Disabled people will only be protected from online abuse when they have “equal and fair” hate crime laws, a leading disabled campaigner has told MPs.

Anne Novis, chair of Inclusion Londontold the Commons petitions committee that the abuse targeted at disabled people online was “just an echo” of what they experienced on the streets.

And she said that the law fails to protect them in both cases.

She was speaking to the committee as part of its investigation into online abuse of disabled people, which was launched following a petition set up by former model Katie Price which was signed by more than 220,000 people.

Price’s petition called on the government to create a new criminal offence covering online abuse, and to set up a register of offenders.

She set up the petition following years of disablist and racist abuse targeted at her teenage son, Harvey, who met members of the committee before the evidence session.

But Novis, who is an adviser on hate crime to the Metropolitan police, the Crown Prosecution Service and British Transport Police, said she did not want to see a separate offence for online abuse or the creation of a register of online offenders.

Instead, she said, disabled people just needed “an equal and fair hate crime law”.

 

Source: Disabled people need ‘equal and fair’ hate crime laws, MPs are told | DisabledGo News and Blog

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Joe Zevuloni tends a makeshift memorial to honour victims of the mass shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida. (Picture: Getty)

Joe Zevuloni tends a makeshift memorial to honour victims of the mass shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida. (Picture: Getty

By TIMOTHY EGAN

US voters must ditch politicians who fail to act on gun control at mid-term elections in November, writes Timothy Egan.

Here’s a thought: The next politician to express sorrow over the slaughter of students at a school without offering any specific remedy should be run out of office, for cowardice and failure to protect American children.

 Here’s a prayer: Let us remember to hold that thought for at least seven months, to the next election.
 President Donald Trump delivered 702 words to the nation on Thursday on the murder of 17 kids in Parkland, Florida — one of more than 150 school shootings over the past decade.

Not once did he mention guns, or more specifically the semi-automatic rifle used by the mentally unstable white-supremacist teenager who entered a school with an AR-15.

The president did order the flag lowered to half-staff. He should have run up a white flag of surrender. Along with a gutless majority in Congress, Trump is hiding behind the shield of “thoughts and prayers” while showing himself derelict of duty in failing to defend the lives of schoolchildren.

READ MORE: The face of 19-year-old charged with Florida shooting

“You have people who care about you, who love you, and who will do anything at all to protect you,” Trump said, in addressing the children of America.

 That is a flat-out lie, which is chewing gum to Trump. If the adults were really willing to take any measure to protect them, Trump wouldn’t have signed a bill last year making it easier for mentally ill people to get guns. If the “people who care about you” really wanted to ensure your safety, they wouldn’t have led a filibuster in the Senate, as Mitch McConnell did in 2013, to prevent an expansion of simple background checks for purchasers of firearms.

If those “who love you” wanted to show that love, they would say something more than the platitudinous mush that came out of the mouth of the do-nothing House speaker, Paul Ryan, whose response to the latest mass killing was: “I think we need to pray.” Since 1995, there have been more than 4,000 instances of someone rising in Congress to express “thoughts and prayers”.

And since that time, about seven children or teenagers have been killed, on average, every day by guns. Trump, McConnell, Ryan — they all have children of their own. But in their roles as protectors of many other children, who should be free to attend school without fear of being shot, this trio that controls the federal government is leading a bad parent caucus. The kids know it — they get that people who should be looking after them are looking the other way.

After Trump spoke, a sophomore at the Parkland school stated the obvious in an interview with CNN. “There’s no reason that a kid 19 years old that’s been investigated already, and not even a year ago, being able to purchase an AR-15,” said Isabella Gomez.

The gun used in Florida is similar to the kind of rapid-firing weapons used to mow down first-graders in Newtown, clubgoers in Orlando, civil servants in San Bernardino, and music-lovers in Las Vegas.

In our country, a nation with a gun homicide rate 49 times higher than other wealthy counties, lunatics have easy and legal access to these guns.

The cops know the politicians are failing the kids as well. “What about the rights of these students?” said the Broward County sheriff, Scott Israel, in relaying the grim news of the latest massacre.

“Don’t they have the right to be protected by the United States government, to the best of our ability?”

Of course they do. But the government will not protect them. The invertebrates in Congress and the soulless blowhard in the White House will not take even the most common-sensical measures to limit the use of militarised weapons by deeply troubled people. Remember the outrage over bump stocks, the modification used by the man who killed 58 people in Las Vegas last fall?

If you don’t, please remember it in November, at the ballot box. Congress has done nothing on this issue, but many states are moving on it, pressed by popular movements unafraid of the gun lobby. Other countries act to protect their people, which is the most elemental duty of governance.

After Australia suffered the deadliest mass shooting in its history, a massacre of 35 people in 1996 by a man with a semi-automatic rifle, the country banned such weapons. There hasn’t been a mass shooting since.

Let me try another take for you bad parents in office.

Pretend you live in a pleasant, well-protected community of like-minded people, and you’re in charge. OK, you don’t have to pretend. And let’s say there was a natural gas leak every three days in one of the homes in that community, a leak that killed entire families.

 Your response would be to pray and do nothing. Or to pray and talk about everything except the gas leak.

Or to pray and say you’re powerless to act because the gas company owns you.

The response of those suffering would be to take control and kick you out. That’s what we have to do, and will, in November.

© 2018 New York Times News Service

Source: Timothy Egan: A kid just schooled Donald Trump on mass shootings : The Scotsman


A mum who opted to have her cancer-riddled arm amputated so she could see her children grow up was left stunned after finding out she doesn’t qualify for a disability grant.

Carol Haslam, from Co Meath in Ireland, has called for a rules shake-up after learning she is ineligible for a grant to adapt her car, the Irish Mirror reports.

The 38-year-old said that the Primary Medical Certificate is only granted to people who have lost one or both legs or two arms – but doesn’t apply for those who have only had one arm amputated.

Carol, who has worn a prosthetic arm since last August, has used her own funds to buy a new car and a further €2,000 to adapt the steering wheel.

Obtaining the Primary Medical Certificate would have saved her the VAT and VRT on a new car or the VAT on the adapting an Irish-sourced vehicle.

Carol was due to get part of her hand amputated after developing a rare form of sarcoma last year – a cancer so rare that she has more of a chance of winning the lottery.

However she chose to get most of her lower arm amputated to decrease the chance of the aggressive cancer returning and see her two children grow up.

But the strong willed mum was left aghast when she learned of the grant constraints while having to change her car.

 

Source: Cancer battle mum who had arm amputated to fight disease told she can’t have disability benefit | DisabledGo News and Blog


Sheffield Mencap & Gateway have great pleasure in advising you about a forthcoming event on Thursday 8 March 2018.

 

 

Please come and support Sheffield Mencap & Gateway for only £6 per person and you may find the fashion item you have always wished to have for an unbeatable price.

Just telephone  0114 2767757 and book your tickets.

Alternatively email mencapoffice@sheffieldmencap.org.uk

You know you can not miss the bargain waiting for you.


Orang-utans are kind gentle creatures. They are harmless. The last place they have now is Borneo. Yet since 1990 100,000 of these poor gentle creatures have been mindlessly killed – over 50% of them are gone.

 

Source: Borneo – the ongoing massacre of Orang-utans. : Opher’s World


Govt Newspeak

sickening beyond belief

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*Overview

  • Growing financial and workforce pressures are having an impact on the ability of community service providers to meet the needs of the population and to make a reality of the vision set out in the NHS five year forward view. Community services are often fragmented and poorly co-ordinated, and are frequently not well integrated with other services in the community. This results in duplication as well as gaps between teams delivering care.
  • There is a great deal of innovative work going on across the NHS and beyond to improve community-based care. This is mainly happening through innovative projects rather than system-wide transformations in care delivery. A radical transformation of community services is needed, making use of all the assets in each local community wherever these are to be found, breaking down silos between services and reducing fragmentation in service delivery.
  • The most promising possibilities in the short term are through sustainability and transformation partnerships (STPs) and accountable care systems (ACSs), where plans have already been developed to strengthen community services and improve population health. More work is needed to ensure that all STPs offer a credible basis for improving care for their populations and strengthening services in the community, drawing on the design principles set out in this report.

 

Source: *Reimagining community services: making the most of our assets : The Kings Fund

*Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International


The Work and Pensions Select Committee received nearly 4,000 submissions – the most by a select committee inquiry – after calling for evidence on the assessments for personal independence payment (PIP) and Employment and Support Allowance (ESA).

The MPs said: “We were so impressed and moved by the response we are today publishing a collection of just a few of the thousands of stories claimants shared with us.”

The report highlighted people with Down’s syndrome asked when they “caught” it, a woman reporting frequent suicidal thoughts asked why she had not yet killed herself.

Stories from claimants – released by the committee ahead of the publication of their final report on PIP and ESA assessments next week – showed relevant information was often omitted from, and fundamental errors included in, the medical assessment reports.

In September the committee asked benefit claimants to submit evidence of their experiences with the medical assessments for disability benefits PIP and ESA carried out for DWP by private contractors Capita, Atos and Maximus.

Nearly 4,000 people replied – the most ever received by a select committee inquiry, by an order of magnitude.

The committee described the accounts as “honest and often distressing” and said that they showed clear patterns.

Since 2013 there have been 170,000 PIP appeals taken to the Tribunal: Claimants won in 108,000 cases – 63%. In the same time, there have been 53,000 ESA appeals. Claimants won in 32,000 – or 60% – of those cases.

Chair of the work and pensions committee Frank Field said: “We’ve never had so many submissions from people that haven’t been organised so we’ve had over three thousand people

“I don’t think any select committee has had more voters, ordinary people writing in wanting to be part of the inquiry.

“We’re massively grateful because what they can’t see but we can see is there are common patterns of how they are all treated.”

 

Source: 9 shocking errors made in assessments for PIP and ESA by Capita, Atos and Maximus | DisabledGo News and Blog


A “pervasive lack of trust” in the private firms contracted by the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) to carry out disability benefit assessments risks undermining the whole system, an influential group of MPs has warned.

An investigation into face-to-face assessments for Employment and Support Allowance (ESA) and Personal Independence Payment (PIP) by the Commons Work and Pensions Select Committee received an “unprecedented” amount of responses from sick and disabled benefit claimants, with many effectively accusing assessors of lying in reports sent to the DWP.

The Committee heard from claimants who said they do not believe assessors can be trusted to record what took place during their assessments accurately, with the Committee warning of “a pervasive culture of mistrust around PIP and ESA processes, with concern about the face-to-face assessment by a health professional at its core”.

Claimants spoke about the extreme anxiety and a detrimental impact on their health caused by the assessment process, that is commonly regarded as “opaque and unfriendly” throughout.

Source: Disability benefit assessments must be recorded, says Work and Pensions Committee : Welfare Weekly


Hated Government welfare tests have unleashed a “pervasive lack of trust” in the system, MPs warn today. Contracting out assessments for Personal Independence Payments and Employment and Support Allowance fuelled victims’ agony, the Commons Work and Pensions Committee reveals.

In a 71-page report, it calls on ministers to scrap the current arrangements and take tests back in house. Chairman Frank Field said: “For the majority of claimants the assessments work adequately, but a pervasive lack of trust is undermining its entire operation. “In turn, this is translating into untenable human costs to claimants and financial costs to the public purse. No one should have any doubt the process needs urgent change.”

Since 2013, 290,000 rejected claims for Personal Independence Payments or Employment and Support Allowance have been granted on appeal – 6% of all those assessed.

 

Source: PIP/ESA tests ‘trigger lack of trust in system’ [You Think]

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