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.

28th March-3rd April

‘Devastating’: woman with a disability met with disbelief after sexual assault, royal commission hears

Anglicare took three years to apologise for failing to report the sexual assault of young woman with a disability to police, a royal commission has heard.

After voicing their concerns during an audit last year, Niky* and her family received a written apology from the organisation for the mishandling of the assault, which occurred in 2018.

“It was on paper, but it didn’t feel very genuine,” Niky’s mother told the royal commission into violence, abuse, neglect and exploitation of people with disability on Thursday.

Niky – who lives with a developmental disability – was sexually assaulted by another person with disability at an Anglicare facility, the commission heard.

Niky told the hearing that after the assault occurred, she was met with disbelief by some of the workers at the facility.

“They were begging to know what happened … it made me feel unsafe,” Niky told the commission

“One [worker] tried to tell me it didn’t happen at all.”

Niky’s mother told the commission that when she and her husband met with staff at the facility in 2018, they were told to contact authorities as the incident was “a police matter”.

Her father later reported the assault to police and the perpetrator was charged with – and later pled guilty to - carnal knowledge of a person with an impairment of the mind, the commission heard.

Read the full story here: https://www.theguardian.com/au...

Activists’ anger after they discover Labour frontbencher is married to DWP director

You are here: Home / Benefits and Poverty / Activists’ anger after they discover Labour frontbencher is married to DWP director

Head and shoulders of Nick Joicey and Rachel Reeves speaking in the Commons

Activists’ anger after they discover Labour frontbencher is married to DWP director

By John Pring on 31st March 2022Category: Benefits and Poverty


Disabled activists have questioned Labour’s commitment to justice for the countless claimants whose deaths were linked to the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP), after it emerged that one of its senior frontbenchers is married to a DWP director-general.

Rachel Reeves, the shadow chancellor, has been a focus for anger among many activists since she said seven years ago that Labour did not want to be seen as “the party to represent those who are out of work” and was “not the party of people on benefits”.

Only a couple of weeks ago, Labour leader Sir Keir Starmer mirrored the 2015 comments made by Reeves by declaring in a speech that Labour was “the party of working people” and “the party of work”.

But it has now emerged that Reeves is married to Nick Joicey, DWP’s director-general for finance and a speechwriter for Gordon Brown when he was Labour’s chancellor.

There had already been growing concerns about Labour’s commitment to promising an independent inquiry into deaths linked to DWP’s failings, and to calling for a police investigation into allegations of misconduct in public office by senior DWP civil servants and ministers.

This week, Disability News Service (DNS) published a 10,000-word investigation that shows how DWP repeatedly ignored recommendations to improve the safety of its disability benefits assessment system, leading to countless avoidable deaths, and ensured that key evidence linking its actions with those deaths was not considered by independent reviews.

The article also shows how the cultural problems within DWP extend far beyond the assessment system, touching all aspects of its dealings with disabled people in the social security system, and how the roots of its toxic culture stretch back at least 30 years.

There is no suggestion that Joicey, who has been at DWP for less than four years, is himself implicated in any way in the deaths of claimants, although a DWP document (PDF) discovered by Disabled People Against Cuts (DPAC) shows that he attended at least one meeting of the department’s serious case panel, which examines such deaths.

DPAC this week raised serious concerns about Labour’s resistance to backing calls for an inquiry and a police investigation.

Read the full story here: https://www.disabilitynewsserv...

Frustrated shopper slams Coles over 'disrespectful' act after over 20 trolleys were left in disability parking bay

A frustrated customer has slammed Coles after noticing an ongoing 'disrespectful' trolley issue at her local supermarket.

The woman from Western Australia shared a series of images to the Coles Facebook page claiming several trolleys were left unattended in the disabled parking bay.

The photos show a line of more than 20 trolleys spanning across the parking space reserved for those with a disability or condition.

'I am so sick and tired of being disrespected by Coles staff, this is a constant battle with the management and trolley handlers of Coles,' the woman wrote online, adding she shops at the South Hedland store.

'Every time I complain, the manager 'PROMISES' it will never happen again. What a joke. This has been happening for over five years and nothing has changed.'

She added a scathing assumption stating: 'It is obvious that Coles do not care about disabled people.'

On the woman's Facebook profile she is open that she lives with Ehlers-Danlos Syndrome - a disorder that impacts skin and joints, leaving the person in pain.

Read the full story here: https://www.dailymail.co.uk/fe...

Government finally agrees to continue some free Covid testing for PAs

The government has finally issued guidance that should allow disabled people in England who employ personal assistants (PAs) to continue to secure free COVID-19 tests for their staff, at least in some situations.

The confirmation that some free testing for employers of PAs will continue was made yesterday (Wednesday), less than two days before tomorrow’s ending of universal free testing (1 April).

A statement to MPs by health and social care secretary Sajid Javid on Tuesday had suggested that at least some disabled people would probably have to start paying for tests for their PAs.

He said: “For [adult social care] services and hospices, DHSC will also continue to fund some regular asymptomatic testing for staff in periods of high prevalence.”

He made no mention of disabled people who employ their own PAs.

But yesterday, a Department of Health and Social Care (DHSC) spokesperson confirmed to Disability News Service (DNS) that this continued funding for free testing of those without symptoms did include PAs employed by disabled people.

The spokesperson said: “Thanks to the success of our vaccines programme, we can transition towards managing Covid like other respiratory illnesses and, as set out in the Living with Covid Plan in February, from 1 April free testing will be focused on groups who are most at risk from the virus.

“Those previously identified as clinically extremely vulnerable are now well protected after receiving their primary and booster vaccination doses and are no longer at substantially greater risk than the general population.

“Personal assistants will continue to be eligible for free symptomatic LFD* testing, as well as free twice weekly asymptomatic testing.”

But information published yesterday by the UK Health Security Agency (UKHSA) stressed that free testing for adult social care staff (including PAs) without COVID-19 symptoms would only continue to be provided from 1 April “during periods of high prevalence” of the virus.

DHSC had not been able to clarify what it meant by “high prevalence” by noon today, suggesting shortly before the deadline that DNS should contact UKHSA, but it did confirm that the current state of COVID infections is seen as “high prevalence”.

The provision of free, twice-weekly asymptomatic testing for PAs appears to have been a recent addition to the government’s plans.

Earlier this month, a DHSC spokesperson told DNS: “After 1st April 2022, limited symptomatic testing will still be made available for a small number of at-risk groups – the government will set out further details on which groups will be eligible.”

UKHSA has said that updated guidance will be published “shortly” on how PAs can continue to access free tests.

Disabled artist-activist Jess Thom, who employs a team of eight PAs to provide her with 24-hour support, said the government’s announcements had been last-minute and “very chaotic”.

She said the announcement on free asymptomatic testing appeared to be “encouraging” but the way the government had approached COVID-19 policy in recent weeks, in which everything was “treated in isolation”, was “not surprising but dangerous”.

She said she had spent an “immense” amount of “time and energy” in the last couple of months trying to clarify whether she was still entitled to free testing and personal and protective equipment (PPE) for her PAs.

Another disabled campaigner, Fleur Perry, who is raising funds for a legal action against the government over its decision to end the legal requirement to self-isolate after a positive COVID-19 test, said: “We don’t have information on how to access these free lateral flows for our PAs, or what documentation our PAs might need in order to qualify.

“Giving us zero notice to perform crip admin tasks is placing unrealistic expectations on disabled employers, which may have a knock-on impact if people have been unable to order tests in advance due to the website not taking orders.”

Read the full story here: https://www.disabilitynewsserv...

This Morning's Holly Willoughby 'proud' of 'hidden disability'

Holly Willoughby said she was "proud" to have dyslexia and she "doesn't see it as a disability at all."

Sir Richard Branson joined Holly and Phillip Schofield on This Morning along with the founder of charity Made By Dyslexia, Kate Griggs. They joined the hosts to discuss the aims and goals for the future of the charity.

The Dancing On Ice host opened the segment and said: "It is estimated that over six million people in the UK have dyslexia. Defined as a learning difficulty, many people refer to it as a hidden disability." Phillip added: "How do you feel about that?"

Holly then went on to explain the condition has never held her back and that she loves it being a part of her. She said: "I don’t see it as a disability at all, I see it as a real feather in my cap, I’m very proud of being dyslexic, I think it makes me who I am. I think half of the things I think that I’m actually quite good at in life are because I’m dyslexic."

Read the full story here: https://www.liverpoolecho.co.u...

‘Sesame Street’ Welcomes New Muppet With Disability

The people behind “Sesame Street” are introducing a new Muppet who uses a wheelchair in an effort to spotlight children with disabilities around the world.

Ameera, an 8-year-old with a spinal cord injury, relies on forearm crutches or a bright purple wheelchair to get around. Sesame Workshop describes Ameera as “everyone’s favorite comedian” and “a natural leader who encourages others with her bright personality.”

The new Muppet will make her debut next week on “Ahlan Simsim,” or “Welcome Sesame” in Arabic, the version of “Sesame Street” that airs in the Middle East and North Africa. Ameera will also appear in Sesame Workshop’s “Watch, Play, Learn” animated videos, which are designed to help kids learn about math, science, health, safety, child protection and social-emotional issues.

Sesame Workshop said that in addition to highlighting children with disabilities globally, Ameera will appear in videos offering playful learning and support to kids affected by conflict, crisis and displacement.

“Thoughtfully designed to challenge stereotypes and reflect children’s lived experiences, Ameera brings visibility to the more than 12 million displaced persons and 240 million children worldwide estimated to have a disability as well as to the important role of girls in STEM,” said Sherrie Westin, president of Sesame Workshop. “At a time when more children than ever before are affected by conflict and displacement, Ameera also highlights the urgent need for creative and flexible approaches to delivering playful learning and early education to communities affected by crisis.”

Read the full story here: https://www.disabilityscoop.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.


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