Yesterday I went to a meeting of Berkshire Disabled People Against Cuts. We were a small but determined group. What we need at the moment is more people to get involved and help in whatever small way they can. There is a Facebook group here that you can join.
A bit of background from the DPAC website:
DPAC is about disabled people and their allies. DPAC is UK based but we know that disabled people in other countries are suffering from austerity cuts and a lack of fundamental rights. We welcome all to join us in fighting for justice and human rights for all disabled people.
Disabled people should not be the scapegoats for the financial mistakes of governments, should not be constantly told that there is no money to support them by millionaire politicians. We will not tolerate further erosion of our living conditions or our human rights, nor will we sit quietly while they try to take our rights away.
A bit of Green Party background in this area:
Last autumn conference Green Party members called on the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions to stop using IT firm ATOS as its assessor of benefit claimants.
Concerns have been raised over the company's suitability to conduct assessments, ranging from the lack of disabled access at their assessment centres to the shocking fact that 40% of their decisions have been found to be wrong on appeal.
ATOS's computer-led assessment is far too blunt an instrument to assess a benefit that is vital for so many. For example, the box-ticking exercise is close to useless for assessing a condition such as autism. Not only that, but the number of decisions that have been reversed means that an awful lot of taxpayers' money has been wasted.
Disabled people should be afforded the dignity they deserve throughout any assessment process, and should not be presumed guilty or treated like they're avoiding work. ATOS has no place in such a sensitive area, and we urge the government to sever all ties with the company.
Join the Berkshire Disabled People Against Cuts Facebook group here.