Independent Living Fund
Now the Independent Living Fund has closed, I would be foolish if I did not say I was not a little nervous about the future of my support, but I have and will always be nervous about any assessment, because they all have an element of uncertainty even when there is little to worry about. I also understand any change leads to concern, and it is important to stay calm, and stick with the facts, as no news is good news.
Please put yourself in the position of the disabled people who are losing their ILF support, understand how fearful they are about the future and join them to say no, that's enough. This is one cut we really do not need to carry out. Ask your MP to reinstate the ILF and give dignity back to those disabled people who require a high level of support. It's not too much to ask.
As the closure of the Independent Living Fund fast approaches, I remain frustrated at how those who are still campaigning for it to stay open are portraying the situation. They like to paint the image of poor and defenseless users, who were protected by the fund, now being swallowed up by the big bad councils and their social workers with pound signs in their eyes, as they come to deliberately make life difficult for their users.
I believe what is happening with Access to Work, where the soul of helping and supporting people as been replaced by a sanitised entitlement procedure that is built upon distrust and disharmony, is a very good indicator of what is likely to happen.
I'm writing this as I return from my annual trip to Edinburgh's Fringe Festival. I tend to head up for a couple of days each year to catch shows, catch up with colleagues (and this year catch a cold too). Every year, I look to see where disabled artists are in the mix - and this year the spread is impressive.
The Independent Living Fund (ILF) has supported people with high support needs since 1998, currently 17000 users, with the original aim of keeping people out of residential care in a very different environment to the one we have now.
Today the Supreme court ruled against right to die campaigners Paul Lamb and Jane Nicklinson in their latest attempt to change the current laws on assisted suicide, and I must admit I am relieved. I know that might sound heartless, and there are many voices who cry about their suffering and choice, but a recent stay in hospital made me realise that there is a wider issue behind the assisted suicide debate.
While there is five disabled people who are celebrating today because they believe they have stopped the closure of the Independent Living Fund (ILF) after their high court appeal, there are 19000 other users, including myself, who now have a lot to fear about as the actions of a few trying to escape reality has potentially harmed the lives of so many.
The government's decision to scrap a scheme designed to help disabled people to live independently did not properly consider
I think we are being led to believe some health professional from ATOS has visited a person in a coma, took one look at them, and said yep, they are fit for work! I mean really?