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Inclusion? Here’s how!

7 Apr

We're going to an NHS Citizen Design Workshop!



Hey gang, there’s an event I’m going to be involved in next week. It’s the NHS Citizen Design Workshop.



Ace Man


What’s that about?




The NHS are changing how they do things and how they plan new ways of working. They want ordinary people to be involved and have a voice about how to do this.


Kick Ass Maracas

How can they give people a voice and include everyone? Usually we’re not included and decisions are made about us or for us without asking us.



Yes usually everything is in jargon and we can’t understand what’s going on in meetings and at conferences. Yeah and things are always too long and so boring! I hate meetings and conferences.



Yes and quite often there aren’t many people with learning disabilities at these events because it’s very hard to join in. Sometimes the venues aren’t very wheelchair friendly either.



Well I’m going along to try to help them try and understand how to make it more inclusive. What do you all think would make it easier for you to be involved?



Well they need to think about how they give information to people. Lots more people could be involved if they made their information easy-read and with pictures to support the words. It would help to have information in easy-read before the event so we know what it’s about and what will happen.


KA Maracas

They definitely need to stop using jargon! It would be great to go to a conference where the presentations were done as key points and made clear and simple.


Ace Man

It would help if people were asked to speak more slowly as well. It would be less boring if there were more breaks so you had time to understand the information.



If they want people to be included and have a voice then they need to think in a person centred way and that means being flexible to people’s needs.


A-team members


We have a lot to offer because our experience comes from the heart and it’s time we were included and had a voice!


How was your Christmas?

20 Jan

KA Maracas

Did you have a nice Christmas?




No. I was on my own and I felt a bit lonely.



Kick Ass Maracas

Sorry to hear that. Do you not spend it with your family?





They all live far away and anyway I don’t really get on with them.




It was hard for me too – it was my first Christmas without my mum and I miss her lots.



That’s sad for you. Everyone remembers loved ones they have lost at this time of year.



Kick Ass Maracas

Yes, and it is hard because everyone expects you to be happy. I found it difficult at Christmas-time because my usual support group has a break.




Wouldn’t it be great if there were places where you could get support and meet people who are also struggling?




That’s a good idea. I’m lucky that I live in a community where neighbours check on each other. My neighbour bought small gifts for the people who were on their own.




It would have been nice if I’d had somewhere to go to share a Christmas meal.



KA Maracas

My family like to do things for other people at Christmas. We helped at a local soup kitchen for homeless people.




Ace Man

That’s great. People need to be more sharing and generous and think about other people at Christmas, not just their own families.




Kick Ass Maracas

We can get involved in things happening to help others who are struggling in our community. That can help us to be happy too.




Shall we find out what’s happening in the community and all get involved next Christmas?




KickAss, Ace Man and Annabel from the A-Team

 Yes, great idea!

A Judge says that a man with Learning Disabilities is to be sterilised

3 Sep

Malak has heard that a man with learning disabilities is going to be sterilisedMalak

Did you hear about the story in the news where a judge said that a man with learning disabilities is to be sterilised.





Annabel has also heard the news about the man being sterilisedAnnabel

Yes, I heard that.  He is a 36 year old man with learning disabilities who is from the Midlands.  He is in a long term relationship with a woman who also has learning disabilities. They love each other very much and had a son together in 2010.




KA says the man did not want to have any more children because it is too hard for him and his girlfriend to look after themKickAss Maracas

The man said that he did not want any more children as he would find it too stressful and that having a child has already been hard for him, and his girlfriend and their families to cope with.





The man is able to give consent to have sex but isn’t able to make decisions around using contraception.  This meant that the case had to go to a high court to make sure a fair decision could be made about whether the man should be sterilised or not as he was unable to make the decision himself.



Ace thinks cases like this should be looked at very carefully by the authorities so that decisions are made in the best interests of men like thisAce Man

It’s really important that cases like this are looked at very carefully so that decisions can be made in the best interests of the person it affects-in this case the  man.





Annabel points out that the situation affected the man's girlfriend and their families as well

It didn’t just affect the man; it affected his girlfriend and their families!




Ace explains that before the sterilisation, the two families had to keep the man and woman apart so they didnt get pregnant again. This was stressful all round.

Their families got involved and tried to keep the couple apart.  This was to make sure that they weren’t left alone together as they were really worried that the girlfriend might fall pregnant again.  This was a difficult thing to do and was very upsetting for the couple to be separated.




This really screwed up the couple's sexlife

It really affected the man’s independence as it meant that he wasn’t able to see his girlfriend alone and took away the couples right to have a loving relationship.




Now the couple can see each other without worrying about having another baby that they found too hard to look after

I agree and I think that in this case it was good that judge decided that the man should be sterilised as it meant that the couple could now have a happy, loving relationship without the worry of the girlfriend falling pregnant again.




Annabel thinks this is better than sterilising someone without their consent

It’s good the case went to court as we don’t want to go back to the days where people don’t get to decide themselves and are sterilised without their consent!

Will Disabled People be worse off? Changing DLA to PIP

12 Mar
Disability Living Allowance Demonstration

Disability Living Allowance Demonstration

Ace is worried


I am worried about PIP and how it will affect me and my family. I don’t know why they are changing DLA – I wish they would leave it as it is.

Malak is frightened about going for a DLA assessment

 ear1sml  I am frightened of having to go for a new assessment. Being asked lots of questions puts me under pressure and makes me anxious.

It's another attack on disabled people

 ear1sml  It feels like another attack on Disabled People and the cuts in our benefits. I don’t think they asked Disabled People to give their views on the changes. They don’t listen to us and our experiences.

We have to fight against the cuts

ear1sml  I’m worried that my means of getting out and about will be taken away and I’ll be stuck in the home, like a prisoner. We have to fight against being made poorer and not having a fair chance. We have to show how this affects our equal rights.

Abuse by Jimmy Savile – What a terrible story!

20 Nov
jimmy savile - child abuser

Jimmy Savile in his favourite t-shirt

Jimmy Savile - just how did he get away with it?

Jimmy Savile was a star but he did bad things. He targeted children and young people, both men and women. He sexually abused them, this means he was touching them on their private parts and raped them or forced them to have sex.

why didnt anybody stop jimmy savile whilst he was alive?


I am very angry and upset about this, how did he get away with it?               



Jimmy Savile had friends who also abused people and they all kept the secret together



Because he had friends in high places who covered it up.                         


the truth about jimmy savile and his cronies is disgusting       

I am disgusted about what happened, I feel sorry for the victims. It is hard for them to speak up because they are scarred and they don’t know who to tell. They might worry that their family and friends won’t believe them.       


it is hard for victims to speak up about abuse


A lot of the victims were disabled people, it is even harder for people who have learning disabilities to speak up about abuse.


  alot of the abuse happened in the 70s and 80s - people were'nt so aware of the threat in those days

Also a lot of the abuse happened in the 1970s and 1980s when people were not aware of sexual abuse as much as they are now.      


The UK needs to help abuse victims speak up more


 In Britain we need to get better at helping victims to speak up about abuse.      



Let all disabled people support each other to tell about abuse


Disabled people should support each other to tell about abuse and help the victims. So speak up by telling the police, support workers or call a helpline like:

Stop Hate Helpline:  0800 138 1625  (open all the time)

Victim Support:  0845 30 30 900  (open all the time)

Respond:  0808 808 0700  (Friday, 12.30 – 4.00pm)

Voice UK:  0808 8802 8686  (Monday –  Friday, 9am – 5pm)

Childline:  0800 1111  (open all the time)

Women’s Aid (National):  0808 2000 247  (open all the time)

Mencap Helpline:  0808 808 111

National Autistic Society Helpline:  0808 800 4104  (Monday  Friday 10am to 4pm),  minicom: 0845 070 4003

Winterbourne View – Stop the Bullying!

12 Nov
In the dock - the 11 Winterbourne View careworkers

GUILTY – 6 of the 11 Winterbourne View careworkers have been sent to jail










KickAss Maracas is not happy

I am very angry and upset about what I have heard on the news about Winterbourne View. Winterbourne View was a home for disabled people where the staff were bullies. They closed it down and now the bullies have been sent to jail – see BBC News 26th October.

The people who lived there have been moved to different places but a journalist has found out that many are still being bullied in the new places – BBC News 29th October.

Ace is pissed off


This is disgusting, I hate this so much that this is happening again. It will cause problems for the disabled people in their later life. I think they should stop all the bullying, it’s not fair and it’s not funny!


Annabel annoyed big time


It is wrong, professionals should step in and stop this as soon as it happens.


Malak is fed up with all the bullying that goes on


A lot of bullying is going on, it is getting worse and the bullies are getting away with it!



Dont put up with bullying! Report it to sort it!

Many disabled people get worried and frightened when they hear these stories in the news. They might think that this will happen to them if they have to live in a home.

If you are being bullied ring the police straightaway, we say:  

Report it to Sort it!




One Olympics for everyone!

25 Sep
The London Paralympics 2012

The London Paralympics 2012

kick ass maracas SPEAKS!

I’ve been watching the Paralympics and it’s been great to see all those sporty disabled people showing the country how good they are!


 Annabel went to see the wheelchair racing

I went to see the wheelchair racing, it’s been so exciting!


Hurricane Hannah Cockroft

‘Hurricane’ Hannah Cockroft

Malak says ONE OLYMPICS FOR ALL - disabled and none-disabled alike

Yes it’s been great but I think there should be just one Olympics – lets join them together and then we can all join in!


Equal rights for all!


That’s a brilliant idea! Equal rights means we all work and play together. Everyone can have a sporting chance to enjoy life and sports – it’s our human rights!

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