Friday 23 September 2016

UNCRPD Survey for DRUK


Disability Rights UK are running aseries of meetings around the countries to obtain feed-back from people with disabilities and their carers about the issues that concern us in order to feed into the United Nations's review of the application here of UNCRPD (which we ratified in June 2009).


Naturally many if not most of us cannot attend these sessions, so DRUK (logo below) have set up a two page survey: the first page is contact details; the second the issues each of us considers to be important. The answers here can be as short or as long as you require.



I have detailed my responses below, as this might prompt your own responses.



What are the priority issues that you believe should be included in our report to the UN Committee on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities?

i) financial support issues, especially removal of benefits from those with disabilities;
ii) accessibility issues (transport, buildings, websites, new products);
iii) onerous re-assessments (WCA/ESA/PIP) for those who are not going to ameliorate (based on dogma, not efficiency savings);
iv) excessive bureaucracy - need one system that can be used by NHS, social services & DWP;
v) countering anti-disability rhetoric & polemic - law to prevent MSM & politicos from inciting hatred; law to ensure balance of views on MSM, so that free speech is protected but not to the detriment of disabled & other minority groupings; jurisprudence system must take issues seriously & rigourously use appropriate laws for prosecustions & sentencing;
vi) independent ODI at arms-length from Govt., but given appropriate powers and funding to investigate disability issues both for the individuals concerned & whole of society;
vii) separation of disability issues from EHRC and re-establishment of a truly independent DRC (if indy ODI not poss), as the former has failed (as predicted) to rigorously pursue disability issues, but given appropriate powers and funding to investigate disability issues both for the individuals concerned & whole of society.

Only since approximately 2010 have I felt fearful of my own government & fellow countrymen. I used to regularly go out & about in my mobility-scooter, but after the co-alition govt. took power the politicos & MSM launched frequent attacks against disabled folk, with much press being given to "scroungers" and defrauders. I stopped going out in my scooter and sold it last year, as I received abuse every time I went out, from students at the local college and from traffic passing me on the main road. I am now on anti-anxiety medication. Strangers now (contrary to previous British reservedness) approach one and believe it their right to question one about one's condition, disabilities and right to receive social security payments.

i) Plenty of examples of hardship and even death due to DWP's sanctions régime have appeared in press, websites and via activist groups.
ii) The DDA was introduced in 1995, but still inaccessible buildings, road-crossings, & other structures are built. Local Authorities ought to be obliged to factor in access issues at the planning-approval stage, rather than the onus being on disabled folk to sue once a structure has been constructed.
iii) I have severe ME as defined by NICE and my NHS consultant. There is NO scientific evidence that folk in said category ameliorate. Yet DWP still re-assesses periodically. This is detrimental to my & many others' health, as stress pejorates our illness. The assessment régime is thus making us worse. This also wastes public money. There is already a clause that every benefit-recipient has to sign confirming that we will notify DWP of any amelioration/pejoration. A sytem based on trust would be much more cost-effective. Therefore one has to conclude that the system is deliberately antagonistic for dogmatic reasons.
iv) Forms have to be completed for every single agency, much of the information requested is the same. So the booklets (c. 40 pages so not mere forms) for ESA and PIP have much overlap; as do the ones for social services; then the care agencies want the same info again. I imagine that much of this info would also be useful for the NHS - reducing bed-blocking, ensuring continuity of care, etc.
v) There was some research done into bias in MSM - sure you know of it. However some mainstream TV channels still produce voyeuristic programming into the lives of folk dependent on social security.
There has been some evidence that the CPS and the courts are failing to use current laws, although the former recently announced an increase in the past year of prosecutions. Judges appear unwilling to use the law that permits extra sentencing where a disability hate aspect occurred.
vi) The ODI is a vassal of the DWP. I have covered on my own blog the annual failure of this department to support UN Enable's "International Day of Persons with Disabilities" and the pertinent issues raised each year ( ; ;
vii) The EHRC published a list of questions it wanted answered by the Govt. in 2014, nearly five-and-a-half years after UNCRPD was ratified by UK - in the meantime disabled folk were starving, commiting suicide and dying due to UK govt. policies ( I feel certain a dedicated DRC would have acted much faster seeing the toll of suffering my fellow disablies were experiencing.




Please do respond if you are able, as the more of us that do so, the better DRUK's response to the UN. Cheers!

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