Welcome to our Campaigns page! We’ll regularly be adding content to this page so please keep an eye out for new content.
Health Inequalities & People with Learning Disabilities in the UK: 2012
This annual report summarises the latest evidence about the extent, nature and determinants of health inequalities experienced by
people with learning disabilities in the UK. Each year the report includes a more detailed look at evidence related to particular groups of people with learning disabilities. In 2012, it focuses on the health of people who show challenging behaviours.
For more information please see the following website:
Alternatively try: http://sn.im/25xgizp
Source: Improving Health and Lives, 17 December 2012
Making Campaigning more accessible.
Thomas Butler has been funded by the Vodafone Foundation to work part-time for Mencap Liverpool for the past four months. During his time as a paid member of staff, he has written an information pack all about campaigning. The aim was to make campaigning more accessible to people with a learning disability, to help individuals have more control over their lives and the world around them.
This pack is not written in easy read, but we have tried to keep things simple and easy to understand. There are lots of pictures and plenty of weblinks at the end of each chapter, which you can look at for more information.
We hope you find it useful. It’s available to download for free, but we would encourage you to make a small donation if you can. We are happy to post a hard copy to you if you cover the printing and postage.
As we know, the recent proposed changes to the social care system mean that many people with a learning disability are having the services they receive cut or reduced.
After hearing the concerns voiced by people with a learning disability in letters to local MP’s and newspapers, representatives from the Learning Disability Coalition were able to meet with advisors from the Treasury and from the Department of Health to stress the importance of social care for people with a learning disability. Meetings like these ensure that this issue is kept high on the political agenda, so it is vital support for this campaign remains high.
A Care Lobby is taking place on 6th March 2012, where people will be able to tell their MP’s in person why social care is so important.
If you can’t make it down to London, then instead take the time to email your MP now. If you are someone with a learning disability, or support someone with a learning disability, let them know what social care means to you – make sure your voice is heard!
Take Action – Thomas’ Template Letter
|Dear….My name is…. and I have a Learning Disability.I am writing to you because I am really worried about the changes that are being made to benefits that help people with a disability. I think these changes will cause particularly bad problems for people with a learning disability.Firstly, I am worried about the changes that might be made to Disability Living Allowance. Learning disability is lifelong so people with a learning disability need this benefit to help them for the rest of their lives. Changing the Disability Living Allowance to Personal Independence Payment will mean a stressful reassessment for people with a learning disability. Many people will not understand what is happening. I’m concerned that people will be reassessed unfairly, as the government is trying to save money by employing a private company who don’t know anything about learning disability, instead of the person’s doctor or specialist who are properly qualified to assess the impact the individuals learning disability has on their lives. Losing out on the Personal Independence Payment will mean that many people with a learning disability will lose access a lot of important support. We will become isolated, excluded from our communities because we don’t have the support we need to get out and our physical and mental health will suffer. This will end up costing the Government a lot more to fix.
I am also worried about the change to Employment Support Allowance. People with a learning disability often take longer than one year just to get work-ready and need specialist support – so limiting Employment Support Allowance to one year is unrealistic and unfair. People with a learning disability find entering into paid work a lot harder so it’s not right for the government to apply the same conditions to ESA as to Job Seekers allowance.
People with a learning disability do want to work and we don’t want any more support than we really need, as we want to be fully included in everyday life. But we must be properly understood and catered for so that we have the same rights as any citizen and are supported to fulfil our responsibilities. Having our needs decided by people who know nothing about us or about learning disability and then setting us up to fail by lumping us in a’ back-to-work’ group (when nearly all of us have never had the chance to work, is just setting us up to fail. If you support us in the right way we can make a positive contribution to the economy and get the country back on its feet.
My letter is part of a campaign from Mencap Liverpool to help people with a learning disability become involved in the campaign against cuts to disability services. Mencap Liverpool has asked their members to write to the Liberal Democrat party and ask them to vote against these policies in The Welfare Reform Bill. It is important that we get your support so votes against the bill can defeat it.
Please show your support for us and vote against this bill,
Here is a selection of email address’ that your letter can be forwarded to:
Lord German – Co-Chair of the Parliamentary Party Committee on Work and Pensions : email@example.com
Lord Greaves – Co-Chair of the Liberal Democrat Parliamentary Party Committee on DEFRA
Baroness Hamwee – Co-Chair of the Liberal Democrat Parliamentary Party Committee on Home Affairs, Justice and Equalities (Home Office):
Baroness Jolly – Co-Chair of the Parliamentary Party Committee on Health and Social Care
Lord Lee of Trafford – Co-Chair of the Liberal Democrat Parliamentary Party Committee on Internaitonal Affairs (MoD)
Baroness Ludford MEP – MEP for London firstname.lastname@example.org
Lord Maclennan of Rogart – Co-Chair of the Liberal Democrat Parliamentary Party Committee on Constitutional and Political Reform
(Cabinet Office), Co-Chair of the Liberal Democrat Parliamentary Party Committee on Scotland email@example.com
Lord Newby – Co-Chair of the Liberal Democrat Treasury Parliamentary Party Committee firstname.lastname@example.org
If you need any further help, please do not hesitate to contact the Mencap Liverpool Office on 0151 707 8582!
The Hardest Hit Christmas Campaign
Welfare reform – the biggest threat to blind and partially sighted people’s benefits and support in a generation.
We encourage all members here today to take this action. Many people still don’t realise that if the Welfare Reform Bill goes through unamended, it will only be a matter of months (April 2012) before people who lose their sight are subjected to a 12-month time limit on contributory Employment and Support allowance. It would only be a year (2013) before all DLA claimants would face a prospect of a reassessment to check whether their visual impairment still disables them.
A giant Christmas card has been organised by the Hardest Hit campaign group (Disability Benefits Consortium). The famous cartoonist and illustrator, Gerald Scarfe, is illustrating the card. We have 2 weeks (deadline 6 December) to gather 10,000 signatures before the card is presented to the Government in early December. Please sign the card and if you can, ask ten of your friends, family and contacts to also sign the card.
We have been campaigning to improve the Welfare Reform Bill alongside our supporters and members, and over 50 other disability organisations under the banner of the Hardest Hit all year. The Welfare Reform Bill is now making its way through the final stages in Parliament. The next month provides us with our last real opportunity as a sector to influence the bill and we need to make our next action BIG and LOUD.
The action is timed for the Welfare Reform Bill reaching a crucial final parliamentary stage called Report Stage in the House of Lords, where we have the best chance of securing amendments to improve it. We are aiming to increase political pressure on the Government by demonstrating mass concern over how disabled people will be affected by proposals within the Welfare Reform Bill, particularly the time-limit on ESA and PIP proposals.
The Christmas Card says:
“Dear David Cameron and Nick Clegg,
While we don’t expect gifts this Christmas, we do want our basic rights protected and the support to enable us to live independently and with dignity.
Please make the New Year something disabled people can look forward to by:
- Not bringing in an arbitrary time-limit on Employment and Support Allowance for those who’ve paid into the system and still need support.
- Making sure that those who rely on Disability Living Allowance continue to receive the financial support they need through Personal Independence Payment”
You can also provide a short comment to put alongside your signature.
How do I sign the card?
The easiest way is online, by following this link:
If you don’t have access to the internet but want to sign, let us know your name and optional comment and we will pass it on to be included in the card.
The Hardest Hit March – Manchester, Saturday 22nd October 2-3pm
Mencap Liverpool will be attending the The Hardest Hit protest in Manchester to show our support for the campaign against cuts to sick and disabled people’s services. We are trying to get as many people as possible from the Liverpool area to come along and support us and all the other people attending, so if you want more information, or need help booking train tickets or organising transport, do not hesitate to give us a call on 0151 707 8582, or email email@example.com.
For more information on the Hardest Hit campaign and the march in Manchester, please click here
We hope to see you all there! Let’s make the government take notice!
(Did They) Make it Better?
We are meeting with senior managers in the local hospital trusts and the Primary Care trust, to see what progress has been made since our Make it Better report was launched last June.
If you have a learning disability or you care for someone with a learning disability, please complete our short survey about hospital experience.
If you want to view the original reports please click on the links below
Response To Panorama
Please take a look at the following articles in response to the shocking Panorama programme aired on 31.05.11.
Take Action – Get Social Care Right For People With A Learning Disability
People in Liverpool and the rest of the UK are being urged to write to their MP asking them to take action to improve care for people with learning disabilities.
Following a distressing Panorama programme on Tuesday night, which showed the abuse of people with learning disabilities by staff at Winterbourne View residential care home, the Learning Disability Coalition has launched an online form allowing people to write to their MP – and ask them to take action to reform the social care system – simply and easily. To access the form click LDC e-action.
Sarah Jones, Chief Executive for Mencap Liverpool, said: “Two changes need to take place to ensure that abuse of this kind never happens again.
“First, we need to massively influence public perception so that no-one ever thinks that it is acceptable to treat someone with a learning disability as ‘entertainment’. The abuse at Winterbourne was so severe and prolonged because there were a large number of people involved – either directly as perpetrators, spectators, or who people who chose to ‘look the other way’.
“We need to ensure that policy is influenced so that instances of abuse are picked up immediately and dealt with it rigorously – writing to our MPs is an important and effective way of helping to achieve this.
“We would like to encourage every person in Liverpool to fill in the form and to pass the link on to everyone they know – the more people are talking about this, the greater the change will be.”
Campaign Against the Cuts
Please click here for a useful website for finding suitable legal aid, as recommended by Luke Clements.
If you have been personally affected by any of the cuts, you can click here to download a general complaints letter from Luke Clements’ website.
Liverpool City Coucil also have their own complaints section, where you can download specific complaint forms.
The Guardian are keeping track of cuts that are happening all over the country. Get your story heard!
Survey for the Learning Disability Coalition
The Learning Disability Coalition is carrying out a survey of people with a learning disability, their families and carers to support their shadow report on the UN Convention. The survey focuses on transport, employment and standards of living. Please click here to complete the survey and help them with their report!
Protest against cuts to disability services online!
On Wednesday 11th May, thousands of disabled people, along with their friends and family, joined the Hardest Hit March in London to protest against the cuts that are threatening disability benefits, services and rights.
Although many of us couldn’t make it down to London on the day, there is a still a way we can get our voices heard by protesting online!
Please click here to protest against the cuts online and write to your MP!
You can also watch videos from the day and find out more information on The Guardian website
Big Cuts Event -Wednesday 20th April
We’ve had some amazing feedback from the day. Thanks to everyone who came along
Here are the slides as promised:
We’ll be back with more infomation and useful links next week!
(Ok, I’m super keen and couldn’t wait for next week- here’s some useful factsheets which summarise a lot of the information that was covered yesterday. The last one focuses on children with a disability but is definitely worth a read for everyone.)
Next week we’ll start to compile a list of local commuity care lawyers, as I think many people might find that helpful. Please contact me firstname.lastname@example.org if you have any names to recommend.