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Beyond Barriers – Give disabled people a fair deal in the workplace!

29 Apr

Annabel
 

Hey gang, did you know people have been campaigning about ESA?

 
 
 
Malak
 

What’s ESA?

 
 
 
 
Kick Ass Maracas

ESA stands for Employment and Support Allowance. It’s a type of benefit for people who find it harder to get a job because they have a disability or a problem with their health that they might have for a long time.

 
Annabel

It used to be two separate benefits called Incapacity Benefit and Income Support, but now they are both part of ESA.

 
 
Ace
 

What is the campaign about?

 
 
 
 
Annabel

The Spartacus Network are a group of people with disabilities who are campaigning about disability benefit. They have made a report called ‘Beyond Barriers’.

Malak
 
 

What does the report say?

 
 
 
 
Annabel

It says that people have a lack of support. Did you know only 5% of people on the work programme have actually found work?

 
 
Ace

They have been accused of picking the best people for jobs and other people, including people with disabilities, are being left behind and forgotten about with little or no contact.

 
 
Kick Ass Maracas
 

Another problem is that non-disabled work places are not too friendly for people with long term health conditions.

 
 
 
Annabel

And disabled people with similar abilities and qualifications to non-disabled people are less likely to be in work. They are also paid less and more likely to live in poverty. They also face a lot of discrimination when looking for work!

 
Ace

I’ve had experience of that, people talk down to me, they think disabled people don’t matter, they think that they should have all the power.

 
 
Kick Ass Maracas

I used to work in a workshop. My manager complained about my work a lot and I only got paid 50p for all of my hard work!

 
 
Malak

Did you know that in the 21st Century it is possible to do a lot more? Like flexible working and giving people more support to do their job.

 
 
Annabel
 

Information needs to be accessible and all in one place.

 
 
 
Ace
 

We also need that accessible information in all workplaces.

 
 
 
Kick Ass Maracas
 

We need more places like CHANGE whose business is to ensure people with learning disabilities are co-working together!

 
A-team members
 

How can WE get involved in the campaign?

 
 
 
Annabel

You can go on Twitter or Facebook and join in the campaign using #BeyondBarriers and call for a better deal for people with disabilities!

 
 

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!

 

 

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