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April 2011

This update includes

Monthly Bulletin 23 articles on the following

Welcome to the April 2011 edition of

ecdp’s ecdp news
monthly email bulletin.
1. ecdp CEO gives
During March, our CEO, Mike Adams, was evidence to the welfare
invited to give evidence to the committee reform bill
for the Welfare Reform Bill, which is 2. ecdp’s work on
currently going through parliament. Disability Hate Crime
3. ecdp’s Access to Work
Using the lived experience members have report
shared with ecdp, Mike was able to make 4. Personalisation and
recommendations about the parts of the young disabled people
bill which look towards reforming Disability 5. Reminder to our
Living Allowance (DLA). members: ecdp
connects services
Full details of the meeting and the key
points raised are covered in the article on
page 3 of this bulletin; you can even watch
a video of the session in full! local news
Last month we shared the key findings 6. Disability Sports
from our Access to Work report with you. - Disability Sports Day
This report is now available in full and - Essex Inclusive Sports
discussed on page 6. Enterprise (EISE)
7. Herts PASS Summer
Our work on disability hate crime has also Job Forum
progressed, with ecdp hosting a meeting of key
stakeholders from all over Essex, working to
address this issue. The information shared in this
meeting will be added to that contributed by national news

April 2011: Monthly Update 23 Page 1 of 17

Monthly Bulletin 23 – April 2011

members and will feed into our ongoing work in

this area. You can read more about this work on
page 5.

All of the above work is underpinned by the lived

experience you have shared with us, either
through our online surveys, or through direct
communication with us here at ecdp. They are
real examples of the difference your contribution

As ever, we welcome any feedback or

comments on the articles in this bulletin
and if you would like to contribute an
article or highlight anything you think we
should be covering, please let us know.

You can contact us using the details below,

or post on the feedback section of our
online Members' Forum.

With best wishes,

Rich Watts
Director of Policy & Development

If you want to get in touch with us about

of the articles included in this update:

Telephone: 01245 392 300

Post: Ivan Peck House, 1 Russell Way,
Chelmsford, Essex CM1 3AA
April 2011: Monthly Update 23

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ecdp news

ecdp CEO gives evidence to the Welfare Reform

On Tuesday 22 March, Mike Adams, our CEO gave
evidence to the committee debating the Welfare Reform

The committee met opposite the Houses of Parliament and

was made up of 26 MPs from all three political parties.
Mike gave evidence on the parts of the Bill which look
towards reforming Disability Living Allowance (DLA) and
replacing it with a Personal Independent Payment (PIP),
and was giving evidence alongside Ann Spaight MBE, the
former chair of the Disability Living Allowance Advisory
Board (DLAAB).

In his evidence, Mike challenged the proposed reforms to the mobility

component of DLA for people who live in a residential setting and
highlighted that the fraud rate for DLA is lower than the DWP’s own
administrative error rate. He also emphasised the importance of DLA
reflecting the extra costs disabled people face in their everyday lives
and suggested that the focus of the reforms should be on driving down
the cost of disability rather than on need. Taking this approach enables
a focus on the supply side of the disability market, with the potential to
reduce the additional costs relating to disability through an increase in
disability-related business activity.

The lived experience of ecdp members captured through a survey

carried out last year, as well as our wider engagement with members
on this key issue, underpinned ecdp’s DLA consultation response.
Mike highlighted the vital role DLA plays in supporting disabled people
to live independently.

If you would like to watch the session it is available on the Parliament

website here: Parliament TV Welfare Reform Bill.

The full transcript is also available to read here: Welfare Reform Bill –
Public Bill Committee transcript.

For more information on the Welfare Reform Bill Committee, please

April 2011: Monthly Update 23 Page 3 of 17

ecdp news

visit the Parliament website.

ecdp’s full views on the proposed reforms to Disability Living

Allowance are available in our DLA consultation response document.
For those interested in the wider aspects of the DLA proposals and
their potential impact on disabled people, we recommend the Disability
Alliance’s DLA consultation response.

Missed a previous bulletin?

You can find every previous bulletin on our website, here:

ecdp monthly bulletin

April 2011: Monthly Update 23

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ecdp news

ecdp’s work on Disability Hate Crime

Over the last few months, our Lived Experience Officer - Faye Savage
- has been doing a considerable amount of work on the topic of
disability hate crime. This began with a discussion paper on hate crime
published in April 2010 and our dedicated survey and AGM
discussions on the same topic at the end of 2010.

During March, we held a roundtable discussion with a variety of

stakeholders, including Essex Police, to discuss our next steps
and how we can work together in order to address the issue of
hate crime.

In the next few weeks, we will share with you the results of all our
work regarding disability hate crime, and some recommendations for
practical activities it is anticipated will make a difference.

In the meantime, you can listen to two Audioboos on our website -

some audio we’ve recorded and published online - on hate crime. The
first is Faye talking about the work we’ve done on hate crime so far,
and the second is Faye’s appearance on the Dave Monk Show on
BBC Essex, after he kindly invited her to talk about this issue and what
it means for disabled people in Essex. You can find them both here: an
update on our disability hate crime work.

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ecdp news

ecdp Access to Work report

In January this year, we published a survey on the issue
of Access to Work. This was in response to a number of
recent experiences our members and others had had
with regard to subtle changes that had taken effect with
Access to Work.

We have now published a report, summarising the

findings from this work. Key findings, which are based
on the lived experiences of our members across Essex,
include: ecdp offers free
membership to all
 The subtle changes introduced to Access to Work disabled people who live
through new guidance are adversely affecting the or work in Essex.
crucial nature of the support people receive. A key
element of what makes the support so successful for Membership entitles you
people is its flexible nature and the variety of ways to:
people are able to use their funding to form a support
package which meets their needs.  this monthly email
 Restrictions on these options can and are having
serious effects on individuals and their work.  the quarterly ecdp
magazine – full of
 Disabled people’s organisations, peer support and news about ecdp’s
word of mouth are the main ways in which people work and wider
find out about Access to Work. Only a small minority disability issues
of people find out about Access to Work through
JobCentre Plus.  The opportunity to
contribute your lived
 The role of assessors in delivering Access to Work is experience to ecdp’s
absolutely crucial: a good assessor can lead to a work
very positive overall impression of Access to Work
and a poor assessor to a very negative impression of If you are interested in
the programme. joining, please email or
 Without suggesting the introduction of further phone 01245 392 300.
bureaucracy, a simple appeals process for Access to
Work - or at least recourse to a second opinion -
would also encourage a sense of accountability, transparency and

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ecdp news

fairness concerning Access to Work decisions.

Full details of all of the findings can be found in the report on our
website: ecdp Access to Work report, March 2011.

Our report has been shared both with the Minister for Disabled People
and Liz Sayce, who is undertaking a review of all specialist
employment programmes for disabled people on behalf of the DWP.

We will follow this up with a number of practical suggestions we and

our members have on Access to Work, which we shall share here
soon. Any perspectives you also have on this would be gratefully

Thanks to all our members who took part in the survey, and those who
took the time to share and promote information about our activity on
Access to Work.

April 2011: Monthly Update 23

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ecdp news

Personalisation and young disabled

ecdp is integrally involved in adult social care and the personalisation
agenda. To date, working age adults, and particularly people over
65, have been the focus for reforms in the social care world.

But we know that personalisation will be a significant driver in

children and young people’s services in the future, too. This is both
in traditional areas like education and health, and through Personal
Budgets in social care.

We know of some work that is seeking to understand how

organisations can move towards personalisation for disabled
children and young people. In particular, one organisation - Action
for Children (which has commissioned the research, which is being
undertaken by OPM) - is keen to understand how it can support the
move towards personalisation, particularly in relation to services for
disabled children, young people and their families.

To support this, it would be great to hear from anyone involved in

the development and delivery of personalised services or who knows
about good examples. A formal “call for evidence” can be seen and
downloaded on our website, here: personalisation and young disabled
people. Through this website, the top lines of the findings will be
shared, as well as through the OPM website and from Action for
Children themselves.

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ecdp news

Reminder to our members: Minnie Mouse visits

ecdp for Red Nose Day
ecdp connects services
ecdp connects receives referrals for anyone who is
eligible for a Direct Payment or Personal Budget. We
have advisors who can offer peer support and can
advise you on a number of things in connection with
Direct Payments (DPs) and Personal Budgets (PBs).

 We can let you know how to access DP/PB support

 We can advise you what DPs/PBs can and cannot

be used for, and the various options available to you

 If you decide you would like to take up a Direct To celebrate Red Nose
Payment or Personal Budget we can offer advice to Day last Friday, Minnie
assist you to decide how you would like to manage Mouse – otherwise
your funds known as our colleague
Amanda, who works for
If you live in Southend, Cambridgeshire or Thurrock we ecdp pass – visited our
can help if you would like to employ a personal assistant office in Chelmsford!
(PA) or purchase support from an agency:
Amanda came to work in
 We can help with letting you know what your fancy dress to raise
responsibilities would be as an employer money for Red Nose Day.
In total, Amanda raised
 We support with recruitment - including advertising, nearly £200 - a fantastic
interviewing and on contracts of employment amount that contributed
to the record total in the
This service is available to people who already have a history of Red Nose
Direct Payment or Personal Budget, as well as those Days: £74,360,207 so far!
new to the system. We also provide information, advice
and guidance to family members, social workers and Comic Relief and the
colleagues. types of support it
provides in the UK and
For any information, advice or guidance call ecdp beyond, please visit Red
connects on 01245 392 313, email Nose Day 2011 and or see the ecdp Comic Relief.
connects pages on the ecdp website.

April 2011: Monthly Update 23 Page 9 of 17

local news

Disability Sports
Disability Sports Day

Registration is now open for the next Disability Sports Day, being held
on Saturday 7 May from 11.00am at Riverside Ice and Leisure Centre.

The day will give disabled people - including children, adults and
families - the opportunity to try sports, arts, dance and other interactive
activities throughout the day.

For more information, including a timetable of events, please see the

Disability Sports Day Leaflet on the Chelmsford Borough Council

If you would like a hard copy of the leaflet and booking form, or for
more information, please e-mail, call
01245 606979 or see the website:

There are also various opportunities to volunteer on the day. If you are
interested in being part of the event, please contact Karen Barden,
Sports Development Officer using the above contact details.

Essex Inclusive Sports Enterprise (EISE)

The EISE website has recently been revamped. There are a number of
ways to be involved with EISE, whether you are interested in getting
into sports yourself – either as a participant or a spectator – or would
like to support someone to get involved.

For disability sports news and opportunities available, you can sign up
to the newsletter on the EISE website or visit the EISE Facebook

April 2011: Monthly Update 23

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local news

Herts PASS summer job forum

Hertfordshire PASS - a user driven charity in Welwyn Garden
City - is offering young disabled people (aged 16-25) the chance
to experience and learn about the reality of work by using
creative media.

The Summer Job Forum, which runs through the school summer
holidays, gives attendees the opportunity to try new media and arts
and will include sessions with disabled and non-disabled experts from
different industries, sharing their experience of work.

The sessions will be from 10.30am until 3.30pm, for six consecutive
weeks starting on Wednesday 13 July and every Wednesday until 17
August. The sessions will be charged at £2 each.

For more information see the Summer Job Forum pages of the Herts
PASS website and to book contact Katie Fraser by email or by phone 01707 321442 (ext 23).

April 2011: Monthly Update 23

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national news

New rights on bus journeys from 2013

From spring 2013, disabled people across the European Union
will have new rights when travelling on coaches and buses. In
February, the European Parliament in Strasbourg voted to
approve new rules, which apply to both long-distance journeys
and local bus services.
Image from CBC
The new regulations guarantee ‘non-discriminatory access to transport website
transport’. They include a requirement to provide accessible
journey information and a right to compensation for damaged
wheelchairs or assistive equipment. Information about the rights of
disabled people will be displayed online and in bus stations.

The rules will mean that bus and coach staff will be given disability
awareness training. They will be required to provide appropriate
assistance to passengers with reduced mobility who make a request at
least 36 hours before a departure. If an operator cannot provide
suitable assistance, the passenger will have the right to be
accompanied by a person of their choice at no extra cost. On long-
distance journeys, if an operator cancels a service and can’t honour its
transport contract, passengers will be entitled to compensation of 50%
of the price, on top of a full refund.

To read the full regulation, see here: Rights of passengers in bus and
coach transport; cooperation between national authorities.

This article is taken from the March/April 2011 edition of Mencap’s

magazine, Viewpoint, which can be read here: Viewpoint Archive
national news

Ofcom campaigns to make SMS

emergency services permanent
Independent regulator Ofcom is proposing to make a voluntary trial
allowing people to text emergency services - which has been
running in the UK for a year - mandatory.

It is predominantly utilised by deaf and speech-impaired people who

find using the phone difficult, with 14,500 individuals registered on the

Ofcom's campaign comes as part of a wider consultation regarding

changes to the body's regulations so as to reflect new European law
coming into effect in May, which demands that access to emergency
services for disabled people must be as aligned with that delivered to
other consumers as technology allows.

Thus far, the trial has been a success, with approximately one
emergency text received each day that requires attendance by
emergency services.

ecdp on Twitter

For current updates on our work and other disability news, you can
follow us on Twitter. Just visit

You can also view our Twitter feed on the left-hand side of our
website homepage.
national news

Inclusive Futures – Internet Web

Services Project (i2Web)
With the web now available on desktop computers, mobile phones
and even TVs, it is more important than ever that Web sites are
created so that they are accessible for everyone, including disabled
and older people.

The “Inclusive Futures – Internet Web Services” Project (i2Web) is

looking for people to help in evaluating a range of new Websites
and services to better understand the accessibility barriers they could

They are interested in how you surf the web, what types of things you
use the internet for, and how you work around problems you encounter
when using the internet.

Specifically, they are looking for:

 People over 60
 People who have low vision and who are experienced using a
screenreader or screen magnifier to surf the Web
 People who are Deaf or hard of hearing
 People who are restricted in the range of movements they can
undertake on keyboards, remote controls or mobile phones and/or
use an assistive technology to work with these devices

If you fit into one of these groups, are over 18 and would like to
participate please contact Sam Collin at the Foundation for Assistive
Technology (FAST) on 0300 330 1430 or

If you have any questions, please use the above contact details and
for more information about the i2Web project in general, please visit
the website at
national news

FAST is a small charity that works to improve the way equipment is

designed, promoted and provided, and to ensure that it reflects the
needs and wishes of older and disabled people:
national news

Joint Committee of Human Rights –

Call for Evidence
The Joint Committee of Human Rights, chaired by Dr Hywel Francis
MP, has announced an inquiry into the implementation of the right to
independent living for disabled people, as guaranteed by Article 19,
UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities.

The Committee invites interested persons and groups to submit

evidence on this issue and would welcome written submissions by
Friday 29 April 2011.

The Committee particularly welcomes submissions from disabled

people and their families about independent living and how
Government policies, practices and legislation or the activities of public
authorities and others can implement the right to independent living in

For more information, including the questions to address please read

the full call for evidence, available through our website, here:
Independent Living - Call for Evidence

BBC Extend Scheme 2011 opens!

The BBC has just opened their Extend Scheme for 2011. To find out
more click here.

Applications must be in by 3rd May 2011

national news

Housing Benefit and the Welfare

Reform Bill - your lived
experience wanted
ecdp has been contacted by Mencap who want to gain an
understanding of how the ‘new size criteria’ in social housing -
which is proposed under the Welfare Reform Bill currently going
through parliament - will affect disabled people. If you meet the
below criteria, Mencap would be interested in speaking to you:

• Do you currently rent a flat from a housing association or local

• Do you receive Housing Benefit to help you pay your rent?
• Do you have more bedrooms than you would be entitled to under
the LHA rules – see Appendix?

For more information about Mencap’s work in this area, and the
evidence they need and what they will use it for, please see here:
Mencap under-occupancy briefing

If you would like to share your story with Mencap, please contact: (020 76965452) or (020 7696 5568)