Deaf campaigner takes court action over BSL jury ban | DisabledGo News and Blog


A Deaf campaigner has launched a legal action aimed at stopping the government discriminating against users of British Sign Language by preventing them from serving on juries.

David Buxton, chief executive of the London-based disabled people’s organisation Action on Disability, is seeking a judicial review of the government’s failure to allow him to sit on a jury.

He was called up for jury service at Kingston Crown Court earlier this year, but when he told the Jury Central Summoning Bureau he was Deaf, he was informed that he was not required.

A crown court judge later deferred a decision on whether he would be allowed to serve as a juror.

In his claim for judicial review – which is being funded by the Equality and Human Rights Commission – Buxton is arguing that justice secretary David Gauke is discriminating against him and breaching the Equality Act’s public sector equality duty, and the Human Rights Act, by not allowing him to serve on a jury with the assistance of an interpreter.

The Ministry of Justice said this week that allowing a non-juror into the jury room during its deliberations breaches common law.

But Buxton’s call is backed by the UN committee on the rights of persons with disabilities, which said last September that the UK government should enable BSL-users “to fully and equally participate as jurors in court proceedings”, under article 13 (access to justice) of the UN disability convention.

The committee, in its concluding observations on the government’s implementation of the convention, said it was concerned that “regulations exclude persons with hearing impairments from participation in jury proceedings, and that personal assistants/interpreters are not deemed to constitute procedural accommodation”.

The refusal to allow BSL-users to take part as jurors is a long-standing source of frustration for many Deaf campaigners.

 

Source: Deaf campaigner takes court action over BSL jury ban | DisabledGo News and Blog

Theresa May’s DWP minister just stood up in parliament and whitewashed a ‘human catastrophe’


The UK in this is doing exactly what Trump is doing in the US and as in the case of Trump, the UK Government needs to listen and act accordingly for eventually, if not now they will be held to account, not only by the population of the UK but by the World for the distress, injury and complete lack of safeguarding for extremely vulnerable people in the UK.

WOW Campaign is back, and pushing for a second House of Commons debate | DisabledGo News and Blog


Disabled campaigners are relaunching the WOW Campaign in a bid to secure a debate in the House of Commons on the need for the government to assess the financial damage caused to disabled people through its cuts and reforms.

Four years ago, nearly 105,000 people signed a petition launched by the WOW Campaign that called on the government to carry out a cumulative impact assessment (CIA) of the cuts.

That petition led to a debate in February 2014, the first time disabled people had secured a debate in the main chamber of the House of Commons on an agenda they had chosen themselves.

The WOW (War On Welfare) Campaign has been largely dormant for more than two years, but key figures now believe the time is right for a relaunch and a second WOW debate.

Activists are working to secure cross-party backing for another debate that would call on ministers to defend their refusal to calculate the overall impact of their cuts on disabled people.

This time, WOW is hoping to secure a debate through a request from supportive MPs to the backbench business committee, rather than through a petition to parliament.

Initial support has already come, they say, from Labour’s shadow chancellor John McDonnell – who led the WOW debate in 2014 – Green MP Caroline Lucas, and Kate Green, Labour’s former shadow minister for disabled people, as well as SNP and Liberal Democrat MPs.

Green said she was “still at the stage of investigating possibilities”, including “discussing exactly what a debate would cover, for example would it be just on benefit cuts or wider, given the comprehensively damning assessment from the UN since the original petition”.

 

Source: WOW Campaign is back, and pushing for a second House of Commons debate | DisabledGo News and Blog

‘Deep concern’ as launch of MPs’ inquiry into SEN support ignores inclusive education | DisabledGo News and Blog


The inquiry by the Commons education select committee will investigate the impact of major reforms to the special educational needs and disability (SEND) system that were introduced four years ago through the Children and Families Act.

But The Alliance for Inclusive Education (ALLFIE) says the announcement of the committee’s inquiry – headed by disabled Tory MP and former education minister Robert Halfon – made no mention of inclusive education.

ALLFIE linked this with the Conservative party’s long-standing commitment to “end the bias towards the inclusion of children with special needs in mainstream schools”.

In 2015, a year after the act was passed, the party boasted in its 2015 general election manifesto of how it had “created 2,200 more special schools places through our free schools programme”.

Tara Flood, ALLFIE’s director, said she was “deeply concerned, frustrated and angry” at the failure to mention inclusive education in the inquiry launch, which she said was not an accident or “ignorance” but a deliberate attempt to “avoid the issue”.

She said: “It is disingenuous of Halfon to have side-stepped the issue.”

 

Source: ‘Deep concern’ as launch of MPs’ inquiry into SEN support ignores inclusive education | DisabledGo News and Blog

Disabled people’s stories are about to give parliament a much needed wake up call | The Canary


The real life stories of disabled people’s experiences of the UK welfare system are being brought to life in a play. But far from being a fringe performance, the cast is taking it to the heart of political decision making – parliament.

Igniting disability

Ignite Me Workshop Theatre was formed in August 2017. And now, it’s bringing its latest work, a play called Lives Like These to parliament on 1 May. The Canary caught up with the group’s artistic director, Bryony Jayne Meteyard, to discuss igniting parliament with some hard-hitting theatre.

The group came about, Meteyard said, because she saw the need for a “people’s theatre” in south west London. The aim of Ignite Me is, in her words, to “hold up a mirror to society and show the truth”. Disabled people in the UK are often portrayed in the press as ‘benefit scroungers’, or ‘living off people’s taxes’, so a theatre company dedicated to busting these myths is refreshing. Meteyard told The Canary:

Disabled people and full-time carers need to have a voice in the current political climate. Austerity is having a major detrimental effect on their lives and bullying, discrimination and marginalisation are still massive issues. Theatre is one way to make an impact.

Damning figures. Damning criticism.

Meteyard is correct when she says that disabled people’s lives have been detrimentally affected in recent years. They have been subjected to seven years of what TV show The Last Leg described as a “genocide” by the Conservative Party. Because since 2010, the Tories have cut:

  • The Independent Living Fund (ILF), which previously supported people with care packages. Since the government cut it, in some areas 88% of people have seen their care packages reduced by up to 50%.

 

Source: Disabled people’s stories are about to give parliament a much needed wake up call | The Canary

What happens to support for disabled people after Brexit?


A good question for in the Tories austerity campaign there appears to be no room for manoeuvre to allow any reasonable adjustments for disabled people.

Will any existing European Union legislation be maintained into UK law and furthermore will EU legislation coming through be also included. Without these current and forthcoming EU legislations the outlook for disabled people will be even more depressing and unequal as it is already.

All of the UK needs to unify behind ensuring that disabled people now and after Brexit are not abandoned by this Tory Government, as you may also become disabled within your lifetime. Think of others like you would for yourself and your own family, otherwise the life for disabled will be far worse than it is now and now is not as good as it should be.

Tory Britain!

View original post

Gawd Bless you Ma’am ! Theresa May scraps universal credit helpline charges.


This about time as no helpline should be subject to premium charges, lets hope any others will follow accordingly.

Now iron out all the problems re payments, assessments and any other aspects as these benefits are supposed to help claimants lead independent lives and not cause, upsets, stress, suicidal tendencies, more ill health, etc.

However, this may be the intended outcomes, especially when read inconjunction the the UN report from UN committee on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities which examined the government’s progress in fulfilling its commitments to the UN convention on disabled people’s rights. https://www.equalityhumanrights.com/en/our-human-rights-work/monitoring-and-promoting-un-treaties/un-convention-rights-persons-disabilities

Ipswich Unemployed Action.

Theresa May scraps universal credit helpline charges.

People will be able to call the government’s universal credit helpline without being charged, within weeks.

Prime Minister Theresa May said she had listened to criticism of the charges, which can be up to 55p a minute, and decided it was “right” to drop them.

But she again rejected calls by Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn to “pause” the roll-out of the controversial benefit amid fears it is causing hardship.

MPs are currently debating Labour’s call for a rethink.

View original post

Portraying disabled people as ‘parasites’ could lead to ‘violence and killings’, says UN chair | DisabledGo News and Blog


Disabled people could be at risk of violence, and even “killings and euthanasia”, because of their portrayal by the UK government and media as “parasites” who live on benefits, according to unpublished comments by the chair of a UN committee. Theresia Degener, who chairs the warns in the interview that such portrayals of disabled people are “very, very dangerous”. Her comments are even more critical and highly-charged than those she and her committee colleagues made during last month’s two-day public examination in Geneva of the UK’s progress on implementing the UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities. Degener herself had told the UK government’s delegation that its cuts to social security and other support for disabled people had caused “a human catastrophe”, comments that were repeated by Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn in yesterday’s prime minister’s questions. But her comments in the interview with a BBC journalist

Source: Portraying disabled people as ‘parasites’ could lead to ‘violence and killings’, says UN chair | DisabledGo News and Blog

UK faces UN examination: DPOs ‘delighted’ with exposure of government’s failings – Black Triangle Campaign


Disabled people’s organisations who travelled to Geneva this week to help highlight the government’s continuing human rights violations have praised a UN committee of disabled experts for publicly exposing the UK’s failings.

Civil servants from eight UK government departments, and the devolved governments in Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland, were grilled over two days about the UK’s record in implementing the UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (UNCRPD).

The two days ended with the chair of the UN committee on the rights of persons with disabilities (CRPD), Theresia Degener, telling the UK government that its cuts to social security and other support for disabled people had caused “a human catastrophe” (see separate story).

Another CRPD member, Stig Langvad, said members were “deeply concerned” by the government’s failure to implement the convention, and delivered a withering putdown, telling the UK delegation: “I could provide a long list of examples where the state party doesn’t live up to the convention. Unfortunately, the time is too limited.”

Among the DPOs that travelled to Geneva were representatives of Inclusion London, the Alliance for Inclusive Education, Disabled People Against Cuts (DPAC), Equal Lives, Black Triangle, Disability Rights UK, Inclusion Scotland and Disability Wales.

Source: UK faces UN examination: DPOs ‘delighted’ with exposure of government’s failings – Black Triangle Campaign