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Bring back our girls!

2 Jun

#Bringbackourgirls - protest banners made by people with learning disabilities at CHANGE

 

Ace

Hey gang, have you heard that over 200 school girls were kidnapped in Nigeria in April by a terrorist group called Boko Haram?

 

 

Annabel

What is a terrorist?

 

 

 

 

Kick Ass Maracas

Terrorists are people who may hurt other people to get their own way. They may use violence to force other people to do what they want.

 

 

 

Malak

They came in the night, we do not really really know how they did it, but they took the girls.

 

 

 

Kick Ass Maracas

The girls were taken because Boko Haram think that girls should not go to school.

 

 

 

 

Annabel

We’ve heard that people know where the girls are being held but that they cannot get near to them. We are very worried about them, the girls may be scared and they may not be well.

 

 

 

Malak

We want to know what is being done to find the girls!

 

 

 

 

Ace

We want to show our support for the girls. They have already shown they have strength and courage – we must show that we have too.

 

 

 

 

Kick Ass Maracas

Everyone has the right to go to school. It is important that the girls have this right and that they are returned. We want our government to help bring back the girls and to tell us what they are doing!

 

 

 

Malak

How can we show our own support for the girls?

 

 

 

 

Annabel

You can go on Twitter or Facebook and join in the campaign using the hashtag #BringBackOurGirls and call for justice for the Nigerian School Girls!

 

 

KA Maracas

You could also make banners to show your support, like the volunteers at CHANGE.

 

 

 

 

#Bringbackourgirls banners made by CHANGE volunteers

#Bring back our girls banners made by CHANGE volunteers

A-team members

Together we can #BRING BACK OUR GIRLS!

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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!

 

 

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!

The Paralympics – 6 months later

26 Feb
Track event at London 2012 Paralympics

Track event at London 2012 Paralympics

Kick Ass Maracas

ear1sml

  I wonder if the attitudes of British people about Disabled People have changed since the Paralympics?

 

Malak

ear1sml

  I think it’s good that younger Disabled people will get more involved in sports because of the Paralympics. It is great to have role models like Ellie Simmonds – she’s a celebrity now!

Annabel

ear1sml But I would like to see lots of Disabled People as role models – like newsreaders, actors, musicians and people doing amazing work in everyday jobs.

KA Maracas

ear1sml

  If the Paralympics made people feel positive about Disabled people we need them to get behind us now – when Disabled people have lots of problems.

Aceman

ear1sml

  We hope less Disabled People will be bullied or suffer hate crime because of the Paralympics.

Disabled people across the country will have more opportunities to get involved in sport after Sport England announced 44 projects that will benefit from £10.2 million of National Lottery funding from its Inclusive Sport fund. The fund will help tackle the opportunity gap that sees one in six disabled adults playing sport regularly, compared to one in three non-disabled adults.

Have attitudes towards disabled people changed since the Paralympics?

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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