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On the eve of the closure of the Independent Living Fund, Disabled People fight back

It was great to see the news of the protests against the disbandment of the Independent Living Fund… I've always had a huge amount of respect and admiration for John Kelly and it was great to see him on the news singing 'Which Side Are You On My Boys'. Much warmth, respect and solidarity goes to all the protesters who stormed Parliament yesterday!

I think this cartoon by Dao cartoonist Crippen from 2012 says it all about how despicable the puppet figurehead of our overlords is.

This is no human being! This is a man who will use any emotional trick in the book to draw sympathy from an unthinking, drugged by TV, drugged by Gaming, populace into colluding with his death-dealing campaign against disabled people. 

As the Black Triangle Campaign commented: “The use of one’s dead family members to push policies which amount to passive euthanasia must be unprecedented in British political history.”

Posted by Colin Hambrook, 25 June 2015

Last modified by Colin Hambrook, 25 June 2015

Rowan James’ ‘Easy For You To Say’

We are pleased to be supporting Rowan James’ bid to raise £1500 to complete his debut Edinburgh Fringe run this year as part of the iF (Integrated Fringe) Platform. 

Rowan and his team are seeking support to pay for their accommodation and food during their stay, plus production and technical support to make the show as professional and polished as it can be.

Please click here to check out the campaign page and rewards and donate whatever you can to the future of performance poetry.

Rowan is a hip hop and punk-inspired poet diagnosed with a specific learning difficulty and speech impediment, often disabled by other people’s perceptions. 

Marv Radio is a beatboxer with dexterous lips and an arsenal of sounds. With big beats and big words, and the rhythm of Rowan’s irregular heartbeat, they ask you to consider the effects of a society obsessed with normality. 

In a world of normcore fashion and statistical averages, what’s so important about blending in? Commissioned by Cambridge Junction. Supported by Escalator Performing Arts. Part of Stopgap Dance Company’s iF Platform.

This Dao crowdfunding campaign is part of a Catalyst-supported fundraising experiment in partnership with Salisbury Arts Centre, The Point, Eastleigh  and Stopgap.

Posted by Colin Hambrook, 9 June 2015

Last modified by Colin Hambrook, 9 June 2015

Dao 2015 Reader Survey

dao logo, consisting of a square within a green circle with the letters 'Dao'

 We are looking for responses to our 2015 Reader Survey to get Your valuable feedback is absolutely vital for future development of the organisations and to help us to secure funding for future projects. 

This year we are doing something a bit different. The questionnaire is completely anonymous because we want to gauge the temperature of feeling towards some of the major disability related arts programmes. We're also really excited to hear your thoughts on how we can improve Dao's website.

We want to gauge the temperature of how you see Dao and how you feel it is best placed to support the artistic endeavours of the disability arts sector.

We’ve asked for your impressions of what it is that Dao does and what content and style changes could be made that would improve your experience of the website?

We are also asking you to let us know what sort of partnerships we could make that would be invaluable for you to develop a career in the arts.

Dao is more than a website. In recent years we have given various talks at events and festivals, run poetry events and supported commissions to make new work. We also collaborate with other arts organisations and provide some consultancy for arts organisations as well as helping to promote festivals through media partnerships.

We connect people to artists and organisations; work with artists to develop and promote their projects, including named in kind support on funding bids, create volunteering opportunities and give informal mentoring through artists blogging. We have also run arts writing training programmes in the past.

We are not sure how aware people are of the range and extent of the work that our small team of people is engaged in or of what readers think generally of the work that we do. 

It would assist us greatly if you can spare 15 minutes or so of your time to complete the Survey Monkey, which you can find by clicking here.

 

Posted by Colin Hambrook, 9 June 2015

Last modified by Colin Hambrook, 9 June 2015

Defend disabled people's right to independent living

The Government's plans to do away with the Independent Living Fund (ILF) on 30th June are going to have an immense impact on many individuals Dao works with either directly or indirectly.

The ILF helps over 18,000 disabled people with high support needs to live independent lives in the community rather than in residential care. The fund was introduced in 1988 as the Conservative party at that time realised that supporting disabled people with personal care needs to live independent lives, in their own homes, was cheaper by far than residential care.

After June 2016 there will be no additional funding for already cash-strapped local authorities to meet their legal obligations. The LA’s budgets have already been cut by £991 million in 2011, £890 million in 2012, and they are being cut by a further 28% in 2013-15. 

There is no overall scheme to ensure the safety of the people who depend on the ILF. The overall sense of what will happen is that LA’s will not be able to supply the budgets needed for disabled people to continue to have the same levels of PA support. Individuals will be left to fight for their support needs to be recognised. 

The policy to scrap the ILF is not designed to save money. The implication is that most group 1 users will no longer be eligible for any funding due to tightening of local authority eligibility criteria. The average cost of the ILF is just £345 a week compared to the average cost of residential care being £738 a week. 

This is a direct attack on disabled people designed to divide, weaken and  destroy the spirit of an already fragmented community. More than 18,000 disabled people will lose an essential lifeline, devastating their quality of life. 

Please write to your local MP, and sign the 38 Degree Petition 

Posted by Colin Hambrook, 3 June 2015

Last modified by Colin Hambrook, 26 April 2016