Disability Rights UK E-Newsletter 19th August 2019



Our free newsletter keeps you up to date with the work we do, the work of our members and news from the sector.

If you’re a member organisation and wish to submit an article for consideration, email members@disabilityrightsuk.org.


DPO survey



Disability Rights UK is keen to understand more about the current opportunities and challenges faced by local Disabled People’s Organisations (DPOs).

We’d like to know, for example, what could be done to improve communication from grassroots up and how DR UK can better support local organisations.

We’ve created a short survey to help us gather your views and suggestions, which can can be accessed here. The survey will take approximately 15 minutes to complete and we would appreciate any feedback from user-led organisations to help us plan and provide future services and partnerships


We’re recruiting for trustees!


We are disabled people leading change, working for “Equal Participation for All” and we are looking for new Trustees to join our board.

· Are you passionate about equal participation for all disabled people?

· Do you have the skills to be a Trustee?

· Can you help strengthen the voice of disabled people and support Disability Rights UK to continue to build the organisation and achieve greater impact and sustainability?

Our elections are on 13 November 2019 and successful candidates will join the board on 1st January 2020 for a three-year term.

We are looking for people with expertise in:

- fundraising / income generation

- marketing and communications, including digital communication

We would welcome applications from women and people from black and minority ethnic communities who are under-represented on DR UK’s Board.

We are keen to receive applications from disabled people with a wide range of experiences including: learning difficulties, mental health conditions, neuro-diversity, deafness, hearing impairments, visual impairments, physical impairments and long-term health conditions.

For more details about the role and commitments of a Trustee and the application form, please see the attached documents. Send your completed application form by email to recruitment@disabilityrightsuk.org

If you require a printed application pack, an alternative format or other assistance, please telephone Chelsey Tredgold on 0203 687 0772, email us at recruitment@disabilityrightsuk.org or write to:

Trustee Recruitment 2019

Disability Rights UK


14 East Bay Lane


E20 3BS

The closing date for applications is 5pm on the 21st August 2019


News roundup


Capita in U-turn over contesting compensation payment ordered after PIP claimant’s tragic death: As we reported last week, Capita was told to pay £10,000 after Victoria Smith tragically died months after her personal independence payments were stopped following a Capita assessment. Capita planned to dispute this at Telford County Court. However, it has now decided not to contest the judgement and has apologised “for any additional distress”. Read more

University as a disabled person: “While university is more accessible than ever before, with almost half of young people in England going on to higher education, people with disabilities and special educational needs are still far less likely to attend. It’s not due to their academic capabilities, but because of low expectations. Research from 2018 revealed disabled students are 10% more likely to have low educational expectations than their non-disabled peers with similar school performance” Read more

The truth about plastic straws: Plastic straws will be banned in the UK from April 2020. We know that this will make things really difficult for some disabled people, but will it really make a difference to the environment? Read more

Chair of APPG for Disability nominated for award: Congratulations to Dr Lisa Cameron, Chair of the All Party Parliamentary Group (APPG) for Disability who has been nominated as MP of the Year 2019 (People’s Choice Award), for her services to the Group.


Get Involved



CHANGE are looking for members to join their committee: CHANGE is now looking for disabled people and people with learning disabilities to join the committee.The committee will oversee the work and plans for CHANGE and will work alongisde Advonet and their board of trustees. They are looking for people with a working knowledge of management, with good networks and knowledge of rights. The deadline for applications is the 9th September. Download the information pack or read the full statement.

Maritime and Coastguard Agency (MCA) want feedback from disabled passengers on ferry and cruise services: Read more and complete the survey here.

Go and see Fit for Work!: Fit for Work is an hour-long play which dramatises and critiques the assessment process for the benefit Employment and Support Allowance (ESA). It follows Terry, an ex-plasterer who suffered a haemorrhagic stroke, before, during and after being assessed for ESA by Mrs Smith. The play is written by Dr Louise Powell, who is writing from personal experience of attending ESA assessments.The play debuted at the Tristan Bates Theatre in the West End in March, had a sell-out performance at Durham Assembly Rooms Theatre’s ‘Spare Room’ Festival in June, and is now being performed at 8pm on 24th and 25th August at the Chapel Playhouse, Kings Cross, during the Camden Fringe.

Sharing and Celebrating Patient and Public Involvement in Healthcare Community Grants: NHS England and NHS Improvement’s ‘celebrating involvement in healthcare’ community grants scheme is now open for applications. Grants of up to £2500 are available to voluntary, community and social enterprise organisations to showcase how they have been involving patients, service users and the public in improving health services. Apply now


Members, projects and partners



Get Yourself Active: “Being newly disabled was isolating for a while and finding a new hobby helped me to reconnect with people in a really welcoming environment.” Read Leanora’s story here.

DR UK is now recruiting for the 2019/20 cohort of its flagship Leadership Academy Programme (LAP): 80% of our delegates have gone on to achieve new promotion opportunities, joined committees or disability networks and seen an increase in their confidence, motivation and self-belief. Find out more.

Business Champions: DR UK are looking for Business Champions! Our champions will help us increase our impact in the business sector and provide us with feedback on ways we can better work with businesses. We are looking for those with an active interest in disability and a good level of experience in the corporate and/or public sector. If you are committed to creating a more equal society for disabled people, please do get in touch at anna.fahy@disabilityrightsuk.org

New publication launched: In collaboration with the Gatsby Education and the Careers and Enterprise Company we’ve launched “Good Career Guidance: Perspectives from the Special Educational Needs and Disabilities Sector”. It is available to read online or download here

Tell us about your care: The Care Quality Commission (CQC) are asking disabled people, those living with a long-term health condition, and their families to share their experiences through the Tell Us About Your Care survey. You can also call us to complete the survey on your behalf – 0330 995 0400 (afternoons are quietest), choose Option 1 and quote; ‘CQC’ when your call is answered.


Support our work by giving a monthly amount



DR UK is launching a campaign to create 50 key supporters who each give £20 per month. In this way we can build up a fighting fund to underpin all our core work supporting disadvantaged disabled people, for which we receive no government funding.

Whatever the amount, direct debit is the single most helpful and efficient way you can support our work:

-  £3.00 per month can provide a disabled person with life changing advice and guidance

- £10.00 will fund updating a DR UK factsheet to help thousands of disabled people get the support they need

- £20.00 per month can fund our policy team to influence the protection or extension of a key right in the daily lives of millions

Please sign up to give a regular monthly amount here.


Training and Consultancy



Benefits Overview Training: Sign up now! Our September course is already full and next availability is for 13th November. This course is for professionals looking to increase or update their knowledge of the benefits system – it is not for individual claimants.

Disability Confidence Training: if you are a manager wanting to increase your awareness and knowledge of supporting disabled colleagues – as members of staff, volunteers or young people on work experience then this course is for you. The next course will run on 9th September in central London.

Corporate Partnership Offer: we have recently revamped our corporate partnership offer so that it is both useful and cost effective for businesses of all sizes. Working in partnership with us is the best way to create a truly inclusive organisation. To find out more please contact anna.fahy@disabilityrightsuk.org

Reviewing your organisation’s factsheets: as part of its training and consultancy service, DR UK can check and update your organisation’s factsheets and benefits guides. We already do this for a number of health charities. To discuss your needs please contact anna.fahy@disabilityrightsuk.org


Publications and factsheets



Our new handbook has now been printed and is available to purchase! Everything you need to know about benefits and social care. First come, first served. Get yours now! If you’re an organisation, we can offer discounts for orders of 5 copies or more, email steve.newsham@disabilityrightsuk.org for more information.

Factsheets, Guides and Information: For information on welfare rights, education issues and social care, see our factsheets and guides.





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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