Weekly Global Disability News

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.

12-18th September

Assistance dog user 'traumatised' by 'shambolic' disability queue to see Queen's coffin

An assistance dog user was left "traumatised" by the separate queue for disabled people to see the Queen lying in state - which ended up taking longer than the normal line.

Sharon Lawrence travelled to London from Woking, Surrey, on Wednesday morning to file past the late monarch at Westminster Hall.

The 64-year-old, who suffers from arthritis, fibromyalgia and cognitive dysfunction, was aided by dog Ottie and her forearm walker.

As a regional stakeholder in the Disability Unit - part of the Cabinet Office's Equality Hub - she said she foresaw the issues that would likely come about for disability users before she arrived.

She was disappointed to see her fears come to fruition soon after arriving at Waterloo Station around midday.

Sharon said organisers at the Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport should have consulted with stakeholders when planning.

"I look at functions and I can see things are going to happen before they happen," she told The Mirror.

Sharon believes insufficient guidance had been sent out beforehand and she found other disabled people and carers milling around Westminster Bridge confused.

"The wheels of information were not very good," she said.

"There was nobody directing us to say 'any disabled person who wants to see the Queen come this way'.

Full article here: https://www.mirror.co.uk/news/...

Government ‘may have breached Equality Act duties’ over Lying-in-State queue

Disabled people’s organisations (DPOs) have criticised the measures taken to ensure that the Queen’s Lying-in-State is accessible to disabled people as “inadequate” and “disappointing”.

The government has arranged an “accessible queueing scheme” for those unable to stand in a queue for “an extended period of time”.

But concerns have been raised about the system, while there are also significant gaps in the information published about how it will work.

One DPO suggested the measures taken by the government meant it was breaching the Equality Act because of a failure to make reasonable adjustments for disabled people.

Despite the accessible queueing system offering shorter waits than the main queue – which reports suggest could see some people queuing for up to 30 hours – there are still questions over how long disabled people could be forced to wait if they want to pay their respects to the Queen as her body lies in a coffin in Westminster Hall.

Because of the lack of information about the accessible queue, it is not clear whether some disabled people could still be forced to wait overnight to attend the event.

It is feared that others may find food, drink or equipment confiscated when they arrive at the Palace of Westminster, even if they need it for impairment- or health-related reasons.

Both Disability Rights UK (DR UK) and Buckinghamshire Disability Service (BuDS) have criticised the arrangements made by the Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport.

The Lying-in-State opened to the public at 5pm yesterday (Wednesday) and will be open 24 hours a day until it closes at 6.30am on Monday, and the main queue – which was more than three miles long by 10.30am this morning – starts on the south bank of the Thames.

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

Accessible queue for Queen’s coffin permanently closes after reaching ‘full capacity’

The accessible queue for people with disabilities to see the Queen’s coffin has permanently closed after reaching full capacity.

People with disabilities wanting to pay their respects to the Queen had reported waiting for hours after the accessible queue, which had been temporarily closed, reopened earlier on Saturday.

The queue had built up while it was closed, and stretched for several miles by the time it reopened at noon.

In a statement the Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport said: “The accessible queue for lying in state has reached full capacity and is now permanently closed.

“Wristbands for all time slots are allocated so that as many people as possible can pay their respects. Please do not join the queue at Tate Britain. Thank you for your understanding.”

Shortly after midday, the DCMS had said that the accessible queue had resumed after being “paused” on Friday evening.

Esther Andrews, a teacher from Portsmouth who has an injured leg, said she had managed to get a wristband for the 5-6pm slot shortly before the accessible queue closed, after waiting almost seven hours.

On hearing that it had been closed, the 30-year-old said: “That is such a shame, there was a such a huge queue of people behind us! It was about twice as long as when I joined it. Much better than the main queue, but still a very long time for people with disabilities.”

Earlier, Dr Erin Dooley said she had been unsure whether to make the hour’s journey from her home in Market Harborough, Leicestershire, because of what she called “spotty and misleading comms from the government”.

“All of my information to date has been from Twitter,” Dooley, a lecturer at the University of Bristol, said.

“An online booking system would have been best, an information app at the bare minimum.

“I have to provide proof of my disabled status for the most basic of services such as rail travel or theatre tickets, why not ask people to provide documentation of disability here?”

Full article here: https://www.theguardian.com/uk...

Truss ‘must act now’ to prevent disabled people facing ‘humanitarian crisis’ this winter

Campaigners have written to the new prime minister to ask her to act urgently to prevent disabled people facing a “humanitarian crisis” this winter due to the “devastating and intensifying” levels of poverty they are facing.

They warn Liz Truss in the letter that rising energy and food costs, inadequate levels of social security and increasing social care costs are combining to create “devastating and intensifying levels of poverty”.

The letter was due to be sent today (Thursday) by two campaign networks of disabled people’s organisations (DPOs) and allies.

They call on the prime minister to confirm that she realises that the cost-of-living crisis will “create destitution and risk to life” for disabled people who face “complex structural barriers” to earning income.

And they say there are likely to be “devastating” consequences for disabled people if there is not an immediate increase in benefits.

The letter calls on Truss to govern “in a spirit of compassion and respect towards all disabled people” and it suggests that she could make eradicating disabled people’s destitution her “legacy”.

The Disability Poverty Campaign Group – whose members include DPOs Inclusion London, Inclusion Barnet, Cheshire Disabled People’s Panel and Disability Rights UK – and the Disability Benefits Consortium say in their letter that some disabled people are rationing their use of vital medical equipment such as oxygen concentrators, while others are turning off their heating, even if they need it because they are unable to regulate their body temperature.

As well as the costs of heating homes, the letter highlights that disabled people face extra electricity costs due to the need to charge their powerchairs and scooters, and operate equipment such as lifts, hoists, ventilators, feeding pumps and dialysis machines.

They say that a recent survey suggests that 600,000 disabled people in the UK have less than £10 a week to spend on food and other essentials, after housing costs and bills, and that disabled people make up three-fifths of those using Trussell Trust foodbanks and a similar proportion of those asking Citizens Advice for help with fuel bills.

They also point out that half of households in poverty have at least one disabled member, and that the cost-of-living crisis has a disproportionate negative impact on disabled women (particularly single mothers), disabled children, disabled people of colour, disabled people with complex needs, disabled people in rural areas, and older people.

The letter also highlights a Disability News Service report in February, which revealed that tens of thousands of disabled people across the country every year are having debt collection action taken against them by their local authorities over unpaid care charges.

It reminds the prime minister: “Every day, disabled people-led organisations are confronted with the poverty created by a system that charges low and fixed-income disabled people for meeting their statutory care needs.”

The letter recognises the measures taken earlier this year under Truss’s predecessor, Boris Johnson, with a one-off payment of £150 by the end of this month for those on disability benefits, and those on means-tested benefits receiving an extra £650.

But it also points out that 300,000 claimants of disability living allowance and personal independence payment in England and Wales who are not on means-tested benefits will lose their eligibility for the £150 Warm Home Discount this autumn, erasing the gain from the £150 one-off payment.

Among the letter’s urgent demands are for an “emergency uprating” of benefits in line with inflation predictions; a reinstatement of eligibility for the Warm Home Discount for the 300,000 disabled people who have had it removed; an end to all arrears-related deductions from benefits; and further targeted, non-repayable social security support for low-income disabled people.

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

Dating with a disability: 'People think we don't want love - there's a lot of ignorance

The dating world can be difficult to navigate at the best of times. We’ve all been sat on an awkward first date - you've nothing in common, conversations ground to a halt and you're counting down the hours until it's acceptable to leave.

But for people with physical and learning difficulties, even getting to that stage is fraught with difficulty. For years, disabled adults were thought to not have the same emotional, psychological and physical needs as other people.

But Carrie Aimes - a wheelchair-user with muscular dystrophy from the West Midlands - is on a mission to challenge this stigma. Six years ago she started a blog where she shares, among other things, her trials and tribulations in the dating world.

While people with different disabilities, of course, face their own unique challenges - we asked Carrie, 33, to share her personal encounters of seeking love.

“I think the wider society assumes disabled people don’t want to date,” says Carrie. “They think we don’t want love, romance, marriage or anything like that.

“They think we’re happy sitting at home twiddling our thumbs all day and that we don’t want what everyone else wants when of course we do. There’s a lot of ignorance I think.”

In today’s modern age, where nearly a third of couples meet online, first impressions matter more than ever. But for people with disabilities, it can be hard to know how and when to reveal your condition to a potential partner - especially when you're first getting to know someone.

Full article here: https://www.birminghammail.co....

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.


Avez-vous des questions ?