This site now acts as an archive only. For the latest news, opinion, blogs and listings on disability arts and culture visit

Disability Arts Online

As funding cuts bite deeper / 16 April 2011

SKILL cartoon

Crippen's cartoon about the closure of SKILL

Zoom in to this image and read text description

Following on from previous blogs where I've written about the funding cuts that are slowly but surely decimating our culture, two more disabled people led organisations fall to the axe this week.

Mark Bagley of Choices and Rights has emailed to tell me that their Disability Housing Service has had to close down. I know that this service has helped lots of disabled people sort out their housing problems and will be sorely missed. Although no longer able to help out with housing advise, Mark tells me that they'll still be there, managing the Centre for Independent Living along with all of the other support services that are run from their office in Hull. You can find out more by clicking on this link.

The following day I got an email from Peter Little saying that SKILL: National Bureau for Students with Disabilities, has announced its closure along with the redundancy of 23 members of staff.

SKILL is the only pan disability charity that focuses on promoting equality for disabled people in education, training and employment and has been a great champion of further and higher education for disabled students for some 40 years. It has also played a hugely important role in improving access to post-16 education

You can view my alternative cartoon for this sad news by visiting my other blog by clicking on this link.


Keywords: cartoons,cuts to services,disabled peoples movement,disabled peoples protest,funding


John McGovern posted on Crippen\'s cartoon blog

17 April 2011

Talk about nails in coffins! I’ve been an advocate of the services of SKILL (National Bureau for Students with Disabilities) for many, many years. I’ve used their services for myself in the 70′s and 80′s and continued contact, while working with young disabled people. I’m shocked and saddened by their demise.

SKILL have survived some shaky budget decisions in the past, to hear of their demise, means,less disabled people being able to access further and higher education. Yet another folly by a stupid Government who are simply choosing to cut, by nothing more than stealth! Without due regard again (check what happened after they cut ‘Access to Work’ facilities, to disabled people, hoping to enter the labour market!

Not only will we no longer be able to access education or work, via organisations we’ve trusted, for nearly a generation, soon the only access into the labour (and possibly, education) market, will be via the much hated, ATOS WCA route, where we’ll suffer automatic ‘sanctions’, because no account is taken of the fluctuating nature of most people’s disabilities!

Sasha Callaghan posted on Crippen\'s cartoon blog

17 April 2011

Ho hum. It isn’t just Skill that’s gone belly up. The fate of two other large infrastructure organisations in the post-16 education sector give an indication of where things are heading ; Lifelong Learning UK (lluk) closed at the end of March and NIACE (national institute of adult continuing eduction) has made about 3 quarters of it’s staff redundant.

Whilst neither of these organistions were DPO’s they both did work that promoted the rights of disabled people. LLUK was responsible for workforce monitoring and data collection which sounds dull but provided hard evidence around the recruitment, selection and retention of disabled staff.

NIACE has produced first rate teaching resources for adults with learning difficulties and this work is now under threat. Oh joy!