Disability Rights UK E-Newsletter 24 December 2018

Disability Rights UK news


Disability Rights UK would like to thank you all for supporting our work over the past year and wish everyone the best for next year – which promises to be a challenging one.




Brexit – It’s beginning to look a lot like a no deal: With the vote on the Brexit deal moved to January, and a possible/probable rejection of the agreement, the government has ‘ramped up’ preparations for a no deal Brexit. There is also unlikely to be time to pass legislation for a second referendum (even if it were agreed) without the EU granting an extension of Article 50.

Now might be a good time to look at the government published papers on how the UK will cope in the event of a no-deal. DR UK has highlighted some which may be of interest to people with a disability or long term health condition.

We have also produced a manifesto on what the disability rights sector should be seeking from a post-EU UK.

Social Care green paper delayed yet again: The publication of the Social Care Green Paper has been delayed several times, since its original scheduled publication date of summer 2017. Its publication has been further delayed until “the first opportunity in 2019”. Sue Bott, Deputy CEO Disability Rights UK, said it was no surprise that the green paper – which itself represented a “failure to get to grips with the urgent and growing crisis in social care” – had been “pushed back and pushed back”.

She attended a round table to discuss social care concerning the green paper and younger disabled people with Secretary of State Health and Social Care Matt Hancock on 19 December. Read more

15,000 die before getting their share of £970 million in ESA underpayments: Earlier this year, a report by the National Audit Office and a Public Accounts Committee report estimated 70,000 disabled people had been underpaid ESA following their migration from incapacity benefit. This was due to the DWP’s failure to consider if they qualified to be paid top up income-based ESA. The DWP has begun the process of reviewing around 900,000 ESA cases to identify those that could be affected. However, up to 15,000 disabled people have died before they could received their share of what is a £970 million benefits underpayment blunder. Disability Rights UK Deputy CEO Sue Bott  said this issue has been a “disaster for disabled people”. Read more

Inclusive Transport Strategy: monitoring and evaluation framework: The government has published guidance on how it plans to monitor and evaluate the work for the Inclusive Transport Strategy. You can find out more about Disability Rights UK’s campaigning for inclusive transport regarding wheelchair access and shared spaces. Our ambassador Stephen Brookes was also has appointed Sector Champion for Rail by the Secretary of State for Disability.


Helplines – Christmas opening and closing times



General Information (office) – MembershipEnable Fund – phone and email services

These lines will be closed from 1.00pm on Monday 24th December 2018 to Tuesday 1 January 2019, reopening at 9.00am on Wednesday 2 January 2019.

Personal budgets helpline

This line will be closed on:

  • Tuesday 11 December 2018
  • Tuesday 18 December 2018
  • Thursday 20 December 2018
  • Tuesday 25 December 2018
  • Thursday 27 December 2018
  • Tuesday 1 January 2019
  • Thursday 3 January 2019
  • Tuesday 8 January 2019
  • Thursday 10 January 2019
  • Thursday 17 January 2019

Disabled Students Helpline

This line will be closed on:

  • Tuesday 25 December 2018
  • Thursday 27 December 2018
  • Tuesday 1 January 2019
  • Thursday 3 January 2019

Member Organisations Welfare Rights Advice Service

This line will be closed from Thursday 13 December 2018 to Tuesday 1 January 2019, reopening Wednesday 2 January 2019.

Equality Advisory Support Service

The Christmas opening and closing times for this line are:

  • Monday 24 December 2018 – 9am -5pm
  • Tuesday 25 December 2018 – closed
  • Wednesday 26 December 2018 – closed
  • Thursday 27 December 2018 – 9am -7pm
  • Friday 28 December 2018 – 9am -7pm
  • Saturday 29 December 2018 – 10am -2pm
  • Sunday 30 December 2018 – closed
  • Monday 31 December 2018 – 9am -5pm
  • Tuesday 1 January 2019 – closed
  • Wednesday 2 January 2018 – 9am -7pm – normal opening hours resume


Members, projects and partners



Disability employment gap campaign at Downing Street: Warwick Business School academic, Kim Hoque, has told the UK Government that fulfilling its election pledge of helping a million more disabled people into employment could help address the skills gap likely to emerge post Brexit.

Professor Hoque, along with Philip Connolly, Disability Rights UK Policy and Development Manager, has had a series of meetings with the Prime Minister’s Special Advisor for Disability, and also with senior officials in the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy (BEIS), the Department of Work and Pensions (DWP) and the Cabinet Office, to deliver this message.

It follows the recommendations of the All-Party Parliamentary Group (APPG) for Disability report, launched in December 2016, entitled Ahead of the Arc: A contribution to halving the disability employment gap, which Professor Hoque co-authored. Read more

The EnAble Fund: The EnAble Fund for Elected Office is intended to cover the additional financial costs associated with a disability or health condition, that would otherwise prevent someone from seeking elected office. For more information, go to www.disabilityrightsuk.org/enablefund

Right to Participate:  Find out how you can use the Equality Act, to protect you from discrimination in everyday situations.

  • Take Action – read how you can assert your rights in everyday situations.
  • Stories – read how disabled people have faced discrimination and what they’ve done about it.
  • Share your story – your story, your way. Whether it’s text, audio, video or image share a story with us and help empower other disabled people to take action.

DRILL Chronic Illness Inclusion Project Newsletter: From now on, following responses from focus groups and surveys, “Energy Limiting Chronic Illness” is the term the project will be using to better represent you and voice your concerns. Read DRILL blog. Chronic illness and citizenship – mobilising a collective voice for social change is a DRILL funded project aimed at promoting the framework of independent living among the chronic illness community and providing them with tools for greater autonomy and dignity.

Tell us about your care: Recently visited your GP or been to hospital? We would like to hear about your experience! Phone 0330 995 0400 or go here


DR UK Fundraising, products and training courses



Into post-16 learning and work workshop: Information and workshop about options, strategies and initiatives for disabled young people. This event will be of interest to parents and those supporting disabled young people into education, training and employment. Date: February 27th 2019, Time: 10:00 am – 16:00 pm at Resource for London, 356 Holloway Road, London N7 6PA. Find out more

Free training on Inclusive Practice in careers: Disability Rights UK is offering a free one-day training day designed for school careers advisers, coordinators and school careers leaders in Birmingham on 15 January 2019. The training is for those who wish to develop their understanding of disability equality and enhance their skills to support disabled learners with careers guidance and careers planning. Find out more

DR UK shop offers:

Factsheets, Guides and Information: For further information on welfare rights, education issues and social care you will find our factsheets/guides here or for more detailed information you can order a copy of the Disability Rights Handbook from our shop


Other news



Scottish recommendations for a new human rights framework: The First Minister’s Advisory Group on Human Rights has produced a Leadership report: Recommendations for a new human rights framework to improve people’s lives recommending the next steps on Scotland’s human rights journey, including finding a way forward in the context of post-Brexit uncertainty. Find out more

NHS England partnerships with voluntary and community organisations: NHS England has produced some principles of how it should work with voluntary and community organisations. This might help local disabled people’s organisations working with, and looking for funding from local NHS organisations. View VCSE Principles of Engagement

National Audit Office review of the role and costs of clinical commissioning groups (CCGs): This review sets out the role, costs and performance of CCGs, the changing commissioning landscape and the future of CCGs. The structure of CCGs is evolving, with mergers, shared senior management teams and increasing joint working. This trend is expected to continue, which will likely lead to fewer CCGs covering larger populations. Their larger scale is intended to help with planning, integrating services and consolidating leadership capability, but there is a risk that working across greater populations will make it more difficult for CCGs to design local health services that are responsive to patients’ needs. Read more

Ways banking services can be can improved for disabled customers: The Banking Sector Champion, appointed by the Office for Disability Issues, is working with banks, building societies and The Post Office to look at ways they can improve services for disabled customers. They are carrying out a survey and would like to hear the views of disabled people directly. The survey is at www.surveymonkey.co.uk/r/SCM37R8

Reinstating DLA awards for non-attendance of PIP consultation: Sarah Newton (Minister of State for Disabled People, Health and Work has announced a review to reinstate DLA awards lost due to non-attendance of a PIP consultation where the claimant had a good reason. Read more





Getting to DR UK at Plexel: Free shuttle buses run from Stratford underground, train and bus stations from 7am to 10.30pm.

Free shuttle buses run from Stratford underground, train and bus stations from 7am to 10.30pm. There are two pickup points for the shuttle bus:

  • Bus stop E outside Stratford International Station
  • Bus stop X outside Stratford City Station/Westfield

Shuttles run every 5-10 minutes.

For more information see our Contact us page


Disability Rights UK

Plexal 14 East Bay Lane Here East, Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park Stratford, LondonE20 3BS United Kingdom

0330 995 0400


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