Tag Archives: disabilities

Opinion: To be free from poverty, ignorance and conformity, our society must have robust support for disabled people

Today is Blogging Against Disablism Day 2015. It’s the tenth annual day for disabled and non-disabled people to blog about their experiences, observations and thoughts about disability discrimination (known as disablism or ableism). It aims to raise awareness of inequality, promote equality and celebrate the progress we’ve made.

An online acquaintance of mine said he was going to write for #BADD2015 in terms of the political parties’ manifestos. Good Lib Dem that I am, I looked forward to hearing some positive stuff about my party. I know there’s lots to talk about.

The Lib Dems have budgeted the £8 billion a year the NHS will need during the next parliament, which is bound to be relevant to the lives of people with disabilities and other long-term conditions, as many of us do seem to see doctors, nurses and specialists often enough to be on a first-name basis with many of them!

The Lib Dems’ unique dedication to improving mental health care is also relevant to many disabled people, both those whose disability is primarily or entirely a matter of mental illness, and those who experience poor mental health as a result of other disabilities. Mental illnesses are some of the most common, and most “invisible,” disabilities in the UK, and at the moment the mental health care many people receive (or fail to) not only doesn’t help them but can actually make their mental health worse.

Posted in Op-eds | Also tagged and | 6 Comments

Sal Brinton refused access to bus because driver wouldn’t ask man with buggy to move

Sal BrintonJust over a year ago, party President Sal Brinton wrote on here about her woeful experience of rail travel, saying she felt that disabled people were treated like packages. She outlined what had happened to her over a six month period:

  • Last Sunday, returning from the Scottish Lib Dem Conference in Aberdeen, I was  left on an empty train on an empty platform at midnight at King’s Cross for over 15 minutes before I spotted someone on the first floor, and waved furiously to get her attention;

  • Refused permission on to a pre-booked train, because rush hour commuters rushed on the train ahead of me, and the train conductor didn’t want to move the commuters and risk being late – even though she watched them barge past the National Rail guy with the ramp and me;

  • Often been taken off the train by the conductor because the station staff weren’t notified I was on the train;

  • Having to be transported off the end of a rail platform, across the rail lines and up the other side, because many of our stations, even on main lines like Brockenhurst on the  London to Bournemouth line, don’t have lifts;

  • And been told by Complaints Dept at First Capital Connect that  lifts at Luton aren’t on the capital works schedule for some years and it is also  acceptable not to have lifts there because they are available at Luton Airport station;

Yesterday, she had an equally unpleasant experience while trying to board a number 24 bus in London. She told the Evening Standard what had happened to her:

Posted in News | Also tagged and | 21 Comments

Opinion: The value of reading

Continuing on from my last post on mobility, I’m taking another look at the replacement for the Disability Living Allowance, Personal Independence Payments (PIP).

The second area where the current proposals on PIP disadvantage blind people is in that of communication. This is one of the activities under the broad heading of ‘daily living’.

Posted in Op-eds | 1 Comment

Opinion: How do we get home?

I am a physically disabled Liberal Democrat member living in London and have held a Taxicard for about 5 years now. For those who don’t know this, a Taxicard allows Londoners with mobility problems subsidised trips in black taxis within London boroughs.

On Good Friday, I asked the London Taxicard service a simple question. It was a question I have asked them several times before: How many trips do I have left?

The answer? 52.  The next question: When is that up to? Here comes the unpleasant surprise: That’s for the whole year.

Fifty-two trips a year? That’s one trip a week, I …

Posted in Op-eds | Also tagged | 22 Comments

A Radical Activist Grandma writes… Lib Dems must make their voice heard on mental health and disability issues

Suzanne Fletcher had an experience many Lib Dems have experienced at the party’s conference: she’d prepared a speech but there was not time to call her during the debate. However, Lib Dem Voice is delighted, with Suzanne’s permission, to share her thoughts with our readers…

The speech I didn’t make at Lib Dem conference on the Employment & Support Allowance (ESA) and Work Capability Assessments
First of all congratulations to the Disability Consortium for their well-run campaign to get people to come and vote in this debate, although I was certainly going to be here anyway, along with my colleagues from Stockton, …

Posted in Op-eds | Also tagged , , , and | 7 Comments
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