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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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How was your Christmas?

20 Jan

KA Maracas

Did you have a nice Christmas?

 

 

Malak

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?

 

 

 

Malak

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

 

 

Annabel

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

 

Ace

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.

 

 

Malak

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

 

 

Annabel

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.

 

 

Malak

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.

 

 

Malak

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!

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!

 

 

 

 

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

Disabled people want better services in their care homes!

31 Jul

Malak

  The Care Quality Commission have just finished a report all about the care of disabled people.

This is because they have been looking into it since the bad stories about Winterbourne View. You can find out more about this in the CHANGE statement.

This new report says that things aren’t as bad as they were in Winterbourne View but that disabled people are not getting a good service.

KickAss Maracas

  I read the report. It says people are not being treated as individuals. Another way of saying this is that disabled people are not being given a chance to choos and say what they want.

The next thing they found out is that disabled people are staying too long in Assessment Centres (the places where professionals will find out how to help the disabled person).

Ace

  The next thing they found out is that the restraint is not good and is hurting them. This is when someone might hurt themselves or someone else adn restraint is a way to stop them from doing this.

The other thing they found is that disabled people are bored.

Annabel

  I think they should talk to disabled people, ask them their views and listen to them and take on what they say.

The assessments are taking too long so they need to do a faster and better job.

Professionals need to learn how to do restraint in a better and safer way.

I’m upset that people are bored – they should be put on more activities and find more ways to help people to get out into the community. Things like going on day trips, going to the cinema, to the gym, to the park or to a restaurant.

ace

 

  It’s bad that disabled people are not being treated fairly. I think we should get them (the CQC) to do a better job and then go back and see if things are better.

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.

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