News from Disability News Service 7th Feb

DPO welcomes ‘ground-breaking partnership’ with elected mayor

A ground-breaking new partnership between disabled people’s organisations (DPOs) and Greater Manchester’s elected mayor could become a “template” for future work with local authorities across the region, according to one leading DPO.

Greater Manchester Coalition of Disabled People (GMCDP) said this week that it believed that Greater Manchester was the first combined authority in the country to establish a formal partnership between DPOs and the elected mayor.

The authority, led by Labour’s Andy Burnham, is now set to approve funding this month which will ensure that the lead of a new disabled people’s panel will be a paid position.

Read the full article here.

New charter aims to put dignity and respect at heart of local services

Disabled campaigners have launched a new charter that aims to persuade organisations – and individuals – in their local area to treat people with dignity and respect.

Ken and Tracy McClymont have spent four years working on the Dudley Dignity Charter, which lists 10 key principles for how people should be treated, focusing on areas such as communication, privacy, choice, control, advocacy and fairness.

The McClymonts, both key figures in Dudley Centre for Inclusive Living (Dudley CIL), have worked on the charter with another local disabled people’s organisation, Disability In Action, with support from Dudley Metropolitan Borough Council and Healthwatch Dudley.

Read the full article here.

‘Ill thought out’ bill needs stronger safeguards, minister told after meeting

The government must introduce “stronger and more effective safeguards” to protect the rights of service-users who face having their freedom restricted by health and care providers, disabled campaigners have told a minister.

Inclusion London wrote to care minister Caroline Dinenage yesterday (Wednesday) about the government’s mental capacity (amendment) bill, which is currently awaiting its Commons report stage.

The letter followed a meeting between Dinenage and representatives of Inclusion London and People First (Self Advocacy) this week, and an open letter to Inclusion London published by the minister last week.

Read the full article here.

Newton forced to apologise after misleading MPs in WOW debate

The minister for disabled people has been forced to apologise to MPs after Disability News Service (DNS) caught her misleading MPs about support for disabled people for the fourth time in less than a year.

The misleading comments by Sarah Newton about disability poverty came in December when she was responding to a House of Commons debate on the impact of eight years of cuts to disability support.

But it was only on Tuesday this week, four days after DNS had drawn the attention of her press officers to her misleading comments, that she sent a letter apologising to MPs.

Read the full article here.

‘Shocking’ PIP death figures ‘show assessment process is unfit for purpose’

About 1,600 working-age disabled people are dying every year after having their claim for disability benefits rejected, the government has been forced to admit.

The Department for Work and Pensions figures (DWP) reveal that 7,990 disabled people who lodged a claim for person independence payment (PIP) in the five years after the new benefit was launched in April 2013 had died within six months of registering their claim, while also having that claim rejected.

These figures mean that more than 130 working-age disabled people a month have been found ineligible for PIP following an initial assessment by government contractors Atos and Capita but were still so unwell that they died soon afterwards*.

Read the full article here.

Inquiry call after ‘fitness for work’ firm ‘admits it has no safeguarding policy’

The government’s “fitness for work” contractor appears to have no written policy on how to protect the safety of people claiming out-of-work disability benefits, despite years of evidence linking the assessment with deaths and serious harm.

Only last week, it emerged that ministers have omitted the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) from a new cross-government plan aimed at reducing suicides, despite ever-mounting evidence linking such deaths with the work capability assessment (WCA) and social security reforms.

Now a senior executive from Maximus appears to have admitted to a disabled campaigner that the company does not have a safeguarding policy, nearly four years after taking on the WCA contract, although it claims it is in the process of creating one.

Read the full article here.

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Help DPAC’s Research on Social Care

Following on from the Independent Living Strategy Group (ILSG) report* into charging for social care, DPAC would like to find out more about how these charges are affecting people. These charges are sometimes called a ‘personal contribution.’


If this affects you, there is an online survey at:  
https://dpac.uk.net/2019/01/please-help-our-research-on-social-care/

* You do not need to give your name, or address, unless you want to be contacted. *
If you would like to complete the survey in a different way, or want more information please get in touch.

If you would also be happy to speak to the journalist Frances Ryan, could you also email DPAC at: 
mail@dpac.uk.net 

DPAC are also looking for someone who is willing to be in a video about: 

  • The negative impact charging has on getting the care and support they need,
  • Being left in debt by these charges.

The video would be for a separate campaign. If you are interested in being filmed for a video, please contact DPAC: mail@dpac.uk.net 

* The report about charges for social care can be downloaded at: 
https://www.disabilityrightsuk.org/sites/default/files/pdf/Chargingsurveyreport-18Nov2018.pdf

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Disabled Britain on Film

You can now explore the British Film Institute’s ‘Disabled Britain on Film’ collection for free online at: https://player.bfi.org.uk/free/collection/disabled-britain-on-film

The following films are available for you to watch for free:

The End – Science Fiction, 2011, 24 mins
A moving speculation on the future decline of Deaf culture


Smallest Woman in the World – News, 197, 28 mins.
Location: Bromsgrove.
Living in a world that takes no account of her size: Joyce Carpenter is
Britain’s smallest woman.


Trapped Rhythms – Music video, 2016, 4 mins.
A powerful music video that demands respect for difference.


Eyes of a Child – School programme and Educational film, 1961,
31 mins. Location: Dorton Ho (Sch).
Young imaginations run wild at School for Blind Children.


Resistance – Drama, 2008, 13 mins.
Artist-activist (and Forum member) Liz Crow’s haunting film about the
Nazis’ Aktion-T4 programme during World War Two. In 1939 Germany,
a secret institution has sinister plans for its Disabled inmates.


Artificial Limb Making – Non-Fiction, 1916, 1 mins, Silent.
Occupational therapy turns full circle, as amputee soldiers learn to make
artificial limbs for others


Hands Solo – 2009, 15 mins.
A Deaf man becomes a world-famous porn star thanks to some
advanced skill with his hands.


Ian Dury – Biopic, 1983, 52 mins.
Blockheads lead singer talks about how becoming a Disabled person
has affected his life and music.


Like Other People – Documentary, 1972, 51 mins.
Man Alive! The moral panic, sex, and when professionals ruled – life as
a Disabled couple in 1972.

Desire to Work – Promotional film, 1981, 18 mins.
Including Disabled people in the workforce through gadgets and aides.


Education of the Deaf – Documentary, 1946, 51 mins. Location:
Manchester.
A quick look at the tests and education practices for Deaf people in
1940s


Zero Hour – Charity appeal, 1928, 8 mins, Silent.
“In the kingdom of the blind, the St Dunstan’s man is king”: how blinded
WWI soldiers set up their own businesses.


Y Gwr O Gwr Yr Aran – 1978, 29 mins. Location: Llanuwchllyn
Teacher Frank Letch of Llanuwchllyn, Gwynedd discusses his life and
living with his acquired impairment in this TV documentary.
[In Welsh with English subtitles.]


A Day in the Life of Kevin Donnellon – 1972, 28 mins.
An episode of World in Action documenting the life of 11 year old Kevin
and how he and his family live with the effects of the drug Thalidomide.


An Ordinary Life – 1985, 29 mins
“I’d much rather work at a computer than make wicker baskets” –
Disabled people hit the mainstream in 1980’s Britain.


Rehabilitation at Roffey Park – 1946, 29 mins. Location:
Roffey Park (College).
The treatment of World War II Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder – filmed,
astonishingly, in full colour.


Invalid Carriage Protest – News, 1977, 2 mins. Location:
Solihull.
Disabled motorists take on the Government and corner a Minister in the
process.


The Mask – Documentary, 2017, 4 mins.
Personal exploration of identity and autism, with a splash of Al Murray.

You can also explore further free collections related to disability
and Disabled people, such as:


Care or Cure?
For centuries, both Disabled people and becoming Disabled were
viewed as a fearful burden, both to the family and to society at large.
This collection reflects this underlying world view, which often switches
between seeking a cure for impaired bodies and minds, and if a cure
isn’t found, to care for them.


Body Politic
It’s only relatively recently that Disabled people began to be seen as a
part of, not apart from, the communities where they live and work. This
collection shows the slow change in attitudes as, after Disabled people
campaigned, a more enlightened approach of ‘care in the community’
began gradually to replace the life sentence of being consigned to an
institution.


Fundraising and Charity
Beginning with caring for the returning wounded from the First World
War and ending at a special school for Disabled children in the early
1990s, these films show how the charitable response to disability was
the predominant one for many Disabled people.


Up Close and Personal
Covering three decades, this collection of personal experiences gives an
insight into how Disabled people were often viewed through two
powerful lenses. One saw disability as a personal tragedy. The other
saw Disabled people as triumphing over adversity. But Disabled people
usually aren’t like these stereotypes, if given the opportunity to speak for
themselves.


Nothing About Us Without Us
Driven by better access to digital technology and online platforms, the
most recent chapter in D/deaf and disability-led filmmaking has seen an
exciting range of current work that challenges how the mainstream
represents us and puts the way we are portrayed on film back in the hands of the Disabled community.

The BFI has some more examples of Disabled Britain on Film in their
Rentals collection which you can access here: Explore Rentals

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“Horrendous” Online Abuse of Disabled People

An inquiry by a committee of MPs has revealed the “horrendous, degrading and dehumanising” abuse that Disabled people are exposed to when they use the internet.

Helen Jones, the Labour MP who chairs the committee, said: “Our inquiry into online abuse and the experience of Disabled people has shown that social media is rife with horrendous, degrading and dehumanising comments about people with disabilities.

“The law on online abuse is not fit for purpose and it is truly shameful
that Disabled people have been forced off social media while their
abusers face no consequences.”


“There is no excuse for the continued failure to make online platforms
safe for Disabled people.”


“Self-regulation has failed Disabled people and the law must change to
ensure more lives are not destroyed.”


A government spokesperson said: “As part of the Online Harms White
Paper we are bringing in new laws and reviewing existing ones to make
the internet safer for everyone, including Disabled people.”

Full article here.

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