Sign Off / 26 November 2014
If you’ve been listening to the likes of Iain Duncan Smith (IDS), Esther McVey, Lord Freud and of course David Cameron, you’ll be forgiven for thinking that everything in the disability garden was coming up roses.
They claim that the changes that they are making to the benefits system are all designed to help genuine disabled people get the financial assistance that they need, and at the same time weed out the imposters who are responsible for bankrupting this country [sic].
Well, we’ve all seen what their ‘weeding out’ processes can do, with a high percentage of disabled individuals having their Disability Living Allowance (DLA) and/or their Access to Work (ATW) payments stopped resulting in thousands of recorded deaths.
We’ve seen IDS caught out in his lies about the true cost of his cuts to benefits, and his flagship private enterprise company ATOS found guilty of the wrongful assessment of hundreds of thousands of disabled people, most of whom had their benefits reinstated when challenged through the court of appeal!
Surely it can’t get any worse? Well, I’m sorry to have to tell you, but it is. IDS and his cronies are now targeting many of the services and resources that disabled people rely on to find work, or to remain in work. These include the British Sign Language translation services which allow many Deaf people to engage in employment or to interact within the arts.
Speaking with some Deaf friends recently, one of them told me that they’ve had their entitlement to a sign language interpreter cut completely whilst at work. According to the ATW advisor who assessed their claim for a continuation of this service, the DWP was not in the habit of paying someone to do the job that the disabled person should have been doing!
No, I don’t get it either ...