Thursday, 29 October 2015


Some things I've heard recently.

Dundee Polio Fellowship.
  • Attitudes towards people with disabilities have changed for the worse.
  • We face 'everyday' aggression
  • Accused of being benefit scroungers.
  • Late-life disability brings increased problems
  • Care in the Community - under-funded, under-staffed not enough time
Dundee Independent Advocacy Support.
  • Difficulties with Atos/Maximus
  • Medical assessments often carried out with inappropriately trained people - example of a physiotherapist assessing a person with learning difficulties.
  • DLA to PIP - delays and changes in criteria causing havoc.
  • 'Payment by results' is a sanction on service providers.
Dundee Access Group.
  • State of dropped kerbs
  • Misuse of disabled parking spaces by able-bodied people.
  • 'Accessible' toilets that are only partly accessible.
St Mary's Lunch Club, Lochee.
Though not specifically for people with disabilities, never-the-less had a high proportion of such persons present when I visited.  These were some comments:
  • "Listen!!!!" - that's the polite version.
  • Job Centre - you mean the Gestapo Centre.
  • They just talk through you, don't listen and lie all the time.
  • Mental health services are hopeless and take forever.
  • Turmoil with doctors
  • Temporary jobs muck up your CV.  They make it look like you can't keep a job.
  • MPs 10% pay rise is a scandal
  • When someone is sanctioned, what are they supposed to do?
Dundee Blind and Partially Sighted Society.
  • 'A' frames in the street.  City Council banned them but haven't enforced the ban.  What use is that?
  • As Christmas approaches shops pile more and more goods into the aisles.  We trip over them and wheelchairs can't get past them.  Is that not a matter for Health and Safety?
  • 60/65% of our clients are over 65.
  • Visually impaired children have a special unit at Craigiebarns Primary
  • Taxi drivers who get to know us are great.
  • Quality of life depends so much on the quality of other people's services to you.
Scottish Trades Union Congress.
  • "Information received following requests under Freedom of Information Act show that the needless policy of austerity pursued by the Government, and Ian Duncan Smith's department in particular, could be preventing disabled people securing employment."
  • In 2010 when the coalition government came to power, in the 781 Jobcentre Plus throughout the UK, persons with disabilities looking for work could rely on the support of 499 specialist Disability Employment Advisers.  Five years later that number has been decimated.
  • The information supplied by DWP shows that in May 2015 the number of Disability Employment Advisers had fallen to 297, a fall of 40%.  The on-going attacks on supported employment, the loss of Remploy jobs and other attacks on disability benefits such as the bedroom tax are proving this government plans to be one of the most heartless and uncaring we have seen.
  • 'Disabled people need support, not sanctions to get into work.'

A couple of ideas that have been floated.

  • Dundee, a decent city.  Can the Fairness Commission try to raise a culture of respect for vulnerable people; promote a Dundee where citizens do the right things?
  • A 'GOOD' Places Register.  Can the Commission, or perhaps the Council, set up something along the lines of the Trusted Trader scheme?

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