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As the International Day of Disabled People (3rd December) dawns upon us, I thought I would honour this auspicious occasion by writing a blog about when a small but select group of us from SPECTRUM went to London to a Disabled People’s Summit. This group consisted of Berni Vincent from the Community Navigator Team, student social worker Paula Pace, Ross Smith from the Journey to Employment project and, of course, yours truly from the membership and information side of the fence. This event was hosted by DPAC (Disabled People Against the Cuts) and The People’s Assembly. I will be writing about the Independent Living workshop Berni and I attended as space is limited and I thought this would be the topic most people would be interested in.
Travel to the venue was trouble-free, with all trains/taxis etc behaving themselves in spite of the inclement weather. The event was very well-attended, with approximately 200 attendees from Bedford, to the Midlands, to Southampton and London.
The day started with an opening plenary from John McDonnell, the Shadow Chancellor, via video clip and the excellent Bob Williams-Findlay, a well-known contributor to the Disability Arts and Cultural movement and finally, Ellen Clifford from DPAC. This was followed by 7 workshops, covering accessible transport, employment, inclusive education, independent living, mental health, social security and violence and abuse against Deaf and Disabled People. You could choose which workshop you wished to attend, but as there were so many interesting topics to choose from, we had problems deciding which ones we wanted to go to! Berni and I headed off to the Independent Living workshop, with Ross going to the Employment workshop. We started off with introductions and sharing what we thought the problems were and what was essential to Independent Living. The main consensus was that the issues to be tackled were:
-cuts to people’s support packages
– the closure of the Independent Living Fund (ILF)
– cuts to social care generally
– the institutionalisation of people with Mental Health issues
– Local Authorities failing to take responsibility for the impact of the cuts.
– Inaccessibility of consultation information
Many people spoke passionately and eloquently about the issues they were facing and the anger and frustration they felt was palpable. It seemed to many of us that the concept of Independent Living has been shifting over the last 8 years so that it now seems to apply to a privileged few in that many people are having to give up their care as they cannot afford to pay for it at the same time as essential services are being cut and withdrawn. The second half of the workshop was devoted to outlining what potential solutions we could come up with to tackle these problems and reclaim the idea of Independent Living.
The solutions we came up with were:
– the right to Independent Living to be enshrined in law
– an Independent Living Service free at the point of service, funded by direct taxation and run by Disabled People
– the national reintroduction of the Independent Living Fund (ILF)
– Independent Living for ALL
– hold politicians to account
– parity of esteem between visible disabilities and impairments and Mental Health and Hidden Impairments
– accessible housing at affordable prices
– co-production with Disabled People at every level
– access to advocacy for Disabled People
– Disabled People setting the “Gold Standard” for Independent Living in terms of information and housing and forcing the government to accept it
-Getting people out of institutions and back into their communities
After lunch and networking, there were more workshops and feedback from the day, before attendees departed for their home destinations, full of enthusiasm for the long fight ahead. There will be a follow-up conference in Brixton on 25th November which will flesh out what a National Independent Living Service will look like and how this can be achieved.
I often hear it said how people no longer have any fight left in them to resist what is happening, but it is an encouraging sign that I met many Disabled People that day who are more than up for the challenge and it will certainly be interesting to keep an eye on future developments as they unfold.
Ian Loynes was recently interviewed by Solent University Media Studies student, Maddie – on the subject of Hate Crime as part of her Solent News Report on the subject
Great video news story, talks about the important role of 3rd Party Hate Crime Reporting Centres, which SPECTRUM is pleased to be one.
Click on the link below to have a look:
SPECTRUM does newsletter differently – why not take a look?
This edition has the following Diverse range of featured articles:
- Assistive technology
- Looking forward to 2018
- Black History Month
- UN calls austerity ‘A human catastrophe’
Spotlight on our projects:
- Information & Membership Development Officer
- Journey to Employment
- How Direct Payments changed my life
- Community Navigator Team
And TWO (Yes 2) articles from our resident Marxist:
- Questions some people feel acceptable to ask
- Food glorious food
At our AGM on the 21st October, we held a 1 hour session on Hate Crime awareness which includes the following highlights:
- Key Note presentation by Michael Lane: Police & Crime Commissioner for Hampshire, Isle of Wight, Portsmouth & Southampton
- What is Hate Crime? The role of 3rd Party Hate Crime Reporting CentresAhmed Sasso. Diverse Community Engagement Officer – Hampshire Police
- Question Time Panel
- Demonstration of the new Hate Crime App (Available on iPad and Android devices)
35 The Avenue, Southampton SO17 1XN
Contact: Michael Salmon
Area of experience / Expertise: LGBT Youth
Suite 1, Office 3, Mitchell House, Brook Avenue, Warsash. Southampton. SO31 9HP
Area of experience / Expertise:Gender Identity
St Mary St, Southampton SO14 1AR
Contact: Gemma Limburn
2 James St, Southampton SO14 1PJ
Contacts: Admir Selimovic, Mike Brown
Area of experience / Expertise: Asylum, immigration, ESOL
St. Edmund’s Lodge, The Avenue, Southampton, SO17 1XJ
Contact: Dave Adcock
Area of experience / Expertise: Migrants/EU (Polish)
Muslim Council of Southampton
Ropewalk Centre, 53 Derby Road, Southampton. SO14 0DJ
Contact: Dr Parvin Damani
Contact: Raheem Ahmed
Muslim Women’s Network
Ropewalk Centre, 53 Derby Road, Southampton. SO14 0DJ
Contact: Dr Parvin Damani
13-14 High St, Southampton SO14 2DF
Contact: Crystal Hawkhead
Southampton University hospital
Trust Management Offices, Mailpoint 18, Southampton General Hospital, Tremona Road, Southampton. SO16 6YD.
Phone:023 8120 4745
Contact: Gemma Genco
Southampton Voluntary Services
Voluntary Action Centre/Kingsland Sq/St. Mary Street, Southampton SO14 1NW.
Phone:023 8022 8291.
Also at: Shopmobility service which is based at 7 Castle Way Southampton, Phone 023 8063 1263
Contact: Jo Ash
Contact: Rob Kurn
Area of experience / Expertise: Umbrella body for local voluntary and community groups in Southampton
SPECTRUM Centre for Independent Living
Unity 12, 9-19 Rose Road, SOUTHAMPTON. SO14 6TE.
Telephone: 023 8033 0982
Contact: Ian Loynes
Contact: Lesley Long-Price
Area of experience / Expertise: Disabled People (any impairment)
Stepacross, 3rd Age Centre & City of Sanctuary Southampton
11 Cranbury Terrace, Southampton SO14 0LH
Contact: Stephen Press
Area of experience / Expertise: Support for local charities, community groups, Asylum + small business start-ups
Compton Walk, Southampton SO14 0BH
Contact: Nick Linder
Area of experience / Expertise: Gay nightclub
The London Hotel
Oxford St, Southampton SO14 3DJ
Contact: David Riley Cole
Area of experience / Expertise: Gay pub (Trans)
The United Voices of African Associations (TUVAA)
53 Derby Rd, Southampton SO14 0DJ
Contact: Abdoulie Sanneh
Area of experience / Expertise: Race/Religion. Umbrella organisation for African groups
West Itchen Community Trust
Ropewalk Community Centre, 53 Derby Rd, Southampton SO14 0DJ.
Contact: Alex Ivancevic
Contact: Gulzar Sharif
Contact: Richard Harwood
Area of experience / Expertise: General (inner city minority communities)
YMCA Newtown Youth & Community Centre, Graham Road, Southampton SO14 0AW
Tel: 02380 33 00 07
Contact: Andrew Simpson
Contact: Sharlien Kennedy
Contact: Billie Murphy
Area of experience / Expertise: Works with youths, regardless of race, religion or culture
- Would you like your business to increase its share of the ‘Purple Pound’- the £212BN purchasing power of Disabled People, and therefore increase your businesses performance, turnover and profits?
- Would you like to understand how to attract more Disabled Customers to your business?
- Would you like to attract and retain talented Disabled Employees?
- Is your business attractive to Disabled People? (who comprise 15% of the UK population)
SPECTRUM CIL invites you to a free event to help you find answers to the above questions, and discuss ways to improve customer throughput by up to 15%
According to the Harvard Business School, customers who have the best experiences spend 140% more than customers who say they had poor experiences. So, providing products and services that are inclusive, in an accessible environment for customers and enabling all employees to work to their full potential can help businesses thrive.
What we can do to help with Businesses and Employers
As an organisation entirely focused on Disabled People; our unique insight based directly on the lived experiences of Disabled People can help you to identify ways to increase your profits, unlocking Disabled People’s spending power in your business and increasing your customer base by up to 15%. We can also help you attract and retain talented Disabled staff and show you the benefits of a loyal, diverse and multi-talented workforce to maximising your productivity.
We offer consultancy and training on a wide range of issues for businesses and employers including:
- Making products and premises accessible for Disabled customers
- Effective marketing to Disabled People
- Accessible work environments, policies and working practices
- Support for Disabled employees and their managers
- Disability related provisions for providers of goods and services and employers required by the Equality Act
Want to find out more? Keep reading for booking details:
Comfortable about Disability?
Why Focusing on Disability Equality Makes Good Business Sense
- Date: Tuesday 7th November 2017
- Time: 2:30pm – 4:30pm
- Venue: Southampton City Council Office, Civic Centre Road, SO14 7LY
To register your place:
For further information:
Or to book your space via email: contact our training and consultancy team:
Gerry Zarb: Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Event organised by SPECTRUM, with the support of: