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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!

 
 

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Inclusion? Here’s how!

7 Apr

We're going to an NHS Citizen Design Workshop!

Malak

 

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?

 

 
 
 

Malak

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.

 
 

Ace

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.

 
 

Annabel

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.

 

Malak

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?

 
 

Annabel

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.

 
 

Annabel

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!

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!

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

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