Politics

Bus Company Forced To Act After Campaigner’s Wheelchair Space Victory

wheelchair

  By John Pring in Disability News Service.   A disabled campaigner has secured an “important victory” that has forced a transport company to bring in new measures to protect the rights of wheelchair-users to use buses. Wheelchair-user Nina Grant, from north London, began legal action against Arriva after repeatedly being left on the pavement […]

Minister Criticised By Government ‘Disability Champion’ Over Third Access Exemption

Accessibility

By John Pring in Disability News Service.   The government has been criticised by one of its own “disability champions” after it granted the transport industry its third temporary exemption from access laws, so it could continue to use inaccessible vehicles for rail replacement services. In December, it emerged that the government was allowing the […]

Welcome To Law And Health

Valerie Eliot-Smith

  By Valerie Eliot Smith in Law And Health.   “The history of ME remains one of the worst examples of unacknowledged institutional abuse in modern times.” ~ Valerie Eliot Smith 2019  ***************************** Note: this blog works across all devices but can be viewed most easily on a computer or tablet. Thank you for visiting […]

Coronavirus: MPs And Peers Ask PM For A ‘Disability Inclusive’ Response To Pandemic

Disability Dice

By John Pring in Disability News Service. At least 10 disabled MPs and peers have signed a letter calling on the prime minister to ensure that the government improves its support for disabled people in its response to the coronavirus pandemic. The letter, sent to Boris Johnson by the all-party parliamentary group for disability and […]

Coronavirus: Disabled Benefit Claimants Tell MPs How Crisis Has Hit Them Hard

Benefits

    By John Pring in Disability News Service.   Disabled people have told MPs how they have been hit particularly hard by the impact of the COVID-19 crisis on the benefits system. The Commons work and pensions committee carried out a survey of benefit claimants as part of an inquiry into the response of the Department […]

Stalwart Champion Of The ME Community Retires After Distinguished Parliamentary Career

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By Dr Charles Shepherd, Hon. Medical Adviser, ME Association.   ME advocate and parliamentary champion, the Countess of Mar, retires from The House of Lords after 45 years. Earlier in the week the Countess of Mar wrote to members of Forward-ME to say that she would be retiring from the House of Lords as from today. […]

Disabled People Deserve Equal Access To Critical Care – Judicial Review

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By Doug Paulley in his kingqueen Blog.   Many disabled people may be left to die so that others can be saved. That’s the impact of likely coming increased demand for hospital treatment, intensive care beds and ventilators, according to multiple reports in the Press. Guidance by the National Institute for Clinical Excellence, from the British Medical Association, […]

Labour’s New Leader Faces Pressure To Follow Through On Campaign Rights Pledges

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By John Pring in Disability News Service.   Keir Starmer is set to face pressure from the disabled people’s movement to commit his party to keep a series of pledges he made during his successful campaign to replace Jeremy Corbyn as Labour leader. Among the most striking of those pledges was to back calls by […]

Coronavirus: Government’s Continuing Failure On PA Guidance ‘Will Cost Lives’

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    By John Pring in Disability News Service.   The government’s continuing failure to produce accessible information and guidance to help disabled people protect themselves during the coronavirus crisis is unacceptable and will cost lives, disabled people’s organisations have warned. Disabled campaigners spoke out after the Department of Health and Social Care (DHSC) failed […]

Government Blames Coronavirus Crisis For Closure Of Elected Office Fund

Parliament

  By John Pring in Disability News Service.   The government has blamed the coronavirus crisis for its decision to close a temporary fund that was set up to support disabled people with the extra costs of running for political office. One disabled politician has described the permanent closure of the EnAble fund as a “kick in […]

Coronavirus: Council ‘Tells Social Workers To Stop All Their Usual Work’

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  By John Pring in Disability News Service.   A local authority apparently told its social workers to “stop all their usual work” until the coronavirus crisis was over, even before emergency powers to reduce their duties under the Care Act became law. The controversial Coronavirus Act, which became law last Wednesday (25 March), suspended […]

Benefit Assessment Companies ‘Have Made Almost No Progress’ On Safeguarding

benefits

  By John Pring in Disability News Service.   The three companies that carry out disability benefit assessments for the government have made almost no progress in the last year on alerting local authorities to concerns about claimants whose safety is at risk, according to a disabled campaigner. Last year, freedom of information responses from […]

Coronavirus V: Lipkin, Bateman And Klimas Talk Plus Treatment Updates

USA

  By Cort Johnson in Health Rising.   My, how things change. Less than a month ago, only 70 coronavirus cases had been reported in the country. Our president had just recently announced that the virus was under control. The sun was shining brightly. How naïve we all were. Just a month later, the U.S. leads the […]

Coronavirus: Lack Of Engagement With DPOs ‘Has Led To Bad Policies’

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  By John Pring in Disability News Service.   The government is facing claims that its continuing and repeated refusal to consult with disabled people’s organisations (DPOs) has contributed to its failure to protect disabled people’s rights in responding to the coronavirus crisis. Successive governments since 2012 have been criticised for their failure to engage […]

Using A Service: Reasonable Adjustments For Disabled People

Disability

  From the Equality and Human Rights Commission.   Equality law recognises that bringing about equality for disabled people may mean changing the way in which services are delivered, providing extra equipment and/or the removal of physical barriers. This is the ‘duty to make reasonable adjustments’. A duty is something someone must do, in this […]

Bus Pass Restrictions Relaxed In North Yorkshire

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  By Karen Lie in Yorkshire Coast Radio.   Restrictions on the use of bus passes in North Yorkshire have been relaxed to help pass holders to take advantage of early morning shopping opportunities and medical appointments. North Yorkshire County Council have temporarily enhanced their National Concessionary Travel Scheme to enable pass holders to use […]

When You Say Coronavirus Will Only Kill The Vulnerable, You’re Talking About Me

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  BY BROOKE VITTIMBERG in Fast Company.  When news of COVID-19 started to spread, there were two popular responses. The first was to rush to the store, buying N95 masks and hand sanitizer until shelves were bare. The second was to shrug and comfort the masses because mostly immunocompromised people—people like me—would die. On Twitter, […]

Protecting Yourself From Coronavirus Is Proving Harder For Disabled People Like Me

Disability

  By Chloe Tear in Huffpost.   It feels like every headline you read now is about coronavirus. With the virus causing concern and costing lives worldwide, it isn’t surprising. But it’s important that we talk about what that concern looks like if you’re disabled. We already know those with pre-existing conditions, like me, are more […]

Disabled Workers Paid 12% Less, ‘Damning’ UK Official Figures Show

Disability

    By Patrick Butler in The Guardian.   Disabled people continue to face prejudice in the workplace campaigners have said, after latest government figures showed they were paid on average 12.2% less than those without impairments, equivalent to £1.48 an hour. According to Office for National Statistics (ONS) data, the median pay for disabled employees in […]

Labour Leadership: Starmer Backs Calls For Free Social Care

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  By John Pring in Disability News Service.   The MP leading the race to be Labour’s next leader has become the first candidate to back calls by disabled people’s groups for the introduction of free social care, funded by national progressive taxation. Sir Keir Starmer, Labour’s shadow Brexit secretary, said he supported the motion passed […]

Changes Promised To Cut Stress Of PIP Assessments

Benefits

  By Lauren Harte in the Belfast Telegraph.   Communities Minister Deirdre Hargey has vowed to improve the process for those applying for Personal Independence Payments (PIP) following a call to make the troubled system “fair and accessible for those who genuinely need it”. When PIP was introduced in Northern Ireland in 2016, replacing Disability […]

DWP Officials Accused Of ‘Tampering’ With Thousands Of Benefit Assessments

DWP Caxton House

  From Welare Weekly.   Benefit officials working for the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) have altered or binned thousands of work capability assessment reports submitted by healthcare professionals, it has been claimed. DWP officials reduced qualifying points awarded during face-to-face assessments and in some cases binned the reports entirely, according to media reports. […]

Support For ‘Amazing’ Campaigner Whose Vital Legal Case Could Help Thousands

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By John Pring in Disability News.   Disabled campaigners travelled from across the country this week to show support for a fellow activist as she took on justice ministers in the high court over the ruinous costs disabled people can face when they take disability discrimination cases. If she wins, Esther Leighton could give hope to thousands […]

Schools Are Failing Legal Duties On Accessibility Plans, Says Report

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    By John Pring in Disability News Service.   Secondary schools across England are breaching their legal duty to publish plans showing how they will improve access for disabled pupils, according to new research published today (Thursday). The research, carried out on behalf of The Alliance for Inclusive Education (ALLFIE), says the government, the education watchdog […]

Judge’s PIP Comments Suggest Thousands Have Had Claims Wrongly Stopped

benefits

  By John Pring in Disability News Service.   Thousands of disabled people could have had their benefit claims stopped unlawfully, campaigners believe, after a judge found that letters sent out by government contractors were failing to stress the serious consequences of failing to attend a face-to-face assessment. Upper tribunal judge Nicholas Wikeley said he […]

New Government Provides Details On Five Disability Policy Pledges

Parliament

  By John Pring in Disability News Service.   The new Conservative government has described how it plans to fulfil the five major disability policy pledges it included in its general election manifesto. The details were included in a briefing document published alongside last month’s Queen’s speech by prime minister Boris Johnson. They cover social care, a […]

Lewisham Commission Hopes To Put Disabled People At Heart Of Decision-Making

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  By John Pring in Disability News Service.   A local authority has become the second in London to set up an independent, user-led commission to investigate the barriers faced by disabled residents. Lewisham Disabled People’s Commission (LDPC) will be led by disabled people and will examine organisational, attitudinal and physical barriers faced by disabled […]

General election 2019: What’s Pledged For Disability And Mental Health ?

Parliament

      By Damon Rose & Beth Rose in BBC News.   With 13 million disabled people in the country, plus their friends and family, the political parties have a huge community to court. Universal credit is still making headlines, while the main parties are divided on what to do with the social care […]

How England’s Broken Planning System Has Created (Not Reduced) The Risk Of Floods

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  By Lee Bosher in The Conversation.   Recent floods in England have been described as unprecedented or even “biblical” events, often with the misguided assumption that they were unavoidable or unpredictable. That is not the case. Over the past few decades, development practice in England has led to more than 300,000 homes being built in […]

After I Revealed Whitehall Plans To Deceive The Public On Universal Credit, An Investigation Began. Its Conclusions Are Shocking

Universal Credit

By Aditya Chakrabortty in The Guardian.   Early this summer, a national newspaper published a string of curious articles. Under the logo Universal Credit Uncovered, the features promised readers of the Metro the truth about this most notorious of all benefits. The series began with a giant advert wrapped around the cover of the paper, coupled […]

Activists Combine To Offer PIP Assessment Recording Kits

benefits

    By John Pring in Disability News Service.   Disabled activists have responded to the government’s continuing failure to deal with the dishonesty and inaccuracy of the disability benefit assessment process by launching schemes to ensure that claimants can record their own assessments. Grassroots groups of disabled activists launched two separate campaigns this week […]

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