Archive by Author

Pledging to make things better in the NHS

24 Mar
NHS Expo in Manchester last month - Innovation in Health and Care

People with learning disabilities tell it like it is at the NHS Expo in Manchester last month

Malak

I went to the NHS England Health and Care Innovation Expo in Manchester last week.

 

 

Ace Man

Oh, what was that like?

 

 

 

 

Malak

It was really interesting. There were lots of people taking part. There were displays and speakers, workshops and cafes.

 

 

 

 

Annabel

Why were you there?

 

 

 

 

MalakI went with our organisation. We were networking, taking part in group discussions and doing presentations. Some of our group got filmed talking about the work we do about involvement, co-production and people with learning disabilities. There was an area called Speakers Corner where people could take part in discussions about making the NHS better. People were invited to make pledges about how they are going to do this.

 

 

 

 

Ace

What are pledges?

 

 

 

 

Malak

A pledge is a promise to do something. People could write a pledge on a flag about what they will do or write or draw on a graffiti wall to share good ideas.

 

 

 

 

Annabel

I can think of a few things I’d like the NHS to promise to change. What about accessibility when I go to the doctor or hospital. I’d like them to pledge to make reception counters lower for people and think of people who are wheelchair users.

 

 

 

 

Ace

I’d like them to pledge to make the touch screen easier to use at the doctors – I can’t use it easily.

 

 

 

Kick Ass Maracas

I’d like them to make sure all the NHS staff get disability awareness training. They should learn about better communication and how to listen properly. They need to understand that everyone has different communication needs.

 

 

 

 

Ace Man

I want to be treated as a person – not just seen as my disability.

 

 

 

 

Malak

I think it would be good if they thought about giving people accessible information when they need it. You need easy-read information when you go home to help you with taking your medicine, as well as at the doctors.

 

 

 

 

Annabel

These are all things health and social care workers need to think about changing if they want the NHS to be people-centred. They need to listen to people with disabilities.

 

 

 

 

Ace Man

Pledges are good but you have to carry them out. It’s like the A Team. We have all pledged to raise awareness about accessibility and disability issues and we do it!

Personal Budgets – What does it mean?

10 Feb

Ace Man

I’ve been hearing a lot about Personal Budgets, what does this mean?

 

Annabel

Oh, I am just trying to understand that myself as everything is changing.  But it’s about getting money for the care and support I need.

 

 

Malak

I’ve heard it’s supposed to give us more choice and control so we can have a better quality of life – but I only know one person with learning disabilities who has a Personal Budget.

 

 

KA Maracas

Yes, but how is that different from Direct Payments? Are you still getting the money that you need?

 

 

Annabel

Yes I am but I can decide how to use it. It’s about me being at the centre of my care. I can decide what care I want and who’s going to provide that support and care. It’s personal to each person as everyone is different.

 

 

Ace

But why is that better?

 

 

Malak

It’s better because when services are planned they ask the person that who needs them what they want. Also health care and social care professionals are going to work together better to help each person.

 

 

Annabel

I think we might be able to use our Personal Budgets to get more involved in community life, which would be great, because I know lots of people with learning disabilities don’t feel included in their communities.

 

 

Ace

But how are we going to find out about Personal Budgets so that we understand what it is and know what help and support is available? I’ve never seen any easy read information about Personal Budgets.

 

 

Kick Ass Maracas

Neither have I. We need information about Personal Budgets that has pictures and easy words. This would help us to get the right information without relying on our social worker or our support worker to get it for us. Videos would help us to understand too. Then we’d have more power!

 

 

Ace Man

Has it made a difference for you, Annabel?

 

 

Annabel

Yes, I can choose what support I get and also change it to something else when my health changes. I have more freedom to get around because my transport fits round me rather than the timetable of the provider. This make me feel much happier because I am more independent.

 

 

KA Maracas

We will just have to see how it works out for different people as it’s a lot of changes to services and people are a bit worried about how it’s going to work for them.

 

 

Malak

I think we will need good support to understand the changes and how they will affect us. We need Peer to Peer support and training from other people with learning disabilities to help us understand what our rights are, what Personal Budgets are, how we get them and what to do if things go wrong.

 

 

Annabel

Oh, Peer to Peer and easy read information, wouldn’t that be great. I can feel the power!

 

 

Co-production works!

17 Dec

KA Maracas

Hey Annabel, I’ve been thinking about Co-production a lot since we talked about it and it reminded me about my cousin Mary. She has learning disabilities and had a hard time a few years back. She had three kids and lived in a really rough area where there were problems with drugs and poverty. She didn’t get the support she needed and ended up losing her kids. She was devastated.

 

Annabel

 

That’s sad. So what happened?

 

 

 

KA Maracas

She got involved with an organisation called CHANGE who campaign for the rights of people with learning disabilities. They employed her as a co-worker on a project making an accessible book about pregnancy and birth. She was very happy to have a proper paid job especially doing work that was helping people with learning disabilities.

 

Annabel

 

That’s great.

 

 

 

Kick Ass Maracas

While she was working at CHANGE she was able to have enough money to get her own place and make positive changes in her life. She got pregnant again and when she left work she was able to keep her baby because she had made her life better and safer. She also knew that it was her right to get support to keep her child.

 

 

Annabel

That’s a really positive story about someone being involved in co-production and the difference it made to her life. We need to keep on pushing for change so people with learning disabilities can be employed in real jobs.

Co-production – what is it?

10 Dec

Kick Ass Maracas

I’m a bit fed up and angry with people not including us! Why are we never asked for our opinion?

 

 

Ace Man

Things need to change!

 

 

Annabel

I agree things can’t stay the same. But have you heard about co-production?

 

 

KA Maracas

No I haven’t – what is co-production?

 

 

Annabel

It means including people in a real way so they can be involved and have a say in things that affect them.

 

 

Malak

Oh, that sounds brilliant!

 

 

Annabel

It’s not just about helping make the decisions, it’s about being employed to make it happen. People with learning disabilities need to be employed in the services that affect their lives.

 

 

Kick Ass Maracas

That’s a great idea!

 

 

Ace

I’d like to be involved in that!

 

 

Malak

It would be hard work to change people’s attitudes but it would be worth it. If we were involved in this way, we could build our skills and get more confidence.

 

 

Ace Man

Services would become much better if we had a voice and involvement in creating them.

 

 

Annabel

That would help people change their attitudes. Then they might see what people with Disabilities CAN DO rather than just seeing what we CAN’T DO!

The Police and Crime Commissioner Elections

13 Nov
Police and Crime Commissioner Elections - November 15th 2012

Who will you vote for?

My name is Malak

 

 

Malak says:

Have you heard about the Police and Crime Commissioner  elections?

                                                             

        

Kick Ass Maracas

 

KA Maracas:

What is it about?   

 

          

                          Ace knows what is going on

 Ace says:

Police and Crime Commissioners are people who can be voted in to manage and check how the Police do their jobs.

 

Annabel - the boss

 

Annabel:

The elections will happen on 15 November in 41 areas across England and Wales (but not London) Each area will have one Police and Crime Commissioner.

why should we bother to vote?

 

 Why is it important and why should we bother to vote?

 

 

It is important

 

It’s important because each person who might be elected has different ideas about things.

 

 

Choose someone who supports equal rights

 

So it is important to choose the person who supports equal rights, disability rights, women’s issues and knows about disability hate crime.

 

 Your vote will make a difference

So it’s important to vote because your vote will make a difference. To find out more about the people in your area you can vote for, go to this website:

www.choosemypcc.org.uk

or you can telephone  0800 1070708  for more information.

Police & Crime Commissioner Elections to be held on Thursday 15th November

In Memory of Fiona Pilkington and Frankie Hardwick

29 Oct

 

Fiona Pilkington and her daughter Frankie Hardwick
Fiona Pilkington and her daughter Frankie Hardwick

Annabel

On the 23rd October 2012 it was a sad day because five years ago on that date mother and daughter, Fiona Pilkington and Frankie Hardwick, killed themselves.

 

 

Malak

They killed themselves because they were fed up with the years of bullying they went through. No one helped them, not even the police. They tried to get help, they phoned the police 30 times but they didn’t listen.

 

Ace Man

 

If the police had helped them and stopped the bullies they would be alive now and maybe they might read our blog!

 

 

Kick Ass Maracas

The Equality and Human Rights Commission is a group whose job it is to make Britain more equal and to speak up for disabled people. Last year they did a report called ‘Hidden in Plain Sight ‘about disability hate crime. On the 23rd October they put a new report called ‘Out in the Open’. This one is all about what should be done about disability hate crime and you can see it on their website:

EHRC – Inquiry into disability-related harassment

 

Malak 

I think we should make October 23rd a special day to remember the Pilkingtons and other victims of disability hate crime. It could also be a day when we get disabled people to speak up about bullying and for professionals to learn more about how they can do a better job of helping. Look at the report for more ideas about what professionals and groups can do to improve things.

 

kick ass maracas SPEAKS!

 

Disability Hate Crime – Stop It!

 

 

 

The A-Team

The A-TEAM

 

 

 

Report it to sort it!

Are racism and abuse acceptable in football?

30 Jul
Chelsea captain John Terry is accused of racially abusing Anton Ferdinand in October 2011

Chelsea captain John Terry (right) is accused of racially abusing Anton Ferdinand (centre) during an October 2011 match at Loftus Road

 
Ace


Footballer John Terry has been in court accused of racially abusing fellow footballer Anton Ferdinand. Ferdinand had complained that Terry had called him “a black c…”

Malak

 


Some people said that it was usual during football that there was swearing. But the judge cleared Terry of the charges because he said there wasn’t enough evidence that he had been racist.

Anton Ferdinand gives evidence against John Terry in court

Anton Ferdinand gives evidence against John Terry in court

KickAss Maracas

 


I think Terry should have been charged and struck off the team for saying racist things! I think racism in football should be taken very seriously and dealt with so that players don’t have to put up with it. Any kind of racism, swearing, or verbal abuse shouldn’t be allowed.

Annabel

 


It shouldn’t matter if players are black or white – everybody should be treated equally. Even though Terry was let off the serious charges he has been stopped from being the England captain.  

Disabled people stop the traffic in protest!

13 Feb
Disabled people stop the traffic in London's Oxford Circus (28-01-2012) in protest of the governments cuts to welfare benefits
Disabled people stop the traffic in London’s Oxford Circus, 28th January 2012

 Ace is over the moon


Last Saturday I went to London with Annabel to join in an action about the cuts.

 

Annabel asks what a Power Changer is

 


It was a demonstration against the cuts to disability benefits.  The cuts discriminate against disabled people.  We chained ourselves in a line across the road to stop the traffic.

Ace chained himself to other disabled people and they stretched across the road


We wanted to make people in Britain realise that the cuts are wrong and disabled people are suffering.

 

 

KickAss Maracas says it's really good to see disabled people being strong, clever and having disability pride.


I saw it on the news. What the government is doing makes me mad.  But it was really good to see disabled people being really strong, clever and having disability pride.
 

Malak says It was great to see disabled people speaking up for our rights. You can watch it on the Guardian website.


I watched a film about it on the internet.  It was great to see disabled people speaking up for our rights.  You can watch it on the Guardian website: click here.

Bullies found guilty of murder in Stephen Lawrence case

13 Feb
(From left) Stephen Lawrence, Gary Dobson and David Norris

(From left) Stephen Lawrence, Gary Dobson and David Norris

 
 
Malak


Over the holidays the court case about Stephen Lawrence has finished. We have written about this in our blog last June and November.
The bullies were in the gang who killed Stephen Lawrence and have been found guilty of murder and sent to prison.


 They are called Gary Dobson and David Norris and they will be in prison for a long time.  Some people think they should be in prison for a much longer time because it was such a terrible crime.

  Kick Ass Maracas


Even though this is a sad story, the one good thing is that it has got a lot of people in Britain talking about racism and what we can do about it.

  

Ace


I hope that this will help Duwayne, his family and the Lawrence family to move on.  It has been very hard for them to lose Stephen but now there has been some justice for his death.

Leeds OAP Tied Up and Robbed

8 Aug

Annabel is sickened

Annabel says:


It is sickening what has happened to Mr Watson in Leeds. He was tricked on the doorstep and pushed inside his own home by people he didn’t know. He was tied up whilst the intruders went through his house and wrecked it and robbed him.

Malak

Malak says:


It was brave of Mr Watson to raise the alarm, by calling a neighbour and his son. The neighbour called the police.

  

Ace

Ace says:  


I hope the police find these men with the descriptions from Mr Watson. 

                                     

KA gives a warning

 KA says:


Never, never open the door to people without any ID or to people you don’t know - this can lead to you being hurt or your home being burgled.

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