I am excited to announce that Voice is partnering with Disabled People Against Cuts (DPAC) for the month of July.
The theme on Voice for the last few months has been activism, and perhaps in no facet of society is activism more important right now than the fight for the rights and dignity of disabled people.
Last year the Government was found to be failing their commitment to the UN convention on disabled people’s rights, which enshrines the rights of disabled people to live independently, to work and to enjoy social protection without discrimination.
In 2013, the Disability Living Allowance was phased out in favour of the Personal Independence Payment (PIP), which at the same time having its budget cut by 20%. This has led to over 700 people a week losing their specially adapted cars – restricting their freedom of mobility and even costing them their jobs.
To oversee the re-assessment of those eligible for PIP the government contracted the work to Capita and ATOS, to the sum of over £700m by the time the five-year contract is up. This is despite the fact that 61% of those who appeal the assessment decision winning their case. Maximus, who oversee the assessment for people claiming sickness benefits, are likely to be paid £1.6bn over the next three years, despite failing to meet the government’s own quality assessment threshold. This is unacceptable.
This is why I am delighted to be bringing DPAC onto Voice to raise awareness of this issue, and to bring a better understanding as to why it is so important that people put their voice to action to campaign for better equality and rights.
DPAC will be publishing articles throughout July, looking at case studies, the history of the disability activism movement, and how-to guides on setting up your own campaign. There will also be an announcement towards the end of the month detailing their latest campaign movement! To keep abreast of everything, keep your eyes peeled on either DPAC’s profile, or the activism voicebox.