A UN committee has told the UK government to produce an annual progress report on how it is implementing the recommendations of a damning inquiry that found it guilty of “grave and systematic violations” of key parts of the disability convention.
The committee of disabled human rights experts concluded last November that the government had violated the UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (UNCRPD) under the articles on independent living, work and employment, and social protection.
MOBILITY SCOOTER RIGHTS AGAIN UNDER SCRUTINY AT SALIX HOMES
“You’ve got a right to freedom of movement but mine is curtailed…”
In what is now becoming a growing problem, a disabled man living in sheltered accommodation at Salix Homes’ Heraldic Court says he has to charge his electric mobility scooter at his carer’s as he is not allowed to charge or park it where he lives.
Three times a week he has to get a taxi to the carer’s house to pick up his scooter so he can use it…”Without it I wouldn’t be able to get out” he says “I struggle to walk fifty yards with my sticks.”
James Hayes is chronically disabled and can hardly walk, due to a degenerative spinal injury in his lower lumbar… “I struggle to walk fifty or one hundred yards with my sticks” he explains “I have to stop and lean against a lamp post as most of the time I’m unaccompanied.”
The only salvation for James is his mobility scooter, which allows him to get out and about and do his shopping in big stores while sitting down. In February it became necessary for him to move into sheltered accommodation at Salix Homes Heraldic Court, off Langley Road South, but was told that he couldn’t take the scooter onto the property.
He left it in a yard for six weeks and then confronted Salix… “They said ‘You can bring it on the premises but you can’t charge it’” James recalls “I can charge it in my flat but that’s on the second floor and I can’t charge it in the communal area, so I’ve had to take it to my carer’s house.”
A Home Safety Guide, issued by Salix Homes last year, brought complaints and accusations of discrimination, with guidelines stating that “Mobility scooters must not be stored in communal areas in blocks and sheltered schemes” and “We do not currently provide charging facilities for mobility scooters…”*
Instead, James has had to charge the scooter at his carer’s house, which entails getting a taxi for a double journey three times a week at £6 a time… “It’s costing me loads and I haven’t got a lot of money” he says “But without it I wouldn’t be able to get out…You’ve got a right to freedom of movement but mine is curtailed without it.”
Now James and his advocate are further confronting Salix with Section 149 of the Equality Act 2010 which states that public bodies have a ‘general duty’ to ‘have due regard to’ a list of considerations, such as the need to advance equality of opportunity.
Indeed, James believes that Salix Homes could help its disabled tenants by looking at practical solutions. At Heraldic Court – scene of protests when Salix increased service charges recently** – there are three former bin bunkers which could be used as a mobility scooter parking and charging point… “It wouldn’t need much to adapt them, put points in them and upgrade the facilities” he explains “I’ve put it to them but haven’t had a reply.”
He does have a meeting with Salix Homes on Friday, where it is hoped that common sense prevails…
“It’s disappointing because I need the mobility scooter, I’m lost without it” James explains “It’s been a nightmare…”
The UN has found that current policies violate both a UN convention and UK legislation. There is little hope for change when the government simply denies it
Like a lot of other disabled people, I’ve been eagerly following the progress of the United Nations’ inspection into the UK’s record on disability rights. Last month in Geneva, a UK delegation faced questioning by a UN committee based on 2,000 pages of evidence gathered during the course of its inquiry. The UN’s final report, published on Thursday, as widely expected, is a 17-page-long catalogue of shame, and highly critical of the UK’s record on almost every area covered by the UN convention on the rights of persons with disabilities (CRPD).
read the rest of this article by Mike Lambert in the GUardian here: https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2017/sep/04/austerity-disabled-people-rights-uk-un-government
Jodey Whiting, 42, died after her allowance was stopped when she missed one appointment for a health assessment which she claimed she knew nothing about as she’s been in hospital
The mother of a disabled mum-of-nine who took her own life after her benefits were stopped says “sorry isn’t good enough” after receiving an apology from the government.
She later claimed that she knew nothing about the appointment as she had been in hospital at the time.
Department for Work and Pensions bosses have now apologised to her family after its staff left Jodey a voicemail – despite having been told of her death.
It has since emerged the decision to stop her benefits – which her family claims was the “trigger” behind her suicide – was overturned after her death.
MirrorOnline previously reported how the family claimed the DWP have ‘blood on their hands’.
According to the United Nations, the Conservative Party’s treatment of people with disabilities has been a “human catastrophe”.
Dealing with the Tory government, which denies any ill-treatment at all, despite the mountain of evidence, is “the most challenging exercise” in the history of the UN Committee on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities.
Tories accused of being ‘arrogant’ and in ‘confused denial’ about the impact of austerity cuts.
A major new report from The Centre for Welfare Reform argues that the UK is tipping backwards to an era of institutionalisation, and of disregard for the human rights and basic dignity of people with learning disabilities.
The report ‘Back to Bedlam‘, written by the distinguished academic and researcher Robin Jackson, warns that decades of progress in advancing disability and human rights is now in reverse, blaming years of austerity and cuts in welfare support.