Disability Rights UK Newsletter

News Round-up

Government’s proposals to fix the social care crisis is “too little, too late”

Commenting on the Government’s social care reform proposals. DR UK’s Fazilet Hadi said: “We are glad to see the Government is making efforts to fix the social care crisis, but remain concerned that the proposals, announced this week along with plans to fix the pandemic backlogs in the NHS are aiming to deliver too little, too late.

“We are concerned that the national conversation is still almost exclusively about Older People, despite a third of people using Social Care being Disabled people of working age, and using half of the overall social care budget. Further, thresholds for Social Care, which are not always based around finances, are so high that around half of all applications to Local Authorities by Disabled people in need of care are turned down.

“The proposed measures do not kick in for another two years. They may not be enough to cover care costs, they may still rely on those with minimal assets having to contribute to care costs, and they do not cover the vastly greater accommodation or food costs, known as hotel costs, for Disabled people in residential care.

We also believe it is the wrong mechanism to use National Insurance contributions instead of Income Tax.”

Read more on the BBCthe Guardianthe Telegraph and the Times (some paywalls may apply). Read some background on social care at The King’s Fund. Read Kamran Mallick’s blog on the subject.

MPs told £20 week cut to Universal Credit breaches UK’s human rights obligations

Human Rights Watch (HRW), has written to Parliamentarians to say that the October £20 a week cut to Universal Credit would breach UK’s international human rights obligations.

In addition, it says that the £20 uplift should be given to those on “legacy” benefits such as ESA.

In its letter, HRW says that if the Government were to proceed with the proposed cut, it would be in violation of its international human rights obligations, in particular the binding International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights, signed by the UK in 1968 and ratified in 1976, which sets out the rights to an adequate standard of living and to social security. Read more here.

Footballer Marcus Rashford has also amplified calls to keep the uplift. Read more here.

Accessible toilet access varies wildly across UK

There is a vast disparity across the UK when it comes to finding an accessible toilet, research by health and wellness testing company Check My Body Health has found.

The company analysed the availability of public toilets per capita in every UK city to determine which cities are the most loo-friendly, as well as looking into the percentage which are deemed to be accessible.

Its research also analysed pharmacies per capita to give a view on facilities for those struggling with pain-related to wider digestive problems, such as IBS.

DR UK’s Head of Policy Fazilet Hadi said: “There are few more pressing needs in life than toilet access. It’s appalling that in 2021, many towns are still inaccessible to Disabled people as they lack the most basic of accessible toilet facilities.”

Read more here.

New body to tackle health disparities set to launch

The Office for Health Improvement and Disparities (OHID) will officially launch on 1 October with the aim of tackling health inequalities across the country. It will be co-led by newly appointed Deputy Chief Medical Officer (DCMO), Dr Jeanelle de Gruchy. Read more here.

Sense launches Covid Inquiry petition

A new survey by disability charity Sense shows that over three quarters of Disabled people want next year’s Covid Inquiry to investigate their experience.

More than three quarters (77 per cent) of Disabled people say the Covid Inquiry must investigate what has happened to them, and if it doesn’t, fear the same mistakes will happen again.

With six out of ten Covid deaths those of Disabled people, three quarters say our needs have been overlooked and haven’t received enough support. Two thirds of respondents say their mental health has got worse during the pandemic, with over half citing a deterioration in physical health.

DR UK’s Head of Policy Fazilet Hadi said: “Almost 60% of all deaths during the pandemic were of Disabled people and we absolutely believe that our voices and our issues should be at the heart of the public inquiry. Decision makers did not engage with us, our needs were often overlooked and communications were largely inaccessible. Health bodies treated our lives as less valued, Disabled people receiving social care were inadequately protected, some Disabled children were denied education and support and supermarkets failed to ensure that we could access food. There is a long-standing phrase in our community: “nothing about us without us.” As such, it is imperative that Disabled people’s voices are front and central to the Inquiry.” Sense has now launched a petition calling on Disabled people to be put at the heart of the inquiry.

Get Yourself Active new report

A new interim report from Traverse, has highlighted the success of the Tackling Inequalities Fund (TIF) delivery programme that DR UK has been involved in since 2020. The report can be accessed via the Get Yourself Active (GYA) website, and clearly outlines the next steps for the new phase of funding.

The evaluation has made it clear that taking part in these TIF-funded activities has had a range of mental wellbeing benefits for participants, such as reduced isolation, and improved confidence and mood. Projects also reported improvements in participants physical wellbeing (e.g. strength, mobility, fitness) which is, of course, great news and shows the importance of physical activity to leading a healthy, fulfilled life.

Kamran Mallick CEO of Disability Rights UK said: “I am very proud to see the success that Get Yourself Active has had as a delivery partner for the TIF fund. The report by Traverse shows clearly what an impact access to sport and physical activity can have on the lives of Disabled people.

It is great that co-production continues to be at the heart of the success of the programme. We have a right to be active and use the services and facilities that have been created through inclusive design. This requires a whole system approach that includes the lived experience of Disabled people and the TIF programme has most certainly done that.”
Disability Rights UK is recruiting – Programme Assistants

Disability Rights UK is hiring two young Disabled people to join our team via the Kickstart Programme. We have two Programme Assistant vacancies within dynamic areas of our work – one within our Disability & Skills Unit; and another in our Get Yourself Active Team. The deadline for applications is 10am on Wednesday 15 September. For more information click here.

News Round-Up

Disability Rights UK is working on an exciting project to redevelop our website. With our user-centred design and feedback process, we intend to produce an inclusive and accessible website that caters to what our audience want.This survey will allow us to collect and analyse data on how our audience uses our website and how we can improve in future. Please be as detailed as possible.We appreciate you taking the 10 to 15 minutes it takes to complete our survey. All the information you provide will guide the improvements to our website.https://www.disabilityrightsuk.org/help-us-improve-our-websiteIf you have any questions contact surveys@disabilityrightsuk.org.

Chronic illness survey
DR UK and Chronic Illness Inclusion would like to hear from people with as many different types of energy-limiting and chronic pain conditions as possible. This will increase our visibility to policy makers, and demonstrate that we can unite and speak with one voice to advance our rights. We have devised a short 5 – 10 minute survey for you to share your experience. The survey will be closed on 25 September.Take the survey now.

Media Trust mentoring scheme
Media Trust has launched a media industry first – a mentoring programme for all Disabled mentees and mentors in partnership with the BBC. The programme is aimed at early-stage and experienced level mentees who identify as having a disability, impairment, learning difference or long-term condition, and who are looking to progress their career in behind the camera and below the line roles in film and TV. Eligible applicants can apply to be a mentee here.

Let’s Talk Accessibility – bus use events
Bus Users and Disability Rights UK are to host a series of online events, Let’s Talk Accessibility. The aim is to help local transport authorities (LTAs) and operators understand the challenges and barriers Disabled people face when travelling by bus.The events will take place on 20, 21 and 22 September, and will ensure the transport needs of Disabled people are considered by operators and LTAs when developing their Bus Service Improvement Plans. The plans are a requirement of the Government’s National Bus Strategy which has promised £3billion of funding to improve bus services. Each event will look at the experiences of people with disabilities, the costs and benefits of improving accessibility, and how these issues can be addressed through Bus Service Improvement Plans.

  • Session 1 Monday 20 September – 11am to 12pm will focus on local transport authorities, local and central government representatives



  • Session 2 Tuesday 21 September – 3pm to 4pm will focus on passengers, charities and carers



  • Session 3 Wednesday 22 September – 3pm to 4pm will focus on operators.


To find out more and to book your space email events@bususers.org

Claddag housing survey
A survey has been launched by Claddag to explore the ways in which Disabled and older leaseholders are affected by the building safety crisis. Many people with impairments and health conditions are physically and financially trapped in blocks of flats which have flammable cladding and fire safety defects.Claddag, a Disabled-led action group, urges leaseholders who live with any physical impairments or mental health conditions to take part.You can find the survey here. If it is not accessible to you, or you find the exercise distressing, please email Claddag via LeaseholderDAG@gmail.com and they will be happy to find a comfortable way for you to be involved.

Share your gym experiences
Would you be happy to speak to a journalist about your experience of using gyms? Email media@disabilityrightsuk.org

Young people’s support funding
Funding is available for national Voluntary and Community Sector organisations to provide additional support for children, young people and adults with learning disability and autism and their families as they continue to live with and through the impact of the pandemic. Appreciating the significant challenge COVID-19 has had on individuals this is a non-recurrent in-year grant, funded through the Spending Review, to help provide additional support, advice and information for individuals and families. The closing date for applications is 15 September 2021. See: https://www.england.nhs.uk/learning-disabilities/

Respond to the Health and Disability Green Paper
Unclear about how to wade through the government’s Health and Disability Green Paper? Z2K has a guide to what it all means. Find it here.DWP Health and Wellbeing Green Paper consultation meetings with Disabled people:
Wrexham Date: Tuesday 14th September, 1-4pmVenue: Ramada Plaza by Wyndham, WrexhamBooking link: DWP Health & Disability Consultation Event: Wrexham Tickets, Tue 14 Sep 2021 at 13:00 | Eventbrite

Canterbury Date: Thursday 16th September, 10am-1pmVenue: Canterbury Cathedral Lodge Hotel, CT1 2EHBooking link: DWP Health & Disability Consultation Event: Canterbury Tickets, Thu 16 Sep 2021 at 10:00 | Eventbrite

Bournemouth Date: Thursday 23rd September, 1-4pmVenue: Hermitage Hotel, Exeter Road, BH2 5AHBooking link: DWP Health & Disability Consultation Event: Bournemouth Tickets, Thu 23 Sep 2021 at 13:00 | Eventbrite

Leeds Date: Tuesday 28th September, 10am-4pmVenue: Clayton Hotel, Leeds, Sweet Street, Holbeck, LS11 9ATBooking link: DWP Health & Disability Consultation Event: Leeds Tickets, Tue 28 Sep 2021 at 10:00 | Eventbrite
Glasgow Date: Wednesday 29th September, 1-4pmVenue: Radisson Blu Hotel, 301 Argyle Street, Glasgow, G2 8DLBooking link: DWP Health & Disability Consultation Event: Glasgow Tickets, Wed 29 Sep 2021 at 13:00 | Eventbrite

Get Yourself Active seeking survey respondents and focus group attendees
DR UK’s Get Yourself Active project is looking to make updates to its website so that it is as open, accessible and friendly to use as possible. You can complete a short online survey about the website here.Get Yourself Active would also like to invite you to a focus group session to discuss this project in more detail.If you would like the survey in an alternative format or are interested in the focus group session, please email michael.erhardt@disabilityrightsuk.org.
Small grant fundingA new small grants programme Together for Our Planet is looking to support communities, including DPOs, across the UK take action on climate change, ahead of the 26th UN Climate Change Conference (COP26), in Glasgow this November.This programme is offering grants of between £1,000 and £10,000 to support local community projects. The programme is open until 5pm on Thursday 18 November.