Our Lives R 4 Living – Disabled People Fight Back

This is a new campaign led by Disabled People’s organisations to establish a right to Independent Living. A new Independent Living Bill is currently being debated in Parliament which outlines a rights based framework for Independent Living and also sets out rights for Disabled People living in residential care and issues around accessible housing and inclusive planning.This legislation is increasing important as local authorities are making their eligibility criteria tighter and tighter. This means that Disabled People are having their support packages cut or withdrawn all together. Often Disabled People are now having to rely on family and friends in order to do the most basic living tasks such as washing, dressing and eating.

From December 2006, all public authorities will have a duty to promote equality of opportunity for Disabled People. This is called the Disability Equality Duty. The duty requires authorities to publish a Disability Equality Scheme and Action Plan and involve Disabled People in the development of this. Authorities must also demonstrate that they are actively following the action plan, achieving outcomes and reviewing and revising the scheme.

We do not feel that Disabled People are being adequately involved in developing these schemes and action plans.

The Government are planning yet another change to the Benefits system. We are angry that Disabled People are having their benefits threatened which will affect their livelihood.

We are also very concerned that many Disabled People’s organisations are being forced to close due to cuts in funding. This goes against the government’s rhetoric that it wants Disabled People to be involved in developing and providing services to other Disabled People.

We need as many Disabled People to support our campaign and hopefully come along to our launch event on Saturday September 2nd. We will be meeting at 12.30 at the Liberty Festival in front of Admirality Arch at the entrance to St James Park close to Trafalgar Square. Please come and join us if you can. We will be dressed in rags and chains to show that it is very difficult to live independently because we do not have enough support to have freedom and choice.

We want make a big picture of the things that stop us being independent that we can show to people who make decision that affect our lives and need you to bring your stories with you to add to our picture.  We are suggesting something written or drawn on a piece of cloth about the size of a pillow case which we can add to a roll of cloth.

If you would like to know more about what we are doing or about what is happening on the 2nd September please contact Chris Hughes at Derbyshire Coalition for Inclusive Living on 01298 812535 /  01773 740246 chip.6361@virgin.net

Fighting fund – we will need money to help us with this campaign.  If anyone or any organisations would like to give some money to help please contact Hazel Peasley at Southampton Centre for Independent Living on 023 8020 2627 or hazel@southamptoncil.co.uk

If you can’t make it on the 2nd September contact us and we can talk to you about how you could support the campaign locally

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