Seventeen months and counting

I have decided to do a blog about how much ILF means to me and what it supports me to do. This approach might seem egotistical but sometimes the personal can be the political.

i am one of the group 1 people which means I received ILF in 1988 after meeting Jane Campbell the champion of independent living. I will always remember hearing her speak at a big conference in London when she said “who wants to spend thirty minutes putting ones socks on when there are so many more exciting things to do”  she was of course referring to using the support of her PA.

I was introduced to ILF when my partner left me after 20 years. Nothing unusual in this you might say but I had no idea anything was wrong. This was made even worse by people continually telling me they didn’t believe me – probably because we were both crips and to most people this makes us a perfect match!

up till this time in my life I was not political but when I learnt first hand how bad services were for disabled people this soon changed.starting by joining small local groups to chairing national and European committees my politics grew from strength to strength – in disability politics I’m talking about.

Starting with my first day using social services home care, district nurses and the dreaded bath nurse it soon became very clear that this was not living it was merely just existing.





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Are we seeing the demise of the DLA?

Can I start by reiterating the fact that for those people who werent alive when Disablity Living Allowance was started or for that matter those who politicians who have conveniently forgotten – the DLA was originally designed for the extra costs of being a disabled person who is forced to live in an unaccessible society.  Having said that I fear that very soon the Local Authorities will demand that ILF is finished and the moneies will be pooled, resulting in the care component automatically being put in the pot.  This can have many other repercussions  – for example:

  • the Local Authorities are not obliged to ring fence monies for social care
  • we could find that peoples support package having been dumped together will result in a review which has then gives the LA the opportunity to decrease the package if the support is deemed unnecessary
  • also if the ILF and Direct Payment (Individual Budget) is pooled are we going to see whole new policies and monitoring systems?
  • how does this all fit with the Personalisation Agenda?
  • in line with the BIG SOCIETY debate the ethos is all about changing from public provision to provide/voluntary provision for unpoliticised disabled people this may be a way for providers to pesuade disabled people to move from paid support to voluntary support.  how will this fit in with Safeguarding of Vulnerable Adults? (even though the Independent Safeguarding Agency has been disbanded)
  • legislation and training of PAs, support workers or carers how does the money currently being spent fit in with the use of volkunteers i.e. Skills for care Diploma on social care

let hear your views

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Fighting together can make a difference!

Did anybody see the HM treasury website called “Spending Challenge”?  Through a united effort of disabled people using  this dreadful site has been closed, but not before some dreadful disablist comments were allowed to appear on this government site.  An example of which was “All disabled people should be steralised”.

I have today received a reply from the “correspondence team” of Maria Miller Minister for Disabled People to my letter about closure of the ILF for new entrants or any add ons for existing ones. Unfortunately I feel no more confident that this coalition has any idea of the affect on disabled people.

The Media continually refer to disabled people as scroungers and fraudsters and does anyone out there feel very vulnerable at this time?  It would be interesting to know from other people about any threats to their benefits, Direct Payments etc

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Never before has so much depended on so few!

Posted on 29th July by Anne Pridmore

This is my first attempt at blogging so please excuse my inadequacies. 

Having discussed my desire to have my own blog with a PA and telling her what it was going to be about her response was why dont you choose a subject thats fun and not disability related.  My reply to her was – if disabled people didnt campaign about social care and the state its in shes likely to have no job and I certainly will not be having fun!

Being a subsriber to Community Care certainly keeps you informed but doesnt always leave you in the best of spirits.  In todays issue we read that GSCC is no more and that the new minister for disabled tells Community Care that “disabled people are a priority for the coalition government”.

Lets start by looking at GSCC abolition – my first concern is that regulation of social workers will be undertaken by the Health Professional Council (HPC) – now many of us have had bad experiences of social workers but at least the were “supposed to work to a social model” but the HPC definitely work to a medical model.  Will this mean even more concentration being paid to viewing the discrimination we face due to our impairments rather than a society that refuses to allow us to take part?

The new Minister for disabled people whilst assuring us that the coalition government sees us as a priority whilst at the same time threatening many of our benefits.   Their announced plans to introduce medical assessments (often done by Doctors who do not even know us) for working age disability living allowance recipients and claimants.  It also intends (like Labour) to roll out the controversial work capability assessment to existing incapacity benefit claimants, surely this will lead to disabled people being said to be fit for work when quite clearly many are not.  Whilst I am on that subject can someone please tell me where all these jobs are coming from?

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