Archives for category: Rights

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


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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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


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]


Nearly one in three of the disability benefit assessment reports completed by a private sector contractor were significantly flawed, confidential Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) documents suggest.

The figures were revealed through a government audit of personal independence payment (PIP) assessment reports that had been written by staff working for under-fire outsourcing giant Capita in 2016.

The audit, which examined more than 4,000 of the 190,000 assessment reports completed by Capita from April to December 2016, found that about 7.5 per cent of them were so poor as to be deemed “unacceptable”.

But with another 14 per cent of assessments, DWP concluded that the report was so flawed that there was “learning required” by the healthcare professional who wrote it, although the report was of an “acceptable” standard.

And in a further 12 per cent of cases, the report needed to be amended because of even more serious flaws in the assessor’s report, although again the report was still said to be of an “acceptable” standard.

In all, nearly 33 per cent of the Capita reports audited during 2016 were found to be of an unacceptable standard, to need changes, or demonstrated that the assessor had failed to carry out their role properly.

If the findings of the audit – which examined just over two per cent of all reports – were applied to all 190,000 of the assessments completed by Capita in that eight-month period, more than 14,000* PIP claimants could have had their claim decided on the basis of a report that was of an unacceptable standard.

And more than 62,000* could have been based on a report that was of an unacceptable

 

Source: The PIP Files: Nearly one in three Capita assessments were flawed, reports reveal | DisabledGo News and Blog


The Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) has promised that no disabled people will have their benefits reduced because of its decision to review 1.6 million personal independence payment (PIP) claims.

The review follows last month’s decision by the new work and pensions secretary, Esther McVey, that she would not appeal a court ruling that found new rules introduced last year by DWP were unlawful, “blatantly discriminatory” and breached the UN disability convention.

The rules, which were rushed into law by the government last March, had meant that people who were unable to plan or undertake a journey due to overwhelming psychological distress would receive fewer qualifying points when assessed for PIP, with many receiving a lower level of financial support as a result, or even no PIP at all.

The new rules were only introduced because an upper tribunal ruling had found that DWP was wrong to say that such PIP claimants should not be entitled to those points.

Sarah Newton, the minister for disabled people, announced this week that, following McVey’s decision not to appeal the court ruling, DWP would review every one of the 1.6 million PIP claims that have been made since the benefit was introduced in 2013 to see how many had been wrongly assessed and were now entitled to backdated PIP payments.

 

Source: DWP promises no-one will lose out in huge review of 1.6 million PIP cases | DisabledGo News and Blog


Govt Newspeak

A report of disability benefit claimants’ experiences exposes government cruelty and incompetence in unprecedented numbers.

A person with Down’s syndrome asked when they “caught” it. A suicidal woman questioned over why she hadn’t killed herself yet. This is not the beginning of a bad taste joke but a description of this government’s treatment of disabled people.

The work and pensions select committee has released a reportinto the experiences of people being assessed for disability benefits – a 39-page rundown of a system plagued by basic errors, disrespect, and ignorance of health problems.

While it’s expected that the overwhelming majority of responses were negative – people with bad experiences are more likely to want to speak out, after all – it would be hard for even the staunchest supporter of the government to ignore the evidence on show: fundamental mistakes over people’s conditions, no record of relevant information, references to “invented”…

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