On the 2 October 2017 Disability Direct is taking part in The Derby Legal Walk, a challenging 10k walk around Derby City Centre to raise funds for our valued Welfare… read more →
Protesters helped through security by John McDonnell to demand restoration of independent living fund – and Theresa May’s resignation
Protesters in wheelchairs blocked the MPs’ entrance to the House of Commons chamber to demonstrate over disability cuts, supported by the shadow chancellor, John McDonnell, who reportedly helped the activists through security.
Keith Walker, one of the activists at the protest, said the shadow chancellor came down to security to help the protesters from Disabled People Against Cuts gain access to the Palace of Westminster, after security staff spotted their T-shirts emblazoned with their protest slogan.
A fourfold increase in the number of disabled people forced to use a crowdfunding site to buy their wheelchair undermines a basic tenet of the NHS, campaigners say
“I feel like a prisoner who every now and again is let out on day release,” Kelly Palmer, 38, says from her home in Newport, south Wales.
Palmer has Marfan Syndrome – a genetic condition that affects ligaments and organs – as well as fibromyalgia and needs a power wheelchair full-time. But when she approached her GP to apply for a chair after her health deteriorated, she was told she wasn’t eligible. Even though her disability means she can’t propel a manual wheelchair, she didn’t meet the threshold to qualify for a power chair. “There was no help,” she says. “It was just ‘goodbye’.”
Aid prize won by company to produce prosthetic knees that allow disabled wearers to navigate rough terrain, work and stay independent
Young amputees in some of the poorest parts of the world will be able to navigate rough terrain to access jobs and opportunities with the help of new, specially developed prosthetic knees, after a non-profit company received a grant from the UK government to develop its design.
For amputees, the type of prosthetic they get can define their lives – making the difference between finding a job and earning a living, or being unemployed and living in poverty.
As someone who relies extensively on social and medical care I understand Noel Conway’s fears, but our welfare should not be seen as a luxury
• Jamie Hale is a poet and disability activist
Noel Conway’s challenge to the 1961 Suicide Act goes before the high court this week. His argument is that the UK’s ban on assisted dying breaches the right to a private life under the Human Rights Act – and his aim is to have it legalised for terminally ill people who have less than six months to live.
Tory group sets out vision for human rights after Brexit, including call to remain in the European court of human rightsRail operators should be stripped of franchises if they fail to meet standards for making their services accessible for disabled peo…
Coco and Azerley are two of about 7,000 dogs in Britain that offer life-changing – and sometimes life-saving – assistance
Coco, a chocolate-brown cocker spaniel puppy, had been living with her owner for just three days when it is likely she saved her life for the first time. Now, six months later, it happens daily. Millie Law, who is 12, has a complex form of type 1 diabetes, which gives her no indication when her blood sugar levels are dangerously low or high. Coco, who can use her powerful sense of smell to detect changes on Millie’s breath or sweat, is one of about 7,000 dogs in Britain offering life-changing – and sometimes life-saving – support to children and adults with a growing range of medical conditions and disabilities.
As well as guide dogs for the blind and hearing dogs, specially trained dogs can provide practical support to those with conditions ranging from multiple sclerosis and cerebral palsy to the effects of stroke and autism. Others can alert to dangerous situations in type 1 diabetes, epilepsy, Addison’s disease, nut allergy, narcolepsy and some cardiac conditions.
A new Australian documentary, Defiant Lives, traces the history of disability rights at home and abroad, with the aim of challenging the movement’s erasure
“When you talk about disability rights with people, they just look at you like they didn’t think such a thing existed,” says Dr George Taleporos. “People don’t like talking about, hearing or watching disability. It’s not as sexy as gay rights or climate change. It’s just not.”
Taleporos is a disability rights activist, and a wheelchair user. He appeared in the first season of ABC TV’s You Can’t Ask Me That and now in the feature film documentary Defiant Lives. Director Sarah Barton tells a largely untold story, charting the history of the disability rights movement in Australia, the US and the UK. “As someone with a disability, it’s really novel to see a film about your people,” Taleporos says.
All the telethons did was make them think that their lives were worthless, and having a disability was the worst thing in the world
What is it like being deaf at university? There’s no universal experience – but institutions need to do more to accommodate us
The lecture had been going like any other, until I noticed that suddenly it was silent and everyone was staring at me.
“Why didn’t you answer my question?” asked the lecturer, with a smile to say he’d caught me out napping. I hadn’t even realised he’d asked a question. I awkwardly began to explain that I wasn’t being lazy. “I didn’t hear what you asked me,” I said apologetically. “I’m deaf.”
Only 1% of MPs are disabled, despite one in five of the population having a disability. The way to address this is simple
• Alice Kirby is an activist and disability rights campaigner
Stephen Lloyd made history in the general election by becoming the first person selected from an all-disabled shortlist to win a seat. In fact, the shortlist, which was run last year by the Liberal Democrats in Eastbourne, East Sussex, in anticipation of a snap election, was the very first of its kind to be used by any party.