Disability Rights UK E-Newsletter 2nd September 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.


You are invited to Unison & DR UK’s Roundtable



We are delighted to invite you to attend a roundtable jointly hosted by UNISON and Disability Rights UK entitled ‘have enough human rights for disabled people been retained under the EU Withdrawal Act 2018?’. The roundtable will take place from 6.00-7.30pm on Tuesday 10 September in Room A, 1 Parliament Street, Houses of Parliament.

Brexit provides little reassurance and understanding of what and how human rights for disabled people have been retained under the EU Withdrawal Act. Human rights of disabled people are outlined in the UN Convention on Rights of Persons with Disabilities (CRPD) and UK civil society groups have long campaigned to ensure that CRPD is domestically enforced in UK jurisdictions. This has led many disabled charities and unions to lobby the Government for an Act of Parliament which adopts the CRPD entirely. The UK Government has refused to do so, for reasons which are not obvious. Brexit now provides a timely opportunity to create new legislation and affirm the UK’s commitment to the CRPD.

The roundtable will focus on whether enough human rights for disabled people have been retained under the EU Withdrawal Act and will ask how the new government can secure human rights of disabled people after Brexit. UNISON and Disability Rights UK would therefore very much appreciate your attendance.

Please contact Riccardo Robertson on r.robertson@connectpa.co.uk if you are able to attend.


Last chance to take our 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.

The deadline for completion is 6th September, so please get your responses in as soon as you can!


Preparing for Brexit


The DWP has asked DR UK and other disability organisations to share the following information about preparing for EU Exit.

As you’ll know the UK will be leaving the European Union on 31 October and this means a number of changes that will affect businesses, organisations and individual citizens.  Information is available on GOV.UK about this.

There is also specific information about the following:

EU Settlement Scheme

UK Benefits if you’re going or living abroad

In addition, the following may be useful:

- If you’re a UK national living in the EU, visit the UK nationals in the EU benefits and pensions in a no deal scenario page here

- If you’re an EU national living in the UK, visit the EU citizens in the UK: benefits and pensions in a ‘no deal’ scenario page here

- The Public Law Project summary research briefing on EU citizens rights after a no deal brexit here. This document will be updated regularly until the Immigration and Social Security (Co-Ordination) Bill is passed into law.

- DR UK’s article on how disabled people could be affected in the case of a no deal Brexit.


News roundup



People with non-visible impairments can now access Blue Badges: The extension to the Blue Badge scheme came into force in England on 30th August. In the biggest change to Blue Badges since the 1970s, the Department for Transport has expanded the eligibility criteria for the badges, which now includes people who cannot walk as part of a journey without considerable psychological distress or the risk of serious harm.

Healthwatch call for local authorities to demonstrate how they are responding to complaints: Healthwatch have conducted an investigation to explore how local authorities learn from complaints through looking at their annual complaints report. They have discovered that local authorities focus on reporting the number of complaints they receive rather than communicating what they are learning. Healthwatch call for complaints managers to be given more support to help demonstrate how councils respond to feedback from residents. Read more

One in five accesible parking bays is abused: The results of Disabled Motoring UK‘s Baywatch survey are in, and although there has been a slight improvement, one in five accessible supermarket parking bays are being used by people who are not displaying a blue badge. All the supermarkets surveyed have been contacted with the results in an endeavour to improve this. Read more

Cuts in the number of public toilets are affecting social mobility, health and equality: According to RightsInfo, between 2010 and 2018, councils across the UK stopped maintaining (and closed down) over 13 percent of all public toilets (at least 673 facilities). This disproportionately impacts a number of already disadvantaged groups, including disabled people. Read more


Get Involved


Government Consultation on Measures to Reduce Health Related Job Loss: Each year more than 100,000 people leave their job following a period of sickness absence lasting at least four weeks. Offering flexibility, early support and occupational health advice are the key to successful retention in the workplace. Many employers already see the case to invest in health and wellbeing. But some, particularly smaller ones, might not have the knowledge or time to support their employees with health conditions, even when they want to. The Government’s consultation seeks to address this challenge.

You can help shape future plans in this exciting area by accessing the consultation via this link, which will be open until 7th October 2019. Your views will be invaluable in helping Government to understand the implications of any reforms and how any potential changes can be best implemented in the future. This will be vital in ensuring Government provides employers and employees with the most effective support going forward.

How do you pay for things?: The Payment Systems Regulator is looking for people’s views on how they pay for things, and how they access cash from their bank account. The consultation closes on 6 September. Take part here

Paralympic sprint champion Jonnie Peacock to mentor four disabled children in new Channel 4 series: Parents of children who regularly use a prosthetic leg to take part in sport are being invited to put forward their children’s names as potential participants. Parents who feel their child could benefit from being mentored by Jonnie can contact the production company, One Tribe TV, which is helping Jonnie set up the project. Contact mel@onetribetv.co.uk for more information.

Department for International Development (DFID) is recruiting for the Direct Scheme for Advisers (DESA): This is a great opportunity to join DFID on a permanent basis and progress in an advisory career in international development. DFID are looking to recruit more individuals with disability expertise and experience. Find out more here. The closing date for applications is 11th September 2019.

BBC looking for people to take part in ‘Call That Hard Work?’: Electric Ray are making a new TV series for the BBC called ‘Call That Hard Work?’. It’s a light hearted programme that will see 3 people with different careers swap jobs for a day each. They will then rate the job out of 10. The person with the highest score is deemed as having the hardest job and wins a £1000 cash prize. Electric Ray are keen to ensure they are representing the diversity of the UK’s workforce. If you’re interested in taking part please call 0207 061 8584.


Members, projects and partners



Get Yourself Active: Students from two special teaching schools in Derby are staging the SHOUTaboutSEND 5k in October. Students from the schools are running the event from marketing and logistics to catering, as part of their employability curriculum. Find out more by clicking 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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