John Pring

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

Disability Parking

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

Disability

  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

Veins

  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

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 […]

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

disability

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’

disability

  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

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 […]

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

Writing

    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

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 […]

Book Exposes ‘Horrifying’ Levels Of Abuse Faced By Disabled People On Public Transport

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  By John Pring in Disability News Service.   A new book by a disabled researcher has detailed the “horrifying” levels of disability hate crime that take place every day on public transport across the UK. David Wilkin says the results of his research are “sometimes startling and almost always distressing” and illustrate the “ongoing […]

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 […]

Ministers Push Ahead With Single Face-To-Face Assessments For Disability Benefits

benefits

    By John Pring in Disability News Service.   Ministers are pushing ahead with controversial plans to merge two disability benefit assessments into one, despite concerns raised by disabled campaigners. The Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) wants to offer a single face-to-face assessment – with the agreement of the claimant – that would […]

Legal Firm Hands Out Cameras To Help Disabled Passengers Prove Discrimination

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  By John Pring in Disability News Service.   Disabled people who experience repeated discrimination on public transport are being offered a camera to record video evidence for possible legal cases. Legal firm Fry Law, which specialises in disability discrimination cases, is hoping some of the evidence produced can then be used to bring cases […]

MPs Call For Overdue Government Action To Ban Pavement Parking

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    By John Pring in Disability News Service.     A committee of MPs has called on the government to ban parking on pavements, after hearing how the practice was putting disabled people all over the country in stressful, inconvenient and even dangerous situations. The Commons transport committee says in a new report that pavement parking […]

More Than Half Of Disabled Passengers Still Find Air Travel Difficult, Says Regulator

Air Travel

    By John Pring in Disability News Service.   More than half of passengers who describe themselves as having an impairment that limits their day-today activity find travelling by air difficult, according to a regulator’s annual report on access at the UK’s major airports. The Civil Aviation Authority’s (CAA) annual report on disability access contains […]

More Than Half Of Disabled Passengers Still Find Air Travel Difficult, Says Regulator

Disability

    By John Pring in Disability News Service.   More than half of passengers who describe themselves as having an impairment that limits their day-today activity find travelling by air difficult, according to a regulator’s annual report on access at the UK’s major airports. The Civil Aviation Authority’s (CAA) annual report on disability access contains […]

User-Led Advice Centre Set To Close Its Doors After NHS Funding Blow

Disability

  By John Pring in Disability News Service.   A disabled people’s organisation is set to have to close the doors of its advice centre, which has provided vital support with benefit claims to thousands of disabled people, after nearly all its funding was suddenly withdrawn by a local NHS body. Possability People has been running […]

Airline Forced To Apologise After Charging Woman For Carer’s Seat Reservation

Disability Travel

    By John Pring in Disability News Service.   An airline has been forced to apologise to a disabled woman after it charged her extra to reserve a seat next to her for her carer, and then refused to refund the charge. Helen Jenkins had informed Flybe when she was booking her return flights […]

DWP Admits Destroying Report On Safety Failings In Jobcentres

DWP Caxton House

      By John Pring in Disability News Service.   The Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) destroyed a damaging internal report about its failure to ensure the safety of benefit claimants in jobcentres, preventing it being released under freedom of information laws. The report into safeguarding failures in south London jobcentres was written […]

Some Claims That London 2012 Changed The World Are Nonsense, Says Disabled Peer

Disability Dice

  By John Pring in Disability News Service.   One of Britain’s greatest Paralympians has told a parliamentary meeting to beware of claims that London 2012 “changed the world” for disabled people. Baroness [Tanni] Grey-Thompson (pictured) was speaking at a parliamentary meeting held to discuss the need for more to be done to enable disabled […]

Newton Forced To Apologise After Misleading MPs In WOW Debate

DWP Caxton House

    By John Pring in Disability News Service.   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 […]

Government Is Failing On Disabled Women’s Rights, UN Is Told

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    By John Pring in Disability News Service.   Activists have told a UN committee how the UK government is failing to address the significant barriers and human rights violations faced by disabled women in accessing social security, justice, jobs and health services. Eleanor Lisney and Rachel O’Brien, from the disabled women’s collective Sisters of Frida, were […]

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