John Pring

DWP ‘Performs Partial U-turn’ Over DNS ‘Ban’ After Criticism From Campaigners

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  By John Pring in Disability News Service.   The Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) appears to have performed a partial U-turn after disabled campaigners reacted angrily to an apparent ban on media requests from Disability News Service (DNS). Last week, DNS reported how DWP’s press office had failed to provide a meaningful response […]

Disabled Peers Call On Government To Scrap Care Act Coronavirus Powers

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  By John Pring in Disability News Service.   Two disabled peers have called on the health and social care secretary to scrap powers given to local authorities that allow them to suspend some of their social care duties during the coronavirus pandemic. Crossbench peers Baroness [Jane] Campbell and Baroness [Tanni] Grey-Thompson have written to […]

DWP Silent As It Stops Answering Questions From Disability News Service

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  By John Pring in Disability News Service.   The Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) has stopped answering questions from Disability News Service (DNS), and is refusing to explain why it has taken the “totally unacceptable” step. Since early July, DWP’s press office has failed to provide a meaningful response to questions submitted by […]

Coronavirus: ‘Scandalous’ Silence Of Government’s Disability Unit As Thousands Die

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By John Pring in Disability News Service.   The government has been accused of a “totally reprehensible failure” after its new Disability Unit failed to make a single announcement in more than three months, while more than 20,000 disabled people were dying from COVID-19. The unit was set up last year to “break down the […]

EHRC Failed To Consult Its Own Disabled Advisers Before Snubbing DWP Deaths Probe

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  By John Pring in Disability News Service.   The equality watchdog failed to consult its own committee of disabled advisers before deciding not to investigate deaths of benefit claimants that have been linked to the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP). It came as disabled activists and relatives of disabled people whose deaths have […]

Coronavirus: Peer Calls For An End To Use Of ‘Vulnerable’ To Describe Disabled People

Disability Dice

  By John Pring in Disability News Service.   A leading disabled campaigner and crossbench peer has called for an end to the use of the word “vulnerable” to describe disabled people. Baroness [Jane] Campbell said the term had been used repeatedly to describe disabled people during the “worst times” of the pandemic crisis. But she […]

Coronavirus: Government’s Failure To Offer Video PIP Appeals ‘Is Discrimination’

Benefits

  By John Pring in Disability News Service.   The government’s continuing failure to allow benefit appeals to be heard via video conferencing is discriminating against disabled claimants, say welfare rights experts. Many disabled people are being forced to ask for their tribunals to be postponed, because they are only being offered a telephone hearing, […]

Disabled People Forced To Fight For Right To Live Ordinary Lives, MPs Hear

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By John Pring in Disability News Service.   Disabled people are being forced to fight for their right to live ordinary lives because of the flawed and under-resourced social care system, MPs have been told by a disabled campaigner. Anna Severwright told members of the Commons health and social care committee on Tuesday that she and […]

Narrowed Small Blood Vessels Linked To Fatigue In ME/CFS

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  The Scheibenbogen Effect With the studies pouring out, it’s getting hard to keep up with Carmen Scheibenbogen and friends in Germany. Scheibenbogen has co-authored no less than five papers on chronic fatigue syndrome (ME/CFS) in 2020. With Klaus Wirth coming on board, the autoantibody testing lab there, and Scheibenbogen and company in a publishing […]

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

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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 […]

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 […]

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 […]

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 […]

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 […]

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

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  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 […]

Scope Accused Of ‘Exploitation’ After Seeking Disabled Writer To Work For Free

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    By John Pring in Disability News Service.   A disability charity has been accused of “exploitative” and “disgraceful” behaviour after asking disabled journalists to write an article for its website without payment. The charity Scope sent out a message on social media this week seeking a “disability blogger” who could write an article […]

New Government Provides Details On Five Disability Policy Pledges

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  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 […]

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