February 2012

Monthly Bulletin 33
Dear Members, Welcome to the February 2012 edition of ecdp’s monthly email bulletin. Over the next week, we will be posting out the ecdp magazine for Winter 2011/12 to members across Essex. If you are not already signed up to receive the magazine, please contact ecdp to add your name to the mailing list, using the details below. As well as this email bulletin and our quarterly magazine, don’t forget you can also find a wealth of information on the ecdp website and stay in touch with us on Facebook and Twitter. In the last two bulletins we have written a lot about the Fulfilling Potential Discussion exercise being held by the Government. The information gathered will inform a new cross-Government disability strategy. ecdp view this discussion as a great opportunity to work with members to tell the Government about the barriers disabled people face and, most importantly, how we can work together to overcome them. On pages 3 and 4 there are details of the work ecdp and our members have done so far, including a discussion group held last week. It
February 2012 – Monthly Update 33

This update includes articles on the following topics:

ecdp news
1. Fulfilling Potential discussion

local news
2. 3. 4. 5. 6. 7. Essex County Council’s Transition Pathway service Zinc’s Nightclub Spectacular Disability Sports for Young People Fire Safety Information from ECFRS Free Counselling Service for Deaf People in Mid Essex Introducing: Fair Access to Colchester

national news
8. 9. Personal Independence Payment: an update Successful
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Monthly Bulletin 33 – February 2012

also highlights how you can get involved later this month. If you have not yet completed the online survey there is still time to do so, please follow this link and contribute your lived experience to this important piece of work: Fulfilling Potential - ecdp Lived Experience Survey. Best wishes, Rich Watts Director of Policy and Development

Communication with Deaf People 10. Share your experiences of disability discrimination.

If you want to get in touch with us about any of the articles included in this bulletin: Telephone: 01245 392 300 Email: info@ecdp.org.uk Post: Ivan Peck House, 1 Russell Way, Chelmsford, Essex, CM1 3AA.
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ecdp news

Fulfilling Potential discussion
In December the Government launched a discussion with disabled people to gather suggestions for a new crossgovernment disability strategy. The Government’s ambition is to enable disabled people to fulfill their potential and have opportunities to play a full role in society. To achieve this ambition, they want to tackle barriers to realising aspirations and individual control, as well as change attitudes and behaviour towards disabled people. This new strategy will build on previous discussions with disabled people, including the Independent Living Strategy, the 2025 Roadmap and the UK’s report to the UN on implementation of the Convention on the Rights of Disabled People. The Office for Disability Issues (ODI) has worked with disability organisations to create a discussion document which is available on our website: Fulfilling Potential – Working together to empower disabled people. They would like to hear from disabled people, and the people and organisations that support them. Responses are due by 5pm, 9 March 2012 and information about submitting a response, is available on the ODI website: ODI - Contributing to a new disability strategy. ecdp has launched an online survey, where you can share your lived experience and tell us how the government can improve the lives of disabled people. The survey is available here: Fulfilling potential – Lived experience survey. Completing the survey takes under 15 minutes and will inform ecdp’s submission to the Government. Please feel free to share this survey with any other disabled and older people who may be interested in having their say, by forwarding this link: http://www.surveymonkey.com/s/ecdpdisabilitystrategy We have previously shared details of some discussion groups ecdp is holding to gather further evidence for the discussion exercise. The first of these took place at the end of January and was attended by disabled people from all over Essex, with a variety of lived experience.

February 2012 – Monthly Update 33

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ecdp news

To make it easier for members to follow the discussion on the day, we have created a Storify. For those of you who have not used Storify before, this is an online tool which enables the user to collect information about a particular event or topic in one place. The story of our first group, which is available on the ecdp website, includes photos, videos, tweets and links to some relevant articles and documents: ecdp’s work on Fulfilling Potential – The story so far… We will be holding another discussion later this month. To get involved, or for more information on this work please contact ecdp’s Lived Experience Officer: fsavage@ecdp.co.uk or call 01245 214 023.

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Local News

Essex County Council’s Transition Pathway Service
Essex County Council’s Transition Pathway Service helps young people with a Statement of Special Educational Needs and/or additional needs plan their journey from childhood to adulthood. This is called ‘Transition’. The Transition Pathway Service will work with young people and their families from aged 13 and can offer support up until their 25th birthday. Most young people on a statement will start planning for the future in year 9 (aged 13) and will receive a letter from their school inviting them to a Transition Review. The Transition Review will help young people plan for their future and will look at everything from hopes, dreams and aspirations to further education, leisure, health, employment and finance. Planning for the future and transition review meetings is really important to ensure access to further education and services. For more information on transition please visit: www.essex.gov.uk or see the various Essex County Council guides to Transition, available on the ecdp website: Transition Pathway Service.

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Local News

Zinc’s Nightclub Spectacular
Starting this month, Zinc is kicking off the first of its monthly inclusive club nights for disabled young people with ‘Nightclub Spectacular!’. If you are interested in meeting new people, hanging out with friends, or just enjoy listening to good music, then come down to Zinc’s new studio where you can dance the night away listening to the latest tunes played by DJ JWoods. Zinc’s café will be serving American-style diner food all night, as well as exciting fruity ‘mock-tails’ to tingle your taste buds. Prizes for the best dancer of the evening! Zinc is a different kind of arts organisation, as they believe in ‘arts without exception’, which is why both their centre and events are always fully accessible and inclusive. If you are interested in joining Zinc for this exciting new club night, then call Sonia Cakebread on 01277 365626, email sonia.cakebread@zincarts.org.uk or complete the form on the Zinc website. For: Young disabled people aged 18 years and over When: Friday 10 February 2012 Time: 7.00pm – 11.00pm Where: Zinc Arts Centre, High Street, Chipping Ongar, CM5 0AD Cost: £5.00 entry

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Local News

Disability Sports for Young People
A new sports club, for young disabled people aged 6 and above, has been opened at Chelmsford Sport and Athletic Centre, The club will be held every Wednesday from 4 January to 28 March (excluding 15 February), 4.15pm to 5.00pm. Children can participate in a range of both individual and team sports, including Table Tennis, Boccia, Athletics, Cricket, Football and Basketball. Children with any impairment are welcome. If one-to-one support is required then the child must be accompanied by a parent, guardian or carer who can support their participation. The club costs £32.50 in advance for the whole term or £3 per week if you prefer to pay as you go. You can book in the following ways: In person, by visiting Chelmsford Sport and Athletics Centre, Salerno Way, Chelmsford CM1 2EH By Telephone: 01245 605666. Telephone bookings can be taken by phone on Monday to Friday from 9am to 9pm, and between 9am and 5pm on Saturdays or 9am to 8pm on Sundays. Online: Visit www.chelmsford.gov.uk/sportsbookings and click on ‘Sport & Athletics Centre Bookings’ (Leisure Plus card holders only).

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Local News

Fire Safety Information from ECFRS
Essex County Fire and Rescue Service have produced a number of specific guides to fire safety. The guide for those with sensory or mobility impairments may be of particular interest to some of our members and is available on the ecdp website. The full list of guides is available on the ECFRS website: fire safety guides and the document above is also available as a PDF: Fire Safety for people with sensory or mobility impairments.

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Local News

Free Counselling Service for Deaf People in Mid Essex
Are you Deaf and a British Sign Language (BSL) User? If you are feeling low, anxious or bothered by past issues, you may benefit from a free and confidential counselling service from Mid Essex IAPT. The service is for those over 18 years old, registered with a Mid Essex GP. For a referral or for more information, call 01621 874380 or email: cpmtr.midessexiapt@nhs.net

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Local News

Introducing: Fair Access to Colchester
Are you interested in becoming involved in making Colchester more accessible for all? Fair Access to Colchester (FA2C) is a group of disabled and non-disabled volunteers who work to promote an accessible town by seeking to improve the environment so that all people can access all buildings, facilities and services. Recent projects include:  Reducing Advertising Board usage.  Campaigning to keep the disabled parking facilities in the town centre  Improving access on public transportation and much more. FA2C meet on the first Tuesday of every month with daytime and evening meetings available. For more information, please see the contact details below. Anyone is welcome, all you need is to be interested and willing to get involved. Email: Colchester.fairaccess@live.co.uk Website: www.fa2c.org The photo shows members of Fair Access to Colchester taking a tour of new accessible facilities at Colchester Train Station.

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National News

Personal Independence Payment: an update
During January, ecdp shared details of a new Government consultation on Personal Independence Payment (PIP), the benefit which will be replacing Disability Living Allowance from 2013 as part of the Welfare Reform Bill. The new consultation looks for feedback on the elements of the PIP reform which have been updated. This follows publication of a second draft of the assessment criteria in November and the entitlement thresholds (i.e. how much of the benefit someone is likely to be entitled to, depending on their answers to the questions in the assessment). Based on these thresholds, it is estimated that around 500,000 people currently receiving DLA will not be entitled to PIP when they are reassessed for the new benefit. This has lead some to worry this will result in disabled people’s standard of living falling. Just prior to the publication of this new information, a report called Responsible Reform was published. This report was written by a group of disabled people who reviewed the evidence submitted to the Department of Work and Pensions (DWP) during the first consultation. They concluded that there was more concern about, and resistance to, the reform of DLA than was previously suggested. Following this, a joint statement was released by a coalition of disability organisations asking Lords to support amendments to pause the legislation on the basis of disabled people’s concerns highlighted in the Responsible Reform report. On 18 January, a debate held in the House of Lords (Welfare Reform Bill, Day Four) saw former Paralympian, Baronnes Grey-Thompson (an independent cross-bench Peer), propose two amendments: One called for a one year pilot study of PIP and assurance that “disabled persons organisations” are involved in the changes. This amendment lost in a
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National News
vote, 213 -229. More information about this is available via Sky News: Paralympian loses bid to alter welfare bill. The second amendment called all assessment to have input from claimants’ GPs. This was withdrawn by Baroness Grey-Thompson, who did not press for a vote. This BBC Politics article on the welfare changes states that: In the Lords, cross-bench peers - who are not affiliated to any party have been among the most vocal critics. They have joined forces with Labour peers to propose amendments and have defeated the government on four occasions so far. On DLA, they want guarantees that assessment tests will be piloted first and those doing them must consult healthcare professionals.” The Government has also announced that they will not be increasing the qualifying period from 3 months to 6, as was originally proposed. ecdp welcomes this move as it is in-line with the suggestion made in our original responses to both the DLA and PIP consultations. ecdp has worked with members in Essex and beyond to collect their lived experience and respond to the previous DWP consultations on this issue. We are committed to continuing this work and will be carrying out further engagement to respond to the new consultation.

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National News

Successful Communication with Deaf People
The National Association of Deafened People (NADP) has produced a guide to support successful communication with Deaf people. 1 in 7 people in the UK have some form of hearing loss, and the guides gives some useful tips to ensure that individuals and organisations are able to communicate effectively with them. The guide is embedded on the ecdp website, or available to download here: Communication Support For Deaf people. There is also a short leaflet, which includes some of the below tips: Before you speak to me Attract my attention by calling or waving, or by tapping my shoulder. Make sure I can see your full face, not just the side view. Please don’t turn away whilst talking to me. A hearing aid will amplify background noise as well as your voice so it helps to turn off the TV or radio and move away from noisy machinery etc.  It is better if we are both at the same level – either both sitting or both standing.  Don’t get too close – the ideal distance is 3 to 6 feet.  Please be sure to position yourself so that the light from a window or lamp is on your face.     How to speak to me     Make eye contact. Don’t speak too fast but do keep the natural rhythm of speech. Speak clearly but don’t exaggerate. Speak up a little but don’t shout – it distorts your face.

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National News
 Keep your hands away from your face, and don’t smoke or eat whilst talking to me  How to make sure I understand  The topic of conversation should be clear at the outset.  Lipreading is partly guesswork – and it’s a lot easier for me toguess a word if I know what you are talking about!  Think about what you are going to say – vague half sentences will not make sense to me.  Pause briefly at the end of each sentence to give me time to work out what you have said. When you speak to me  Write things down if necessary, especially complicated directions, names, addresses and numbers as these are hard to lipread accurately.  Repeat yourself if asked, and if I’m still unsure of what you have said, try rephrasing the sentence as different words may be easier to lipread. Don’t just repeat a single word as whole phrases are easier to understand.  Body language, natural gesture, fingerspelling and basic sign language may all help. Facial expression is also very important.  Book communication support if needed. Such support includes speech to text reporters, lipspeakers and BSL interpreters.

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National News

Share your experiences of disability discrimination
ecdp has been contacted by a television company called Renegade Pictures who are producing a documentary for BBC3 with presenter Cherry Healey. The programme is about prejudice, and as part of it they would like to talk to a disabled person about whether they feel that they are discriminated against due to their disability. If you would like to share your story, please contact Faye at ecdp: fsavage@ecdp.co.uk or call 01245 214 023.

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