• Article: May 17, 2016

    Disability Rights UK welcomes the Government's agreement to hold urgent talks with us and the Disability Consortium on the fairness of the current PIP moving around descriptors. The public offer was made by the DWP Minister during a House of Lords debate on 4 may 2016 where the Lords voted to accept the following motion proposed by Lady Thomas of Winchester: "That this House calls on Her Majesty's Government to hold urgent talks with Disability Rights UK and the Disability Benefits Consortium to identify a mobility criterion in the Personal Independence Payment "moving around" assessment which is fairer than the current 20 metre distance, in the light of the impact on reassessed disabled claimants and the resulting large number of successful appeals." You can read a transcript of the Lords debate Disability Rights UK says: "Motability has reported that, to date, 45% of scheme users - over 13,000 - who have been reassessed from DLA have lost their Motability cars. It tells us that the number of DLA claimants losing their scheme cars has risen from 100 per week this time last year to around 500 per week now. However, the situation is much worse than this as currently only around of third of disabled people who are eligible have chosen to join Motability - the remaining two thirds have not. On this basis, around 1,500 disabled people a week who receive the higher DLA mobility rate are not being awarded its PIP equivalent. This means they have no eligibility for the Motability Scheme and will lose at least £35 per week in benefit (£1,800 per year). The result is devastating on their independence and has resulted in loss of employment for some. Our preferred option would be that the enhanced rate of PIP be awarded to all those who now and in the future cannot reliably walk up to 50 metres. This would involve all those who have been awarded a standard mobility award being awarded instead the enhanced rate without any need for reassessment. Finally, while welcoming discussions with the Government, these need to be informed talks. We have recently had a Freedom of Information Act request refused by the DWP requesting figures on the number of DLA claimants that have lost the higher mobility component. This was refused on the grounds that "the information is intended for publication at a future date". Given the agreement for talks, we call on the Minister to publish detailed breakdowns of those not being awarded PIP enhanced mobility so that all discussions can be fully informed." See also Baroness Thomas: I'm not holding my breath for DWP changes to PIP - See more at: http://www.disabilityrightsuk.org/news/2016/may/govt-talks-dr-uk-and-dbc-pip-mobility-rules#sthash.9SLlIioZ.dpuf

  • Article: May 14, 2016

    Google has been given access to an estimated 1.6 million NHS patient records, it has been revealed.

    The data-sharing agreement, revealed by New Scientist, includes full names as well as patient histories.

    Google says it will use the data to develop an early warning system for patients at risk of developing acute kidney injuries.

  • Article: May 14, 2016

    Last week we've been spreading the message that being deaf or having hearing loss doesn't mean you can't realise your dreams.

    Thanks to everyone who's shared their inspiring story!

    Deaf Awareness Week has ended, but our work to make society more deaf aware continues. Together, we can change society's perceptions for good!

  • Article: May 13, 2016

    had such a lovely time last week. I got to be a grown-up, which doesn't happen very often, and it was so wonderful!

    Confused? Let me explain.

    As a severely disabled person there are many things I cannot do for myself. I can't walk. I can't get dressed by myself. I can't wash myself. I can't make a meal. I can't even make myself a cup of tea if I want one. I have to rely on someone else to do everything for me.

  • Article: May 13, 2016

    had such a lovely time last week. I got to be a grown-up, which doesn't happen very often, and it was so wonderful!

    Confused? Let me explain.

    As a severely disabled person there are many things I cannot do for myself. I can't walk. I can't get dressed by myself. I can't wash myself. I can't make a meal. I can't even make myself a cup of tea if I want one. I have to rely on someone else to do everything for me.

  • Article: May 12, 2016

    Children in care are too often missing out on treatment for mental health problems despite being four times more likely to experience them, say MPs.

    The Commons Education Committee says children fostered in England are sometimes denied treatment simply because they move placement too often.

    They should instead be given priority for mental health support, the committee says in a report.

  • Article: May 12, 2016

    Sanctions imposed on thousands of benefit claimants for not taking part in the DWP's so-called "back-to-work" schemes are unlawful, a court has ruled.

    Three Court of Appeal judges upheld an earlier decision by the High Court, potentially paving the way for millions in refunds to people who had their incomes cut while they were unemployed.

  • Article: May 12, 2016

    Liberal Democrats are to calling on the Government to hold an emergency summit with key disability groups into the growing crisis with PIP reassessments and Motability.

    Liberal Democrat Disability Champion, Baroness Celia Thomas has tabled a motion in the House of Lords calling on the Government to meet with representatives from Disability Rights UK and the Disability Benefits Consortium to discuss the need for changes to rules governing access to Motability cars wheelchairs, and scooters for disabled people.

    Changes to the Personal Independence Payments rules and the reassessments have meant that thousands of disabled people have already lost eligibility for a Motability vehicle, with many thousands set to join them in the coming months.

    The loss of Motability cars has had a significant impact on the ability of disabled people to live independent lives, including in some cases people no longer being able to travel to work, university courses or training.

    Commenting, Liberal Democrat peer Celia Thomas said:

    "The new Work and Pensions Secretary, Stephen Crabb, promised a more compassionate approach to benefits, but has so far ignored the damage that is being done to disability people's independence by the PIP reassessment process. He needs to start listening to those who understand the problems that losing a Motability vehicle are causing"

    "This isn't just about what benefits disabled people are getting. It is about the ability of working disabled people to travel to work, for those in rural areas to get to the shops, for disabled parents to take their kids to school. It is fundamental to their independence.

    "My motion, if accepted, will send a powerful message to the Government to come to the table to discuss the situation with those who know what's going on. Forcing people to hand back their cars not because they have got better but because the test has got harsher is both cruel and self-defeating. We need urgent action to solve this crisis."

  • Article: May 11, 2016

    It's been a while since I put my mind to a blog, but Rosie has been asking me to do one for a while, so here goes! As Rosie's blog has hit a major milestone of 100,000 visitors, I think now is a good as time as ever to go back to basics.

    Dyspraxia is a unique way of seeing the world and carrying out day to day tasks - and that is coming from someone who isn't diagnosed, although Rosie feels I have traits! I know life can be difficult with dyspraxia and every day is different someone can have good and bad days.

  • Article: May 11, 2016

    A documentary going behind the scenes of a Romeo and Juliet production featuring six Juliets with disabilities or differences will be broadcast on BBC4.

    Redefining Juliet follows performer Storme Toolis and her company as they produce Romeo and Juliet using a diverse group of performers in the lead female role.