on a good relationship with the parent when they don’t:

 

Tell ​a parent their child is not the only one in the school!

 

Tell a parent the school does not have the resources to support their child!

 

Tell a parent that support to their child – will result in support being removed from other children.

 

Tell a parent that you are an extremely busy person!

 

Tell a parent that you are an expert in this type of condition, when referring to their child.

 

Tell a parentthe date and time of a meeting without first checking on their availability.

 

Tell a parent to come to a meeting on their own

 

Tell a parent you have to leave their meeting early because you have an important                       appointment to attend.

 

Tell the parents of an important decision, just before you go on school holidays.

 

Give the parent a patronising smile and nod of your head, when you totally disagree with them.

 

George Bernard Shaw suggested that it was the reasonable person who adapts themselves to the world as it exists. However, it is the unreasonable person who persists in adapting the world to accommodate a different way of thinking. GBS concluded, that all progress depends upon the “unreasonable” person orthe ” bloody awkward” parent?

 

Joe Whittaker

April 2014.

 Posted by at 19:22
Apr 192014
 

 SAVE THE NHS.

Come and learn about why the NHS is under threat and how you can join the fight to save it.

PUBLIC MEETING.

Tuesday 13th Mary 2014 at 7.30 pm to 9.30 pm

HG Wells Centre.

Off St Mark’s Road (Off Masons Hill/High Street)

BROMLEY

Kent.

BR2 9HG.

Speakers:  Dr Bob Gill General Practitioner Welling.

Linda Kurcher – Expert on US/EU Trade Agreement.

Professor Allyson Pollock – Expert on Private Finance Initiative (PFI)

Transport:

Buses:  61,208, 320, 336, 358, 402.

Nearest Rail Station.  Bromley South ( from central london, Catford, Orpington.  This station is fully accessible with a accessible lift to street level at this station)

 

Greenwich & Bexley, Bromley, Lewisham trades councils present Banner Theatre with Burning Issue commemorating the miners’ strike £10 (£5) 7pm Saturday 10 May http://lewishamtradescouncil.blogspot.co.uk/2014/03/come-and-address-burning-issue_22.html or contact tony.reay@gmail.com07903 755 074

 Posted by at 18:22
Apr 182014
 

Tribunal – Law Courts, Cathays Park, Cardiff, April 23, 2014 at 10am

Incapacity benefits – deaths of claimants

A tribunal will decide whether the Department for Work and Pensions
should be ordered to release its statistics on the number of people who
have died while claiming Incapacity Benefit or Employment and Support
Allowance, at a hearing next week.

The First-Tier Tribunal (formerly the Information Tribunal) will be
hearing an appeal by Vox Political blogger Mike Sivier, against a
decision by the Information Commissioner and the DWP to refuse a Freedom
of Information request on the subject.”

http://mikesivier.wordpress.com/2014/04/18/information-tribunal-on-deaths-of-ibesa-claimants-next-week/

Apr 182014
 

We read with interest the piece in the Independent by Rachel Reeves and Kate Green regarding Labour’s response to the Work Capability Assessment [1]

Labour should realise that disabled people are deeply distrustful of any Labour reform of a Work Capability Assessment system, which Labour introduced in the Welfare Act of 2007 with the stated aim of removing 1 million claimants from the benefit system [3].

Our position has been and will be that the Work Capability Assessment is deeply flawed in its basic concept, not just in terms of the details of its delivery, and inclusion in the workplace for disabled people cannot simply be achieved by a ‘back to work’ test.

manifesto

In the Reclaiming Our Futures, Disabled People’s Manifesto [4], we state that a priority demand from government is that:

A comprehensive and strategic plan of action is developed with disabled people and our organisations to tackle the discrimination and exclusion disabled people face in work and employment including: increasing quality and range of personalised support available to disabled people, strengthening disabled employees rights and tackling employer discrimination and poor practice

Other key demands include that:

Economic productivity must not be the only measure of people’s worth and value, volunteering offers as much value to society as paid employment. While we recognise that volunteering can offer additional skills, it should not be the default option for disabled people because of our exclusion from paid work

There must be policy and media recognition that there will always be disabled people who are unable or too ill to work. These individuals must be supported by a publically funded system. They should not be penalised or demonised as they are currently.

For true inclusion in the workplace for disabled people a wider approach is necessary including but not limited to:

• Will Labour commit to the restoration of Disabled Student’s Allowance,
• Will Labour commit to the restoration of the Independent Living Fund,
• Will Labour commit to the extension of Access to Work (AtW) to include unpaid voluntary positions,
• Will Labour commit to the reversal of the reduction of people who currently receive DLA, but will not receive PIP and also lose their Motability access,
• Will Labour commit to the reinstatement of the requirement for councils to produce equality schemes on employment and access
• Will Labour commit to the provision of accessible transport.
• Will Labour commit to the reinstatement of “day one” protection from unfair dismissal in employment law
• Will Labour commit to the provision of Employment Tribunals enforcing mandatory organisation-wide measures on preventing disability discrimination
• Will Labour commit to the provision that all government contracts, at a national, regional and local level, are only awarded to companies that are fulfilling measurable equality targets for the employment of disabled people

(for further points see reference 2)

These currently are some of the barriers to inclusion in the workplace for disabled people, and they will not be fixed by simply amending the WCA. The issue must be seen within the context of the wider interconnected system of barriers in place. It must be seen in terms of what a large majority of disabled people have already identified as key problems.

In terms of inclusion we also need from Labour, a recognition that for many disabled people to be able to work there has to be a nationally transportable social care system with a guarantee that people would keep the same levels of funding wherever they needed to move to work.

We need recognition that there is an onus on government and employers to fully accept the spirit of the Equality Act 2010 [4] with its requirement to the opening of work opportunity to disabled people. Without this, no “fit for work test” aimed at cutting disability benefits will make any impact whatsoever on the numbers of disabled people who can attain and sustain employment.

We also need from Labour a stronger recognition that there are many disabled people who cannot enter the work place and should not have to live in fear of being pressured into doing so.

There is much that the article leaves out and that leaves us with a number of serious concerns and questions.

While we are not yet prepared to endorse in any way Labour’s new approach to the Work Capability Assessment, we do see the article by Rachel Reeves and Kate Green as a helpful starting point for discussions on the future of inclusion of disabled people, who want and are able to work, in the workplace and we would welcome an opportunity to meet with them and discuss this further. We would like meet with Kate Green and Rachel Reeves to ask the following questions:

1. Will Labour commit to stop spending public money on private
contractors and return any assessments of disabled people back to GPs
with medical evidence taken into account as well as give a commitment to
look at the barriers to work for disabled people who can and want to
work (in line with the social model of disability)?

2. Will Labour commit to a time and date to talk with DPAC, My Legal,
the Mental Health Resistance Network, Black Triangle, Deaf activists,
those with learning difficulties ( with an outreach of ½ a million
disabled people) to listen to the views of the largest network of grass
roots disabled people on the WCA and ESA?

3. If Labour are committed to scrapping the WCA when will Deaf and
disabled people, and those with mental health issues have sight of the
detail of any alternative Labour is proposing?

4. If Labour accepts the harm, devastation and premature deaths that have
been an outcome of the WCA why have they chosen to suspend their
prospective parliamentary candidate for St Austell and Newquay, Deborah
Hopkins for speaking out in public about the harm caused by the WCA.

5. Will Labour address the disproportionate harm that the WCA and
sanctions on ESA and JSA are causing to all disabled people, in
particular those with mental health issues and learning difficulties?

6. We along with many others insisted that a centralised Independent Living Fund
for Scotland be established and it has been done. They have also promised to re-open ILF to new users, with a commitment of additional funds and recognition of its importance to independent living and obligations to article 19 of the UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities. Why has the Labour
Party not promised to re-establish it south of the border?

Many of the Statements included in this response are taken from the UK Disabled Peoples’ Reclaiming our Futures Manifesto and are endorsed by a UK network of disabled people and Deaf and Disabled Peoples Organisations, including: ALLFIE, Inclusion London, Equal Lives, DPAC, Inclusion Scotland, Disability Wales and the TUC Disabled Workers Committee [2], who between them reach several million disabled voters.
References
1. How Labour would reform the Work Capability Assessment http://www.independent.co.uk/voices/comment/how-labour-would-reform-the-work-capability-assessment-9265479.html
2. The Reclaiming Our Futures, Disabled People’s Manifesto http://disability-studies.leeds.ac.uk/files/library/UK-Disabled-People-s-Manifesto-Reclaiming-Our-Futures.pdf
3. The Green Paper: The new deal for welfare: Empowering people to work. 2006 http://webarchive.nationalarchives.gov.uk/+/http://dwp.gov.uk/docs/a-new-deal-for-welfare-empowering-people-to-work-full-document.pdf
4. Equality Act 2010 http://www.legislation.gov.uk/ukpga/2010/15/contents

 

Apr 162014
 

DPAC Press Release: Top Corrie stars Support Save ILF Campaign

For immediate release: 16 April 2014

Coronation Street stars support the ‘Save the Independent Living Fund’ Postcard Campaign.

Stars of Britain’s longest running soap joined disabled people in their campaign to Save the ILF(1).  The fund which provides support funding to almost 20 000 disabled people is to close in June next year the Government announced last month(2). See Facebook campaign page

save ILF LM
Stars such as Bev Callard, who plays Liz McDonald, former Red Dwarf actor Craig Charles who plays Lloyd Mullaney and Jack P Shepard who plays David Platt ans several other stars posed with oversized postcards produced by campaign organisers who include DPAC(3)  (Disabled People Against Cuts), GMCDP (4)(Greater Manchester Coalition of Disabled People), Inlusion London(5), Equal Lives(6) and others.

Despite having their original decision to close the fund over-turned at the Court of Appeal late last year(7), the Government has re-announced the closure following a new Equalities Analysis(8) – where officials admit levels of support cannot be maintained and some users may end up having to move into Residential Homes to have their support needs met. Funding will be devolved to Local Authorities for 1 year until 2016(9), but not ring fenced, meaning there is no guarantee the money will be spent providing support for users, or indeed any disability services at all.

DPAC member Paddy Murphy said ‘At an annual cost of just over £350m, this isn’t a hugely expensive fund to run. Users receive an average of just £337 a week to maintain their independence. The Government have admitted some will be forced to move into Residential homes, and others won’t get the level of support they receive now – some none at all. Local Authorities are seeing their budgets decimated, and their largest expenditure is on Adult Social Care, they simply won’t be able to afford to meet people’s needs. Disabled People will once again be forced to pay the highest price to fund the bailouts and rescue plans for the banks, which is the underlying justification for the cuts to public services.’

Editors Notes & contact details here mail@dpac.uk.net

END

1.Http://dpac.uk.net/2014/04/save-the-independent-living-fund-postcard-campaign-saveilf/

2. https://www.gov.uk/government/news/future-of-the-independent-living-fund

3. http://www.internaldpac.org.uk/DPACClone/

4.http://gmcdp.com/

5.http://www.inclusionlondon.co.uk/

6.http://www.equallives.org.uk/

7.http://www.equalityhumanrights.com/news/2013/november/commission-welcomes-court-of-appeal-decision-overturning-the-abolition-of-the-independent-living-fun/

8.https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/closure-of-the-independent-living-fund-equality-analysis

9.http://hadag.org.uk/second-closure-of-independent-living-fund-and-our-analysis-of-the-equality-analysis-by-dwp/

Apr 152014
 

Postcard - Front   

Save the Independent Living Fund

Postcard Campaign

Hashtag: #SaveILF

Ways that you can take part:

The “Save The Independent Living Fund” postcard campaign is supported by GMCDP, ALLFIE, DPAC, Inclusion London and Equal Lives.

 

Apr 142014
 

The ‘One Show’ are looking for people who have had or are waiting for a PIP assessment with CAPITA. CAPITA carry out assessments in the midlands, parts of Yorkshire and in Wales only (please see map with postcodes to identify if you are in a CAPITA PIP area).

pip-postcode-map

 

If would be happy to talk about your experiences to Donna a film maker from the One Show in Manchester please read on -talking to Donna does mean you need to appear in the film , but obviously all that can will help get the message out on PIP. Filming will start week beginning 21st April- so please get in touch with Donna immediately-

 

see below for more details and contacts for Donna, and please contact Donna directly with any questions, not DPAC

 

The controversial Personal Independence Payments, brought in last year to replace Disability Living Allowance have been heavily criticised for causing ‘distress and financial difficulties’ to long-term ill and disabled people, due to the long waiting times and differences in the PIP assessment such as the new 20m rule. 

In this film I would like to meet some of the people behind the headlines and the statistics. I want to get across as much information about PIPs – in a clear and visually interesting way– in order to both engage the audience and get the main points across.

We are looking for people case studies of PIP

I would really like to meet some people who have had or are waiting for a PIP assessment, and find out their experience of PIP so far, and how it has affected them and their families everyday lives. The film will hopefully involve two such case studies, as well as a presenter who will be there to meet our case studies and chat to them about PIPs.

 There is a possibility that we would like the case studies experiencing PIPs assessments to get the chance to meet Stephen Duckworth from Capita so they can ask him any questions,  that they might have about PIPs. They would also be able to have a representative from a local  organization with them when they do this as support, if needed.

For this reason, we are currently only looking to feature PIPs Case Studies that have been assessed or are waiting to be assessed by a company called Capita (not Atos case studies). Capita assesses in The Midlands, Wales, and some areas of the north such as Yorkshire.

At this stage, it would just be good to chat to as many people as possible about their experience applying for and being assessed for PIPs, and if you talk to me, you are under no obligation to take part in the programme, and our conversations would be confidential.

If anyone would like to talk to me, please  pass on your  names and numbers to me with a good time to call, or you can get in touch with me on 07774027012 or email me at donna.wood01@bbc.co.uk. I am available at evenings and weekends too!

 Notes on Logistics of filming:

The film will be a short film of around 4 and half minutes long that will be shown on The One Show, in about 3 weeks time (date TBC could be a bit sooner or later than that!).

The film will prerecorded, and then some of the issues raised in the film will be discussed in studio with the presenter. Filming will take place on one day on the week beginning 21st April.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Apr 142014
 

Are you interested in challenging the government’s huge increase in court fees?

We need people eligible for legal aid to get in touch with Karen before the 22nd April

Don’t let them get away with it without challenge!

The fee hike – coming in later this month – will affect people bringing a wide range of civil cases, including consumer claims, family cases, personal injury claims, landlord-tenant disputes, and private discrimination cases. It means that only those with deep enough pockets to afford these expensive new fees will be able to take cases to court to uphold and protect their rights.

If you think you might be eligible for Legal Aid and are interested in acting as a claimant in a judicial review challenge to the new fees then please contact me directly karenpassmore@hotmail.com

With your contact details

Thank you, Karen

 

Apr 092014
 

OCAP logo2DPAC_coloured_Logo_2__bigger

Reposted from the OCAP site with thanks

Austerity is Global – so is our resistance!

The Raise the Rates Campaign is excited to announce an Ontario-wide speaking tour this coming May 2014 of Ellen Clifford from Disabled People Against the Cuts (DPAC) UK.

Who is DPAC: The Cameron Government in the UK has implemented brutal cuts to programs for unemployed and disabled people. This includes a system called the Work Capability Assessment that has been used to deny benefits to thousands of people. Disabled People Against Cuts (DPAC) is an organization in the UK that has been at the forefront of challenging this situation. It has mobilized disabled people to fight back and formed alliances with community organizations and unions in resisting the austerity measures of the Cameron Government. The hated private company, Atos, that was carrying out the assessments of sick and disabled people has been forced to quit as a result of the powerful resistance DPAC and others have taken up.

Here in Ontario, we also face major attacks. Ontario Works (Welfare) and ODSP (Disability) rates are too low to enable people to pay their rent and eat properly. The Special Diet and Community Start Up have been slashed by the Ontario Liberal government. Under huge pressure from ongoing community action, the Liberals have promised not to merge OW and ODSP but the danger remains that they will bring in a UK style assessment system that would pose a huge threat to disabled people on ODSP. We need to understand what is happening elsewhere and how people are fighting back and winning against the attacks. Austerity is global – but so is our resistance.

From May 4-15th, Ellen Clifford from DPAC will be visiting Toronto, Kitchener, Sudbury, Kingston and Ottawa. She has been campaigning with the disabled people’s movement for 15 years and, since 2011, has sat on the National Steering Committee of DPAC. She is also a member of Unite the Union and works to build solidarity between workers in unions and those forced to live on social benefits.

Details of the tour, with times and places for meetings will be announced soon. Visit: raisetherates.ca for the full schedule & for more information call the Ontario Coalition Against Poverty at (416) 925-6939
Join the Raise the Rates Campaign Today!
Raise the Rates is a campaign to fight poverty by raising social assistance rates in Ontario. Jointly organized by the Ontario Coalition Against Poverty (OCAP), the Canadian Union of Public Employees (CUPE) Ontario, Sudbury Coalition Against Poverty (S-CAP), Kingston Coalition Against Poverty (K-CAP), Poverty Makes Us Sick Waterloo Region, Poverty Makes Us Sick Ottawa, OPSEU and other grassroots anti-poverty organizers and trade union allies from across Ontario. We are a growing movement united in fighting for:

• Raise Social Assistance Rates 55%: reverse the cuts, raise the rates!
• Restore Special Diet and Community Start-Up Benefits
• Stop the Attack on Disability Benefits
• Living wage for all: Raise the Minimum wage above poverty wages

 

For more see http://www.ocap.ca/node/1148

Visit: RaisetheRates.ca
https://www.facebook.com/RaiseTheRates
#RaisetheRates

 

Apr 092014
 

There is a meeting for all women who work or volunteer as campaigners or activists on the 7th of May at 6.30. The venue will be fully accessible, and there will be soft drinks and alcohol available.

Last year, the drinks were a great opportunity to meet other women working in the sector, celebrate what we’ve achieved together already and talk about some of the things we’d like to see change in the future. The drinks are for all women working in campaigns: as volunteers, interns, staff, candidates and in governance. If you used to work in campaigns but had a career break, you’d be very welcome to come along too.

For more information, email womenincampaigns@gmail.com. Hannah and Kajal can send you a calendar invite as well, if that’s helpful.

You can also join the event on Facebook if you’d like to – click here to learn more: https://www.facebook.com/events/549037378544558/?fref=ts

If you can’t make it to the drinks but you’d like to stay in touch with the group, there’s a Facebook group you can join here: https://www.facebook.com/groups/161227480731353/

This would be a great opportunity to meet other women working in the campaigns sector from a wide range of organisations.

Apr 082014
 

You can take part by being there in lots of different ways including watching the live-stream, sending us your messages of support, sending us your ideas for what DPAC should focus on in 2014, sending us your questions and comments….and tweeting from our very own DPAC Tweet machine #dpac2014

http://dftr.org.uk/DPAC2014/songbird.php

Apr 072014
 

The Steering Group asks that members support the following motions:

 

Motion 1 – Government honours

This conference recognises that the UK honours system is incompatible with the principles and values that underpin DPAC, honouring as it does the privileged and those who perpetuate the inequalities in our society rather than recognising true social value and justice. Awards that refer to the ‘British Empire’ in their title are particularly offensive to the millions of victims of brutal British imperialism.

This conference agrees that any DPAC member who accepts a Government honour or award through the UK Honours System is ineligible to stand for election to the Steering Group. If the member is already a member of the Steering Group he/she must immediately resign their position.

 

Motion 2 – Discrimination

This conference recognises the dangerous rise of racist and migrant scapegoating. While the main political parties compete to be tough on immigration there is a real danger of UKIP gaining seats in the local and European elections. Immigration is not to blame for austerity or attacks on welfare and DPAC does not tolerate any form of discrimination including on the grounds of gender, sexuality, age, faith, disability, ethnicity or status.

This conference agrees that any DPAC member declaring support for groups or parties who a majority of the Steering Group find to hold discriminatory policies may have their membership terminated by a vote of the Steering Group.

 

Motion 3 – Steering group size

This conference recognises that although there are many ways to be involved in DPAC and all contributions are valued, it is also important to have a broad, diverse and inclusive Steering Group. The constitution currently limits the Steering Group to 8 members elected at conference.

This conference agrees to amend the constitution to increase the maximum number elected at conference to 12.


Apr 072014
 

All nominees will be voted on at the DPAC conference on Saturday 12th April

The current steering group proposes that everyone who has put themselves forward be elected

·         Andy Greene

·         Bob Ellard

·         Ciara Doyle

·         Conan Doyle

·         Debbie Jolly

·         Eleanor Firman

·         Ellen Clifford

·         Linda Burnip

·         Paula Peters

·         Roger Lewis

·         Sabina Lahur

A vote will be taken for members to agree this decision.

Information about all the members who have put themselves forward is below.

Information about the different ways to get involved in the work of DPAC can be found HERE

Andy Greene

I am seeking re-election to the Steering Group.

I’ve been on the SG since the 2011 Conference.

I work freelance, currently for a local DPO in Islington as a Campaign Officer, which enables me to contribute to and promote the work of DPAC. I am not a member of any political party.

I fully support all DPAC principles including rights not charity, and of equal opportunity for all. I believe in DPACs approach to the social model as a real thing to be practised and not just a theory.

I’ve been involved in several DPAC campaigns including fighting welfare reform, the anti-ILF & anti-Remploy closure campaigns. I have been active on a local level in Islington, organising meetings, training & events. I have been involved with DPACs work with the trade union movement including PCS & TUC Disabled Workers Committee.

I have spoken at many regional and national meetings (e.g. TUC DWC Conference, NUS Disabled Students Conference, Boycott Workfare’s Welfare Gathering), and written articles for the website. 

I have worked closely with grassroots activist groups such as UK Uncut, Occupy, Fuel Poverty Action and Reclaim The Power.

I believe disabled people can change the way society is designed and functions by being organised and leading the fight for rights for all. Our history shows us that collective action and taking risks can be effective in this way.

I fully support non-violent Direct Action & peaceful civil disobedience. I would like to see more co-ordinated activities across the country involving local DPACs & others.

 Bob Ellard

I have been working for DPAC doing research and social media work since 2012. During this time I have been able to observe the work the steering group do and have a great deal of admiration for the work done by them.

I believe that as DPAC become more and more successful the steering group workload is only going to increase, and I would like to become a steering group member in order to take on some of this work.

My personal beliefs: 

The current place of disabled people in society is placed in a ‘social ghetto’ where we are seen as Disabled first and People second, if at all.  

I want to live in a society where we are People first, as individuals.

And within that society I want us to be, not disabled people but enabled people. Enabled among other things by full implementation of the UN CRPD, in spirit as well as in word, with all that means in terms of inclusion in all aspects of society.

 I am a Labour Party member and also a member of Unite Community

I support the aims of DPAC.

Ciara Doyle

My name is Ciara, and I would very much like to join the DPAC steering committee and help with the fightback in any way I can.

I have been heavily involved in DPAC in the last couple of years. I have taken part in many direct actions, getting out on the streets and ensuring that we can be seen. I have also spoken on our behalf at a wide range of meetings and campaigns, ensuring that the voice of disabled people is heard. At times, I have also tried to ensure that we get our message across in other ways, writing articles and working to see that publications mention us and our message about disabled people.

I am passionately committed to the social model of disability, and its promotion, and I am also a committed socialist. As chairperson of my local Left Unity branch I help raise our issues on a political stage on an ongoing basis, and as an active trade unionist and rep for my local trade union branch I also work on a daily basis for the rights of disabled people, both as workers and as students.

I am a qualified youth and community worker with more years experience of community organizing than I really want to count! I currently work as a university lecturer working n a department of education where I work in researching, teaching about, and promoting access for students with disabilities, as well as and closely linked to issues of class, race and gender.

For the last few years DPAC has become very central to my life. It is what I think about as I wake in the morning and go to sleep at night – how today can I do something to fight back against this brutal attack on us? I would be delighted if people would vote for me to formally join the steering committee so that I can become as involved as possible on behalf of all disabled people

 

Conan Doyle

Since I joined DPAC in May 2013 I have found it to be an open and supportive community of people who share my beliefs and passions. I feel it is only right that I give something back by offering to share my time and skills with the group in a more official capacity.

In the short time I have been a member, I have been proud to participate in direct actions, but also to contribute to the research and social media communications which help us to get our message across. I am fully committed to the social model of disability, both from an academic perspective, and as a matter of principle.

In terms of more general activism, I have joined anti-fracking protests in Balcombe and London, as well as anti-fascist demonstrations, anti-austerity  and trades union rallies in the City. I am an active member of the South London Peoples’ Assembly.

Having recently attended a 6 day residential training camp on campaigning (www.campaignbootcamp.org) I am keen to put my newly acquired skills to good use within DPAC.

 

Debbie Jolly

I have been involved in critical disability politics and campaigns for over 20 years. I have worked at the local, national and European level for disabled peoples’ rights to independent living. This includes CILs and universities.

Along with Linda, I am a co-founder of DPAC and have spoken and written about the right to independent living in a number of policy areas, also bringing European and University connections to DPAC.

Above all else I want an active critical voice of disabled people to grow from the grassroots to challenge, campaign and protest at the cuts to our dignity and rights; motivating more disabled people to demand change, engage in rights arguments and develop more of our own solutions to our imposed social and economic inequalities. As such, bigger pan disability grass roots organisations led by disabled people and free from any Government ties are crucial in the battle for change- now and in the future.

I am a firm advocate of the social model of disability and will always work from this philosophy. I also believe that we must remember our history as a movement, rather than dismiss it, but that different times require different strategies.

Tasks over the last three years since DPAC began have been varied and have included campaigns, D.As, web, social media, research, DPAC admin, writing, and encouraging and supporting local DPAC groups.

I have no connections with any political parties or groups other than DPAC.

 

Eleanor Firman

I am standing for the DPAC Steering Committee because I believe in the right of everyone to participate fully in society on an equal basis without discrimination and for the past three-four years have been working full time, in voluntary and paid activity as a political campaigner and activist in a number of areas.

My involvement in disability activism is fairly recent – not long after DPAC started and it is through DPAC that my understanding of my own impairments has undergone a steep learning curve. In particular I’ve been following the plans that all the main political parties are considering regarding the future integration of the national health service with social care and mental health systems.

I am committed to the Social Model of Disability and to challenging the way in which this has been cruelly distorted by social policy makers and governments to advance a profiteering agenda at the expense of our health and welfare, our homes – and sadly for some, life itself.

I fear what is happening but the only way I can cope and keep my spirits up is to keep fighting and also learning from others leadership and strength.

Whilst not attending ever demo I was very glad to be able to initiate a Joint Statement by DPAC and Black Triangle objecting to the Labour Party campaign against bedroom tax which promoted workfare sanctions and conditionalities which received over a thousand signatures and was presented in person to Liam Byrne.

I strongly believe I can contribute further to DPAC

1.         Through my experience as a disabled delegate to the UN CEDAW 2013 UK examination (Convention for the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination Against Women) in Geneva with Sisters of Frida disabled women’s cooperative, and also to the European Disability Intergroup forum at the European Parliament (Strasburg).

2.         As a team player willing to listen and learn, as well as take initiative.

3.         Through my organising strengths and skills gained from activism over many years from student politics e.g. as Treasurer of the Students Union for Cambs College of Arts and Technology to various jobs and volunteer roles, e.g. tutor and steering group member of  Haringey Women’s Centre, English as a Second Language Group.

4.         Through my independent research and data banks on policies relating to equalities, housing, taxation and social security.

My main interests are in the Social Model of Disability and also Campaign Actions. I am also interested in the arts and worked as a professional composer until the lack of support and adjustments made it impossible.

I am a committed feminist and socialist and strongly believe a better world is possible if we fight for it.

 

Ellen Clifford

I would like to stand for re-election to the DPAC steering committee. I am passionate about the need for a grassroots campaign led by disabled people to oppose austerity and fight for our communities against the savage attacks taking place.

I have been on the steering group since 2011, initially co-opted and then elected at national conference. Throughout this time I have consistently worked hard and determinedly to develop DPAC and build our campaigns.

Although I work full time on top of the ongoing management of my mental health support needs, I am able to meet the necessary time commitment required of a steering group member. My employment is within London disabled people’s organisations and this provides opportunities to promote DPAC’s work and make wider links.

I am fully committed to all core DPAC principles and values. I consider the defence and promotion of the social model of disability to be a key and important area for us to concentrate our efforts. I fully believe in the principles of equal opportunities and rights not charity. Diversity, access and inclusion are of central importance to everything DPAC does. I have given special attention to making links with and better including people with learning difficulties and the Deaf community in our campaigning.

I am interested in and have been involved in a broad range of areas of DPAC work including:

           Planning and being involved in the co-ordination of:

o          National, regional and local meetings and events

o          Two weeks of action

o          Two national Benefit justice summits

           Speaking and giving presentations and interviews on a regular basis

           Writing articles, web site posts and press releases

           Liaising with the media

           Maintaining links with, setting up and supporting local DPAC groups

           Networking and building solidarity and links with a range of group, campaigns  and unions including the Alliance for Inclusive Education, Unite the Resistance, People’s Assembly, Labour Representation Committee, TUC, PCS union, BFAWU, Unite Against Fascism, Realfare, and many others

           Some involvement in funding applications

I have been centrally involved in both the Independent Living Fund campaign and the benefit justice/anti-bedroom tax campaign. I am also now supporting the Stop the Changes to Access to Work campaign.

DPAC is a vibrant example of campaigning as a collective and as a united front. In order to continue and build on our successes it is essential we have a steering group who are able to work constructively and respectfully as a team. I hope that I have shown over the past few years that I have the skills and qualities to play a positive role within the ongoing responsibilities of the steering group.

I have been a member of the Socialist Workers’ Party since July 2012.

 

Linda Burnip

I am one of the co-founders of DPAC and have been involved from the first march disabled people fought to lead at the Tory Party Conference in Birmingham in 2010.

I am both a disabled person with a hidden and fluctuating impairment and the mother of a young disabled man with high support needs and this has made me aware of how devastating the cumulative impact of these cuts are for disabled people.

I have always been involved in campaigning for social justice and equality in various ways throughout my life and was involved with Disabled People’s Direct Action Network before the emergence of DPAC.

Growing up in the North East means what you see is what you get and I don’t want to be seen as anyone’s saviour as I’m not. Neither do I in any way want to be seen as a figurehead for DPAC which is a much broader and more important movement than any one particular person.

What I am interested in is giving other disabled people the confidence and skills to fight for themselves and to continue with all of the others who give so much time and energy to DPAC to make us a formidable campaign group with many allies. None of this or our respected reputation would have been possible without the input of many people and I am very grateful to everyone who contributes to our fight back in so many different ways. Without you all none of this would have been possible.

As is often the case with any group that grows in size and impact much of my day-to-day activities now involve a massive range of admin. tasks – I usually have 100-200 emails a day to start off with, requests from journalists for help, heart rending emails from disabled people who have been sanctioned and left with no money, no food and no fuel, plus about 50 requests from people to join our facebook group which all need to be checked out to prevent EDL and UKIP supporters joining. (at least as far as possible).

Added to that Debbie and I tend to co-ordinate passing on requests to provide people to be involved in other events, work with our research team to co-ordinate research, prepare briefing papers and other articles, do social media campaigning, go to various meetings, speak at events outside London, deal with finances and fundraising and any other activities that need to be dealt with on a day-to-day basis.

Between us all we’ve made DPAC very financially viable for at least the next 12- 15months.

I am not aligned to any political party and resigned from the Labour Party after they allowed the invasion of Iraq.

 

Paula Peters

My name is Paula Peters, am a disability rights activist living in south London.  Am a member of DPAC, co chair of Bromley/Croydon local DPAC Group, Unite Community Member, Member of Mental Health Resistance Network, Member of Bromley Mental Health Forum (Deaf and disabled people’s organisation), have a seat on the adult services stakeholder committee in Bromley, am a member of Save our Local Hospitals Campaign (NHS Campaigns), and I am also a member of Bromley Trades Council.

 

I am very hardworking and active both locally and nationally, I am one of the members of the admin team for DPAC on the face book group and page, do a lot of research and networking and represent DPAC at various meetings, demonstrations, and conferences.  I work well within the DPAC team and various campaigns and Trades Union movement, and treat everyone with respect, and courtesy and work alongside many activists within dpac and other campaign groups with a wide range of impairments.

I correspond regularly with the dpac team by writing written reports and feed back by e mail from all events, conferences and protests that I represent DPAC at.

I work very closely with the mental health resistance network on the work capability assessment for mental health claimants judicial review, this case has been going for over two years, and assisted and continue to support the MHRN as they launch SolidariTEA a Southwark community activist project that will link all local campaigns together and empower members of the community to get involved in the fight back of resistance against the coalition government.

I believe in the social model of disability, and believe that disabled people should be involved in designing and shaping the services they use both in the community where they live and nationally by lobbying parliamentarians and local councillors in the community, I am one of the co founders of the Community Options Involvement Network, a project that involves mental health survivors with lived experience to be involved in speaking at local meetings with the mental health trust, commissioning services, and other agencies and shaping the services we use so that we can live in the community as independently as possible with equal rights. Community Options now has two involvement projects in Tower Hamlets and in Bromley. I have been involved with the mental health survivor involvement network locally in Bromley for over 20 years. 

I have worked alongside the TSSA and RMT unions and Transport for ALL, on the Hands Off London Transport and Action for Rail Campaigns in the fight for worker’s jobs on the London Underground and Station Staff jobs as well as equal access to the public transport network which is something I feel very strongly about as this is vital for our impendence as disabled people to travel independently and as safely as possible, and its vital that we support and campaign with the transport unions for their fight for jobs as the loss of jobs affect all of us who use the public transport network and puts all of society at risk with the cuts to staff jobs.

I am one of the founder members of the save our local hospital campaign for Bexley Bromley and Greenwich, and lead the Lewisham Hospital March in November 2012.  I believe passionately in the NHS and equal access to services and am a member of my local health watch in Bromley, and work very closely with Keep our NHS Public Campaign and have linked in with various Hospital Campaigns throughout the UK and health watch organisations.

I work across a wide range of campaigns and many have linked into the vital work that DPAC do.  In the past year, I represented DPAC at the Disability Working Group at the TSSA National Conference, Bromley Trades Council, Social Worker’s Action Network, Fuel Poverty Action Group, Lewisham Hospital Campaign and the Campaign for Benefit Justice.

I bought the following affiliations to DPAC:

·         TSSA Union.

·         TSSA SE Metro and London Branch.

·         Bromley Trades Council.

·         Euston Branch of the RMT.

·         Older Feminist Network.

 

I spoke at a Medway anti cuts meeting last March, and empowered local disabled residents to set up the Medway DPAC local group.  I was very humbled to help local disability activists set up their local group and was invited to launch their group in September 2013.  I as co chair of Bromley/Croydon dpac work very closely with the Croydon Dpac group and Bromley and Croydon have often worked together on joint campaigns across the two boroughs, including bedroom tax campaigns and council budget setting meetings and local transport for all campaigns.

 

Roger Lewis

I am standing for re-election to the DPAC Steering Committee.

I have been on the National Steering Committee for almost four years.

During this time I have been an active member of the Committee.

In particular, I have several decades experience working as an activist in the Trade Union movement and I have been able to bring this experience into DPAC’s work with both local trade unions and their national bodies. I have recently lead for DPAC on putting together the Hands Off London Transport, HOLT, campaign to build a public campaign linked to the strike action taken by the RMT and TSSA unions. This work is continuing and I am working to highlight the serious effects the cuts proposals will mean for Disabled People.

I have worked to maintain our links with the National and Local Peoples Assemblies despite the significant difficulties and differences we have had with them. I have spoken on behalf of DPAC at many of the meetings including both National Assemblies.

 

I was central in setting up the National Anti Bedroom Tax and Benefit Justice Federation and have been an activist member for DPAC on the National Steering Committee.

I am a member for DPAC on the Unite the Resistance Steering Committee.

I speak to the national and independent press and media on behalf of DPAC, at meetings and demonstrations across the country.

I have been a consistent organiser and participant in many of our Direct Actions.

I have been involved in policy discussions and initiatives such as over broadening support for the Disabled Peoples Manifesto.

Over the last year I have been working with a group of young people, school and college students, who were impressed by DPAC and what we do and invited us to assist them build an organisation of their own. I brought them to our Direct Action at the BBC and last year’s week of action and they joined our protest at the Department of Education. I am continuing to work with them and we are currently exploring how issues around mental health and wellbeing concern them.

I am a dedicated activist and defender of the Social Model of Disability and a Socialist and long standing member of the Socialist Workers Party.

I believe I have a lot to bring to the work we still have to do and would like your support for this nomination to remain on the National Committee.

 

Sabina Lahur

I have been a Disability Activist for many years. I was a member of the National Peoples First Organisation as an active member. I was also involved in my local PF organisation and have spoken on national TV and at meetings including big meetings of over 500 people.

I am currently leading for DPAC in South London, where I live, in building support for the Save Lambeth College Campaign. The college supports many disabled students and I was a student there myself. I speak for the campaign at their meetings and rallies, petition with them and take part in the campaign organising meetings.

I am active in my local Anti Bedroom Tax campaign.

I support DPAC and speak at meetings in London and have also taken part in big national demonstrations like in Manchester where I was there for DPAC.

I would like the opportunity to be a part of DPAC’s National Committee as I believe I have a lot to bring to the work we do and I am a good representative and spokesperson for people with Learning Difficulties.

           

 

 

Apr 072014
 

DPAC_coloured_Logo_2__biggerWe are very much looking forward to seeing everyone who can come to our national conference on Saturday but it is also important that those of you who can’t get there in person are able to take part. There are a number of ways you can do this:

  • Send messages of support and your ideas for what DPAC should focus on over the next year to mail@dpac.uk.net or @dis_ppl_protest.These will be put up on the graffiti wall at the conference and included in the notes from the day.
  • Watch the conference live on:

http://bambuser.com/channel/OccupyLondon and http://bambuser.com/channel/DPAC

  • Live tweet your questions and contributions to @dis_ppl_protest

  Or email: mail@dpac.uk.net

 The program for the day is at DPAC Conference 2014 Saturday 12th April – Conference Programme

Apr 052014
 

Defend Independent Living Rights

 Stop the Closure of the Independent Living Fund

 Stop Disability Cuts

 The European Network on Independent Living is calling on disabled people’s organisations across Europe to mobilise together on or near Monday 5 May 2014 through events, lobbying and protests to oppose the deep and ongoing cuts affecting disability services and benefits.

 As disabled Independent Living Fund users, close family members and allies campaigning to defend independent living rights and stop the Fund’s closure, we urge disabled people’s organisations and the broader disability movement in England, Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland to actively support this important day.

 Even small events and public activities will help to raise awareness and act as a focal point for those who want to work together to oppose cuts to services and benefits, including the proposed closure of the Independent Living Fund in fifteen months.

 It is vital that we also use this opportunity to reflect and learn from the mistakes associated with the public service reforms of a decade ago and the policies of ‘welfare reform’ and ‘personalisation’, including the use of ‘tick-box’ processes such as the Work Capability Assessment and the Resource Allocation Systems in social care to replace the individual and detailed assessment of need.

 The fear of a ‘demographic time-bomb’ associated with growing numbers of older disabled people in their eighties and nineties, creating an age imbalance in a static or falling population, has been used to justify the raising of the pension age and the way pensions are calculated, the erosion and privatisation of the ‘welfare state’, cuts to health and social care, changes to the benefits systems, and latterly ‘austerity’.

 But a growing population associated with increasing birth rates and the immigration of young adults, improved productivity and the greater fitness and activity levels of older people means the ‘demographic time-bomb’ in Britain may be a myth.

 The political climate that has undermined independent living and disability rights, and is using positive ideas such as ‘direct payments’ and ‘individualised funding’ as vehicles for shifting financial responsibility for meeting social care needs from the state to the individual needs to be challenged.

 We should no longer ignore the needs of the tens of thousands of children who are compelled by their family circumstances to be ‘young carers’ or the four hundred thousand disabled people confined to residential care or the way new concepts such as ‘prevention’, ‘reablement’ and ‘recovery’ are used to deny hundreds of thousands of disabled people the services they need.

 Those who argue disabled people have been ‘liberated’ and the welfare state is ‘broken’ are wrong, and only do so in pursuit of a very negative agenda associated with privatisation and greater inequality between the ‘haves’ and ‘have nots’. The same people have been passive while the Independent Living Fund has been dismissed as ‘anachronistic’ and ‘paternalistic’, and the experience and wishes of the Fund’s users and their families ignored.

 The disabled people’s movement across England, Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland has a proud history of campaigning for independent living rights, but the gains of a generation ago for disabled people of working age are now under threat, as are the social opportunities pursued by many disabled people with complex conditions.

 The innovations of the ‘independent living movement’ such as the ‘personal assistance’ approach, specialised information and training, and the self-assessment of personal needs have been marginalised. While our organisations and projects have struggled financially since the millennium, tens of millions of pounds have flowed towards those who supported the development of ‘personalisation’ and its ‘evidence base’.

 But what is perhaps worst of all is many of those severely disabled people who have assumed the demanding responsibility of organising and managing their own complex personal assistance support, and do so fifty-two weeks a year without any financial rewards, are defined as being ‘economically inactive’.

 A jigsaw of social equality has been slowly constructed since the end of slavery and the emergence of the Chartists through the right to vote, women’s suffrage, universal healthcare, the legalisation of same-sex relationships, reproductive rights for women, equal pay legislation, and the outlawing of racism and homophobia.

 Limited advances in tackling disability and age discrimination are now being reversed, with the statutory right to an individual assessment of need by local councils being replaced. Local authorities are to be given the power to restrict a disabled person’s rights or freedom of action in pursuit of a legal duty to prevent or reduce a person’s need for social care services or personal assistance.

 Social equality for all will never be achieved unless the needs of disabled children and adults are acknowledged, assessed and met as of right, and those children and young people compelled into a caring role within their family because of a lack of social services support are freed from this and allowed to develop socially in the same way as their peers. But this would require an unparalleled redistribution of wealth, and the redrawing of our society’s social priorities.

 We believe disabled people of all ages should: have the right to live in the community free of the threat of segregation; be supported to stay healthy, safe and free of distress; and be freed from the harsh means-tests that are a feature of social care. Young disabled people in particular should be supported to pursue their dreams and aspirations free of the social barriers and discrimination that impeded many in the past. And because of the vital social role played by full-time family carers, they should be paid a social wage of at least fifty percent of the average wage of a skilled worker.

 Our movement has a collective responsibility to defend the gains we have made, and renew its commitment to campaign for full civil and human rights for all disabled people and their families.

 The ‘European Independent Living Day’ is an opportunity we should not waste.

 Abi Vanes, sister of ILF user

Aine Young, family of ILF user

Alma Lunt

Andy Greene, Islington Disabled People Against Cuts

Angela Mountstephens, sister and carer of an ILF user

Ann Walawalkar, parent of an ILF user

Anne Novis MBE

Anne Pridmore, ILF user and Director of ‘Being the Boss’

Anne Rae, Chair of Greater Manchester Coalition of Disabled People

Ann Rainey, ILF user

Anne Whitehurst, ILF user

Anita Bellows

Ashleigh Myatt, personal assistant

Bill Riddall, Centre for Independent Living Northern Ireland

Brian Glaves, family carer and husband of ILF user

Brian Hilton, ILF user

Bob Ellard, member of Disabled People Against Cuts

Brenda Bayliss, mother of an ILF user

Caroline Kelly

Caroline Martin, mother of an ILF user

Cath Gibson, ILF user

Charles Rainey, brother and carer of an ILF user

Christine Pickthall, ILF user

Christine Squires, ILF user

Christine Stringer, parent of an ILF user

Clare Palmer, mother of an ILF user

Colin Griffiths, ILF user

Colm Murphy, family of an ILF user

David Vanes, brother-in-law of ILF user

Debbie Domb, ILF user

Debbie Jolly, co-founder of Disabled People Against Cuts and Board member of the European Network on Independent Living

Dessie Allen, brother of ILF user

Dolores Hannigan, ILF user

Ellen Clifford, Disabled People Against Cuts

Emma Dakin, ILF user

Fred Bayliss, father of ILF user

Gabriel Pepper, ILF user

Helen Brown, personal assistant

Ian Atkinson, Gateshead Access Panel

Ian Kenny, ILF user

Jacqui Armston, personal assistant

James Corker, carer of ILF user

Jan Turner, Project Manager of ‘Being the Boss’

Jean Allen, mother of ILF user

Jean Glaves, ILF user

Jenny Hurst, ILF user

Joe Whittaker

John Aspinall, ILF user

John Buckley, parent of an ILF user

John Gilliland, father of ILF user

John Kelly, ILF user

Juliet Marlow, ILF user since 1991

Kieran Coffey, ILF user

Kieran McCarthy M.L.A. Strangford (Northern Ireland)

Kieran Walawalkar, ILF user

Kristine Cope

Laura McCrum, ILF user

Lianne Bayliss, ILF user

Linda Burnip, parent of an ILF user and co-founder of Disabled People Against Cuts

Lise Marron, ILF user

Mandy Dexter, personal assistant

Margaret Coffey, mother and carer of ILF user

Maria Nash, ILF user

Marie Thompson, sister of ILF user

Mark Williams, ILF user

Michael Bayliss, brother of ILF user

Michelle Allen, personal assistant

Mick Hutchins, ILF user

Neil Bayliss, brother of ILF user

Niqi Rainey, sister-in-law and carer of an ILF user

Paul Taylforth, step-father and carer of ILF user

Paula Peters, Disabled People Against Cuts

Peter Coffey, father and carer of ILF user

Peter Steele

Philomena McCrory, Centre for Independent Living Northern Ireland

Rahel Geffen – CEO Disability Action in Islington

Richard Parker, ILF user since 1991

Rob Punton, ILF user, Community Navigator Services and Disabled People Against Cuts

Robert Allen, ILF user

Ronnie Allen, brother of ILF user

Rosemary Kelly, ILF user

Rosemary O’Neill, CarerWatch

Roxanne Homayoun, ILF user

Sam Whalley

Sean O’Hare, ILF user

Sophie Partridge, ILF user

Stuart Bracking, ILF user

Sue Lovett, English Campaign for a Fair Society

Surojit Walawalkar, parent of an ILF user

Theresa Murphy, family of an ILF user

Tracey Lazard, Chief Executive of Inclusion London

Ursula Corker MBE, carer of ILF user

Valerie McCarthy, sister and carer of an ILF user

Vin West, parent and carer

Wendy Mortimer, personal assistant

 

Apr 042014
 

We’ve had a great response to bookings for the DPAC conference on Sat 12th April in London, but places are now running out. Please email:  dpacfightback@yahoo.co.uk

with your details, number of places needed and any access needs.

12th April 2014 – 11am until 5pm

London Met University, Tower Building, 166 – 220 Holloway Road, London, N7 8DP

Since we started in October 2010 Disabled People Against Cuts has been at the forefront of the fight against austerity. With Atos on the run, and the bedroom tax on the ropes we are seeing the results of hard campaigning. But there is much more to do to ensure disabled people’s rights to live independently and with an adequate income.


The national conference is a chance for DPAC members to come together, to share experiences and discuss your ideas for moving forwards.


DPAC are working hard to bring to conference a surprise guest, a person who, if anyone has, has been the catalyst for the re-emergence of disability activism in the last few years, someone DPAC has enjoyed a close relationship with from visiting him at home to donating underpants to supporting his select committee appearances.


Workshops will look at: –  Where Now for the Independent Living Fund campaign,  – Developing a Social Model of Distress,  – Winning the Argument,  – Disability, Art and Protest,  – Building a National Network of Disabled People’s Organisations and Direct Action practical skills among others.

 Please note places are limited so priority will be given to DPAC members. For information about joining please contact mail@dpac.uk.net

The venue is wheelchair accessible. BSL and a note taker will be provided. For access information go to: http://www.disabledgo.com/access-guide/islington-council/london-metropolitan-university-tower-building

For access queries including booking parking please contact DPACfightback@yahoo.co.uk
To book places or for more information please contact DPACfightback@yahoo.co.uk

 

 

 

Apr 042014
 

Dozens of young people with learning difficulties and their families have hit out at a decision to slash foundation learning courses for pupils with profound or moderate learning difficulties – from five days a week to three at One, formerly known as Suffolk One, in Ipswich. the link to the article in the East Anglian Daily Times is below.

Suffolk DPAC will be working with them to try to prevent this as the only other alternatives for their education are at special school sixth forms.

http://www.eadt.co.uk/news/ipswich_angry_parents_claim_education_of_children_with_learning_difficulties_will_be_damaged_after_one_cuts_foundation_courses_1_3478573#sharinganchor

As we know segregated classes within mainstream settings do not count as inclusive education. But neither does the forced placement of disabled learners in fully segregated settings of so called special schools, colleges, universities or any other learning environment. DPAC opposes both!

We refer all to our allies ALLFIE (The Alliance for Inclusive Education) for a better understanding of what inclusive education means and how it can be achieved-DPAC strongly supports Inclusive education as a fundamental principle of independent living and as the only way to achieve full equality and inclusion for all disabled people.

Please see the ALLFIE web site for more informaion on inclusive education and get involved in their campaigns

http://www.allfie.org.uk/

also please see the valuable comment from Joe Whittaker below

 

 

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