Disability Rights UK Newsletter

International disability rights leading light Judy Heumann dies

One of the founding mothers of the international disability rights movement, Judy Heumann, has died aged 75.

Learn more about Judy Heumann’s life on the DR UK website.

Disabled people far more likely to die by suicide than non-disabled people

Disabled people are much more likely to die by suicide than non-Disabled people, according to the latest data released from the 2021 Census. Disabled women are four times more likely to die, and Disabled men are three times more likely to die.

Read more about the ONS’ latest statistics on suicide on our website.

Radical reform of benefits assessments for those with mental health problems essential, says Mind

Mind’s latest report outlines changes the Government needs to make to the benefits assessments system and sets out the case that people with experience of the system need to be at the heart of how to improve it.

Read more about Mind’s report on benefits policy on our website.

Hancock “100%” in favour of withdrawing funding for learning disability hub to secure lockdown vote

Messages leaked by Isabel Oakeshott from the former Health Secretary Matt Hancock have revealed that he threatened not to fund a centre for people with learning disabilities to try to make a potentially rebellious MP, James Daly, the MP for Bury, fall into line over a critical vote during the pandemic.

Learn about Matt Hancock’s deals on the DR UK website.

Government Special Educational Needs report is released

Ministers have finally published their special educational needs (SEN) report, pledging to go ahead with major countrywide reforms.

Get our view on the SEND Plan on our website.

Calls for IPSO to introduce rigorous guidance for writing about disability

DR UK is backing a campaign to ensure that there is proper, rigorous guidance for how the media talks about Disabled people and chronic health conditions.

Read more about the campaign to change IPSO guidelines on disability on the DR UK website.

The Sun calls Sophie Morgan a ‘wheelchair’

The Sun has run a full front page splash headline story calling TV presenter Sophie Morgan a wheelchair.

You can learn more about Sophie Morgan’s depiction on the Sun’s front page on our website.

Twitter row between Musk and employee over disabilities

The CEO of Twitter, Elon Musk, has apologised to a Twitter employee with muscular dystrophy after a flurry of disparaging tweets.

Read more about Elon Musk’s disablist Twitter row on our website.

Dis Life in the Daily Mirror

DR UK’s Media and Communications Manager Anna Morell writes a weekly disability column in the Mirror called Dis Life. Read Anna’s columns on pre-payment meters, foodbanks and the Essentials Guarantee to ensure people have enough money to live on, the Covid Inquiry, Matt Hancock’s whatsapps and Disabled people’s suicide rates.

Inadequate social security level main driver of food bank use – Essentials Guarantee needed

New research by the Trussell Trust and Joseph Rowntree Foundation finds that inadequate social security levels is the main driver of food bank need, with almost 1.3 million parcels given out from Trussell Trust food banks between April and September 2022.

Read more about the Essentials Guarantee policy ideas on our website.

Ofgem announces new price cap for energy

The energy price cap is a set maximum price that energy suppliers can charge consumers for each kilowatt hour of energy they use. How much you pay depends on how much energy is used

Read more about changes to the energy price cap on the DR UK website.

COVID had an outsized impact on Disabled people of colour

Initial findings from the National Commission on COVID-19, Disablism, and Systemic Racism, reported by Saba Salman at the Byline Times, reveal new evidence of the pandemic’s extreme impact on Disabled people from black and ethnic minority communities.

Read more about Covid’s impact on Disabled People of Colour on our website.

Thousands of Disabled people unfairly chased for social care debt

New reporting by the BBC has shown that more than 60,000 Disabled adults and those with long-term illnesses in England were chased for debt by councils last year after failing to pay charges for their social care support at home.

Read more about social care debt chasing on our website.

DR UK attends launch of accessible voting campaign

“My vote, My Voice” is a campaign designed to encourage people with learning disabilities and autistic people to vote in the 2024 General Election and onwards, noting that everyone with a learning disability or autism should be aware of their right to vote and have all the necessary information about how to vote.

Michael Gove suggests cutting child benefits if children miss school

Secretary of State for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities Michael Gove delivered a speech at a think tank where he suggested that parents should face child benefit cuts if they fail to ensure their children turn up at school.

You can read our view on tackling truancy through benefits sanctions on the DR UK website.