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Sesame Access are not only a disabled access lift manufacturer but we are also advocates for an accessible and inclusive society. We create products which change peoples lives and ensure they can access the buildings and places they WANT to go to and not just because it is accessible.

The news stories below demonstrate the struggles and obstacles the disability community face everyday. Raising awareness is essential to combat the issues and make a change. Educating society on these problems is the least we can do and implementing products which benefit the lives of wheelchair users is our passion.

9th-15th August

DWP and Royal Mail dispute cause of PIP delays

Disabled people seeking support through the benefits system appear to be facing extra delays of up to six weeks in dealing with their claims, but the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) and Royal Mail are disputing who is responsible.

Claim forms and documents provided by claimants as evidence are apparently being delayed by between four and six weeks before they are scanned onto the department’s IT system, on top of the time it takes to deal with the rest of the personal independence payment (PIP) review process.

Disability News Service (DNS) learned of the delays after being contacted by a disabled woman who had spoken to a call handler at a DWP PIP enquiry centre.

Caren Knight, from Norwich, had requested a PIP award review form because her health condition had worsened since her original claim in 2019, when she had been awarded the standard rate for both mobility and daily living.

She did not seek a mandatory reconsideration of that decision because she found the process “extremely difficult, humiliating and traumatic” and “simply felt exhausted and couldn’t face the process of interrogation and disbelief again”.

She experiences constant pain, mobility problems and extreme fatigue and due to her health worsening since 2019 she is now “housebound” and unable to care for herself, and on the four or five days a week she is restricted to bed, has to go without eating.

Full article here https://www.disabilitynewsserv...

BBC warned over ‘wildly irresponsible’ documentary on social media ‘fakery’ allegations

Disabled campaigners have warned that a BBC documentary about social media “influencers” allegedly faking their chronic illnesses, and BBC News coverage promoting the programme, were “wildly irresponsible” and risk inflaming the hostile environment they already face.

The documentary, Sickness and Lies, aimed to explore “accusations of fakery” that have been directed at some people with chronic illness with high profiles on social media.

Although there have been occasional, high-profile exposes of people who have invented conditions such as cancer for fame or financial reasons, the documentary – presented by a young disabled journalist – offered no evidence to suggest that these were anything but rare and isolated cases.

Despite the lack of evidence to back up its claims, a BBC News tweet promoting the programme asked: “Are some chronic illness influencers faking it on social media for fame and money?”

It also claimed that the programme (pictured) had discovered “a new condition”, Munchausen by internet, even though it was first described by a psychiatrist more than 20 years ago.

The BBC News tweet drew scores of angry responses from disabled people with chronic illnesses, who accused the BBC of spreading “harmful rhetoric” and “absolutely irresponsible” journalism.

Many said they already lived in fear of being told they were faking their health conditions, and exist under suspicion, particularly from the Department for Work and Pensions, and that the documentary would only make this worse.

The controversy comes less than a year after disabled campaigners wrote to the BBC to express the “outpouring of hurt and distress” over the decision to broadcast a disabled-led drama that mirrored years of deeply damaging government rhetoric about benefit cheats.

That letter also focused on the damage caused to members of the chronic illness community.

Disabled campaigners have now told Disability News Service (DNS) of their anger and frustration at the new documentary, particularly at an even more inflammatory five-minute version and the tweet sent out by BBC News.

Full article here https://www.disabilitynewsserv...

Former B&M worker settles disability discrimination case

A former B&M worker has settled a disability discrimination case against his past employer.

Harvey Spence, who has a learning disability, took a case alleging harassment against the retailer.

Mr Spence, from east Belfast, settled the case for £5,000 without his former employer admitting liability.

The 19-year-old claims he was excluded from conversations, subjected to derogatory remarks and constantly told he was useless.

Mr Spence said he worked for B&M for 18 months in a stock-filling role and had enjoyed the job.

However, he said that changed when he received "disability harassment" from some of his colleagues.

'I dreaded work'

He claims he was also told that no other company would want him because he was stupid and that everything about him was bad.

"I liked going out to work and earning my own money, it was important to me," he said.

"After a year in my job, some new people I worked with started being horrible to me and it became really hard and very upsetting. I dreaded going to work.

"Some of the people I worked with wouldn't speak to me at all and others would tell me to go away by saying horrible things, they used really bad language and called me names.

"I found it hard to stand up for myself and in the end I had to leave my job as it was making me feel very sick.

"I don't know if I'll ever be able to get another job because I'm really afraid other people will treat me like that again."

No option

Mr Spence's case was supported by the Equality Commission for Northern Ireland.

Dr Evelyn Collins, chief executive of the commission, said the 37.3% employment rate for disabled people in Northern Ireland was the lowest of all UK regions.

"Harvey's experience at work highlights that much remains to be done to challenge barriers to employment for many disabled people and to ensure they can secure and retain paid employment," she said.

"Employers have a responsibility to provide and promote a good and harmonious working environment.

"Harvey did not experience that, he felt he had no option but to go off on sick leave and then it appears that no-one contacted him to check if he was OK or to offer support."

As part of the settlement, B&M agreed to liaise with the commission to review its equal opportunities policies and practices, and agreed to consider reasonable adjustments within an agreed timetable.

Full article here https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-...

Disabled fans continue to face barriers to watching live sport, survey shows

A new survey by a disabled-led charity has highlighted the continuing barriers disabled supporters face in accessing sports venues.

Almost a third (30 per cent) of disabled fans who took part in the survey said there were some sports or sporting venues they felt unable to visit because of access failings.

And a similar proportion (32 per cent) said that physical access at stadiums was a barrier to them attending live sport, with 17 per cent highlighting the difficult of buying tickets as a barrier, and 16 per cent pointing to inaccessible public transport.

The survey of disabled fans across England and Wales was the first to be conducted by Level Playing Field (LPF) and will now be carried out annually.

Most of the respondents reported their experiences at football grounds, with about a third saying they supported Premier League (31 per cent) and Championship (34 per cent) football clubs, and another fifth (22 per cent) following League One teams.

More than 1,400 disabled fans took part in the survey, with individualised results being sent to each club that was mentioned by a supporter.

One of the disabled supporters who responded told LPF: “Never underestimate the need for good signage and people to ask.

“I don’t want to get lost because I then have to walk further than necessary and get tired.”

Another highlighted the need for “a room to take insulin – not very hygienic having to use a toilet”.

Many of those who took part in the survey – which put questions to fans between 20 May and 20 June – also raised concerns about returning to watch live sport now COVID-19 restrictions were easing, although nearly three-quarters (73 per cent) said they would want to watch a match “right away” once they were allowed to do so.

Full article here https://www.disabilitynewsserv...

What is a hidden disability?

An invisible disability is a mental, physical or neurological condition that can limit or challenge a person’s movements, senses, or activities.

A lot of the time these symptoms are not obvious and can lead to misunderstandings, false perceptions, and judgments.

1 in 5 people in the UK have a disability

80% of which have a hidden disability

  • What classes as an invisible disability?

A hidden disability does not have physical signs. They include learning difficulties, mental health as well as mobility, speech, visual or hearing impairments.

They can also include asthma, COPD, and other lung conditions as well as chronic illnesses such as renal failure, diabetes, and sleep disorders when those diseases significantly impact day-to-day life.

Other examples include autism, Crohn’s disease, sickle cell disease and lupus.

  • I have an invisible disability - how can I get help?

Hidden Disabilities is a company that supports people living with an invisible conditions.

They have designed products featuring sunflowers, which discreetly lets people around you know, including staff, colleagues and health professionals, that you have a disability and you may need additional support, help or more time.

  • Do I qualify to wear the Hidden Disabilities sunflower?

If you have a hidden disability and feel that you would benefit from wearing a Hidden Disabilities Sunflower product.

The Hidden Disabilities Sunflower helps others understand that you may need extra help. It does not mean you are entitled to anything more.

Full article here https://www.itv.com/news/grana...

Disclaimer- We do not own/write any of these article extracts, we are simply sharing to our audience in order to raise awareness and increase coverage. Credit is always given.

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