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Disability Arts Online

Crippen six frame cartoon strip telling the the story of a day in the life of the O'Crypes family

Episode 7

This week Jood misses out on her dance classes

The Community transport minibus that used to pick me and take me to dance rehearsals at my old school has been stopped because they’ve lost their grant from the Council. 

Mum says I might have to give up going to dance rehearsals. She says she just can’t afford taxi fares because my Incapacity Benefit was stopped.

I asked her why I couldn’t just walk there. She said someone would have to come with me and with Gramps and Nan and Brad she needs to be around all the time. I said what about Nabs but she just gave me a funny look.

So that’s the end of my dancing.
I’m really upset.

Brad says it’s all the government’s fault. He said that all the money spent on the Olympics is coming out of everyone’s pocket. He says we’re all the real sponsors, not the big people like McDonald’s – they’ve only put in a little bit.

I said what about the Paralympics – who’s sponsoring them? Mum looked awkward again but Brad starting getting really cross. He said ATOS are sponsoring them. I said who are they. He said they’re the people stopping your money!

I got very confused.

Then he said that the Paralympics is all a big con as well. He said that everyone who won a gold medal for Great Britain in the Olympics will be on a stamp and they’ll also have a gold post box. But in the Paralympics they’re more likely to be on a Wanted Poster. Wanted – Fit Crips Who Are Stealing Your Money!

Gramps says that the reason ATOS is sponsoring the Paralympics is so that they can be on hand to check up on all the disabled athletes taking part. If they’re any good then ATOS will find them all fit for work, and put a stop to their benefits too.

But I said that there aren’t a lot of jobs in rowing and jumping and wheelchair rugby if you’re disabled.

Brad said, “Exactly!” and then I got more confused.

But something good happened - my dance teacher phoned Mum. She said she’d give me a lift to rehearsals. I started jumping up and down, getting really excited!

I felt like I’d found a Fairy Godmother, that I was Cinders, that I was going to the Ball!

Then there was a knock at the door – Mum came back looking really worried.

A man I’d never seen before came into the room. He said he was from the Fraud Section of the Benefit Office. That he’d had reports that I was working during the time I was getting my money. That it was a serious offence to defraud government money that should go to people who really need it.

Brad nearly went mad, but Mum gave him a sharp look and told the man that there must be some mistake.

But what’s going on?
What’s happening?
I just don’t understand any more.