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We can do proper jobs. Proper jobs means proper wages!

27 Oct

Ace Man

 

Have you heard about what the Welfare Minister, Lord Freud, has said about people with disabilities?

 

 
Kick Ass Maracas

 

What is it about?

 

 
 
 
Ace Man

 

 

He said that people with disabilities aren’t worth paying the minimum wage!

 

Annabel

 

 

That isn’t right!

 
 
 
Malak

 

It isn’t right but lots of people agree with him – he is just the first one to say it. They are scared to employ people with disabilities.

 

Kick Ass Maracas

 

They think it will be more expensive for them. They will have to make their buildings accessible and find people to help their disabled staff with their work.

 

 

Ace Man

 

Organisations think that disabled people can’t do the same jobs as non-disabled people.

 

 

Malak

 

That just isn’t realistic. If you make a safe environment and provide communication support, people can do exactly the same jobs as their non-disabled colleagues.

 

Annabel

 

In fact, research has shown that people with disabilities are more loyal, and less likely to change their jobs.

 

 

Malak

 

 

People with disabilities bring different skills and experience to the workplace.

 

 

 

Annabel

Yes they do. I have a physical disability and I know how to manage it each day to prioritise the things I need to do to take into account my disability. This is a skill that I can transfer into the workplace to make sure the work gets done at the right time.

 

Ace Man

 

We are experts by experience. More organisations should use the co-working model. When disabled and non-disabled people work together to share their skills and knowledge, it is a powerful; model! I live with a disability every day, we can learn skills from each other.

 

Malak

 

This isn’t difficult to do in all workplaces and means the work is better quality and inclusive!

 

 

Annabel

 

Lord Freud should come and spend some time with people with disabilities in the workplace and see just what they are worth!

 

 

The A-Team

We would like Lord Freud to come and visit us at CHANGE and show him the excellent work that we do every day. We work with governments and organisations like NHS England to make life better for people with disabilities.

People shouldn’t be scared about employing people with disabilities, we work just as hard and do just as good a job – we are just like you!

Proper jobs means proper wages!

Proper jobs means proper wages!

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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!

 
 

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 – 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!

Should hidden cameras be put in care homes?

4 Nov
Malak

Malak

Have you heard that the Care Quality Commission (CQC) are thinking of putting hidden cameras into care homes?

 

 

 

Annabel

Annabel

No I haven’t! Why would they do that?

 

 

 

 

Malak

There’s a lot of abuse and bullying goes on in care homes and the CQC want to stop it.

 

 

 

Annabel

Oh yes, I remember what was happening in that care home called Winterbourne View.

 

 

KA Maracas

KA Maracas

I’m not sure if cameras are a good idea.

 

 

 

 

Ace Man

Ace Man

But it would help get rid of the bullying and abuse and people would feel safer.

 

 

 

 

Kick Ass Maracas

Yes, but I wouldn’t want to be watched all the time in my own home. There would be no privacy!

 

 

 

 

Malak

I agree with you – I wouldn’t like that either!

 

 

 

 

Annabel

But how can people be kept safe from the bullies and abusers?

 

 

 

Ace Man

The CQC are also thinking of using ‘Mystery Shoppers’. This is where people go into the care home and pretend they are looking for care for a loved one.

They could get people to pretend to be a cleaner or a handyman too!

 

 

 

Annabel

That might work better because the care workers would be on their best behaviour if someone was looking to move someone there.

 

 

 

Ace

Why don’t they give everyone in the care home a secret emergency phone to use to get help.

 

 

 

Malak

This wouldn’t work because carers can take away things easily. And it’s hard to keep things secret or private when you depend on other people for help.

 

 

 

 

Annabel

Why don’t people who are being bullied just tell someone?

 

 

 

Malak

They might be frightened that the bullies will do worse things to them. They may be frightened to get into trouble and feel it is their fault somehow. They might not have anyone to tell. Also people who have told about bullying and abuse sometimes haven’t been believed.

 

 

 

Annabel

That’s horrible! It’s awful that people can’t feel safe and cared for in their own home.

 

 

 

KA Maracas

Anything they do such as cameras or mystery shoppers needs to be balanced against peoples’ right to privacy.

 

 

 

Malak

Yes that’s important. I think the people who live in care homes need to be asked what they think about it before anything gets decided.

 

 

 

Kick Ass Maracas

The staff need to be trained by people with learning disabilities!

 

 

 

 

Will Disabled People be worse off? Changing DLA to PIP

12 Mar
Disability Living Allowance Demonstration

Disability Living Allowance Demonstration

Ace is worried

ear1sml 

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.

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