Nobody is Unfit for Work – Black Triangle Campaign

What you will read may be very distressing for you, but we are looking at the worst-case scenario and identifying measures to help you and other claimants.
It would be good to have some feedback on the Health and Work Conversations from people who have made an ESA claim. More we know about it, and more we can fight this.
What you should not do, is to decide not to claim ESA. That is what DWP wants you to do.
Some documents released by the DWP have shown the direction of travel in terms of claiming ESA under UC.
Under the old regime, a person wishing to claim ESA was placed in the ESA assessment phase, attracting the lowest ESA rate (JSA rate), and also no conditionality, and this until a Work Capability Assessment could decide whether the claimant was fit or unfit for work.
The Work and Health Conversation
Under Universal Credit, a person wishing to claim ESA will be first called for a Health and Work Conversation (HWC). This conversation is basically a Work Focus Interview, and is mandatory, which means that a claimant can be sanctioned for not attending. Attending does not only mean being physically present at the interview but also fulfilling all the requirements set by DWP for a WFI:
Regulation 57 of the Employment and Support Allowance Regulations 2008:
57.—(1) A claimant is regarded as having taken part in a work-focused interview if the claimant—
(a) attends for the interview at the place and at the date and time notified in accordance with regulation 56;
(b) provides information, if requested by the Secretary of State, about any or all of the matters set out in paragraph (2);
(c) participates in discussions to the extent the Secretary of State considers necessary, about any or all of the matters set out in paragraph (3);
(d) assists the Secretary of State in the completion of an action plan.
 (2) The matters referred to in paragraph (1)(b) are—
(a) the claimant’s educational qualifications and vocational training;
(b) the claimant’s work history;
(c) the claimant’s aspirations for future work;
(d) the claimant’s skills that are relevant to work;
(e) the claimant’s work-related abilities;
(f) the claimant’s caring or childcare responsibilities; and
(g) any paid or unpaid work that the claimant is undertaking.
(3) The matters referred to in paragraph (1)(c) are—

Source: Nobody is Unfit for Work – Black Triangle Campaign

At considerable cost to the Tax-payer.

Sensible logic from Poppy, but do Governments do logic let alone sensible.

Poppy's Place

I am so happy.

Saturday was a good news day for me.

After several weeks of waiting, I finally received the two brown envelopes through the letterbox which told me how I’d done with my enforced PIP (Personal Independence Payment) application and my ESA (Employment Support Allowance) reassessment and I was successful for both Benefits.

And, further to that, a very good family friend also received her brown envelope for PIP on Sarurday as well and she’s been successful as too. Virtual High Fives all over our social media pages let me tell you – we were delerious. We both got to sleep properly for the first time in quite a while that night and we can now both breathe freely once more because we know that our finances are guaranteed for at least the next few years at any rate.


But, there is something we both want to…

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Transforming learning disability care means valuing all citizens

Original post from The Guardian

‘……………By Melanie Henwood

A new national plan to improve learning disability services is right, but we’ve heard it all before – it’s time for real change and it won’t be cheap

Residents with learning disabilities who live in homes with host families in Kenilworth, Bedfordshire. Photograph: Frantzesco Kangaris for the Guardian
Residents with learning disabilities who live in homes with host families in Kenilworth, Bedfordshire. Photograph: Frantzesco Kangaris for the Guardian

The publication of a national plan to transform learning disability services, and particularly for people with a learning disability and/or autism whose behaviour challenges, is welcome, overdue and ambitious.

The background to the latest plan is familiar, particularly with the scandal of Winterbourne View uncovered by BBC’s Panorama in 2011, which highlighted both individual abuse and neglect, and raised awareness of the much wider issue of long-term hospitalisation. But the need to commission appropriate services has long been recognised, and is a particular concern for young people with learning disabilities and complex needs when transitioning to adult services. This is when out-of-area placements often occur due to a lack of alternative local provision.

The principles of the national service model should command widespread support. These are value-based and reflect a concern with basic citizenship rights, as the foreword states:

Children, young people and adults with a learning disability and/or autism have the right to the same opportunities as anyone else to live satisfying and valued lives, and to be treated with dignity and respect. They should have a home within their community, be able to develop and maintain relationships, and get the support they need to live healthy, safe and rewarding lives.

The development of new local service models is expected to lead to the closure of 35-50% of the remaining 2,600 inpatient beds within three years. Fast track service developments have been going ahead in six areas of the country, and 49 transforming care partnerships will bring about systemic change and develop innovative housing, care and support solutions in the community.

The national plan carries the badges of the Local Government Association and the Association of Directors of Adult Social Services as well as that of NHS England, and this shared commitment will be vital in both symbolic and practical terms. Nonetheless, charities have been quick to raise concerns about the adequacy of funding to support the transformation, particularly at a time of intensifying financial pressure on local councils.

Some progress has been made, compared with earlier decades, the vast majority of people with learning disabilities do not live in hospitals. But too many still do and a hospital is not a home. We’ve failed to meet the care needs for this group of people for so long because it’s very difficult to make the changes needed to get it right.

We’ve known what the problem is for a long time – at least the last two decades. The influence of the late Jim Mansell in developing earlier guidance was significant, and as he cautioned in 2007:

Developing good local services will not be cheaper, overall, than institutional care, but it will be more efficient because it will achieve more. If local services are not developed, then a trickle of out-of-area placements will become a rush as more people are excluded from mainstream community services by being defined as unmanageable in the community. Large amounts of money will be tied up in buying less good services. The policy of community care will be said to have failed.

Arguably this accurately sums up the current situation and indicates what needs to change. However, as the new national plan acknowledges, the needs of people with a learning disability and/or autism who display behaviour that challenges are diverse:

Some will have a mental health problems which may result in them displaying behaviour that challenges. Some, often with severe learning disabilities, will display self-injurious or aggressive behaviour unrelated to any mental health condition. Some will display behaviour which can lead to contact with the criminal justice system. Some will have been in hospital for many years, not having been discharged when NHS campuses or long-stay hospitals were closed. The new services and support we put in place to support them in the community will need to reflect that diversity.

The new national plan presents a coherent vision, an alliance of organisations committed to change, a new financial framework and plans for monitoring progress on delivery. There is an opportunity – finally – to resolve the long-standing and intransigent issues around provision for a small but highly marginalised group of the population. The plan concludes with the clarion call:

“Together we have an opportunity to transform thousands of lives. Together we must seize the day and deliver.”

If the vision is to be realised, this is about much more than a numbers game; it is a challenge which goes beyond services and into the daily lives of us all and will require a fundamental cultural change that truly does value all citizens.  ……..’


Is it time to stop using the word “disability”?

Original post from Disabled Go News



After running a campaign to urge toy manufacturers to include disabled characters in their collections, Rebecca Atkinson started to wonder if the word “disability” might also need a positive makeover.

Cripple, deaf-mute and lame all fell out of favour a long time ago and are now considered insults. By the 1980s and 90s “handicapped” was gradually replaced with “disabled” as a new way of thinking about disability emerged – called the social model. Attitudes change and as a consequence so does language.

Recently there has been a shift towards person-first language and now “people with disabilities” is often more popular in general usage over its predecessor “disabled people”. I have noticed too that people in the disability community sometimes like to emphasise the “ability” part of the word with hyphens or capital letters: dis-ability or disAbility.

In April this year I started an online campaign urging the toy industry to include positive representation for the 150 million children worldwide with disabilities. I began making-over toys by marrying princesses with guide dogs or wheelchairs and giving hearing aids to fairies to create a fun and colourful disability aesthetic. I took photos of my creations and posted them on the web under the name ToyLikeMe.

The images conveyed not a shred of pity, no hint of inability, no inkling of dependence – the many things that people associate with the word disabled. It went viral and, what had started as a hobby, soon gobbled up my life. I quickly found myself writing post after post on the subject, late into the night.

But as I typed the d-word again and again, I started to see it in a new light. It felt like a great lump of a word, stout, ugly, cumbersome and dour. Whilst it conveyed the meaning, it did not carry the modern or celebratory sentiment I wanted. It seemed to focus on the negative when the toys I was creating were singing with fun and colour. For the first time I began to wonder if “disabled”, had become outdated, and needed a replacement.

If we don’t use the term disabled, though, what do we use to describe someone who has an impairment to set them apart from the majority?

Reading posts from my followers, many of whom are parents of disabled children, I noticed the words and phrases they use: special needs, differently-able, different, ability not disability, inclusive. It seemed many people were choosing not to use the d-word, or were trying to divorce the “dis” from the ability.

The definition of “dis” in one English dictionary is to “have a primitive, negative or reversing force”. To discredit. To disengage. And in recent parlance “diss”, with an extra s, has been popularised as an abbreviation of disrespect – “Don’t diss me.”

“Dis” is not a thing that many people want prefixed on their child or themselves. It is, after all, inherently negative.

One adult follower wrote to me in outrage after I posted an image of a toy with a facial birthmark under the banner “dolls with disabilities”.

“I am not disabled,” she wrote, as if the term was highly offensive. “I have a port wine stain and although it’s nice that you create a doll with a birthmark, I think it’s a poor choice of words…”

“A disability is “a physical or mental handicap, especially one that prevents a person from living a full, normal life or from holding a gainful job,” she continued. “I have a normal life. I am a teacher. I think you should seriously reconsider the use of the word.”

I read her message and agree you should be able to choose your own identifying label but I wasn’t sure how to take her rejection of disability. She sees it as separate from the idea of living a “normal life” or having a “gainful job”. But, looking at the many disabled people I know and have worked with, they do have these things.

Perhaps a facial disfigurement or birthmark isn’t a disability but, for many people, constant stares and negative remarks are disabling, and I feel there is still a need for children growing up with these differences to see themselves reflected in the toy box to help build self-esteem.

So I began to search for a catch-all term that could be used to describe disability but also include those who wanted dolls with glasses, eye patches, birthmarks and scars – differences that do not always fit under the d-word banner.

Read the full article online:

Roisin Norris

Hi I’m Roisin Norris, Digital Marketing Executive at DisabledGo and I will be uploading blogs and news for you all to read.

More posts from author  ……………………’

A Butterfly’s Courage

Good is always worth fighting for, for even if the odds are so stacked against you, so you do not try, how will you know that if you did you could have been successful. Never be defeatist.

This is even more so in the UK, especially in the light of the current cuts into disability care and support.

Madamsabi's Blog

Walking down a path through some woods in Georgia in 1977, I saw a water puddle ahead on the path. I angled my direction to go around it on the part of the path that wasn’t covered by water and mud. As I reached the puddle, I was suddenly attacked!


Yet, I did nothing, for the attack was so unpredictable and from a source so totally unexpected. I was startled as well as unhurt, despite having been struck four or five times already. I backed up a foot and my attacker stopped attacking me. Instead of attacking more, he hovered in the air on graceful butterfly wings in front of me. Had I been hurt I wouldn’t have found it amusing, but I was unhurt, it was funny, and I was laughing. After all, I was being attacked by a butterfly!

Having stopped laughing, I took a step forward. My…

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It does not say much for any society, if people are to be judged solely on their religion, race, gender, or disability. We are all what we are and should be judged on how we conduct ourselves.

Discrimination is abhorrent and should not be acceptable in any form of Society.

Cuts and more cuts to Social Care

Deeper cuts to Social Care Budgets

Many, if not all councils are making cuts which will affect frontline services and some of these will reduce the amount of care being given or made available to some of the most vulnerable adults in the UK.

Many of these adults are reliant solely on their council funded care packages, as their disability benefits are used to fund other essential daily living costs, such as food, heating and other costs.

Some may have family carers, but these carers are already providing care to the limit of their resources. There is no slack for them to do more. many of the carers, themselves are aged and after many years of caring, their health as or is beginning to deteriorate.

The effects of any of these cuts will enhance the health deteriorisation of both family carers and those being cared for. This will, create many safeguarding issues and will further stretch the resources of both the NHS and Social Services.

Thereby creating a much greater funding crisis.

While I do not begrudge the ‘ring fenced’ money for Overseas Aid, thereby safeguarding the vulnerable overseas, but why can not the same be given to the vulnerable of the UK.