Tom Shakespeare on Enabling Equality: from disabling barriers to equal participation

Pat’s Petition team and Carerwatch would like to congratulate Tom Shakespeare on the ground breaking lecture ( read in full here ) that he gave to the British Sociological Association on Friday ( podcast will be available soon ). It was a breath of fresh air in a debate that has been hi-jacked by politicians and subverted for their own ends. In his speech Tom Shakespeare emphasised that: I do not think that equal treatment will liberate all disabled people, in the same way as it has the potential to liberate other disadvantaged groups.  I believe that a level playing field is not enough to equalize opportunity for disabled people.  It may work for those disabled people who do not experience major limitations in their functional abilities, but it will not work for people with more significant or complex impairments. That may sound controversial and does not sit easily with the models proposed by disability ‘leaders’. But it is reflected in the statistics for attitudes to disability amongst disabled people: •46% of disabled people believe that health problems alone are responsible for them not leading as full a life as non-disabled people •Of those disabled respondents who said they were not able to lead a full life, 87 per cent said it was because of their disability, while only two per said that it was due to attitudes and barriers in society and 8 per cent said it was due to both (ODI, 2008). Government policies follow directly from the belief that disabled people can be liberated to compete in the competitive labour market on equal terms.  We have always argued that...

One Month Before Heartbreak – a great success

Carer Watch are fully supportive of our sister group The Broken of Britain’s’ blogswarm this weekend regarding the changes to Disability Living Allowance proposed by the government.  Whilst we are primarily a carer campaigning group, many persons who live with disability are also members. For disabled people and carers tied to the home, the World Wide Web is a great campaigning tool and we intend to continue using it as so. We have all found each other on the web so we decided to work alongside each other on issues that will affect our lives, and to make ourselves heard. The blogswarm is an excellent initiative of Emma Crees, and full details of support given to date can be found here on One Month Before Heartbreak blog. A master list is available and is being updated constantly. It has most definitely been a weekend to remember – to witness many individuals, groups, bloggers all joining together to support One Month Before Heartbreak. Face book and Twitter were inundated with posts/tweets and hash tags used included #ombh and #TboB. The petition re DLA has been well supported too.  What is DLA?  DLA is an essential benefit that was specifically designed to provide financial support towards the extra costs incurred by people living with a disability.  DLA payments have enabled hundreds of thousands of disabled people to maintain a degree of independence and quality of life that would have otherwise been lost to them. DLA has nothing to do with employment – it is a benefit to support disabled people meet the genuine costs of living with a disability. Cutting or...

Kaliya Franklin speaks out about DLA reform

While Millbank swarmed with student protestors and Mumsnet buzzed angrily about the reductions to child benefit, away from the glare of publicity, disabled people and carers mourned alone. The cuts to benefits and services affecting us really are a matter of life and death, so why the wider silence? Perhaps it’s because the benefits to be slashed are poorly understood and after years of tabloid scrounger stories the assumption is that people who claim them are living a lifestyle choice of state-sponsored ease. read in full here Kaliya Franklin blogs at Benefit Scrounging...

The Broken of Britain fight DLA reform

The Broken of Britain is busy fighting DLA reform, ILF cuts and the botched ESA system. For now, the immediate goal is to stop DLA reform but as an user-led grassroots organization we need your help. Firstly, sign the petition to stop DLA reform here Use our campaign resource to write to MPs and Ministers here Let supportive representatives and friends know how they can help here To complete a submission for the consultation on DLA, we need user testimonies. Read more and help us...

Share your testimony re: Disability Living Allowance

Do you receive Disability Living Allowance? The Broken of Britain  is putting together a submission to the Public Consultation, with the support of our sister organisation Carer Watch , on DLA reform, closing on the 14th of February. The draft submission will be launched on TBofB and CW forums this Friday, 7th of January. It will remain open for discussion, criticism, editing and general tearing-apart until the 7th of February, giving a week for it to be edited before being sent off. Because TBofB and CW are user-led, we want everyone who logs into our forum to have their own say and advance their own arguments because this grassroots solidarity can only make us stronger. For now, some tidying up is being carried out to make sure that the document is presentable and sensible. What is missing from the submission is proper user testimonies. I’d like to appeal to all readers for testimonies, which will, of course, remain anonymous in the end-document. We need:                    A paragraph long testimony from DLA claimants who are enabled to work because of DLA A paragraph from a claimant who is chronically ill and will not ‘get better’ about why re-testing every few years is a waste of their time A paragraph about why you think DLA is fit for purpose A paragraph explaining why three rates of Care component is easier to understand than two (i.e. if you have medium care needs, how do you choose?) Why renaming the benefit PIP will not change your life A paragraph about the barriers to life that you face because of disability or illness? A paragraph on...