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  • The abuse of disabled people is a hidden crime we must face up to – Dr. Frances Ryan
    Like Loading Related disability domestic violence Post navigation Previous Post Under austerity deprivation in the UK is becoming normalised Don t vote for any more of it Next Post Taxing disability benefits is not a welfare saving it s a deeply unfair cut One thought on The abuse of disabled people is a hidden crime we must face up to Wendy Alden says May 18 2015 at 10 38 pm Hi As an RN in Canada acquiring my degree after 20 years of working as a nurse decided to have a course of directed studies of women s health issues One of my topics was to interview a partial quadriplegic woman who was in her early 40 s and married working as a Social Worker So well educated herself During my interview we talked about women s preventive health care specifically her having regular pap smears breast exams She stated that many years earlier when first married she was accompanied with her husband able bodied to the doctor s office for her first pap smear ever There was no one to assist her to get onto the high examining table and so her husband was the one designated to position her in stirrups as well She was mortified with the entire situation and had never again had a pap smear The couple were childless and so that part of her health care was completely ignored by any doctor she saw When we discussed this as I was mortified at the lack of ability for her to be able to avail herself of this necessary preventive care as she refused to have herself embarrassed as she was the first time for another gynaecological exam I did some inquiry in Vancouver city where there was a Women s Health Centre to find there was ONE examining table which could be lowered for those in wheelchairs to transfer easily I was appalled thinking of women probably in all cities in the same predicament who were disabled I then found a research paper involving a survey of disabled women and how they had gyne exams regular pap smears The statistics were shocking The majority had no screening tests at all The most dreadful result of this investigation in another province of Canada was that most of these women in wheelchairs had their exams on the floor of the clinic room I was able to provide my interview contact with the knowledge of the Women s Centre examining table that would be perfectly suitable for her and also that any family doctor could make a home visit and do the exam on the woman s bed I felt it was her right to have this preventive screening available to her but it had not been so for over 20 years If that isn t another form of abuse I do not know what is As a woman a nurse and a former volunteer with BC s Wheelchair Sports community I still am outraged some 19

    Original URL path: https://differentprinciples.co.uk/2015/05/18/the-abuse-of-disabled-people-is-a-hidden-crime-we-must-face-up-to/?replytocom=5336 (2016-02-16)
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  • bedroom tax – Dr. Frances Ryan
    term illness My New Statesman feature this week was a special report on the impact of Black April following three benefit claimants to chart their experiences over the course of the past twelve months It saw them go into debt struggle through bureaucratic decisions sell possessions and face eviction This has been a year of pushing people further into poverty In my Guardian column this week I argued it has signaled not only an attack on the system of social security but the idea One that Personal Independence Payment disasters and Independent Living Fund closure shows is only growing Payday loans now the only option for the vulnerable August 1 2013 August 1 2013 francesryan18 Leave a comment 89 of the British public think payday lenders take advantage of the vulnerable according to new YouGov survey results released today The British public couldn t be accused of possessing overly left wing sensibilities in their attitudes to poverty of late so almost unanimous criticism of payday loans probably goes some way to suggesting just how grotesque payday loans are It would be unfair though to put all the criticism on them Payday loan companies feed on the vulnerable s desperation but someone thing has to make the vulnerable desperate in the first place Step up the Coalition the people behind 28 billion worth of cuts to support for the disabled and welfare reform that s left its citizens scared and hungry I wrote f or New Statesman yesterday that amidst benefit cuts and increasing financial insecurity disabled people are now entering a cycle of loans and debt Half of disabled people have used credit cards or loans to pay for basics like food or clothes in the past twelve months according to Scope Someone with a disability is three times more likely to go to a payday lender than a non disabled person YouGov told us that the public believe payday lenders are being used by the vulnerable Scope s findings prove it Susan Donnelly 54 is in 7 000 worth of debt and talked to me about how she d got there She s unable to earn a wage due to severe osteoporosis emphysema asthma and a digestive condition that means she can t eat solid foods and when her benefits wouldn t stretch found herself turning to loan companies When you get your social security letter it tells you on there the amount of money the government says you need to live on Susan tells me But by the time you take out all my bills I have nothing to live on The cycle of borrowing and interest soon hit Refused further loans because she couldn t pay back what she owed and needing to eat and pay bills Susan turned to credit cards and doorstep loans She s taken out a 900 loan from a doorstep loan company They re charging her 1 080 of interest She has to pay back almost 2 000 over two years over twice what she borrowed The debt is simply multiplying I have 400 worth of rent arrears and the landlord is threatening bailiffs she says I can t afford to put my heating on I don t use my oven any more I m scared to run up any bills By 7pm I m huddled up in bed with my dog Susan was struggling before the benefit changes hit but is now losing 70 a week She lives alone in a two bed house in London and the bedroom tax means she s now losing 12 housing benefit a week Her spare room is filled with medical equipment and a bed for a carer when she s too ill to cope by herself Another 4 a week goes on a network alarm She s been found unconscious twice before Needing the emergency button though as is the case with all needs doesn t mean she can afford it She was previously exempt from council tax but now has to pay over 12 a month for that too Her care bill takes another chunk with social services wanting 57 a week towards her care since the cuts came in in April Her incontinence pads 10 a week used to be paid for by her health authority but she now has to find that money herself How am I meant to pay these bills she says Realistically I can t afford my incontinence pads as well as the council tax These are the choices being made in Tory Britain 2013 Incontinent pads or council tax High interest high risk loans or having nothing to eat I had no idea these benefit changes were coming into action Susan tells me when we discuss how quickly things worsened for her She was already getting into debt by taking out doorstep loans and as the multiple benefit cuts hit her in April that debt just spread She has a 600 gas bill waiting and a 100 electric The bits of paper keep coming through the door she says but she can t do anything with them I can t physically pay she tells me I ve barely got enough money for food let alone anything else I m living inside these four walls I ve got nothing She gives a little laugh at a couple of points as we talk as if at this stage there is nothing else she can do Her pancreatic illness is worsening with the stress she says and she can barely think about the money she owes the doorstep loan company I can t do anything but cry when I think about the interest she tells me I can just see myself getting deeper and deeper in debt and then bailiffs coming in and taking the furniture That s the only way I can see of possibly getting out of this It s horrific Bedroom tax and DHPs when the help promised to the disabled fails July 22 2013 September 3

    Original URL path: https://differentprinciples.co.uk/tag/bedroom-tax/ (2016-02-16)
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  • independent living fund – Dr. Frances Ryan
    jobs We are back in the smoke and mirrors coming out of Iain Duncan Smith s department If you listen to legal teams opposing the AtW changes aspects of it are inconsistent unlawful and opaque Talk to disabled people actually experiencing it and they report payment delays incompetent administration and a climate of suspicion around their claims Advisers have guidance on what AtW now does and doesn t cover but because the changes haven t been published all we can put our hands on is that limits have been imposed on the amount of support worker hours that are permitted and major restructuring in how AtW is being delivered has led to delays in people s money Deaf people who need sign language interpreters have been particularly penalised with the cuts to support workers hours Jenny Sealey who runs a disabled led theatre company that employs 80 deaf and disabled people every year has gone from co directing the Paralympic 2012 opening ceremony to being left in fear for her career after her support was cut by half It gives some insight into the mindset of those with their hands on the controls that they can promote the need to get disabled people into work while enacting measures that make it impossible The DWP has a fetish for setting standards that can t be met Jobseekers sanctioned for missing an appointment they didn t know they had ESA applicants with degenerative conditions told they are fit for work and now disabled workers expected to be another stat in the employment figures while having their support cut changed and delayed This is the same short term rationale that is leading to the closure of the Independent Living Fund and cuts to Personal Independence Payments and one measure can t be separated from the other Barely midway into office the coalition declared that 500 000 disabled people would have their care or mobility allowance stopped with apparent ignorance that this would lose the exchequer 278m in lost national insurance and income tax as well as 178m in unemployment benefits to pay out when people could no longer physically get to work It does not take advanced economics to grasp that if you tamper with the support disabled people rely on being in the office with a personal assistant soon becomes being trapped at home staring at the kitchen walls If we are going to reduce people to profit we can at least get the maths right Read the full column at The Guardian here Independent Living Fund another DWP cut against the disabled March 16 2014 March 16 2014 francesryan18 Leave a comment I wrote a New Statesman column a couple of weeks ago titled Immoral or incompetent With the DWP it s no longer a choice It summed up what I d been thinking for a while the sheer scale of damaging cut inspired reforms and the depth of carelessness that was accompanying it As if confirmation one week later the

    Original URL path: https://differentprinciples.co.uk/tag/independent-living-fund/ (2016-02-16)
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  • sanctions – Dr. Frances Ryan
    are set to have their benefits stopped if they don t sign in at a jobcentre in the morning and spend the whole day there every day Breach the rules once and you ll lose four weeks worth of benefits twice and you won t be able to feed your kids for three months Yes some reasons for sanctions are almost laughable going to a job interview rather than a meeting at the jobcentre that it clashes with not completing an assessment because you had a heart attack during it But let s not convince ourselves the rest are credible punishment sensibly bestowed on the scrounging unemployed A government that deems it a success to stop the money someone needs to eat is a government of the grotesque Sanctions are a product of an attitude towards benefit claimants that says they are not people struggling to find work but suspects lazy stupid and in need of a DWP kick to get them out of bed The lazy are going hungry Eight in 10 Trussell Trust food banks report that benefit sanctions are causing more people to need emergency food parcels This I suppose is what Conservatives call motivation It doesn t matter that sanctions are disproportionately hitting the most vulnerable Nor that the DWP s own commissioned report says that they are being imposed in such a way that vulnerable people often don t understand what is happening to them and are left uninformed of the hardship payments to which they are entitled Six out of 10 employment and support allowance ESA claimants who have had their benefits stopped have a mental health condition or learning difficulty Are these the chosen victims of austerity now By definition of being in receipt of ESA many will struggle to do things such as be punctual for meetings or complete work placements with strangers in environments they don t know It is setting people up to fail and then punishing them for it Sanctions are not an anomaly Rather they are emblematic of the wider Tory record on welfare one of incompetence and at best indifference The work programme fails to find work for 95 of disabled people but enforced unpaid labour or loss of benefits is the DWP s answer More than a quarter of a million people are still waiting for PIP the benefit needed to help cover the extra costs of disability Seven hundred thousand people have been left waiting for an ESA assessment Locking people out of their rightful benefits is becoming a theme for this government The consequences are human the response from the government is inhumane Clapson had only left his last job to care for his elderly mum and before that had worked for 29 years On the day he died he had 3 44 to his name and six tea bags a tin of soup and an out of date can of sardines in his kitchen cupboards Benefit sanctions are aimed at ending the something

    Original URL path: https://differentprinciples.co.uk/tag/sanctions/ (2016-02-16)
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  • social care – Dr. Frances Ryan
    to watch as 28bn is hacked from their benefits Disabled people in poverty make up 4 of the population but have taken 13 of this government s cuts Carers are facing eviction from their homes because they can t pay the rent People too ill to work are going to payday loan companies to be able to buy food Severely disabled people are being told social care cuts mean they can t have help to get to the toilet at night and they should lie in incontinence pads instead This is happening in this country right now The seventh richest in the world No one is stopping it It has been left to the people without power to make someone listen It s significant that it was via an online petition that people who are disabled or long term ill made themselves heard faceless behind screens voiceless but for the keys finding some freedom within four walls Signing sharing tweeting talking these are the only options for people who are not given options who did not start in a position of opportunity and dignity but have watched over the months as the scraps they had have been taken away It s often said the cuts are an attack on the most vulnerable but it s a term that suggests an inevitability to all this Fear is not a guaranteed result of disability desperation does not have to come with long term sickness just another natural symptom amongst pain and fatigue Governments make people vulnerable they provide the support that the disadvantaged parts of society need or they don t When you cannot work you eat when those with their fingers on the purse strings give you money and if they don t you go hungry When you cannot wash yourself you get to the bathroom when those who make the decisions send and pay for someone to help you and if they don t you stay in bed dirty That is the definition of vulnerability Ignoring it leaving human beings to suffer alone is while we re at it the definition of cruelty I think disabled people deserve their day in parliament They won t of course be there themselves The thousands who together got the WOW petition to be noticed will sit at home aware that the fate of their lives as always is in the hands of someone else strangers politicians who are almost exclusively healthy and non disabled These MPs will have to imagine for a moment what life would be like if they woke up tomorrow without the security of money and health where there s one packet of pasta in the cupboard and some off smelling milk in the fridge and their body hasn t got the strength to cook anyway And where the tempting radiators are the enemy because the heating bill s already in arrears and there s no choice but to go to bed at 7pm and sit wrapped up feeling your

    Original URL path: https://differentprinciples.co.uk/tag/social-care/ (2016-02-16)
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  • The martyrdom of Tania Clarence: when will the press stop conveying disability as worse than death? – Dr. Frances Ryan
    Kardashian s newly bleached hair and Amber Rose s lingerie clad breasts This is pain as entertainment Fallible women and pitiable disability The comment function below allows instant public commentary The level of intrusion in all of this is sickening The headline Home again Just four months after admitting killing her three terminally ill children at her 1 2m family house is dehumanisation in a way that practically aims to titillate That the home in which the children died cost over a million pounds we re told is a vital detail I suppose we should be grateful the family is from leafy west London with a father who works in investment banking Imagine the headlines if they had dared face illness while living in a council house and on Jobseeker s Allowance Poverty has a habit of making tragedy damning Wealth seemingly makes the story of three dead toddlers glamorous That they were disabled children adds another disturbing layer to this For New Statesman I wrote about what The Mail s treatment of Tania Clarence says about our cultural portrayal of disability Share this Twitter Facebook Like this Like Loading Related disability Tania Clarence The Mail the media Post navigation Previous Post Mind the gap how charities are mopping up after the government s failure to care Next Post Inflicting suffering on those in need is now at the heart of our benefits system Leave a Reply Cancel reply Enter your comment here Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in Email required Address never made public Name required Website You are commenting using your WordPress com account Log Out Change You are commenting using your Twitter account Log Out Change You are commenting using your Facebook account Log Out Change You are commenting using your

    Original URL path: https://differentprinciples.co.uk/2015/03/10/the-martyrdom-of-tania-clarence-when-will-the-press-stop-conveying-disability-as-worse-than-death/ (2016-02-16)
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  • Starving, disabled children are symbol of a cuts agenda with no conscience – Dr. Frances Ryan
    week The number going without food has nearly doubled in the past two years from 16 to 31 Is this a national crisis yet I am not sure what more it takes I covered the disturbing issue of austerity s impact on disabled children caught in a welfare narrative of good poor and bad poor for The Guardian Read the full column here Share this Twitter Facebook Like this Like Loading Related bedroom tax benefits Contact A Family council tax cuts debt disability Mencap mental health Scope tax credit changes welfare women Post navigation Previous Post The ruined lives of Oscar Pistorius and Ched Evans why do men matter more than women Next Post Yes people can starve in benefit sanctions Britain One thought on Starving disabled children are symbol of a cuts agenda with no conscience roweeee says November 28 2014 at 11 43 am Australia is in the process of introducing the National Disability Insurance Scheme It s a slow process but it at least acknowledges the struggles experienced by people with disabiltiites I experience disability and a chronic illness myself as well as having a child who heads towards the spectrum There isn t a lot of support out there Quite heartbreaking Thank you for getting spreading the word and galvanising some support Reply Leave a Reply Cancel reply Enter your comment here Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in Email required Address never made public Name required Website You are commenting using your WordPress com account Log Out Change You are commenting using your Twitter account Log Out Change You are commenting using your Facebook account Log Out Change You are commenting using your Google account Log Out Change Cancel Connecting to s Notify me of new comments via email About

    Original URL path: https://differentprinciples.co.uk/2014/11/27/starving-disabled-children-are-symbol-of-a-cuts-agenda-with-no-conscience/ (2016-02-16)
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  • Poor doors? If you’re disabled, you’ll know society’s segregation doesn’t end there – Dr. Frances Ryan
    existing support is costing us By signaling the disabled and chronically ill as drains on a pressed public purse they figuratively as well as literally isolate individuals separating them from the less blame worthy majority It becomes natural to dismantle state support There is no thought for what happens to someone tired and aching who has their disability support delayed for a year or rejected entirely The individual is the cause of the problem and if left to it they can be their own solution Benefit sanctions are a symbol of this belief removing help doesn t starve it motivates There is a collective myth over how we ve got here and how we get out of it why some of us have more and others less that giving a person support makes them dependent rather than provides the means to be independent Social security is a dirty word in this climate so much so that it s slowly been renamed welfare There is security in a sense of society and this is neither weakness nor dependency The Conservatives co opted the slogan We are all in this together taking solidarity and bastardising it into an excuse for the state to do nothing and charities and families already struggling to take on the pressure But its true meaning is one of state responsibility and personal empathy It is what all of us will need at some point in our life and for some born with obstacles and given more barriers need right now This is an edited version of a new essay for New Statesman on disability exclusion and the need for society The full version is here Share this Twitter Facebook Like this Like Loading Related cuts disability Social security society Post navigation Previous Post Social media and the

    Original URL path: https://differentprinciples.co.uk/2014/08/12/poor-doors-if-youre-disabled-youll-know-societys-segregation-doesnt-end-there/ (2016-02-16)
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